I left California, left the first grown up job I ever had, left the first serious relationship, but I gained an aching heart, a feeling of failure, and an old 58 Chevy.
Got back to Cedar at loose ends. I hooked up with Phyllis Davis a friend from Drama Club. She was busy with Shakespeare Festival and gave me some tasks to do. I realized I needed a paying job and the only place I could think that I could get a job was with the Parks. I stayed with Festival until they were about finished for the summer and then I applied at the Parks. A few days later they called and offered me a job at Grand Canyon North Rim Store. Since I had a car I drove myself and checked in. The Store is about 2 miles from the main lodge and the employees stayed in little cabins. I was put in a cabin with four other girls. I found out after I got there that one of the reasons they wanted me was because I was over 21 and they had gotten into trouble for letting clerks who were under 21 sell beer. So one of my main responsibilities was to be the official beer seller. The store was stocked with a few groceries and souvenir items aimed at the campers. I really enjoyed working there. I learned a little bit about indian jewelery and rugs and because I was an employee we got a little discount. Because it was a small store we could talk to the customers and flirt with the boys. Since I had a car we could takes runs into Kanab if we wanted to.
One day about 4 guys came into the store to buy some beer. I made them show me Id’s and they teased me. One of the guys was really cute. They were all from Idaho and were working down in the Canyon building a bridge that had been damaged over the winter. They had hiked out of the canyon and wanted to go to the bar that was on the border of Arizona and Utah. They wanted me and a couple of the other girls to go with them. They were so cute and I thought what the heck. They had a truck and we all piled in and away we went. I get myself into these situations and then I realize that I really shouldn’t be there so I try to fake it. But they were funny and it was fun. We made it back and they had to go back down the canyon. About a week or so later there they were again. Ready to party. One of the boys seemed to really like me. I was flattered. I don’t remember the exact time line but at one point I found out the guy who ran the mules was taking some supplies down to them and I begged to go along. I rode the mules down the canyon to their work site and spent a little bit of time with them then we headed back up the canyon. Another time I found out a man that flew a Helicoper was taking some supplies down to them and I begged a ride. This time he left me and I had to spend the night. Shocking! They did not expect me but they were glad to see me. At least I think they were. Anyway they told me I had to make dinner so they left me alone to figure up what to make for these boys I really had never used a camp stove and I really did not know how they worked. But I figured something out and they said it was great. We sat around and talked and laughed. Then they found a place for me to sleep and in the morning I hiked out of the canyon by myself. Ok I never said I was very smart. I did some rather silly things. But these are really kind of fun memories.
Went to a concert at the USANA Amphitheater last night August 22nd. The evening was warm and we arrived at the parking lot about 5:30pm. Just as we arrived several motorcycles started coming in. Then more and more came. They were lined up for at least a quarter of a mile. By the time the gates were opened for us to go inside there were probably over a hundred cycles with at least two riders for each one. I think the motorcycle clubs were sponsoring a fund raiser along with the concert. It was really quite a sight to see all those cycles and riders. Kind of intimidating. They later announced from the stage that there were over 1200 bikers attending the concert. Really cool to see all those bikes.
Any way we went our seats and this time we were in the middle of the amphitheater and in the second row. Most of the night the two seats directly in front of us were empty. Which made me very glad I did not have to bonk anyone to make them sit down.
Trace Atkins came out and started off with “I Got My Game On” then continued with mostly up beat songs. He sang and talked to the audience for about one hour. He was so great. Then Toby Keith took the stage. He came out with mostly up beat songs again. At one point in the concert he talked about singing about Mexico and out walks Eddie Raven. Now I did not know who Eddie Raven is but Jim’s eyes light up and he said “is that really Eddie Raven?” He had not been introduced yet but Jim knew who he was. He is so smart. OK, for those of you who do not know who Eddie Raven is, this is what I found out. He had several hits in the early 80′s on the country charts. This is one of the reasons we love going to concerts you never know who is going to show up. They sang three songs together then Eddie left the stage.
Toby finished up his set and left the stage. He had not sang any of his patriotic songs. I turned to Jim and said how neat it would be if Trace came out and sang with him. Toby came back and sang “An American Soldier” and started to sing “Angry American” when the line comes “My Dad fought in the Army and lost his right eye” out walks Trace Atkins singing that line. “And the Crowd Goes Wild” It was great and that my dear young friends is why you NEVER LEAVE a CONCERT BEFORE they turn HOUSE LIGHTS on!
Thus ended our evening on a very high note.
Ok, I had a job, I had a steady boy friend. I thought life was good and it was. Wes took me to many places. He loved Country Western Music as it was called way back then and he introduced me to the real Country Music. I knew who Glenn Campbell was and Johnny Cash, and some of the others but he knew them all. He took me to a little club to see Lester Flatt and Earl Scruggs. They played the theme for the Beverly Hillbillies. That’s all I knew but they were fantastic musicians it was a wonderful concert. A few times we went to some concerts that had several artists perform just a few of their songs. I can not remember all of them but I do remember seeing Johnny Cash and June Carter, (This was before they got married) and Glenn Campbell. He took me to a concert with Jimmy Dean, and one with Pat Boone. We went to Disneyland a couple of times and Griffith Park Observatory. One day we took the ferry to Catalina Island. He was in the National Guard and he had to spend some weekends and a couple of weeks doing Guard stuff.
Politically he was very conservative and most of his ideas were pretty much how I felt. I really thought we were in sync. He was always talking about a small town in Northern California that he really liked and someday he wanted to live there. Christmas 1967 he proposed and gave me a ring.
Tauna and I had moved to a smaller and cheaper apartment. Tensions between us were getting more strained. I thought we would be friends forever. But she was having a hard time keeping a job and paying her share of the rent and food expenses. Wes helped me find a used car to buy. It was a 1956 Chevy. I got a loan from the Credit Union through my work so I could buy the car. So I had transportation. That was good because the girl I was riding with was getting tired of being my chauffeur.
Finely Tauna and I had a big fight about what I can not remember. But I found a new apartment and moved out. Wes and I talked or saw each other every day. He would invite me over to his house and I really liked his parents and I think they liked me to. I thought every thing was moving along fine. Wes agreed to talk to the Missionaries but that did not go very well. He was not receptive. I was so naive I thought that anyone who listened to the missionaries would be touched by the spirit and be converted. But of course that is not the case. It takes an open heart and a willing spirit and sometimes it takes a long time. I was young and I wanted it Now.
I felt like I was really “in love” but as summer approached, Wes kept talking about going to Northern California for the summer. But to me it sounded like he was making plans without me. I tried to get him to explain what he was thinking but to no good. I finely decided that this was not going to work and I had no reason to stay. I myself had not kept in touch with the Church and I had no friends outside of Wes. If he left I would be all alone. I made the decision to break off the engagement, quit my job and move back home. (Note to any parents. You think they have left home for good, But they always come back. Count on it.)
I made arrangements for my parents to come and help me move back home. Spring 1968.
I Just got home from Cedar City, Utah after attending my 45th High School Class Reunion. Quite a trip, I vacillated between really wanting to go and knowing absolutely that no one would talk to me and I would spend the evening in the corner. But as soon and Jim and I walked in the room hugs were being handed out like candy. Some I recognized right away and some not so fast. Almost everyone seemed very pleased to see me. One surprise for me were how many of the boys I went to school with me who did not give me the time of day treated me like an old friend. One boy said he always liked to dance with me because I was tall. Well that was news to me. After I got home I pulled out my year book and realized that I should have taken my book in with me. I think I would have been able to interact with more classmates if I was able to put them in a better context. Then I met up with Mary Ann Grimshaw. We had been in school all the way through Grade School and High School. We shared many of the same interests. Her Father worked at the same company as my Father. The last time I saw her was at our 10th year reunion. We spent most of the evening visiting just like we were back in High School. We have both had bad marriages and unrealized dreams. I am looking forward to reconnecting with her. She is living in La Verkin in Southern Utah.
I hope that when we travel to St. George that we can make some time to visit with her.