|Photo on a table at her funeral. 2012|
ALICE WILLIAMS REEDER August 20, 1974 5:45 p.m. Dear Family, I have just completed the story of my life as I have lived it up to this point. I never planned to write my life story because I have never thought that I have did anything outstanding. But, then I guess that is what life is all about--the day to day living we do. My life has been involved around my family. I have not tried to mention all of the accomplishments of my children and my husband. I hope this story will inspire each of you to write your own life stories and include in it all of your accomplishments. I hope to add years of living to this story before I am through. Michael has been the one that has pressured me the most to write. He has always told me not to write him a letter if it was a short letter, because he wanted to know details. Here is a long one, enjoy it for what it is worth to you. Lots of love to each of you. Mom
I was born at Malad, Oneida County, Idaho, September 15, 1920. Arriving at 7:30 a.m., I was the first born of twin girls. I weighed 8 1/2 pounds and my twin weighed 3 1/2 pounds. We were the fourth and fifth child born to Bertha Jones Williams and Edwin Williams. Dr. J.F. Alton and Midwife Sister Hamilton attended. The small baby was blessed and given a name September 15, 1920. I was blessed and named October 31, 1920. My twin was named Alta, and I was named Alice.
Alta died October 5, 1920 at 4 a.m.. The cause of death was recorded as convulsions from unknown causes. Alta was buried October 6, 1920, in the Malad City Cemetery. I have always wondered what determined which spirit entered which body. I have often thought if Alta was a more advanced and better spirit why wasn't she left here since she would have been more capable of handling the problems of life. No doubt I needed this life experience more than Alta did to continue my progression.
Our one brother, who was the oldest in our family, was named Lester Williams. Lillian, Thella, and Rayda Mae were our other three sisters.
When Alta and I were born, Mother and Dad were living in a white frame house two blocks south of the school house. The were no street names in Malad at that time. Dad built a house closer to town. This house has always been called the Green House because it was a frame house and it was always painted green with white trim or white with green trim. I cannot remember my mother and father living together. I do remember living in the green house. It had a swing down in the basement that Dad had built for us. As I remember it, it had pipes for the swinging part instead of rope. We spent hours in that swing. I remember a play store that my sister Lilly made down in the basement. It had all sizes of little boxes and cans. Lilly had made it so we could pay her and she would put our play money in a little can that was on a pulley and pull the string: the can would go over to the other side of her play store and the change would be put into the can and returned. This was like the J.C. Penny store down town, where our mother worked. I remember the big apple orchard our neighbors, "the Billings", had and the big garden our other neighbor had. I remember my Dad coming into the house and picking up a large bundle of bedding. My father and mother were divorced on February 20, 1926. When I was two years old we moved into the green house. Mae was born there.
I liked to go to the shoe repair shop that Dad was working at. Mr. Thorton, the owner of the shop, was a deaf and dumb man. We used to watch him talk with his hands. All the customers that came into the shop wrote on pads of paper for him. Dad had been deputy sheriff for Oneida County. He got on the police force in Salt Lake City in 1928. We were so proud of him in his uniform.
One of the first things Dad brought us was a little red dog in a shoe box. It was a bird dog and we named him Rex. Rex was really one of the family and we all loved him. Rex really loved Dad and he would get as excited as we girls did when Dad would come to visit us.
Mama had worked for J.C. Penny (Golden Rule Store) before she was married. Mama hired girls to take care of us and she went back to work at Pennys. In the evenings my sisters and I would take rocking chairs out on the front porch. Lilly would rock me and Thella would rock Mae. We would tell stories and sing waiting for Mama to come home from work. It was fun on Mama’s days off.
Mama was a lot of fun to be with. She was always joking and singing with us. We played lots of games as a family. She wanted us to know how to act out in public so when we had enough money saved she would take us to the restaurant. The food wasn't as good as what Mama would cook for us but it sure was fun. She encouraged us girls to play with our dolls. We each had several dolls. They were the small kind ... about 2 to 6 inches long. We had doll furniture. We'd have doll parties and invite each other's dolls.
Dad often came to visit us. He would come and take us kids to Grandma Williams’ or to Aunt Ella’s. Mama always taught us to love and respect our father. I know that I was blessed with the best father and mother in the world.
Malad didn't have mail delivery to the homes. We went to the post office to get our mail. Our big thrill was getting letters from Dad. When Dad passed away years later he had kept some of the first letters each of us had written to him so I'm sure our letters meant a lot to him too. We had a woman who lived around the corner from us, her name was Alice Williams (same as my name). When Dad would send me a package this woman would get it from the post office. She would open it and then in a few days let one of our family know that she had received this package in the mail and opened it by mistake. I remember how disappointed I was on my birthday when Dad didn’t get a package to me. One time he told me he would send me a pair of blue bib overalls. When I got them it was an opened box from Mrs. Alice Williams.
I couldn't talk plain until I was in the fourth grade. Lester's friends would tease me and get me to talk. I had a hard time in the first and second grades of school. Mama would often take me to school and when she would get back home I would be sitting on the steps waiting for her. Everyone said Mama should spank me and make me stay in school but Mama didn't spank me for it. The first day I went to school was on my six-year-old birthday. In the third grade I got Mama’s cousin for a teacher. Her name was Orpha Davis. Miss Davis got me started out right. I loved her and I know she loved me. From then on I liked school and did very well.
In order for Mama to be home with us, Mama leased the rundown Harding Rooming house. Rooms were rented out by the day and night. Mama fixed some of the rooms into apartments and rented them out to families. She took care of a little old 95 year old man, Mr. Cox. He was a county case. He always wore a red bandanna around his neck and a little flat straw hat on his head. He was real short and bent over with age. He was hard of hearing but really knew how to use his hearing to benefit himself. He loved to tap his cane to music and have our little cousin who lived in one of the apartments dance. Whenever Mama took anyone upstairs to show them the rooms, Rex would be right by her side. If Rex didn't like the looks of someone he would just keep growling and Mama wouldn't rent the room. We all felt safe when Rex was with us. We each had our work to do to keep this big building in **** and span order. When we moved into it there was no plumbing in the building. Mama soon had a fall bath upstairs and a half bath downstairs. Just our family used the downstairs bathroom. On Saturdays after our work was done we four girls got to have a bath together in the big bathtub upstairs. We really had fun. We could splash all we wanted, and we'd take turns sliding down the back of the tub. When we were through playing and had been washed thoroughly we got to dress and go to the Saturday matinee. They were silent movies in those days. We'd get all set for the movie and wait for Mr. Powell to come trotting up the aisle with his little black suitcase full of the music for him to play. There was always a continued cowboy show. All week we would have to wait to see what happened to Tom Mix or Hoot Gibson as they were about to fall off or over a cliff or something else as drastic.
Dad was the first born into a family of 18 children and mother was the eighth born into a family of 13 children. Most of these lived in Malad. We always had relatives around,. Our home was never empty of relatives. Dad's folks used to come and see us all the time. Uncle Elv, Dad's brother, had a large family, mainly boys. They owned a large car. It had small seats that folded up between the front and back seats. Uncle Elv and Aunt Annie would come and get our family and take us for rides in this big car with the little seats. Then we would go to their place and make ice cream. Aunt Ella's day off was special. Mae and I would coax Mama to let us go to Aunt Ella’s on that day. Aunt Ella always had pennies and nickels in a bottle for us. When Dad would take us to either Grandma Williams’ or to Aunt Ella’s there would really be a lot of relatives. I was one of the centers of attraction. They would get me to tell the story of The Three Bears. Since I couldn't talk plain and took great pride in telling the story they never tired of hearing it. Uncle Oscar, Aunt Ella’s husband, would even have me tell it at the barber shop. Aunt Ellen, Mother's sister, was an invalid. She had a stroke and couldn’t walk. Aunt Ellen was a special aunt, we used to love to go to her place. Uncle Lubin, her husband, owned the candy store and the show house. I always thought he was rich and stingy, but I guess if he had of let all his relatives have free candy and go to the show free he wouldn’t have been so well off.
Aunt Ellen shared everything. Uncle Lubin was very good to Aunt Ellen but he was away from home a lot. They had a radio and a player piano. Mama would take us down to Aunt Ellen’s to hear Amos and Andy on the radio. Uncle Hugh, Uncle Perry and Uncle Alf, Mother's brothers, had a ranch. Mae and I would go to the ranch with them. Uncle Hugh had two girls, Delpha and Lou. They were the ages of Mae and I. The Lusks, Mama’s family, had a family reunion each Memorial Day. The cemetery would look so pretty after the graves were all decorated. There wasn’t any caretaker for the cemetery so it was up to each family to go and clear off all the weeds and clean up their cemetery lots so they would look nice for Memorial Day. Then after Malad’s Memorial Day program, the Lusk family would all gather at the church for our reunion. Everyone brought some food and it was all put out on big long tables. We had a program with each family participate.
The Fourth of July was special. We all got new dresses and a quarter. Mama would get a bucket of root beer from Uncle Lubin’s candy store. Christmas was great. I knew for sure there was a Santa Claus because I knew that Mama didn't have enough money to get all those things for us, but really we were having double Christmas because Mama would prepare for Santa to come and then Dad did too so we got double. Mama never got up with us on Christmas morning. I couldn't understand why. I thought she was tired. One Christmas I went in to show Mama the new doll I was so thrilled with and she didn’t seem interested. When I got older I decided that doll was one Dad got me and the one Mama got for me I didn't like as well. I can now think of so many heartaches Mama and Dad must have had. How I wish they could have been together to raise us. They loved us so much and we loved both of them.
One summer Aunt Deliah and Uncle Jess wanted to take their family to Yellowstone Park. Mama thought it would be a fun experience and like a vacation for us if she took us up to stay on Uncle Jess's farm and take care of it while they were away. It really was an experience. I remember one day we were playing in the ditch down by the barn when a little garden snake appeared and scared us so we ran through the big barn and was going out the front door when a rattle snake appeared. We were about scared out of our wits. We rode the horses, and gathered the eggs. One day we were playing and I was running around the house. I fell over a board that had a nail sticking up in it. It cut my right leg bad. I still have the scar from it. It took a long time to heal. I'm sure any mother these days would have a wound like that to the hospital but Mama kept it from getting infected and it finally healed. It took a long time. Lilly and Thella made some crutches for me and they pulled me around in the wagon. It was a fun summer. I bet Aunt Deliah's family didn't have any better time in Yellowstone than we had staying at their place.
Mama took us to Ogden on the train. It seemed like we went a long long ways from Malad. Aunt Lou lived in Ogden with her two girls Ellen and Edna. Ellen was the only girl cousin I had my age on Mama’s side of the family except for Edith Jones but Edith skipped two grades in grammar school so she was more like Thella's age. I liked to go to Aunt Lou’s because she always had bought bread. and Ellen liked to come to our place because we had homemade bread. Ellen and I enjoyed being together.
I can't remember of Mama lecturing to me or scolding me but she really knew how to teach us the right, not wrong, things to do. My first real experience of having a prayer answered was when I was trying to sell some tickets for our grade school program. I asked Mama and she said no that she didn’t have the money. I really tried to sell those tickets and couldn't. The blacksmith said he didn't want the tickets but that he would make a contribution to the school. I went out again and no one would buy them. When I came home I went out in the shed behind our house and prayed that I could sell those tickets. Mama asked it I had sold the tickets. I told her "No." She said "Have you prayed about it?" I said "Yes." Mama said. “Alright then I'll buy the tickets." From then on I knew if I had a problem and tried to solve it and would ask my Heavenly Father for help that my prayers would be answered.
Mama encouraged us to learn different things and we were praised for our accomplishments. Even after I was married it was fun to write and tell Mama that I had been taking swimming lessons and swam the length of the Verdugo Pool up and back without stopping--or that I had taken sewing lessons and made Lynn a tailored coat or learned to make ski sweaters and knitted a total of fourteen of them. She always wrote back how proud and happy she was with everything I did. She had a marvelous sense of humor. People loved to visit and joke with her. She seldom complained. She was a hard worker and refused any help raising us. She sold Avon products, and Watkin products. She bought a loom to weave rugs. Mae and I weren't old enough to help thread the wrap onto the loom but we spent our time helping by winding the balls of torn material into balls so it was ready to be weaved into rugs.
Jump rope--jacks--roller skating--dolls--hopscotch--were our favorite games. Lester trained Rex (our dog) to pull the sleigh. He made a harness for Rex. It-was a special thrill when Lester would take us to Grandma’s with Rex pulling. If Rex saw a cat or something else he wanted to chase we would leave the trotten path and off we would go. Lester wasn't home all the time. He was with our uncles working on their farm. He would come home on Saturday nights. I had the job of shining his shoes for him while he got ready to go out. Lester has always been special to me. He always called me by the nickname Alley Boo--(Even now that I am a Grandma, he still often calls me Boo). I don't know how I got that nickname but it was the name most of the relatives called me.
I was baptised August 3, 1929 by Isaac Mills and confirmed by P. Rex Mills. My cousin Delpha Jones and I were baptised the same day at what is now called Malad 1st Ward. A short time after we were baptised Delpha got diphtheria and died.
My second home in Malad was the home of Lydia Stocking. Lydia was either at my home or I was at hers. We really had fun. Her mother believed everyone should work and I was taught to do things I didn't have an opportunity to do at home. In the winter we would sleigh ride, ice skate, and in the summer we would roller skate. One day we were roller skating down the big hill on the tar road when I saw Uncle Hugh coming up the hill in his wagon, pulled by a team of horses. I wanted to hang on the back of his wagon and get pulled back up the hill. I was going fast on my roller skates and went off the side of the road into the gravel, to stop. I fell and really cut my knee – hurt -- but I didn't want Uncle Hugh to know. He could tell I was hurt but I managed to get up and over and hang onto his sleigh to the top of the hill. He kept asking me if I was alright. I still have the scar on my knee from the fall. The stockings had sheep. They would bring them to Malad for the winter and take them to Soda Springs for the summer. Lydia invited me to go to Soda Springs. Boy what fun experiences we had. The sheepherders would take a herd of sheep way up in the hills. Mail would be taken to them once in a while on horseback. Lydia and her sisters were used to riding horses so they would get on their horses and put me on a horse--I didn't know the way to the sheepherders. My horse would just follow the other horses. It was a surprise to me when my horse would all of a sudden start out on a run, or stop fast, or go around a turn in the path. Many a branch of a tree or bush would come back and hit me because I wouldn't see it coming. If a cloud would appear in the sky on our way back Lydia would say "Let's go. It's going to rain." Boy how we'd go and sure enough before we got back to the ranch it would be pouring. To write all the fun we had at the ranch would take a large book.
After Dad went to Salt Lake he met Billie and married her at Colesville, Utah on November 2, 1931. We would go to Salt Lake and visit Dad and Billie, and they would do all they could to show us a good time. During the days Billie would often take us on picnics over behind the state capitol building. We would have hunk balonga, cheese, pound cake and bananas with the other extras. In 1932 while we were in Salt Lake, Lilly told us that Mama was going to marry Mr. Pingel and that we were going to move from Malad. Oh boy what a shock--we all cried and cried. While we were there for that visit the mailman told us we would have to put another stamp on our letter to send it to Mama because the postage had gone up from 2 cents to 3 cents for a letter. When Dad took us back to Malad we were so anxious to see Mama. I ran into the house first (somehow I was often the first to get places). Mama wasn't expecting us. I had on a new dress and I ran up to and she said "Who are you?" Mama soon made me feel loved again. She said I had really grown in those few weeks.
The Stocking family had invited me to, Soda Springs again. I wanted to go so badly that Mama let me even though it meant she would be married while I was gone and also they'd move from Malad to Tetonia, Idaho. Lydia and I were at the ranch sitting out in the outside toilet when I told her that Mama was getting married and that we would move from Malad. There's nowhere as great as a two hole outside toilet to pour out your heart to a friend -- boy how we cried. We really schemed how we would never part.
Mama married Mr. Pingel July 30, 1932 in the Salt Lake Temple. I have the letter signed by President Heber J. Grant canceling the temple sealing between Mama and Dad and it is dated Dec. 19, 1931. I hope that it isn't recorded anywhere else but it is written and Mama and Mr. Pingel were sealed to each other. He was a German and 18 years older than Mama.
I was at Soda Springs for six weeks then the Stockings took me back to Malad. Mama and my family were gone. I’l1 never forget how homesick I was. I went to Grandma Jones' and she wasn't home, so I hurried up the hill on my way to find her when I saw her coming up the other hill from Esther Hess's. I ran to Grandma; she had poor eyes and didn't know me -- oh boy my heart burst. Grandma realized how homesick I was. Uncle Alf never married and he lived with Grandma. They really made me welcomed and were so good to me. I stayed with them until Mama and Mr. Pingel came from Tetonia to get a load of fruit. I thought it was going to be wonderful to have a man in our home. I had it all figured out that it would be like Mr. and Mrs. Stocking and family who were such a happy man and wife and family. The first I remember when we got to Tetonia was Mr. Pingel taking me into a room and he said to me "I am married to your mother and I want you to know that she is my wife and that you are never to go to her with your problems." At twelve years of age this was a horrible thing to hear – but this was not the way things went. We girls were still very close to Mama and she always had time for our troubles and problems and to laugh and play with us.
I don't know how to explain Mr. Pingel. We all always called him Mr. Pingel -- even Mama did. He was a very good singer and sometimes led the music in church. His family was grown. It was depression times and no money, so it was hard times for him but he was two people, one was fun and kind the other ornery and moody. It could be felt the minute we entered the house as to what mood he was in and he continually got more moody and ornery. We lived in two houses in Tetonia and the job there didn't work out. It was cold in Tetonia and Dad sent us all sheeplined coats. Dad paid $5.00 a month for each child, alimony, and Mama always saw to it that money was used to get us clothes and what we needed for school.
Each time we changed schools and friends was like death to us girls. In Tetonia I was in a very small grade school. There were seven in our class and we met in the same room with other grades. I really liked a little boy in my class. I can still see him but I can't remember his name. One recess I ran up to him and gave him a kiss, and I left a heartbroken note in his inkwell my last day of school in Tetonia.
We moved from Tetonia to McCammon, Idaho where Mr. Pingel was to run the Nellie Bean Ranch and we were to live on the ranch which was really a part of the small town. When we got to McCammon the Ames family hadn't moved out yet -- so we had all our furniture stacked to the ceiling in one room. Lester had come to help us move. I was so glad Lester was there because we had to sleep out in the barn until the other family moved. Thella and I walked over to the school to see what it looked like. The kids came running out to see us. They had heard that we were German kids and that we couldn't speak English. I made some great friends in McCammon and loved school. Georgia Harris and Lelia Davis were my closest friends. The railroad tracks ran close by our house. The trains were often stopped there and they were long ones. In order to get home for lunch and back to school on time we would often climb between the freight cars. I shudder to think of it: if the train had of started at the time we were climbing over it would have been horrible. Lilly met George Goodenough in McCammon.
I was surprised to hear that we were moving from McCammon to Tremonton, Utah where Mr. Pingel had a job lined up to work in a Creamery. So, with sad hearts we left McCammon. At Tremonton I was content. I liked school and had two special pals, Betty Pearson and Mary Tanaka. Mary was a Japanese girl and the first Japanese girl I had ever known and I loved her as a friend. I had no trouble with school work after learning to talk plain and I was always a top student in my classes. In Tremonton I won the hopscotch tournament -- what a thrill! In Tremonton was the first I realized that Mama and Mr. Pingel might separate. I was Mr. Pingel’s pet and although I didn't have it too great I was treated better by him than Mae and Thella were. We lived in two houses in Tremonton. Lester and Edna were married in one of these houses. Lilly and George were married in the Salt Lake temple Nov. 1, 1933.
Lester helped us move from Tremonton to Brigham. A load of furniture was taken down and Lester and I stayed with it over night in the rented house on 4th South and 4th West. Lester and I were talking and I said "If Mr. Pingel could make a steady $30.00 a month we would be OK." Lester said "No, he would have to make $60.00 a month." After living in Brigham for awhile Mr. Pingel and Mama bought a house at 630 North Main. It was bought with money borrowed on the green house at Malad. Thella, Mae and I picked fruit, strawberries, cherries, and green beans during the summers. We had lots of friends in Brigham. Annie Nielsen and Marie Bunderson were my best pals. Our home on north Main was across the street from the Reeder home. There were always a bunch of boys sitting on the Reeder's porch, but that didn't stop Thella and I from riding standing on the back of a tricycle around the house on the walk. One day Lud Nielsen over and asked if he could borrow some skyhook. Thella asked him what that was and Lud said it was striped blue and white paint, so Thella said "Wait a minute and I'll go in and ask Mr. Pingel if we have any." Of course Lud was back with the group of boys at the Reeder’s when Thella mm back out of the house. Anyhow, Lud got acquainted with us. I was walking home from town with Mr. Pingel when a car drove along the side of us. In it was Thella with Lud and Shirley Holst. The four of us went to Ogden to a show. We doubled on some dates and had fun. Homer Reeder asked me to go to Jack Rockwood’s birthday party with him. Marie Bunderson was going to it with Howard Bott. A large group of the neighborhood kids were invited. We all went out to an abandoned school house that was supposed to be haunted. Marie and I were walking together and all of a sudden fell through the floor -- Marie and I were about soared to death. I was wearing a brown skirt with a cute Plaid blouse, and on falling my slip straps broke, so before Marie and I called for help we had to figure out how to fasten them. The other kids didn't know what had happened to us until we called for help to get back out of there. That was my first date with Homer. Then Lud and Homer kept coming for Thella and I. I resented it because I thought Lud was getting Homer to come with him. Mr. Pingel did not like Lud and I thought Lud was just bringing Homer to have courage to come. Of course Homer says that is not so, that Homer was coming because he wanted to. The four of us doubled a lot and really had a lot of good times together. We went to dances, to McCammon to Lilly and George’s, and to Salt Lake to Dad and Billie’s. We had fun with school and neighborhood activities. While we were at 630 North Main, Rex died.
September 28, 1936 we moved to a rented house at 320 North Main. This was the last house we lived in at Brigham City with Mr. Pingel. I remember coming home from school for lunch and going for walks with Mama and trying to decide whether or not she should leave Mr. Pingel, and what we should do. His disposition was almost impossible by this time. After the walk I'd go back to school.
Homer and I graduated from Seminary May 2, 1937. May 23, 1937 Homer graduated from high school. Sept. 7, 1937 Thella and Lud were married in the Salt Lake Temple. Sept. 11, Homer left Brigham to go to Glendale, California to live with Louise (his sister) and Don Holden and go to Aerial Industrial Technical Institute. Homer was a member of the first class to graduate from this institute.
While living at 320 North Main, Mama often had to go to Malad to help Grandma Jones. Grandma was in need of someone to care for her and when she got bad, Uncle Alf would call Mama. I really hated coming home from school when Mama wasn't home. Then they brought Grandma to Brigham to live with us. She was a bed patient and Mama was so good to her, and so was Mr. Pingel. I decided to take piano lessons, paying for my own lessons, I loved it but Grandma said she could not stand to hear that tune one more time so Mama said I'd have to quit. Boy was I disappointed.
I dated during my senior year. The school games and dances were fun. The group of kids I had the most fun with, while Homer was in California, was the group of kids from Deweyville. There were nine boys about the same age. They'd come in and get Brigham girls. The dances in Deweyville were the big thing. That town had a dance for everything, and every occasion. Everyone went from babies to the great grandparents. This group were all good dancers and boy it was fun. Deweyville had an all girls orchestra so while the Deweyville girls played in the orchestra, we Brigham girls were dating and dancing with the Deweyville boys. At that time you danced with your partner and really went around the dance floor. I still thrill when I hear the tune "Alexander's Rag Time Band." It was the theme song of the girls orchestra and is lots of fan to dance to.
Dad and Billie kept close to us through visits. One summer they took Thella, Mae and I to Southern California. This was our first trip so far away from home. They showed us many interesting places. We made the trip by bus. We stayed with Dad’s Uncle Jim and Aunt Ethel. We also stayed in Anaheim with Billie's sister's family, "the Smiths".
May 12, 1938 Dad took me to pick out the wrist watch I wanted for my high school graduation. He gave it to me May 15. What a - I still think of it as the most beautiful watch and case that has ever been made. I was so happy and proud of it.
May 17, 1938, Homer started working for Lockheed Aircraft Company at Burbank, California. At the time he was hired his boss told Homer that Homer wasn’t dry behind his ears yet.
May 22, 1938 I graduated from Box Elder High School. The graduation was held in the famous Brigham City Tabernacle. The girls wore formal dresses and the boys wore suits. We walked single file down the middle aisle. As I was walking down the aisle, someone took hold of my hand; I looked down and it was Mama. I’ll never forget the proud look on her face and what a thrill she gave me by touching my hand.
July 28 Amy (Homer's sister) and I left Brigham at 7:45 a.m. to go to Glendale, California. We arrived in Los Angeles July 29 at 6 p.m. after a fun but tiring bus ride. Homer met us. He was living with Louise and Don at 112 N. Everett Street. We had a real good time. Amy and I stayed until August 15 and went back to Brigham.
Brigham City has a yearly celebration at the time peaches are ripe. It is a three day celebration with parades, ball games, carnival rides, displays, etc. They elect a Queen each year. I was a candidate for Peach Queen. The caption in the newspaper of Sept. 8, 1938 under the picture of the candidates, was "They're all peaches -- which one will be queen? Big question." Marie Bunderson was elected queen. I was chosen as one of the ones to ride the honorable mention float. It was a fun experience.
I went to Malad and while I was there the Deweyville friends came to our place. Mr. Pingel liked Homer and he resented me having other boyfriends, so he told the Deweyville kids off. When I got back home and heard about it I was mad. Mama went to the grocery store Nov. 14 so while she was at the store I brought up the subject to Mr. Pingel. He got mad and went to hit me (which he never ever hit one of us) and Mama had always said she would never allow him to. Mr. Pingel missed me but I lost my balance and fell just as Mama entered the house-that was it -- the next day I went with Mama to file for a divorce -- the divorce was granted Nov. 28. I went to court with Mama. They were married July 30, 1932 and divorced Nov. 13, 1938 (too long). While they were married we lived in four different cities and 8 different houses. Even though those six years seem like a nightmare some good came out of those years. Our mates were all met in these different places and they have all been great. Even though Mr. Pingel was so moody and ornery, Mama kept her sense of humor and good reasoning and we girls and Mama kept very close.
Lydia Stocking came down and spent Thanksgiving weekend at our place. Lydia and I had kept close through letters and visits. December 10 Mama went back to Malad to live with Grandma and Uncle Alf. I was working for Mr. and Mrs. Eugene Wixom doing housework and taking care of their son. He had rheumatic fever. I made $4.00 a week. Mae and I lived with Thella and Lud. After Mae finished that year of school she went to Malad with Mama and I continued to live with Thella and Lud. They were so good to me. Homer came home for the Christmas holidays in 1938.
On March 4, 1939, I was thrilled to receive a beautiful cedar chest from Homer. It has always been and still is my special treasure. I have always kept it my private spot and the things in it are mine and no one has a right to get into my cedar chest. One thing I’ve treasured and kept in it is my baby dress and slip like the one Alta was buried in and my baby quilt like Alta’s.
I quit working for the Wixoms and went to work at Anderson's Packing House on West Forest Street. It was there that I put my name in the bottom of a crate of apricots and received a letter from Francis Kramer who lived in Seneca, Kansas. We were pen pals. We wrote to each other and sent each other Christmas and Birthday presents. I also worked at Bart's Drive In on Main Street.
On June 16, 1939, I took a day off and had a very special day with Mama. Mama had often said that she would like to go to Lagoon with a young person, so we went. We really had fun. The wind was blowing and there weren't too many people there. Mama wanted to ride and do everything. We got on the roller coaster. We were the only two on it and we were in the front seat. We got just about to the top of the highest peak and the roller coaster stopped. Here Mama and I were up in the air all alone. Men were down on the ground looking up at us. Mama said "Oh they are just playing a joke on us." It was quite a joke and a thrill to just sit there -- soon the men started to climb up the side of the roller coaster. Some got in the roller coaster a couple gave it a push and we went completing the ride in safety. They told us the wind was just too strong and the roller coaster couldn't carry over the with just the two of us in it. They had never had that happen before.
Thella and Lud had a cute baby girl and they named her LuDella. On July 20 I came to Glendale again. Homer was still living with Louise and Don on Langley Street. It was on this trip that Homer gave me my engagement ring. We went to a show and then rode down to Santa Monica Beach and that's where he gave me my ring. He had a green Plymouth coupe now and we took a trip to Tiajuana, Mexico one day. I went back to Brigham and worked in a bean sorting factory. They were sorting beans from a belt for seed. They paid good wages but it was only for a few months. On Feb. 18 Mr. and Mrs. Wixom asked me to come to California with them so I took my money and made the trip. Homer was really surprised when he came home from working swing shift and there I was. Now the Wixoms stayed in Pasadena until Feb. 28 and. then we went back to Brigham. Now the bean job had ended and I had spent my money. I didn't have a dress to get married in. So Lilly and George came to my rescue. They had ground not broken so they hired me to dig up sagebrush to earn money for an outfit. We bought a beige dress, beige shoes and purse and a saucy little blue hat trimmed with blue and beige ribbons. Boy I thought I looked like a million. After we were married Homer told me he didn't like the color beige. Thella gave a bridal shower for me April 25, I got my temple recommend April 28.
I was baby sitting for Thella and Lud on May 4th. I was sitting at their table holding LuDella on my lap when Homer surprised me and walked in. We got our marriage license May 7, then we went to Malad to see Mama. We left Mama crying and I cried most of the way back.
On May 8. Homer and I and Joe (Homer's brother) went to Salt Lake. As we were going over to Dad's we saw Dad standing waiting for the bus to go to work. I had written to Dad and told him when we were to be married but he hadn’t received the letter and he was upset with me because he didn't know when. So tearfully I took Homer and Joe over to Dad's and Billie’s. Billie was so good and sweet to us. Homer’s mother, Thella, Lud, Amy and Joe were with us at the temple when we were married. We were married in the Salt Lake Temple May 8, 1940 by Nicholas G. Smith. After we went back to Dad's for a nice dinner that Billie had prepared for all of us.
The first night we were married we stayed in the Temple Square Hotel. The next morning we went over to the temple grounds and were stopped and interviewed by a reporter for the radio station KSL. The next night we had a family dinner at Malad in Lester and Edna's home. That night we stayed in McCammon at Lilly and George’s. The next day the four of us went to Twin Falls. May 14 the Reeder family had a party for us at Homer's mother’s place. They had me display all of the things I had made which I was so proud of. May 16 Homer and I left Brigham. We stayed at Dad's overnight and then drove on to Glendale. We spent our first night in the Glendale Hotel. The next day we went apartment hunting. Our first home was in a court at 1305 Harvard Street. Norma and Bruce McIntyre lived in the other half of our duplex. They were newly married and we became good friends. Brace and I were both twins and were born on the same day. The four of us had many many good times together. Homer had got off of the swing shift just before he came home to be married. Norma and I were together all day and then at night the four of us were together. Norma had sugar diabetes and she died in 1945.
Glendale Ward was the first ward we lived in. It was the only ward in Glendale at that time. One girl in a blue dress was very friendly and I looked for her at Sunday School, but on July 21 Glendale Ward was divided into the Glendale East and Glendale West Wards. We were in Glendale East and the girl in the blue-dress was gone to the Glendale West Ward. The girl in the blue turned out to be Norma Broberg Slight. My first church Job in Glendale was Secretary of the Genealogy Committee and at the same time Homer was the Elder's representative on the committee.
One morning Homer and I got up and there was a lady sitting on our front porch. It was Jennie Muller, and she said that her sister Fannie Muller had gone on a trip and left Jennie in charge of her house. She asked us to rent it. Of course we were delighted: the house was 112 No. Everett--a house in the rear and where Louise and Don had lived when Homer lived with them and Amy and I first came down to visit. We moved there July 28. It was like moving home. I've always liked old folks and next door in a little tiny house Mrs. Parker lived. Her and I were great pals -- I loved to go over and visit her. We remained friends as long as she lived. Years later when she was so sick, her family called me to come and be with her because she had been asking for me. I was with her for a day shortly before she passed away.
In February it rained continually and I was homesick so Homer decided to let me go home for a visit. I went to the bank to get some money and when I got back to our house Lester was there. He had come down to see if he could find work. I went to Idaho even though Lester was to our place. Lester and Edna moved to California and lived for a while.
May 26, 1941, Mae came to live with us. On July 7, Homer and I bought our first home, at 1327 Thompson Ave., Glendale, California. We moved in July 9 -- we had a little radio, and a fridge. We bought a mattress and springs and put on the floor in our bedroom. I can't remember what Mae slept on. No one has ever been more thrilled with a home than we were. It had a beautiful large back yard with pretty trees, and it was on a nice street in a nice part of Glendale. We used orange crates for kitchen table and chairs and we bought an old stove. July 10 Lou Jones came to live with us, so Homer and I were in our new home with Mae and Lou. We bought a Sears electric sewing machine and it was delivered Aug. 6. It was fun having 14ae and Lou. He worried about them because they both worked and went with boys who worked swing shift. Mae and Lou would be out late hours attending the swing shift dances. The dances started at midnight. They had lots of fun and we had fun having them with us.
December 7. 1941 Japan declared war of the U.S.A. and December 8 the U.S.A. declared war on Japan. We were sure that Homer would. have to go. Ration books were issued. for sugar, meat, and gasoline. Homer bought a bicycle to ride back and forth to work.
Grandma Williams passed away February 1, 1942 and Grandma Jones passed away May 28, 1942. I went home to Grandma Williams’ funeral with Lester, Mae and my cousin Cleon. Mae and I stayed a few days and came back on the bus. Mama didn't let us know in time to get to Grandma Jones' funeral.
The boundary of the ward was moved to Grandview so that put us in the Burbank Ward. Homer was set apart as a Stake Missionary July 15, 1942. We made some very close and lasting friendships with his companions and their wives. July 16 Homer got a notice of an 18 cent an hour raise -- boy were we thrilled. He would now make $1.30 and hour. Oct. 4 Mae and Pete were married. Houses and places were so scarce that Reed and Norma Rindlisbacher moved into our house with us. Then Reed left for the service so Norma went back to Utah.
Pete had to go in the service so Mae moved back with us Jan. 15, 1943. Mae and I were expecting babies. We had a good time waiting and preparing for the arrivals. Homer left for work March 18, 1943 only to be called back home to take me to the hospital. I wasn't expecting the baby for 5 1/2 more weeks. I got to the hospital at 10:20 a.m. and at 11:50 a.m. I had a baby girl. She weighed 5 pounds 14 ounces, but she was blue when she was born and put right in the incubator. I was in the hospital 10 days. Every time one of my children was born, I’d use the time spent resting to read a good book. I have loved to read throughout my life. The baby had to stay in the hospital longer. The doctor had me rent an electric pump to get the milk from me for the baby. One day I had 1 1/2 quarts of milk. I didn't want Homer to take it all to the hospital because they would laugh at it. Homer said if our baby needs it she is going to have it. The baby, Lois Jeanne, came home from the hospital April 4, weighing 6 pounds 1 ounce. The baby still couldn't nurse so Dr. Marshall had me quit pumping all at once. Boy how I suffered. Jeanne cried so much we couldn't get her to take enough milk to satisfy her no matter how we tried. One day Homer was out cutting wood for our fireplace and Jeanne was crying so I went out and asked Homer what I should do. He said "Come out here by me where you can't hear her." Dr. Baus had taken care of Jeanne while she was in the hospital, he was called as soon as she was born, but Dr. Marshall took care of the babies for six months without extra charge so we were trying every formula in the book that Dr. Marshall suggested. Finally Dr. Marshall told us we had better call in Dr. Baus. Dr. Baus came out to our house. The first thing he did after examining the baby was check the ******* for the bottles and gave us a lesson how to test them to make sure the baby could get the milk. Then we brought Jeanne out again all snugly wrapped in blankets. Dr. Baus took everything off of her but her diapers. He set her upon the coffee table and fed her. She drank a whole bottle of milk and we all slept the night through. Dr. Baus was our children's doctor since then and I think he is the greatest. I would have had a hard time to raise my children without him. May 24 Jeanne laughed out loud for the first time. Mae and I had fun with her and there was never a prouder father.
Judy was born and Mama came down to help me take care of Mae, her baby, and Jeanne. When Judy was one month old Mae went back to work and I tended Jeanne and Judy. On October 13, 1943, after much riding on the city buses, I got my permit to drive a car. I kept at it until I got my drivers license. Jeanne and Judy were issued ration stamps for sugar and meat, so we had plenty with the five of us.
After several I-A’s Homer decided to enlist in the Navy. He passed the physical only to have the draft board tell him had to stay in the defense work. So we felt we were settled then finally a notice came from his draft board saying he would not be deferred more and he was being inducted. Homer got permission to let him be inducted from Brigham. After a lot of consideration we decided Jeanne and I would be better off back in Brigham. The draft board said “OK” so we put our house up for sale, Mae and Judy moved in with one of Mae’s friends. April 23 after many tearful good-byes we left for Utah. Spencer came down to help us move. We killed our chickens and fried them, packed our things, and left our home. We got to Brigham and the day before Homer was to be inducted he got notice to got back to Lockheed. So Jeanne and I flew back to Glendale June 26. Homer had gone back to Glendale on May 2, and our house was sold and places to live were scarce. Homer finally had a house rented for the summer. It was the Davies home on Geneva Street. Jeanne and I had been staying in Brigham with Homer's mother. She had made an apartment in part of her house for us.
While we were living at the Davies house and Homer was to work one day, Jeanne fell off of the toilet onto the tile floor. She had a large goose egg on her forehead and the infant toilet seat still strapped to her when I went in. I’ve never been so scared but after weeks of it turning every color there is and going down very slowly and everyone asking how it happened, Jeanne finally recovered.
Jennie Muller looked us up again and wanted us to move into her house at 405 West Wilson. Of course we were very happy because we were only temporary at the Davies house. We moved to Wilson Street Aug. 28, l944. Jennie kept her things in the house. Our furniture was stored in Brigham. Mrs. Craig rented one bedroom from Jennie and we shared the kitchen and bathroom with Mrs. Craig. Jennie came and went whenever she pleased to get things out of the closets or cupboards or wherever. It was anything but ideal but a comfortable place to live. Mrs. Craig loved Jeanne and would play and read to her by the hour. While we lived there we became acquainted with Lottie and Roy Jonkey. A group of young couples decided to start a pot luck group and meet once a month to eat and have fun. As the original couples would move other couples would join us. Our closest friends have come out of this group. Jennie decided we would have to move so she could move back into her house. I was pregnant and we had bought a house May 28, 1945. The house was 1806 Glenwood Road, but after the thirty day escrow we couldn't get the people out of the house. They were renting it. We were being evacuated, and Homer had his notice to go into the service with the July quota. He asked for a postponement until the baby arrived and he could get me moved. The draft board turned him down but the paper work made it so it was too late for him to go in the July quota. August 14 Japan accepted the U.S.A. offer of unconditional surrender. Lynn was born August 15 at 5:25 a.m. Lynn and I went to Louise’s from the hospital. Homer got a lawyer to get the people out of our house we had bought. Homer didn't have to go in the service. On Sept. 29 we moved from 405 West Wilson to 1806 Glenwood Road. Homer blessed and named Lynn Nov. 4 and we counted our blessings.
We had a small rental in the rear of the lot the side of the garage when we bought the place. We figured I could stay there and keep the payments up if Homer did have to go in the service. It rained very hard one night and the renters came in and told me that their apartment leaked. I told them not to worry, that our house leaked too and I would have Homer look at it as soon as he got home. Holy Cow!! When we saw it the ceiling in the front room was bulging way down. What a mess. When the ceiling finally gave way it was a regular flood. Our renters moved. At church an announcement was made that there was a young newly married couple that needed a place to rent. Homer went up to the couple and told them that we had an apartment. Francis and Merrill Bickmore came out and looked at it in the mess it was in and rented it. This was the beginning of our life long friendship with the Bickmores. They later became members of our pot luck gang. We have a tradition which has lasted all these years of getting together on Christmas morning for breakfast. One year we go to the Bickmore home and the next year to our home.
Francis gave birth to Victor in October. I was expecting a baby in January. The doctor told me the middle of December that if I was careful I might be home for Christmas but that I was ready to have the baby anytime. So Christmas day it was raining hard. I was sitting playing with log cabin blocks with Lynn. Homer opened the back door and called me in a voice I had never heard him use before. I hurried as fast as I could and there was Homer balancing the end of his left index finger. He had cut it off with his electric saw. No one was around to take him to the hospital so we wrapped cloths around it and he set out for the hospital in the heavy rain. I telephoned the hospital and told them he was coming and would they please let me know when he got there. Soon the phone rang and it was Dr. Marshall. I will always remember how kind Dr. Marshall was that day. He saw Homer come into the hospital as he was leaving so he stayed with Homer. Dr. Marshall told me not to worry anymore, that Homer would be alright, and that his finger would look neat cut off at the first knuckle. Dr. Marshall said if they had of tried to save it that it would always just stick out stiff in the way. During the holidays, Francis, Merrill, Homer and I played a lot of Rook to help Homer ignore the pain.
Homer told me if I would have the baby before January 1 that I could have the income tax refund to buy me some new clothes. Michael arrived December 30, 1946 and was born at 11:42 a.m. He was a very healthy, good-looking baby. We were all so happy with the new baby except Jeanne, and she was so disappointed because she wanted a sister. Lynn and Mike were 16 months apart. I really got a lot of nice clothes with the refund. The Bickmores and us had lots of fun with Jeanne and our 3 boys. At church people didn't know whose wife Francis and I were. We'd take turns going to church with Merrill and Homer. We even received Christmas cards addressed to Merrill and Alice and to Homer and Francis. Francis taught Primary and I tended the kids, and the next year I taught Primary and Francis tended the kids. It was a busy and happy time. our pot luck gang had lots of good times. We did a lot of fun things and went to all the church dances and dances at the Glendale and Pasadena Civic auditorium. I gave Homer his first birthday party--a surprise one.
In the fall of 1948 I got real sick--the doctor thought I had diphtheria and so I was sent to the diphtheria ward and the county hospital. I thought all the interns in the world came to see my throat. It was a real experience being in that ward. I was very happy when they decided I didn't have diphtheria, it was a terrible strep throat. I got to come home but I was weak for a long time. I had my tonsils out by Dr. Craven on Nov. 6.
The early part of the summer of 1948, I took Jeanne, Lynn, and Michael to Idaho on the train. Homer came up two weeks later and brought us home. It was this trip that I went to the rodeo with Thella and Lilly at Malad and I had one of the biggest thrills in my life. There was this little kid called Little Beaver. Six horses were bridled and Little Beaver stood up with one leg on each of the two middle horses. He stood there riding with the horses going around the track as fast as horses can go. He waved his hat as he passed the grandstand. The tune that was playing while little Beaver rode was "Quentin's Theme". I've thrilled each time I have heard that tune since Little Beaver.
Homer worked at Sears on weekends and extra days. He also did woodwork in the garage. One holiday I asked Jeanne which holiday of the year she liked the best. I named off all the holidays and Jeanne said “I like the Hedge Holiday the best.” I asked her what the hedge holiday was and Jeanne said "It is the holiday that Daddy cuts the hedge instead of working in the garage all day." On Saturdays Homer would get off of work at Sears at 5:30 so I would get all the work done and the children bathed and in their sleepers. Then we would sit in front of the window and I would tell them stories about Sally and Timmy waiting for Homer to come home.
In summer of 1949 Homer saw a house on Sonora Street for sale. He came home so excited and took me to see it. I knew it wasn't a house for me when I saw it but Homer was so excited over it that I said OK and we bought it August 14, 1949. We sold our house at 1806 Glenwood Road Sept. 4 and moved into 1347 Sonora Sept. 29.
I did not feel at home in our big two story house and it was a sad year for us. I was unhappy, we were tearing out walls, putting in doors, replacing the fireplace -- it is a beautiful house and yard but it was never home to me. Glendale West Ward was dedicated Feb. 26, 1950. Homer, along with all ward members, had put many hours of work on it as well as hours on our house. On June 10, Lynn asked me if I thought it a good idea for him to ask Santa Claus if he got the right sleepers last Christmas.
July 8, 1950 we sold the house at 1347 Sonora. Happy Day!! We were looking for houses to buy. 1349 Ruberta was for sale but we looked at it and it wasn't what we wanted. I pointed to the house next to it, 1345 Ruberta Avenue, and said. "That’s the house I’d really like." Homer made a comment about it would be nice. On July 13 we bought 1172 Ruberta Ave. We moved into it Aug. 6. Everyone wondered why we'd move from such a large nice house above Kenneth to a small one below Kenneth -- well the small one was a home and the large one was a cold feeling house. There's only one thing I've ever wished I had that was at 1347 Sonora, and that was all the large closets, pantry, and storage space. We also missed our good neighbors the Hagens. We paid cash for 1172 Ruberta and paid cash for a new car. December 10, Lynn took sick with scarlet fever and we were quarantined in 10 days.
I was a counselor in Primary, but I had to be released because as soon as I got pregnant my legs went really bad. May 10 Dr. Jorgenson and Dr. Tarr operated on my legs. We bought our first automatic washer. May 21 Jeanne had her first piano lesson from Mrs. Erb. I wanted a piano so bad so we stored an old upright piano for the Workmans. Homer said if anyone learned to play it that he would buy a nice one. June 2 Jeanne was baptised. I was asked to do visiting teaching with Juanita Hansen. After we had been teaching for several months together we found out that our birthdays were the same day and that our fathers had lived side by side as kids and had grown up together. Juanita and I are still teachers together.
Joyce was born at 3:37 p.m. September 25, 1951. What a blessing to have two boys and two girls. Homer and I, Jeanne, Lynn, and Mike were so happy with our new baby girl. Jeanne was sure pleased with a sister. Homer's mother came and helped us when Mike was born, and Lilly, then Verna, came and helped when Joyce was born.
Nov. 6 I started taking piano lessons from Mrs. Erb. She to our home to teach Jeanne and I.
My father retired from the Salt Lake City police force. After retiring, he, Billie, and Theo, a little girl whom Dad and Billie adopted when she was born, Dec. 17, 1945, moved to California. They stayed with us until they got settled in a home in Montebello. Dad and Billie stayed with our family while Homer and I took (one of our many) a vacation by ourselves. Dad got a night watchman’s job in Burbank. Dad didn't like to drive at night so he would often come to our home early and stay until time to go to work. On Aug. 8, 1952, Homer came home from Sears early. He walked in the back door, I was on the service porch. Homer said, "your father just died." I could hardly believe my ears. Dad was getting ready to come to work and sat down to eat. He said he didn’t feel good so he went in and laid down. He had a heart attack and was gone. Billie called Sears to tell Homer. Dad was buried August 11, 1952, at Rose Hills Memorial Park, Whittier, California. Dad has always seemed close to me since he died. I'm sure he isn't very far away,
During 1953 I was very depressed. I didn't know why then nor do I know why now but it was a horrible experience to be well and yet sick. I did learn from it and later found I was able to understand other people having similar difficulty when I was working with people, especially in Relief Society. I'll always be grateful for the love and patience Homer, my family, and friends gave me. With their help, prayer, and time it passed.
We bought a tent and camping equipment and had such a good time camping with our family. We camped at the beach and the mountains. Frankie and Howard Christiansen were great campers and they had a motor boat. The men would take their families up to Bass Lake and leave us. They would come up on the weekends, in Howard's plane. We'd swim, water ski, hike, and have campfires. One year there were three families, one year seven, and one year just the Christiansens and us. The first year we took LeeAnn Holden with us and Louise kept Joyce. Another year we took Judy Griffee. One ski ride I was skiing -- Frankie was running the boat, and Karl was rope boy. Karl's red cap flew off of his head. It was lined up between my skis. I put both pull ropes in one hand, stooped down, got the hat and went on skiing. Boy was I ever the talk at campfire that night!! We were always so tickled when Homer would be among the dads that came up for the weekend and so disappointed when he didn’t come. He wasn’t able to fly up every weekend. His work at Lockheed was very demanding of his time and he was ward clerk for Glendale West Ward. Homer always called Joyce by a pet name Sassafras -- Joyce acted like she didn't like her dad to call her that. One time we were so happy to have Homer join us at Bass lake. Joyce was walking with Homer over after water. She had hold of the handle of the bucket. She looked up at her daddy and said "You can call me Sassafras if you want to."
As a mother the cards and remembrances from my children were priceless. One Mother's Day card I received from Michael when he was in the first years of his schooling, was colored pretty on the outside, and inside the verse read: I think that I shall never see A tree as lovely as my mommy.
One day Homer came home from priesthood meeting all excited and said, "Our house is for sale." I said what house and he said the one up the street that we like. Before Sunday School, we came up to 1345 Ruberta Avenue. It just seemed like home as the people showed us through it. After a lot of dealing back and forth we bought 1345 Ruberta Avenue. It was the house I had pointed to and said I'd like back in 1950. We moved in the last of May 1955. A dream come true. We rented the house at 1172 Ruberta to Paul and Marion Donegan, who stayed there and rented from us until we sold it in 1972.
Homer and Pete are very understanding husbands. They let my sister, Mae, and I have some time off together, just the two of us. Mae and I would leave early one morning and not come back until the next night after the kids were fed and in bed. Mae and I would come back like two new people, full of ideas and energy to carry on another six months. We have lots of fun on our trips. The first part of the trip we discuss our problems, then we forget about them and do whatever we want to do. One year we decided to go to Idaho on the train. We took our youngest little girls, Joyce and Janet, with us. This was March, 1956. When we got to Malad, Uncle Alf was very sick. Uncle Alf died April 17, 1956. Then Mama lived there alone.
Homer was called, to be a counselor in the Glendale West Ward Bishopric in 1958. Bishop Reed Callister, and first counselor Lock Hales, along with clerk Ban Larkin and Clifford Hillquist comprised the bishopric. These men and their wives and all the ward members really influenced our life. It was a wonderful experience, In the summer of 1959, our family took a camping trip around central and northern California. We had a great time visiting all the places our children had studied in their California history classes.
I served on the jury in Glendale the winter months of 1959. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. I had always wanted a college education, there just wasn't any money or possibility of going to college when I finished high school. So here was my chance. I enrolled at Glendale College the fall of 1959. I just took a few classes for the first year to feel my way. I had big plans of someday having a degree. We were asked to take a Foreign Exchange student into our home for the next school year. Lully Mattace-Raso from Rome, Italy lived with us. It was the 1960-61 school year. Jeanne and Lully were seniors at Hoover High. It was a real busy year: what Jeanne wasn't involved in at school, Lully was. Lully was a very aggressive personality -- a great challenge for each of us. Homer had a hard time being patient with Lully. It was the one time in our married life when I knew it was best that I was to stay home with the children and Homer go to work. Homer always had more patience than I did but not with Lully. I didn’t go back to college but it was an education to have Lully. We loved her.
I was proud of Homer in 1961 when he was called to be bishop of Glendale West Ward. I was frightened -- I didn't doubt that Homer would be a good bishop but I couldn't imagine myself as a bishop’s wife. We talked it over with the family before Homer accepted. Our children said yes they would support their dad and help me. It was a busy time but so rewarding and full of blessings. Homer's counselors were Bill Slight and Roger Hawley. Norma Slight (the girl in blue back in 1940) and Zola Hawley were great to work with. Norma was so busy that I spent more time with Zola. When Homer was set apart as bishop the general authority who set him apart said that the wives of the bishopric should be released from all their church positions to be able to give our full support to our husbands. Friendships which we made working so close with the members of the ward have meant very much to me. One of the choice friendships is with my true friend Zola Hawley.
Jeanne and Lully graduated from high school. Lully went back to Italy. We were so proud of Jeanne, she was our first to graduate and she was valedictorian of her class. She was also Scroll Queen of the school. I'll never forget the thrill the day I went to the assembly at Hoover to see my daughter crowned Scroll Queen. The king was Channing Robertson. The graduation was held out on the football field. The students came marching out with Jeanne leading them. How proud we were. That fall Homer took Jeanne to Provo for her to attend Brigham Young University--it wasn't easy to let her go--they left and I was ironing and the tears were rolling down my cheeks. Jeanne had been pinned by Charles Broberg and they planned to be married the next summer. I knew Jeanne would never be home to live again. I couldn't believe that little girl could have grown up so fast. She had always said she was going to have her dad build her a wooden husband and then they would always live with us.
While she was at college, I made my first quilts. I have quilted many quilts for my family. Joyce in particular is pleased with hers -- she remembers me making them for the other kids and always wished it was hers. So, I made hers the very best.
Homer's mother died Jan. 16, 1962. Homer and I went to Utah to her funeral with Louise and Don. She was a wonderful mother and treated me like her own daughter. She was so good and kind. I looked forward to her visits in our home and to the visits we made to her home.
As a mother I had quite a bit of nursing to do – children’s diseases, broken legs, broken fingers, achilles tendon cut clear into--fever lasting for six months-when I came home from doing some errands in January 1963, the first day the children were back in school after the holidays, Jeanne came running out to the garage and said “oh Mama Michael broke his arm." I said "Thank goodness it wasn’t a leg again." Jeanne said "But it’s both of his arms.” It was two breaks in one arm and one break in the other arm. We could write a book about that recovery. The sickest I have seen anyone was Michael with mononucleosis. Dr. Baus said that Michael would get continually worse for about five days and then start getting better. He assured us that Michael would live. Michael got so bad that we didn't think he could live. I called Louise and said "Louise, I need help.” Louise came right over. There is no need to try to tell anyone how sick Michael was: they wouldn't believe me. Louise knows. Mike did get well.
This is typical of Louise. She has really meant a lot to me. Her and Don have lived in the same town as us since we were married. They have lived in the far east part of town and we have lived in the far west part of town. I always know that if I need Louise she will be right here to help. They have had a swimming pool and have been very generous and so willing to let our family use it.
Jeanne had come home from the hospital with her first baby two days before Michael took so sick. Audrey was born April 2, 1963. Jeanne went to her apartment and I was to be with her during the daytime but I couldn't so Joyce went down to be with Jeanne. As soon as Jeanne was able she went back to work. Charles was a senior in medical school then. Our first grandchild, Audrey, came to stay with us each weekday while her mother worked. Lots of evenings I'd have Audrey fed and in her sleepers when Jeanne and Charles would pick her up. The next morning they would bring her back still in her sleepers. We all enjoyed having Audrey here and we tried to take good care of her. I tended Audrey until Oct. 1964: for 1 1/2 years,
We were very proud of both of our boys. They both accomplished so much and were such good boys. Lynn graduated from high school in June, 1963. Michael graduated from high school June 1964. They both worked at jobs during the summer to save money for their college and missions. Lynn was called to serve a mission in the Eastern Atlantic States Mission. We were so happy and proud of him. He served a very successful mission. We got letters from some of the people in the East that he had worked with and taught. They all praised Lynn highly. His farewell was held Aug. 30, 1964. We took Lynn to Salt Lake to leave for his mission and Michael to Provo for his first year at B.Y.U. at the same time. It was hard leaving them both and especially Lynn, knowing that we wouldn't see him for two years.
The summer of 1964 had been a busy one. Both boys worked at the Continental Can Co. for the third summer. We were tending Audrey. Lully, her father, and her aunt came to visit us from Italy. Her father and aunt couldn't speak English and of course we can't speak Italian. One day Homer and I took the father and aunt on a day's trip to Santa Barbara and around so that Lully could spend the day with her friends. We really had fun and thought we communicated very well until we returned home and Lully was listening to all of us telling what had happened and we all had a real good laugh when Lully translated for all of us about our day together.
My mother had a stroke Oct. 18, 1964. Mae and I went to Malad to be there with the rest of our family. Mother really had a struggle to live. Lilly lived in McCammon, Thella and Lester lived at Pocatello. They were at Malad most of the time. Mae had to come back to California to her work. I stayed at Malad and Lilly and Thella took turns being there with me and being home to take care of their families. I stayed up there until December. I was homesick and discouraged so one day I left the hospital and went down town to see Santa Claus arrive at the big Christmas tree. It took me back in memory to when I was a child and came to this same corner to wait for Santa Claus. One year I found someone's purse the night that Santa Claus came and. I gave the purse to Santa Claus. Santa told the whole crowd what an honest little girl I was. Winter weather was cold and Mother was still critical. We had to do something. The roads were getting dangerous for Lilly and Thella to travel on. So Lester, Lilly, Thella and I decided Mother would have to be moved to the hospital in Pocatello so Lilly and Thella could be close to her. Malad used the hearse for an ambulance. I rode in it with Mama when we moved her on Dec. 7. The mortician drove. We both wondered how soon he would be going back to Pocatello to bring Mama back in this same hearse. Thella had made arrangements at the hospital for Mama. I left the next day to come home to be here in time for Christmas.
Mr. and Mrs. McNaughten lived in our ward. Mrs. McNaughten was the same age as Mama. I loved these old people. I did what I could for them, thinking if I'd be good to them someone would be good to Mama. Mrs. McNaughten was an invalid. They didn't have any living children. For years the only time Mrs. McNaughten left the house was with me to take her to the doctor or the dentist. Mr. McNaughten died Aug. 7, 1970. Mrs. McNaughten's hip broke one day as she was trying to move around. She was taken from there to the hospital and then into a rest home. She was always so happy to see me when I'd go to see her. I knew she loved me and I did her. When her sisters arrived and were moving Mrs. McNaughten's things- from her house, they insisted I take Mrs. McNaughten’s cedar chest. She died in April of 1973. She was the same age as Mama.
Homer and I bought a house at LaQuinta, California. LaQuinta is between Palm Springs and Indio. At the time, we belonged to the LaQuinta Club, and it was so much fun to go out and stay at the club, and enjoy the pool, sauna bath, etc.. We planned to rent the house out, but we wanted to keep it empty for a while so we could go out on weekends. Mae and I went out and cleaned it all up. It was really a cute house. Our family went out several weekends. It was great. One night, we got a phone call from the real estate man saying that he rode by the house, and that there was water running out the front door. Homer couldn't leave work, so I went to LaQuinta. I left Glendale in the middle of the night and got to LaQuinta before daylight. It was a mess. I stayed over a week, working and taking care of the business part of getting it back together. The insurance company replaced the carpeting. It was a real experience for me, because before, I had always relied on Homer to make decisions. I was very proud of myself. There wasn't any phone or radio in the house. I had everything done and planned to go home the next morning when I decided to wash the ceiling in the breakfast room. It was dark outside, so instead of going out to get the ladder, I carefully stood on the iron frame part of a glass top table. I know everyone who reads this is thinking "How dumb." Well, it was dumb, but that's how accidents happen, and I did have an accident. I heard a crash, and I landed over the back of a rugged-edged wrought iron chair. I made it through a painful night and the next day I drove home to Glendale. I was put into the hospital with a bruised heart and with an the tendons and ligaments in my chest torn. It took months to get feeling okay. During those months I knitted many of the ski sweaters I mentioned before. This accident happened in October, 1965.
December 28, 1965, Michael received his mission call to serve in the Southwest Indian Mission. I'1l never forget how I felt when his call came; how could I let my son go out for two years and serve on an Indian reservation? Michael was delighted when he heard where he was going. His farewell was Jan. 30, 1966. Now we had two sons on missions. The wonderful letters we got from them both meant so much to us.
Homer was released from the office of bishop in 1967. The ward members gave a dinner in honor of the released bishopric. A group of Tahitian members were on their way to conference at Salt Lake. President Stone was back in our ward after serving as the president of the Tahitian mission, so he made out the schedule for the Tahitians and included having them come to our ward to entertain at the dinner. Two of the women stayed in our home. They had a full schedule and we were to get the ones staying with us to the different places. The group entertained at Disneyland on the stage by the Carnation ice cream. The highlight of our Disneyland trip was when Homer and I went on the Matterhorn bobsled ride with these two large women. Homer got in the seat, and lifted his legs up to let the woman sit down, and after she sat down there wasn't a speck of room for him to put his legs down. So he went around the whole ride with his legs up in the air. They were such sweet women, but oh so huge. The Tahitians left for Salt Lake and I called Thella and asked her if she was going to conference. She said she hadn't planned on it, but that she would go if I would. So we did. Thella and I really had a good time. We went to everything the Tahitians did: to their meetings, programs, and reunion.
I was called to serve as counselor to Jane Jamison in the Glendale West Ward Relief Society. At the time, I was stake Era director with Homer. I had taught Primary, been an counselor in Primary, been inservice leader, been the Children’s Friend representative, been ward Era representative, and garment representative, but I never did much with Relief Society. The call frightened me but I accepted and thoroughly enjoyed it. Jody Action was the other counselor.
I really felt sad when the Glendale West Ward was divided in 1968. 1 was serving on the jury in the L.A. County Superior Court at the time. I felt so resentful over the ward division that I wished I could become a steady juror. Bishop Glen Carpenter called me to be president of the Glendale Second Ward Relief Society. Jane Jamison was president of the Fourth Ward's. I accepted the call. Lottie Jonkey and Jody Acton were the counselors. We got along great. The women of the ward were wonderful and it was a great spiritual experience.
I went to Idaho for Verda's (Lilly’s daughter) wedding and brought Mama back to Glendale on the plane with me. Lilly and. Thella had been taking turns having Mama in their homes, and they needed a rest. Mae and I took turns having Mama. We kept Mama as long as we possibly could. She got so homesick for Idaho. I had been released from Relief Society to take care of Mama. Later we brought her to California again, and the same thing happened after a few months. She spent her last days in a rest home. She went there when it became impossible for Lilly and Thella to tend to her in their home. Mama died July 17, 1973. Mae and I took a plane to Pocatello. Homer and Joyce drove up for the funeral. Mike came with them from Provo. Mama was buried at Malad along the side of Alta on July 21, 1973.
Lynn was our first one to graduate from college. He graduated from Brigham Young University May 29, 1969 with a major in law enforcement and a second major in sociology. We went to the graduation. Lynn graduated with honors. We were so proud of him.
Joyce graduated from high school in June, 1969. Joyce was valedictorian and Scroll Queen. We were so proud to have both girls with such honors. Jeanne had straight A’s through high school and her one year of college. Joyce carried straight A’s through junior high school, high school, and four years of college. It was a thrill to see them receive their many awards. We saw Joyce presented with the highest award in liberal arts at the Bank of America award banquet, and a check for $1,000. She also got another check of $1,000 from the National Merit Scholarship Foundation. After her graduation and the all-night party at Disneyland, I took her to the airport to go to New York to visit Jeanne and Charles. Charles was back there serving in the air force. Greg Brown was Scroll King.
In Sept. 1969, we took Joyce to Provo to attend the Brigham Young University. She continued her education there for four years and carried straight A’s--4.0 grade point average. She graduated with a degree in math in 1973. The next fall she started teaching math at Toll Jr. High, the same school all four of our children attended.
After dropping Joyce off at B.Y.U., Homer and I drove across the country to Now York to see Jeanne and Charles. We had a wonderful trip. We saw all the church historical and national historical places, but, best of all, we saw Jeanne, Charles, Audrey, Todd, Kirk, Craig, and learned that Jeanne and Charles were expecting another baby (which was to turn out to be Jeff.) On our way home we went to Seneca, Kansas, and saw Francis Kramer, my pen pal for so many years.
After the stake was divided, I was called to serve as a counselor in the Glendale Stake Relief Society. Jane Jamison was president, and Louise Holden the other counselor.
In 1971, 1 took part in the production of Music Man put on by the Glendale Second and Fourth Wards and directed by Gordon and Anna Jump. It was a real experience and loads of fun. I even had a solo line in the song “Wells Fargo Wagon.” My other two big parts were fainting and jumping over a picnic basket. A group of us women sang and danced in it. We had a great time. We presented the show six nights to a full house each night. The Jumps really did an excellent job. It was professionally done.
After Lynn graduated from B.Y.U. he came home. It was great having him with us. Our children were coming and going to the B.Y.U. so it was a different one with us as changes came along. Mother was here with us that winter so it was Homer and I, Mother and Lynn that year. Mother enjoyed Lynn. She always loved to tease and joke with young people.
Lynn met Jill Marie Poppee at the B.Y.U. Jill lived in Westwood, California. She was a cute girl with a great talent for sewing, and very capable. Jill was at our house a lot. Lynn was going to the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Academy. He wanted to work with the L.A. County Sheriff’s department. He worked hard and did very, well in the department.
Lynn and Jill were married in the Los Angeles L.D.S. temple January 30, 1970. Michael and Joyce came home for the wedding. Jeanne and Charles were still in New York and couldn't be with us for this event. Jill's family gave a very nice reception for Jill and Lynn at their home. The marriage didn't work out and after a very short time Lynn and Jill were divorced. Lynn accepted the divorce as a growing experience. It was hard to see one of our children have a disappointment in something that was supposed to be such a happy time. Lynn continued to work hard in his work with the Sheriff’s Department and he kept his testimony of the gospel strong and growing.
As a mother this was a hard experience. I know of no greater sadness than to see one of my children unhappy and no greater joy than to share in my children's happiness. Lynn was a real inspiration to me at this time. I may never see Jill again but I do hope our Heavenly Father will guide her and that she can find happiness too. I learned a lot from this little girl.
Michael graduated from B.Y.U. May 28, 1971. We went up to his graduation. He got his degree in math. We also went up to Joyce's graduation in 1973. We were so proud when Mike continued in school and received his master's degree in statistics. We were also thrilled to attend Lynn's graduation from the sheriff's academy in L.A. We are so proud of our four children and their accomplishments.
Aug. 4, 1971, Michael and Merilee Ruth Sager were married in the Los Angeles Temple. We had an open house for them at the Glendale Second Ward that night. Homer, Lynn and I took a plane to Denver to attend the beautiful reception the Sagers gave for Mike and Dede on Aug. 13.
Nov. 27, 1971, Lynn and Cameon Teresa Walker were married in the Los Angeles Temple. The Walkers gave a beautiful reception for them at the church in Garden Grove.
I was called to serve as Relief Society president in the ward again by Bishop Roy Valentine. So I was released from the stake relief society and made ward president for the second time. Jessie Schade and Juanita Hansen were counselors, and they were excellent to work with. I was the first and fourth president of the Glendale Second Ward's relief society, and in the first presidency of the Glendale Stake relief society after the stake was divided
In the fall of 1973, we were released and I enrolled at the Glendale Community Hospital course for practical nurses. They changed the name of the course to “Nurse’s Assistants Course” before we finished the course. I thoroughly enjoyed the course, and it was a real challenge. The spring semester, I attended a clinical course at the hospital. After observing in the surgery room a couple of days, I asked Charles, who is an O.B. and GYN. specialist and he let me go over to the Pasadena Huntington Hospital and watch a baby be borned. Charles was the doctor. It was an education.
Homer retired from Lockheed April 1, 1974 after working there 35 years, l 1/2 months. It surely seems good to have him home more. His work was very demanding on his time and energy. We hope to do some traveling.
Joyce and Gregory Christopher Brown were married July 27, 1974 in the Los Angeles Temple. We had all our children and their mates in the temple that day. Also a lot of our relatives and some friends. We had a beautiful reception for Joyce and Greg at Jeanne and Charles' home in LaCanada. It was a biggie.
We are waiting for the arrival of Jeanne and Charles’ baby, who will be our ninth grandchild. It is expected any day now. Jeanne and Charles have one girl and five boys. Lynn and Cami have one boy. Mike and Dede have one girl. We love each one of them and will welcome as many as we are blessed with.
This is the story of my life so far. I would never have written it without pressure from my family and especially from Michael. If any of you read it all, I hope you have enjoyed it. I have made many mistakes in my life. I have said and did many things I regret. I have neglected to do many things I have known I should do. I thank my Heavenly Father for the blessings I enjoy. I hope to live for a long time-yet; but only as long as I have good health and can be useful. I will always be proud of my four children and my husband. I am very proud of the wonderful mates the children have chosen. I love each of my grandchildren. I love you all very much. May our Heavenly Father bless each one of you always. Alice Williams Reeder August 20, 1974
|Reeder Clan, taken about 2009|
2011 Alice Reeder from Kent on Vimeo.