On to High School

When I entered 10th grade it was a lot different from being in Jr. High. Even though we all were on the same block. High school and Jr. High shared some of the same class rooms we did not attend the same classes. There was a different division. I was now a High School student. Doug was a Senior, I was a Sophomore. There were clubs you could join. I wanted to join the Pep Club but that cost money and you had to try out and I was not one of the pretty girls. I tried to join the Future Homemakers of America and did not get accepted. Never could understand why. I concentrated on taking Choir and just trying to adapt to harder classes.

In the fall, one of the big activities was a Sadie Hawkins Dance. All the girls and boys would be put together and then names would be drawn out and a boy and girl would be paired up and the girl was supposed to catch the boy and then they would go to the dance together. Of course I thought this was great. The boy I was paired up with in 10th grade was a senior. He lived out west of town. But he was also the boyfriend of one of my friends. I was so excited. He was tall and dark and very handsome. This was just for fun and so my friend who also lived in the same small town let me come and stay at her house and then we ambushed him at home. We made our date and Beverly and I planned to go together with our dates. We went to a movie and then to the dance. It was fun but thinking back about it I think it must have been kind of uncomfortable for Beverly to be with another boy and I was with her boyfriend.

For some reason the little group of girl friends that I had hung out with in Jr. High didn’t seem to transition together in High School. We all went in different directions. It is funny how even in a small town and when there is only one school that friends drift apart. I always felt like an outsider. I was one of the tallest girls in the whole school. Another little note. Remember that we had to wear dresses to school. Girls could not wear pants. By the time I got to High School I was wearing nylons and a girdle. We didn’t have panty hose. It was bout this time that Fred Adams came to town. He was teacher at the Collage and he had an idea to start a Shakespeare Festival. He produced Broadway Shows at the Collage and I fell in love with the Theater. My cousin Lyona was the lead in “Bells are Ringing”. He did “The Diary of Ann Frank” it was wonderful.  He even had the ushers dressed in Nazi Uniforms. Real theater had come to Cedar City.

Leaving Jr. High

One of my favorite classes in Jr. High was Home Economics. I loved cooking and sewing. I thought that I would like to be a Home Economics teacher. One day in the Spring before we graduated the Principal Mr. Hulet came to our class and said that he had a presentation. He called me up to front of the class and presented me with a statue for being an outstanding Home Economics student sponsered by Crisco. I suppose my teacher had nominated me. I don’t know what kind of qualifications were required but I guess I fit. I was so surprised and I felt very important. That was the high light of Jr. High. Yeah!

First Trip to Disneyland

Mother and Dad had gone to Southern California for a Lions Club National Convention. I think I was in Jr High. They came home with stories of Knots Berry Farm and Disneyland. It sounded so wonderful. Then they told us that they would take us during spring vacation in March. We were all so excited. We borrowed Aunt Inez’s car because ours was too small or old I didn’t know why. All I cared about was that we were going. I remember the anticipation. The planning. We would leave on Tuesday in the evening and drive all night. There was talk about having to drive at night because the desert would be too hot. We did not have air conditioning in the car. Mother packed food to eat in the car. We took pillows. The front seat was a bench seat so that three could sit in the front. It was usually Richard. The rest of us were in the back. There was some of “He’s touching me” and “are we there yet” but for the most part I think we got along pretty well. We were used to road trips.

When we rode into Las Vegas It was a wonder. This was before the freeway and you drove right down Fremont Street and then down the Strip. It was as light as day, I had never seen so many lights. I don’t think we stopped, we just rode though. Then we settled in for the long drive. I think somewhere along the way Dad stopped the car and slept for a little bit. I think a police man knocked on the window and asked if we were OK and we couldn’t stay there. We were in California. The first thing we did was drive to the Beach for our first look at an ocean. We all took off our shoes and ran out into the water. It was cold. The beach sand was rough and rocky, not the smooth sand that I had imagined. Doug found a live star fish and wanted to keep it. Then we drove to the Motel we were going to stay at. I think the girls had a room to ourselves and Doug and Richard shared a room with Mom and Dad. The lady at the motel told Doug to put the star fish on the roof of a shed to dry out.

I don’t remember the order in which we did things. I remember stopping at some kind of market and Sandra, Kathryn and I bought big straw hats with handkerchief ties. We thought that Disneyland would be really sunny and we would need hats for protection. Dad took a picture of us riding the tea cups with those silly hats flying. They proved to be more of a bother than a help. But we sure thought we were stylish. We went to Knots Berry Farm first and looked around. It was more of a collection of old buildings like an old western town. There were lots of shops. But I don’t remember there being any amusement type rides. We went to Marine Land and saw the shows with the dolphins and whales. We went to the Hollywood Wax Museum and that was a lot of fun. They had statues of Keystone Cops all around the building and some of them were real and some were just statues and you could not tell them apart. I saw one of them following my Mother around and when she would turn around he would stop and then he tapped her on the shoulder and I thought she was going to faint. She nearly jumped out of her skin.

Then finally we went to Disneyland. We got there as soon as it opened and stayed all day. Mom and Dad promised us if we would not beg for food while we were there they would take us to nice restaurant. We all agreed. Disneyland was truly a wonderland. We had seen it being built on TV as we watched the Mickey Mouse Club and Walt Disney Presents. We rode every ride we could. It was wonderful. It was hard to imagine how it was all possible. We rode in a submarine, a boat down a river in Africa, a pirate ship through wonderland, and rocket ship to the moon. Remember this was before anyone had been to the moon. We wore ourselves out. Then it was back to the motel to dress for dinner. We went to a Polynesian Restaurant. We were all so hungry that everything was so good. Dad told us we could order anything we wanted. The waitress showed us how to use chop sticks. I had some shrimp that were served on bamboo skewers. Everything was different from anything I was familiar with. What a great adventure. Trying to act so grown up and sophisticated. But down deep knowing I was just a small town kid. But it was such a wonderful time. It is hard to believe that we were only there three days. We were back in school Monday morning.

Yellowstone and Idaho Wilderness

The summer before I started 10th grade our family took a trip to Idaho and Yellowstone Park.

My Dad worked for the California Pacific Power Co. The company had hired a contractor to do some work for them. The manager of this crew made friends with my Dad.  My Dad took him fishing and deer hunting. My Dad loved showing off Southern Utah.

This man owned several cabins in the Idaho Wilderness. He also owned a plane. The only way into his property was by plane or packing in. No roads.

He took my Dad and Mom to his cabin to fish for Salmon. Then he hired my sister Sandra, who had just finished her first year of College, to come to work for him as a secretary for the Summer. Then he invited the whole family to spend a week at one of his cabins in Idaho.

I think this was the last big trip we took as a family, my sister Kathryn had just graduated from High School, my older brother would be senior and I was ready to start High School. At the appointed time we started to travel north. We stopped in Pocatello to visit Moms family and then we were off to Yellowstone. Dad had taken the scouts to Yellowstone so my brother Doug had been there and of course Mother had been there as a young woman.

We stayed at campers  cabins at Old Faithful one night . These were rustic cabins you brought all your own bedding. The idea is to get away from sleeping outdoors because of the bears that frequented the camp grounds. I remember it being cold. The next morning we drove around to see as much as we could. It was so interesting. I had never seen anything like it. The sights and smells were so unusual. I had never seen or smelled anything like it. Around the thermal areas the ground was gray and sometimes it would be laced with blues, greens and yellows. There was steam coming from the rocks. There were ponds of mud that bubbled. It was tempting to put your hand in to feel the temperature and consistency. There were signs everywhere to stay on the path and Do Not Put Your Hands In the Water. There was steam everywhere.

We also stopped at a place called “Craters of the Moon”. It had acres and acres of black lava. Very weird and very interesting. I remember it being really hot. Then we drove to a small town somewhere in North Eastern Idaho and parked the car at a little airport and waited. Soon in the early morning we heard a plane and when it landed it was our host. We couldn’t all go at the same time and I don’t remember exactly how it was handled but Doug, Kathryn and I were taken to a cabin and there we found Sandra. I think my little brother Richard stayed with Mom and Dad. Mother and Dad were taken to another location and we were left by ourselves. There were people there to cook for us and entertain us. The best part was that they were almost all young people (boys) our age or just a little older. One of the young men was the son of Dad’s boss. He had been hired for the summer. It was really fun we hiked and just sat around enjoying the mountains. Of course the boys liked Kathryn best and I was just the little kid.

Then it was time to go. We flew out and all met up at the airport. Then we headed to Jackson Hole, Wy. Dad wanted to see one of his Missionary companions who lived in Star Valley near Jackson Hole. They had a dairy farm and a family of girls. One of the girls was my age. We got to talking and I thought it would be really cool to change my circumstances and move to Wyoming. We decided to approach our parents. My Dad said I could but I would not be able to come home for visits not even Christmas. He also said I would have to learn how to milk the cows and do other farm work. I thought it sounded like a big adventure. But the idea kind of got shot down. I have often wondered how my life would have changed if that idea had been fulfilled. We went camping with them and we really had a fun time.  Then it was good by to the Hurd family and we were on the road again. I think we went back to Pocatello before we went home. I remember showing Aunt Vera all my mosquito bites.

A Few of the Things on my Mind.

OK, it has been along time since I have written. I have been thinking a lot about where I want to go from here. It has been fun talking about trips and memories of growing up. But I also want my children and grandchildren to know that I have a deep testimony of the gospel. There have been so many angry voices and so much violence lately. I read the editorials in the newspaper  and the columnists and the letters to the editor and I understand how each one feels and their reasoning is so persuasive, that I feel like I don’t know my own mind. Then I listened to our Prophets and Apostles in General Conference and I felt such peace and quiet. I realized that I can always turn to our Prophet and trust what is said. He tells us to be happy and keep our hearts and eyes focused on the Savior and all will be OK. We extend ourselves outward and give service and help where ever we can. There is a wonderful little book by Gordon B. Hinckley. “Stand A Little Taller” it contains scripture quotes for each day of the year.

Do Not Despair

All these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.”

Doctrine and Covenants 123:7

“We are in a period of stress across the world. There are occasionally hard days for each of us. Do not despair. Do not give up. Look for the sunlight through the clouds. Opportunities will eventually open to you. Do not let the prophets of gloom endanger your possibilities.”

Then another: “Courageous Convictions”

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth. Romans 1:16

“Paul wrote to Timothy:”God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord” (2 Timothy 1:7-8). I would that every member of this Church would put those words where you might see them every morning as you begin your day. They will give you courage to speak up, they will give you the faith to try, they will strengthen your conviction of the Lord Jesus Christ.

This was published in 2001.

These are just a few of the touchstones of my life. I am so grateful to my parents for their example of love and devotion to the gospel and to each other.  I miss them every day. My heart has felt very tender lately. My eyes mist over at almost anything. I cherish every day I have to spend with my wonderful Husband Jim. I feel so blessed to have the opportunity to share my life with this amazing man. He is so smart and he helps me to laugh and enjoy life. We share so many of the same interests it is a joy to be together.

My dear children, I love you all so much. I know that my actions do not always show that love but I pray for you and your families and know you each have your own agency. I always hope that each of you will look to your heritage and remember who your ancestors are and what they sacrificed so that you might have the life that you have.

I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is the true church of Christ. I have been blessed to be born of parents that also have that knowledge and they passed that to me. I have not always lived as though I knew the truth but in my heart I always came back. It is such a blessing to have a Husband who honers his Priesthood and helps me to understand things when I have questions. Please take this as it comes from my heart.

Love your Mother.