Tuesday, September 25, 2012

James Gardiner Stories


I had an interesting experience today in this small Church that we are members of.  I was visiting one of the wards in our stake and the bishop of the ward is named Matt Callister.  His father was there visiting and is Douglas Callister, Former member of the Seventy and current Bountiful Temple President.  He told me he knew your dad very well.  He said he and his father were there with your dad shortly before your mother died.

He said he likes to joke with Gayle and John how they schedule 7 endowment sessions every week and at Bountiful they do 145 per day.


September 5, 2011
Kent:  I feel a need to respond to this.  Carol is a dear sweet lady, but after 75 years it is difficult to remember some things.  It is interesting how two people can remember the same time or events in auch a very different way.  The way that I remember Carol's visit is that it occurred the summer of 1936.  She would be 14 years old.  And I remember her as quite grownup. The reason that I remember the year is that was the summer that Dr. Sater and his family moved from the red brick house across the street from us and a Hutchison family moved in.  That summer we all went swimming in the big pond in the gravel pit across the road from us.  We had good times there. The boys had built a raft which added to the fun.  I remember an incident about the Hutchison girl's bathing suit which occurred while Carol was with me there.  This helps to clarify the year.  Also, Carmel Sater, the youngest of the Sater family, stayed with us for six weeks after Dr. Sater and family moved to Albion where he had been accepted as physician at the Albion Normal School.  Saters had given us a number of items--the round dining table, the phonograph, a heater and some other things.    Now as to where we slept. There was no floor in the upstairs at that time.  It was just an attic room. The girls did not sleep there.  At that time there was no bathroom indoors. So the big "northroom" as we called it had two double beds in it and I'm sure that is where the girls slept.  The boys did not sleep in a haystack in a shed.  At that time, Dad's old sheepcamp wagon was sitting in the yard and had a bed compartment in it and that is where the boys slept.  I remember sleeping out in the sheepcamp bed at least one night that summer while Carmel was with us.  There was also always a cot in the front room where one or two people could have slept at some time.  I guess Carol was trying as best she could to bring back some memories of the brief time she spent there.  I wouldn't have done any better if I had spent two weeks in a strange place and had been asked 75 years later to give details.  Oh , yes, Dad and Mom always had their bed in the little bedroom in the northeast corner of the house.  M

September 13, 2011
Kent,  I do remember quite well the incident about the rattlesnake being tossed onto the hay wagon.  I was on the wagon.  I had forgotten that it happened while Carol was with us.  That being the case, it was a hot afternoon in August 1936.  Dad and the boys, J.H. and Golden, were in the process of putting up the hay crop.  Alfalfa, a deep rooted perennial plant, had been planted in the big field south of the house.  When mature it has a small purple blossom. It makes good feed for horses and cows.  At this time the alfalfa had been cut down using a horse drawn mower which was in common use at that time and then raked into small heaps using a big rake drawn by one horse.The alfalfa was now dry enough that it could be added to the stack already in the stackyard.
Dad had a big wagon for hauling hay.  It had 2X4's positioned along the sides close enough to contain the hay that would be tossed into it.  The wagon was pulled by two steady old work horses.  They would stand unattended and not move a foot while the menfolk with their pitchforks  tossed hay onto the wagon.  Then Dad or one of the boys would lead them forward to a new spot.
On this particular day someone suggested that it would be a good idea if some of us kids were to be on the wagon and tramp down the hay as it was tossed into the wagon.  If it was packed down , more hay could be loaded.
So Dawn and I were helped up into the big wagon.  I was eleven years and Dawn was nine years old.  We were having a pretty good time tramping hay and probably had about half a load when I looked down and right close in front of me I saw a section of a snake's body--not moving.  It's head and tail were covered with hay. (Lucky for me).  It was apparently immobilized.  I told Dawn we had a snake.  She did not see it.  She was on the other side of the wagon.  We really didnot get excited about it.  Anyway I did not know that it was a rattlesnake.
We did the only thing that could be done at that point.  We just stacked more hay over it and tramped it down good.
When we had a full load, the horses pulled the wagon down to the stackyard and parked it alongside the haystack.  Then with the aid of the derrick horse, derrick and huge Jackson Fork, the hay was lifted up from the wagon and dropped over onto the haystack.
Then someone, I think it was J.H.,saw a good sized rattlesnake in the stackyard and disposed of it.  As I recall, we were not invited to tramp hay again.

I will add a bit more about our use of alfalfa.  It was part of the menu for the little turkeys along with oatmeal.  Three times a day we would go out to the nearby field and grab off  or cut off some alfalfa, take it into the house and cut it up and then we would distribute it along woth oatmeal and water to each of the turkey pens.  Each mother turkey hen had her own little pen.  The pen was opened in the morning and she and her little ones were allowed to roam freely in the yard during the day.  Then in the evening she would go back to her own pen and we woould board it up for the night so that skunks and weasels could not get at the little turkeys.     M

November  12, 2008:
I heard a good story the other day from Dad.  I had never heard this before.  I was telling Dad about a statewide stake conference (88 Stakes) and how there was several references to Spencer W. Kimball.  President Packer and Bruce Hafen talked about President Kimball.  Dad then shared this story.

When Dad got home from the navy he went to church in Malta for Stake Conference.  President Kimball (Elder Kimball then) was there and Dad was called up out of the audience to speak.  After conference President Kimball talked with Dad because President Kimball's son Andrew was friends with Dad on Treasure Island.  They bunked right next to each other, went to church together, etc.

Dad said that JH was in the Branch Presidency on Treasure Island and a instructor on Treasure Island when he was there.


Do you remember the old Sheep Camp out at bridge?  I found a great picture of one on the internet from Grouse Creek, Utah.  (Grouse Creek isn't far from Bridge or Malta)    JH, Golden and Mary all lived with their parents in one of these.  You've heard the story about JH dropping the piece of iron on Dad's head -- you can see the little window in the back of this and visualize that story -- that must have smarted.

I made the mistake of complaining once about the old station wagon I shared with my siblings when we were all going to BYU.    There were at least four of us at BYU and of course the big wagon was perfect for hauling our things. We would drive home (usually just for holidays) and on one of our trips I had a flat tire.

Dad told me how fortunate I was.  He shared how he and JH had built a little house/shack on the back of a wagon and they actually lived in it at Utah State for a time.  He said that they had problems getting it there and back and they had more than a dozen flat tires when they were moving it.  They would just patch the tire and keep going.  He said the little shack was infested with bed bugs.  He said he still remembered welts on his hands in his drafting class as he was drawing.

I've heard several good stories like that recently.

Also, on Sunday a guy at church I work with asked me if I knew a Harold Gardiner.  He told me that whenever I open my mouth he has to look twice to see if it is Harold talking.  This brother (a physicist) is older and knew a Harold Gardiner from Salt Lake who was a scientist.  I thought it might be Dad's cousin Harold who worked at GE.  I'll ask this guy if the Harold he knew worked at GE.


Dad sent this in May 2003.  I stand corrected, Brian was 8 almost 9.  Some time after this (still 2003) Brian went to Glendale to stay for a few days and Dad was trying to catch a rat in the back yard.  When Brian went home, the rat had still evaded capture.  Brian made Grandpa promise to report on what happeded when the rat was caught.  A day or two after Brian got home, Grandpa called to report that the rat had been caught and Grandpa had dispatched the rat with his trusty .22.
JT's commentary: Only Grandpa would never think twice about discharging a firearm in Glendale.

Yes, Mom mentioned that you are working on stuff of her.  I have a box of her old photos that I need to go through.  I will scan and forward any photos of interest.


 A memory from WWII -

After some time in Navy service, in the spring of 1945, I rented a basement  apartment from some members of the Berkley Ward.  The apartment was easily accessible from Treasure Island Navy Base by way of the train that went across the San Francisco Bay.  My object, of course, was so Elaine and I could share some time together. A group of LDS servicemen from Treasure Island had made it a practice of getting together and going as a group to church services, whenever duty assignments allowed.  We went to a ward on the San Francisco side and to a couple of wards in Oakland.  We frequently would go out of our normal routine to visit a stake conference.  But our favorite ward was Berkley.
 A wartime ward was different.  Service age young men were  mostly missing. Berkley Ward population  was elderly couples, young married women with several children and a husband gone into the service, a few teenage boys and girls  and visiting service men.  Then there was a large number of 19 year and up of girls going to school at Berkley.
Berkley  Ward  made us feel  at home and  invited us to participate in ward activities.  We felt welcome and enjoyed the homey atmosphere
We loved the little basement apartment.  Elaine would shop for food during the day and had time to read and visit with our host family who were waiting for the return of the husband and keeping busy tending the little ones.  Elaine would lend a hand tending some of the tiny tots and that was appreciated by the hostess.
For us it was really a lovely honeymoon.
After Elaine got acquainted with many of the girls in the ward, the girls took Elaine aside and said, "You don't need to worry about your husband.  All the time he has been coming to the ward with the other service men, he has not paid us any attention."
Elaine was pleased.

Love,  Grandpa G.

January 31, 2008

March 30 2008:
The 30th anniversary of the first ride just passed (am I that old?).  The first ride was one way which we did during Easter Vacation in March 1978. The second ride was over Easter Vacation in April 1979.  On that one we rode down on Monday, went with Sandy and the kids to the Wild Animal Park on Tuesday, and rode back to LA on Wednesday.

To make the distance a little easier our starting (and ending) point was Grandma Thomsen's apartment in Whittier. From her place to Sandy & Ron's in Mira Mesa was 110 miles.

A few miscellaneous memories:  I did both rides in Levi's; can you say chaffing?
Towards the end of the ride down just south of Del Mar is Torrey Pines Road which has a long hill which was a killer after 100 miles (and two riders who were not in top shape).  In '78 both dad & I had to walk a portion of the hill.  In '79, knowing it was there I was determined to ride up the whole thing.  I rode half way up; stopped for a short breather; and rode up the remainder.  Two days later both dad and I really enjoyed riding down that hill for the first time.  As I recall the hill is about 1.5 to 2 miles long. JT


You will do a great job, of that I am sure. Please try to enjoy the
moment, I am sure your father would want you to. Here are a few thoughts
on JH, feel free to ignore, include, or edit as you wish...........Cliff.

JH was very kind to me. I was inactive for many years, but JH always
treated me with kindness and respect. Many projects were moved along
thanks to his electronic prowess and willingness to help.

About 15 years ago I remodeled the office, and JH asked if I needed any
help. I was on a tight schedule, and I gladly accepted his offer. On the
last day that I had scheduled for electrical work, we discovered that an
electrical panel had undersized supply wiring. JH was determined to
conquer the problem. Off we went to the hardware store, buying wire,
conduit and supplies. We labored into the night.

Mind you I was in my late thirties, JH in his seventies. About midnight,
I informed JH that I was pretty whipped and ready to call it a night. He
would have nothing of it, as he descended to the crawl space again to
pull more wire through. I was too embarrassed to leave him alone
crawling under the building, so I stuck it out with him. We finished
about 3 a.m., and JH was in Glendale about 4 a.m. I remember the time
because when I called to check on him the next day, he was amused that
the Glendale Police had stopped him on his way home. Apparently at that
hour a pickup truck loaded with electrical supplies and equipment is not
a common sight. He was delighted that they were watching his neighborhood.

JH enjoyed fixing things, the mental challenge and the ability to
conquer a problem. I once had an x-ray head that went dead, and JH asked
if he could work on it. He went to the library and checked out a number
of books. He took it apart and studied it. (I kept warning him of the
radiation thing, and he kept telling me not to worry). In the end he
told me it was hopelessly worn out, but that he now had a fantastic
knowledge of the principles of radiation. He proceeded to tell me about
x-ray theory, and some of it stuck, with the majority of it whizzing
right past my head.

I could not have asked for a kinder father-in-law. I will miss his help,
his electronic tutoring and generosity. I will miss being able to dial
his phone, and hear "Ahoy!" as he answered. I called often with
electrical questions, partly because I needed the help and he was a
patient tutor. But in the end I think I called often because I enjoyed
our time and conversations together. Cliff

Memories of Jim Gardiner, May 15, 2009

I can’t remember the date, but It was in the 1980’s when Jim Gardiner asked me to help out with taping General Conference.  Jim was preparing for surgery and he wanted to prepare for any eventuality.  He had prepared the Wilson Building, then the Glendale Stake Center, for receiving the General Conference Broadcasts.  He taught me how to set up the projector in the Chapel and how to set up the TV monitors.  Jim came through the operation and recovered quickly and was able to resume his activities.  I continued to work with Jim on the satellite broadcasts.

Jim and I seemed to form a bond from the beginning.  My birthday is March 9, 1946, just a few months before Jeff’s birthday.  When I was 19 years of age, my mother died of breast cancer.  My father married a wonderful woman.  Jim was like my Dad.

Jim enjoyed the Last Saturday of the Month Swap Meet in the Parking lot of TRW in El Segundo.  Jim was looking for a different item to sell, and we became partners in the Kilowatt-hour meter business.  I would purchase used kilowatt-hour meters from the Salvage Yard at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power . I would clean them up and delivery 8 or so meters to Jim just before each Swap Meet.  Jim made a lamp with one of the meters to demonstrate to potential customers the value of the meter.  Jim would sell the meters for $10. and we split the profit.  After a couple of years, the market was saturated and no one was interested in meters anymore.  We had to lower the price to get rid of them.

The new Central Building was dedicated in 1993, and it became the Glendale Stake Center.  Jim set up the video equipment and we continued the Satellite broadcasts at the Central Building.  Jim remembered the old Central Building, the West Ward Building, and told me about the times he would fix various items.  He mentioned that the pigeons were a real problem with their droppings from the tower.  Jim told me about time he put screens inside the tower and replaced the wooden louvers with metal louvers so when the pigeons would try to land on them, they would slide off.  The bird-dropping problem was solved.

When Jim’s eyes were getting worse, and he could not see to safely drive in the evening, he would walk or take the bus to where ever he needed to go.  I tried to provide transportation when he was involved as the Stake Computer Specialist and he needed to fix something on one of the computers in one of the other Wards, or when we had to show a Church broadcast at the building.

I love Jim Gardiner, I want to follow Jim’s example.

Alan Taylor
April 26, 2009

June 1, 2004
Dear Family,
A couple of weeks ago I gave a little boy from church a top made from half of a wooden, sewing-thread spool. He has been trying to master spinning it with thumb and index finger but has not quite mastered the art but won't give up.I still like spinning those little tops, which is probably held over from whenI was a youngster and we made a variety of those cut-down spool tops from different size spools, painted them, balanced them for a long smooth spin and sometimes inserted a straight pin as a smooth point to spin on.  As youngsters we were always looking for interesting things to do.  Stilts come under that category.  We started with tin cans under our shoes, held in place with hand-held string or wire.  That made a lot of noise and was not allowed indoors. Pretty tame stuff.  We started a competition to get off the ground in feet not inches.  I suppose we got the hang of it at lower levels but soon we had to mount our stilts from a fence, a wheel on
some equipment, a tree branch and when available from a tame horse.  The loss of stilt contact with one foot required some skill in descent.  We found firmly grasping the top of the stilts with our hands allowed us to soften the impact.  Dismounting from 4 to 6 feet up required firmly grasping the tops of the stilts, pushing the top forward,  keeping the handhold as long as possible and enjoying the end of ride jolt.
I was trying out a set of stilts with my feet about 5 feet above the ground and decided to cross a stream of water. The mud near the banks posed a problem.  One stilt, then the other sank deeply in the mud and I could not lift them high enough to proceed.  Then it was my turn in the mud.

I just had cataract surgery lens replacement in my right eye and can see  better.I can now read the clock and some street signs.

Love,   Grandpa G

 january 17, 2010

I heard a good story from Dad last year I wanted to share since you've shared so many good things with us.  I had never heard this before.  I was telling Dad about a statewide stake conference (88 Stakes) in Arizona and how there was several references to Spencer W. Kimball. President Packer and Bruce Hafen talked about President Kimball.  Dad then shared this story.

When Dad got home from the navy he went to church in Malta for Stake Conference.  President Kimball (Elder Kimball then) was there and Dad was called up out of the audience to speak. After conference President Kimball talked with Dad because President Kimball's son Andrew was friends with Dad on Treasure Island.  They bunked right next to each other, went to church together, etc.

Dad said that JH was in the Branch Presidency on Treasure Island as well as an instructor on Treasure Island while he was there as well.

I've heard several good stories like that the past few years. Didn't hear too many growing up -- always too much work to do it seemed.  Since Dad has slowed down he seems to reminisce a little more.

I was talking to Mary last summer and I told her something I'd heard in High School.  She told me I should tell you since she said you've been doing a lot of Family History.  I told Mary how when I was in High School one of my high school teachers (he was Franks age and his name was Kay Harper) was talking about what a great Sunday School teacher Fred Gardiner was.  I remember him saying that he was an excellent story teller and he had a great sense of humor.

A few thoughts for you before I forget them.


November 5, 2006

Dear Family,
Here are a few memories I have thought about lately:

In the spring and summer of 1940 I worked on a farm west of
FillmoreUtah.  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.

Lunch time.  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.

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.

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.

Love,  Grandpa G