The Life History of James Hulet Gardiner
James Hulet Gardiner kept journals during two periods of his life, first from January 1939 to September 1947. During much of that time he made daily journal entries with great detail. The second period was from 1988 to May 8, 2007, 43 days before he died.
His latter journals follow a definite pattern. They have to do with fixing the house, going to the swap meet, home teaching, repairing peoples electronic devices, recording for the blind, recording funerals, providing a satellite feed to the ward house, visits from family members, supporting missionary farewells, weddings and taking Carol to the dentist, doctor, store and church.
He went to the swap meet each month with Cal Nelson, Jeff and or Mark. Sometimes he was happy with his sales sometimes not. He usually took a day preparing for the swap meet and enjoyed getting out, meeting people, finding good deals and selling a few items.
He assisted Recording For the Blind (RFB) for many years, fixing the electronic equipment that made recordings for the blind.
He fixed TV’s, VCR’s, radios and computers for hundreds of people. His garage, yard, bedrooms, front room and dining rooms were filled with electronic items that he used in fixing everything from crystal radios to computers.
He was very active in church service, which took the form of teaching lessons, temple worship, High Priest duties, name extraction and providing direct feeds from SLC to the meeting house. He also recorded special events like funerals for people who wanted audio copies.
He was an avid home teacher who usually went out the first few days of the month to visit his families. His dedication to Floyd and Lucy Kennedy was legend. He worked with them for years, at first home teaching monthly, taking them to the store, bank and medical visits and later watching as Lucy died. Following her death he took Floyd to church for a number of years before Floyd passed away, just ten months before his own death.
I have read every journal entry and entered the ones that seem most interesting and or reveal who JH was and what he did.
All italics are other people’s words. All standard print is the words of JHG from his journals. There is a table of contents and a time line at the end of this piece.
Kent Gardiner 2008
Hope: June Hulet Gardiner was born June 1, 1921 in a 2 room ranch house southwest of Sublett in the Meadow Creek district. His father had a band of sheep to take care of, so was away from home most of the time.
Grandmother Hulet and Aunt Belva were with us for a month when June was a baby. Aunt Belva stayed until September when we moved to Declo. June was a fretful nervous baby, likely because of the lack of vegetable and fruit addition to his diet. He liked milk so well he wanted little else.
We lived in Declo until the latter part of November, after which we moved to John O. Smith ranch in Clover Lane, 7 miles south east of Malta. In April we moved nearer to Malta to Dr Sater’s desert ranch where June’s father worked until September 1922.
June learned to talk early. He said “mama” when less than 5 months old, and “daddy” before he was 6 months. He knew many Mother Goose rhymes before he was two years old and could sing several little songs before he was three years old. He had many original words. "Donger" was to show he was vexed; "sidder" was shoe," didder" was chicken," banger" was door. When he was vey vexed he would join several words together like this “Donger fire sidder, didder, banger.” It sounded like swearing. Many of his quaint sayings are still used by relatives.
He always was very thoughtful of his mother. One day he was with his Aunt Thora in a neighbor’s home. She gave him 2 cubes of sugar. He ate one but the other was for mama and no one else. He was always willing to share anything he had with others and was not jealous of another’s progress or advancement.
From the time he could sit alone he showed a great liking for mechanical things and has continued to develop along that line.
When we moved to Bridge, Idaho in April 1925, June had a brother Golden age 2 years and a sister Mary age 4 months. We didn’t live on our desert claim but put our sheep camp in Mr. L J Gunnells stack yard and stayed there until Nov. 8th when we moved into a room of their house for a month.
June helped his father measure our land although he was under 4 years of age. He would hold one end of a long rope while his father marked the distances. When he got tired his father carried him to and from the camp.
June and Golden often played with Junior Gunnell who was a year older than June. He (Junior) often vexed the little boys by telling them how much better they had things than we did. The boys didn’t like this so finally they told him, “We have the best grandma and grandpa anyway.”
June said, “Mama, Junior can’t talk plain." When he says “togever” he says “to-gedder.”
The camp was very crowded to live in so one day June said, “Someday I am going to trap a bear, a skunk and a coyote and sell their skins and then buy a trailer house. We can travel as far as we want to and camp when we get ready and not bother anyone.”
The children had only chickens for pets. Their Hulet grandparents gave them four hens when we moved away from there. We raised 17 young chickens when two of them set. The other two laid eggs for us during the whole summer and fall months. The next year we raised nearly 100 young chicks. On day June said, “Mama, how are you and daddy going to get a start of chickens. You know they are mine and Goldies. June had a keen sense of humor and at times had a very hearty laugh when animals or people did something unusual. Ex: When he threw an old clock spring up in the air and frightened an old rooster so badly he flew up on the haystack. Or when he held bread inside the screen door and moved it back and forth the chickens would move their heads as fast as he moved the bread.
One day an extra heavy sudden rainstorm came. An old hen with chicks couldn’t find shelter quick enough. One little chicken we had was dead. Mary wanted to play with it so we let her. June said “I wish Fadder in Heaven would make that chicken alive again.”
Mary played around the stove with it and dropped it on the floor a few times but finally it showed signs of life and within an hour it was running around outside with its mother. They named it “Whistler.” When June was 5 and Golden 3 years of age they would each take a little pail and carry a quart of milk from the neighbors when the weather was good. Often they made two or three trips in a day for fresh drinking water. They always wanted to go together and didn’t worry about running off to find other companions.
When June started school he was very timid and bashful but didn’t miss a day the first year except one when the bus couldn’t get there for snow. One day he decided he didn’t want to go so his father just picked him up and carried him to the bus. He never tried to stay home again unless it was necessary.
From the time he was very small he could see pictures and forms in the clouds, on mountainsides etc, before others would notice them. His schoolbooks and tablets bear out the idea that he had a liking for drawing and cartooning.
The Sears Place
JH: We visited the site of the "Sear's Place." It is a few miles south and a little east of Malta. We lived in the "Sears House" from the mid to late 20's. I was very happy in the "Sears House." We had a boundless territory to play in, lots of interesting people going by on the highway, although we were afraid of gypsies. Mary remembers the gypsies pressing their faces against the screen door asking for handouts. My mother would not allow them in the house.
There was at least one roundup and cattle branding each year. That took place in a corral about a hundred yards from our house. We loved to see the cowboy’s rope and tie the cattle so they could not get up. We did not like the branding with a hot iron. There was lots of haying activity in the summer and we loved to watch the men unload the hay with horse-powered derricks and a lot of skill and sweat.
My mother always had a lot of chickens. We ate a lot of chicks and eggs. (The Sears Place is the site of "Sore-Top.") One of our chores was feeding the chickens. We did not have a well, so we carried water from the neighbor's well. Also, we boys carried milk from the neighbor's until we got a cow.
My father set up some horseshoe pegs and we spent many hours pitching horseshoes. We built many of our own toys. I remember a piece of auto tire fashioned into a dump truck. It took a little imagination but we spent many days playing with it. Someone gave me a kite. The neighbor boy volunteered to help us get it aloft. He got it so high it was just a tiny kite in the sky. The wind was good but a sudden Idaho gust snapped the string. The kite probably landed somewhere in Wyoming. (Nebraska?)
One summer, the neighbor man, Art Pierce, hired me to watch a gate and gave me a quarter for the job. I was so excited at this flood of wealth that I ran for home. The quarter flew out of my hand. The whole family looked for the quarter. It is still there. One summer, Art Pierce hired Golden and me to watch the access gate to a yard where the crew was stacking hay. There was always a bunch of hungry horses around, anxious to get a free snack of delicious new hay. If they got in the way of the haying crew, chaos resulted. We took the job seriously and gathered stick and stones to keep the horses away. We did pretty well with most of the horses but one big, brown horse with mournful eyes was not impressed with our effort. He practically walked over us and when driven away, would try to beat us back to the gate. We decided this was a serious threat to our success as gatekeepers. We gathered some bigger rocks and heavier sticks and seemed to impress our big, too friendly irritation. We drove him about an eighth of a mile down the road and he seemed discouraged and we were encouraged. We hurried back to the stack yard but to our dismay there was a lot of confusion and loud, verbal abuse going on in the yard. The other stray horses had taken advantage of green help. The strays were in everyone's way and ran around the stack yard when confronted. We did not get paid for that day but there is a good lesson there. There are a lot more happy memories of the "Sears Place." We had very little money but I did not know it. We were the richest people in the world for love and experiences.
In 1927, the same year that Lindbergh flew across the Atlantic. I was 6 years old. My dad’s father died in 1927. My dad went down to Salt Lake for the funeral and while he was there he stayed for conference. My dad had said that he was praying about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. He went to the priesthood meeting at the Tabernacle. He was with his brother Charlie He is looking up at the speaker, as I recall the speaker was talking about the Book of Mormon, as my Dad was looking up he noticed something to the left and above the choir seats. In that area, there are two personages dressed in white standing in mid air. And my Dad is flabbergasted. So he turns to Charlie and says, “What do you think of that?” and Charlie says, “Think of what?” And Dad says, aaa, and It’s gone. They were dressed in white and had white robes on and they were loose and they were just looking out over the audience.
JH: I started to school in 1927. We were still living in the one shack near Arthur Pierce’s. My first teacher was Miss Irene Anderson. My timidity was as bad as it could be. I clearly remember refusing to talk to my teacher. Miss Anderson taught me in the second grade too. In the spring of 1929 we moved to the place a mile and a half south of Malta. We kids thought it was a real treat to have a house with four rooms. We played with Earl and Sid Kassman who lived across the road.
In August I was baptized in the creek behind the house. I can remember when I went to church to be confirmed. I wore a pair of white-stripped overalls!
Black Pine (below) near Malta (in the 50’s Fred, JH, Elaine and Kent climbed this mountain together. JH went back to the car to retrieve the lunches and was totally exhausted by the end of the hike.
In the third grade my teacher was Miss Crathorn. Midd Gladys Smith taught me in the fourth. I really liked Gladys for a teacher. About Christmas time the schoolhouse burned down. I remember the time because we had all “broughten” each other presents and they went down with the schoolhouse. We felt worse over the presents than the schoolhouse. For the balance of the year we went to school in a warehouse.
During the summer and after school, Golden and I were kept busy, doing chores, helping clean the land of sagebrush and other work around the place.
Early the next year we moved into a new brick schoolhouse. We really liked the new building with its steam heat and new desks. That year, 1931, I was in the fifth grade. My teacher was Miss Etta Jones; about this time I began reading everything I could lay my hands on. I loved to read, and I was fascinated by the new things I could learn from books. Dad was the janitor for the new schoolhouse so we kids got plenty of exercise pushing brooms. He got $50 per month for the job.
JH: I suffered from tonsillitis from the time I was about seven or 8 until I had them taken out in the navy. I can remember some summers a guy named Burt Cottle, hired Golden and me to put up his wild hay. He had a boy name Jay who is now the bishop out there. We’d come in at noon and I’d be running the fork at the end of the hay and Golden would be running the dairy horse, and Burt was stacking. By noon you’ve moved tons of stuff in the morning, and by noon you’re out of energy. My hands were all swollen and my wrists were huge and my knees were swollen and tender and couldn’t walk. And my elbows were real sore. I don’t think we had a doctor look at me but my aunt Eve came out to help my mother and she put me in sweat bath in a bathtub. It was a mental tube this big around. That’s all there is folks. She’d put a sheet around me or a blanket and she pour hot water as hot as I could stand, and the sweat would just pour off of me. She also gave me soda water to drink. But I’d urinate white. Baking soda water, not pop. I had rheumatic fever, obviously;. I was in bed about six weeks. The doctor lately said I don’t have any heart damage. We couldn’t afford a doctor, we didn’t have a doctor.
I played the trumpet a little while. They had a band in school. My dad played the violin and the guitar. I can remember when we moved to that place in the early thirties and we went down to Salt Lake for something and he came back with a guitar. He took this guitar and tuned it up and he strummed the guitar. You’ve seen the pictures of the cobra in India where it comes up out of the basket. That was me. I was the cobra. I had never heard anything like that in my life. I had never heard a sound in my life like this sound of this guitar. It was so clear and pure. For church we’d have a foot pump organ. The person pumping the organ was pumping with both feet. The air went to the pipes. That was the organ. I had never heard a sound so clean, and pure and beautiful. That was before we had a radio. My dad used to play for dances, both for the church and or the Grange. The grange is an association of farmers and ranchers banded together to promote their cause. There’d be a piano. I couldn’t afford to go. I don’t have any money. They’d pay him with refreshments. It was a fiddle. He was sawing away.
For breakfast lots of eggs, we had our own chickens. My dad always had fried potatoes, and onions fried in lard. Pig lard. My mother would have cornmeal, because it was cheap, always bread, white bread. She always made the bread, I don’t remember ever having store bought bread. We’d always have dessert. We’d always have canned peaches. We’d can peaches in the fall. We’d buy them for a dollar a bushel delivered. So that was always good. She’d bottle pears, but mostly peaches. She’d also bottle turkey meat. Pickles are wonderful. Those pickles were something else. A typical breakfast would be some kind of cereal with lots of milk and lots of butter. We’d make our own in a two-quart jar. Dinner would be lots of boiled potatoes and quite a few beans boiled. For breakfast, sometimes pancakes. Sometimes we’d have bacon powder biscuits. Dad would frequently cook the breakfast. Lots of potatoes, any way you could cook potatoes. Potatoes were so cheap. During the depression you could buy potatoes which were plenty good to eat for fifty cents a ton. We would take these potatoes and boil them in fifty-gallon drums and feed them to the pigs. The pigs loved it. The milkman would take the milk to Burley to the cheese factory and on the way back he would load up with potatoes to save on gas coming back. He’d load them up just to get them out of there.
In the sixth grade I had my first man teacher, Shirley Barlow. Near the close of that year, 1932-33 we went down to Grandpa Hulets in Peterson and left Dad home. Mom needed a rest. She always worked too hard. We stayed all summer. We ran around with Uncle John’s kids. I herded cows with Jay for a lot of the time. I can still remember how good the milk, bread and butter and fresh vegetables tasted when we came home at night. We went back to Malta in the fall. In October I was ordained a Deacon.
JH: In the midst of the great depression of the 1930's, many of us were delighted and fascinated by the marvels of radio. For our family, as we were scratching out a bare existence from the dusty, alkali flats of Southern Idaho, owning a real operating radio seemed impossible. Our area did not have electric power nor could we afford a battery operated set. On General Conference Sundays, some of us walked the mile and a half north to town to listen to KSL conference coverage, courtesy of the service station operator. We enjoyed hearing President Grant and other conference speakers.
Some other radio attractions were the Joe Louis fights and the coverage of Ab Jenkins breaking world speed records on the salt flats. For those events, we walked a mile south to the highway checking stations to listen to their radio. We loved radio.
When Grandpa Hulet was able to get rural power service to his farm in Peterson, Utah, he gave us his battery operated "Airline" radio. We were delighted with the prospect of our very own radio. We pooled enough money from family members to mail order the B and C batteries and figured the A battery, used to heat the tube filaments, would have to be borrowed from our very old auto. (Those were 6-volt auto batteries.)
With the arrival of the batteries, we put up an antenna, pulled the battery from the car, hooked everything up and turned it on. We soon mastered the three tuning knobs and were thrilled with the results. A new world opened to us.
We were very frugal radio listeners. Only important listening was allowed. But, even so, the batteries were a problem; especially the A battery from the car. For mandatory economy, we used the car only when absolutely necessary. As a result, keeping the battery charged became a major problem. When we ran down the battery listening to
the radio, we had to crank the car by hand or pull it with a horse to start it. Not a pleasant prospect on an icy morning.
For all my life, I had seen my parents toil to exhaustion trying to keep up with farm and family needs. Washing clothes had always been a difficult task for my mother, who insisted on cleanliness. I recall her heating clothes in a "boiler" on the kitchen stove, scrubbing the clothes on a washboard, then rinsing and wringing by hand, then finally hanging the still very wet clothes on the clothesline. Winter or summer the clothes dried quickly in the ever-present breezes. The final product was wonderfully fresh, clean clothes for the family. As the children could, they helped with the washing but there is a never-ending list of tasks to do on a farm.
When we were in our very early teens, my brother and I were admiring the latest washing machines shown in the Sears catalog. We knew our mother needed to be spared from some of her burden. We checked the prices on washers driven by a one-cylinder gasoline engine - not an electric motor. Remember we did not have electric power in our area. As I recall, the price was about $45. We pooled our summer work savings and found we could handle that much. But hold on! The catalog showed a gasoline driven washing machine that came with a generator that would charge a 6-volt battery while doing the washing. How much more to include the generator? About $5. No question, we wanted that generator so we prepared to order the whole works. We would only have a few cents left.
Then our mother got involved. How about your tithing? The bubble burst. We paid our tithing and ordered the washer without the generator. We were disappointed but were pleased that our mother and the family would benefit, relief from the washboard and hand wringing the wet clothes.
As delivery time approached, we were excited about the benefits this new machine would make. Each day after school, we dropped by the post office-freight depot to check. Finally it came. We checked the sturdy, wooden shipping crate and noted the address. It was ours. We peered between the crate slats and admired the shiny new machine - complete with a small gasoline engine and a coiled, flexible metal, exhaust pipe. But alas, there was something extra connected to the engine. Could that be a generator?
It looked like a generator to me. What a cruel twist of fate! Sears had sent the wrong machine. Obviously, the washer would have to be exchanged for the one we had ordered and paid for. We were out of money and discouraged - another long wait for the matter to be corrected.
Shortly thereafter, our father picked up the mail, including a letter from Sears. They said, "We are sorry we could not supply the unit you ordered. We hope the unit shipped will be satisfactory."
I don’t know where my dad was but he left us home once and my sister Mary was up on the wagon, my brother Golden and I were throwing hay up on the wagon, and I’ve got a big fork-load of hay up like this and I’m going to put it up on the wagon and she says, “Hey there’s a snake on the bottom of that,” and she says, “Don’t throw it up here,” and I’ve already thrown it, and it was up there, and she says” There is a snake here, and I said “Well, it won’t hurt you.” And so we take the load in and we are unloading it and the team on the wagon get kinda nervous and spooked and start jumping around and I go back by the front wheel of the wagon and here is a rattlesnake that has come down through the hay and dropped onto the ground. We grew up with rattlesnakes, no one ever got bit. But rattlesnakes will generally avoid you and what they will do, when they hear you is head for greasewood. Greasewood is a green sagebrush that has thorns on it somewhat like a bougainvillea about that sharp. So the snake crawls into the greased for protection. They don’t want to mess with you. We had hundreds of rattlesnakes around.
That’s a typical haying day. Haying is hard work. When I got to be about 16 or so I got so I could keep up with a man pitching hay. He’d be on the other side and I could keep up with him. You’d be racing with him really. Good wages in those days was two dollars a day. That’s what my dad earned working hay. When we worked on our own place we got nothing. We got cow feed. But when we got all that work done we’d work the cows. Feed the hogs, and chickens.
We never milked over about 10 cows when I was there. We sold the milk. It takes about 5 to 10 minutes to do a cow. We milked sitting on a stool, which has one leg. It is a piece of two by for with a thing nailed across it. And you’d sit down by the cow and you’d hold the tail between your legs and the foam on the bucket would be this thick, and you’d pour it into the buck through a strainer.
When we first moved to the home place in 1927, 28, somewhere in there so Golden and I would be 6 or seven, and my Dad put both of us on the wagon because he didn’t have any help on the derrick horse. And Golden and I could just barely lift the Jackson Fork to lift the hay. And then we had to guide it on the cable to get it over in the right position. We were it.
My mother didn’t want us to have a gun, but dad didn’t have a 22, he had a 25/35, which made a big noise when it went off. It would go through four inches of steel. When he’d shoot beef, he would shoot them in the head with it. He didn’t like to hit them in head with a hammer or anything like that. Which some people did, hit them between the eyes with a hammer. He would shoot them in the head . We were fourteen when we bought a Winchester single shot. I think Jeffrey still has it. A single shot 22. And did we ever love that gun. You’d only get one shot off but you could do a lot of damage with one shot. And we’d use shorts, they are the 22 ammunition. We had millions of sparrows and rabbits. Rabbits ate us out. Every night they would come into a wheat field or an alfalfa field and every night they’d encroach another 100 feet probably into the field Pretty soon you’d have nothing left. During those days you’d have a rabbit drives in the 30’s. You’d get everybody in town and run; out a big V shape chicken wire fence, maybe a half a mile wide. They’d get everybody in town out there banging dish pans whooping and hollering and make a big circle around it and drive all these rabbits into this V. Then you’d get a wagon spoke or something and you’d get into it and you’d get a rabbit going this way and another when you came back this way. Pretty quick you’ve got rabbits like this all down toward the center. I don’t like the sound they make when they are screaming for mercy. They scream something like a little child. It’s kind of a mean thing. But the reason we had rabbits is because they had a bounty on coyotes, because the sheep men would lose. Coyotes adore sheep. They love mutton. They go crazy for a sheep.
I worked with a girl at NBC who had a truck line up in Idaho, and she said one time she was taking a load of sheep in a flat bed truck but it had a little thing around them so the sheep couldn’t get out. And she stopped to check her load. And coyotes jumped up on the load, because they were so crazy to get at the sheep. They had a bounty of a dollar or so on coyotes. The rabbits just mushroomed, wiping farmers out. If the coyotes aren’t there to eat them then the rabbits just take over. From a farmers point of view we wanted the coyotes back.
The ammunition was quite cheap if you got shorts. And we’d go out every Christmas vacation and shoot as many rabbits as we could. If you see a rabbit running it would make a circle around you. So you’d be waiting for the rabbit to come up over here and you’d pop him off. Even after I was married we’d take our car out there at night where the rabbits were coming in and we’d shoot them in the headlights. Pow pow pow. It was a great sport but kinda dangerous. One kid in Malta got killed. Some kid was sitting on the top of the car popping off rabbits in the headlights. This comes up and says, “How bout?” and got it right in the head. We’d shoot, we loved to shoot tin cans we just like to shoot, and it is quite a great sport. My mother didn’t ever want to have it loaded. And we’d did dumb things. It had a safety on it. Once I released the safety and the gun went off and went by my head. But we did love to shoot. My brother got a small gage shot gun. A 210 and he would shoot magpies in flight. they’d steel eggs from our chickens. There was once a bounty on magpies. It wasn’t a big income, I can tell you that.
I loved to ice skate, and in the middle 30’s they dug the gravel pit out. It was gravel from the Utah Idaho border into Burley, I guess. It was a rough road. Washboard. I remember once while we were living in Malta a Model T and a pickup with a thing in the back was coming down the road making a big racket. And I could hear some dog yipping and howling. We ran out to see what was wrong. This car is traveling north and this dog has jumped out of the back and it being drug along. By his neck, his front feet are working and its rear feet are being drug along. It just made me sick. We didn’t have any car and couldn’t help. Bad memory. When they oiled the road they dug this pit out across the street. Before that they had an area they played baseball. Then they had a rodeo. But then the water level was so high it filled the pit. We passed off our merit badge swimming in there. That is where I learned how to swim in that old gravel pit. But then sometimes if the water level was too low, we’d dam off the stream and at least get in and cool off. It was hot and dry. Sometimes we’d plant wheat and the southern winds would come and the wheat would turn brown and just die.
In the winter the stream would overflow and sometimes you could skate a half a mile unimpeded. But we didn’t have any skates. They cost a dollar. So we went for a long time green with envy about the people with ice skates. And when our grade school burnt down. That was when I was in third grade just before Christmas, the kids have just bought presents and wrapped them up under the tree and it burnt to the ground. We didn’t have electricity. The man who owned the property north of us had a big garden, bigger than your lot. He flooded it and it froze. And it made a beautiful skating area. We were chomping at the bit.
Spinning tops was a big thing. Marbles were big. We didn’t have the money to buy tops because they cost probably a dime. We couldn’t afford it. Marbles. My Aunt Eva, my fathers sister, would send us a package at Christmas, it might be used. It was a nice gesture on her part. But we sure liked it. You’d play holes. You had to complete a course of shooting marbles. You had to shoot into holes and you’d try to knock the other guy away. You shoot them with your thumb. We had some marbles. Probably Aunt Eva sent them to us.
January 27, 1939 Friday, up at 7:00 a.m., did regular chores, which consisted of milking 3 cows, feeding pigs and turkeys.
January 28, 1939, Saturday, buried “Tip” (horse) in the East end of gravel pit. Chopped a supply of wood. Went to Priesthood Meeting at 7:30. Dad is snowed in at the logging camp in Sublet Hills.
January 30, 1939 Sunday, Went to Sunday school and meeting, administered the sacrament for both meetings. Measured my height and found it to be 5ft. 9 11/16 inches. Had my haircut by mom for the first time since I was about 4 years old. Huh? I surely must have needed one. Studied Geometry for about an hour. Adjusted crystal on crystal set during the afternoon till I could hear KSL (Radio Station) and could hear music pretty good but couldn’t make out speech. After dark I got another station with the set. It was KFDK Sacramento. That makes 10 stations I have heard with the Philmore Crystal Set.
February 4, 1939 Saturday, received a “chain letter” from Aunt Belva yesterday, which promised me prosperity if I would mail a copy of the letter to five persons. I wished to have prosperity if it would say, “Trust in God, who supplies every need.” Also bad luck if I broke the chain. I was to send no money. This sounded like a lotta hooey but Mom said she received a letter similar to this one and completely disregarded it (shortly after she was married). They lost practically everything they owned which amounted to thousands of dollars. I figured I hadn’t better take a chance on what I own (about $4) so I complied with the letter, which said the letters must be mailed within 24 hours.
April 6, 1939, Thursday, Thelma Taylor said she surely liked me. Gulp, wattayah think of that? Why any gal should think anything of me is more than I can see. I can’t dance a step, I’m an ignorant looking sap. Not smart in school. I can’t play my trumpet, I can’t sing. I haven’t any muscle. I’m not well dressed. I can’t speak in public. I’m not congenial. I have to wear glasses. I’m lazy (maybe she doesn’t know these things) and my breath’s bad and hand and fingers and teeth and neck and ears are usually dirty.
March 29, 1939 Wednesday, bought Cliff Butlers bike from him for $6. Allen McGraw wanted it but it seems that I beat him to it. Cliff bought Fred, Earl, Golden and myself and the bike home after school. The bike is a “The World” has drop center steel rims, balloon tires, a very good seat, poor fenders (but I can fix them) “steer horn” handlebars, some broken spokes, crooked wheels, a shift trimmed with white, color and some rust and dirt also.
April 9, 1939 Sunday, worked on my bike today and along with Golden’s good assistance we had it going by 3:00 pm.
May 27, 1939 Saturday, fixed the bike up with the new parts. Which came, a bit, a new axel, 10 nuts, bearings, or crank hanger, brake, and forks. The bearings of the forks are too big. I’ll send them back.
June 1, 1939, Thursday, 18 yrs. old today. I didn’t know that it was my birthday until Golden reminded me, when he came up with the wagon barrels of water and with “Fat” and “Tails.” Golden and I quartered logs while one dragged, started on biggest gulley of logs cutting them down we got 2 before quitting time.
July 4, 1939 Tuesday, put a firecracker Golden found under a can this morning and the fuse was so short it went off before I had a chance to get out. Nearly broke my glasses, got a red eye, a skinned nose and cheek and a swollen upper lip. No more firecrackers. The folks came over in their old Model A Ford – Didn’t go to the big celebration.
July 14, 1939 Friday, Helped a feller fix a tire (lent him our jack and pump) he stayed in the lane north of the house tonight. He gave us an old but good carburetor. Hot and sultry. Bike tires came.
July 15, 1939 Saturday, Greased bike and put new tires on. The feller we helped last night put the carburetor on. (our car) We gave them some milk and a dollar.
November 17, 1939 Friday, Grandpa broke his hip in the last few days. So Mom went down on the 5:15 am bus, she got in at the checking station.
November 5, 1939 Sunday, Fixed a fairly good dial (horizontal) on my homemade crystal set. At the top of the page is a diagram of how it will look when finished.
December 21, 1939 Thursday, went up to Red Rock and got a Christmas tree on my bike. It touches the ceiling of the shack (not in a stand or board) started out about 1:00 pm and got home about 4:30 or 5:00 pm. .
JH: I had the seven dollars and I had to rebuild it virtually. I loved that bike. I’d go ten miles up to the Bridge place to check on the horses. I’d always take a patch kit in case I ran over a greased thorn. Or a sharp rock. I’d take it up in the mountains to get a Christmas Tree. I’d come down with the tree and an ax. And my weight plus the weight of the tree and the weight of the ax and putting the coaster brake on. You know what a coaster brake is? It is where they have the brake in the hub. It would be smoking. It was downhill with all the weight. So I’d have to stop and put snow on it to cool it off. It was going to just burn the thing up.
1940 - Muskrat
February 6, 1940 Tuesday, Sunday I found a hole in the floor of the granary. It had been gnawed by something. I suspected a rat but they are very scarce in this country. I set a big coyote trap over the hole so that anything coming up through the hole would be caught. The next morning I found the trap about 4 feet from the hole and blood marks on some boards. In the trap was a bit of bone, a little fur, which Leo B said, was muskrat and some hairs, which looked like cat whiskers.
Today I noticed the turkey squawking at something, which at the first glimpse I thought was a cat but another look showed me, it was a Muskrat. He seemed to be taking his time so I ran and got my chicken net and caught him just as he was ready to go into the willows again. Talk about nauseating, the poor little critter’s nose was gone back to about a quarter of an inch from his eyes. He was having a little difficulty in breathing in through the bloody holes left in his head. His nose was snapped off by the trap except probably a piece of bone, which he probably had an awful time breaking off to get out of the trap. Golden shot him and I gave him to Arvil who is going to skin him and tan the hide. Arvil has tanned a few hides and is getting good at it. He has made a few very good gloves out of buckskin. He tanned a coyote hide for Deward Hall. Made a rug out of it. He has about 10 hides over there ready to tan or in the process.
February 18, 1940 Sunday, Went to Bridge on the bike and Golden on Ginger and got the 3 horses, Bonnie, the Big Boy colt and Shorty. Cold and wind from northwest.
February 20, 1940 Tuesday, Golden became slightly irritated on the school bus tonight when Ed Hitt and Dan Ratchskowhy got him behind the ear with a wad. So he went back and proceeded to bring 2 bones with hair, eyes and teeth together violently.
March 4, 1940, Monday, went to mutual. They had a dance practice; on the way home I was simmering along at a pretty good rate when I suddenly saw a bike loom up before me, and one at the side of me. None of us had lights. I lit in the gravel at the side of the road and Marva Scott plopped on the oil and groaned. Ha! Ha! That seems funny after it is all over. I didn’t know the other gal. My bike suffered a fork bent so badly that the wheel went to pieces under the bike. Wheels bent and 2 speed shift lever damaged. I think I can fix it up again. I ditched the wheat patch today.
1940 In the spring and summer of 1940 I worked on a farm west of
Fillmore, Utah. The area was known as Flowell. The farmers got their irrigation water by simply drilling and installing large pipes, large amounts of water flowed out, without any pumps. Bordering Flowell to the west was an extinct volcano of relatively recent date, speaking geologically. The seismic disturbances to the west probably had much to do with the captured water supply. It was downhill from Fillmore.
One bright summer day, I was assigned the task of watering the hayfields on the Hatton Place, which bordered the volcano and lava flow, which went north. I was pleased to get the chance of inspecting the lava flow. There was hay growing on flat ground and abruptly there was an 8 to 10 foot, nearly vertical, wall of lava. It was so clean and bright it looked like it had been deposited yesterday. I never did get to the top to survey the extent of the lava flow.
At lunchtime I decided to eat lunch in the abandoned house that was on the property. It obviously had once been a family home. There was still a lot of furniture in the house, including a windup phonograph console. And it worked. I enjoyed a few records then I put on the MISSOURI WALTZ. I was stunned by my reaction to that tune my father liked to play on his violin. I was immediately a basket case. I was HOMESICK. This was my first extended stay away from home. I was not prepared for the depth of emotion I felt in missing home and family. I had to get back to the shovel.
September 1, 1941, we put up a Neddo’s in Providence. Heber and I registered for the first quarter of Radio Engineering course.
Was broke when I came home for Christmas and I had to borrow $25 from Dad to start out again. I came back to school and continued on with my radio.
3641 Seneca Ave, LA
After some heavy thinking (having to wait to be drafted and being frustrated) I found a purpose, which I could use the few months for. I am nearly sure there was a purpose behind it, at any rate I was married on the 19th of May 1943. I probably would never have married the most wonderful girl in the world had it not been for the acceptance (of a draft day) and further back even to my serial no. ( a number which made him wait to be drafted.)
Doing Hard time
August 4, 1943, I went with Elaine and Dad Scholl to his trial for cruelty to animals, a neighbor’s dog being the cause of the row. We went to the hall of justice at 9:30 am where we met Audrey. Dad decided to have a Jury trial, before our case came up I had to leave for work. Elaine and Audrey testified but the other side had a “fixed” story. They will continue the trial tomorrow.
August 5, 1943, Thursday, Elaine and Dad went to the court before I got up. They reported that they lost the case. All Dad did was throw a couple of clods at the dog when he barked in our yard and kept waking him up. The neighbors claimed he threw the dog against the side of the garage, heaved a big rock at him and locked him up in the garage for 3 days – etc. Dad applied for probation. He will be sentenced or receive a judgment August 19. I feel sorry for the neighbors, they must have little conscience or else they feel inferior and are trying in this way to show people they are better than some one else. How will this experience bring out the statement made by the “First Presidency” Oct 3 1942, “in the midst of this welter of lying and deception, of woe and misery, etc - the only saving force on earth are the eternal principles of the everlasting Gospel of Christ, etc. If principles of the gospel had been applied, no such experience would have happened.
August 7, 1943, Saturday, when I got up this morning I couldn’t find my pants! I did find all of my belongings out of the pockets – except my watch. Elaine was washing my pants and watch –(it cost me $1.50 (Ingersoll)). She rescued the watch from the dirty water, I pried the back from it poured the water out and sat it in the sun to dry for a couple of hours while I went to the bank and got a haircut. Now it runs as well as ever – It’s been running steady for two years.
August 11, 1943 Wednesday– I got a letter from Kent this morning. He is in basic training at Merced, California - instructors are plenty tough on him. He soloed last Sunday in a BT-13. I never had a better pal while I was in school and while we worked at Lockheed together. Kent is a great guy. There is none better.
August 17, 1943, Tuesday, here is a picture that was taken before I was married. Elaine took it with my box camera. It was taken on April 22, 1943 according to a diary, which I fortunately kept for a couple of weeks at that time. I was born June 1, 1921 so in this picture I am 21 years old. I weighed about 155 pounds stripped. The smile (very rare) was likely intended for the taker, for the proposal came April 27, 1943. I was living at Mrs. Zimmerhans when this shot was taken. This is the most recent snapshot available. I have one of Elaine but in order not to make the page to bulky. I will leave it for another sheet. We had some prints made for our Book of Remembrance. There are some portraits taken since this shot in Book of Remembrance.
August 19, 1943 Thursday, when I got home the “Beneficial Life” man tried to sell me some insurance. After he had gone I went out into the kitchen and found Elaine very excited. Someone had called her and informed her that Dad had been sentenced to 30 days in jail. They had told her that Dad had said to get the car from downtown on the Broadway Hill. He said a key was in a little box under the running board. We dashed for a streetcar and made our way to the car. After a little struggle we got the lid off the can and got the key out. We unlocked the car and came home. Elaine called up and found out when we could go see Dad. Audrey called so Elaine gave her the story. It is quite a stiff penalty for something he didn’t do. The dog isn’t worth 30 days.
August 20, 1943, Friday, Here is a picture of Elaine- this shot taken April 22, 43. Elaine was born 28 April, 1925 so in this picture she is 17 years old, but was 18 a few days later, she weighed 100 pounds. We were married May 19, 1942 at Salt Lake City Utah, height 5’ 5”.
August 22, 1943, Sunday, at the jail we obtained a pass from a couple of “trustees” who were stationed at the door. After a little while we were allowed to go in and talk to Dad through two thicknesses of heavy screen. There was hardly any light on him. We were allowed fifteen minutes. They took everything from him when he came in. All he had of his own possessions were his hat, suspenders and small change, and the rest was prison garb. They wouldn’t allow him to have any socks, but he did have his own shoes. We asked him about his tools at work and everything else we would think of. He got to go outside a little and wasn’t confined to a single cell but shared a large room with other prisoners. They wouldn’t let us give him anything but $2.00, not even any writing paper. Paper, candy, gum fruit etc. were available inside for a fair price he told us.
August 25, 1943, it might prove interesting at this point to give a brief history of my draft record. On Feb 14, 1942, I registered with Local Board 226 in Los Angeles at the time I was 20 years old and resided at 3641 Seneca Ave., LA with the Sanders family. Mildred Brown was the registrar. In the National Lottery, my serial number was 1815 a fairly low number, which netted me the very low number of 10,661 with the local board. In other words, I would be the 661st man to be called for service. Take away the married and physically unfit men that would be found in six hundred and sixty one men and I would be one of the first of the outfit. My case came up soon, I requested an occupational deferment from Lockheed much to my surprise I was granted a six month deferment, June 22, 1942 till December 22, 1942. My room mate, Kent Horne, got a high number but when his case came up they had quite giving deferments so my low number proved to be advantageous. Kent, in order to get the service he desired, joined the Army Air Corps. I continued working for Lockheed. After a preliminary physical, the draft board put me in 1A on Dec 29, 1942, but a vote of 3-0. I was glad I would soon be in the army.
On their own initiative, Lockheed sent an appeal to the state appeal board. After a few months of impatient waiting, I received a notice of continuance of classification. On “appeal” on April 5, 1943, I found myself still “1A”. I took a stroll over to the draft board to see how soon I could expect to be inducted. “We have an acceptance from Lockheed for you,” I was informed by a secretary. An acceptance is a temporary deferment until a replacement can be trained. The acceptance was until August 1, 1943. I used the time to my advantage and got married. On August 4, I received a notice to report for a preliminary physical. On Monday, August 9, 1943 I got my 1A. Now all I have to do is “WAIT.”
September 4, Saturday, “Order to Report of Induction, the President of the United States, to June Hulet Gardiner - order no 10,666.” As my “career” as an aircraft builder draws to a close, I think a picture of the plane I have worked on for over 2 years might prove interesting. Here is one I clipped from the company’s official paper, “The Lockheed-Vega Star” the picture is reproduced from a painting. It shows rather clearly the design and construction of the “Lockheed Lighting or “P38”.
September 6, 1943 Labor Day – I didn’t’ go to work today. Elaine and I went down town this morning to see the lawyer, Mr. North in the Merritt Bldg. We made some affidavits for him to the effect that we knew that there was no dog in the garage on the Sunday of May 16, 1943. Audrey typed them for him so we could sign them right then. From there we went to Audrey and Glen’s place at 10810 Grand Avenue. We chatted a while with Glen, Audrey, Elaine and I went to the beach at Hermosa while Glen went to work at the theatre. We went swimming then we lay in the sun and ate our lunch. At four thirty we came home and Audrey showed us some of their picture albums and gave me these pictures of them selves. We went to the show at about eight. We went up to the projector booth to see Glen until the last show started, then we sat in the theater. After the show, we went back with Glen and Audrey to their house to get out belongings and came home.
Last Day at Lockheed
Excerpts from letters written by
A/s J. H Gardiner Co 43-400
U.S. Navel Training Station’s
September 14, 1943, Tuesday, my last day at Lockheed, did some packing and cleaning up. At work, I worked only a little more than half a day. After lunch at 8:00, I helped Jimmy a little while, then I cleaned out my toolbox and sorted out the companies tools. Then I went around and told some of my friend’s goodbye. I saw among others, my old colored partner, Oczane G DeHaas…….
Note: James served in the Navy from September 15, 1943 to January 7, 1946 or 2 years, 3 months, 23 days. He was on furlough for 25 days.
September 15, 1943, Wednesday, No sooner had I dropped off to sleep than Elaine was shaking me and telling me to get up “Its 5:30,” she said with a great effort I got up took a bath and ate some breakfast. At a quarter after six I caught a streetcar and went to 610 S. Main and to room 299 where a few other fellows were waiting. ……We then lined up and marched upstairs where we were X-rayed after we stripped down to the waist. Then we put on our shirts and went downstairs to where we had started. Then a Doc took our blood pressure. We then stripped except for shoes (no socks) and a bag for our valuables around our necks. Clad thus we were weighed, measured for height, chest expansion, and then we were asked if we had ever had syphilis or tuberculosis or diabetes, then we gave a sample for urinalysis “half full only”. A doctor probed around in my mouth, looked at my tonsils or stomach I don’t know which, counted my teeth and shoved me into the next room. There a Doc lined up five of us, felt us for ruptures, looked at us for piles and shoved us to another doctor who took our pulse, and listened to our hearts and lungs made us touch the floor 12 times, then listened to our hearts again. We hopped into our clothes and then had our ears and eyes tested or did we have that before? I don’t remember. Anyway a guy whispered to us from across the room for our hearing test with all the testing over we were given our papers and told to report to room 299 to the selecting board. An officer looked over my papers and sent me to another. He looked over my papers and asked, “Do you have a ham license?”
No I answered.
“Gardiner we’re going to put you in the NAVY,” said he.
“That will be quite impossible because my eyes are only 20/40 and 20/50 without correction,” I told him
“They are OK,” he said.
I gulped a couple of times and went as directed to a naval officer who looked over my papers and did some writing on them. A slight gust of wind could easily have toppled me. I was so astonished.
October 6, 1943, San Diego, for cigarette butts and spittoons, they have what are called buckets half filled with water. They hold about two and a half gallons. One of the guys didn’t go marching to regulations in the washing of his bag so the Chief petty officer our big boss dumped a butt bucket in his sea bag. It was full of cigarette butts, spit, etc – some punishment.
October 9, 1943, Saturday, A guy left his clothes soaking in a bucket (against regulations). The CPO dumped them out on the ground and poured a couple of butt buckets over them and then made the whole company march over them. The guy was washing them for half a day. I’m still waiting for this life to get tough. I don’t see anything hard about it except being away from those I love.
October 29, 1943 Tuesday, I’ve been to Mission Beach twice since last night. First night we went out on busses. The main event was to tread water for 10 minutes. Today we marched both ways, much to the disgust of a lot of the company. I enjoyed it. My legs are getting as hard as rocks. The kid behind me was swearing at about every step for the last 2 miles. We went first thing this morning. The water seemed warmer than last night.
November 11, 1943, Thursday, to put it mildly some of the kids are going nuts waiting for their draft to come through. Even this stoic one, senses the deep emotions of unrest. Rumors are having a field day. One thing remains a fact. I don’t know where I’ll be sent or when I may be a guard for an indefinite time.
You likely heard over the radio about the two P58’s crashing together over San Diego. It was right over the base. I only saw the injured pilot fluttering to the ground and a wing come sailing down. The plane hit the pilot after he had hit the silk. It was going around in a circular motion with only one wing. First it clipped the top of the chute, and then it came around and got him and chopped his legs off or the lower part of his body. The other pilot lit in the bay and was presumably okay within a few hundred yards of the base and within a few feed of a large house. I saw it from a little distance while on the garbage detail this afternoon. It didn’t have much of the appearance of a slick fighter! The tail was nowhere to be seen. If the tail had been on, it would have smashed right into the house. Then the gasoline caught on fire and made the vacant lot rather warm. To add a little more, how would it be to have a pilot without any legs come flooding down beside you! When one sees things like that it really makes one sit up and take notice and do a little thinking. It only took about 30 seconds for the whole drama, life was snuffed out and $2,000,000 worth of airplane changed into $5 worth of scrap. Yet this little incident, vivid because of its nearness is so insignificant compared to the vast scale upon which men are losing their lives in other parts of the world. These things far away have become a commonplace occurrence to us and we don’t realize the hardships and suffering other people are going through because we never experience it. We express our own gratitude to our Heavenly Father for the security we enjoy but how much greater it would be if we had actually been through the toil and grief of actual conflict and had come through it all to once again enjoy the peace and comforts which we as a people now enjoy. Homes with every convenience, families of healthy intelligent children, security from hunger and cold, freedom to express our desires in wards and activities and above all the goals in life which gives us something to strive for and gives us all that has actual worth.
November 12, Friday, Elaine: Friday night at 9:30, about a half hour after I had gone to bed, I was awakened by my mother calling and telling me that JH was here. Half awake, I stumbled to the door and let him in. After the light was burned, it was with amazement that I viewed my husband. He was very tan and the little hair he had stood straight up. He looked very nice in his tight fitting navy blue uniform.
He had come up on a 14-hour pass with a fellow who lived in LA and had his car in San Diego.
At about 2:30 am we drove him down to Olympic and Western where he met his friends and returned to the training station.
October 13, 1943, Of course I had to pursue my course in accordance with Guards General Order No 2 “to walk my post in a military manner, keeping always on the alert and observing everything that takes place within sight or hearing.”
November 21, 1943, Sunday, I heard a couple of good stories yesterday. The CFO of the company noted a pair of shoes in the aisle as he inspected the barracks just before taps. He pounced upon the owner of the shoes and ordered them to be put under the bunk. The sleepy reply of the “boot” was “Shall I put them at attention or parade rest?”
One fellow new at guarding was approached by an officer at night.
The guard ordered, “Halt!” Then there was a long silence.
“Forgotten what comes next? The officer asked.
“Yes,” replied the guard, “but you hadn’t better move until I remember.”
One guard nervous on his post halted an officer in the following manner, “Halt and prepare for physical drill.” Silly situation.
On guard today, I had charge of two public pay telephones. I allowed only local calls except by special persons and I was supposed to listen to the conversations but I felt too much like a Gestapo man so I quit listening and read.
November 22, 1943, I am reminded the Navy has already prepared me to take my part in the challenging, competitive world of tomorrow by teaching me in detail an art which is essential to all good businessmen, I have indeed started from the bottom and worked up. The Navy also chose my equipment and made it possible for me to buy it at a reasonable amount and in turn, I am sure I can meet – with your help - to be sure I am now fully qualified in experience and equipment to open a first class shoe shine stand!”
November 28, 1943, J.H.G. - a notorious character whose record shows evidence of pampering and apple-polishing, 22, lazy, hard to get acquainted with, reads only “pulp”, ex- Lockheed man, a sourpuss, henpecked husband.
Second Surprise Visit
November 30 Monday, Elaine: At about 4:45 pm a lady called up and said that if I could be down to the Union Station before 5:30, I could see my husband. My dad had the car and so I couldn’t possibly have made it by that time. But about fifteen minutes later she called and said his train would leave at 7:30 instead of 5:30. So since I didn’t know exactly how to get to the station, Mother and I went down in a taxi. He was waiting in front of the station with a few hundred other sailors, soldiers, marines, and civilians.
Mother went home in about a half an hour and we just walked around since he had orders not to go more than two blocks from the station.
He and 100 other sailors were going to Michigan City, Indiana for six weeks for pre – radio school.
December 8, 1943 Wednesday, I’ll bet there isn’t a school in a hundred that pours it on like this outfit. We really have to dig and dig hard to keep up let alone get out in the head. Competition – We have a few professors, some engineers with college degrees and then some guys like me who don’t know much. We study from the time we get up till the lights go out with the exception of the time we spend in the shower (if we have time for a shower).
Christmas is practically ignored here. We’ll be busy working out square root and logarithms and electronics and slide rule and soldering irons, etc.
Sunday December 19, 1943, I speak the very truth when I say “the Girl” situation around here is TRAGIC – there are so many girls and so alarmingly few men in the place that the competition between the girls and not the boys as it should normally be, might be described by a few incidents. The girls will stop the fellows on the street and invite them to dinner or breakfast. I’ve only been accosted in such a manner once and then I politely refused. The gals will come along in their cars and honk at the fellows (sad state of affairs) and what good is a gal without a car. Some of the guys say they wait until a nice looking car comes along before accepting anything. The girls park in cars just across from the gate and wait for some sailor to come over. It’s anybody’s bait.
December 29, 1943, Tuesday, Fast Sunday the day before yesterday, I had the novel experience of peeling and eyeing 225 pounds of potatoes with the help of a fellow named Groshner. It wasn’t duty day. Fortunately, we had the assistance of a real spud-peeling machine that takes off all the peeling except the eyes. In fact if you leave the spuds in long enough the eyes will go, furthermore, if you leave the spuds in long enough the spuds will go and when the trap door is opened out gushes a stink of potato air.
January 3, 1944, at 5:17 last Wednesday evening we hopped aboard the South Shore Electric and went to Chicago where we were put on the train for Ogden..…..I slept most of the way.
January 23, 1944 this morning at the fifth Ward I made the acquaintance of two very inquisitive young ladies. They wanted to know all about me. First they asked me if I was in the Navy. Then how old I was, if I lived in Logan if I had any girl friends, were she lived, if I had any brothers, if I had any sisters, if I’d seen any Germans or any Japs, does the army help the Navy, do I like cats, do I have any cats, do I like dogs, and do I have any dogs. They had a dog and a cat and liked horses and colts. This went on until I finally inquired their ages – 7 & 8. Then the conversation shifted to teeth “Where’s your teeth seven years old?” She had them pulled out. Sunday school started about this time and I had to leave my girl friends with perhaps a thousand unanswered questions.
I sat down by myself feeling a little lonesome and a bit out of place. But soon the organ began to play some of my favorite music and I felt better.
February 7, 1944 today is one of the most beautiful days I have ever seen. This morning when we got up the sky was clean. The full moon was just about to go down in the west and as it got lighter the moon took on a reddish hue. But the sun rising and shinning on the white mountains making them a delicate pink, really started the day off to what it has been. The air is so clear and fresh that I just like to fill my lungs with it over and over again. It’s a spring day but there will likely be a blizzard in a few days, that’s the way it usually works.
February 13, 1944, I’ve just been home to see the folks in Idaho. Saturday afternoon Brimhall and I hitchhiked to Brigham City. We caught a ride in Logan with a fellow who had to go home to Hiram to change his clothes. He took us home with him and fed us milk and oatmeal cookies while he changed. I got into Brigham in plenty of time to catch the Portland bus.
I got home about 7:00 pm last evening. We talked until about 1:45 am this morning. What a treat to see the folks. The kids had all changed except Golden. I retract that – he’s changed but not physically. Mary is heavier. Dawn is a little bigger, Margaret and Gloria have grown like weeds and Frank is a lot taller. Golden chases all over to dances but doesn’t seem to pin his efforts on any gal just goes stag for the fun of it.
February 19, 1944, this week it has my lot to stand watch over my comrades. Tomorrow evening my travels are somewhat limited by this duty I wouldn’t go anywhere this weekend even if I didn’t have guard because the next week is the critical week of the month.
Last night for a joke some of the fellows brought in a big harry dog and put it up on Alfred’s second deck bunk. Alfred came in and crawled in bed and didn’t pay much attention to the dog but the dog objected so it jumped over onto Brimhall who also sleeps on the second story. Brimhall shoved it off to Getchell and Getchell onto an empty bunk where the dog spent a restful night. It was afraid to jump down from the dizzy height of an upper bunk.
February 29, 1944, I have just returned from a trip to Farmington. I hitched-hiked down and back. To start with the most interesting part first I’ll tell you I was delighted with our place. I wish I could go there tomorrow and start fixing it up. When I got the door unlocked and went in I was almost thrown back by surprise. I expected to see a dingy interior but to my surprise the front room was quite colorful with the new linoleum on the floor and nice paper on the wall. The front room and bedroom which are original adobe are quite substantial and certainly good enough that with some fixing up – they will be a permanent part of our house.
The granary, which I looked into, will make an ideal little workroom. Its quite substantial and even painted. The ground is nice. You’ll be surprised how big an acre is. It will be very easy to irrigate with some changes in the present system.
More Navy Life
February 29, 1944, Logan, We never wear anything when we go swimming. It’s just one big jumble of naked lads. We can’t be troubled with drying out our suits, etc.
March 2, 1944 Logan, The instructor was poking around and accidently shorted a lead with a screwdriver. There was a flash and a puff of smoke. The primary of the antenna coil was a charred mess. I grabbed one of my condenser leads today, when it was charged, it really shook my arms! Some fun but no one ever gets hurt, we jump fast.
March 4, 1944 Logan, It started yesterday! The chief who leads the personnel department strode calmly into our electrical machinery class. He rakes us over the coals with the aid of a few fiery words. Someone with us, it was aimed, had socked an air force captain with an orange. Said orange had originated in our classroom on the third floor of the main building. Being untidy innocent (biased opinion) we were completely floored by their startling charges and looked at the chief in dismay. The chief in a slightly ruffled mood left our presence with the word that the commander was going to be unhappy about this (shed tears of wrath.)
If the whole thing had ended there all would have been well at this normally peaceful college. BUT NO! During five-minute break between classes this morning I was standing at an open window in the now notorious room on the third deck, enjoying all the beauties of the scene below in the campus and mountains in the background. Several of my colleagues were also gazing out the window silently seething to themselves over the grades they had just received in communications circuits. I glanced directly below and noticed an air Corp 2nd lieutenant standing on the sidewalk observing some Cadets fall into formation – He looked up at us and glowered – We smiled back sweetly. He turned on his heel and strode into the building. – After about a half an hour one of the RT came in and told us to keep the windows shut at all times! After a bit the chief comes in with the word that we restricted for the weekend! After classes in a historical significant enlightening speech Ensign Solement tells us w are being restricted for throwing an egg at the second Louie and hitting the Chaplin with a piece of chalk. When he walked into one of our classrooms. We’re all confused. We’re all snitchers. We’re all restricted. We’re all unhappy. We’re all upset. Relations between the various units were strained. Marines blame sailors, sailors blame marines, air corps fears revenge. March 29 1944 the chow is typically Navy. I find plenty of good food each day without eating this trash they shove onto the trey.
April 6, 1944 Treasure Island CA, I guess I overlooked telling you how we get to the Island. It’s on the San Francisco Bay Bridge, not the Golden Gate Bridge, which is a much smaller bridge at the mouth of the Bay. The SFGB goes through a tunnel on the Island and over to Oakland to the end, of course, from the island to San Francisco on the west. We ride the electric train on the bridge from SF for 5 cents. The bridge is a double deck affair and the train is on the upper deck. When riding on the trains we can look out over the bay with all the ships anchored or coming in or going out.
Today we had the gruesome experience of another swimming test complete with 25-foot jump from a platform to simulate actual battle – abandon ship conditions. First we had to swim 50 yards, then jump off a ten-foot board and swim over to a cargo net and climb up the net to the 25-foot platform. Oh, my stomach tied up in a knot as I looked down. That’s a long way down and if you don’t believe it go up 10 or 15 feet and look down and see. I stepped off into thin air – the wind whistled in my ears, no elevator goes down that fast – the whop * gulp* sput* pft* - I went under water about ten feet because all I had on was my swimming suit and not a life jacket like we had in San Diego. What a thrill! One fellow received a nosebleed from the jump; another guy knocked a bridge out of his mouth.
April 23, 1944, it seems a little hard for me to believe that during my life I’ve watched conditions grow into the worst war that there has ever been on earth or at least the biggest because I think all wars are just about in the same category, as far as good goes. But people just won’t learn I guess. They still have the old cave man instinct to fight for what they want. Here in the barracks we have enough divergence of ideas to start a little war. One fraction supports the plan of a year compulsory military education for all young men and even now it’s being considered by some of our lawmakers. I cannot think of any worse thing that could be put into effect for the kids who are going to school now. It would be something of a dictatorship and as envisioned before it’s the young kids who suffer most from being away from home and in not such good surroundings.
My Daily Schedule
Aril 27, 1944 Treasure Island, I can see I’ve sorely neglected informing you about my school activity, but I’m not so sure that you’ll be interested.
6:00 a.m. Reveille (hit the deck)
6:00 Chow as soon as we can get our clothes on, blankets folded, eyes open and my flowing hair tamed so I can keep my hat on while I dash madly for the chow hall to be among the first who don’t have to wait. Chow consists of a bowl of milk with some sort of mush plopped into it or a bowl size box of dry cereal, banana or orange or apple, and that’s all I usually eat because the rest of our choice is usually fried spuds, bacon, or the inevitable beans. Sometimes we get corn bread or a roll and oh yes, we always get a little square of butter.
After breakfast I plod leisurely back to barracks six passing on the way a huge line of hungry but sleepy sailors who have to wait for about a half hour in line.
Back at the barracks I shave and clean up, shine my shoes, and make up my bed again for inspection. The first time I make it is just to keep off the weekend list of extra duty. Bunks not made up by 6:20: get 2 hours extra duty on the weekend.
At 7:30 we fall out for the morning physical drill, which usually goes about like this. “The Jumping Jack, Twist and Bend, the Windmill, Toe-toucher, Body Twister, Explosive Punch, and a few more for variations but these are inevitable.
From exercises we march directly to classes and get started at the days studies at 8:15 a.m. There we will delve deep into the mysteries of what makes a radio tick and what causes them to quit working, how to use test equipment, how test equipment works, how oscilloscopes work and how to repair them. We have four hours of theory and four hours of lab. Alternately having theory and lab in the morning for a week at a time.
At noon, just before marching off to chow in our regular formations, we have mail call in the barracks. Quite often the gruff voice of Filpovich rasps the air with the electrifying name Gardiner. That always makes noon chow more enjoyable. We march to chow in our companies, turn and usually wait for quite a while but the schools get special considerations at noon so we get back to our classes at one o’clock.
The afternoon classes quit at 4:30 when we are marched back to the barracks where we put away our books and then we march off to the afternoon physical drill which may include everything from marching or drilling to calisthenics. One day we got to use some athletic gear and played softball, football, horseshoes, soccer, etc.
After the drill period is over we march back to the barracks, have mail call, then change from our dungarees, which we have been wearing all day, into our undress blues and then go to chow.
After chow I usually study until 9:00 p.m. when I come back to the barracks and prepare for bed. I climb in bed and read until the lights are turned off at taps. After taps, I put my D&C back in its box, slip it under my mattress and then give a lot of thought to the many things I like to think about. Pretty soon I’m asleep…I wake up at about 5:00 a.m. and do some more thinking and waking up.
And at 6:00 -reveille. 6:00001 chow -
May 7, 1944 Treasure Island, I heard a story of an Ensign who was coming back to the Island on the train the other evening. The Ensign was very drunk. He was also very sick. There was an occasional lurch as nature sought to relieve the uncomfortable conditions that exist around our hero’s stomach. Seeing that disaster was immanent the sailor nearly took measures to limit the distraction. He removed the Ensigns beautiful cap so nice and white and whose gold braid shown brightly and held it in position to receive things which were to come. A final lurch brought results. The sailor being a courteous chap replaced the Ensigns cap in its original position and the Ensign with glassy eyes gleaming stared out into the downpour more than likely unconscious that anything had happened. He likely woke up next morning and wondered how he got in that shape.
This is the most drunken town I ever saw, drunken men and women all over during the late hours of the evening.
May 8, 1944 Kent from somewhere on the east coast. He said he expected to see some new scenery soon so I guess he will be right in the middle of things before long.
May 10, 1944 we had a test day and I got 90% - missed one.
May 14, 1944, last week we took our tests in the afternoon after the morning classes had already taken theirs. By coupling with the morning class some of those spineless individuals who don’t have enough on the ball to get a good grade by themselves made nearly perfect scores and pulled the class average up to past 80% so the honest individual doesn’t get the credit due in the books but he knows very well that if the time comes when he will have to figure out things for himself, he knows how much he knows and there is always that calm assurance deep within him that he can rely on himself and doesn’t have to be a fraction of a man and depend upon others for help.
June 1, 1944 Twenty-three years, that is a long time. I used to have a list of ideas of how I would feel when I was getting along in the twenties, but now I really don’t realize how I’ve changed if I have.
Today we had Judo for our physical drill. It’s the easiest dirtiest way of fighting there can be. There are no rules to the game; it’s just a fight for life or death. It’s taught to most of the men while we will never come into contact with the enemy. Fortunately we don’t get much of it. We learned some today that are basics. The first thing to do to your opponent when fighting hand to hand is to shove all five fingers into his eyes and gouge them out or put dirt or sand into them. If you can manage a good hand blows to just below the ribs he’ll be out of wind for a while. Another one is to hit him on the bridge of the nose and drive the broken bones into his brain. We were also shown how to handle an opponent when he had a strangle hold from the rear so we could flip him over and crack his head into the ground and either crack his skull or break his neck. This kind of fighting is just as unfair as war or death in wartime. Most of the men don’t choose the way they die because they all want to live. If I ever get to where I have to do any of this hand-to-hand stuff I’m going to carry a knife. At least I hope I’ll never have to carry anything to hurt anyone. If I had been put in the army I would likely have been sent overseas long before now. Some of the fellows from home have been sent overseas with only about two months service behind them. Very few fellows in the service have as nice a life as I do. As far as servicemen’s lives go, this is just about the best time it could be but I wouldn’t trade a few days with you for years of this stuff called militarism.
June 2, 1944 we really are paid high. The saying goes that the army does the work, the Navy gets the pay and the Marines the glory. There is a very great deal of truth in that statement. I guess they are trying to even things up a little. If you want my personal idea on the matter, I think it should be harder than it is to get a rate, but wartime always cuts down the quality because of the huge quantity necessary.
June 4, 1944 Yesterday Fisher came over for what he thought was going to be just a little while. We got to talking and didn’t stop until he went to chow. After chow he came back again and at a quarter to ten we were still going strong. I didn’t know I was so stubborn. I’m almost impossible to influence from my way of thinking. I always figure I can do anything until it has been proven that I can’t. Fisher always hunts up the reasons why, “It can’t be done.”
June 6, 1944, by the time you read this the opening accounts of the invasion of Western Europe will be old. This morning I woke up just a little early and was just starting to get dressed when reveille blew. Someone snapped on a radio, the news was pouring out about the invasion. I could hardly believe it, even though I had been hoping so long for this beginning of the end of the war in Europe. On the way to chow, the newsboys were selling papers with headlines so big that the word “invasion” took up half a page. And they were selling. In the history of the world there has never been such an invasion. To this bunch of men here, there hasn’t been better news and there won’t be until the day comes that the war is over. This initial day of success will soon be overshadowed by the heartaches of the slugging match that has to go to its finish now it is so far along. I have high hopes and I never have lost faith in my hope that by next year I’ll be home or very close to that time.
June 30, 1944 Deseret News, The missing fliers are: Lt Leland Kent Horne, son of John T. Horne, of Malta. He was a P38 pilot and is missing in the European theater of operations.
July 4, 1944, Today I got a letter from Mom saying that Kent had been reported missing in action over France. He is still OK though I’m almost positive. Not many people know him like I do and I think he is still going to be coming back after this is all over. It seems strange that he should be brought down so early in the fight but even in that I think there can be a purpose. He isn’t one who wants to hurt anyone much less kill anyone even though he is involved in a war much against his will. I hope they take good care of him wherever he is interned.
July 5, 1944 Today I got your letter with the clipping about Kent being reported missing. You asked about his blessing. He has a good blessing and has lived up to it. That is why I feel he is still all right. Kent believed implicitly in his blessing. He has very much promised that hasn’t been fulfilled yet but in the very thing in which he now finds himself he is likely fulfilling some of it. I hope the war is over sooner than immediately now so he can get out of the prison camp if he went down in occupied territory. That is kind of a warped attitude perhaps, but he is just the same as a brother to me. If I could trade places with him I would gladly, it wouldn’t hurt me a bit to be a prisoner – As things are Kent will come out superbly.
July 11, 1944 Mom said in her letter yesterday that Grandma Hulet was visiting with them. I think she is a very wonderful Grandmother, I guess because I can remember from as far back as I can remember anything. As you have likely observed Mom went to her mother’s place when she had the three younger than me. Of course I was around but didn’t realize much of what was going on except that I got to see Grandma and Grandpa and pretty quick there was a new little baby in the family. That really brings back a flood of memories.
July 18, 1944, Last night just after I had gone to bed I was lying thinking. The first we heard was a sort of muffled roar and our barracks shook a little. The roar lasted about 10 seconds and wasn’t vey loud. We thought it was an earthquake. Frokled said, “Well read about it in the morning.” We really did read about it this morning and I suppose you too have heard about the explosion of ammunition ships. They said it’s the worst explosion or disaster of the war in the United States.
July 20, 1944, the thought seldom has occurred to me to even ask a blessing on my food. There is not much to suggest or prompt a blessing with all the noise, the smoking, and the general confusion that always exists but I’ve learned the lesson that was needed. In the midst of this there can be one place where perfect peace and calm exists…. that is in my heart – there it will exist if I first ask a blessing upon the food I am about to eat. I’m glad that fellow came and sat by me and said a blessing on his food. Now I’ll do the same for someone else. I am always prompt night and morning to say my prayers and ask for the Lord’s guidance and protection because I realize how very much I need it and how much I truly have to be thankful for. The blessings have received by asking for them are great in number.
July 25, 1944 Did I ever tell you about my map? I have a map of Europe on the inside of my locker door. I have kept it up to date since the long days way back at the Angio beachhead. The Russians have conquered several times as much territory as the rest of the allies and it is sad to assume have lost more men, but likely not in proportion to the land conquered! The progress is slower than we would like but it has been very steady and all toward our final goals.
July 27, 1944 when we first came to Treasure Island we all were rather conservative in our tricks and talk to each other but now there is not much of a limit in anything. Tempers flare up quite often in some dispute from a pure case of jangled nerves. There is going to be some riot tonight when Ginty comes in. The jokers have taken some of the bolts out of his bunk so that when he deposits himself on it there will be a resounding crash as he hits the deck. The ensuing will be a lot of swearing and general commotion as Ginty goes after whoever he thinks did it. Another favorite trick is putting a bench under someone’s bunk. It gives a very surprising feeling when you expect a nice soft bunk and hit that slab of wood. Another is to unfasten all the springs but two or three so that when the weight of a man is applied the other springs give way and there is a dull thud in the dark, because it is always pulled on a latecomer to bed. We have a fine bunch of fellows here even with all their foolishness. I’ll never find a better bunch in the Navy. I only have to observe the other fellows from outside BMS who eat in the same chow hall to know that.
July 31, 1944, there are many ways they could still be safe without ever being reported prisoners. Wouldn’t it be possible for Kent to be sheltered by some good French people rather than being turned over to Germans? The same could apply to some good Austrians helping Ivan. Stranger things than this have happened, and when two good fellows have divine protection anything for their safety is possible.
August 12, 1944, I mentioned to them that I had complete confidence in his safety because I had faith in his blessing and his ability to live so as to merit it fulfillment, but she couldn’t remember that and I do so very well – When the war is over I hope we can visit with Kent once in a while. I would like to go through the temple with him when he gets married.
August 30, 1944 in all that I do now it has a bearing on how soon I’ll be released from the service. Certainly events in Europe are shaping up far better than my wildest hopes had counted on. They can’t hold on much longer if we keep up this terrific pace. No doubt the job I got from this scuffle will affect how soon I’ll be able to return to you.
September 5, 1944 One of the fellows an Rt 2-C was caught with a camera and perhaps some pictures, we aren’t sure. But at any rate he was broken to a 3-C and shipped to a combat area. A pretty stiff deal I think. When any force, no matter what it is, can put a man where his life is endangered, it seems to me a very serious thing.
September 11, 1944 last evening Fisher and I went to Oakland to Sacrament Meeting. As their speaker of the evening they had a doctor, a Navy lieutenant who had been out in the Pacific for a couple of years as a doctor on a Navy transport ship. He told us of being torpedoed in the Solomon Islands. A half an hour before they were hit, he had been sitting on the hatch with several other men. It began to rain a little so he went below. When the explosion came all the men on the hatch were killed instantly. But he was not hurt. They gathered up four very badly hurt men and put them in the captain’s lifeboat along with the records, money and then when everyone was off they lowered the boat to the water. This all happened at 4:30 am in the morning so it was dark. When they got the boat into the water they found that it was taking water and soon discovered a large hole, which had been blasted by some flying fragment. They then tied ropes around the wounded men and pulled them back into the sinking ship and all except the doctor and a couple of others got back into the ship. The doctor and the company had drifted so far away they couldn’t make it back to the ship. Then the lifeboat turned over and they lost the records and money, but the three men clung to the boat because it had floats. They were picked up in about four hours. They found that the wounded men had been put on a makeshift raft and rescued before the ship sank, but six of the injured men died before they go to port and were buried at sea. They thought they picked up all the men in the water but some were never found due to the fact they must have been killed when the torpedo struck.
September 12, 1944 I remember another story the speaker told Sunday night. They were anchored off an island and had been making it a practice of going ashore for a show in the evenings. This particular night the executive officer had refused them liberty. At the show that night the men had dragged up everything and anything for seats. One fellow even dragged up a live bomb to sit on. In some strange way he tripped the fuse. When he heard it start, he shouted for the rest to run for their lives. A few did, others just sat and ignored. The bomb went off. The next day the doctor went ashore to view the damage and said Palm trees had been sheared off ten feet above the ground.
The orders finally came through today. What a riot went on for a while. Every one is quite excited over the aspects of their new job. They are varied and far-reaching in their scope.
As for JHG, I sit quite unperturbed as the storm goes on about me. I feel very thankful tonight for the job I have got to do; I am being retained here for a six-week period of teacher training. After the successful completion of that I’ll either be sent to Chicago or stay here as an instructor in the advanced or secondary school. No primary school. Yes, it was my choice. It looks like I am going to see whether I’ll enjoy being a teacher or not much sooner than I had expected.
September 18, 1944 I may never see some of those guys again but I’ll always remember them and I hope I do get to see many of them in some way or another even if not here in this life.
September 20, 1944 today was an unusual day in the respect that I gave my first little platform lecture. …. I talked on carbon microphones.
September 29, 1944 today we had our voices recorded on a wire. Our whole class took turns and spoke for one minute each.
October 4, 1944 I hope that most of my life is so busy that I won’t have time to do all I want but will accomplish much thru the effort I put into it. And finally will be able to look back and say I did the very best I could where it counted.
Bad Day on Treasure Island
October 24, 1944 Last Saturday everything that I did seemed to go pretty much wrong. First I went over to work on time. Ok, but I was standing reading a magazine just before starting and the fellow in charge gave me a good working over for little or no reason. Then I was carrying a large oil filled condenser. It had a leak in it. I was carrying it on my shoulder because it weighed about 60 pounds. Before I noticed it the oil had rundown my shirt and pants and really soaked me to the skin in a couple of places. I had to change my clothes. Then I was taking some shelves down and I cracked one of the boards that had to be used again. I got a haircut that was really bad. Then I went to get paid. I found I was too late, so I had to wait for the straggler line. I never lost my temper with any of these things, in fact I can’t remember losing my temper for a couple of years, but I guess I was a little nervous by the end of the day which is unusual for me. Anyhow, Saturday night I was so tired I could hardly drag to bed.
October 29, 1944 Sunday, This morning we held our first LDS Sunday School on Treasure Island. Story: After her husband died a widow was left with a large farm and five children. She decided it was too much for her to handle so she decided to sell the farm. She called in a realtor, who happened to be an optimist to write up an ad and sell the place. He sat down under a large tree and wrote down just what he saw about him. He described the cool shade in which he was sitting, the spacious acres with the cattle, and the carpet of green that covered the place, the sound of the brook as it went merrily by, this with all the other good features of the place. When he had finished he took his work to the widow and began to read it to her. When he was only halfway thru the woman stopped him, with tears in her eyes she told him she had decided not to sell after all because she had just realized what she was selling.
Yesterday a fellow was given a dishonorable discharge for stealing another mans radio.
November 1, 1944 received two letters from Elaine to make up for none yesterday. She is looking for a job. I had another talk today. It was much better than yesterday. I didn’t want to go face that class again. I felt like I had made such a “bungle” of that lecture and I had. Today’s results were encouraging.
Of all the platform men I believe I am the most inexperienced there could be or is in this month. What a marvelous opportunity this is to do what I’ve wanted to do all my life: Learn to talk and think while standing up facing an audience either friendly or hostile and both do exist here in this school.
November 4, 1944 Elaine says she has a job with an insurance firm doing typing. More money than I make. RT 2/6 $96 per month. She will be making $110 plus Saturday overtime.
November 11, 1944 I didn’t know it but the radio Elaine sent has been downstairs since the 9th, waiting in Carpenters’ office. I picked it up this morning. At first it didn’t want to supply enough power, which could be caused by the electrolytic condenser not in shape due to long un-use. It is now working in top shape, by far the best sounding radio in the dorm.
December 22, 1944 an unpleasant thing happened today. Chief Webb and I were supervising a test. Chief caught a fellow cheating so he called me up to watch him. I saw him using the “Indian shady eye” method of observing his neighbors paper. During the test he would look up at me between his fingers to see if I was looking at him or not. Even though I was looking, he would look at his neighbors’ paper. Chief Webb said, “Let’s turn him in.” The chief took his paper at the end of the period. The fellow certainly had a frightened look on his face when the chief took his paper. Only about an hour after that they put him in a room by himself and gave him a test and told him to go to it. He didn’t know much of anything. He got a mast. He lost his third class rating and was demoted to 5 and ½ and is going to be sent to sea next Tuesday without leave. That is the day after Xmas.
December 23, 1944 Kinnard, Thompson and I met Kinnard’s wife and sister in law at the main gate. They had Kindnard’s 41 Ford Club Coupe. We left Treasure Island at 12:10. The trip was quite long but with only one event, a tack in a tire, which we fortunately found and mended at a service station. We were just checking the time when Kinard noticed a leak. We got to 1636 Golden Gate at about 10:30 this evening. Dad was still up but Elaine and Mom had gone to bed. It is certainly thrilling to go home and see Elaine after so long a time. I’ll always remember just how wonderful she is but this joy is always inexpressible to see her again whether the separation is a few hours or months.
December 24, 1944 went to church with Elaine and Mom this morning. I saw a great number of my old friends. Raphael made it. Charlie was there, David Dunn of course the Bishopric and members of Elders Quorum.
Audrey came up in the afternoon. We spent the day visiting and talking over things to come. We went to church this evening, a very nice Christmas musical.
December 25, 1944 Christmas Day and I’m enjoying the greatest Christmas gift I could ever hope for, the privilege of being with Elaine. The day slipped by entirely too fast. Elaine and I sat out in back on the bench and talked. We ate dinner and then it wasn't long until I had to be on my way. Elaine drove me over to the Sanders place where we spent about 15 minutes then we went to Los Feliz and San Fernando just across the tracks into Glendale. We had a few minutes of talking there before Kinard, Thompson and Hartley all finally got there. Then it was that things inside me started tearing me up. It’s terrible hard to come away again but even so I’m thankful for the privilege of seeing her again.
January 17, 1945 I talk without thinking what I’m saying which likely contributes to the tonelessness of my voice.
February 1, 1945 The Russians are in a spectacular advance toward Berlin. Reported about 50 miles from outskirts of that city, but if and when they do get there, we don’t know much about what is to happen. The allies have completely retaken Belgium Bulge and are on the offensive in west. A large group of Jap war prisoners held in Luzon were freed today by commando raid on prison camp.
February 26, 1945 sweat and sweat, I really went back to work today, the Lt. sat in on my afternoon lectures. I shouldn’t bat an eyelash but I do! I’m really talking to an authority when he is in the class.
March 14, 1945 my stock gag on a new company is to start out in my introduction of myself with my name and then I approach them in a very stern manner and say, “Now there is one thing you fellows have got to understand, it will save trouble if you get it straight right now, and that is anyone from Idaho automatically gets 10 extra points on their grades. Also, anyone who was ever a sheepherder gets 10 points automatically at the end of the course. The gag goes over pretty good on the new company.
March 26, 1945 got a couple of very sweet letters from Elaine. She is the choicest of all women in the world and as faithful as life itself in writing letters to me.
April 21, 1945 I went over to Berkley this afternoon and secured a place for us to live when Elaine comes.
James: I heard about an apartment available in May in Berkeley in the basement of a ward member. I wrote Elaine and she came on the train. I was surprised to find her and as brown as an East Indian. She probably did this to please me. She would sun bathe on the top of the roof at Golden Gate. It was nice, I contrasted her skin to the white people we traveled with in the train. That was a delightful honeymoon for us. We were alone, we had a good allowance, and it was a comfortable place to live. It was pure delight. That was our real honeymoon. It was also where Kent was conceived. In the service they were talking about people who had taught for a year were to be shipped out for active duty. I had taught for a year so we thought my time might be up. Also we had extra duty at that time to supervise guard duty a couple of nights a week. Then Elaine went up to Utah for the summer. I got out of the service January 1946.
May 3, 1945 I called up Elaine this evening. She will be here tomorrow…tomorrow is the biggest day in a year for me. I’m mighty hungry for just a glimpse of Elaine. Her voice sounded very good even over the phone.
May 5, 1945 Big Day – tonight at just about 6:00 I had Elaine with me. I met her at the Santa Fe Station at 40th and San Pablo. She is just as brown as a little Indian from sunbathing. I’ve been waiting for a long time of this chance to see her and man it is certainly a full realization of all my dreams at this time. We went out to the Cummings and had supper. Then we went to get the luggage from the Berkley SF Station. Just visited and got acquainted all over again.
May 19, 1945 tonight we hear that President Grant just died. He was 88 years old.
May 20, 1945 Sunday. Yesterday was our 2nd anniversary. That is a long time to be married and spend so little time together. We spent a very enjoyable day.
June 17, 1945 Sunday, Today E and I went to Oakland Stake Conference Brother John A Widtsoe was there. Among the statements he made were these. “God has decided that the war shouldn’t continue on much longer.” “We shall be able to judge the worth of the document to come from the SF Conference by comparing it to the doctrine of our church.” Cures of the ailments of the world can come only thru the improvement of the families of the world.”
Brother Widtsoe told of visiting Brigham Young’s hometown in New York State. The editor of the town’s paper told how his father had known BY when he was but a boy. Three of the best of the young men of the town went together as boyhood pals – Wells (Who finally started Wells Fargo Express) Singer (of sewing machines fame) and Brigham Young (colonize, prophet leader Mormon)-
June 26, 1945 had night lab tonight for CO/67 so I didn’t get home. I worked on my old radio. I put in the coils Elaine and I just wound and they work pretty good.
June 28, 1945 had a letter from Horne’s saying that they had received word from the war dept. announcing that Kent was Dead. That is standard procedure when a man has been reported missing for one year. With the war over for two months now, he should have gotten around if he is still living although there may still be a chance. Wherever he is he will be ok because he was the best of five fellows.
July 10 1945 today I helped write up a portion of the coming test. I told the class the problem: If 7 cats can eat 7 rats in 7 minutes how many cats will it take to eat 100 rats in 50 minutes. I called on a sleeper to answer the question, which brought a good response from the rest of the class.
July 19, 1945 Thursday, today Elaine went over to Oakland and got a ticket for the trip to Salt Lake City. She figures she can take better care of herself there than here. Even if it is mighty hard to part with the little gal, I realize it’s likely the best place for her.
July 25, 1945 Wednesday, It was mighty hard to leave Elaine his morning but by this evening she is somewhere on the bus going to SL and I’m here on my bunk wishing I were there too. But now that she can take good care of herself and get plenty of good food and sunshine I know it is best so I’m happy in the thought that our inconvenience is going to help our baby.
August 6, 1945 the biggest news in the world today is the “Atomic Bomb”. It uses the power derived from the splitting of Uranium 235. A B24 dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima in Japan with terrific results.
August 14, 1945 VJ, Today President Truman announced that the Japs have accepted our terms and have surrendered, of course it isn’t VJ day until the papers are signed. I wasn’t excited much. I expected it as everyone else did.
August 18, 1945 I packed a huge box of junk in preparation for shipping home. It included all of my old Eras, my Reader’s Digests, my notes and my radio junk so I won’t be tempted to build another radio.
August 21, 1945 Wednesday tonight I was really amazed to have Golden come into our dorm just as I finished writing to Elaine. He started out from Gulfport last Friday. They had a wrecked train out in the Arizona Desert somewhere. No one was killed but somebody lost a hand and another a leg. They were in on a siding to let a fast train past, they pulled out but before they got onto the track another train came along and plowed into one of the cars. G has a very nice tan.
August 30, 1945 in her letter today Elaine said she went to the temple in Salt Lake with her mother and Aunt Bertha. She saw Sister Horne there too.
August 31, 1945 Tonight I was set apart as 1st counselor in our Friday night group meeting.
September 12, 1945 today at 12:30 I had completed signing out and was officially on my first leave.
September 14, 1945 Glenn and Audrey came along at about noon today and the whole bunch of us went to the SL Temple. Before the session I went up to see the Horne’s on the way up there I saw Kent’s car going down the street pretty slow so I followed until it parked. Kent’s dad and his dad’s brother got out and I caught them as they walked away. Brother Horne told me how to find their home at 236 Canyon Rd. When I got there Sis Horne threw her arms around me, hugged me and started to cry. Both her and Bro Horne have aged a lot in the short time since I’ve seen them. Greta was there too.
We caught the 1:30 bus for Malta. We got to Malta at about 7:00 in the evening. The kids were all there except Golden and Mary. I helped with the chores and then we went to bed in the front bedroom.
September 19, 1945 Wednesday We got a chance to look around a bit today. I helped Dad haul some hay. Mom is teaching the First and Second Grades in school this year.
October 21,1945, Sunday, Stephen L Richards, ‘A new preacher came into the neighborhood and at his first meeting talked for only 10 minutes. The next Sunday he talked for only fifteen minutes. The third Sunday he talked for an hour and a half – after the meeting he was accosted by some of the ladies in the congregation who bemoaned the fact that they had come the first two Sundays and figured he was a short speaker and had put on the dinner to cook but in an hour and a half it was spoiled. ‘Well,’ he said ‘I’ll tell you the reasons for my variation and perhaps you will have no ill will. The first Sunday I just had my teeth out. The second Sunday I just had my new teeth in and today I had my wife’s teeth.”
December 26, 1945 today I made application for discharge at the first of the year.
January 2, 1946 Wednesday, This morning at a few minutes to eight my name was called along with 17 others to report to the personnel office. I did so and found that we were to be transferred to the discharge intake center here on the island today. After a muster we went over to the dispensary where after a half hour of record muddle we finally got ourselves “examined” and on our way to the other points we had to check out with. I checked out with the Personnel office, instructional office, month supervisor, special courses, the library and the Chief master at arms for RMS. Then I found that the crotch in my “best” pair of blue pants had suddenly (I hope) gone out and was admitting cold, wet air and stares. I worked in the same pair last evening so it would be best if they let go this morning. I then had to unpack my entire sea bag as I had put my other pair of blue pants in the bottom of it. I then sent a couple more packages of clothes and shoes home at 1:30. We mustered at the Personnel Office; the chief in charge got our orders, we ushered out or checked out at the Duty office and then were no longer at RMS. We went over to Bldg 218 and reported in, received instructions on sending gear home, mustering etc, we were given a slip for a liberty pass which I did not use and a couple of forms to make application for sending our gear home. I went back to BK24 got my sea bag and caught a station bus to 218; and sent my sea bag to Malta at Government expense.
January 5, 1946 I decided I needed a haircut so I made my way to the barbershop where I was surprised to find German prisoners of War cutting hair. The kids were really good looking lads but the older men looked crumby. They did a good job and they do work very steady and earnestly. The haircut was free; the government must pay them. Tipping is forbidden.
January 7, 1946 Everyday there is something new. I had finished eating my second bowl of mush and seated when the line ran out of spoons. A spoon less man spied mine and requests it. I gave it to I quite freely and expected him to wash it off and use it but instead he just started to eat his mush with my slobbers on it. (Must have been delirious)
Then a yeoman called out our names and we were given our discharge certificate, two lapel buttons, honorable service certificates some insurance propaganda, description of the qualifications of the rating we held on discharge, addresses of officers we might desire to write to for information, and two handshakes. That was it. Now I am a Mr. once again.
January 8, 1946 a good visiting day and little else.
January 11, 1946 Friday Today we, Pop, Elaine and I went down to Glen’s and Audrey’s place for a good visit. We really had a gabfest and a good meal. We played the records continuously but didn’t get them all played all day long. Got home at a few minutes to five just in time to eat again!
January 12, 1946 Saturday today I got started packing in preparation for going to school at Logan under the GI Bill of rights. I'm taking all that I can pack into two suitcases, which is not all my junk and “valuables.”
Back to School
January 14, 1946 Monday unhappy day!!! This morning at 0500 Pop and Elaine took me down to the station at 6th and Main where I caught the Burlington for SLC. It left at 8:45 sharp. I hate leaving that girl again but it seems to be the only way.
January 28, 1946 She (Elaine) said she had a doctor who will come to the home for $120 and that is what we have been hoping and praying for because of the conditions that exist in the hospitals.
The Boy is Born
March 21, 1946 the most important event of this day was the receiving of a letter from Ma Scholl and an announcement of the arrival of a boy to Elaine. The boy, Kent Hulet Gardiner, arrived at 15 minutes to seven in the morning of March 18, 1946, last Monday. He weighed 7 pounds 4 ounces. Mom said he cried blustily but not often and seems to be contented this morning she wrote, Tuesday she said Elaine felt all right.
March 25, 1946 There was a letter waiting for me at the Post Office this morning Elaine told me a little about the boy but I still don’t have much of an idea of what he is like. She said he has downy hair about the same color as mine, and a very loud voice.
April 6, 1946, S. Dilworth Young made a mighty plea for missionaries. If Elaine and Kent could get along I would like to go.
April 28, 1946 Sunday today is Elaine’s birthday. She is 21 years old. I would like to be 21 years old again yet I’m not too ancient for some good (I hope)
May 15, 1946 Wednesday according to a letter from Elaine, they should be on their way up here right now. The boy will undoubtedly be a big problem during the trip.
May 17, 1946 I thumbed for an hour without success. Finally Lee Scholes came along and picked me up. He is one of the field house boys. He took me to the Lagoon sign west of Farmington so the wait was worth the trouble. I found mom, Elaine the boy at home. They had just arrived as they had been unable to take the desired but in St. George and had waited over until the next one came along. …Naturally I was delighted to see my family after such a separation, especially the boy after separation. At first he seemed just a little unreal to me but now he seems to be more real and actually to be an entity in this world with real force and meaning behind his existence. He is thin now but not skinny. Elaine is thin too. Both should put on some weight now if they can get some good food. His eyes are very dark blue, he has a vey small amount of dark hair is face is not red as most babies, he has a nice healthy looking chest and a pair of really heavy looking wrists and hands. His wrists will likely be bigger than mine. They are proportional like Golden’s.
June 4, 1946 Tuesday I talked with Dawn today. She said mom is going to school in Albion this winter. The non-Mormons got together out home and put in two outsiders for school board members. Since they hold a majority nearly all the Mormon teacher’s are being put out. Mr. Miller the best teacher the school has ever had is out for some pitiful excuse such as he doesn’t have a PhD. This should serve as a lesson on unity. The Lord won’t do everything for people but he expects them to be capable and willing to take care of their own affairs as best they can. The Mormons could easily have controlled the vote had they all voted or been aware of the issue.
June 20, 1946 Thursday I investigated the place again today and found who was after it. Yesterday didn’t go through because he didn’t have enough money to get a loan. I went over and looked at it and was quite pleased with it.
June 21, 1946 Friday I put a hundred dollars down on the place today and hoped that Elaine would approve. When I got home to her after an arduous hitchhike she seemed to like the idea and description well enough to buy the place.
June 28, 1946 the folks, Dad, Gloria and Frank were there picking cherries. We picked until about 5:00 when they left for home.
July 25, 1946 I went to the Deseret industries and bought a second hand stove and had it delivered and moved into the place.
July 26, 1946 Friday after a somewhat long and uneasy wait for the folks to arrive for moving Dad, Mom and Mary came with the pickup and a lot of my junk. We piled the rest into the truck and hauled it to Providence, unloaded it and Dad and I went to Farmington where we got a load of fruit and junk and brought it back to providence.
July 27, 1946 Saturday Dad made another trip to Farmington and brought Elaine and the baby and the rest of our stuff. I spent the afternoon hooking up the stove for hot water. He folks went back early this afternoon.
July 28, 1946 Sunday I got stared at today as a new member in the ward. The ward seems a little inactive, as few people show up for Sacrament meeting and not too many for Sunday school.
August 24, 1946, Saturday I noticed a couple of ads in the paper so I followed them up and am to report Monday at the Walgreen Drug to work as a clerk. They pay only 50 cents per hour, which will have to do until I can get something better.
August 26, 1946 Tuesday I got a little work in the store today, selling candy, gum, tobacco and magazines also some stock work filling up vacant spaces.
September 15 1946 Sunday Pa Scholl and Kate came in this afternoon in a yellow Packard Convertible. Elaine and co went to church tonight while I stayed home with boy.
September 16, 1946 Monday There was general rain today. I spent the working part of the day reducing huge accumulation of junk in Walgreen’s basement. Among the junk were two beautiful pieces of hardwood about 14 feet long. I got them home via the bishop. Elaine and Co came over at noon in the Packard and took some bottles and a car of peas home.
September 17, 1946, Tuesday. Tonight I came home to an empty house, but to kill time I milked for Neddow and then came home and canned 12 quarts of fruit.
September 29 1946 I was set apart as president of the Elders quorum by Bro Waldron.
October 26, Saturday finished the bed and started on a chest of drawers. Ma Scholl came a little afternoon with a hopeful eye to staying all winter. She seems to be very short in memory. When I was discharged and went to visit Elaine she forced me to leave L.A. by saying she couldn’t stand to have me around and that if I did stay she couldn’t. Of course Elaine wanted her help – my what a change of heart when the tables are reversed. It may work out but since she is the greatest dictator there’s it likely won’t. When I wanted Dawn to come and stay with us it naturally got to Ma Scholl and the rest of the tribe who emphatically stated that the proper way for young people to live was alone. But that was a whole three weeks ago! Times have changed. But this is not the first time ideals have been revamped for the occasion. Elaine couldn’t come to Berkley peaceably since Ma Scholl didn’t dare stay in L.A. alone and didn’t want to go to Utah in the cold so Elaine had to stay until spring before she could come because “it wasn’t the right time.” When we bought our present home, to Ma Scholl it was just right because we would sell our place in Farmington to her. I have never had so much trouble trying to remove a most violent hatred. It won’t leave under any association with her. I didn’t believe stories about mother in laws before I was married but now I find they are only mild in comparison with what I find staring me in the face. But what to do with such a case will be borne out in subsequent writings.
November 8, Friday, had big rumpus of the cleaning of the stove this morning. As is my custom I cleaned out the stove this morning. But since she had cleaned the floor yesterday Ma Scholl took offense and said I wanted her to leave. This may be too true but never was my motive for cleaning the stove, which incidentally I could do up “right” sometime. Should the need arise. I went to see Ella about our milk and settled with her.
November 29, 1946 I cannot get used to that woman. She tries to make me feel like she couldn’t make it without her “expert” and aid and tries to undermine my standing. I have never encountered anything so disgusting. I really should kick her out but likely would encounter some difficulty at home like thereafter since Elaine is too much under her “evil spell.”
December 8, 1946, Sunday, rather an interesting day. Ma Scholl confirmed a suspicion of mine from her previous intimations that is, she is so sorry and sad that she had a hand in bringing E and me together since I am such a despicable character. This was the first real open contempt and hate – the other has just been nasty remarks. Her consolation to poor E is that she will have another chance, on the other side, to get a better man. This is the worst insult I have ever received. However the impression is not deep since the mental capacity of the source is to be considered and since I know it is an outgrowth of frustration since she can’t get by ordering me around to suit her whims. For the record. She just saved me the trouble of barring her in our home. She has burned every means of retreat.
December 22, 1946 Mom Scholl left today with Cheneys. She went about about 11:00 after figuring they were not coming.
December 27, 1946 Put the second coat on the floor while Elaine went to town. She got a playpen and some animals for the boy.
May 2, 1947 Kent has been walking all over the floor for a week.
May 7, 1947, I decided to catch the bank and mow the lawn so I took off early. When I got to town my bike tire blew out. I went to the bank, paid the light bill, bought a new tire, some patch and a pair of pliers, changed the tire and was off for home. Mowed the lawn, thought it worth it so I went to pay the water bill, found my mistake only as I write now.
May 13, Elaine came back today in the evening hours. The house being dirty rather spoiled the reunion.
May 19, 1947 our 4th wedding anniversary and I remembered it! E and Bub but I bet he still has little hoarseness.
May 29, Thursday, put in 8 hours for the city in the evening of Memorial Day holiday. I mowed lawn and watered and started digging a grave.
August 3, 1947 Sunday mighty tired and mighty lonesome of this batching life.
January 1, 1947 I built a nightstand for our bedroom set and did a little more work on the vanity.
March 29, 1947 Worked for the city on the garbage collecting truck. We hauled the city’s cleanings to the dump.
The scouts from the ward’s troop had gone on an overnight camp up in the Angeles Crest National Forest. Parents of the scouts were invited to attend a campfire with the boys before they headed home. Dad and Mother invited Beth to go with them because her husband, who was the scoutmaster, and son were already up at the camp. Beth had never learned to drive a car so she gratefully accepted their invitation. Dad and Mother brought baby Julie on the trip. On the way home the baby began to cry. Elaine tried to comfort her and distract her with a rattle or some other toy but the crying continued. She changed her diaper and tried to feed her but the crying only increased. She tried to burp baby Julie, thinking that perhaps the crying was caused by gas. Still Julie cried and Mother Elaine became more and more frustrated. She had just run out of things to try to still the crying. Beth said, “I remember her turning to Jim and said, “What I’m I going to do with her?”
Jim’s reply was, “Just love her.” He pulled the car over to the side of the road and got out. He went around to the other side, opened the door and took his crying daughter in his arms. Jim walked around beside the car gently bouncing her up and down as he rubbed her back. In a short time the intense crying turned into whimpers and finally their baby daughter was still. Jim then returned Julie to Elaine’s arms and we made it all the way home without even another whimper.”
Picture on left, June’s parents about 1959
On April 6, 1959 June Gardiner became James Gardiner, by decree of the Superior Court of the State of California, by petition of Cannon and Callister, attorneys, attorneys at law.
1960, August 30, For some of us, the summer of 1960 was difficult and sad. As I recall the Callisters (Bishop) lost their daughter on a young people’s tour in early summer. Our family was struggling with the terminal illness of my wife. Despite their great loss, Bishop Callister was ever mindful and helpful to us. He rallied help from the sisters in the ward. They helped with baby tending, giving shots, household chores and wonderful support in a difficult situation. Bishop Calliser and Lock Hales were ever available and attentive to our needs. I will ever cherish the wonderful service rendered by them and the wonderful sisters who made that summer bearable.
Despite our overwhelming needs, I was committed to being “independent”, but finally got near the end of my tether. On the last Sunday in August of 1960, Bishop Callister approached me at church and insisted that I take a generous amount of money to “give the children a break and a change by taking them to Disneyland.” Now he knew that I could easily afford Disneyland but he also knew that without a commitment, I would not go. He insisted and I finally agreed. He said he had arranged for the sisters to take care of my wife. We went and enjoyed the outing.
Coming home we found the sisters had outdone themselves. They had been out in force and completed the household chores and much more. Only then did I realize I had been outmaneuvered. The trip had been helpful to the children and me and had gotten us out of the way so the sisters could have a free hand. That trip and the great kindness shown, made my wife’s passing early the next morning, August 30, much easier for our family.
About 35 years ago, my wife died after a relatively short illness. While she was ill I tried to explain to the children what was going on. And after she passed on I tried to explain what had happened and the finality of the event to all of them.
I took the children to see their mother after she was prepared in the mortuary. Upon seeing their mother in that shocking setting our 6 year old daughter simply crumpled to the floor and would not get up. No amount of explaining had prepared her for what she saw. Years later, a son who had been 4 at the time of her passing, reported that, after her death and for several years, he had watched for his mother to come home from shopping. He did not want to accept the fact she was gone out his life and hoped she was simply on an errand.
Then there are the reminders. Clothing, shoes, a whiff of perfume or some food the person liked or a picture or an unfinished project, a high chair or toy. And we may miss the service of the departed. The ways we miss people who pass away is as wide as life itself. But it takes a while for the size and permanence of the loss to sink in.
And the questions: Could we have done more for the person? Did we do everything we could to prevent them going or was it in any way our fault? Did the person know that we loved and appreciated them or did we ever tell them?
JT: A few years ago I was asked to speak in Sacrament Meeting on Fathers Day. The bishop asked me to speak one minute before the meeting started so I did not have much time to prepare. The one scripture that I kept thinking of to describe dad was D&C 107:99 ("Wherefore, now let everyman learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence."), and I still think that it really describes him. My talk ended up being a talk on fathers teaching kids to work, which was a major theme in dad’s life. I asked him after I spoke what he thought the most important thing he could teach his children was and he answered, “Teach them how to work”. So I guess I got the message through my thick skull after all. And speaking of diligence, Dad was Floyd and Lucy Kennedy’s home teacher for 33 years from 1969 to 2002. He had a standing appointment, the 1st Friday of the month for most of those 33 years.
Regarding humor, yes his was very dry, although he did chuckle once or twice when I was doing impersonations of Rodney Dangerfield. I know he loved Laurel & Hardy. I recall him saying that he got to see L&H in Logan after a youth temple trip, which was a thrill. If you remember years back, L&H used to be on TV in LA for a ½ hour on weekends. Whenever I would turn it on, he would watch and sometimes I would notice the couch was shaking from him silently laughing. They were his brand of comedy. I also recall going to see the Return of the Pink Panther as a family (1975-76) and being amazed to see Dad laugh out loud several times, which as I recall was not all that common.
One story, that he repeated several times, made him laugh just thinking about it. When the LA temple had just opened, he attended what was probably a ward temple night. Lock Hales, who was the bishop at the time, was in the dressing room in a handicap stall near dad and Bishop Hales was changing. Apparently, another brother whose locker was in the same stall where Bishop Hales was could not wait and just came in and started changing. Dad says he saw Bishop Hales standing there with a look that was a combination of “Why me?” and unbelief.
When he became the physical facilities representative on the high council in 1975, he recognized that there were a lot of projects to be done and not enough budget. As a result he took me along on a lot of work projects. Looking back on this, I have resurfaced every cultural hall floor in the old Glendale Stake buildings (Wilson Ave, old 2nd & 4th, Elysian Park, and Highland Park) at least once, some twice, and the old Stake Center on Wilson, 3 times. I have been on the roof of all the buildings of the stake including the Institute, and in all the attics and basements.
JT: Dad kept in great shape by riding his bike to work. As I recall, he said he began riding to NBC in Burbank in 1965. He continued riding until he retired in 1988 I believe. You may not remember, but he and I rode our bikes from Grandma Thomsen’s apartment in Whittier to Sandy’s place in San Diego (Mira Mesa) during Easter vacation in both 1978 and 1979. The 1979 bike ride was a round trip (110 miles each way). One kind of funny memory from the 1979 trip: it was a Monday, the day after fast Sunday, we were within 20 miles of Sandy’s place (probably in Del Mar or Encinitas) and we stopped for water break. Dad sat down next to a guardrail and promptly fell asleep. He woke up a minute or two later laughing at himself thinking that passersby in cars would look at that scene and think, ”that poor teenager is standing next to a dead middle aged man.”
Rock and Roll
As I’m sure Kent and Mark can attest, I can say unequivocally that Dad never appreciated fine rock ‘n roll. In fact, when John was in the Bishopric, he paid me a dollar or two for a Pink Floyd poster on my wall and then he and dad had a delightful time ripping it to shreds. When they were done, all dad could say was “That was fun. Are there any more to rip up?” (He also did not appreciate rock at loud volumes the same way I did. No wonder my bedroom for years was in the back of the house.)
Living in southern California, I know dad sort of enjoyed the earthquakes. More than once he commented how he liked to watch how things in the house moved when the earth moved. Nature in action, literally. He passed on that rather dark trait to me, I love watching and listening to things when we have the shakers.
JH: When my children were young, we mad an annual vacation trip to Idaho to visit my parents. I wanted my children to get to know their grandparents and some of the area where I grew up. Our group dominated the place and must have added a lot of work to already busy grandparents.
At the end of each visit, my mother would load us with a array of goodies – homemade doughnuts, rhubarb pie, cookies, fried chicken – more than we could possibly eat on the trip home.
Every time we were being loaded with goodies, I noticed that my mother was weeping. At first I thought she was weeping for joy because she was glad we were going. Then I realized she was weeping because she loved us and would not see us for some time.
JT: Gayle, I’m sure you recall when we would go to visit Grandma Gardiner, how try as we might he would not stop for much other than gas (which included bathroom breaks and flat tires.) (Sandy, sorry to exclude you but I think because of our age difference, by the time my memories begin of vacations [circa 1967 age 3] you were off at BYU) I recall we used to stop at a drive-in burger place in St. George for burgers, hot dogs, and soft ice cream. We always looked forward to this because we could get Sprite, which was not sold in California until 1979. We also stopped at a Skaggs drug store in Brigham City for triple scoop ice cream cones on the way to Malta. Other than that, we just did not stop. I remember year after year begging to stop at Calico Ghost town outside of Barstow. Never happened. I know mom always wanted to stop in St. George on those hot summer evenings “and throw all the kids in the pool.” Dad wouldn’t because it was best to cross the desert in a VW Bus at night. The bus did not have air conditioning and it did not have a radiator; the engine was air-cooled. Another life lesson learned on vacation with Dad. “The only good thing about Las Vegas is it has the cheapest gas between LA & Provo.”
In 1970 or 1971 soon after I-15 was completed between Cedar City and St George, we passed by the Kolob Canyons part of Zion National Park right at sunset. With the sun at that angle, the huge red cliffs within Kolob Canyons looked like they were on fire. It was an absolutely beautiful sight. From then on, every trip we took up to Utah & Idaho, we asked, begged and pleaded with Dad for us to just stop and take a look at Kolob Canyons. It never happened for us as a family, at least not with any of the kids.
I was on my mission in Argentina, and had been there several months when mom leaked a small bit of info in one of her weekly letters. She said something to the effect of “such and such was almost as pretty as Kolob Canyons when dad took us there.” I wrote back “Um, mom, I’ve never been to Kolob Canyons. When exactly did dad take you there?” Her response a few weeks later (due to the efficiency & speed of the Argentine postal service) was “Oh that’s right. Right after we dropped you off at the Missionary Training Center, we drove home and on the way dad said, “Carol, let’s stop and see Kolob Canyons”. Sooooo. I get the picture. Wait until the last kid is safely locked up in the confines of the MTC and then go to see the place that all the kids have been whining to see with out any kids. She did not say if they stopped at Calico…but now I wonder.
Dad loved and revered his parents, particularly his mother. I have always had wanderlust and even as a little boy I wanted to see places; the national parks have always intrigued me. I asked him once why we never really did much sightseeing on our vacations. He told me that to him it was more important for us kids to spend time getting to know his mother and appreciate her than to go sight seeing, and that he wanted us to have as much time with her as possible.
Because of his position at NBC, he was given some rather unique assignments. I always found it ironic that as a man who really had no interest in sports he had to operate the video machines at major sports events and he really could have cared less what the event even was. He operated the video at the Rose Bowl game several times. In 1974 he also worked the machines at Dodger Stadium for both the National League playoff (Dodgers vs Pirates) and the World Series (Dodgers lost to the Oakland A’s). Although he did not particularly like sports, he knew that I as a 10 year old boy loved the Dodgers and he brought me home a couple of souvenirs from the ‘74 world series that I still have. Dad’s only souvenir from the 74 world series was a 2-gallon jug of dill pickles, which he enjoyed over the next week or so. I remember him being quite please with it. (His station was right behind a food concession stand).
He also was assigned to go to China with NBC news for Nixon’s trip in Winter 1972. I recall this vividly since I turned 8 years old on Jan 28, 1972 and dad was in China. My baptism had to be delayed until March waiting for him to get back. As a gift after the China trip, dad gave me the tool case he took complete with a TWA ID sticker. I still have it.
JH: In 1972, when I was in China, helping cover the Nixon visit, we were housed in a fine hotel. We took our evening and morning meals in the hotel dining room. The meals were served in a family style, with the fare on the table and you served yourself. One evening there was a large quantity of a strange looking treat. It was about one and a half inches high and about three or four inches long, semi-transparent and semi-cylindrical. Some of the crew looked shocked at the fare and asked the waiter what it was.... The answer, "Sea Slugs." There was general agreement among the diners that they were not going to eat "that crud." I ate one of them and found it not as bad as it looked. I think I was the only one who ate the special treat. The next morning we had another new fare for breakfast. They were deep fried slices of something that looked a little familiar to me. The consensus at the table, "This is really good. I wonder what it is." The whole plate disappeared. I knew what it was - deep-fried, sliced Sea Slugs. I maintained my silence.
I know he was quite proud of his kids when they accomplish significant things. I recall he was very pleased when I finished up four years of perfect attendance at early morning seminary. He was also pleased at high school and college graduation ceremonies. I recall he was quite pleased with my steady employment through high school at Pat’s Ol’ Fashioned Meat Market and my 2 summers working as a student engineer at Kiewit Pacific Construction. He always seemed happy on wedding days for the kids and when the boys came home from missions. Looking back, I think the happiest I ever saw him was on the day Jeff got married. If you look at the picture of mom and dad from Jeff’s reception, I think that is the biggest smile I ever saw on his face.
The one thing he did not like about my steady employment was that by his judgment, I bought way too many records of loud, obnoxious rock bands. He said many times “JT you will rue the day you ever bought so many records.” (Over my teen years I probably owned the equivalent of 3 or 4 produce crates full of records) That day still has not arrived. In fact I have sold most of my old records and have replaced them with CD’s.
Dad loved to read. I think it was the one thing he did to relax and recharge his batteries. Late Saturday afternoons you usually found him on the couch reading (either preparing his Sunday school lesson or reading just for the fun of it.) More than a few of the kids turned out to be voracious readers (myself included, I’m not happy unless I am reading anywhere from 3 to 5 books at a time).
Dad was also rather blunt at times. I will never forget being dropped off at the MTC waiting to go into the meeting where they separate those who do not know what they are getting into from their parents, and dad asking the kid in line next to me “So where are you going?” The missionary says “Ecuador.” Dad’s response, “Make sure you don’t come home with any parasites. They’re pretty bad.” The missionary’s mother had a look of shock on her face. I was looking for the nearest rock to crawl under.
He reminded me many times “JT, you’ve gotta have a thick hide to be a member of this church.” I’ve often wondered if this would be an appropriate slogan for a new proselyting program for the church. As a result of his work on the high council, he told me many times that when it comes to dealing with the church building department, it’s best to leave your testimony at the door of their office because there isn’t a shred of inspiration (or even common sense) inside.
One last thought, from a young age I have enjoyed trains. Still do. Dad was not a time waster. But I remember a few times where he and I were in the car and he saw a train a little ways off and he slowed down so we would have to stop while the train passed and I would get to watch the train. Luckily for him, at that time the Southern Pacific always ran full speed through Glendale, so he did not have to wait long.
March 26, 1988, Went to Kent’s with Karen, Lisa Brent Charisa Audrey, Carol for Eric’s baptism.
April 28, 1988 Looked in Recycler for cars – put VW back together with new clutch, transmission still grinds,
July 1, 1988 To Kennedys for HT visit.
July 22, 1988 Grandma Gardiner fell and broke hip in SL. X in morn. In hospital Gloria called from Washington going to SL. Grand G to be operated on today.
August 27 1988 I dreamed last night that I saw Grandpa Gardiner. I was putting some tools in a toolbox and someone went by and stood against a wall nearby. I looked up and saw it was my father. I said “I remember you. What are you doing here? “He did not answer but looked at me – he looked younger than I expected. Then I woke up.
Hope Hulet Dies
September 19, 1988 3:30 AM Dawn called – mother passed away about 1am MDT. Mary had reported yesterday that she thought she had stopped breathing a couple of times on Sunday at LDS hospital. I called Sandra – Suzanne, Jeff, Mark, Julie Gayle this evening found funeral to be held at 1:00 pm Friday in Malta.
November 2, 1988 John took me to Vertigo Hills Hospital checked in at 6:50 am. Nurses could not find a good vein in left arm for IV so Dr. Spencer anesthesiologist did it when I was being prepared for surgery at about 9:45. Woke up about 2 pm with a very sore abdomen and whole body ached from lying on back for hours. IV in and working tube up nose and into stomach and causing sore throat but sucking out contents of stomach. Looks like blood and bile. Shocked by pain aware of carol, Kent, Mark being there.
November 16 Suzanne’s breast removed today.
December 12 1:45 to Dr. Diez for 6-wk checkup – looks ok can now drive – lifting caution, use common sense don’t use stomach muscles – will never again be as strong as before operation no 100 lb lifts. Food - eat everything that agrees with my system.
January 1990 Helped Kent moves from 27712 Hyssop Land to 25307 Keats in Stevenson Ranch. Raining muddy at new place.
January 20 Grandma T appears to have gone – no pulse head cold at 6:30 this morning. Nurse Donna came at 9A and pronounced her dead. Called a lot of people….
January 24, 1990 funeral at 12 noon.
May 30 Brett here. Kent and Suzanne off for weekend prior to hospital.
May 5, 1990, Kent called about 10 – Suzanne doing poorly coughing up blood, trouble breathing heart rate fast. Kent exhausted – Grandma Brighton still at Kent’s will pick up two little ones tomorrow at 12:30 after Brett’s nap.
May 20, Don H working, K Don attended Liz for birth of Baby girl. Eliz, Ashley Kent here when we get home. Suzanne out of intensive care but has mental problems – (she lost track of time from too much time in hospital) kidneys still not functioning. Kent is drug out.
June 10, 1990 Carol got Brett and I took him to priesthood before he got too tired, not shy about speaking out and displays some temper even with strangers. Talked a bit with Suzanne at home, said she cried all the way home so glad to be out of hospital but can’t do much. Went to see Audrey at home. Doing poorly using walker.
April 11m 1990 At 2P got call from highway patrol – JT stuck on freeway 405 near Bolsa and Beach or between them. Carol and I went down in pickup. He got it started and drove home on surface Streets (PCH) while we followed. Fuel pump.
September 4, 1990 John Larrimer said a man came into B&I Alignment well dressed, driving an expensive car. Has been regular customer, asked what he did for living, said, “I’m a thief.” Worked at Smoke House in Burbank parking cars would take cars and keys to wards home and take a couple of expensive items – not greedy – car in its own driveway make a very good living – people thought they had lost or misplace items.
October 17, 1990 Wednesday, Audrey died this morning about 7 am – We went to Data entry as usual. Minus McGuires – when we got home we got a call from Gerry’s (from John/Gayle) He and Charlotte and Stan had gone to see Audrey about noon and found her bed empty. She had died.
November 27, 1990, Fence up around bldg (ward house) Still have access when Steve Alvord is around.
December 26, 1990 Started making tapes for my kids – transferred to 16 mm, 1955 (probably early Feb) of Sandra, Mark, Janice, Gayle as a just walking baby – Kent in school – next reel kids getting out of Ford at Griffith park and playing – Elaine stayed in car and only has an outline of her but good shots of other kids again 1st of Feb 1955 – then a 8 mm shot in about (1965)?) Christmas and then one probably in Fall of year. I was astounded at my emotional reaction to seeing those moving pictures of those little ones. I love so much it is almost disabling. Talk about yearning.
December 27, 1990 all day on finishing tapes – all how the 3 old records at the head (no sound) I still have a heavy emotional feeling about those films with those sweet little kids – Janice looks like she is trying to figure out what is going on – Mark seems to be enjoying it. It is all very emotional to me. Tape content for 1990 Christmas….
January 29, 1991 at 3 to see Dr. David Callister for eye examination – Carol had beginnings of diabetes deterioration and I have some retina deterioration in right eye.
June 14, 1991, Helped Julie and Cliff move to different house – still in West Covina – Address 3021 Los Cerillos Drive, West Covina 91791.
June 15, 1991 Carol and J helped at house. Yesterday a bee man, Jim was taking care of the bees in back yard of J/C new place Jim got stung bon leg just above ankle passed out. Cliff gave him some medication and laid him down flat and he came to shortly but was pale and shaky. Scary.
August 3, 1991 to Ryan Gardiner baptism at 4:30 pm at their stake center. I gave a little talk on baptism told about Lindberg being my hero but Jesus far out does any other person as one to look up to.
August 17, 1991 Saturday, Jeff and Andrea married this morn LA temple by brother Kalama at about 9:00.
December 23, 1991 Monday, Talked with Ron via 145.220 repeater. He has some buzzing in radio, will check Saturday.
December 28, 1991 Christmas party at Julie/Cliff – We missed Karolee and Cindy who were working at animal park in San Diego and Lisa G in Arizona with band. Mark and Brent showed us pop bottle rocket made from 1 liter plastic bottle half filled with water and pumped up to 60 lbs of air pressure – goes up like a shot.
January 7, 1992, Started looking at Jeff’s IBM. Have two very difficult screws to remove from case. Got them out but seems like a dirty trick for them to make it so you can’t get into your own property. I would have had to drill them out if I had not had a special splined tool.
January 25, 1992 Saturday, Mark, Brent Scott and Jeff showed up at Swap meet. Jeff sold some of his surplus computer programs and gear – Mark and Co looked for magnets but did not find. Sold some of my stuff – pleasant day compared to last month, rain. Mark sold a Teac for $20 and a TV for $2, fixed disk on computer has lost ability to boot up.
February 1 1992, Saturday, tended the twins while JT/Kris went looking for a house in Covina area. A full time job – Michael insisted on pushing down City saw horses put up where sidewalks had been removed for replacement.
February 6, 1992 at 6:30 NBC award dinner and get together at Bev Hills Hotel in Brentwood area on Sunset Blvd. Had a very good time talking to old friends from work – George Humphrey, Bob Smith, Richard Thornbury, Cy Corbett, Max Gross band, Ray Olsen, Don Huth, Jim McMahon, Eric Salonder, McClellan, Larimer, Rad Meyers, Manny Ferar and many others. Some I had never seen before but most of the mob looked familiar although I did not work with them directly. This is the first of these events I have attended – could have gone since 1961 each year.
February 9, 1991 Spent 4 hours typing 94 temple records for Roy – this batch was done by John Hayden and we are verifying. He does good work.
February 24 Suzanne sewed up pad for breakfast area. Kent worked on train sensor for his layout. Got some parts together for him – Brett has chicken pox.
February 29, Sunday, to Kent and Suzanne’s ward for Eric- Deacon –Browns there –Jim/Elaine, Charlie and family. Dinner at Kent’s, nice afternoon – pleasant visit.
April 1, 1992 Data entry – full crew with McGuire did temple session afterwards with Stan McGuire and brought him home. Rain heavy.
April 10, 1992 Friday cleaned up dining room table for arrival of Brett and Ashley in the afternoon. Kent and Suzanne to San Diego for a respite. Took Brett and Ashley to Kennedys for Home teaching. Ashley and Brett interested in stories read.
April 11, 1992 Saturday, Both Brett and Ashley slept well but both picky eaters – which is a pain for the hosts – Brett a little negative as he got tired during day – Had a fit over Ashley running the toy lawn mower and when she found a long stick in the front pampas. Parents came in time to salvage most of the evening meal but when I got firm with him before eating, insisting that he wash his hands he grew calm and complied, which shows some promise.
April 29, 1992 Wednesday Full crew at Data entry. Malone still not back but McGuire there. Gas going up 2c each week, now 1.49 gal. Rodney King beating verdict “not guilty” is triggering lawless outburst in Los Angeles. Frightening pictures of looting, arson, and vandalism on T.V. – whites, Latinos, blacks involved. Looks like an excuse to have a “good time.”
May 21, 1992 Left about 5:30 am – stopped at every open rest stop for exercise – Went to look at Las Vegas Temple. Then drove till dark and we were at Syd/Dawn’s cloudy trip most of way, then rain in Southern/Central Utah. Honda ran fine.
March 23, 1992 Saturday, Dropped gifts off at Janice/Mike’s and followed them to wedding in South Ogden – made a video tape of proceedings combinations of incandescent and sunlit should be interesting. Color combinations – good crowd at wedding – went on for a long time. There to Hill Non Commissioned Officers club for reception. Dark inside, they played records – ate, good food, visited Sue – Mike’s mother there.
April 8, 1992 Started digging out water line under rubber tree – Tangle of roots – all day and little progress – City poured cement into sidewalk forms this am, when we moved here the rubber tree was a sapling and bent to the ground in strong winds – now it is a couple of feet across the trunk and roots running everywhere – above and below ground.
Why Works Are Important
April 19, 1992 Home teach Hawley’s – Brother Monson article on “See that thou tell no man.” Pointed out that the real reason for not bragging about what we have done or taking credit from achievement is that the satisfaction we get from the recognition takes our attention from what we have become or the growth we experience or what we really are which is the real value to our works. The works are only important for the development they promote.
April 22, 1992 Monday, Loaded up our new trash barrel with tree parts to the 200 pound limit – Kent and Eric came by for Kent’s rocket project and Eric wacked a goodly part of the tree trunk – we finally got it off and we swept up the mess of a week of cutting at the root.
April 27, 1992 went to see Floyd in hospital this afternoon – looks good- doing balloon on Monday. (For heart problem)
April 28,1992 Carol woke me just before 5 am “Earthquake” lasted a number of seconds, seemed like more than 20 seconds seemed long while rocking around. Lots of stuff tipped over in back room – centered in Yucca Valley. Another heavy quake just after 8A we were typing corrections to sheets we had typed into the computer, no damage in our area, just long shakers. Second quake centered near Big Bear. 1st 7.4 2nd 6.5.
April 30, 1992 Went to hospital to see Floyd, cooperation with balloon seems successful – has weights on places where they went in – weights are to prevent bleeding – thinned blood to prevent more build up of plaque.
July 3, 1992 Friday spent most of day puling out rubber tree roots that were near surface and would have ruined anything we might plant. Home teaches Kennedys. Floyd hurts in leg where they went into it and Lucy still has very high blood pressure – and is complaining about lack of space to put things.
August 1, 1992 JT and Michael here at about 9 am –JT to look at homes in Covina worked on JT Toshiba many fractured solder joints. In evening JT called – offer accepted.
August 3, 1992 Monday, washed out JT’s TV and dried it out in good sun.
August 15, 1992 Saturday Went to farm with Roy Jonkey and Pam LaForce. Roy drove picked up 80 boxes of peaches, people here from neighboring stakes and Hesperia and Victorville.
September 19, 1992 Saturday to JT’s at about 6:45 – took some stuff, including end tables we brought in Provo, to DI at their stake center. Then to rental place for U-Hall, for a 17’ truck. Got it back into apartment driveway. It was a noisy diesel – people in front apartment (Japanese) looked out to see the source of the racket so early in the morn – They looked startled to see the truck about 8” from their door so they could not even get out while JT was jockeying to miss the building and the wall. Jeff/Andrea, two men from Elders Quorum came to assist.
October 16, 1992 Gerry called up before 6 am, someone came in unlocked back door and rifled his place but seems only got away with his keys to house not car. He saw someone standing in his bedroom door about 3 am, intruder or intruders went back out back door could not see them outside. Dog did not bark or Gerry did not hear. He is upset.
November 13, 1992 Friday took in a session at temple and sealing session at 12:30. Hilquists and Hal Renfro there with us at sealing with Bro Edward Peterson formerly of Glendale, who is one of our favorite sealers.
November 23, 1992 Ivena Zaczig came to our place to get us to repair lock on the trunk of her 1975 Chevy decided it should be replaced after I got the key stuck in lock and could not move it. So we went to Chief Auto and got a lock – but Ivena had locked the car and stuck key in the lock was the only way to get back into car. So we walked home and I sawed the lock apart and got the key out – Took her back to the car in my pickup and replaced the lock with the new one – end of story? No –Ivena called later to say she had forgotten she had another key hidden on car, we could have used.
December 19, 1992 Kent, Ryan, Ashley and Brett rode in on the metro link train from Santa Clarita – picked them up at Glendale station at about 9:45 and took them back to the station at 3:40PM – spent day digging up garden area and digging in compost and cleaning out overgrowth of devil’s grass. Had a good productive day and good visit. Ashley helped bake cookies.
January 7, 1993 Homer Reeder came Home T.
February 12, 1993 Suzanne operated on this morning. Kent called at 1:00 pm and said they did not need us and that Suzanne is doing ok – operated on at 7:30 this morn-
February 13, 1993 Saturday Called Suzanne at Hospital about 1:00 P – Doing ok Home Sunday
February 19, 1993 Friday some rain today. In afternoon helped John/Gayle with their move to house on Sonora – house was vacant – Combs place they have gone back east to live. He is a game show host Ray Combs. Moved three or four truckloads. (pickup) John brought trailer load.
February 20, Saturday, Heavy shower this morning. Soaked John’s 1st load out of U-Haul truck. Moved most of day. Took down John’s antenna this afternoon. Rick Miletello rode on top of U-Haul holding 2-meter antenna in place all way from John’s big house on hill to place on Sonora. People started and commented – got a show of it on videotape.
March 8, 1993 Monday Visited new temple at about 10:30 Long walk from parking lot across 5 (San Diego) freeway into temple grounds impressive structure – Lots of people going thru tours – appears to have video projector of the film. Built in populated busy area near 5 freeways, just east, no on ramp to go north until a few block to north via streets to east. We came home on the 5 and had good conditions all the way home – Building seems very lavish and ornate, yet overall has many straight lines. Anti groups outside passing out literature.
March 14, 1993 back really bad today – Stayed home miserable.
May 8, 1993 Saturday- Suzanne called this morning at end of rope with Chad’s interest in non-LDS girl. Suggested inviting her into their home for dinner and visit. Be friendly to her.
May 11 1993, Tuesday Doctor Solomon at 1 pm says blood test does not show cancer – will arrange for colonoscopy shortly. Pain in right side shifts around and sometimes sharp.
May 18, 1993 Tuesday, 7:50 am checker cab picked me up and took me to Cal Private-Physicians in El Monte got there at 8:30 waited till 11:30 for test! Doctor who did colonoscopy says no cancer but there are staples in splice? Source of pain? Taxi home.
May 25 Tuesday to RFB (Recording for Blind) John was there but not much going on. To doctor at 3:45 pm. Colon ok but still can’t explain pain. Says I will need a CAT scan. June 8 1993 John, Gayle, Roger and Zola came by and gave me a priesthood blessing. Gayle gave pre-blessing prayer. Roger anointed and John sealed. Lovely experience.
June 9 1993 Wed slept most of the night and good part of the day, pain bearable, pain pills causing constipation. John got into California Physicians and told them a 7 day delay for results of cat scan not acceptable – must have moved someone because Solomon called and said they had results of cat scan and we were to be set up with a “Dr Stevens, a surgeon” for a pre-operation interview. Will call tomorrow.
Thursday June 10, more foot dragging by California Physicians – John got into the act again and by 4:30 Carlos called and said we have an apt with Dr Stevens tomorrow at 4:30.
June 11, 1993 Friday at 4:30 Mark showed up at Dr Stevens’ office along with Carol and me – The doctor took a couple of hours explaining and questioning... He showed us a mind-stopping array of CAT scan pix of my insides – He decided we should operate and make all the arrangements for operating at 1P on Wednesday.
June 16, 1993 Wednesday into Glendale Memorial at 9 am. In prep room until a little after 1 pm then to operating room and operation. They put squeezers on my legs to prevent purge blood out of my legs to prevent clots. Very uncomfortable. Woke up with lot of pain – especially on left side which was something new – felt like I had been cut on left side so I had visions of a 45 degree slash across my abdomen. Hurt being taken off operating table and into bed.
June 23, 1993 Wednesday feel weak and wobbly but just to be home is heaven.
June 3 1993 Chad is working on construction of the Home Depot in Canyon Country.
July 10, 1993, Saturday, Got Carol to cut the lawn with power mower. Most other women rarely can cut lawn when needed. Easy to do with a reliable mower. Mower did refuse to start once after an unload stop.
July 25, 1993 These tapes become priceless as soon as they are taken.
July 28, 1993 Wednesday Jeff called about 10:45 to announce the arrival of a 7 lb 13 oz boy at Good Samaritan Hospital at Witmer and Wilshire. Called the family
July 31, 1993 Went to Paul Reese baptism at Central building at 6:30 and gave closing prayer. Room full of people. Jill and Jen gave little talks. Sis Woodall sang and John and Bishop Shanklin gave talks. Kent Suzanne Brett and Ashley came. Ashley came up to the front of room and sat on my lap.
August 8, 1993. Sunday John/Gayle and company to lunch. Then went to see graves – Grandview and Valhalla. Grandpa School at Grandview and Grandma School, Glen/ Audrey, Elaine and Richard and Kevin Blunck at Valhalla.
Tuesday 10 August 1993 The Hawleys reported that the Reeses got TP’d last night so we went to help clean up the mess. Day spent in slow but sure loading of three cars and trailer for the trip to move to Utah.
August 28, 1993 Started cleaning, bench no. 2, in garage.
August 30, Monday, To Cliffs for teeth cleaning. Carol’s teeth loose, will need considerable work – To Julies to see her and Kelsy and Tyler – Kelsey amazed me at how she goes under the water in the pool and comes swimming up and right down again.
November 19, 1993 Friday Hawley’s returning from morning walk said Homer Reeder passed away last evening at 9:30. Called Gayle with news. Spent the day on Lucy’s light – nothing simple – Insulation in attic over flush fixture – heat removed insulation from about 8” away – wires routed through kitchen blower – not really enough room in duct in blower – blower outlet broken during struggle – replaced with different outlet – old type not available – removed insulation over fixture in attic – Real Struggle – Home T Hawleys.
November 22, 1993 Monday made preparation for audio recording of Homer’s funeral about 11 am made 3 copies 2 cassette and reel to reel, nice funeral lasted just under an hour music by Coreen and LuAnn and Suzie Kartchner and male quartet of Paul Christensen, Mike Watrous, Stan McGuire and Gilbert Torgeson, Tad Callister – prayer Roger Hawley and John Reese, buried in Hollywood Hills. Saw a lot of old West Ward Mike Doyle and Joyce Reeder also Juan and Rosa came out and made 6 copies for Alice Reeder.
November 25, 1993 Thursday Suzanne looks good – some trouble walking.
December 4, 1993 Saturday Floyd has ulcer caused by taking pills – ate thru lining of stomach. Has lost a lot of blood. Talked to Mark and Lucy on our way to Marks for Genealogy meeting. Ron/Sandy, Kent, Mark/Karen were there – Ron/Sandy were there before band competition tonight. Reviewed Gen. Program – gave them all copies of Betty Harris letters to Kent in which she says Tin/\/James was only child – got somewhat organized and made some assignments.
December 25, 1993 Saturday Christmas Day to Swap meet at 7am – on the way down the Harbor Freeway I noticed a car parked on the shoulder on the right side – It is still dark – but as I approach I can see a person under the middle of the car with his legs extended a long way into the slow lane – straight across – not at an angle. I barely missed running over those legs – I think my mud flap touched a shoe – Insanity or drunkenness – I hope he pulled in his legs.
December 28, 1993Tuesday, Kent, Ryan, Ashley and Brett came on train to visit. Free passes. Spent the day sorting vacuum tubes.
December 30, 1993 Thursday Made final sort of Genealogy info to give to my 3 who are interested. This includes:
1. Bro Thompson in Scotland 3 research reports, Oct 84, Jan 86, 3rd down requested.
2. Family Group Sheet – Gardiner Research copy
3. Gardiner Family Bible Sheet
4. Elizabeth Gardiner Gall Death Certificate
5. Mary Ann Allen Death Certificate
6. John Gardiner death certificate
7. Dawn’s letter 1986,
8. 1st page Clarence and Eva History of James/Ann Dawn starting with 1841 census film 101801 and Dawn
9. Dawn’s letter Dec 1993
January 1 1994 Saturday Family party day. We met at the Diamond Bar LDS chapel. Plenty of room for everyone – Set up volleyball net and many participated, Kent brought bows and arrows and we shot at plastic bottles on a range in front of the chapel. Kids loved it. Lots of food – we ate on the tables set up on the stage. Julie organized a “Treasure hunt” game, which the little ones liked after dinner, a gift exchange. I gave each grand child $5 the only way I could figure out how to treat them all the same.
January 17, 1994 Monday, Rude and Rough awakening at 4:31 – 6.6 earthquake centered in Northridge – power failed immediately we groped around with flashlights chimney still up. Much stuff off shelves and one chair tipped over. Power did not come on until about noon. Water and gas ok, water heater is erect. Garage standing. January 20, Thursday, I called Suzanne this evening. They still do not have water. Rachel is upset because she can’t shower every day and because the building they were going to hold a school dance has a large crack Suzanne says cracks run up the hills and through houses cracking the houses on each side are ok. Kent got van fixed up with a head gasket. Suzanne says her cancer seems to have stabilized, not getting worse although she has pain walking.
March 2, 1994 Wednesday to Kent’s at about 3:30 for visit and grandparents night at school for Ashley and Ryan. Good visit. Suzanne has wig. At PTA Event played Bingo – popcorn- punch- cookies Ryan and Ashley seemed to enjoy it.
April 23, 1994 Saturday, 6:30am to San Diego Temple for Karalee and Craig Flinders wedding. Pres Rosa performed ceremony. Full house at sealing
April 29, 1994 Friday Went to Elizabeth Brixey Briggs funeral at Forest Lawn Glendale.
May 30, 1994 Monday Kent, Chad Ashley and Brett came over this afternoon. Kent worked on lathe – Chad interviewed me about some of my life. Kent heard on radio that pres Benson died.
June 11, 1994 Saturday Sandy and Ron going to Denver. Starts work Monday in Denver. Sudden move. Didn’t know what will come of it. That is praying for car and apartment for Ron in Denver.
June 17, 1994 Kennedys came for some help on their Genealogy – sad O J. Simpson murder case.
June 28, 1994 Tuesday Suzanne called with a list of things they need for her diet of natural foods, we spend day finding the list of things included a blender, glass measuring cups, wooden spoons, a dish rack and pad, dishpans strainers, garlic press cafeteria trays 4 hand held brushes, 2 sizes of funnels.
September 5, 1994 Visited JT/Kris and Co afternoon and picked up piano dolly, slide projector and tripod and one old mirror – Brian looks just fine – Then to visit Julie/Cliff and Co and Mark’s group were there for Labor Day – good visit – Julie dragging around not feeling too chipper –
September 8, 1994 Kent called and wants to borrow chair (Lazy boy) for Suzanne who is having difficulty holding up her head.
September 14, pulled carburetor out of Honda for another look. Problem is too lean mixture on idle.
September 26, 1994 Monday, Kent called about 9 am and wanted me to help get a couch from Grandma Breiten. (Suzanne’s grandmother on mother’s side. Then cancelled grandmother moving to Arizona soon. Kent cancelled because Suzanne not doing well. Mark and Karen visited last night at Kent’s – Suzanne died at about 6:30 this eve. Kent called and they are waiting for her father to make out death certificate, called all members of the family to let them know – also called Mary.
September 27. 1994 Tuesday, then called Kent for arrangements and met him at San Fernando Mortuary at 1101 North MaClay Ave – 91340 – that is in the town of San Fernando – Dan Burnham – Kent’s Home T. made a survey and found this to be the best for the money – He says they are about 2000 less than the comparable in Valencia. He also helped get a couple of plots in a cemetery Funeral to be Thursday morn, 10AM – at Mc Bean Chapel. Picked out a nice casket – white and pink – silver trim – wrote a check for $2,918.32 – which less than I thought it would be. At home called all the family to let them know the arrangements – found that John/Gayle had already called Kent for time so were ahead of me – needed to make reservations. One of the owners is Jim Biby. He and son run the mortuary very pleasant to deal with and I’m sure made concessions on price for the circumstances – rare these days.
September 29, Thursday, Suzanne’s funeral we left for the McBean building at about 8:15AM – drove the Honda – Mike and Janice and Kali were in the parking lot when we got there. We set up for an audio recording and then went to the R.S. Room for Suzanne’s viewing. She looked nice – a bit drawn as we expected but the RSE Mortuary had done a nice job. Casket was very appropriate. Took view shots of many of the people who came - our family included, Kent and Kids, Mark and Family, Sandy – Ron-Ryan, Janice, Mike Kali – Julie, Cliff, Tyler, Kelsey – JT, Kris, Brian – Gayle, John – Jeff, Andrea, David, Andrea says expecting in April – It was nice to have the family there. Got the program on tape. Went to cemetery, which is near freeway and San Fernando Road in Newhall area. Saw and talked to Caroline Snow, Mike Reeder, Brent/Susan Frost came and we were delighted to see them – ward provided wonderful luncheon at ward house. After visiting and lunch we went to Kent’s house for a little more visit with family and picked up our Lazy Boy Chair – just barley made it in the Honda.
January 7, 1995 Saturday Cathy Pallilla Millar dropped in with Matthew (2 ½). Her husband killed himself last year. Has 8 kids and dropped one off for Y at Glendora this morning. Theresa her son has difficulty with rebellion, next girl Carolyn. Had a wonderful visit and gave them lunch. She stayed until after 3pm.
January 12, 1995 Thursday, Called Kent and got update – doing OK – seems kids are ok and Chad getting into the work of school.
February 12 1995 Sunday, Sandy Griffiths talked about her experiences on the Lawrence Welk Show and keeping her standards and family going. Showed some video clips for her – She had experience traveling with Jane Thompson from Malta – mentioned to her that I went thru school with Jane.
March 26, 1995 Sunday, I gave lesson on swearing in the Hi Priests – used story from March 1995 RD about lady standing in line waiting and being subjected to bad language and clerk stopping young punk by picking him up off the floor and reprimanding him.
April 1, 1995 full day of conference solemn assembly for sustaining President Hinkley and new apostle Henry B. Eyring. Splendid conference.
April 16, 1995, Sunday at 8:30am Jeff called – It’s a boy 12oz and 6 lb – Jason Paul – we found as we went to visit at company of Mary Hospital in Torrance. Has Camiles nose and is a beautiful boy, born at 1:30 this morn – Lisa – Andrea’s sister came while we were there – Jason has some dark fuzz for hair all over his head and down his neck – parents and child seem to be doing O.K. – Andrea going home tonight? George taking care of David.
April 19, 1995 Wednesday, More yard work – more trash out – trying to keep only stuff in use in reasonable future. Ivena called has bone cancer. Got Cal and we all went to administer to Ivena – looks peaked and has chemotherapy in arm.
April 22, 1995 Saturday, mowed lawn yesterday and while mowing, John/Gayle came in with Rick via Burbank – To Kent’s wedding – Bro Brown married Kent and Deborah PALMBLAD – Bro Brown did a lovely 10am job – Picture afterward and then went home to pick up food and drinks for lunch at Kent’s: Brown and Deborah’s family well represented. Lots of kids Janice Mike and Kali came from Las Vegas (Henderson), Jeff and David came, Mark, Karen and Co, Cliff, Julie, Tyler and Kelsey. JT has tendonitis and could not come. John drove Honda with Gayle and Sandra and we drove pickup weather warm and clear.
April 23, 1995, Sunday. Walked to church as usual.
May 13, 1995 Saturday, to 364 Cartwright to Deborah’s house to pick up big tables and chairs and other stuff in pickup – Kent loaded his van- unloaded at Kent’s house – Brett sick and asleep – Ashley came to Pasadena to help Kent traded washing machines – his quit so he took Deborah’s – spent afternoon cleaning until Mark and crew came – Scott did not come – had dinner and nice visit
June 2. 1995 visited Ivena – surprise at the degeneration – would not have recognized her on the street – looks very bad – thin and emaciated – on pain killers – Tessie stays from early morn until 1 pm then Max gets up and Kelly comes home in evening – Max works from 10 or 11 in evening – graveyard shift as a dispatcher for yellow cab.
June 3 1995 Saturday, Stake conference Sat evening Loren C. Dunn here for conference. Regional representative Smith told of praying woman in Chile desiring to find a lost ring. Found in case of grapes in USA and returned via a Mission President in Chile. Miracles happen.
July 7, 1995 Friday Tessie called about 2pm – Ivena died today – suggested some things to do for service.
July 13, 1995 Thursday wrote out a little eulogy…About 50-55 people…I gave a 10-15 minute talk and Larry dedicated the grave. Weather warm and bright. We hurried to store and got potato chips, drinks, more rolls, relish and plastic forks – went home loaded potato salad, ice cubes, rolls, paper plates, paper cups a case of soft drinks, Myrna’s meats and rolls then had to go back for napkins. At Max’s wall to wall people in the tiny house. Hot inside and out – Hawley’s had already left some food and we put our into the kitchen and left them to their own fate – Carol came home for well deserved rest. – Great relief to have it over.
July 26, 1995 Wednesday, Found two dead rats one large and one medium – behind south wall of garage – pretty ripe.
August 13, 1995 Sunday Taking the copies to Corrigan at 3204 Garden St in Atwater we were headed east up the 3200 block – several youngsters on bikes were coming west from the South side of the street and crossing into the north side of the street – going west. A couple of youngsters passed across ahead of us about 25 feet and I saw another boy coming from behind a parked car on the south side – he was looking back as he guided his bike to miss the parked car. I stopped and he ran into my right front fender with his bike, went over the fender onto the ground by the right front wheel – I pulled off my glasses and quickly got out fearing he was hurt – He said he was ok and the other kids chimed in that he should watch where he was going. Glad I was not going 20 mph – I would have broken the boy and his bike, as it was I was stationary and he just bumped his bike and rolled over the fender to the street. Next time I see a group of kids coming I am going to park and let them pass.
October 9, 1995 Monday Got started about 7:30 took a lot of breaks in driving stopped at all rest stops and some others. Got to Janice’s about 1:30 PM. had short visit with Janice and Kali and Dan and then went over to Boulder to visit Margaret and Bill Whitcomb. They are looking good.
November 5, 1995 Sunday, Paul Harris did not show for lesson so I gave another installment on funerals including a copy of Reed Callister at Lock Hales funeral.
November 16, 1995 Spent day going through computer and cleaning out dining room and front room of most of the stuff sitting around. Trying to put it away so I know status and location. Have more stuff than I remember so this is a good exercise.
December 18, 1995 Carol’s Birthday big 70- I cleaned the dining room and some other stuff – Mark and family came over aft 4:30-5, all except Scott.
January 30 1996 JT has a form of leukemia that is treatable – will require chemotherapy and a month in the hospital. Called Jeff – his TV is ready to go – did not know of JT condition when I called Jeff. I don’t know of any case of leukemia in family.
June 30, 1996 Sunday – Normal Sunday – Read – Kent called re: Ashley coming in for a couple of days. Chad mission Monterey North.
July 1, 1996 Ashley here at about 8 am Deborah brought her on Deborah’s way to work – downtown. Ashley easy to take care of eats very little and very particular – likes to read and watch tapes tried to fix CD boom box Kent left some time ago CD player won’t play – not enough info – failed.
July 2, 1996 Chad to MTC in September – going to Monterey Mexico North Mission called to see how Lucy is doing – about Same – can’t remember some details like location of bank but can take you there – took Floyd to bank at SF Road and Sonora. Ashley decided to stay another day.
August 18, 1996, Sunday. Then went to Chad’s farewell – Kent’s family was program and Bro Brown opening prayer and surprise I gave closing prayer.
August 23, 1996 Friday, To Jordan River Temple about 8:30 which was early for 9:15 wedding – Mary went with us. …. Parents of Matthew Tall, who married Jen in temple ceremony today. Church Clothes after ceremony. …The reception was a mob scene. There must have been 500 people there. It was a Glendale West _Glendale II reunion among others visited with Kenny Frost, Maud Zundell, Harold Stout, The McGuires, Dan van Slooten, Florence E, son Doug Hansen, Ken/Trudy LeCheminant, Kerry/Kay Schrappel, Blaine/Dawn Thompson, Pete/Colleen Neaten, LuAnn Anderson E GI, Tish/Kurt Meyer, Steph and Bob Weger, Dennis and Jerry Shanklin, Bryan Buckwalter, Roger and Zola Hawley, Al Harp, Karla / ___Bowman Mike/Suzie/Hardy, Gordon/Janice McChesney/ Tom and Lynn Whitcomb.
September 4 1996, Wednesday Lucy sad and crying – sees no hope of getting better – wants to die.
November 3, 1996 Sunday got up in Testimony Meeting to express appreciation for the wisdom of the scriptures. Used Jethro straightening out Moses as example of qualities for governing officials.
November 15, 1996, Friday, Went thru a lot of stuff clearing out and salvage – found some long lost tools buried in the stuff.
November 18, 1996 Monday, Corinne McGuire called this morn to find the source of the poem “Hyacinth to Feed thy Soul.” She remembers me quoting it in a Sunday School Class about 1970. I looked everywhere – could not find – called her back and said I would call when I locate it – Finally called Hilquists and Myrna found it in a back of “Favorite American Poetry” no that was not the title, it was “The Best Loved Poems of the American People” selected by Hazel Felleman p 78. I called Corrine and read it to her over the phone and told her Myrna had to find it for me.
Hyacinths To Feed Thy Soul
If of thy mortal goods thou art bereft,
And from thy slender store two loved alone are left
Sell one, and with the dole
Buy hyacinths to feed thy soul.
Attributed to Gulistan of Moslik Eddin Saadi, a Mohamed and sheik and Persian port who lived about 1181 – 1291.
February 7, 1997 Friday, Amazing Gerry answered the phone and I talked to him briefly. I dropped off his tax statement from Audrey’s last Ira distribution. We also included a sack of nice candy.
March 12 1997 Got off at 5:40 am we got to Boulder at about 11am – we stopped several times going up Baker grade and down toward Nevada. We heard strange popping noises or thumping in rear right of car – never figured out what it was. Thought it might be spare tire support, seat belt, flapping in breeze, loose mud flap or ? It quit after we stopped on the dry lakebed just inside California – I thought it might be a wheel bearing but the wheel did not get hot. So after nothing obvious I thought it might be the gas tank popping with change in altitude but I don’t know. Lynn Whitcomb gave eulogy; one of her boys gave a little talk about his grandmother…
March 129, 1997, William Dahlqist Reese- Born July 1, 1908
SLC, Utah died March 15, 1997 SLC, Utah
March 25m 1997 Tuesday, Took Kennedys to bank and to
Ralphs at 11A – Lucy is really crabby and Floyd is showing signs of wear.
April 1, 1997 Tuesday All day at Toll Auditorium for election.
Family Relations 2
April 20, 1997 Sunday, Dave Corrigan and Bishopric called Carol and me to teach Family relations class beginning in May. It has been about 20 years since I taught the Family Class in 2nd ward. Still have a card file with lots of nice references, which should help.
April 25 1997 Friday, Went to Jack Briggs memorial – he was cremated. Saw Ann and Keith and Family (Sanford) Bob Briggs and Cal and Surl – Had nice visit with Briggs family.
May 18, 1997 Sunday, Ryan’s farewell meeting today. Craig opening prayer, Sandy talk, Ron Talk, song by friend who needed a microphone. Ryan talked on humility and I gave the closing prayer. Sandy told story told her by Gayle. She was afraid, on her 1st day at kindergarten that she could not find her way home. Kent drew a chalk line from home to her classroom so she would not get lost.
May 25, 1997 Sunday Kent Mark, Jeff and JT families came to sacrament meeting which was 2nd ward farewell for Reeses – all Reeses talked and Carol and I gave prayers. Recorded the talks on cassette.
JH: A few years ago, I was asked to speak at a Father's Day sacrament
meeting. I decided to tell one of my favorites: The Pipe Story. That is a good story for the interaction of boys and their father. I expected to take no more than ten minutes. There were two speakers ahead of me and one after me. I got up to speak with the clock at two minutes to the hour. So I gave a 5 second speech: "The concluding speaker is always at the mercy of earlier participants. I am donating my time to the concluding speaker." I sat down. The concluding speaker went overtime by twenty minutes.
June 8, 1997 Sunday, Taught 2nd lesson in family class and listening to the spirit in family problems. Called Mike he will be here around the 4th of July.
June 13, 1997, Shawn Davis, Janice’s new husband. Wedding at 4PM in LDS chapel in Clearfield – wedding performed by groom’s uncle. Kristi married Mike Welch Mike Sekulich drove up from Arizona for wedding and started back this evening. He will be tired.
June 16, 1997 Monday to Malta to visit Golden/Barb, cut the lawn using Brad’s donated ride mower. Trees in front of house have grown much. Water level high in gravel pit, cemetery, and green nice visited with Golden/Barbara – at their place. Mary went with us. Tried to get up to date on what has happened to some of the old timers, Duard Hal died. Stella Bell still Olive, Dale Piera still here.
June 19, 1997 Thursday, Tried to find Fred Gardiner baptism in Brighton ward (April of 1887) could not find, maybe in 21st, 20th or 14th wards – Had soup for dinner – walked to Smith’s grocery store for a few items.
July 6, 1997 Sunday Devoted SS class to Gloria Morales discipline problems with boys – gave out a short sheet of James Dobson principles of discipline.
July 14, 1997 Monday John and Gayle called late Sunday after boys sent home to Jen while John/Gayle tour mission. They say the country is beautiful.
July 22, 1997 pulled Honda alternator and replaced one bearing. Then replaced very noisy water pump – Not sure whether alternator is fully repaired, very difficult to get pulley nut off Honda alternator took all day on Honda.
July 27, 1997 Sunday gave lesson on being brothers and sisters to family and others used story of “Billy, I won’t Forget You” from Oct 1983 Guideposts.
July 28, 1997 tackled the Honda boot replacement problem. Tried all day to free the ball joint but not successful – modified my tool several times – called every where for a tool but the only ones available are the double prong brute force – maybe that is the best way. Honda book shows a neat tool but Honda will not sell to me.
August 10, 1997 Gave SS lesson on “Worth of Soul” used story of ”The Rebirth of Tony,” great illustration of power of recognizing good in someone. Worked on explanation to Mike of my statement in Gilbert, AZ that he should continue to love Janice. Not an easy subject.
August 11, 1997, Finished and sent letter to Mike – expressed our love and fondness for him. We think the world of him and understand some of the reasons for some of his actions. I gave him the computer so we could talk more freely and improve relations.
August 12, 1997, Tuesday, got a nice response from Mike to our letter, very positive.
August 19, 1997 Tuesday, at 9:30 went with Cal to dress Ray Hansen at Forest Lawn, Hollywood Hills' Mortuary. They were not ready with him and while we waited Bishop Mainwaring showed up to help – Had a nice LDS woman from Burbank 3rd Ward, an embalmer – she showed us a lot of helps in dressing Ray. It went well but Ray had sores that were leaking, so he had to be wrapped in plastic over most of his body before putting on clothes. I appreciated the experience.
August 24, 1977 Sunday Gave last lesson (12) in family course. Making a list of guideposts stories that could be used for lessons.
August 30, 1997 Saturday Cal and I to swap meet nearly ran into parked car on transition from 5 to Harbor Freeway, close call people behind me got stopped in time in the dark.
September 29, 1997, Monday, Cut more Bougainvillea and it fought back.
October 6, 1997, then went to Kennedys and drove their car to Kaiser in Glenoaks – after a couple of hours wait she has failed to get a walker which has to come from Hollywood Kaiser – but not today. Then took Floyd shopping at Ralphs – then home.
January 12 1998, Tuesday, took Kennedy’s to book, drug store and Hughes Market. Lucy expressed concern for the taxes she was going to have to pay on the prize that Floyd had “won” They have authorized a $600 payment to enable the prize money to be delivered. I wanna tell them that they were being taken but both believed the prize would be delivered – I called them from Mark Kennedy’s phone number and they were suspicious that I was going to call Mark about the prize money (They were right). They said it was none of Mark’s business – But, I did not call but they did and from what Lucy says, Mark tried to cancel their credit card and authorization – Floyd and Lucy both thought they were going to get a prize.
February 18, 1998 Wednesday, took Lucy and Floyd to Chino or Ontario to see Susan who is in hospital with urinary infection. Some trouble finding the hospital, which we finally found at G Street and campus. Short visit Lucy straightened the people out about Susan needing music Floyd mild – Lucy not as mild. Got home about 1 pm nice day, no rain cut lawn and swept.
June 14, 1998, Brent’s farewell in Diamond Bar. All family from local came. Julie/Cliff to open house. Brent will be great missionary, really a fine young man. Karen/Mark? Brent talked in Sacrament Meeting. I was highly impressed by beautiful setting apart by Stake President.
June 25, 1998 Thursday, weather has been mostly cool and overcast but clearing up earlier these days. Made an agreement with Carol that I would not eat any meal after her blood read over 200. So did not eat breakfast Wednesday morning. Also, not eating lunch and concentrating on fruits and vegetables. Had zucchini from garden this evening, pulled out some tubes and ports to sell at swap meet.
June 30, 1998 Tuesday I got settled down enough to write a civil note along with the Saturday Report to Salt Lake. I wrote: DISASTER!!! We did not have a clue that the broadcast was to be digital only. We were used to the note that “digital” systems are preprogrammed “but not expecting only a digital broadcast. We do not have a digital receiver. We invited friends and community to the program AUDIENCE REACTION: disgust and hostility. This disaster could have been easily averted had the notice of the broadcast contained only two more words: DIGITAL ONLY. End of message to SL --- Do I expect this will do any good NO. Those people never think in terms of “what if” and they assume an edict is carried out which is not real.
July 15, 1998 Wednesday weather very hot – made a desk in front room out of long oak panel and 2 short file cabinets. Nice flat surface (temporary).
August 6, 1998 Blaine called from Alaska; he has developed diabetic sugar over 300.
August 15, 1998 in afternoon went to Kent’s for pix at about 1:30 pm and then to wedding at chapel for Rachel and Rob did not think it a reasonable LDS wedding reception at 5 pm. Wedding service conducted by Bishop very nice but reception too loud and raucous.
August 23, 1998 Left after SS and went to Kent’s ward for Chad’s homecoming talk.
September 8, 1998 A SERIOUS garage cleanup. Pulled most of stored monitors and a great deal of stuff from garage and started casting out.
September 10 1998, Thursday, huge pile of stuff from garage to sort thru but making some headway.
October 29, 1998 Full day at temple 8am baptistery till about 11:15 – then did a session and then went into sealing session and when completed went into another one briefly where the Watrous and Cal and Pat Reynolds were. Then went home.
November 29, 1998, Sunday, Friday Floyd Kennedy left message on answering machine that he needed a ride to Kaiser in Glendale. We were not home most of the day. He ended up in hospital in Hollywood. Went to see him after church today. He had heart pains – now looks good and says he will be home tomorrow.
December 2, 1998 Call from Lucy at 8 am Cold – Furnace not working. Spent a full day and half day at Kennedys, Lucy having a fit. Their furnace blower motor had great difficulty turning – sometimes just sat and hummed. After a couple of hours I called a furnace place and they came to fix the problem very expensive $675 to replace motor but it was worth every cent to get Lucy quiet.
January 7, 1999 Got Cal to go with me in pickup and we jumped the Honda and got it started and drove it home. …. at home removed the Honda start switch and took it apart – a small die casting was broken – replacement cost $144 plus tax, really poor design.
January 12, 1999 Cal and I went to Pick-U-Part and got 2 ignition switches for less than $20 total. Installed on and modified both for service that fit my key.
January 17, 1999 Mark called today to tell us Julie has breast cancer. And Julie called later to be operated on Wednesday next. Nothing else seems important.
Dear Family, Life goes on at a boring pace but we are really never bored – too any projects and not enough hours in a day. We are currently undergoing the unusual hot weather invasion of our crawling friends the ants. Their ingenuity and persistence are impressive – anyone got some sure cures? We have just visited Julie in the hospital and that triggered a lot of memories of experiences over more than 30 years. The dominant feeling I have is the desire for all who suffer to be able to enjoy the blessing of good health and a healthy outlook no matter what happens. Seeing Julie not looking too spry has again reminded me of how much I care about and love each member of our family and that includes the in-laws. Each one is precious and lovely beyond words. We care passionately what happens to each one of you. We love to hear any detail of your current history. When you hurt, we hurt. When you are glad, we are glad. When you are discouraged we hope you will try a new effort or approach. The family connection is a vital and eternal principal that I hope each of you will treasure as I do.
February 6, 1999 Saturday, Some relapse for cold – read some O-Henry to keep mind off the cold.
February 198, 1999 Friday more study found reference for “Prisoners return”: RD Sept 48. Schoolhouse in Foothills Oct 35 RD, Shiek Justice Mar 36 RD
March 4, 1999 got a couple of crystal sets going for Tyler’s education on Friday.
June 3, 1999 woke up at 4:30 Am and got going about 5:15; Toyota has more go then Honda.
Sunday June 6, 1999 went to unknown ward at 9 am. Excellent priesthood . Nice fast meeting. Met a man named Horace Snyder who asked if I had any roots in the area. Yes. He said he had a good friend named Gardiner. In the old days (he is now 86), the priests had to memorize the Sac Prayers and give them from memory. As a new Priest he had made 3 unsuccessful starts when a man knelt beside him and helped him thru the prayer. He said he will ever be grateful for that act of caring and friendship. At this point in the story, I am anxious to know the name of the man who helped. It was Clarence and he was in the bishopric of the ward of course that was my Dad’s brother and my uncle.
June 13, 1999 Ryan’s homecoming report at Sac Mtg. I gave the opening prayer. Sandy/Ron talked on the light of Christ and Ryan on same subject and used mission reference to illustrate.
June 14, 1999 Monday, John, Gayle, Denny, Carol and I to Mt Rushmore to see the Presidents in stone, took some video. Very impressive – also saw film of construction and museum of tools used.
July 29, 1999 Kennedy called as I was getting on net. Garage refrigerator is out. “Told to get a new one – Then Carol and I went to unload some of the “frozen (no longer) stuff – Lucy having a fit, said she was “mad as Hell,” we didn’t respond instantly. We took most of their melted stuff and put it in our freezer.
July 25, 1997 to Kent’s for Eric’s farewell. He is leaving tomorrow…. Eric looks like a missionary, we think he will do well.
August 6, 1999 Friday, Spent all of morning at Sunset Kaiser. Left eye has MASCULAR degeneration- very serious. Doctor looked at it (Dr. William Mandrake) and made diagnosis.
August 14, 1999 Rachel and Rob sealed by James Brown in LA temple this afternoon. Brother Brown did a great job. I loved it. – He is an expert.
August 23, 1999 decided I should clear everything I can out of the yard and house just in case my sight gets worse. Collected iron from back yard, also some wire.
August 25, 1999 more work on clean up. Looks hopeless. Still, too much stuff. Sorted some stuff for swap meet.
September 10, 1999 Lucy called after 10PM wondering why I didn’t visit them anymore. I told her I visited them last Friday. She has no memory of the visit.
November 5 1999 Home Teaching visit to Kennedys – Got Floyd talking about some of his life – what got him started in music? His mother got a piano for Althera and the other kids. They did not take to it but Floyd did and his mother thought he should have lessons. Local lady gave first lessons and then his mother took him to SL where he boarded and took some lessons at McCune School of music – some lessons from TAB organists Frank Asper. Floyd went to University of Utah and graduated with teaching degree and specialized in “music” he graduated in 1930 and got a job teaching in Moab – lots of trouble with his kids who had more interest in being radio stores than in being musicians. Floyd quit after 3 months. Shortly he took job in Eager, Arizona where he assembled an orchestra and had some success teaching. However the locals were not satisfied with the pomp and ceremony of the little band so did not renew Floyd’s contract. Then Floyd decided he needed more education so he took the bus to Chicago for more studies. He waited tables for meals and ran an elevator at the school to defray expenses. After a graduation, certified and returning to Utah, Floyd was anxious to put his training to good use. A lady from a school in Monroe Louisiana recommended Floyd to some of the school authorities. Floyd was invaded to go to Wyoming when the man responsible for hiring was vacationing. The audition went well and Floyd stayed 2 years in Monroe. He says that was some of his happiest days.
December 3, 1999 Called Kennedys – no answer – walked down no one home – then later Floyd answered my answering machine message – Lucy in convalescent hospital – has widespread cancer – First showed up as pain in her legs now in bones etc.
December 18, 1999 Chad’s wedding at 2P pm in LA Temple. He married Maryssa from Florida.
December 19, 1999 when we got home from church Mark Kennedy had message on machine saying Lucy had passed away this morn – did not expect it that soon since she seemed fine on wed. She even asked how the family was on Wednesday. Called and talked to Anne and Mark Kennedy’s wife who seemed to have a lot of aggression!
February 20, 2000 Floyd to Sacrament meeting.
April 7, 2000 Kent invited us to Ryan Snowden baptism on Sat 2 pm.
May 22, 2000 Went to Frank Slight funeral at noon – nice crowd at Wilson Bldg.
May 30 2000 Sandy emailed says they are starting out from Denver at about noon tomorrow. `
June 7, 2000 Dr Hon says eyeglasses won’t do me any good. This is disappointing.
June 25, 2000 Sunday Brent reported on his mission.
July 29, 2000 Kent moved to 25481 Cariz, Valencia Ca.
January 14 2001 Took Floyd to church at 11:00A.
March 9, 2001 Friday Gayle, Carol and I went to Soup Plantation for dinner. Gayle is a good driver.
March 4, 2001 visited John Larrimer at Recording for the Blind. He is lonesome. His wife Alzheimer’s is worse. He looks tired.
April 23, 2001 worked with Sandra trying to put data and names on pictures – picked up prints of the 3 odd color shots from Isabel taken in summer of ’52 when Janice was a baby. The clothing is those color shots paint out some mistakes we make in some of the B/W prints. Tried to correct some of them went back in my diary to Navy days and found a few more pix.
May 1, 2001 Gas now 1.84.9 up 10 Cents.
June 1, 2001 Friday, 80 today. Kent called last night Gayle called today JT sent card and emailed. Gayle sent gift certificate and Johnny signed. Shanklin sent an “80” card.
June 6, 2001 took Carol to Montrose for fitting for hearing aids.
July 6, 2001 caught another rat this morn – He was in trap before 9:340 last night – I could hear him trying to get out too dark to shoot him with a BB gun.
July 8, 2001 Called John Larrimer. He has quit Recording for the Blind and is taking care of Alzheimer’s wife.
July 28, 2001 Roger Hawley passed on early this morning. Mary Lou called Carol.
August 9, 2001 Almost finished a carrier for my mothers negatives for us in my old enlarger which I pulled out of garage and cleaned and re-glued some of base, not as elaborate nor big and heavy as Cal’s but will probably work as well as it did in the ‘50’s and 60’s made a couple of enlargements using Cal’s enlarger but great trouble seeing flaws of projected image – charged Floyds Old’s battery but no start.
August 19, 2001 Mark and Brent picked up and took us to hear Eric’s homecoming talk in Santa Clarita. Kent and crew just back from camping out a week. Eric gave nice report.
August 24, 2001 got off about 7:30A for Idaho….Helped Mary water trees and burn trash and rearrange shed to accommodate rotary lawn mower. Kent, Chad, Marissa, Eric, Ryan and Ashley showed up – then Gayle, Julie (Lang) Julie (Becker) Jen, Kelsey - - Mark drove the van and brought Mary, Karen, Charise, Heather, Jeffrey, Carol and me. Ate lunch under big tree south of house that Dad planted in about 1937. Told few stories about Malta. Kent took pix of house contents and hauled some of my high school shop furniture into his van. Visited Malta Cemetery. Gayle and crew plus went from cemetery onto Salt Lake – we went back to home place. Before we went to cemetery we took a brief trip to old Sears place location – House no longer there cultivated field now and Jack Price has added a new home east of original brick 2 story Pierce House – not much interested in sears place location even with pix of old house with Mary standing in front holding a doll. Got most things squared away and all of us went to Meadow Creek and got off at Switzers and looked at old school house remains and looked for cove that is said to be about ¼ mil up canyon from school did not find cave. (Just as well) I located position of original Meadow Creek home where I was born – to within 100 feet by looking at picture of mountains behind the original house. Mountains have not changed since 1921 photo my mother took – another house has been built near original location. There was a little stream of water at bottom of property – spring? Pump? Then onto Salt Lake.
Larry L. Thompson, Malta Resident Deputy visits us at Meadow Creek. He wanted to know why we were parked near old school at Meadow Creek Dean told him about our mother teaching school there (I was not there) when the CPL showed up but was looking for the cove. The CPL said he was the son of Adelia Beyler who lived across the street from us in the 30’s. Small world.
Most people want to do it again (Those that I talked to) Dawn gave me her Gardiner/Steward research.
September 10, 2001 Jeff called last night – says he and Mark would like to buy Mary’s house Called Mary – foot dragging.
October 5, 2001 more pix – slow tedious work to get good exposure on these old negatives – negatives in general good condition – some spots missing and some scratches – most make satisfactory pix – we use the variable contrast filters in a lot of them.
October 7, 2001 Family came about 5 for our 40th wedding anniversary. Kids gave us a great quilt with photos of families in many of the blocks. Looks great.
November 11, 2001 had a vivid dream this morn. Saw a vivid radiant image of Elaine who was very beautiful and radiated love and acceptance of me. I don’t usually see people’s faces in dreams but this was very clean, good detail, sharp and in natural colors. An impressive treat for me to see her so lovely – some drizzle.
November 25. 2001 Cal still not at church – called Mary, doing ok winter cold and lots of snow there. She says my mother went to San Diego in about 1918/17 to see boyfriend Archie Madsen who was in the military service, - (about to ship out?)
December 12, 2001 Cal had a heart attack this morning. Jay Hales with him in hospital today. Told Cleone he does not need my cold.
December 15, 2001, Lisa Larue Gardiner wedding. Big crowd, good food, poor music, long reception line. Wind was blowing during picture taking at temple and it was very cool. Lots of disturbed hair-do’s.
February 17, 2002, Vera Leeper and son Ron and wife were at 2nd Ward today – nice to visit. Vera is 88 and uses cane. Ron lives in Arizona. March 8, 2002 Friday Johnny called this evening – mission call to Spain Barcelona Mission – goes to mission home on June 19.
May 22, 2002 Reading memoirs of Joseph Smith III lots of details about Nauvoo I never dreamed of.
June 1, 2002 Saturday 81 Today, Kent Deborah Ashley Brett Ryan (letters, Mark, Karen, Cliff, Jules Tyler Kelsey Jeff Andrea, DJ, Jason JT Kris Michael Steven, Brian at park for picnic and visit.
June 16, 2002 took Floyd to church program went so long in Sac Meeting that when I got up to give my short talk I said the last speaker is always at the mercy of the 1st speakers. So I donated my time to Sis Draper the concluding speaker and sat down.
June 18, 2002 Tuesday, Pulled down our old swing, which we bought in 1951.
914 North Isabel
June 23 2002 Sunday Rick and John came for visit in afternoon – we got some update from Rick about a few of our neighbors from 914 N Isabel – Ralph Singleton a milkman who went into TV repair, Catherine Bauldauff – Mary Ellen’s mother who has passed on, Mary Ellen who married and is a doctor, Mr. Hite who lived across the street and delivered eggs in an old panel truck, The Mc Nultys only one son left in house in Isabel, Dr Duff to our south who died in a ride to liquor store, the Wokoffs (I fixed TV for them) and Clair Weekoff is alive.
September 4, 2002, did 200 cards – I have done more than 2000 but more the 1000 to go. (Name extraction)
September 14, 2002, Replaced 2/4’s on the NW fence and repaired more damage. Sanded and painted much of NW fence – Ron is a super worker. New paint makes the surroundings look shabby.
October 20, 2002, Sunday Floyd went to Sacrament meeting with us – his nose still has scab from his fall (out of bed?) He does not know why he fell.
January 9, 2003 JT called, house burglarized before Sat night – big window broken, Nintendo Game Cube stolen and quit a bit of money but most of good stuff left. Blood on floors, furniture, bedding etc. Kids caught.
January 12 2003 HT Floyd – having memory difficulties .
January 23, 2003 Thursday, Gayle says John in hospital for heart?
February 9, 2003 Floyd and Carol to Sacrament meeting Ward Conf. visited Floyd – Got some insight into Kennedy family church activity. Another Kennedy died with childbirth, Grandfather married a replacement – not much interest in Gospel even though the Grandfather Kennedy was Bishop for a long time. Boys not much church interest. Reminded of Althera’s cow financing the Kennedy’s 1st piano. Both from neighbor whose not interested in music.
March 9, Sunday Home Teach Floyd – Got some more details of his life after Navy – Floyd wanted to write novels and came to Hollywood to take a course at a school located near Santa Monica and Highland conducted by a woman and Maren Elwood. His sister Lota May wanted to write children’s stories and also took a course and she and Floyd shared an apartment. Lota May had some stories published but Floyd’s novel was turned down. Lota May became ill and returned home to Randolph and died shortly. By this time Floyd needs money so he took a civil service test – passed and went to work for Los Angeles Department of Administration regulation. He did office work and other things and made out dog licenses. Looking for something better he took another civil service test, and went to work at a desk in the City of Los Angeles Clerks Office. There he wrote Summary of the “Procedures of City Meetings” and they were published. Floyd had job until retired.
April 26, 2003 to temple with Kay Don/Lois Frost with Garret Nickel driving.
April 27, 2003 Floyd and Carol to Sac Mtg.
May 3, 2003, Mark took me to the temple for Eric’s wedding at 11 AM. Talked with Roxanne Lewis – mother of Hayley the bride – They are from Fallon Nevada. Gary Lewis the father seems solid. The whole family seems solid in church.
May letter to Brian: I have been digging in the garden and the lawn and yard and have found a new friend. It is a saucy Jaybird. When he sees me digging or cutting, he drops by to see if I have unearthed some morsel of food for his dinner. He pecks in the holes left as I pull weed roots. He is delighted to inspect a pile of grass or weeds to check for something for his gizzard.
I decided to see if I could get a little closer to him, so I sprinkled a few grains of wheat a little way from where he was watching. He fluttered down and pecked up every kernel. I did this for a couple of days, and then I offered him some wheat in the palm of my hand. He hopped over and pecked one of my fingers and then jumped back and pretended to be interested in a bug in a hole. But soon he was back and pecked the wheat out of my hand.
I have done that several times and no matter where he sees me, he comes by to check for a handout. I believe he is a friend.
May 31, 2003, Jason’s baptism. Jeff baptized. I gave a talk about Holy Ghost and confirmed Jason.
June 1, 2003 Brent to us to Diamond Bar for Mark’s ordination to office of Bishop and setting apart as Diamond Bar 2nd Ward Bishop.
June 8, 2003 Floyd and Carol to Sacrament meeting. Home taught Floyd. He doesn’t look very good.
June 25 2003 Mark called – Jeff has very serious right eye problem. Called Jeff. Doctor thinks it is problem with optic nerve. Jeff only sees upper part of picture with right eye. He needs to see specialists.
October 16, 2003 Ryan (Kent’s) called, going to Chile on a mission.
November 27, 2003 called Gerry about noon and told answering machine we would pick him up at 1:30. Then went to get him at 1:30 but no response. So we ate our THX giving dinner alone. Great turkey and all the good stuff.
December 14, 2003 Karen picked up and took us to Ryan’s farewell in Valencia. Ryan gave great talk which reflected a lot of thought.
January 15, 2003 Rode bus to Glendale memorial Hospital – Dr. Loebman and crew did colonoscopy and said no sign of polyps or cancer in large bowel.
Jan 25, 2003 Ryan Blunck called had daughter Corinne on 15th of January, same day as my colonoscopy.
Feb 13, 2004 Took Carol to Hometown for Valentines outing. Very pleasant date. I love that woman and have told her so many times.
April 7, 2004 Kay Don Frost took me to Dr Chu – says lens transplant word improve.
May 17, 2004, Noticed some debris in right eye, looked like lint or tiny strings.
May 21, 2004 Went thru Driver’s license procedure – eyes not great but passed.
July 31 2004 Passed Driving test. License good for 2 years no freeway or night. Loaded for swap meet.
August 6, 2004, Going thru old paper work on Gardiner line in Scotland. See some possibilities for using source of Betty Harris data to extend our line. I believe a May McNair and Marion the Nair married to Jos Gardiner are same person. Betty lists them as separate but CD shows children in logical sequence.
August 1, 2004 Family outing at Verdugo Park at 11 AM.
August 27, 2004 I now realize I have a hernia in my groin, left side.
September 5, 2004 Elaine Brown has bone cancer.
October 12, 2004 Gloria called about 8AM. Dawn James died yesterday.
October 16, 2004 Gloria gave me my mother’s collection of letters we had written. (we meaning my branch of family) Letters go back to the 40’s, lots of history and memories in those letters.
January 4, 2005 Kay Don/Don Hilquist gave me a blessing for operation. Mark called. Word out. Rain this AM
January 6, 2005 Doctor came by and noticed urine contents (a lot) “You can go home.”
September 26, 2006 went with Cal Nelson to Floyd Kennedy funeral at Old North Church in North Hollywood Hills.
October 10, 2006 Worked on taking switches apart for brass.
October 17 2006 Switches, salvage of brass. (Final project for JH)
November 2, 2006 I feel very weak and have no appetite.
November 21, 2006 Gerry Kroksh came at 2:30 PM. I was amazed to see him after his years of seclusion. He has big troubles. He rewarded two neighbor girls, who had helped Audrey, with 1/3 interest each in his property. The one girl wants out, the other is greedy, and we suggested he get a lawyer.
January 23, 2006 Kent took us to his place for the day, also cut my hair.
December 2, 2006 getting very tired of the relay salvage project but a lot to go.
December 25, 2006 Late-sleepers in the house today. Carol and I up before Santa came last night. Had a very "Christmasy" day with lots of presents and activity – very nice visit this time of year and to see the youngster’s reactions.
December 29, 2006 Loaded for swap meet. Dug out Alter Lansing mixer at last but decided to leave at house until I can see its condition. Cliff’s going to drive.
December 31, 2006 Stephanie took us to Sacrament Meeting. Roy Jonkey out today. Weather not as cool as last four windy days.
January 8, 2007 Cold and windy. Spent day inside listening to CD’s.
January 9, 2007. Same as Monday.
January 21, 2007 Janice took us to Sacrament Meeting.
February 8, 2007 R & S (Ron and Sandy) got way at 4:15am for LAX – they have sported us again – Ron is an exceptional worker. Weather cool
February 19, 2002 Mark called hospice people and girl came late afternoon – we signed up for hospice care. Lots easier than going to Dr. on bus.
March 11, 2007 Sunday Stephanie took C to church.
March 15, 2007 Sleeping pills for 5 days. Only one sleeping pill in bottle.
March 27, 2007 Tuesday Kent came to help. Easter vacation. Helped with sink stopper lead project and took me to bank with Morgan Stanley check for IRA closure, then a $75 aluminum run. Michael came while C was here. Going to double sleeping pill dose.
April 1, 207 Sunday – Listened to conference. Weather cooler. Great conference.
April 30, 2007 Monday pulled out a bucket full of switches from under house to be stripped of copper.
May 1, 2007 Thursday washed the switches.
May 4, 2007 more switches.
May 7, 2007 Monday Switches
Waiting to Die
Kent: I arrived at 12:30 pm on Monday, June 18, 2007. Michele, the Hospice nurse is busy taking vital signs and chatting away with Carol and Mark. Michele is a cheerful, youthful looking middle-aged woman who you immediately like and enjoy talking to. In a way death is her business. You can tell she is good at it. We ask her how long Dad has left. That is the big question on everyone’s mind. So we ask. She says her mother went without food and drink for two weeks before she passed away. We look at Dad who has stopped eating days ago and is now just sipping water through a straw from a small Arrowhead water bottle. How much time left, who knows? “Only the man above knows for sure,” says Michele with a bright smile.
Michele says that before people die they often see relatives who have passed on. It is her opinion that these visions are not apparitions or hallucinations but real events. Of course we looked at Dad lying there in bed and wondered who is coming for him, and when. He looks ready right now, so thin, so frail, so weak and so white. Michele says she was working with a man who was dying who had a brother who was dying at the same time in Italy. The Italian brother passed away and three hours later the man reported seeing his Italian brother in the same room. Shortly thereafter he passed away.
Michele says that sometimes people just need permission to die. She tells us of a large family who were keeping vigil over a dying man, the patriarch of a big family. This was a close-knit Spanish family. They were all gathered in a small room elbow to elbow. Emotion was high; feelings were running deep, in fact she sensed a lot of tension in the air. So Michele suggested that everyone step out of the room to get their breaths. They did as requested and one daughter snuck back into the room with Michele following, and in Spanish the daughter said, “Dad, it’s okay you can go now, it is alright.” He took a single breath and was gone.
Dad doesn’t report any pain but when you move him in bed, which you have to do every few minutes because he is uncomfortable and doesn’t have the strength to roll over, he stiffens. One nurse felt his side and said she felt the cancer nodules and as she did so he winced with pain. We avoid touching him there and move him by pushing or pulling on his hips and shoulders.
Sometimes Dad wants to sit up just because he is sick and tired of lying down. He puts his skinny arms and hands around your neck as you lift and bear hug him into a sitting position. He has poor balance so you need to stand, leaning over and hold onto him, or sit and put your arm around him, which I prefer, which keeps him from plummeting to the floor or falling backwards hitting the hospital bed railing with his head. According to Mark this is rule number one or as Mark put it more succinctly, “Do not drop Dad, it will ruin your whole day.” In any case he sits for a minute or two or goes to the bathroom and soon he is back, cozy in bed looking for a comfortable position or asking for a sip or two of water or just sleeping.
Another rule Mark has is, “Medication is your best friend.” When a patient is moving around a lot the way Dad is, it means that he is in pain but doesn’t know how to tell you or in Dad’s case probably doesn’t want to admit to the pain. In either case you medicate them, which settles them down, and then they are able to sleep or rest in peace. Dad is nervously moving in bed again. I walk over and pull him up and straighten the sheets. Fortunately the Ativan and the Morphine are on their way. Michelle has put the order in.
I slept here last night and was awakened at 2:45 a.m. by a call for Carol, which I could hear through the baby monitor that Mark had hooked up and also heard down the hallway. I ran to him and found that Dad had taken his clothes off and kicked his sheet off with no way to retrieve them. I fixed him up and he went back to sleep. When morning came we had the same scenario. No Pj’s, no blanket and pretty darn cold. I fixed him up, got him a drink and he went back to sleep snug and cozy. He is sleeping right now. Looks very comfortable.
When I first came mother explained that she wanted to leave all of Dad’s work stuff on the table in case he wants to get back to his normal routine. As he lies in bed there I imagine him getting up, coming into the dining room, sitting in his favorite chair and fixing something, a computer, VCR, camera or just taking apart electrical stuff and sorting the metal, wire, and over time coming up with containers of screws, washers and widgets. If he was really feeling good he’d walk down the back steps, open the sliding garage door and sit at the back of the pick-up happily recycling electrical components. He might even get ready for the swap meet and hop in the pickup on the last Saturday of the month with Jeff and Mark, chatting about computers, printers, painting the house, Cliff’s latest electrical project, the high cost of gas or the price of scrap brass.
But Grandpa isn’t doing any of those things today. He is resting, and getting ready to meet Elaine, George, Emma, Fred, Hope and a hundred others who are anxious to see him again. In a quiet moment I think of a message I’d like to send through him to Suzanne. Secretly, I’m a little jealous of Dad because he’ll get to see her before I do. I decide to stop daydreaming and figure that Suzanne probably knows how I feel and what everybody is doing anyway. It was just a thought. Still, what a reunion for Dad! I imagine the look on Elaine’s face when she sees Dad after a 47-year wait. That will be a moment.
Carol brings me back to reality with the clanking of her walker on the kitchen floor. She’s up. I tell her that Dad is still with us, she says, “That is the down side of keeping the word of wisdom. You have strong bodies that don’t want to die.” It is a cruel irony. Dad’s body doesn’t look that strong but for the amount of fuel he is putting in his energy and stamina are amazing.
Carol says, “President Packer says you are supposed to age gracefully. My guess is he (meaning Pres. Packer) is not there yet.”
I think back to Michele and the apparent changes in Dad over the last 24 hours, since her visit: Dad’s slurred speech, the kicking his clothes off, less strength, loss of bladder control. A lot has happened in a single day. In a way I wish Michele were here right now. Somehow I would feel safer.
Before Michele left she leaned down real close to Dad and stroked his arm for a minute and said in a hushed voice, “It won’t be long now, James, it won’t be long now.” She patted Dad’s arm and said goodbye. He closed his eyes and went back to sleep.
On Wednesday June 20th I left work and arrived at the parents house a little after 12-noon. Mark brought me up to speed on Dad’s condition. It had been a very difficult night with Dad considerably agitated, moving his arms around over his head, twisting and turning in bed trying to get comfortable, calling for help then unable to communicate. Mark had given him his Adivan and Morphine at 11 p.m., which put him down for an hour, but then he was back to his old problems again. The medication was not working. Mark asked if he had pain and he said no. After a couple of hours of this at 2:30 he finally went down leaving Mark confused and exhausted and finally he too fell asleep.
At noon Mark is perplexed because the medication doesn’t seem to be working, however over the last 10 hours Dad was sleeping like a baby during which time he was un-medicated. It made no sense so he called Michelle. We wait for a response.
I look in at Dad and find he had spit up a little and together we changed his top and bottom sheets. He was cooperative but was only communicating with slight groans or not at all, nothing direct. He seems out of it. After he was nice and clean we put him on his left side because he favored his right side and we were afraid of establishing bedsores on his right side where he had spent most of the last three days. No sores so far. So once clean, we moved him on his left side and prop a pillow at his back to prevent him from undermining our plan. He is very calm and peaceful. After he settles down I notice his breathing, it is a rhythmic breathing that reminds me of Suzanne’s breathing before she died. I told mother and Mark that it would not be long now, probably hours, definitely not days. Mark leaves.
I had little to do, and seeing as Dad looked comfortable, I decided to take pictures around the house of things that reminded me of him, the front door knocker, the switch disassembly project on the dining room table, his bed, stuff like that. As I walk around I look back at Dad and check to see if he is all right. After a few minutes I feel like someone is watching me and then I notice.
He isn’t breathing. The slight heaving of his chest has stopped. I run to him and stand there wide-eyed. What is happening? I look for movement. None. A full minute has passed, as I stand frozen, not knowing what to do. Finally he breathes one last breath, and he is gone. The clock says 2:05 pm. I get mother, choking with emotion and tears and hugs. We both come and sit next to his bed. After a couple of minutes, she says, “Are you sure he is gone?” As she looks at the blanket over his chest it almost seems to be moving. I notice the same thing, which makes me wonder as well. Is he really gone? Could he just be breathing shallow breaths? I feel his skin. It is still warm. But no more breaths, he is gone.
I asked her to feel the warmth leaving his body, and she does. Of course by this time we are both overcome with emotion, and crying. Mother trudges over with her walker and gets us tissues, which we both need. We sit for an hour sharing feelings and thoughts about our love for Dad. During this time we call Mark, who by this time is a block from his workplace, and he turns around and comes back. We visited into the evening, calling relatives, talking to Bishop Weger, planning the funeral, remembering, thinking, comforting and grieving. It is a time of sweetness. The day reminds me of the sacred nature of family, the importance of preparing to meet God and the gratitude for having a father like Dad.
Michele, the Hospice lady, called him James. A lot of people called him JH. His children called him Dad or Grandpa or Grandpa G. His mother called him June, which was actually his given name because he was born on June 1, 1921. However, over time, that seemed like a girl’s name so he had it changed in the 60’s to James. James Hulet Gardiner. The name sounds formal, which he is not. Not one bit.
Dad was a man of great passion and determination. First and foremost he was a man of God. He loved the church, the people in the church, Sacrament Meetings, the priesthood, the temple, home teaching, the scriptures, the bishop and I think he had a deep and abiding love for Heavenly Father. Once I had dinner in the little kitchen nook with Mom and Dad and before we ate, we all knelt down for family prayers: Dad prayed fervently for each member of his family. He mentioned each child, grandchild and great grandchild by name and pleaded with God for help with their specific needs. This took a long time - that was Dad.
Many years ago Dad decided he would do his home teaching on Fast Sunday. It was the earliest time he could get it done, so that is what he did. But it wasn’t just getting it done for Dad. Home Teaching was a passion. He worked tirelessly with families and couples for years on end. Dad home taught the Kennedy’s for thirty-three years and she wasn’t even a member. Once they changed home teachers on them and she refused the new brother and said, “I want Jim Gardiner back!” He went with them through surgeries, personal trials, depression, and finally death. It was like he was their caretaker. Toward the end of his life he was Zola Holley’s home teacher but after he got sick he could no longer visit her. So she come to his home and from his sick bed he would home teach Zola. “How are you doing Zola can we do anything for you? Let’s pray…”
Another of his passions was his family. He just plain loved his family. He could take a squealing infant and in a couple of minutes quite them right down. His rocking and gentle, manly voice seemed to quiet and sooth them. At family gatherings he loved interacting with grandchildren, playing with them, dawdling them on his knee or reading them a story. He once hiked around the valley surrounding Malta with Jeff and later biked to San Diego with JT, twice. That was JH. He loved his family.
Dad also loved helping his family and others. He should be recognized in the Guinness Book of World records for fixing more people’s stuff than anyone else in the world. He literally fixed thousands of items for thousands of people. Often when you walked into the house the front hallway would be strewn with TV’s and VCR’s waiting patiently to be operated on. He could fix air conditioning, anything on a car, refrigerators, dryers, clocks, watches, cameras, VCR’s and in fact fixing a TV was child’s play to him. I’ll always remember the time I took a TV to him and he dragged it out into the back yard, gave it a good dousing, dried it out and later I found it worked perfectly. In a way he was an electrical genius. He grew up when tubes, capacitors and resistors were invented and he knew each intimately. He understood the theory behind each contrivance and in practice, given enough time, he could fix anything.
Mother reports that when computers came into vogue he avoided them until Jeff asked for help in a business venture. “Then Dad made up a computer in a cardboard box.” He loved to create things, and he was good at it too.
When he would go on a vacation and arrive at his destination he would ask, “What can I fix?” His mother once told him, “Nothing.” He said, “Okay, then I’m going home.” Once during a Christmas visit to the Langlois, Cliff mentioned a problem with his roof. Big mistake. In spite of it being Christmas Eve, soon Dad was on the roof tearing it apart and covering the patio with falling roofing material. If something needed doing, he was going to help.
There was one thing he was not good at: helping himself. A few months before his death he told me, “ I have to live long enough to get my garage cleaned.” That was not to be. I knew it wouldn’t happen. He must have known it wouldn’t happen. He could not extricate himself from the electrical quagmire he found himself in. His life was jammed with generators, switches, wire, variable capacitors, transformers, scrap aluminum, brass, copper, iron, old TV’s, computers, radios, tires, and literally hundreds of bottles and cottage cheese cartons stuffed with big nuts, medium size nuts, small size nuts, tiny nuts, screws of all sizes and shapes, and a thousand other things. He was stuck with no way out. The stuff won. Dad lost.
Why did Dad have to keep so much junk around? Was it because he was raised during the depression and lived in Malta, a town of a hundred people and was at the bottom of the social ladder, a family with nothing? Could be. Or was it his love of taking things apart so he could learn how they worked - a lifelong pursuit. Or was it that he hated seeing things go to waste and viewed his recycling as a part of the greater good. Who knows? One thing is known. Dad loved to save and harbor his money and resources and the stuff he collected fit right into that plan.
But the stuff wasn’t his greatest challenge. Losing his wife was. In 1960 when Dad was 39 and had seven children below the age of 14 the person he loved most in this life, the person who gave his life balance and meaning, his sweetheart, Elaine, died. He held her in his arms in their bedroom as she took her last breath. That was his defining moment.
That meant funeral arrangements, grieving, dating, and the sole care of seven children with endless needs. After Dad remarried he found that blending a family with a new mother was hard work for everyone. There was a steep learning curve ahead. It was hard for the children who wanted their real mother back and hard for Carol who worked tirelessly to get up to speed in dealing with the demands of a large family. Bill Slight, the family doctor told Jim and Carol, “It takes years to build relationships.” But everyone was impatient.
Dad told Carol, “Once you get on the merry-go-round you can’t get off.” She didn’t but expectations needed to be readjusted, forgiving hearts were required, and over time the family came together.
Dad’s last years were filled with the same things the rest of his life was filled with: Prayer, church, helping others, collecting stuff, harboring his resources, home teaching, setting up a trust, trying to clean the garage, playing with toddlers, selling at the swap meet and his last and final project, taking apart a hundred switches and sorting the pieces into bottles. Ashley, Ryan and I drug a beat up, dusty, falling apart cardboard boxes, out from underneath the house, filled with giant switches. He spent his last few weeks dismantling them. The day he died I honored Dad by taking one apart. He would be proud. The project sits on the dining room table as a final testament to tenacity.
In the end what do we get from all of this? Dad leaves behind children, grand children, great grandchildren; in total a huge family of productive workers who love Heavenly Father. Both elements were important to Dad. The family in turn has enjoyed a husband, father, and grandfather, a man of passion, a man of determination, a man of God. And what greater blessing is there in this life? None.
Dressing the Body
A couple of days before the funeral Mark calls. He asks if I would like to assist him in dressing Dad’s body. I reply yes and so on June 29, the day before the funeral, in the afternoon we head toward Crippen Mortuary about 10 miles away.
As we drive, Mark talks about the future plans for Mother. He thinks it would be best if she could stay in the home where she would be with her own stuff, keep her circle of church friends, and enjoy the daily visits of caring neighbors. This seems ideal. But how? Mother has taken some falls, has difficulty hearing, doesn’t like cooking, is fearful at night, and can’t see small things and moves with the aid of a walker. This all means she needs someone in the home. The plan to accomplish this is radical. Clean and refurbish the entire home over the next few weeks, then put Mother’s stuff in the back of the home and Brent and Holly’s stuff in the front, rent-free. Mother gets company and home cooking, while the couple gets a chance to save money. It just might work.
Outside the mortuary we have a prayer and go inside and meet Bob, a middle age man who always seems to be needed somewhere else. In our case, he needs to go prepare the body for us. He leaves. We stand and chat and are soon interrupted by a woman with lots of flowers coming through the door. There is to be another viewing in the evening, in the little chapel section next to where we will be. She is just dropping off.
Soon we are escorted into the room with the body. Bob says, “Do you want me to dress the body?” We say no, but we will need his assistance. Mark opens Elaine’s black dressing case and lays the clothing out on a bed nearby. As Bob uncovers Dad we discover that he has on briefs. Bob asks if that is okay. Kindness is his stock in trade. We say yes, but we would like to replace them with Dad’s own underclothing. Bob shows us how to lift Dad’s legs, slip each leg through and pull up the bottoms. When we have his underwear in place I stand back and have a look. It is good to see him modest. The indignities of the last few weeks seem at an end. There he lays in white, completely clean and completely quiet. It seemed good. It seems right.
As we continue I soon realize what the word stiff means. When you lift the leg you are actually lifting the entire bottom half of the body. When you lift from the base of the neck the upper portion of the body is raised. Of course it helps that Dad now weighs about a hundred pounds, half his normal weight and interesting enough about the same weight as Elaine alive. Dad used to say,” Elaine weighs a hundred pounds soaking wet.”
Half way through the process Bob’s assistant Manny comes into the room. Bob asks Manny if everything is all right with the other party. No, they are very upset. Bob asks, “Do they need me?” No, meaning it is the kind of upset that can’t be fixed.
I soon become aware of how cold Dad’s body is. We ask Bob about that and he says the body is kept in an air conditioned room but not a refrigerator. Dad had been embalmed and doesn’t need a refrigerator. The only clue we have to this is a small incision in his tummy, which has been carefully closed with stitches, which we can see. We continue picking up pieces of clothing, lifting, pulling, and straightening until Dad is neatly tucked into his casket. Of course he doesn’t look like himself, the body without the spirit can’t. But he looks as good as can be expected. We are satisfied.
Before we leave Manny kindly takes a picture of Mark, Bob and I across the coffin. Characteristically he checks to see if the picture came out and respectfully hands me back the camera. They take care of everything here, I think to myself. We take another picture outside the mortuary and go home. The next day is the funeral.
The Funeral (Cal Nelson on left)
As we arrive at the funeral the well wishing begins. There are smiles and hugs, mixed with handshakes and “how-are-you-doings.” Funerals are events where you just want to hug everyone. This funeral is no different. Inside Dad lies quietly in his coffin while people file by, meditate and greet each other. Bishop Weger begins with kind words followed by Sandy and Gayle’s history of Dad. Both are touching, sweet and totally heartfelt. Dad must be loving this. The entire program takes just over an hour. The older grand children are pallbearers and act with great sobriety and respect as they carry Dad to the hearse. After the funeral Bob comes to me and says it would be nice to get people moving. He pulls the hearse up to the end of the driveway so that the other cars can form a line, and get their lights and flashers going.
As this is happening, I surprise Ryan Matthew as I invite him to come over to the motorcycle escort, a uniformed middle-aged man with a rakish Harley. Ryan is double surprised as the officer invites Ryan to sit astride the oversized black motorcycle for a picture. Dad really liked Ryan and would enjoy this.
After some visiting the cavalcade is off and we slowly make our way to Valhalla Cemetery as the officers leap frog from intersection to intersection, from off ramp to off ramp, stopping traffic with their arm signals and repetitive loud blasting of very shrill whistles. The motorcycles roar. This is becoming quite an affair.
As we arrive at the gravesite we find an awning, chairs, and a platform above the to-be-dedicated-grave. The sun is bright but most hold on to the formality of their suit coats. Mother, in purple, pushes her walker across the lawn and over gravestones to her front seat. I give the dedicatory prayer and implore deity to protect the site until Dad is resurrected and glorified.
Afterwards people talk, linger and toddle back to their cars and make their way back to the church for lunch. No motorcycles this time. Some locate Emma’s marker on their way back to the cars. The Bluncks walk over and take a picture next to two small grave markers, representing Sandy and Ron’s children who died at birth.
I stay behind and watch a tractor with its crane and pulley as workers lift the cement vault cover, traverse the lawn and lower it over Dad. I am the lone mourner, as they drape chains around the coffin lift it slightly and then began to lower it into the ground. One alert worker looks into the hole and notices it has caved in slightly, so they put the vault containing the coffin crosswise over the hole as one brave soul leaps down into the opening with a shovel and levels the dirt floor, only to be surprised as another cave in happens, which he soon makes right. He clambers out; they aligned the coffin to the hole and lower the vault and coffin into its final resting place. I asked the supervisor how long the process usually takes. “Forty five minutes total from the time the mourners arrive to the replacing of the sod,” comes the answer. I ask how deep the hole is, and he replies, seven feet deep. I wonder if they come upon the cement vaults of the next-door neighbors as they dig the grave and he says, “That happens fairly often.” With this new information I walk alone back to the car.
When we get back to the luncheon people are eating, visiting and comforting each other. Some find comfort in food, others in just being there.
In one end of the cultural hall there are an unruly group of 2 to 4 year olds doing endless foot races with no particular object in mind, all just running back and forth across the hardwood floor. They arrive at the finish line amid loud claps and cheers of approval. It is a joyous little event. As I watch Ava, age 20 months, participate, I consider what she knows of Grandpa G. Nothing really. She has had her picture taken with him but she is too young to hold on to that memory or any other. A sadness comes over me. Here we have this grand old Patriarch and his great granddaughter and they will never know each other. Ava won’t sit on grandpa’s lap and listen to him read stories, she won’t make a science project with Grandpa’s help or help Grandpa pick through a million parts for just the right electrical piece, she won’t drive to Malta in a 54 Ford station wagon and sleep next to the stream Grandpa was baptized in or make whistles from willow reeds and look up at the stars with Grandpa next to her, and she won’t hear the deep conviction in Grandpa voice as he speaks of his faith in Jesus Christ. All of which is really the reason for writing this piece. Generations need linking. They need to be attached or held together in some fashion. But how? Somehow, I hear Dad’s voice one last time.
Dear Ava, You have a father here on earth and a Father in heaven. Get to know both, trust in both and they will take care of you until I see you again. That’s what I did. You can too. I love you. Grandpa G.
Table of Contents
2. Early Years
3. The Sears Place
4. Spiritual Experience
7. The Generator
14. Crystal Radio
15. Bad Luck
18. Christmas Tree
23. 1942 at 3641 Seneca Ave
25. Doing hard time
26. Best Friend
28. The Draft
29. Last Day At Lockheed
31. Navy Life
32. Fiery Crash
33. Surprise Visit
34. Guard Duty
35. Second Surprise Visit
36. Navy School
37. Tragic Women
41. Two Ladies
42. Beautiful Day
43. Back Home
44. Adobe House
45. More Navy Life
46. Treasure Island
48. My Daily Schedule
50. Kent Deployed
51. Deadly Combat
52. European Invasion
53. Kent Missing
54. Grandma Hulet
59. Bad Day on Treasure Island
62. Malta Gag
63. Elaine Arrives
65. Atomic Bomb
68. Back to School
69. The Boy is Born
70. The Boy
71. Hope Hulet
72. Home ownership
73. New Job
74. Ma Scholl
75. Bike problems
76. Grave Digger
78. Elaine Dies
80. Dry Humor
81. In Shape
82. Rock and roll
83. Vacation Travel
85. Biggest Smile
89. Hope Hulet Dies
90. Audrey Dies
93. Ham Radio
95. Swap Meet
96. Old Friends
97. LA riot
98. Why Works are Important
99. JT Moves
100. Ivena Story
105. Karalee married
108. Jason Paul
109. Carol 70
112. Jen married
115. Family Relations
116. Janice married
119. The Prize
121. Serious Cleanup
123. Dear Family
128. Goodbye Malta
129. Special Dream
130. Lisa Married
132. 914 N. Isabel
133. Floyd Kennedy
134. Eric Married
135. Little Bird
136. Ryan’s Mission
137. Gerry’s Problems
138. Last Christmas
139. Waiting to Die
141. Dad’s Life
142. Dressing the Body
143. The Funeral
Time Line of James Hulet Gardiner
1921 June 1, June born in the Meadow Creek district
1921 September, We moved to Declo
1921 November, We moved seven miles south of Malta
1922 April We move to Dr Sater’s desert ranch
1925 April, We moved to Bridge, Idaho
1927 I start school, we were still living in the one shack near Arthur Pierce’s.
1929 Spring, We moved to the place a mile and a half south of Malta.
1929 August, I was baptized in the creek behind the house
1931 Fred Gardiner janitor
1940 November 17, Friday, Grandpa broke his hip
1941 September 1, Move to Providence for Engineering course
1943 I was married on the 19th of May
1943 September 4, Saturday, ordered to report for induction
1943 September 14, My last day at Lockheed
1943 September 15, Wednesday Inducted
1944 May 8, Kent Horne deployed
1944 June 30, Kent Horne missing
1946 January 2, Discharged from the Navy
1946 January 14, Left Los Angeles for Utah State
1946 March 21, JH is told he is a father
1946 June 21, Friday Put a hundred dollars down on house
1946 June 27, Saturday, Fred helps JH move onto new house
1946 August 26, New job at Walgreens
1960 August 30, Elaine’s death
1978- 79 Easter vacations, JT and JHG cycle to San Diego.
1998 September 19, Hope dies 1988
1989 November 16, Suzanne breast removed
1990 January, Kent moves from 27712 Hyssop
1990 January 20, Grandma Thompson dies
1990 October 17, Audrey Dies
1992 April 29, LA riots
1992 September 19, JT’s moves
1994 June 11, Sandy and Ron move to Denver.
1994 September 26, Suzanne dies
1994 September 29, Suzanne’s Funeral
1995 April 16, 1995, it is a boy - Jason
1995 April 22, Kent’s wedding to Deborah
1995 December 18, Carol is 70
1996 August 18, Chad’s farewell –
1996 August 23, 1996 Friday, Jen married
1997 May 18, Ryan Blunck’s farewell
1997 May 25, farewell for Reeses
1997 June 13, Shawn Davis, Janice’s new husband
1999 January 17, Julie has breast cancer
1999 June 13, Ryan’s Blunck’s homecoming
1999 June 14, John, Gayle, Denny, Carol and I to Mt Rushmore
1997 July 25, Eric’s farewell
2000 April 7, Ryan Snowden baptism
2000 May 22, Frank Slight funeral at noon
2001 July 28, Roger Hawley dies
2001 August 24, Left for Idaho, final visit
2001 October 7, 40th wedding anniversary
2001 November 11, Dream of Elaine
2001 December 15, Lisa Larue Gardiner wedding
2003 March 16, JT’s hairy cell is back
2003 May 3, Eric’s wedding
2003 May 31, Jason’s baptism
2003 June 1, Mark’s ordination Bishop
2003 December 14, Ryan Gardiner’s farewell
2006 September 26, Floyd Kennedy funeral
2007 June 20, James Hulet Gardiner dies
2007 June 29, Body is dressed at Crippen Mortuary
2007 June 30, Funeral of James Hulet Gardiner