Saturday, July 4, 2009

Kent Hulet Gardiner 1946

Kent Gardiner was born March 18, 1946 in the back room of the house his grandfather hand built at 1636 Golden Gate Avenue in L.A.  He grew up in Glendale, went to college at BYU and served in the British South Mission. In the early 70’s he hand restored a 1952 MG-TD roadster with his brother Mark's help.  Then he drove it down Colorado Blvd the night before the Rose Parade to the delight and cheers of thousands. 

In 1974, Kent met, fell in love with, and married Suzanne Marie Brown of Hacienda Heights. They had six children together during which time Kent taught school at the University Elementary School at UCLA as a demonstration teacher. Suzanne died of breast cancer in 1994. 

Kent fell in love with and married the irrepressible Deborah. He retired from UCLA after teaching there for 39 years and now lives with his wife Deborah in Eagle Mountain, UT.   Kent enjoys church service, travel, teaching, gardening, trains, cycling, old cars, camping, classical music, photography, grandchildren and family history.  


When we were young and stupid we wanted something more stylish than the Ford, but we were blessed not to have something more stylish. Our father taught us not to love the stylish things. He helped us be better disciples.

Kent from K on Vimeo.

Brent on Kent growing up:

1979 Kent Gardiner at UES, 19 minutes from Kent on Vimeo.


Kent through the years:








Summer 1961, while Kent is at BYU attending the Exporer Conference the family is mourning
the death of Elaine at Valhalla Cemetery:


1963 Explorer Conference at BYU:

1965 BYU

Kent, British South Mission and Brent Frost, British Mission,  Hyde Park Chapel, Mission photo 1966

1968 summer, I worked at the East LA Train depot:
The East L.A. depot is off of Atlantic and Ferguson Drive, just north of the 5 Fwy. It's still intact although the Whittier earthquake in 1997 did some major damage. The fortunate thing is that there is now a security fence around it to protect it from vandals.

The building just east of the depot that now belongs to a medical group was part of the U.P. offices along with the building next to it. In the 70's and into the early 80's these buildings housed the superintendent, marketing and sales, the company store, and also the chief clerks office where we use to pick up our track warrants.

The offices were all moved to West Colton after the merger, around 1997 or 1998.

Of note about the depot, it's been used in several movies but the biggest one was at the begining of the movie, Grand Central Station (1939), there's a scene where they're chasing a train on it's way to Chicago, and they pull into a suburban station and it just so happens to be East L.A.! -BMT




Christmas 1974, : "I remember getting Gnip Gnop and Stratego for Christmas when I was in 5th grade (see the 2 boxes to my right)":


The Gardiners in 1977:


1980's After my mission my best friend was Richard Watson.  Here is Richard and his boys:

Best Friend, Richard Watson and his boys

Gardiners 1989:


Watercolor from a picture on my mission by Kelsey Langlois: 



Scout camp 1959

First row LtoR: Walter Henry,  Kent Gardiner, Vernon Jolley, then Mike Reeder and Hugh Brown.
Second row: Tad Callister, Brent Frost, Wayne LeCheminant, Don Browne and Lynn Reeder. 
Standing: Mike Ragsdale, Jim LeCheminant, Steve Leeper, Gordon Christiansen, John Broberg, Brian Pettit, Charles Brown and Vernon "Rip" Ragsdale

I don't know the year.  I'm pretty sure it wasn't 1960 since that year was the National Jamboree in Colorado and I'm pretty sure the hike was before that, so 1959 seems like it could be right.  I do still have my Silver Moccasin Award: two silver moccasins hanging from a green ribbon.  I can send you a picture if you want it.

I don't remember much about the hike.  I thought we started at Switzer's Falls and ended up at Camp Verdugo Pines (about 55 miles) near Wrightwood and next to Jackson Lake and I think we stayed for a week of Summer Camp.  I think that camp is now Verdugo Pines Bible Camp  (I think they bought it from Verdugo Hills Council in 1963).  Some of the stuff I've read online says the Silver Moccasin Trail began at Charlton Flats but I thought we started at Switzer's.

We went with an older scouter (I can't remember his name) who wore shorts and the "Smokey Bear" type hat, and it became a joke that he was always having us check our socks and had us eat a lot of apples and cheese.  Ward members would meet us at campsites along the trail to resupply us.  I remember there wasn't much water available and we were always concerned about whether there would actually be water at the next planned watering spot so we could fill our canteens. 

I remember there was a series of switchbacks (just above Chilao I think) which were a killer and I think the highest point of the trail was Mt Baden Powell. BF

Clay Crowley: I took everything. My backpack weighed 2 lbs more than I did so I divided it up and put it in two backpacks. I carried one in front of me for balance. I ate regular food which is why so much weight. Everyone else ate dehydrated and were envious of me. It was an experience I will never forget. I do not remember taking our pancake skillet but it is possible. On my first campout as a Boy Scout, mom bought my food. She included cereal for my breakfast in one of those small cartons that you cut open. For milk she included canned milk. I can still remember how bad it tasted. 

KHG's Missionary Moments:
 October 4th, 1965 - Today was the first day in the mission field.  I drove up to the Y in 26 hours because just outside of Las Vegas the car broke down.  I saw Sher in a brown blouse and some levis.  We doubled with Kim Eardly and a blind date and he didn't even cut up on her (like her).  I came in to the mission home and tried to register without a pen but it didn't work.  Sherry and I parted.  She saw that you can write to the mission home.  Brother and Sister Richards are hard nosed and happy.  They have been here for 9 years.  My money is going fast.

Nov. 4, 1965 -Tonight I gave my first discussion.  The lady was Mrs. Jackson with her husband, Mr. Jackson, who is in a wheelchair.  Their father and her father-in-law was there but his hearing wasn't too cool.  It really felt good to do it but as always am disatisfied with myself.  The people were slow with the answers and I hope and pray that they will read the Book of Mormon and pray about because it is so simple, if you will take the time.  They seemed sincere and humble.  I hope that with our Heavenly Father’s help they understand our message.   I know this is the true church.

Nov. 5, 1965 - Today we tracted 8 hours.  It was tiring but it felt good to have accomplished this....
LtR, Al Keime, Kent Gardiner, Bob Layton, all from the British South Mission 1965 1967, photo taken in 2016
October 6, 2010:

Ryan, Love your children, tell them no when appropriate and don't be arbitrary, and follow through on what you say. In the end your example is what teaches the most. Who you are speaks louder than what you say. Example, NO and love are the most important. Dad

One of the most important roles of a father is to draw a line in the sand.  A father has the responsibility to see what is important in a family and decide what a family should and should not do.  Where a family lives, what school children attend are important decisions and need to be made by the father.

May 4, 2011

 I loved and treasured my first wife and when I found that my second wife was not like her: chaos began. I tried fighting back which just made matters worse. I tried complaining which made matters worse. I tried being gentle, kind and thoughtful and over time things got really good. I tried doing what she wanted me to do and didn't feel right. I did what I knew was right and I felt right. In the end I decided to do what I knew was right and being gentle, kind and thoughtful. That has made all the difference. She now loves me even when I do what I know is right and she disagrees because I'm gentle, kind and thoughtful. Love, Dad