Transcript of Interview with Leo Thomas Lythgoe and Lavinia Mitchell Lythgoe
July 26, 1975
Salt Lake City, Utah
Conducted by Dennis L. Lythgoe
DLL: How old were you when you moved to Cowley, Wyoming?
LTL: Five years old.
DLL: Why did you move there? Why did your father move there?
LTL: Land, I don't know why he moved! (Chuckles) They were hunting land, I guess
DLL: Wasn't he asked by the Church to go?
LTL: I don't remember anything about them being asked by the Church. (pause) I guess the Church DID send them out there--the whole bunch--because the Church was out there. They started the old siding canal for irrigation for Byron and Cowley.
DLL: How many families were there when you first went to Cowley?
LTL: I can't remember how many was there.
DLL: Were they all members of the Church?
LTL: Most all of them. Most all of them were members of the Church. There were some I guess that weren't.
DLL: Was the population always about 400 in Cowley, or has it declined in recent years?
LTL: I don't know in recent years. That's about what it was, I guess. I'm not sure just how many people were there. It's not so big now as it was then. When I went back to Cowley 25 years afterwards a lot of houses wasn't there any more--they'd all gathered tot he bottom of the town.
DLL: You used to live at the top of the town?
LTL: Yeah. At the north end of the town. That's where we lived. There wasn't too many houses farther north. The center of the town was just down where the stores were. There weren't no names on the streets--I couldn't tell you what streets they were.
DLL: Who were some of your best friends when you were a kid?
LTL: Oh, I went to school with Peg Holyoak, Royal Smith, Marshall Matthews, Frank Wilcox, Grit Vaterlas, Ernest Godfrey, Bill Godfrey--there was quite a lot of them.
DLL: What about Heman?
LTL: I didn't go to school with Heman--he was living in Byron at that time.
DLL: You didn't know him until later on, then?
LTL: I KNEW him, but he lived in Byron and I lived in Cowley. His mother was a widow, and Uncle Will married his sister. He used to come over and room and board when I was a kid.
DLL: Was Heman Smith one of your closest friends?
LTL: Well, he was in later years. After we got grown up more, 17 or 18 years old. He used to come over and stay at Uncle Will's, and I was always down at Uncle Will's--I used to work with Uncle Will. But I'm getting ahead of the story, I guess.
DLL: Go ahead!
LTL: My dad went away to work when we were kids, you know, and my mother died when I was 12 years old, see. After that, why Myrtle and Vera went down and lived with Uncle George for a couple of years, and I lived with Pa. I helped him on the farm. When I was about 14 or 15, I guess, he went on timber haul with some other fellows from Cowley. He was gone five months on this timber haul, and so I took care of the farm. I worked with Uncle Will. I'd irrigate our farm, and he and I worked together putting up the hay and grain. All summer long we hauled hay. We were either hauling hay, or cutting hay, or piling hay. Just him and me. I'd irrigate Pa's property and the farm he rented there¾ we'd have to go turn the water in the morning and stream on both places and then let her run all day, and then when we got through hauling hay at night, we'd go change the water and leave it running all night. We'd do the same thing the next day. We'd haul hay for¾ all summer. Then when we got the first crop up, the second crop was ready to cut, so we'd start it.
DLL: What did your mother die of?
LTL: Well, she died of childbirth. She had a baby and it died in about 3 weeks of pneumonia, and she got blood poisoning or something and died right after.
DLL: Was it tough on your dad?
LTL: Tough on him? Oh, yeah, it was tough on him! (tear in eye)
DLL: How many kids in the family?
LTL: There was 5. We lost the one when she died, see, then there was 5 of us.
DLL: You and Myrtle and Vera and¾
LTL: Bub and Elva. Myrtle was 10 years old, Vera was about 8 years old, and Bub was about 6 or 7 years old. Elva was about 2 years old.
LML: Can I say something?
DLL: You bet!
LML: Very was 8 years old when your mother died, Elva was 3, and Bub was 5. And they had this baby that died, you know¾ that's what killed your mother.
DLL: What was your childhood like when your mother died?
LTL: Well, I lived there with my dad and he went to work all the time. And when I was a kid¾ well, after my mother died, I was going to school, you know, then. When I was in the 7th grade I got hurt. Fuzzy Allen was a sleigh riding with a rope¾ a long lariat rope and a saddle horse. He'd pull me on a sleigh and then I'd pull him, see. And he was going down the street we lived on and he had that horse going as hard as he could run. I had my heels between two boards on the sleigh, you know¾ hanging on. And he was trying to throw me off that sleigh. I hit a two by four sticking up in the ground¾ froze in, you know¾ hit my heel. My land, my leg swelled up as big as two or three legs. I rolled off that sleigh and then he got me back on the sleigh and took me home. Pa, he sat there soakin' that in hot water for a week or two I guess. (chuckles)
LML: And he told you not to go sleigh riding!
LTL: Well, he told me before he left¾ it was on SUNDAY! He had to go somewhere on Sunday, and I don't know how he thought I'd be going sleigh riding, but he said, "Don't you go sleigh riding today!" Well, old Fuzzy comes up there, and so we started sleigh riding. When Pa got home I was laid up. Laid up all winter with that¾ couldn't walk.
LML: And another time when you went hunting.
LTL: We weren't hurt then.
LML: Well, I know, but you COULD have got killed. And your dad told you not to.
LTL: Yeah, he told me not to. These kids was a going hunting¾ hunting ducks¾ on Sunday again! He said, "Don't you go hunting!" Well, old Lewis Christensen and Johnny come up and they had a shot gun and a 22, and they wanted me to go huntin', so we went huntin'. So we went down on Sage Creek Reservoir.
LML: Look what he did!
LTL: And we sneaked up on these ducks. They were settin' on a pond. Great big Mallard ducks. And we got right up to where he was a gonna shoot 'em¾ Johnny had the shotgun¾ and he had a magazine gun, you know, that you throw the cartridges in. He pulled it back to put the cartridges in and it wouldn't go in¾ stuck. Lewis and me was standin' about as far as from here to that chair from him. He had this gun pointing down to the ground, like this (gestures toward floor) trying to work that magazine. That son of a gun went off, a shotgun, and land! It blew dust all over us! It went into the ground, you know, it didn't hit us. But scared all the ducks. I never went huntin' ducks again. My dad never knew that for years after.
LML: He just went ahead and did what his dad told him NOT to do!
LTL: Didn't get no ducks¾ they all flew.
DLL: So you dad knew what was right, huh?
LTL: He generally did, if I listened to him. He never would let me have a gun. He was afraid I'd get killed or something. He never would buy me a gun¾ I always wanted a 22¾ but he never would get me one. I'd borrow the neighbors' 22 and go huntin' anyway with other kids. But I never got shot.
DLL: You dropped out of school¾
LTL: I dropped out of school that year, when I was 13 years old. That was my excuse. I couldn't go to school cause I was crippled. If I'd wanted to go to school, I could have rode a horse down there. I didn't want to go to school. The next year I never did start school.
DLL: Did you dislike school?
LTL: Well, I didn't like it too much. My dad said, "If you're not gonna go to school, you're gonna go to work!" He had a threshin' machine. So he took me on the thresher that next fall, and I cut bands on the threshing machine. Early morning 'til late at night.
LML: What did Uncle Will say?
LTL: Uncle Will says, he used to preach to me about going to school, you know. He says, "If you were MY kid, you'd go to school! I'd be right behind you with a willow! And see that you got there!" I told Uncle Will that when he was here in later years, and "I don't remember tellin' ya that," he says. I says, "I remember it!"
DLL: Did you ever miss your mother when you were growing up?
LTL: Oh, yes. I missed my mother! I used to go home to that little log house¾ you've seen the picture of it. Land, it was darker than a stack of black cats in that town¾ there were No lights, you know. I went there a lotta times when I was a kid. Pa wasn't home and I'd go climb into bed scared to death. But I'd go to bed and I'd soon be to sleep. Sometimes I'd get on a horse and hunt him¾ all over town¾ huntin' him. (chuckles) We were together there for two years. I never got hungry. If pa wasn't around, I'd go down to Uncle Will's. And they'd feed me. Aunt Clara¾ she used to be a good cook. She'd make good bread and butter, and that was enough for me.
DLL: Do you have any memories of your mother?
LTL: Oh, yeah, I can remember my mother. I remember one time she had a toothache. They never had no dentists out in that country. Had a Dr. Maxwell, we called him¾ he wasn't a doctor¾ he just had a lot of patent medicines. So we went down there to get him to pull this tooth. And the old doc pulled the wrong tooth! Then she had to go back and get the other one pulled. Oh, yes, I can remember her going down to Aunt Bell's when I was sick. She used to gather us up and go down there and then she'd go to do her work. She worked down at the bottom end of town.
DLL: Was Aunt Bell Uncle George's wife?
DLL: George Harston?
LTL: MMMhmm. He was a pioneer. He went out three with the first ones. Out to Cowley. He was the one that got Pa and Uncle Will out there.
DLL: Why did HE like it out there?
LTL: Oh, land! He just liked to be moving some place, I guess. He was a pioneer! He drove a team from here clear out there. Swimming across rivers and everything else! He went out there before his wife did, and she went out later on the train. Another time, before my mother died, I used to come home from school, you know, I'd get on Old Pint and hunt Pa, wherever he was. I was always tailin' him. This winter he was down there sawin' ice¾ him and Uncle George, on Sage Creek Reservoir. After school, I went down there on Old Pint and I see Uncle George out there sawin' ice, and so I go walking out there. And he hollered at me, "Look out!" he said. And the ice was all cut. They cut it in blocks. And I was walkin' right out into it. He tried to stop me, but I went in. He grabbed me by the shirt collar. Finally I got close enough so he could grab me, and I went right down in that bloomin' ice water and he hauled me outa there by the shirt collar.
LML: He was 10 years old at the time.
DLL: Ten years old?
LTL: Yeah; bloomin' winter's cold! Pa wrapped me up in a blanket and we got on Old Pint and away we went home. Uncle George was always kidding me about that time¾ trying to walk on the water!
DLL: Your horse was Old Pint?
LTL: Yeah, Old Pint.
DLL: How long did you have him?
LTL: I don't know how long¾ 10 or 15 years. He died while Pa was on the timber haul.
DLL: How many hours a day did you work?
LTL: On the thresher?
LTL: Well, we went to work¾ we had to go around to all the fields, you know, to thresh. In the morning, and then we'd go home at night, unless we were too far away. We'd leave home before daylight and start work at 6 or7 o'clock in the morning, and then we'd thresh all day, and we used to take grain for pay...toll, they called it. We'd have to load the wagon up with grain, haul that home and put it in the bin after dark at night. Then get up in the morning and hike back out there. Then we went all over Byron, and Penrose, and all over, threshin'.
DLL: Was this always with your dad?
LTL: Yeah, he ran the thresher.
DLL: How did the thresher work?
LTL: It had horsepower. Seventeen on a horsepower. Just go around and around. They had a big master wheel, they call it, and a tumbling rod went from the horsepower to the thresher. A tumbling rod, you call it, a 2 inch rod. And it had joints in so far. (gesturing) They would hook right into the thresher and the horsepower would start and that would start the thresher, see? They had a man up the center driving these horses. It'd go around and around all day long. Then we'd feed it by hand. I was just a kid, so they had me cutting bands. You'd have to cut band and push it over to the feeder. Pa was a feedin' it, him and another guy. They'd change off. All hand work. The straw carrier carried the straw and stacked it by hand. They'd have to stack the grain you know. Land, we worked on that thresher for I don't know HOW many years¾ 'til I was 20 years old, I guess.
DLL: That was the kind of work you did most of the time?
LTL: Well, we'd thresh in the fall and the winter. In the summer we worked on the farm, see¾ putting up hay, and grain, and milking cows, and everything else, 'til I was 20 years old. The first job I ever had was working for old S.J. Willis, building railroad sidings. And I went and drove teams for him.
DLL: That was when you were 20?
LTL: That was before I was 20. About 18¾ 17 or 18, when I went to work for him. I went over to¾ oh, I can't think of the name of the town! To build siding. One of them was down on the Big Horn River, we were building the siding. And the next year I went to work for him and took a team¾ took my dad's team. Went along different little towns between Cowley and Thermopolis. I worked for him 2 or 3 summers, riding team. I was workin' up in Franny, the last job I was on for him, and I was 20 years old. That's when Pa got married.
DLL: He married when you were 20?
LTL: When I was 20.
DLL: That was to Mrs. Black?
LTL: To Mrs. Black.
DLL: Her husband was¾
LTL: John Black.
DLL: She was from Cowley, too?
LTL: Yeah, she went out there with the first pioneers. John Black did, I guess. I don't know if he was with Uncle George or not, but it was about the same time. She came from Escalante. They had 6 kids. Pa had 5.
DLL: There were 11 all together when they got married?
LTL: Yes, 11.
DLL: Were they all at home?
LTL: Well, I wasn't home much. After that I went back to work for S.J. Willis, and took Pa's team. Parnell (Black) and I did. We went building siding, and then we went to Werland and built a beet silo for a sugar factory. I drove Pa's team. I paid him $30 a month, and I fed them a took care of them. I was up there all summer, 5 months or more.
DLL: Do you have happy memories of your childhood?
LTL: Oh, yes! They were all right.
DLL: You liked the hard work?
LTL: I didn't mind workin'. I liked to work.
DLL: Was your family poor?
LTL: Well, they wasn't rich, I'll tell you that! (chuckles) Pa made a living. We always had plenty to eat. I don't think we ever had much money. He was hustler. He done everything to make a million.
DLL: Was he a good father?
LTL: Yeah, a good father!
DLL: When did you leave home for the first time?
LTL: After he got married, the next year, Parnell and me and Clinton (Black) went down to Lovell and worked there at the sugar factory. We each had a team, hauling gravel. Worked there all summer. Parnell and Clinton were saving their money to go to school, you know. I give Pa all the money I made. So I kept the whole works I guess. (chuckles) Worked there 5 months, shoveling gravel, and hauling 6 and 7 loads of gravel a day. Shovel it in the wagon and dump it. With dump boards. You don't know what dump boards are, I guess.
DLL: No, what are they?
LTL: Well, we used to have a wagon that had a wagon box in it. When you hauled it in the wagon box you had to shovel it out. So Pa fixed me some dump boards. It had a slanted side on it, and an end gate in each end, and about a 6 inch plank on the bottom. We'd just pull in and take down the end gate, then we'd dump the gravel, instead of shoveling it out. Dump it through the wagon. Land, if you had to shovel it out, you'd only haul half as much. Used to get 5 1/2 a day for man and team working days. Then we'd haul it by the yard, and used to get so much a yard, then I'd make about 7 1/2 to 10 dollars a day. I worked there all that summer, then I went out for myself after that.
LML: Where did you stay?
LTL: Oh, I stayed there at her farm, where Pa moved onto. We all stayed there. I went to Werland then and took Pa's team¾ a pair of black mares. And Parnell had his team. He had me drive his team and mine and he drove Willis' team. We worked there all summer. Then we worked in Drago for 3 or 4 months, then went to Werland¾ that was 100 miles further out. Worked in that silo¾ I'm tellin' ya¾ that's the hottest bloomin' place in the world! The dust was that deep! (gestures) We worked 9 hours a day in that hot sum, in that silo. See, they built the ends up about 13 or 14 feet high at the back end, and then they tapered it up so it would come in at the front. Then it had a wall on both sides and the back. You'd scrape it out of the center and take it on to the back. That was the hottest job I ever had. When we got through there we went back to Cowley and Pa'd taken a contract to build a ditch, a government ditch up by Beaver. Parnell and I went up there. We had a contract to dig the dirt out of the ditch. When we hit rock, they were supposed to bring their rock men in there to blast it and take it out. When we got that all done, then he wouldn't take out the rock, so he wouldn't pay us.
DLL: Who wouldn't take out the rock?
LTL: Dave Lewis. He had the contract with the government, and Pa contracted from him. So we just pulled off the job¾ worked up there for nothing. Couldn't make a dime, taking it from the government. Parnell and I only made $25 a piece, and we were up there for 2 or 3 months. Dave Lewis beat us out of it. After that I went to work single-handed. Any job I could do, I worked at. When we was in Werland, I had to go register for the army.
DLL: How old were you then?
LTL: I was 21 years old. I had to go to Cowley to register. I decided I'd enlist in the navy first. Old Mark Partridge and me and George¾ what the heck is his name? Benson. Went to Billings to enlist in the navy. I passed everything, and I turned to walk out of the room and the guy said I had flat feet. They wouldn't take me! They took George and Mark. I went home. Oh, they didn't take them right then. They went back home too, and they were called later.
DLL: Were you drafted?
LTL: No, I wasn't drafted.
DLL: You just had to register.
LTL: I had to register, yeah. They would have drafted me if I hadn't have went. Every young man went a year ahead of me¾ 2 years ahead of me, pretty near. After that, that's when Heman and I went and enlisted. Heman, and Bill Ketchum, and George Ketchum and Williams from Byron¾ I can't think of all their names. Several of us enlisted in the army. Then they went right through Wyoming in a train you know. They started up in Cody, Wyoming¾ that was the start of the line of the railroad¾ and every town they went through they picked up guys. Heman and I were left in Cowley, and these other guys¾ D.J. Willis and several of them. They went all through Wyoming clear to Evanston and picked up fellas from every town. And stopped for them. When we got to Evanston, they had 280 soldiers on there¾ on that train. They took us up to Logan. When they called George Jensen, he took a stroke¾ paralytic stroke. So he never did go. Finally, he got over it all right.
DLL: Was he upset by the call?
LTL: I don't know what done it¾ might have had something to do with it.
LML: That's what they said.
LTL: That's when Heman and I went in the army. We went up to Logan for 2 months. They was drillin' us up there. They had 280 rookies¾ tryin' to teach 'em Squads East and West. (chuckles) I'll never forget that. They had a big building up there at Logan. A new building at that time. They put us in there¾ it was about 3 stories high. Had us all in there. They'd take us out and drill us a couple hours a day, and they'd try to teach anyone that wanted to learn a trade, ya know. So, Heman and I, we was gonna be carpenters. We went in and an old Dutchman was teaching us. First thing he done¾ he was trying to teach us to file a saw. He gave us each a saw. We had to file that saw so it'd work. Land, you oughta'd seen them saws that'd work. Some big teeth and some little. He said, "First you yoint 'em, then you set 'em, then you file 'em." He made us file on that saw a week or two until we could file it perfect. Wear the saw out!
They drilled us there¾ we didn't even have a uniform¾ overalls and jumper. First they'd drill us without any guns, you know. Right and left, "Rear March," and all that stuff¾ and finally, they gave us a gun. You had to "Man your arms." Carry this gun on your shoulder, and then he'd give us "To the rear, March!" then turn right around like that, see, (demonstrates). When he gave "To the rear, March," some turned one way and some the other, and them old guns was just a crackin'! The Lieutenant says, "Stack Arms!" Land, he drilled us "To the rear, March" for a week. We could do it! (chuckles) It rained there and we had a big puddle of water, and we was marchin' down there, one, two, three, four¾ when they come to the puddle of water, they stopped. That bloomin' lieutenant¾ he just marched us through that puddle of water, kept giving us "To the rear, March!" till we dried the bloomin' thing up! (chuckles)
LML: Tell about the fire drill.
LTL: They had a fire drill in that building one night¾ in the middle of the night. Land, we didn't know anything about a fire drill. They made a fire down in the bottom¾ it was a cement building¾ you couldn't have burned it down! They put a barrel in there and made a smudge so it smoked. Then hollered "Fire!" And all them guys came pilin' out of that bloomin' place, like crazy men, you know¾ trying to get out of there, cause they thought they was going to be burned up. They never told us they was going to have a fire drill, you know, They came out carrying their ticks and everything else, and shorts, and some guys picked up¾ they had straw ticks on the beds¾ they'd come carrying them bloomin' ticks out. Some of them without their clothes, but I got my clothes on and go down there. And they lined us all up in the middle of the night, you know. That was funny! Those guys were carrying anything. They thought they were going to be burned up. That old 2nd lieutenant, old "Hardboiled" we called him, bug guy with a moustache, he just liked to bawl us out. He got out there¾ it seemed like he had short arms. He'd drill the tar out of us. He'd bawl us out, he'd say, "You're not behind the plow now¾ you're in the army!"
Heman and I were there. When they shipped us out, they took us three from each company and shipped us all over the United States. So they split him and me up. He went to the captain and finally got it switched so that him and I went to the same place. Old Captain Cray-zee. Another thing you wouldn't believe about people. They marched us into a place where we eat¾ a mess hall, you know; they'd march us in there and then tell you to sit down. They'd have food on all the tables. Plenty of food¾ they fed us good up there. Some of those guys would sit down and step over that bench and reach for the food they wanted first, just to try to hog it all. You wouldn't believe what guys'd do¾ even Sam Welch! He took 5 pieces of cake and put on his plate! Boy, that old captain, he got up and give us a lecture. He said, "No more of that there grabbin' for food! If that's ever done again, I'll put all the mess hogs at the same table!"
DLL: Did you go to New Mexico from there?
LTL: We went to Camp Cody, New Mexico. Hottest bloomin' place in the world! Just had tents there. They took us one at a time and scattered us through the camp. There weren't but 20 of us went there. We was all dressed in civilian clothes. All rookies. We went in there and they was supposed to be soldiers. We was there about a week, and then they shipped us to Camp Dix, New Jersey.
LML: Is that were they got the flu?
LTL: Yeah, that's where they got the flu. We still didn't have a uniform. When we got there to Camp Dix, they rustled up a pair of pants and a shirt. That's all I had. They didn't have enough uniforms for the soldiers. Land, I had that until I got down to Camp Dix, and finally got a uniform. When I was in Logan, I bought a pair of shoes, bought 'em to fit me then. When I got to Camp Dix, bloomin' shoes like to have killed me! The captain took me into this place and fitted me up with a pair of his shoes. Captain Chase. We drilled there for a month. We went out on the rifle range once. I shot 250 shots. Bloomin' gun kicked like a shot gun. My arm was black and blue; my shoulder was black and blue, then I put it down on my arm, and IT was black and blue. That's the only time I ever shot a gun all the while I was in the army. One day. I drilled a month, and then the flue broke out. Land, they was dyin' there by the 100's. They couldn't get them all in the hospital. You'd go into the barracks and detail the other soldiers to wait on the sick ones. They didn't know what to do for it. Died like flies there. Quarantined us for a month. Had a funeral every day and then some. Nine in our company died. In the barracks I stayed in, the 2nd lieutenant came in there and everybody was getting sick and he thought they was just a fakin'. We'd got orders that we were going to France. He bawled them out, a guy right next on each side of me was sick¾ and they both died in a week. And he bawled BOTH of them guys out for being sick.
DLL: You didn't get it?
LTL: No, Heman and I never got it. We volunteered to take a shot. They was tryin' out anything. I don't know if the shot done any good. We didn't get it.
DLL: You didn't take the shot?
LTL: Yeah, I took the shot, Heman and I both. They kept us under quarantine then for a month. After the month was over, they shipped us to France. Part of the division got on the boat before this flu broke out, and they got it on the ocean. They died like flies out there. George Ketchum, one of the guys with us, from Cowley, he was buried in the ocean. We went in a convoy¾ 13 battle ships and a destroyer. That's how we went across the ocean¾ took us 13 days, to get to England. We crossed the English Channel to France, then crossed France in these box cars. Herded us in there like a bunch of cattle. Then we started hiking up through the Argonne Woods to the front. We hiked about a week until we got to the front¾ 2 days after the Armistice was signed. We stayed up there about 3 days and then we hiked 30 days back. Right down the River Thames [Seine?¾ DJL] Couldn't see the front nor the back.
DLL: What division was it?
LTL: 77th Division. We joined the 77th Division. We were in the 34th Division when we went over there, and they split us up. Sent us in for replacements for those who got killed. We hiked 10 or 12 miles one day and 20-25 miles the next. We got to a little town and we stayed there in a grove for a few months. We had to drill a little and clean up the town, then they shipped us to LeMonds, France. We sailed for home on the big U.S.S. America. It carried 9,000 soldiers. When I got on the ship¾ out in the middle of the ocean, Heman was on it. I didn't know he was on it. And Ern Anderson. We came into New York and paraded down New York's Fifth Avenue for 105 blocks. People were lined down each side of the street, you know, clear up in the buildings looking out. The 77th Division was a New York division. When we got through they put us on the subway and took us out to Long Island. Three weeks I think we were there. That's when Heman and I went into New York to have that picture taken.
LML: Tell about your furlough.
LTL: That was in France. I put in for a 14 day furlough, and Doggone, if I didn't get it! (chuckles) There was 4 or 5 of 'em in the outfit got it, and so we went to Paris, and they let us stop in Paris 24 hours. We went up in that big Ferris Wheel where the Eiffel Tower is you know? We went on the Ferris Wheel¾ 500 feet high, that thing was. What do you call it? The Eiffel Tower? They have an elevator to take you to the top of that, but it wasn't working. So we didn't go up there. We stopped in Paris¾ you could only stay there 24 hours. Then we went to Lyon, France. We stayed there 4 or 5 days and then they posted a sign there that all men in the 77th Division report back to their outfit, immediately. Well, we had to go back. We went through Paris again, and stayed there another 24 hours, then we went back to this little town and they shipped us out. We went home.
LML: You went to some place¾ where the other guys went in and you waited outside.
LTL: Oh, that was one of them "fast houses."
DLL: Fast house?
LTL: Yeah, You know, these women. There was a whole block of them. These other guys, they wanted to go through there, but I didn't want to¾ I stayed out in the park until they came out. Doggone women'd run you off the street¾ bump into you, you know, walkin' along the street.
DLL: Pretty rough place in those days, eh? Was that in Paris?
LTL: No, that was in Lyon, France. We was a stayin' at a YMCA there. This Corporal House, he was one that went with us to that house. No, it was a sergeant! Somebody stole his pants and all the money he had! He was asleep¾ he didn't know who got it.
LML: Didn't you have lice?
LTL: Oh, yeah. When we got to Port, they just de-loused us¾ that's what they called it. Stripped us off and took all our clothes, and gave us new clothes, and a shower, you know. People were lousier than pet coons, some of those guys! I slept in a room with 13 of us, and they was ALL lousy but me. I never did find one on me. But I was scratchin' as hard as they were¾ I guess they must have been on me. Old Wadsworth, a guy from Idaho¾ had one of these undershirts that slip over your head. When he'd go to bed at night, he'd take off this undershirt and then he'd pop these lice, you know. You could hear 'em pop. They he'd put it on inside out and say, "Damn it, they might not get through by morning!" Wrong side out! (chuckles) Land, he had a heck of a time getting them out. That town of Brough, they built a bath house. We hadn't had a bath for 30 days. They build a bath house with a sprinkler in, and then they'd MAKE you take a bath. A lot of them guys didn't WANT to take a bath! They'd check you in and out. Every week. They'd give you new under clothes, and make you go boil your old ones...to kill the lice. Old Wadsworth¾ used to laugh at him¾ turning the undershirt inside out and "those damn things might not get through 'til morning." He'd be a poppin' 'em you know. They inspected you for Venereal Disease¾ if you had a Venereal Disease, you didn't go home.
DLL: Were there a lot of them?
LTL: Oh, land! They had a big camp of them over there! Like this old Kent¾ from Montana¾ he went into this bloomin' place and when he got back he began to hurt and he though he had it, but I guess he didn't. He got by. They wouldn't let you come home if you had Venereal Disease. They kept them there and treated them.
DLL: So that was the end of the army? How long were you in it all together?
LTL: 11 months and 20 days. When we was making that hike back¾ on Thanksgiving morning we was sleepin' in a barn you know. They got us up at 5 o'clock in the morning. On this hike, you see, bloomin' rations'd never catch up with you. We never got a square meal all the time we was on it. We'd eat this canned beef and corned beef and anything we could get. Well, this morning, they said they'd have a meal for us, and we all lined up and the meal never showed up. And they give us one of these English hard tacks, about that long and that thick and that wide and hard as a rock, and a cup of black coffee. That's what we had for breakfast. Then we hiked 23 miles. In the rain. Rained all day long. Thanksgiving Day¾ and we got into this little town and it was a still a raining. They lined us up there to feed us. They fed us rice and syrup. You never tasted anything so good in your life! We could go back and have all we wanted¾ we got filled up¾ all of us.
DLL: Did you go back to Cowley after that was over?
LTL: Yeah, we went back to Cowley.
LML: On the ship going back, wasn't that where you got orange candy?
LTL: Yeah, that was on the boat. See, over in France, you couldn't get nothing sweet. Land, they never had anything sweet¾ couldn't get sugar or nothing else. Once in a while the cook in the commissary would slip you a little candy. When we got on this boat they had candy, and land, we'd buy this candy by the box and eat it. Then we'd all get sick.
LML: YOU didn't get sick, did you?
LTL: No, I never had sick call all the time I was in the army. Never went to the doctor, only when they had inspection. When we finally got on the train at Camp Mills, there were 6 or 7 trains going out there a day. Filled with solders. They got all the guys going West on the train¾ they'd say, "New York's own going West." (chuckles) Heman and I got in the same car and slept together going home. They discharged us in Cheyenne. Oscar was discharged there too, about 10 or 12 days before I was. I didn't know that then, but Oscar was in there 2 years¾ Oscar was. (Oscar Capson)
DLL: You didn't know him in the army, though.
LTL: I didn't know him in the army. We went back to Cowley. Course Heman went back to his wife¾ she was waiting for him.
DLL: Oh, he was married?
LTL: Yeah, he got married before he went. Before he left Logan.
LML: Tell us how it was that he got married.
LTL: Better not tell his son that¾ Betha, you know, Betha Thomas. Heman was raised in Byron, you know. His mother was a widow woman. They never had a dime. When he got grown up, they sent him on a mission. Heman went on a mission before he went in the army. He was 23 years old when he went in the army. Her dad was the Secretary of Stake. Anyway, they called Heman on a mission. Heman's wife's dad had her go on a mission. Se he sent her on a mission, before Heman got home out of the army. How the heck did that work? He went on a mission first! Before he got back off his mission, they sent his wife on a mission! And she was supposed to be on the train coming home the day we left to go in the army. But she wasn't on it. She never come in that day. Her dad sent her on a mission, because he didn't want her to marry Heman. That's what I thought anyway. So he didn't see her. He hadn't seen her then for four years. But she came down to Logan and married him there after he got in the army. I don't know if his boy every knew that or not.
LML: Just before he left Cowley he married her.
LTL: No, he was in the army when he married her. She come to Logan and married him. She stayed there until he left Logan, and then she went home and taught school.
LML: Isn't that funny? She wasn't good looking either. But she seemed to have a personality that we liked.
LTL: There's one thing I never did tell anybody, I guess. Heman and I went down to work at the Dehydrated plant. Well, there was a whole bunch of us there¾ Walt Simmons, Bill Simmons. We was up there unloadin' a car one day, and got foolin' around¾ all the young guys, you know¾ about the same age. Heman was up the car. And I said something to him¾ I don't remember what I said, but land, he jumped out that car and hit me right on the chin like that and knocked me flatter'n a pancake, on my back. (chuckles) Land, I could hardly eat for a week! He was a hot tempered guy, you know. I knew him to get mad like that! There was nothing to get mad over¾ quick as he done it he was sorry you know. He knocked me down. He was hitting me just like Jack Powell did down at the shop. Right on the chin. My land, I had to eat soup for a week! Didn't break my jaw, but he sure nailed me! Then he helped me up. (chuckles)
DLL: You don't remember what it was over, or why he did it, eh?
LTL: I don't know¾ they was a throwin-sand and stuff at each other, you know¾ I don't know what the heck I done to upset him. I never even knew he was a comin'! He was sorry after he'd done it. He was married then you know. After that, he worked there for a while, and after that job was done, I never did work with him again. I went to work in the oil refinery in Cowley, and I worked there for 3 years fittin' pipe. Two years and a half. They closed it down. Seth Ballard, he went with the boss who used to be the superintendent in Cowley, and he was buildin' a refinery over in Lander, Wyoming. They got Seth down there and then they sent for me, and I worked with Seth for 8 months, just before I went on a mission. I went back home from that job and worked around there for 3 or 4 weeks, and then they called me on a mission.
DLL: How old were you then?
LTL: I was 26 years old when I went on a mission.
DLL: Did you want to go?
LTL: Land, no! I didn't want to go! I don't know why the heck they wanted to send me¾ I hadn't paid no tithing or nothin' else. John H. Hinckley called me and I said, "I don't want to go on a mission." And he talked to my dad, and he kept after me, and finally he talked me into it. I told him I wouldn't talk at the farewell. I said, "If you're going to make me talk, I won't be there!" He never asked me to talk either. Never did talk there since! (chuckles)
DLL: So you went to the California Mission.
LTL: Yeah, Sacramento. I went out to Lagoon on the 24th, and Vera had a little party over at her place, and the people around here gave me $35.
DLL: You mean Salt Lake?
LTL: Yeah. I had it in my back pocket. I went out to Lagoon on the electric train you know. Land, there was thousands of people out there¾ the train was just packed. Comin' home, somebody picked my pocket! Took my 30 bucks. I had it in this pocket in a folder you know. 35 bucks and I took out 5 bucks out there and put the change in my pocket. When I got home, I never had no pocket book. When I got on that train, packed in there like sardines, I happened to think about this pocket book and I reached back there to see, and it was already gone. I had heard my dad talk about pickpockets when I was a kid. There'd be a big crowd and everyone'd holler, "Look out for the pickpocket!" Then everyone'd put their hands on their pocketbooks, and the pickpocket'd go get it. (chuckles) I thought of that, but I never thought of it quick enough.
DLL: Did that foul up the mission plans?
LTL: Oh, no. I had enough. I guess John H. Hinckley must've thought I had enough money to go on a mission¾ I don't know. I put it in the Basin bank¾ I had $1,200. Basin, Wyoming, about 50 miles from Cowley. They didn't have no bank in Cowley at that time. When I got down here I was askin' Uncle John where I should put this money so I could get it when I needed it, and he said, "Well, we've got to borrow money for the store¾ White Brothers Store¾ you loan it to me and I'll send it to you, so much a month." So that's what I done, and he paid me interest on it, and sent me the money, while I was on my mission. But I run out of money before I got released and I borrowed¾ Pa borrowed me $100 off old Charlie Mann and then Electa Capson loaned me¾ what the heck was it? $200, I think¾ $250. Oscar's sister.
DLL: What did it cost you to live?
LTL: Oh, 40-45-50 dollars a month.
DLL: Were you in California quite a bit of the time?
LTL: I was in Sacramento 5 months. Then they transferred us to Nevada. That's when they organized the Nevada Conference. They sent Harry Hansen and me. They sent 5 of us there at first. Elder Winterton too. Land, I was in Nevada 19 months. Went all over Nevada. From Elko to Reno, and from Reno to Tonipah, Manhattan, Susanville, and all the way from Reno to Elko. Then they transferred me to San Francisco, and I was there for 2 months, and then I got my release.
DLL: Did you enjoy the mission?
LTL: Yeah, I wasn't a very good missionary¾ I was no preacher!
DLL: Did you hold street meetings?
LTL: We did in Sacramento. That was terrible! Try to get out there¾ I couldn't talk anyway¾ try to get out on the street corner and talk to people going by!
DLL: Joseph McMurrin was the mission president?
DLL: Was he the father of Sterling?
LTL: I don't know what relation he is¾ might be his grandfather. I don't think he had a son¾ had a daughter. He was a distinguished looking guy! Big, broad-shouldered, wore a little beard and a moustache. Land, he looked distinguished! He looked his part. He was a good talker.
LML: Weren't you just hiking in from some place to a conference and they called you right up on the stand to talk?
LTL: Yeah. Land, that's when I first went on a mission. That was President Lewis. We hiked up to¾ where the heck was it? We were in Sacramento. Forgot the name of the town. Anyway, it was about 50 or 60 miles. We hitchhiked from Sacramento. Used to hitchhike them days. Land, we was going up there to a conference¾ a branch conference. Hike and hike, and finally got a ride, and we got there late and they took us up there on the stand, and they called on ME to talk! That was the first time, and I was scared to death! If I coulda dropped through that floor I'd a done it! We hiked about 10 miles after a guy let us out. Hotter'n blazes! Went in there late¾ and called on me to talk!
DLL: How long did you speak?
LTL: About one minute! (chuckles) I don't know what I said or anything else.
DLL: Did you baptize anybody?
LTL: Baptized one girl. Her folks were Mormons but she'd never been baptized. That's the only one I ever baptized. I didn't convert her. Baptized her in Fallon, Nevada.
DLL: What was her name?
LTL: Forgot now. Her dad was a station agent there. Buckley! That was it¾ Buckley. I don't remember her first name either.
DLL: Did you go door to door a lot of the time?
LTL: My land, yes! ALL of the time! Hiked all over Nevada. They took us up to Sparks, Nevada, just out of Reno, you know. They had a little house there that we overhauled to live in. Elder Winterton and I worked on it there for 2 or 3 months. They sent me and Elder Fisher all the way from Reno and all the little towns up there to Elko. We were up there for 3 or 4 months. I was the oldest in age, but he was the senior Elder. He'd been there longer'n me. I never liked the guy. Land sake, he was the laziest guy I ever saw! He wouldn't go tractin' with me¾ he'd go alone. I don't think he ever went! We was up there for 3 or 4 months¾ finally got into Elko and they had a branch there. Little branch¾ just a few people. We went up to visit Marlow and Pearl up there. Finally, we tracted all the way up through Carlin and Elko and all through there¾ Winnemucka. Finally, they called us in to conference. For about 5 or 6 months I'd been with this Fisher. He wanted to boss me around¾ he thought he was my boss. It didn't work with me. We never got along too good. When we got into conference I told Harry, "Don't send me with Fisher!" Land, I'd a quit the bloomin' mission before I'd a gone with him again. He never sent me with Fisher any more. Elder Winterton and I went up in the same territory after that. Then they sent this K.E. Farnsworth up from Southern California to be the Conference president when they released Harry. Harry'd had the missionaries all stationed just before he come. They sent me with a young boy 20 years old, Max Orton from Panguitch. We went to Susanville, California. As quick as old K.E. gets up there, he changes us all around¾ calls us all in¾ after we just got out there. He was a cocky guy, about 22 years old. Thought he was head of the church. He sent Max and me up to Tonipah, Nevada. We was supposed to hike, you know. We hiked from Reno to Carson City, from Carson City to Battle Mountain, no not Battle Mountain¾ Erington, Nevada. Then we had to hike across the desert, for about 100 miles. So we went out to the edge of town, and land, there was no water across that desert. I never had faith enough that I was gonna get a ride out there. We went out to the edge of town and stayed there all day trying to hook a ride, but nobody'd pick us up. So we went back into Erington. I was the senior Elder then. We stayed there over night and took the train to Tonipah. We didn't try to hike it. Land, we coulda died out there on that desert.
We was up there 6 months. We tracted Tonipah, Battle Mountain, Manhattan, Round Mountain, and all them little old towns. They were mining towns, you know. We hot footed it all over. But, land, them people up there wasn't gonna want no religion! There was a few saints there. While we were up there with this Orton¾ he was a young nice kid, but him and me didn't get along too good. He thought I was tryin' to boss HIM! We went up to Battle Mountain across that desert, you know, and comin' back he got sulky¾ he wouldn't speak. Wouldn't speak to me. Drive ya nuts. Hiking across that desert, and I got a nose bleed. It bled like a stuffed hog! We was a tryin' to hitch a ride from Round Mountain to Manhattan. Walked most of the way. I couldn't get him to say a bloomin' word. Finally, I said "You're gonna talk or I'm gonna beat it out a ya! You're not gonna sulk at me any more!" Boy, that cured him¾ I never had no more trouble with him. He never tried that any more with me. Finally got the nose bleed stopped. Out there on that desert and no water or nothin'¾ and my nose a bleedin'! We walked about 18 miles into Manhattan. We stayed there in Manhattan for a while then back into Tonipah.
Old Farnsworth you know¾ we sent in our reports. He wrote me a letter and he really scorched me! Didn't think we was doin' enough, you know. I sit down and I wrote him a letter. I said, "If I'm not doin' enough, you send somebody up here in my place!" Well, he never said no more about it. Had us all to conference in Sparks. None of the missionaries liked Farnsworth¾ only Max, he liked him and this Fisher. They had a priesthood meeting¾ you know how you had your priesthood meetings with the president of the mission. Alexander Schriener was there. Him and Judge Jeppson. They was just young guys¾ younger'n me. They were on a mission. They come up with the President¾ the head of the Mutual, and one thing or another that come with him. Schriener had black, curly hair, you know, and a little moustache. Nice lookin' guy! He could play that bloomin' organ then! He played the organ all the time for conference. He got us in Priesthood meeting there, President McMurrin, and he knew some way¾ I don't know how he knew¾ that there wasn't harmony in the conference, you know. He kept us there for three hours and a half. Every little while he'd say, "Is there harmony in the conference?" He says, "Farnsworth is young and inexperienced and likes to boss us around like a bunch of section hands." Well, then he had every one of us get up and say something. He called on me and I told him about this letter. He said, "Have you got the letter?" And I said, "Yes, sir!" "Get it!" I give him the letter and he handed it to Farnsworth and he says, "Read it!" Farnsworth read that letter that he wrote me. Jiminy, if you ever see a guy get bawled out¾ he got it! They released him in about a month. Course, his time was up any way. He tried to boss us around like a bunch of little kids. And all of us were older than him, you know. He was just a kid, Farnsworth. So they released him and put in another president after that.
They transferred me to San Francisco and then I met this doggone Farnsworth's nephew. Just like him! They sent him on a mission when he was 17 years old. He was just like old K.E. K.E. used to tell us about him, and he broke him in. So I didn't like him either, when I got down there. He got released and come up here and got in jail¾ Old D.E. Old K.E. apostatized from the Church. Or they cut him off or something.
DLL: When was that?
LTL: After he got off the mission.
DLL: Shortly after?
LTL: Yes, I saw him down here in Sugar House one day. McMurrin knew there wasn't harmony in the conference. I don't know how he ever found out.
LML: He could tell by the spirit!
LTL: The saints didn't like him. People in the branch didn't like this K.E. either. He was just taking over the bloomin' branch, you know. He was a big shot! He was raised in Mexico. I guess his dad must have been a polygamist or something¾ I don't know. Anyway, he said there was 15 kids in the family and that's what he was gonna have. But he had 3, I think. Course he didn't like me, and I didn't like him. He tried to make amends after that bawlin' out. They let him stay there about a month or so. You gut a guy with a gunny eye¾ you wanta watch him. He had an eye¾ I don't know, I can't explain it¾ he'd kinda squint that eye. Anyway, when you see a guy like that, don't trust him. Nobody liked him. The only one who wouldn't say anything about him was Fisher and Max Orton.
LML: Where IS he?
LTL: I don't know.
DLL: Did you have any other outstanding experiences in the mission?
LTL: Oh, land! (pause)
LML: You met Agnes.
LTL: Yeah, I met Agnes there. When I was in Sacramento.
DLL: Did you decide you wanted to marry her when you were in the mission field?
LTL: Yeah, we decided to get married. We didn't do it for a long time.
DLL: Was she released the same time you were?
LTL: No, she was released before me. She went to Southern California, and I went to Nevada. I didn't see her again until I got home from my mission.
LML: She had Typhoid Fever in the mission field, didn't she?
LTL: Yeah, I think she did. When she was down in Santa Anna.
LML: She had Typhoid Fever and she had to stay in bed a certain length of time. There was hardly any food in the house, and she was in bed. Leo and his partner had the flu all the time.
LTL: Oh, no. She didn't have Typhoid when she was in Sacramento. I don't remember her havin' Typhoid Fever.
LML: Yes, you did! You got letters from her and when we got married I read some of them.
LTL: You hadn't oughta have been sneakin' around. (chuckles) Had she?
LML: Well, that's how I found out. Cause I knew too. She'd say, "Leo had come over and helped me get to the hospital."
DLL: When you were released from your mission, you came directly here?
LTL: Well, I come here for a few days, and then I went back to Elko. I worked in Elko for 2 or 3 months.
DLL: Why didn't you return to Cowley to report on your mission?
LTL: Well, I got married and stayed here. I didn't have nothin' to go out there for¾ there was no work out there. I knew I couldn't get along with my step mother.
LML: And you didn't want to give a talk. (chuckles)
LTL: There was nothing for me to go out there for. I went back to Elko and worked for the shale plant¾ I guess it was one of the first oil shale plants. They were making oil out of that shale then. The guy that was the head of it was a member of the Church in Elko. When I was there he promised me a job if I'd call back on the way. I had to walk a couple of miles to where the plant was¾ across the river. I stayed there until the plant closed down. Then I came to Salt Lake and I couldn't get a job here either. Then I worked for the Bowers Building Company and stayed there a year. Started out digging basements. I dug 6 basements in March and February by hand in 1925. Jack Davis over here got me a job down at the shops in the month of January, 1926. I worked there 28 1/2 years.
DLL: Where did you live in Salt Lake?
LTL: I lived with Uncle John. Uncle John White, you know¾ Owen's father¾ over where Owen lives. I stayed with Vera for a while right in this old house here (gesturing next door).
DLL: The house next door? Is that where Vera lived originally?
LTL: That's where she lived.
DLL: On the land owned by your dad?
LTL: That was her share of the land.
LML: It was Leo's mother who had the land.
LTL: Yeah, this land was left to my mother. A quarter of an acre a piece. Pa gave Vera permission to build on one side of it. When I came back here I got it probated and got the deed and gave them each a deed, besides my own, before I built the house. Then I bought one off of Bub, one off of Myrtle, and one off of Elva, giving us the three, during the Depression.
DLL: How much land was there, total?
LTL: 8 acres.
DLL: Where did your mother get the land?
LTL: My grandmother owned it. Grandma Harston [Catherine Harrop]. She left it to her kids, an acre and a quarter a piece.
DLL: What happened to the other 7 and a quarter acres.
LTL: Well, they all sold out, I'm the only one that's living on it. Anderson bought it from Uncle George¾ Aunt Hannah sold Uncle George hers¾ that's next to us¾ Anderson's Uncle George sold it to Anderson. Jimmy Conrad had 4 acres up in back.
LML: That's what John Lythgoe had, wasn't it?
LTL: Yeah. Aunt Rachel had this over to the corner of 33rd, the other side of Vera's.
DLL: They all sold it?
LTL: Yeah, they all sold it off. I got an acre of it.
DLL: Is this an acre, then?
LTL: There's an acre here. I bought that land over there during the Depression. They came out here and tried to sell it to me. Wanted $500 for it. I didn't think it was worth that and didn't have the money anyway. Finally, they come out and offered it to me for $300. $25 down and $5 a month. So I took it¾ I don't know how I got the $25 but we did. Then when we got it all paid off but $60, they were gonna foreclose on us.
LML: Isn't that something?
LTL: I hawkered the money somehow and paid it.
DLL: What part of the lot was that?
LTL: This one over here (gestures) to the north of the house.
LML: Where the orchard is now.
LTL: That was Elva's She sold it to Myrtle. Myrtle and Parnell traded it in to this investor's syndicate on the house they bought. We got it off the syndicate.
LML: We tried to get Elva to sell it to us, didn't we? Could have got it cheaper.
DLL: Was there a street here then?
LTL: Oh, yeah, there was a street.
DLL: But no other houses around?
LTL: Just that one and Vera's, and Brother Coleman's.
DLL: So it was pretty far removed from Salt Lake City, then, wasn't it?
LTL: Oh, yeah¾ we were sitting' out here all alone! We could see clear to 33rd and Highland Drive¾ there wasn't a house there. Mother painted a picture of it down through there. You've got that picture somewhere, haven't you?
LML: No. I sat in that window one night at sunset and I could see right down through there with all the trees¾ what kind of trees were they?
LTL: Poplar trees. Simons house was there. And the old house down there where the Negro used to live¾ Chamberlain. Those were the only houses between here and Highland Drive. Nothing up here either¾ Coleman's house and Lou Butterworth's, Fishers and Christensens.
LML: And Whites.
LTL: The old Kirkham house used to sit up here in back.
DLL: You married Agnes before you acquired this land then?
LTL: No, I had it then. But I didn't build this house until WE got married. (speaking of he and Mom)
LML: When he first got married he lived in this little house up here...when he married her.
LTL: Right up the street, here.
DLL: Gerbers? Where they used to live?
LTL: Maybe Gerbers DID live there.
DLL: Yeah, Gerbers, and Lindbloms.
LTL: Yeah, Lindblom lives there now. Parnell fixed it up. I was workin' the night shift down at the railroad, when we got married. That's when Uncle John was getting' that diabetes¾ he was sick. He had a lot of hay to put up. I was workin' 'til 12 o'clock at night¾ would go in in the afternoon at 12. So Owen and me put up the hay for him that summer. I'd get home early in the morning, and get up and work 'til 3 o'clock and then go down there to work. I helped him haul hay there all summer. He didn't have no money to pay me. He said I could live in that house and I'd pay the rent in advance¾ so I had the rent paid up for a year, before I got married. We lived there 10 months.
DLL: How did you happen to marry Agnes?
LTL: Oh, it just happened. (chuckles)
DLL: You were married to her 10 months?
LML: He was working and paying off a loan, and everybody thought Dad had money!
LTL: You see, Clinton went on a mission the same time I did¾ Mrs. Black's boy. But they kept him on a mission. Nobody sent me any money.
LML: Even when he wrote home at the end and said he didn't have enough to make it¾ they wouldn't even send him a dime then!
LTL: Well, my dad never had it. Mrs. Black, she had the money. She sent it to Clinton.
LML: Well, I think your dad could have done it anyway.
LTL: He never had no say in it.
DLL: Well, did you look up Agnes when you got back from your mission?
LTL: Oh yes, she lived in Ephraim. She come up here to work. She worked in an overall factory. We never got married for how long¾ 3 years?
LML: She wasn't here at first. She was home at first, then she finally came up here and got a job in an overall factory. She did that¾ stayed with an aunt of hers that lived in town¾ just so she could be here near where Leo was. Then he'd take her out. When she was down there in Ephraim he couldn't get to her. Didn't have a car. Finally she got so tired of it, and her mother needed her help at home. But she came here because it would be easier to get Leo...to be married.
LTL: Didn't have nothin' to get married on.
LML: For a time there¾ Catherine Aposhian and I were the same age¾ we were chums, and I'd go over to his place on a Sunday and then we'd go to Church together. Well, I'd leave her and Leo'd leave her. Sometimes we'd talk a little¾ but you see, I'd already met Leo. At Beasie's wedding I met him. I thought he was the one, and Mother thought the same thing. (chuckles) But I got thinking, well, he's always there right up to Church time, see. But I thought he's got his girl friend. But maybe he likes me better. But then when it was time to go to Church, I'd say where did Leo go? Oh, he took off to go to Church with his girl friend. So every Sunday afternoon just at Church time he'd be missing, see. And I thought, Gee Whiz, he only takes her to Church, and then takes her right back to her Aunt's¾ what good's that?
LML: What good is that going to do her at all? But then, I thought¾ I'd go to work every morning on the bus, and one day I got on and there Leo was. I sat with him and wanted to know how come he was on the bus, and he was going out to Ephraim to get married. And I had thought that he'd forgotten all about that girl. That day it rained real hard, the 8th of September, when you got married. I had no hat or anything. I had to get off the bus before he did, where we lived up at Stratford Avenue, and it was raining so hard, and Leo says, "Well, you'll get wet, and catch your death of cold or something." I thought to myself, "Gee, I wish I would! Nobody loves me!" I felt so bad! I got off and walked home in the rain. That's the last I saw Leo 'til a long time... 'til his wife died.
DLL: She died at childbirth?
LML: She fell in the house.
LTL: She slipped down.
LML: Just before it was time. I did the same thing when I had Mary. I went 6 weeks before time¾ I went down on the steps and slipped and fell. I had a dry delivery. I had to carry her for a while first, the doctor said, and be real careful and still wait 'til I had the first pain, you know. That's why she came early. It was funny, but we both did that, wasn't it?
LTL: Yeah. She was in the hospital 5 days, and the bloomin' doctor never done nothing. Old Dr. Snow, you know. He was a poor doctor. He just let her lay there and die.
LML: Those people in the hospital did nothing.
LTL: They all told me everything was OK>
LML: And there she laid and the baby was dead.
DLL: Did the injury before the birth cause the problem?
LTL: It might have¾ I don't know. Her water broke the same as Mother was telling about hers. Dr. Snow come out there, and he took her to the hospital in his car. Dr. Morton was out of town. That old Snow¾ he just let her lay there. He'd tell me, "Oh, everything's all right¾ just take time."
DLL: What was his first name?
LTL: I don't remember.
LML: Dr. Woolley was his partner, you know.
LTL: He was the one that gave Mother the anesthetic when you was born.
LML: He gave you the anesthetic when you had your tonsils out.
LTL: Yeah, he was a NICE old guy! But that's all I can say for him!
LML: He was good for giving anesthetic.
LTL: He took Dr. Morton's place when he went out of town. He went to a convention. He wasn't expecting her to come in that quick. Quick as he saw her, he rushed her right into the operating room. He knew that she was a goner, I guess. Just about.
DLL: They just didn't know what to do for her?
LTL: The other one didn't¾ no. But if Morton'd been there, he'd a probably saved her life. But this old Snow¾ he didn't know nothing. He used to come out to Uncle John's and talk to him for an hour, give him an aspirin, and go home.
DLL: Was he a regular doctor?
LTL: He was supposed to be!
DLL: Was he in practice with Morton, then?
LTL: He just filled in for Morton, see, like he did Woolley. He used to do it for Woolley. He never was on his own, I don't think. Morton was a good doctor. But he couldn't save her¾ he had to take her to the instruments, and in 30 minutes she was dead.
LML: They said that she asked about the baby, and they told her it was born dead. And she died after that. After that, they said that nobody could tell any mother about her baby that died. They were afraid what they would do about it, you know. And so when I had a nice looking baby and it died, they didn't TELL me! They waited so long¾ they waited until after it was buried! Before I knew anything about it. But I wouldn't have died if they'd told me.
LTL: Well, I don't know if THAT's what killed her.
DLL: How long after the death of Agnes before you got together with Mom?
LTL: How long WAS it, Mother?
LML: Well, she died in July or August.
LTL: July, wasn't it?
LML: Yes, it was July.
LTL: July, 1927. We got married Sept. 8, 1926.
LML: We started to go together in July and he said he had to wait 3 years before he could do anything. I thought that was just crazy, because we were wasting all that time, and we could have had a child, you know.
LTL: Well, I had to pay the funeral expenses, and everything else.
LML: Then he got a car, got that "Lizzie" and made a down payment on it.
LTL: I paid $400 on it.
DLL: A 1928 Chevrolet.
LTL: MMM-hm. And I paid that off before we was married.
LML: He HAD to pay that off before we got married! (chuckles)
DLL: What price was that? $800?
LML: I taught a Sunday School class, and they said "anytime you want to visit another ward Sunday school and you can get somebody to take your class, you're welcome to go, to get ideas from other wards." So I prayed that I would be able to get someone to take over my class, and I went over to Wilford Ward Sunday School.
LTL: She was AFTER me, see!
LML: It happened to be fast day, and I went down and visited their kindergarten Sunday school class. When I came upstairs there was Leo, gathered together in the chapel. I went in and stood by a seat and then Leo came right in line with me, and he let me look on his song book, and we sang the last song. I think it was Beasie who turned around and asked me if I was staying to fast meeting. I said "yes," and she asked Leo, and he said he was staying too. So I was real glad about that. (chuckles) So we sat together through that meeting. After, Beasie invited us to her place, and we ate dinner there, didn't we? Then he took me home because it was quite a walk¾ and then you asked me for a date to go to a show. And we went uptown to a show and the bus brought us home, and when we got to the porch steps, Leo said, "Sweetheart," and was going, and so I just went up to him and gave him a quick hug and put my one arm around him, and then I went running in the house. He left, and I thought, he didn't ask me for another date, he didn't offer to kiss me goodnight, or anything. So I thought he doesn't like me, so after giving him that hug, he'll never speak to me again. So I felt bad. But the next morning he went to Sunday School at Wilford Ward and went in the drug store next door and called me, and asked me if he could come and see me. He told me where he was and said he would come up from there now, and so I said why don't you come and have dinner with us.
LTL: See, I never had a chance, Dennis. She was after me!
LML: We were just setting the table and he came up and had dinner. After dinner, he wanted me to go for a walk, so we went out for a walk, and walked down to Highland Drive, and Leo suggested we take the bus. So we got on the bus and went to Liberty Park, and walked around Liberty Park and walked through that place that I call "Lover's Lane." Down through the middle, where they have trees on both sides, you know. Then he bought me a hot dog, and we sat down on the grass to eat it. And I never wished so hard in my life that I didn't have it. I wanted to throw it away or something. I just couldn't stand to eat it with him there watching me. (chuckles) But I managed to get away with it somehow. He sat there watching me eat it¾ he ate his in a few bites.
Then he was telling me about his stomach and how he needed a wife who could take care of him and cook and feed him good and get rid of his stomach¾ his indigestion.
LTL: I got rid of it, too!
LML: So I took that as him asking me to marry him, see. I thought that was what he was getting' at. (chuckles) When I got through eatin' the hot dog, I leaned over toward him, and he was looking right at me, and he kissed me! (chuckles) That day we went out on the boat on the water, and he rowed the boat and kept singing to me¾ how does it go?
LTL: Row¾ row¾ row
LML: And then you'd stop for an encore¾ he was supposed to stop and kiss me, but I wouldn't let him do it. (chuckles) He'd keep going and stopping. Then he sang "Let Me Call You Sweetheart," so that was our song, wasn't it.?
LML: From there, we¾ did we go someplace after that?
LTL: I don't remember. I don't know where we'd go. Home, I think.
LML: I guess we went back home, but we had more fun before we got that car! It was a LOT more fun. Havin' a car just wasn't fun at all. Got in "Lizzie" and we'd putt along at 30 miles an hour¾
LTL: I was breakin' it in right.
LML: Breakin' it in¾ we'd ride to Ogden and to Provo and back¾
LTL: All day.
LML: It just wasn't any fun.
DLL: Too long to get somewhere?
LML: Yeah¾ just sitting there¾ putting along so slow. (chuckles)
LTL: I wouldn't drive over 20 miles an hour. Getting it broke in. I broke that son of a gun in all right. Old Lizzie hauled all you kids. Kept getting' more kids, and then we fixed a seat in the back.
DLL: I remember riding back there!
LTL: We went down to Anderson's funeral in Provo one time, with Mary and Tom sitting in the back with the back up. From there we rode to Ephraim with Wilford. Did we take the kids down there too¾ to Ephraim?
LML: Yeah, I think we did.
LTL: Land, it was a long way down there.
LML: Well, we went together for a year, didn't we? Then Leo decided to build a house here, and I thought we ought to get married sooner, but I think that was 2 years that he was waiting for her. But I didn't realize it at the time. We tried to rent a place¾ like where Pearl and Gerard lived¾ the little house they built. But they were in Nevada most of the time¾ it was empty. We thought they'd rent it to us for a few months until our house was ready, you know, but they wouldn't rent it. Just left it locked up there.
LTL: I was going to build a little garage house. I talked to Uncle John White about it. "Don't ever build a garage house, you'll never get out of it!" He says, "Build a house while you're at it!" So I did. I took his advice. It was a close shave, though. It was hotter'n blazes, and that old East wind'd blow, and it's a wonder it didn't blow this house down to Highland Drive!
DLL: You almost lost it during the Depression?
LTL: Had it for sale for 7 months!
DLL: Because you couldn't make the payments?
LTL: Mother used to take the sign out of the window. (chuckles)
LML: I'd feel so guilty when I did.
LTL: A guy come up here one day and had half a dozen people. Come through the house like he owned the bloomin' place, you know. He'd go outside and he was tellin' 'em where the land went to¾ over to that fence, and over to that fence. I said, "I'll tell you where that land goes to¾ 9 feet north of the house, 11 feet south." "Well, you'd sell the other land, wouldn't you?" I said, "I wouldn't sell it to you at NO price! So you can sell me out!" The people got in their car and went. (chuckles)
DLL: They wanted more land than that.
LTL: Yeah, they wanted more land.
LML: Then there was a couple that come one day, and were lookin' through it, and they said, "Oh, this is just fine. Just fine for us." And then she stopped and said to me, "Well, how is it that YOU're giving it up?" I said, "Because we HAVE to¾ we haven't got the money to make the payments." Well, she looked so funny, and said she was sure sorry about that, and so they left and said they'd decided they didn't want it. And that was the last that anybody came. But after that the man that was building it¾ what was his name?
LML: Dixon came to the door, and I went to the door, and I was going to have¾
LML: Was it Tom? I guess it was. I was real big with Tom. He didn't know that, see¾ he hadn't been out here to see me or anything¾ he had the real estate guys put the sign up and stuff. So I invited him in, but he just talked there at the door. When he saw me he just looked like he was so shocked. So he talked to Leo about it and they took the sign out and that was all that was said about it. He was tellin' Dad, "Can't you get some kind of job just for $30 a month? To pay for it?" He said he just couldn't sell the house under me. That's when he talked to you about Dad, wasn't it?
LML: So Leo got a job workin' at the shop workin' for Dad. Didn't Dixon suggest it, or how was it?
LTL: Well, I don't think he suggested it. Your dad was hirin' a woman to clean the shop for a dollar a day. $30 a month. So he said he'd give ME the job and he'd pay my $30 a month to Dixon. Grandpa. So we decided to do that. Then he paid it for¾ I don't know how many months he paid it. Then he quit payin' it. He wouldn't give it to me, either, you know. He wouldn't give me a buck. Dixon says, "Boy, I don't know." He says, "He's the hardest man to get money out of I ever saw. I can't get nothing out of him!" He'd let it go 8 months without paying it then¾ Grandpa had¾ and I cleaned the shop every day.
LML: And no job, and no money, and yet he had to drive the car up there and clean that.
LTL: I was workin' for Eb Lythgoe at the same time for 10 hours a day for a buck, and wasn't getting that either.
LML: He said he owed for coal.
DLL: How long did you work in the beauty shop?
LTL: 22 months. I cleaned for about an hour and a half a day.
DLL: Then you'd work 10 hours at the coal company?
LTL: Yeah. Took all the bloomin' money we could get hold of to buy gas to get up to the shop! Grandpa just wouldn't pay that! And he never said a word. Finally, Parnell¾ when he got to be a lawyer, got the home owners loan for me¾ I got one of the first home owners loans around here. Dixon accepted it. I had to mortgage the other land¾ a half acre¾ to get it. At that time I was so far behind that I owed just as much as I owed when I built the house. The interest was a buildin' up. I got the loan. Then I couldn't pay THEM for a couple of years. I just paid the interest. Grandpa let me go down and clean that shop for 8 solid months and never offered me a dime. Finally I just quit. I never said a word to him, and he never said a word to me. I just didn't go down there. I never got it¾ he owed me $240.
LML: You were cleaning the one in Sugar House, too, weren't you?
LTL: I was cleaning two shops.
DLL: Didn't he every pay the guy anything?
LTL: Well, he paid it for about a year, but he had to fight him to get it, you know. Finally, he said, "I give up. I can't get it out of him." Parnell got the loan through and fixed it all up, and then when I got back to work I started paying for it. I had to pay all the back payments. I wasn't paying anything¾ only interest. I don't know how I paid THAT. During the war I worked time and a half and double time and everything else. Grandpa never mentioned that from that day on.
DLL: He never paid the $240?
LTL: Land, no¾ I couldn't get a nickel out of him! I went up to the Zoo to work one time. They had a thing where businessmen were giving 5 or 10 dollars to give a man a job. He give the guy 5 dollars and I had to go and work for two days. You couldn't get a nickel out of him¾ I'm tellin' ya! His family couldn't and nobody else!
DLL: But beauty shops thrived during the Depression!
LTL: Yeah! He was making all kinds of money! But you see, he went broke. He lost everything he had¾ his house and his car¾
DLL: AFTER the Depression.
LTL: After the Depression.
DLL: Was that bad management?
LTL: Bad management. He got to thinking he was going to have a chain of shops, one up in Midvale and one up in Ogden. But he went broke.
LML: Pete had the one in Ogden.
LTL: Then he come after me to sign notes so he could get out of hawk. I signed them¾ 3 or 4 of them. I told him if he don't pay them, I'll lose MY job¾ garnish me. He paid them¾ some way. I never had to pay any of them. Finally got the house paid off.
DLL: How much did the house cost?
LTL: $3,100, to start with. To build it, and I had the land. I'd been paying on it for a year or more, I guess, I came out and got the homeowners loan¾ pretty near 3,000 dollars I had to pay the homeowners loan. But I paid more than $3,000 for it.
DLL: About $6,000.
LML: Then, during the war when he worked over time at the shop, why, paid the house off and the furnace with the bonds.
LTL: I bought a bond every pay day, you know. They'd hold it out of your check. I had enough there to pay for the furnace¾ 700 bucks.
LML: That was just before Gaye was born.
LTL: I was workin' 7 days a week, and I used to work double-over 3 or 4 times a week.
DLL: How much was double over time?
LTL: I'd double-over¾ that'd be 16 hours a day, and I got paid time-and-a-half for the over time. So I was making extra money then, and we paid the house off.
DLL: You were doing that when I was a kid, then, weren't you?
DLL: I remember those early mornings.
LTL: I'd get up at 5 o'clock in the morning and milk two cows.
DLL: And you didn't get home until late at night.
LTL: I'd come home and milk the cows and eat my supper at regular time, then I'd go back and work another 8 hours.
LML: He'd come home with his black clothes and black face, you know¾ he looked like a Negro. His face was so black and his teeth so white, and he'd smile!
LTL: Double-over. And you couldn't get men then, you know.
LML: When I saw him come home like that I got so I just cried every time I saw him. Having to come home that way¾ working over time, you know.
LTL: We'd take 20 pints of milk and I'd take it down to the shop and sell it to the guys every morning. 2 cows. Then we was a pickin' this bloomin' fruit. 250 bushels every Summer. Mamma was sortin' pears and sellin' them.
DLL: Did you HAVE to work that hard?
LTL: Well, I THOUGHT I did.
DLL: Was it the experience of the Depression that caused you to work harder than ever to make ends meet?
LTL: It was! Yes. I was out of a job for two years. When Tom was born, I was out of a job. For two years I never worked only for Grandpa and Eb.
LML: That Eb¾ you know!
LTL: He tried his best to starve us to death!
LML: When I came home from the hospital with the 2nd baby, Leo went to work that day for Eb¾ the first day.
LTL: I worked 10 hours a day¾ hauled 10 loads of coal a lot of days, besides unloadin' the coal cars, and if you didn't have anything to do, you'd take care of the store. A buck a day!
LML: To pay for the coal we had.
LTL: I paid him $40 for coal and I still owed him when I left. The last time I saw Eb, he snubbed me! (chuckles)
LML: Over here at somebody's funeral.
LTL: Yeah, over at Pearl's.
LML: Wouldn't speak to us. That's the kind of guy he is.
LTL: My land! He was a tight son of a gun! He made a lot of money in coal.
LML: I wonder how they ever expected us to get anything.
LTL: He never asked me for that $40. If he'd asked I'd have told him off. He never did ask me. One year I had 15 bushel of carrots¾ pitted. I asked him what he paid for them¾ he had 2 stores. He said, "Bring a bushel down." What was it he gave me for that bushel¾ 30 cents?
LML: 30 cents, yeah. (chuckles)
LTL: I said, "I'll let 'em rot in the pit! Before I'll dig 'em up and take 'em down to you for 30 cents!" Worked like a bloomin' N___ for nothin'!
DLL: You didn't have too much time to spend with your kids during that time, did you?
LTL: Land, no! Mamma raised the kids! I'd go back to that shop and stay all night, and sometimes we worked on DOUBLE time. If we'd do a job on the furnace that had to go out, we'd stay there until it was finished. Get up in the morning at 5 o'clock and go right back down! At them shops I just made a livin'¾ that's all. I never made anything 'til I got to the water system. When I worked at the shops they raised my wages a little, and during the war, I got to do the heatin' on the furnace and I got Blacksmith's pay for it. I got 2 fire times, and Jack Powell tried to beat me out of one of them. He couldn't stand to see me makin' that extra fire time¾ HE wanted it.
DLL: He's the one who beat you up once.
LTL: Yeah¾ he hit me in the nose. After that I helped, and that guy couldn't do nothin'¾ only swing a sledge hammer.
DLL: Why did he hit you in the nose?
LTL: I was heatin' on the furnace then. They was short of help and they came and asked if I'd go¾ I wasn't supposed to leave the furnace. The boss wanted me to go in there, and I went in. They had a big cylinder head off of an engine¾ had it in the furnace, and got it white hot, then they pulled it out and put it on a truck. They were going to put it on a face plate and pound it down so it'd fit. Old Jack¾ he was a tryin' to tell me what to do. None of 'em'd take a hold of that truck, so I got in there in between the handles. All I could do to hold the truck from tippin' up, you know. Was wheelin' it over to the face plate, and he was tellin' me what to do or something, and I said something to him that he didn't like¾ I told him it was "none of your damned business." And he just run and hit me¾ he had a pair of gloves on¾ and he run about 20 feet, I guess¾ I never even knew he was comin'. Hit me right in the nose. Knocked me loose from the truck. I'd a went down if I hadn't had a hold of the truck. It cut my nose right down the middle. I think it broke it. It's a little crooked right there. You can feel it there. It cut my nose down here and made my nose bleed from the inside. I went out in the washroom to get some water and tried to stop it, and he was gonna hit me again! Land, I was out on my feet. Old Lou grabbed him¾ Lou Griffiths. So after my nose quit bleedin', I went over to first aid and they patched it up, then Paul Stevens, he was the master mechanic¾ he called me up to the office. I went in there¾ when they caught you fighting they'd fire you for it. Well, he says, "We're not a gonna can ya." I says, "I KNOW you're not! I never done nothin' to be canned for!" That's about all they said. Didn't can old Jack either. Jack ran right up to me¾ he was the biggest stool pigeon in them shops. Everybody knew it. He went up and talked to Paul. Paul knew me¾ I'd known him ever since I was a kid. I said, "You haven't got nothin' to can me for!" Never said a word. OK. That's all he ever said about it. But old Jack¾ he was one of these guys¾ that hated everybody. He hated me before and he hated me after. Land, I worked with him and everybody else.
Finally, business got slow down there on the furnace, and I was the youngest man on the furnace, and so I had to take another job. The threadin' machine job was open, so I took that. I learned to run it. So when they wanted me back on the furnace, old Jack'd got bumped off of his job, so he had to take the threadin' machine. He couldn't run that threadin' machine! Couldn't set it up¾ couldn't thread it after it was set up! He'd go get the machinist to grind the dies for him, and then he'd come back and break them the first pop. The old machine was 90 years old, I guess, and out of line¾ you had to know just how to handle it, without breakin' it. I could set that up and thread it and he had the nerve to come and ask me to come and help him set it up. I done it. I went and helped him set that thing up. A dozen times¾ and he never COULD run it. Never did learn how.
Then I had this extra fire time job, startin' the fan, you know, for the fire. That bothered him so bad, that he just kept a harpin' on that 'til I give it to him. (chuckles) And I had the heatin' job, and he wanted that. I had the crane job, and he wanted that. I run the crane on the furnace, and he run the hammer. When Arch went up as a blacksmith, why I took the heater's job, and after I took it, the union made them pay heaters blacksmith's wages. They ALL wanted the job them. For blacksmith's wages. I didn't want to go on the tongs. And the heater was supposed to go on the tongs. I told Les, "I'll take the heatin' job, but I don't want to go on them tongs." "If you'll let me run the crane, I'll take the heatin' job." Ray Yorgason¾ he was workin' on there¾ he said he'd take the tongs. He took the tongs, and I stayed on my crane job and done the heatin'. Well, that burned them all up¾ they ALL wanted that job...after I got that new crane. See Les finally¾ used to have to pull it. For 10 years I pulled that bloomin' crane. Finally, Les Faulkner went traveling around the country, and he saw a crane rigged up with air. So he came back to the shops and he had the machinist fix my crane with an air hoist on it. I'd just cut that thing and then take that thing up like nobody's business. On them big billets that wide, I used to, when they'd turn it on edge, I'd have to pull that up and I'd have to wait for them to get that up, before they could hammer it out.
But I got this air crane. Old Les was awful proud of this air crane, and so was I. He watched me run that and I could run that¾ I was used to the other crane¾ I could tell by the feel of the thing where it was, you know. Well, when I got that air crane, I'd stand back out of the heat. When I was pullin' it, I had to get by the side of it to pull it or I couldn't pull it up. I'd stand way back out of the heat, and I'd touch that thing and I'd have it up there before they could get the thing turned up. Old Les used to watch that and smile. So then all the guys was a gonna bump me off of it. I'd bid the job in with the crane, you know. When I got the heatin' job too, that made it worse. Then they all wanted the heatin' job and the crane job. One of the helpers was a committee man and they was gonna bump me off of there. Frank Paxman wanted that crane job. He told Les that and Old Les says, "You bump him off of that crane job, and you make one damn mistake and I'll fire you!" Frank never took the job. I was on there 'til I quit. The only way they could bump me off is if they had to bump a helper off. I was the youngest helper on the furnace, see. If they bumped me off, then they'd put me up on another fire, and I'd have to go down and run the crane for Dick in the meantime¾ run 2 fires. Old Les remembers that. I talked to him. (chuckles) I told him that crane was sure a good one.
DLL: How many wards have you lived in during these years?
LTL: We lived in the Wilford Ward, Grandview Ward.
DLL: East Mill Creek too?
LTL: We went up there for a while. We wasn't in that ward. We had to go up there to church.
DLL: While they were building one?
LTL: MMM-hm. We went to church there for a while. While the other one was getting ready. Wilford Ward and Grandview Ward, and Kenwood 2nd Ward. Kenwood 1st Ward too.
DLL: How many buildings did you participate in building?
LTL: Well, it started with Wilford Ward, and all the rest of them. (chuckles)
DLL: Wilford, Grandview, and Kenwood?
DLL: You told an experience once about Heber J. Grand dedicating Grandview Ward chapel.
LTL: Yeah. He dedicated it.
DLL: Wasn't there something unusual about it?
LTL: Well, he come out there to dedicate it on Sunday, and Will Butterworth was the choir leader. And he had a nice choir and songs lined up for the conference, you know. It took up too much time, and land, by the time he got through with the concert, old Heber J. didn't have any time to talk. He got up and said he didn't come out here for a concert, and he wouldn't dedicate the chapel! He was madder'n a hornet. He wouldn't dedicate it that day, either.
DLL: Did he chew out the people who put the program together?
LTL: Oh, yeah! He told about too much singin' and not givin' him a chance to say anything. And another thing, they had the old organist¾
LTL: No, it wasn't Schriener¾ the other one.
LTL: Yeah, Frank Asper was up playin' the organ, and THAT irritated him. Oh, he was madder'n a hornet! He wouldn't dedicate the ward! The next week he come back and apologized and dedicated it.
DLL: He apologized? Said he shouldn't have gotten angry?
LML: Yeah. He went to Priesthood meeting, didn't he? And to Sunday School and he shook hands with all the little kids.
LTL: Yeah, he made a mistake. But he admitted it!
LML: He was sorry, and everything!
LTL: He was mad, though! (chuckles)
LML: that ward house was crammed full, wasn't it?
LTL: Land, yes! It was overflowin'¾ he was gonna dedicate that Grandview Ward. It was all paid for, you know. I was talking to Hy Peterson here the other day¾ called me up. From Wyoming. He was tellin' me about goin' up in Devil's Canyon fishing. He says when he come down the canyon there was two old guys layin' there asleep. "Ugliest damn men I ever saw," he says. He was askin' somebody who they were. It was Heber J. Grant and his brother. He had a brother that lived in Lovell, Wyoming. They looked alike, you know. Old Hy¾ "I hoped they didn't hear me," he says, after he found out who he was. (chuckles) "The ugliest men I ever saw!" he says. Layin' there asleep, I guess they DID look kinda ugly. Wasn't too good lookin'¾ either one of them!
DLL: Did Mary almost lose her life as a young kid?
LTL: Doggone right she did!
DLL: What was it she had?
DLL: How old was she?
LTL: 3 weeks old. Dumb old dad bringing her out to this house like a barn in the middle of the winter¾ no heat¾ open all the windows.
DLL: Didn't it have any heat at all?
LTL: It had the cook stove.
LML: We had a coal stove. At night it wasn't givin' off any heat, and we went in the back bedroom there¾ the coldest room in the house. It was where our bed was and we put Mary in a little bassinet.
LTL: She caught the cold in the hospital.
LML: We had the window open in there.
LTL: Just didn't help it any comin' out here! Colder'n the dickens¾ 2 feet of snow.
DLL: You had to walk her around to keep her from passing out?
LTL: Dr. Smith told us just how to manipulate her to bring her out of it. She'd pass out, you know.
LML: She was choking to get that phlegm up, you know, that collects when you have Pneumonia.
LTL: You'd take her in your hand¾ I don't remember now how we done it.
LML: She'd start to choke and we were supposed to grab her and maneuver her and turn her over quick so she could let it out, see. We'd hold her stomach and back this way (gesturing) and then tip her backwards and over quick. And then she'd let it out.
LTL: Yeah, she had a case of it, I'm tellin' ya.
LML: Dr. Smith told us we got so we could do that so good.
LTL: Dr. Smith says, "You don't' need no bloomin' windows open in THIS house! There's plenty of air in here!" (chuckles) He told us to put a bed out here (living room)¾ we put a bed out here, and we got a heatin' stove and put it up out here.
LML: We borrowed that stove from Grandpa.
LTL: Pot-bellied stove. Of Grandpa's.
LML: Big pot-bellied one. It sure did give off an awful lot of heat, didn't it?
LTL: Oh, land, yes. It heated up, when you put the coal in it.
DLL: How long did you go with just a coal stove?
LTL: Oh, a long time. When was it we got the furnace? We got the furnace during the war, didn't we?
LML: Yeah, before Gaye was born.
LTL: We got a circular heater in here after that (after coal stove). Nice lookin' one. What'd it do?
LML: Sort of circulated the heat around more.
LTL: Done a pretty good job¾ just wasn't as good as a furnace.
DLL: Before getting up in the morning, everyone had to wait until Dad put the coal in the stove.
LML: He had to get the fire going good.
DLL: Before you'd dare get up?
LTL: That circular heater¾ you could fix that so you didn't have to make the fire every morning¾ just get up and stir it up.
LML: Yeah, just open the draft.
LTL: Open the damper. We had a cook stove there too. It was a coal stove.
LML: But do you know¾ Vera lived over there (next door) at that time, and when they brought Mary home, I had been over to Mother's a week, from the hospital. The Doctor said I could go home if I stayed in bed for a week. But I couldn't stay in bed, because Mother wouldn't bathe the baby or anything. I had to get up and do it. I had to do everything. She wouldn't wait on me at all. Mary was coughing before we left there.
LTL: Well, she had the cold when she got here, but we didn't help it any.
LML: So everything just made it a little worse, see. By the time we were home with her she had pneumonia. She wouldn't nurse and she didn't have a bowel movement¾ just laid there with her eyes shut in her little bed, you know. I was nursing her, but she wouldn't take it. Then we told the doctor, and he said they'd give her castor oil. So I gave her some the night before, and in the morning it hadn't worked, and he said, wait until it works, but it didn't. She just laid there with her eyes shut. I kept working around the kitchen, doing the dishes and stuff, and kept looking at her, and she didn't move at all. Then the thought came to me, well, no¾ she won't die. She CAN'T die¾ no! She won't die. I kept thinking that way and lookin' at her again, and finally I decided to pick her up. I opened the oven door and sat in front of it and held her on my lap, but she wouldn't open her eyes or do a thing. I started to cry¾ I felt so bad. I didn't know WHAT was going to happen.
Then Vera came. She came in the back door, and she saw me holding her and saw that her toe nails were blue and her finger nails too. She said, "That's what happens when they die. The toes turn blue first." Because she lost a baby, you know. That's what happened with hers, and she saw it on Mary. So she didn't say anything to me¾ just went over to the window and stood there¾ the kitchen window¾ lookin' out. Then she saw Brother Howick going over to her place. Bishop Howick, you know. Carter wasn't home¾ nobody was home there, she said. She wondered why he was going over there. She said that HE knew nobody was home there too. So she said to me, "There's Will Howick¾ shall I ask him to come and administer to her?" I said, "Yes!" so she went running out and called him to come over here. And he said, "I wondered why I decided to come over here! For a walk." So I held her and he gave her a blessing, and as soon as he through, she opened her eyes and looked at me. The first time she had. Looked right at me. Then there was a big noise, and she had a movement in her pants. Then Bro. Howick said, "Well, see if you can nurse her now." So I gave it to her and she took it.
DLL: She came out of it after that?
LML: She started to get well right then. When Dr. Smith came out later that day, everything was going fine with her. He was quite surprised. He said he came out expecting to sign her death certificate. He didn't see how she could possibly live. Then he sat and talked to me for quite a while, telling me what I should do to take care of the baby. But it was a hard struggle, because we had to see that she didn't choke to death. It took 8 days and nights, didn't it? Dad walking every night, taking care of her. We put mustard plasters on her. The doctor showed me how to make these little ones, one for the front and one for the back, hooked together so it would go clear around, you know. We were to do that every 3 hours, night and day. Then it got loose, and she started coughing it up. The first time she did that she was choking, and we didn't know what to do, did we? So Leo went running after Vera. It was in the middle of the night. She came running over here in her bathrobe through the snow, and she knew how to do it. She picked her up and got that stuff up, you know, out of her throat. She said that's what she had to do to the baby that she lost.
The doctor came the next morning and we told him about it. So he told us just what to do when it happened. He told us to heat some oil in a spoon on the stove and get it just warm and put it in her mouth.
LTL: She had a close shave.
LML: But we got her over it. But you see, Vera tells now that it was her that saved Mary's life.
LTL: Well, she helped.
LML: Yeah, she helped, but she didn't do it all.
LTL: She came running through that deep snow.
LML: And then she was even telling that SHE was making those little mustard plasters, and put on her. When we went teaching together, you know, she was telling each house all about these things, and we got to Marie's and she was telling her that, and I was so surprised. I said, "Vera, you did not!" Well, she said, "Well, who did then?" (chuckles) I said, "Well, I did!" She looked at me shocked like, and never said another word. (chuckles) I thought she was mad at me too, you know, but she wasn't.
DLL: You just jogged her memory a little, eh?
LTL: Vera's been sick now for a long time.
LML: Vera's even telling things that happened to Elva now¾ she tells them that they happened to HER. (chuckles)
Interview with Leo Thomas Lythgoe, October 9, 1976
Salt Lake City, Utah
DLL: What caused your layoff from the Railroad?
LTL: Well, the Railroad started getting these diesel engines, and so they scrapped all the steam engines, see, cut 'em all up and sold 'em for scrap. The diesel engines didn't need all the repairs done on 'em like these steam engines. So they just laid us all off. They laid all the blacksmiths off, 90% of the machinists, boilmakers, pipe fitters, electricians, everybody else. I got caught in the lay-off. I was 6 on the seniority list, and they finally got me, and laid me off. I went over to Art Over¾ he was the general foreman in the car department, and he give me a job as a laborer down in Roper. Worked there as a laborer for a year and a half, cleaning cabooses and all them kinds of jobs, boxcars and everything else. Finally, they laid me off of these. While I was working on the caboose track, I went to work for Duke White, in the daytime. About 5 or 6 hours a day. (construction) After I got laid off at the caboose track I went out to Lang's and worked, and then they called me back at the caboose track. Then in about a year and a half they laid me off there again. I started working for Duke before they laid em off in the daytime. I was workin' nights. He just had me doing all kinds of labor jobs.
DLL: Duke White did?
LTL: Yeah. Anything there was to do.
DLL: Construction work.
LTL: Yeah. I knew he couldn't keep me going all the time, and finally I went to talk to Ken to see if he had anything for me. "By golly," he says, "maybe I will." So he finally put me on plantin' flowers down at his place, gardening, irrigating. Worked there a month or two, and he took me on in the water system. I went around with him a while, and he showed me everything in the water system, and finally, he started me out on it. I had the old Lizzie I'd drive up there and take care of what pumps they had then. They only had a few pumps.
DLL: You drove the old Lizzie, doing that?
LTL: For a while. Finally, he decided to hire me, to take care of the water system. He took me all around, was showing me all the stuff. He gave me a truck, one of these closed-in trucks, you know¾ what do you call them?
DLL: Panel truck?
LTL: Yes, I drove that for 2 years, and finally they bought me that yellow truck, a pickup truck. They started me out on that system, and then they all went to Yellowstone Park and left me! Land, I HAD to run it! Course, then they only had about 2 or 3 wells, but they were pumping. As they went along, you know, they expanded, started building more houses in the system, and of course he give me the job of hooking 'em all up. You know¾ puttin' in the meters¾ so I had to do that, and then I had to fix the leads, pump the water, and everything else. They just kept getting bigger and bigger all the time. Boy, I had a big job!
DLL: You were like a doctor after a while! Always on call?
LTL: Yeah. I was called all the time day or night. Old Ken says I asked for a steady job, and I got it, he says. (chuckles) Day and night. So they just kept¾ you know¾ up there on the hills and Park Terrace, Eastwood Hills¾ I hooked ALL of them in Park Terrace, and a lot of them in Eastwood Hills. Those subdivisions¾ they just kept coming along, you know. It kept getting bigger all the time. They had to keep drillin' more wells, and puttin' in more booster pumps, and everything else. It just seemed like every year, they'd just barely get by¾ we'd be dry every night, pretty near. Then they'd drill another well and get some more boosters. So I had 25 pumps to take care of. They were all around the boulevard, and up 39th, and clear out as far as 45th South¾ I had 'em all over. I had to distribute that water. I got several new wells. Finally, I had 10 wells, and all the rest were booster pumps. From 29th I'd have to boost it to the twins up in Eastwood Hills and pump it up to Park View Drive at Mount Olympus and then boost it up to the tank at Mount Olympus. I had Mount Olympus and County Water System. Boosters all over¾ boosters in Mill Creek Canyon. When I started, they had one tank way up there and one tank in Eastwood Hills. Well, they finally built another big tank up the hill and another one in Eastwood Hills. Another one at 39th and one at Park Terrace¾ There were 7 tanks that I had to boost from one to the other, you know.
DLL: Sounds like a pretty complicated job.
LTL: It GOT complicated, I'll tell you that! It kept me just a jumpin' every bloomin' minute. Finally, they got it so there wasn't too many hook-ups¾ it was filled up, pretty near. I got more than I could do, so they hired a guy to make the hook-ups. Then I just had to pump the water, fix the leaks, and other things.
DLL: Was it Marvin Melville who did the hook-ups?
LTL: Well, yeah¾ he went in to do the hook-ups. He done 'em for a while, then they hired a man to do it, and Marve went into the company then, taking his dad's place in there.
DLL: In the office?
LTL: Well, he was in the office and he had to help run the water system. He was one of the bosses, really. Good guy, too¾ Marve.
DLL: How many hours a day did you really work on that job?
LTL: I put in about 12 hours a day¾ that's when I used to have to make a work sheet. I always put 12 hours a day on it for several years, and finally, they thought I was making too much money, I guess, and they put me on a salary. Then I just got so much a month. $700 per month. They didn't pay me no over time, or anything like that, you know. Before I'd get over time¾ not time and a half¾ just straight time.
DLL: Did it continue that way until you retired? Straight salary?
DLL: But you would still be called in the middle of the night?
LTL: Oh, yeah! They called me ALL the time. Mother was on that bloomin' phone¾ she did more phone work than anybody. Didn't used to have an office. They could call HERE, you know. When I was out on the water system, they'd call HER and give her the messages.
DLL: Mom was really like the secretary.
LTL: Land, yes, and she never got nothin' for it, either. Finally, they DID put her in the office, when we got the office¾ for a while. Alt¾ he didn't like that¾ he wanted HIS family in the office. So they wouldn't let her work any more.
DLL: How did you get along with Ken White?
LTL: I got along GOOD with him. I worked there for 19 years. I never had a quarrel with him. (chuckles)
DLL: A pretty good boss?
LTL: A GOOD boss! Course, you had to do your work! He just left it up to me¾ I done it. He'd never boss me¾ very seldom. If anything was wrong, he'd call ME, if they called him. I'd have to find out what was going wrong.
DLL: How about Alton Melville and Thomas Lambert¾ what kind of a relationship did you have with them?
LTL: Oh¾ Lambert, I never had any trouble with him. He was a heck of a good guy, old Lambert. He helped me a lot. But Alt¾ he used to kind of pick at me. Him and me didn't hit it off 'til later years¾ quite a while before he died¾ got along fine. But he was always pickin' at me about something.
DLL: Personality clash?
LTL: Yeah. I guess¾ I don't know. He was always trying to blame something on to me. I told Ken one day, I says,¾ Well I quit the bloomin' water system¾ he was going to have me make out all kinds of different shifts and everything else, and I told him to go jump in the lake, and I come home. That was right after I was sick, you know, when I went back.
DLL: You mean when you had the stroke?
LTL: Yeah. He used to bring the truck down to me, and I was just startin' to take care of the water, and they had me go on nights a while, and him and Marve was takin' care of it in the day time. Land, every night, every tank was empty, when I'd go on. So I'd just start all the pumps and fill 'em all up by morning. But he was going to make it so I didn't make as much money. He didn't want to pay that out. One night I delivered the truck up here to his place, and Mother was with me. He give me these bloomin' papers that I was supposed to have this schedule. Made me mad! He told me what he wanted me to do, and so I said, "All right, you take the cockeyed truck and run it yourself! And I'll go home!" I got out of the truck and he said he wanted to give us a ride home, and I said, "No, we'll WALK home!" We come home, and I thought it was all over with them.
Foubert called me up and wanted me to make some hook-ups in Mount Olympus, and so I worked for them for a month¾ Owen White and me. Finally, Alt came down here one morning before we was up and brought the truck down and wanted me to take the job again. He said he'd raise my wages to $2.00 an hour. He'd come to the window, and we was in bed! He said, "Is your wife satisfied with that?" She said, "Yes, whatever Leo wants is fine with me," so they left me the truck. I worked for them a long time after that.
DLL: How old were you when you had the stroke?
LTL: Oh, I was 50 something¾ I don't remember exactly¾ Mother would remember. I was 54, I think, when I left the railroad.
DLL: So maybe about 56?
DLL: I remember, because I tried to handle things for a few days.
LTL: Yeah. Ken told me to have YOU do it, but old Alt didn't want you. He and Lambert tailed you all over the system.
DLL: They didn't trust me.
LTL: Finally, you quit.
DLL: You were trying to give me the instructions.
LTL: I COULDN'T¾ Mother had to give you the instructions. I couldn't talk.
DLL: You wrote a few things down, I remember.
DLL: Your speech was affected, wasn't it?
LTL: Yeah. About a week or so.
DLL: You haven't had any sign of that since, have you? No. Land, I worked there 17 years after that. But Lambert was a heck of a good guy. Now he's dead, and Alt's dead, and Foubert's dead¾ Ken and me's the only ones left. I was the oldest one of the bunch! 10 years older¾ I was 10 years older than Ken. Alt too.
DLL: So were you making $700 a month, even at the time you retired?
DLL: You retired at age 77? 4 years ago?
DLL: Did you enjoy the work at the water system MORE than at the railroad?
LTL: Oh, yes! A lot more interesting¾ harder work, but it kept me thinking! I had to keep my thinking cap on. Those boosters pumping from one place to another¾ I had to regulate them so I had water all over instead of in one place. You take up in Mount Olympus¾ they never had enough water to supply them, and I'd have to boost it to 39th up to Park View Drive, and then boost it up the hill. Every night I was dry¾ on these hot, Summer days, in Mount Olympus Park. All they were livin' on was the booster! I had to keep the 39th full so I could boost it up there, and boost it to the twins, and boost it on up the hill, to the top.
DLL: So it was kind of a challenging job?
LTL: Oh, land, I had to have my thinking cap on, boy!
DLL: You were pretty much on your own too¾ your own boss most of the time?
LTL: Oh, yes. They left it up to me¾ they didn't bother me. They knew if they did they'd be in trouble, cause they didn't know how to do it then. Just kept getting bigger each year¾ a little bigger¾ 'til pretty near all the land in the system was hooked up, you know. The last few years they never had many hook ups.
DLL: What happened to the system when you retired?
LTL: Well, they got a guy taking my place for a couple of months, and then they sold it.
DLL: Did they sell it to the city?
DLL: Salt Lake City now runs it?
LTL: Yes, it's a part of the city water department. They don't pump them wells much any more.
DLL: Did you have any financial problems when you left the railroad, during that time when you were trying to find work?
LTL: Land, yes! I was broke all the time!
DLL: How long did it take to get back on your feet?
LTL: Quite a while. I started with the water system at $1.65 an hour. Of course, I worked 12 hours a day. I turned in the time for 12 hours a day. Land, I was up there all time¾ I wasn't going to do it for nothing. Then they decided it would be cheaper for them to put me on a salary¾ well, I didn't kick at that either. Then Alt tried to cut my salary $200 a month¾ They DID one winter. They cut it $200 in the winter and leave it the same in the summer. They done it for one winter, and finally, I saw Ken in Mount Olympus one day, and I said, "Do you think that's fair? To cut my wages in the winter when I'm workin' day and night all summer?" "No, it isn't," he says, "You'll get your $700!" So I got it all the time after that. I said, "If there's a gonna be anybody can me off of this job, it's gonna be YOU." "That's right," he says.
DLL: Well, didn't he KNOW your salary'd been cut?
LTL: Oh, of course, he knew it. I told him I didn't want my salary cut in the winter, because I was going to take care of it anyway¾ winter and summer. Winter was easier than the Summer.
DLL: But it balanced out, because the Summer was extra busy.
LTL: Yeah. Oh, Ken treated me all right. Finally, the last year or two, I got so I couldn't see good, you know. I never told them that. They never knew there was anything the matter with my eyes. I worked there for two or three years when comin' home at night that sun'd hit me in the eyes and I could hardly see to get home. Finally, it got so bad that I told Ken. I said, "I've got to have my eye fixed¾ I can't see!" So I decided then to just retire. I was getting my social security. For 5 years I got my social security and my wages. But I decided I couldn't get my railroad pension, so¾ when I retired, that's when I went up with YOU¾ you took me up when I got my railroad pension. By the time I got my eye operated on and everything, I was getting my pension from the railroad and from them too. And social security.
DLL: You retired in 1972.
LTL: That's right.
DLL: How do you enjoy retirement?
LTL: Oh, land, it was rough for a long time¾ nothing to do. But it's all right now¾ I'm USED to it. I don't have to worry about making a living¾ I've got plenty to live on, so¾ Oh, land, there's a lot of things on that water system¾ I could talk for weeks! (chuckles) I had that thing down pat¾ I knew every pump and all the peculiarities of the pumps-and everything else. I knew where to pump and when to pump. That time I took my vacation down in Sacramento, I come back and old Ken had filled the tank out at 39th South and busted the top out of it, and flooded the basements all down the street. (chuckles) I'd been after him for a year or two to put a bigger overflow on the tank, you know, but he kept puttin' it off, and puttin' it off. When I got back, he had one on there! I said, "How come you put the overflow on?" He said, "I run the bloomin' tank over! Flooded all these people out!" I said, "Well, I never ran it over like that." "Well, by hell, I did" he said. (chuckles) He come down here¾ I don't' know how he knew we was home, but he was here pretty near as quick as we got home¾ he come to the back door and he says, "Here's the keys to the"¾ what did he call that? Well, the keys to the system, anyway. He was glad to get rid of it. He'd been taking care of it while I was gone. He'd left the number 1 and 2 wells on 39th and 27th East runnin' at night, and they filled the tank up and there was more water comin' in than was goin' out, and it busted the top of the tank. I had that regulated¾ I knew which pumps to run to fill the tank, and he didn't. He was glad to see me.
DLL: Are there any other outstanding experiences that you remember from the water system?
LTL: We had a lot of problems! I was out there at number one well one night¾ that's another time Alt was gonna give me a vacation. I had Mother and Gaye with me, and I stopped by to shut that well off. Number one, you know. When I shut it off there was back pressure. Out in front of that well house they'd had a break there at some time and I had to put a little band on there. It blew up and that water was goin' up there 50 feet in the air. And it was throwing rocks that size. (gestures) I had all the pumps a goin'¾ it was Summer when it was right at its peak. I had all them pumps a goin' and all the boosters and all the wells. I was just going around to regulate them for night, see. But that blew up. I just had the truck. Just 4 or 5 feet ahead of where it broke, and it just come out a there like Old Faithful. Gaye come into the house and said, "Daddy, the water's runnin' all over out here!" Finally, I had to shut all the wells off and the boosters and go up and shut the whole system off in that section, from 39th. I couldn't get in touch with Ken, I couldn't get in touch with Marve, Alt, or ANY of 'em¾ they were all to a party or something. So I just went and shut the whole system off, that lower system. When they come back, of source, they ALL got out there. I had the guy that lived there call them. Ken come out, and Alt come out, and Marve come out, and we got Owen out there with the digger¾ or Kendall, at 2 o'clock in the morning. Dug up and fixed it, and then we had to turn the water back in. Land! That guy that lived there¾ Alt said, "Oh, it couldn't be goin' 50 feet in the air!" I asked that guy that lived there, "How high was that water goin' when we saw it?" He lived right there by the well. "Oh, hell," he says, "100 feet in the air!" Rocks that big all over his lawn and all over the road and everywhere else. We had the big number 2 well a goin' and the big well that pumped 1,000 gallons a minute. I shut them all off. I knew I couldn't shut 'em all off with the valves, cause I couldn't find some of 'em, so I went up to the tank and shut it off. Then Marve and me was down in there fixin' it. That leak in the middle of the night. Marve, and Ken, and Alt were up on top, tellin' us what to do. Finally, Marve says, "On this bloomin' job, we've got too many chiefs and not enough Indians!" That's the night Alt, he stopped by the truck and saw my wife and told her, "He needs a good long layoff." He never did tell me that. He thought it was my fault. It wasn't my fault¾ I couldn't help it. There were a lot of breaks to fix in the middle of the night and every other time.
DLL: But over all, it was a good experience, eh?
LTL: Yeah, it kept me interested. I liked it a lot better than the railroad, and I made more money¾ course, I done more work. But I got so I liked it. It kept me thinking. At night I had to regulate that so that in the morning I'd have all the tanks full. If I didn't have the tanks full in the morning, they'd be out of water before night. I had to figure out how to regulate it¾ THEY didn't know how to regulate it. When I retired, [words missing?] that they got that guy, and he just rode around in the truck. He didn't know whether he was a foot or a horseback! They was a callin' us ALL the time after I got home from the operation¾ out a water. I never could get HIM on the phone¾ I'd call Marve and tell him.
DLL: Tell me about the 1928 Chev ¾ "Lizzie."
LTL: What about her?
DLL: When did you get it and what did it cost?
LTL: Well, I got it in 1928. (chuckles) I run it for 25 years, goin' to work and everywhere else.
DLL: What did it cost new?
LTL: $800. I run it 'til I went to work for the water system. It wore out. You knew¾ you run it out to school and that vacuum used to go out. I never did run it any more. But I'll bet I run that 300,000 miles! It was a good old car, I'm tellin' ya!
DLL: 300,000 miles? Is that when you sold it?
LTL: Yeah¾ well, I sold it when you guys were on your missions. The speedometer broke and I never did get it fixed¾ I just estimated. Goin' to work and back. Course, it probably went further than that! It was wore out. I sold it for $50, about 1960. Tom Neff's kid bought it. I don't know what ever become of it.
DLL: Your Patriarchal blessing says that you are to "dream dreams and see visions."
LTL: What do you mean, "dream dreams?"
DLL: Do you remember that?
LTL: I remember it saying that.
DLL: Have you had any special experiences like that?
LTL: No¾ I haven't had no special dreams. I have had dreams like anyone else (chuckles).
DLL: Well, I always felt like you were especially inspired at certain times with respect to your family, as the father. Did you ever feel as if you were being given special instructions?
LTL: Well, I had hunches, all right, I guess.
DLL: Do you remember when we were about to go on our missions, and Finn Paulsen advised me that it would be better if I stayed home while Tom went? You insisted that we both go.
LTL: It was your mother¾ she's the one that told him. He thought it was foolish to send 2 boys on a mission¾ he said I'd have to get another job. She says, "He hasn't time to get another job. He's got all the job he can do now."
DLL: But that day I came home and told you I'd just had an interview with him, and you said, "You're going¾ NOW!" And YOU went over and talked to the Stake President. Did you have a special feeling about that?
LTL: Well, I wanted you to go, of course. (chokes up) I figured we could take care of you. He decided to let you go, and we got along all right!
DLL: How did you do financially while we were gone?
LTL: We saved money! (chuckles, chokes up) I think yours was about $85 a month, wasn't it? And Tom's was around $100.
DLL: You were making $700?
LTL: No, I wasn't making that then.
DLL: Less than that?
LTL: I was getting' $1.65 an hour at that time.
DLL: How do you think you managed that?
LTL: Oh, land, we didn't have any trouble. Never borrowed no money, never got behind on anything. I worked every day you was gone.
DLL: You got a color television while we were gone?
DLL: Anything else?
LTL: We bought a car while you was gone. Is that when I bought that car from Grandpa?
DLL: The Chrysler? I think I was home when you bought that.
LTL: I guess you was.
DLL: So the Lord blessed you while we were gone?
LTL: Yeah, He blessed us while you was gone! With good health and everything else. Never missed a day's work.
DLL: Did you ever get discouraged and feel that you might not make it?
LTL: No. Never thought about it.
DLL: It just seemed that the money was there, eh?
LTL: Yeah. It was always there.
DLL: When were you ordained a Seventy?
LTL: Land, I can't remember.
DLL: Do you remember who did it?
LTL: Rulon S. Wells¾ One of the First Council of Seventy¾ I think HE did it. Down at Granite.
DLL: Was that before your mission?
LTL: No, I wasn't a Seventy when I went on a mission. That was after I was back. It was when I was in the Grandview Ward.
DLL: Did Seventies have any special responsibility?
LTL: They was supposed to do missionary work.
DLL: Did you serve a stake mission, while you were a Seventy?
LTL: Yeah, I did. I served TWO of 'em.
DLL: What kinds of experiences did you have on the missions?
LTL: Oh, not too good. In fact, I went with Ken White down there doin' missionary work.
DLL: He was on a mission at the same time?
LTL: Yeah. Him and me went together for a while. That was long before I worked for the water system. Before he had a water system. I went with Henry Timmerman. He didn't knew when to go home¾ old Henry¾ he'd go out and stay all night. (chuckles)
DLL: How many nights a week did you go out?
LTL: Oh, not too many.
DLL: Did you baptize anybody?
DLL: It wasn't the happiest experience, over all?
LTL: No, I didn't like it.
DLL: Did Seventies do missionary work or just the stake missionaries?
LTL: Just the stake missionaries.
DLL: Were there many Seventies?
LTL: Oh, there were quite a few. Math White was one of the 7 Presidents. Maybe, it was in Wilford Ward, when they made me a Seventy. I remember it was Grandview Ward when the Sorensens moved into this ward, you know. He come to the Seventies Quorum over here in Grandview. I remember the first day he come in there.
DLL: How long have you been a High Priest?
LTL: Land, I can't remember!
DLL: Was that while we were on our missions?
LTL: I don't know. It was down in this ward house we're in now.
DLL: Have you ever spoken in this ward since you've lived here?
DLL: Never given a talk of any kind?
DLL: Did anybody ever ASK you to?
LTL: No. Good thing they didn't.
DLL: You had no desire to?
DLL: So the last talk you gave was your homecoming from your mission?
LTL: I never even went home!
DLL: So you didn't actually give a homecoming talk?
LTL: No. They asked me to talk once in Mutual down in Wilford Ward after I come home from a mission. Mattie Simons asked me. I gave a little talk that night.
DLL: How would you evaluate the bishops of this ward since you've lived here?
LTL: Oh, well, I've never criticized the bishops.
DLL: Were some of them more effective than others?
LTL: Oh, I don't know¾ they were all good bishops, far as I'm concerned. I don't try to find fault with the bishops.
DLL: When I was a kid I identified especially with Bishop Baker. Was HE one of the better ones? (H. Cecil Baker)
LTL: Yeah, I think he was. Bishop Howick was a good bishop. Marlowe was a good bishop. (J. Marlowe White)
DLL: Didn't Bishop Howick give several blessings to this family?
LTL: Yeah, he give Mary a blessing when she was a baby and she was passing out all the time. He just happened by here. Vera saw him and she went out and hollered at him to come in and give her a blessing. Well, she got all right, so it probably had SOMETHING to do with it. She had pneumonia.
DLL: Did the bishops visit more in those days than they do now?
LTL: Oh, they haven't come around here, I don't think.
DLL: When did you first get a testimony of the Gospel?
LTL: On my mission. I didn't want to go on a mission. The bishop talked me into it.
DLL: Did you have any religious experience, spiritual experience in gaining your testimony?
LTL: Never had any at all¾ land, no.
DLL: What made you think the Gospel was true?
LTL: Well, I was raised in it. I always thought it was true. But I didn't do much in the Church. In fact, I'd been away for 8months, when I come back from Lander, when I was workin' over there¾ when the bishop wanted to see me. I told him I didn't want to go on a mission! "You THINK about it," he says. He went and talked to Pa. Finally, I told him I'd go. I wasn't the best missionary in the world.
DLL: Have you always been a Democrat?
LTL: Most of the time. I'm no politician either.
DLL: Why have you been a Democrat?
LTL: The Democrats are generally for the laboring man¾ that's why I voted for them¾ I was a laborer.
DLL: Did you have special feelings toward Roosevelt?
LTL: Yeah, I LIKED him. Truman, too.
DLL: Did you listen to his fireside chats?
LTL: Oh, yeah. He had a way about him, that guy. He made EVERYBODY like him.
DLL: You felt that he was talking to YOU, eh?
LTL: Yeah. I guess Roosevelt went in there at the right time, anyway¾ pulled us out of the Depression. Land, I was laid off 2 years¾ never worked a day! During the Depression.
DLL: Did you ever wish that you'd been a farmer?
LTL: I worked on my dad's farm until I was 20 years old. I never had a farm of my own.
DLL: Did you think you WANTED to be a farmer at first?
LTL: Well, I thought that was what I'd do¾ work with horses and teams¾ that kind of job.
DLL: You're satisfied with what you did?
LTL: Oh, yeah, I'm satisfied.
DLL: When I was a kid you thought about getting a farm somewhere, or going back to Wyoming.
LTL: Yeah, but that didn't work out.
DLL: Did you want to do that more than once?
LTL: Oh, no particularly. I worked on a farm from the time I was a little kid. 'Til after Pa got married, and then I went out for myself. Worked on HIS farm.
DLL: Tell me about your operation for the cataract.
LTL: Wasn't nothin' to it. Just took me in there for about 30 minutes and it was over with.
DLL: How long were you in the hospital?
LTL: 5 days.
DLL: Did you enjoy that experience?
LTL: I don't enjoy going to the hospital! Been in the hospital too much now! I had to do something¾ I couldn't see!