The Life of Kent Gardiner
Chapter 1 My Grandparents
|1955 Ford Station Wagon, LtR Sandy, Kent, Janice, Mark|
of my early life revolved around my father's love for his parents. Each
summer, Dad checked the oil in the car, filled the gas tank, and piled
us into the green 1954 Ford Station Wagon and headed toward Malta,
Idaho. In the early years there was no I-15 so he took Highway 91 most
of the way. It was a long boring ride and we often asked, "Are we were
there yet?" "Don't ask!" came the reply from the front seat. One time on
a stretch of the Mojave Desert my dad got fed up with me bothering my
brothers and sisters, pulled the car over and demanded I get out and
walk. "The exercise will do you good." He was right. I walked for quite a
while and along the way I found a pocket knife with a grey and white
pearl handle, which I was very proud of.
|LtR James, Mark, Sandra, Kent, Janice, Elaine, and Gayle Gardiner, Malta Idaho home parking area.|
|Fred, Hope 1954| We all yelled our approval when Dad finally pulled into the dirt parking
area in front of the Malta home. Grandma and Grandpa greeted us with
hugs and smiles. During our visit we slept in the loft above the
five small rooms that made up the downstairs. Upstairs included a view
of the stream and cows grazing in the distance as well as books, beds
and comforters to keep us warm and cozy. When the weather was balmy we
slept outdoors next to the gurgling stream, called Cassia Creek, which
ran through their property. Before we went to sleep we gathered with our
cousins and had an old-fashioned bon-fire
with hot dogs and mustard. In the glow of the embers we watched in amazement as
Grandpa pulled out his pocket knife, told stories, and cut willow reeds
which he fashioned into whistles. Our eyes widened as we watched a plant transform
into a toy. I still remember the sound of the stream and the wind
blowing through the trees as we settled in for the night.
In the morning my sisters followed Grandma out to the chicken coop to feed
the chickens and gather eggs. Chickens are not the smartest animals but
Grandma knew how to round them up an get them back into the safety of
the cage. She took the eggs, flour, salt, yeast and a bit of honey and
made fluffy white rolls and white bread. The finishing touch was
homemade peach jam. The fruity smell was intoxicating. The jam and
bottled fruit were stored in the pump room under the house where it was
cool and damp. Sometimes Grandma cooked up chicken, vegetables and
potatoes. Our mouths watered as the chicken spat and sizzled in the skillet.
|1961 Malta, ID|
next day we eagerly followed Grandpa out to the field to round up
the cows. His dog did most of the work. A whistle from Grandpa and the
dog nipped at the cow's heels, heading them back to his ramshackle shed.
He cleaned each teat and clamped on the milker. Soon the rich creamy
milk flowed. Afterwards
Grandpa shouted at the cow to move out, rapping her across the backside which encouraged her to go back to the field. The
highlight of the day was watching Grandpa heft the milk cans into the
back of his pickup and drive the three miles to town to sell the milk to
the Whey Company with the big red sign. Sitting
Grandpa as the pickup bounced across the rutted dirt roadway with the
cans banging around in the back was an adventure. On the way out of the
parking area the pickup lurched and jumped. We bounced around but we
weren't worried; Grandpa was driving. We hit the smooth oiled road with the warm sound of tires on fresh asphalt.
|1959 Fred Gardiner|
favorite part of the trip was staying up with my aunts and uncles and
listening to Grandpa tell stories. One night after all my siblings were
in bed Grandpa gathered us around. He leaned forward in his blue
overstuffed chair and told us that many years ago he had been praying about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.
He decided to go to General Conference in the Salt Lake City
Tabernacle. Grandpa sat with his brother Charles downstairs toward the
back. Apostle Anthony W. Ivans was speaking about the Book of Mormon and suddenly there appeared two beings on either side of the pulpit, standing in the air dressed
in Nephite clothing. Grandpa turned to his brother and said, "Do you
see that?" When he turned back the vision was gone. Grandpa looked
directly at me and said, "Kent what I have told you is true, remember
it." Note: Apostle Anthony W. Ivans spoke about the Book of Mormon in the April 1929 conference.
|Grandpa's favorite chairin his Malta ID home|
|Fred Janice, Mark, Kent, 1954|
don't think Grandpa ever threw anything away. It might come in useful
someday. Once a tractor or a mowing machine no longer worked it sat in
the yard beckoning to us to climb up and pull or twist the black knobs
or see how far we could turn the tattered black steering wheel. Sometimes our cousins came over and we all played on the farm equipment. After dinner Mary
and Gloria were very popular with us. We played Pit and Gin Rummy late into the night. Our laughter ran all around the room filling the house with a warm glow.
Grandpa passed away suddenly on the morning of 26 December 1960, just three months prior to his eighty-second birthday and four months after my mother, Elaine Scholl, died of cancer. Fred had myocarditis which is inflammation of the heart muscle. That led to his heart attack. The family knew years before that his ticker had problems. A
while before he died the doctor told a family member that Aunt Dawn
should come home from her mission if she wanted to see her Dad before he
died, but he lived a few more years. He never made much fuss about his condition. He used to take a teaspoonful of sulfur (his own remedy) for his health. It was a sad time all the way around. For years afterwards I asked people what Grandpa was like:
(Fred's son): The Hitt boys were inactive non-believing Mormons in Malta. One day they
said they were going to throw Fred into the creek. "Come on, I'm
ready!" said Dad, but they decided against the idea. Dad was great at handling horses
although he could be a little rough on them. Every year the Hitts hired
him to handle the horses which pull the machine that cuts off the wheat
heads. Dad said "You can drive these horses yourself, you don't need
me." The Hitt boys said, "No we like the way you handle them." I think the Hitts actually had a soft spot for Fred. They enjoyed his
Thompson (A friend of Fred's who Taught school in Burley and was Bishop Henry
Thompson's son) from Malta tells this story: "Fred Gardiner was called
as a ward teacher to the Hitts. First he would go to see Jim Hitt and then
over to John Hitt. When John was on his death bed Jim was there and here
comes the ward teacher. Fred was standing there and John says to
Jim. "If there is anything to what Fred has been telling us about this
life after death I'll come back and let you know, Goodbye," and he
James Gardiner: "In 1926 Dad was ordained a High Priest by Elder Orson F. Whitney, and was
soon sustained as a member of the Raft River Stake High Council. During
the time we lived in the Malta Ward, Fred served as ward clerk
from 1933 to 1938 while Orson S. Sanders was bishop, and as secretary of
the Malta Ward high priest group. He had beautiful handwriting. He
got so good that he was in demand as a secretary in the church. For
many years he was secretary to the high priests quorum. He often practiced at the table in the
front room after he was done with the chores of the day. He taught classes in Sunday School,
Priesthood, and M.I.A; and was a ward teacher for many years. At the
time of his death, he was first assistant to William Barrett in the High
Priest Group. He was very faithful in his Church duties and active in
the positions he held. He encouraged the family to be regular in
attendance for Church activities. In
his earlier years he studied books in the evenings but later it was
just the scriptures. His scriptures were well worn from use
and marked from study. Whenever he came in the house after working in
the field at lunch and dinner time he sat at the dinner table and ate
with the scriptures propped open.
had a natural talent in music and enjoyed playing the violin, although
he never had the opportunity to take many music lessons. While he lived
at Meadow Creek, he often played for the dances at the schoolhouse, and
was asked to play for dances at Malta. Flossie Smith usually
accompanied him on the piano at Malta. One
time a neighbor saw his team and plow standing in the field alone at
midday. Concerned, he investigated only to find Fred in the house
sawing away on his violin.
"Fred had amazing strength, he could hold two fifty pounds bags of wheat straight out on either side of his body.
One time after Fred got back active into the church he went down to a
bar and grill to talk to someone on business. The guys in there were
rude. They said some derogatory things about those Mormons. He picked up
the loudest of the group and physically put him on the floor. A year
later the same guy got drunk on the 4th of July and said that he and
Fred would take on the entire town. The Bishop in Malta for many years, Henry Thompson, said Fred was the strongest man he ever knew.
repair, miles from any town or service station was a way of life. On
many trips I helped my dad make an emergency repair to a knocking
engine. We would drain the oil, (save it of course) drop the engine oil
pan, take a few shims from a loose piston connecting rod bearing, check
for bearing play, restore the pan and oil and we were on our way. One
day coming home from Burley, Idaho, which was more than a forty-mile
trip, my Dad's Model T quit and he could not get it going again. So he
decided to walk the remaining twenty-five miles home. After several
hours of trudging, he was surprised when another Model T. stopped beside
him, in a cloud of dust.
|Generic photo of farmer fixing model T, creative commons open source|
"Well, Fred, do you want a lift?"
"No thanks. I have walked 20 miles and I will finish the trip myself."
in the 30's, in a different location Dad was walking a mile and a
half to church. A non-LDS man gave him a lift. "Now Fred, if God wanted
you to go to church, he would have provided a way."
Dad said, “He did."" James Gardiner May, 2004
"My dad (Golden Gardiner) said Fred was good with animals. They once
had a dog and Grandpa was a sheep herder and sheep herders don't like
coyotes. One of his dogs got into some poison used to kill coyotes. It
was strychnine. The dog was convulsing and foaming at the mouth. He
administered Epsom salts and saved the dogs life.
|1959 LtR Mark, Fred, Janice, Hope, Sandy, Kent, Jeff, Elaine, and Gayle Gardiner, City of Rocks,Idaho|
I ever heard about my grandparents was positive. I was in a PE class
one day and my PE instructor was Kay Harper. Out of the blue he started
telling the whole class what a great Sunday School teacher Grandpa was.
He was funny and had a great sense of humor and he was a great story
teller. I remember sitting in the bleachers listening to this. Kay was
the same age as Frank. My sister (Cathy Gardiner) died a few years ago
and Bishop J. Cottle who was in the Malta First Ward for several years
spoke at my sister's funeral and he paid a beautiful tribute to Hope and
Fred. He talked about what wonderful children they raised, and that
they were excellent parents; of course I knew that first hand knowing my
Dad and Hope. It was a beautiful tribute."
|1975 Suzanne and Hope, Malta|
was an amazing grandmother. The summer after I got married in 1975,
Suzanne and I took a trip to Malta so I could introduce Suzanne to Hope.
Grandma gave up her bed so the two of us could sleep together. This was
the same bed she and Grandpa had slept in for 40 years. We knew because
the bed-springs creaked and rattled when we moved in our sleep. Grandma
wanted to please us and made white rolls and a peach pie. Suzanne loved talking to Hope. They talked for hours.
|1980 Hope and Carol Gardiner|
1960 to 1981 Hope wrote at least 396 letters to her son James Gardiner
and his children. She took an interest in everything we did including
how we did in school, recreation, and church activity. Here are a few
examples of what she wrote:
1963 Jan 7,
Thanks again for all you did to make our Christmas so wonderful. We
did have a lovely Christmas although we likely all were thinking the
same thoughts of what happened three years ago to be a lasting sad
memory. Yet so many things remind me of Dad that I never feel that he
is very far away and I often dream of seeing him. Grandma Gardiner
1964 May 1, James must be pretty big now. Would like to see him and all of you. I’ll bet Janice is a big girl now and helps
take care of Julie. Am happy that all
the children are doing so well at schoolwork.
It really pays to do our best each day in school to prepare us for the
work we have to do or the jobs we will want to get when we are ready to look
for jobs. They all have what it takes if
they will make use of their talents. Grandma Gardiner
1964 July 20, Dear Mark, A very happy birthday and many happy returns of
the day. Wish we could have a birthday
dinner all together but I am sure Mommy Carol will do a fine job like she
always does. I enjoyed the food so much while I was there and was sorry I
couldn’t have done better for you folks while you were here. Have you forgiven me yet for pushing you in
the creek: that was a mean trick wasn’t it?
But I know how much you like water and just wanted a little help to get
in. Grandma Gardiner
1965 August 18, We are fine here.
Mark and Frank are out working on the grain. Durward Hall is doing the cutting now. The old machine seemed too slow for
Frank. Mark is right on the job all the
time. He says he wants to stay until the
end of August. He is surely a good boy
to get along with. Kent was too. He knows what it takes to get along with
Frank too. Your family is very good
about looking on the best side of things.
If anyone said things to Frank that he says to others he would be upset
but he thinks folks ought to take his guff and like it. He wouldn't like me to
say this either. Grandma Gardiner
1965 September 2, Congratulations Kent on being ordained an elder and getting
your call for a mission. I am sure you
will be a very good missionary. Our
prayers will be in your behalf and am sure you will put your trust in the Lord
to help you in the great work that is before you. Grandma Gardiner
1973 October 25, Halloween The widows (most of them) meet at Edwin Paskett’s home each
Monday evening for a home evening lesson. He gives a very good lesson and I enjoy
it. But going out in the evening doesn’t
suit me too well. I dread coming back to
the lonely house. Myrtle Hutchinson
usually goes and takes me to the meeting.
She then has to go home alone to her lonely house. Grandma Gardiner
her later years Hope worked on family history and was an avid
journalist and genealogist. During the last four years of her life, she
suffered from blindness which was a sore trial. Hope lived to be 94 and her body was buried in the Malta Valley Vu Cemetery while she sores with angles.
Hope: "There have been many years without Fred, but what a blessing my family
has been to me. All have been kind and considerate, and what a
satisfaction it is to see them all living good, honorable lives."
To see the Malta home on Google Maps, go to "1700 Idaho Hwy 81"
more of Hope's digitized letters:
Chapter 2 Growing Up In Glendale, CA in the 1950s
914 N. Isabel, Glendale, CA
Our home at 914 North Isabel Street in Glendale, California was a peaceful, pleasant place to live in the 1950s. The 1,600 square foot home had white Spanish style stucco, four comfortable bedrooms, one bath, a kitchen nook which looked out onto the street, and a large front room with a black and white TV in the corner. We watched Tarzan; The Lone Ranger; The Cisco Kid and Sky King. The backyard had a brick incinerator in the rear corner of the property where we burned trash. The driveway to the right of the home went directly back under an attached-to-the house stucco carport, and curved to the left into the garage. The garage had heavy wood sliding doors on metal rollers that made a loud grinding sound when opened or closed. It had a peeked roof which, to the casual viewer, revealed it contained an attic. In the corner of the garage was a small bathroom with a toilet and sink. It was in this bathroom that Dad cut our hair. I don't remember having a professional haircut until my late teens. During one of my haircuts at age 10, Dad told me about the "facts of life." I thought they were very interesting.
|914 N. Isabel St, Glendale, CA|
|1953 Mark Gardiner, Isabel House, back yard|
My mother had hay fever in the late spring when the olive trees were in bloom. The yellow blossoms literally rained down on us. This bothered my father because the pollens made it difficult for my mother to breath. One day Dad announced, "The olive trees in the back yard have to go. Let's dig them out!" We were game because working with Dad was an adventure. The olive tree root was about four feet in diameter. While other trees send roots deep into the ground, olive trees feature shallow root systems. Part of the root ball protruded above ground level. The project took a few days. We did a lot of digging and when we came across a root, we stood back while Dad hacked away at the root with a sharp ax. It was sweaty work. In the end Dad took photos of us with big smiles sitting on the dead stump as it lay like a corpse in a grave. Two of these offending trees were removed. One was next to the garage and the other at the back of the house.
|LtR Janice, Kent, Gayle, Sandy, 1957|
|1953 Friends, LtoR, Peggy Thorson, Kent Gardiner, Dicky Farnsworth, Tom Hens |
We made friends with the kids on the street such as: Rick Miletello, the twins, Peggy Thorson, Wayne and Saundra Mc Keeman, Mary Ellen Baldauff, Eddy and Judy. Rick Militello lived across the street. He was a good friend and easy to get along with. Sometimes we found Sandra McKeeman or Eddie and walked to the "ghost house." The "ghost house" was down the street with overgrown foliage and a forest of trees surrounding it's structure which made it dark and foreboding. Rarely did we ever see anyone come in or out. It was exciting to walk up to the front door and try to look inside but when we heard sounds we ran for our lives.
Elementary School, 1951-58
Our local elementary school was Richardson D. White Elementary School. Each morning the kids on the street gathered outside our house and walked the 1/2 mile to school. We were careful crossing busy Glenoaks Avenue. A hundred feet on the other side was a large metal bridge which traversed a square edged cement wash. Grandma Scholl remembered a large flood in 1934 which resulted in the construction of this wash.
Emma Scholl: "January 1st, 1934, we had a cloudburst, 13 inches of rain in one
night and day. It washed out all the bridges and many homes in the hills
above Glendale. We went to Church in the old Ford. Most of the people's
cars wouldn't run in such deep water, so we took some of the people
home. That night we slept outside in our inside place (porch) and we were dry.
But the roof of our house leaked badly."
When we crossed the wash we looked over the railing to see what was below. Sometimes a trickle of water flowed down the center of the concrete corridor but usually we observed an old tire, the branch of a tree or a pair of old shoes. In a few minutes we arrived at school.
|1936 Glendale wash construction|
One day in April we were leaving our house and Sandra McKeeman turned to me and said, "Kent, you have a hole in the back of your pants!" I couldn't see what she was talking about but I worried all day about her comment. When I got home, I asked Mother if there was a hole in my pants. She explained it was April 1st, a day when people trick each other. As a kid there were many things I didn't understand. Usually at night, before I went to sleep, Mother came in and said prayers with me. It was our private time together. She sat on the floor and we talked. I remember the sound of her voice making me feel warm and secure. I had no doubt she loved me.
My school years were happy ones. I liked my friends and the teachers. Dad had a magnet that I used to gather iron filings on the playground under the trees. During first and second grade a group of us gathered the filings. We liked seeing how many filings we could find during a recess period. When I was older we shifted from filings to playing baseball. One time I wasn't paying attention as the catcher and was accidentally hit in the head with the bat. It hurt but I was okay. Once a week, we had "release time" where we received non-denominational religious instruction. The classes were held off campus. I never heard anyone say anything negative about them and we enjoyed leaving campus for an hour.
|Kent, Christmas 1953|
The Christmas of 1953 was memorable. Uncle Glen bought a train set with a smoking engine and many interesting cars. He set it up on the floor of Grandpa Scholl's home. There was a lot of track and plenty of action to keep us interested. Christmas at the Scholl's stands out in my memory. This was the very first time I became interested in trains and the feeling has never left. For Christmas I got a prize cowboy outfit with a hat, holster, and a plastic gun. This was the beginning of wonderful Christmas traditions in our family.
|LtR Kent, Sandra Gardiner 1953|
Emma: "Elaine was feeling fine. Mark and Janice came to stay with us on 9th December, 1953, Gayle was born 16 Dec, 1953, Kent and Sandra came to
our house, that day and stayed until after Christmas holidays. Elaine
sent over a lot of presents she had bought for the children. Glen and
Audrey came on Christmas day and brought a very lovely electric train
set and Glen ran it for the children and they surely enjoyed it. It was
the happiest Christmas I ever remember."
In the early 1950s I
remember following Grandpa Scholl into his workshop where he fired up his large table saw. With sawdust flying, I watched Grandpa make wooden
stools and work on headboards with sliding doors in front of cubbies to keep our stuff in. Later these pieces of furniture were delivered to our home at 914 N. Isabel St. We liked Grandpa Scholl and his handiwork.
|Kent, 914 N. Isabel, back yard, 1957|
Dad worked in the Video Tape Department at NBC in Burbank where they used films that were delivered in large well constructed wooden boxes. For a number of years Dad brought home these film boxes which had words imprinted on them like, “NBC film department.” The boxes were about 30 inches square and 18 inches high. We had at least thirty boxes in the back yard which we constructed into houses, hotels, and hideouts. After we got tired of the boxes, we played baseball for hours. The big problem was when we hit a home run over the back fence. The yard behind us was filled with a carpet of green ivy. It required sharp eyes and patience to find the baseball under the large leaves.
|LrR Olive tree, Kent, film box, Sandy, Mark, Elaine, 914 N. Isabel back yard.|
|1956 Janice, Gerry and Mark with Playhouse in background.|
The backyard at Isabel had a swing set and during the summer a small square above ground swimming pool. When you first entered the water it was cold and took a while to get used to but after the sun heated the water we were comfortable. We romped and played in the pool for hours under the bright California sun. The pool had four corner seats and we liked playing keep away or tag. I took swimming lessons at Verdugo Pool. I remember the first time I accidentally slipped into the deep end. That was a thrill.
|LtR Elaine, Mark, James, Janice Gardiner, 1953|
It was a small step from our wading pool to the beach. Mother loved the beach and during the summer we went often. Even before all of her children came along Dad and Elaine went to the beach with her sister Audrey and Audrey's husband, Glen Kroksh. Around the time they got married in the early 1940s my parents made many friends at church. In fact my parents met for the very first time in the Hollywood Ward. Sometimes in the early 1950s we visited my parent's friends in their homes. We also went to the beach with them. Part of the reason Elaine loved the beach was because she had psoriasis. Psoriasis is a common skin
disorder that forms thick, red, bumpy patches covered with silvery
scales. They can pop up anywhere, but most appear on the scalp, elbows, knees, and lower back. Psoriasis can't be passed from person to person. It does sometimes happen in members of the same family. It
usually appears in early adulthood. When Elaine was a teenager her father built a small deck on the roof of their home where Elaine lay out in the sun to help her condition. Mother's love of the beach became our love of the beach. Dad took many photographs of our family playing in the sand and surf.
|LtR Kent, Elaine Gardiner, 1953|
Sandy Gardiner Blunck: "I believe Mother loved the beach the most. The main reason we went there and to the parks and the zoo so much was because they were all free and money was scarce after the war. Also because they are great places for a bunch of noisy kids.When
we visited the beach, Dad got out the beach umbrella and Mother made
tuna fish sandwiches. At the beach, Dad set up the umbrella, Mother laid
out the blanket, and the children ran off to play in the surf, digging holes in the sand for the waves to fill or bury each other.”
|Mary Ellen Baldauff, Mark. Sandra, Janice, Gayle, Gerry, Elaine, Jeffrey, a Beitler, Kent and Ricky Militello, Verdugo Park, Glendale, CA, summer 1957. Elaine is 32 years old.|
Sandy: "Mother loved family picnics, trips to the park and zoo with her family. Often these trips included Aunt Audrey and her family. With plenty of food and Mother’s picnic tablecloth, off we went to Verdugo Park, Griffith Park, the beach, or the Griffith Park Zoo—all free. At Verdugo Park there was a wading pool to enjoy, bushes to explore along with swings and slides. Then Uncle Glen brought out his table hibachi and cook the hotdogs on it which we enjoyed with Mothers delicious potato salad.
|LtR Gayle, Jeffrey, Elaine, 1958|
In the summer of 1959 we were at the beach and Gayle remembers a wave upending her. In her words, "I remember there was a storm at sea and the waves were particularly high and I was literally pinned on the bottom under the water." From somewhere above she felt a hand reaching down pulling her to the surface. That was me. It is nice to be remembered for something good you have done.
Gayle wrote this in 2001: “Kent must have been very protective of me. I remember swimming at the beach. A huge wave came right over the top of all of us. I was little at the time. I can still remember what it felt like to be totally out of control under the water, hitting the sandy bottom and being tossed around. I felt like I was going to drown! A hand reached down and grabbed me and pulled me to the surface. It was Kent! Thanks Kent!!”
The Sunday School teacher who had the most influence on me was Sister Halliday. She bore her testimony often to us. It seemed she lived everything she taught and I was very fond of her. Once she asked us to draw pictures of President McKay and she sent them to Salt Lake City. I worked hard on mine, completing it with colored pencils. I got a letter back from President McKay, thanking me for the drawing. My heart swelled that day. Another teacher I liked was Sister Eva Hamrick. Our class was large and we drove a few teachers out with our misbehavior but when Sister Hamrick came into the room she announced she was staying. She was no-nonsense and we respected that. Every so often, after a series of lessons, she gave us a test to see what we learned. One time I got a perfect score and was awarded a New Testament. I still smile when I look at that book and remember her class. Later I found out that Wray and Eva Hamrick were called on Stake Missions and baptized 15 people according to fellow ward member, Jerry Dastrup.
During Primary opening exercises it was difficult to get everyone's attention. Sister Pettit approached the lectern and asked everyone to, "Raise your hand when you can hear this pin drop." Stillness prevailed as we listened for the tinkle of the falling pin on the podium. My favorite song was "Give Said the Little Stream." I still like the song and think it has a good message.
|1952 LtR Glen, Audrey, Elaine, George, unknown boy and the fence I painted|
One of my first jobs was painting the wooden picket fence between our Isabel home and Mr. Duffy's to the south. Many a day we fearfully climbed over
the fence to retrieve a baseball or basketball. Mr Duffy was a big round older man
with gray, thinning hair and a drill sergeant personality. To us
he was a man to be feared. When an errant ball hopped the fence we either risked his anger or went without. The fence measured about 50 feet. Dad mixed up the paint, handed me the paint brushes and
left. I started painting under the California sun and soon got hot and
bored. Mother came out with some fruit-flavored frozen fruit cubes which she
froze in ice cube trays overnight. After a few minutes my tongue was red. We called these homemade treats "cups." They were very popular. I rummaged around and found a long extension
cord and brought an old radio to life and tuned it to KFWB. The
Bill Ballance Program and fifties rock and roll were perfect to keep my
mind occupied. Bill was irreverent, funny and had a gift for turning a
phrase. I liked him. I continued painting. In the end the white fence gleamed and dad said he was happy with my work. 1957
Hit and Run One of my jobs was mowing the lawn which I sometimes resented. One time I was asked to mow the lawn but I wanted to play. I walked outside and wheeled the push mower around to the front. After I got a little way into the job I noticed a baseball bat on the lawn in my way; I picked it up and tossed it. The bat went end over end all the way across the front lawn and it sailed right through the side window of the Baldauff's new car door. The sound of shattering glass filled the air. I ran into the house with my heart pounding. I hid behind my mother's skirt when Mr. Baldduff came to the door. He was understandably unhappy at what I had done. I had to work to pay off my error in judgment. It was a good lesson to learn.
|Emma Scholl, Farmington, UT|
I was born in 1946. Next came Sandy in 1948, and Mark in 1950. As each of my six siblings came along my mother needed more help. Enter Emma Scholl, my grandmother. Emma was of Swiss stock weighed about 100 pounds and was 5 foot two, with curly hair. She was a talented woman in many respects. Emma wrote a hundred page handwritten history on legal size paper with minute details of her entire life. She was a dedicated family historian hiring a professional genealogist who found thousands of names. She did much of the Temple work herself. She bought an adobe house from Dad on July 6, 1946. It was located in Farmington, UT and included an acre of peach, apricot and cherry trees. The apricots were dried on boards behind her house. Each summer she harvested, dried, and canned the fruit and trucked hundreds of bottles and bags of dried apricots to our home. We particularly loved the dried apricots which we cradled in our mouths until they softened up enough to eat.
Emma adored Elaine but didn't think too much of Dad. This made it difficult because Elaine needed Emma's help. Though the conflict between James and Emma was stormy at times, Emma was a huge help to the family. In the early years, when a new baby was delivered, we stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Scholl at 1636 Golden Gate Avenue in Los Angeles. Grandma believed in healthy eating way before it became a part of the California culture. She ate whole wheat bread, wheat germ, vegetables, yogurt, and fresh fruit. On the back door of her closet she had sayings like: Learn patience, perseverance, and dedication and your life will be full. She often took the time to explain what words like dedication meant. Words meant a lot to her. To get us out of the house, Grandma put the youngest child into a stroller and we walked beside her up and down some of the steepest streets in Los Angeles. When I was about eight, Grandma Scholl started reading to me from Emma Mar Peterson's child's version of the Book of Mormon. As I sat next to Emma under the California sun, I became a believer in the Book of Mormon. With Grandma's gentle voice reading the words, I visualized the Nephites fighting the Lamanites, defending their faith and families. Today the Book of Mormon brings me daily inspiration. I am a total believer in the Book of Mormon.
|Effie Street which is a few blocks from the Scholl home, Photographer: City of Los Angeles Engineering Staff 4/24/1929|
|1957 Jeff and Kent with playhouse in background|
Eventually Dad and Mother realized they didn't have room in their home for Emma's sleeping quarters. They asked Grandpa Scholl, to build a small playhouse in the backyard. It measured about 10-foot square. Everything Grandpa built was solid and strong. The playhouse was no exception. When Grandma came to help she slept in this new structure. During the day we used the little room as a playhouse. The girls made believe they were mothers like Elaine. It wouldn't be too many years when their practice paid off.
|LtR Kent, Mark, Sandra Gardiner, 1953|
Christmas was a big deal in our home. Dad and Mother spent a good deal of time, money, and thought into getting everyone a number of nice presents appropriate to their age. We were presented with toys, cars, and trucks. When we got older we got bikes, weights, sports equipment, and clothing. Our parents were very generous. Lincoln Logs and Tinker Toys were two favorites with everyone but once they got dumped out, there was a huge clutter of toys on the floor. I remember one day my mother appeared frazzled and tired. She said, “Kent I really need your help, could you go around and put away the toys for me so the room looks perfect.”
I thought to myself, I probably could but it doesn’t seem fair when everyone else made the mess. But her kind tone and gentle nature overruled and I said, "Sure mom." I set about to clean and organize the toys and put everything back in its right place. When I was done, Mom said, "Kent you are my best helper!”
I stood a little taller that day. This is a habit that has stayed with me. After I had children of my own, once a day, every day, I said, "It's time to clean up. Nothing on the floor!!!" We usually spent 20 minutes to a half hour with everybody pitching in. Toys went into the toy box, dishes stacked, and clothes hung. This procedure added a measure of peace and organization to our home.
Caring for Children
|1958 Julie, Elaine|
Dad was protective and caring about each of his children, beginning with me. In his first few journal entries, after I was born, he called me "the boy." It was strange at first, caring for an
infant but he got used to it. I was named after Kent
Horne, Dad's best friend growing up.
Here is an insight into our parents from a friend of the family named
Beth Frost: "I
remember the scouts from the ward’s troop had gone on an overnight came
up in the Angeles Crest National Forest. Parents of the scouts were
invited to attend a kind of a fireside or campfire with the boys before
they headed home. Jim and Elaine Gardiner invited me to go with them
because my husband, who was the scoutmaster, and son were already up at
the camp. I had never learned to drive a car so I gratefully accepted
"Jim, Elaine, their baby daughter, Julie, and I
all made the trip. On the way home the baby began to cry. Elaine tried
to comfort her and distract her with a rattle or some other toy but the
crying continued. She changed her diaper and tried to feed her but the
crying only increased. She tried to burp baby Julie, thinking that
perhaps the crying was caused by gas. Still Julie cried and Elaine
became more and more frustrated. She had just run out of things to try
to still the crying. I remember her turning to Jim and said, “What I’m I
going to do with her?”
"Jim’s reply was, “Just love her.” He
pulled the car over to the side of the road and got out. He went around
to the other side, opened the door and took his crying daughter in his
arms. Jim walked around beside the car gently bouncing her up and down
as he rubbed her back. In a short time the intense crying turned into
whimpers and finally their baby daughter was still. Jim then returned
Julie to Elaine’s arms and we made it all the way home without even
"I was so touched at the time by the deep love
and affection I had just witnessed between Jim, Elaine and their baby. I
have told this story to my three sons and now to my grandchildren in
the hope that they will be inspired to follow the example of Jim and
Elaine. Memories of Elaine Gardiner by Elizabeth (Beth) Frost (2003)
Shopping with Elaine
remember grocery shopping with Mother. She shopped at Ralph's in
downtown Glendale. I followed her around the store as she picked up the groceries.
The cart was pretty full. When we got to the checkout stand the clerk
announced the total which was $25. Mother's eyes widened as she looked at me and said, "Wow,
that is a lot of money. I don't expect to ever spend more than that on a
week's worth of groceries!" My parents were careful with their money
but we never wanted for anything. In the late 1950s it was popular for
boys to wear 501 Levis and a white pocketed t-shirt. When I asked for a
pair of 501s I was told Wranglers were good enough. I wasn't long after this I got a paper route and could buy what I wanted.
My First Job–A Paper Route
|Kent and his new bike, Christmas 1954, notice Christmas decoration on Baldauff's door|
My first job was delivering papers for the Glendale News Press. The route took place after school and included Harvard Ave, Isabel Street, Jackson Street, and all the way over to Louise Street.
It also included a business section along busy Glenoaks Avenue which was backed
by the large concrete wash. That section consisted of Realtor and Title offices. When
I arrived home from school I was greeted with a string bound stack of
fresh newspapers on our front lawn. I got everything together and began
folding and snapping the rubber bands in place to
ready the papers for throwing. Once all the papers were in a pile, I
stuffed the papers into two canvas bags and hefted the them onto
my goose neck handle bars. My bike was a sturdy bright red Schwinn with fat
tires. It was a Christmas present in 1954. Some of the
Glenoaks businesses liked their papers delivered inside and a
few customers wanted their papers "porched." For me it was a race against the clock. I wanted to finish quickly.
In fact I got pretty good
at throwing the papers, although occasionally I missed and the paper
ended up in a bush or on a roof or out of reach. That was rare. I "collected"
in the evenings. Collecting
involved handing the customers their amount due clearly
printed on a stub. People usually fumbled around for the five or six dollars.
Some tipped me for my service and when I got home I carefully
counted the money I earned with a broad smile on my face. By then it was dark.
In 1959 we moved to 1366 Cleveland Road and I got another paper route for the "News Press".
This time my route was five or six streets west of Mark Keppel
Elementary School. Most people were grateful to have their papers delivered. Sometimes when I
collected a person opened their door and the heat and smell of their home or
apartment knocked me over. When I was done I washed the
newsprint off my hands, gathered my rubber bands and stored my bike. One
time I took a bag of rubber bands and made a ball about 8 inches in
diameter. When you threw the ball at the ground it took off like a jet. 1958-1963
|1960 Scout Camp, LtR Vernon Jolley, Brent Frost, Mike Ragsdale, Kent Gardiner|
I enjoyed the scouting program. Our scoutmaster was Rip Ragsdale. He was a non-member and to our surprise he smoked on some of our scout outings. Later he joined the church and was very active. We met in the old Scout room below ground level at the Dryden Chapel. The tight little room with hard surfaces amplified the sound of our voices. Occasionally some scouts brought bingo bombs, which are little round explosives about the size of a pea. In the small room the the bombs landed with a flash and bang. Scouts loved that.
Scout camp was the most fun. In August, 1959 I was camping with Scout Troop 26. We had just completed the Silver Moccasin, a 65 mile hike. Mother wrote me the following words on a postcard: "Dear Kent, We arrived home at 6:30. Nobody got car sick but David. I wanted to send up your jacket, but Reeders and Petites had left. Wear two or three shirts and two pair of pants mornings and evenings plus your sweatshirt. It is hot here. I do hope your blister is better. Have it taken care of if not. Glenn and Audrey got back Friday night. Haven't talked to them yet. Granddad will start the fence at end of week. We miss you. Try to get lots of sleep. Love, Mother"
The camp was on a lake. One day a group of us walked over to the lake to check things out. Some had fishing poles. I grabbed a pole and asked someone to show me how to cast. After a couple of practice throws I cast into the middle of the lake. Immediately I felt the tug and reeled in a nice big fish. The other scouts had jealously written all over their faces.
Gayle Goes to Kindergarten, 1959
|1959 LtR Sandy, Gayle Janice|
My sister Gayle was born seven years after me in 1953. In June 1959 we moved into
our newly purchased home at 1366 Cleveland Road and Gayle, who was 5, was ready to
start kindergarten. Because of her December birthday she was the oldest
in her class. She attended Mark Kepple Elementary School which was half a
mile from our home. In Gayle's words, "Because of where my birthday
fell I attended Mark Keppel.
The reason I had to walk home alone was because I was on a different
schedule from everyone else." On the first day of school I was concerned
Gayle would get lost on her way home. So I rode my bike to Keppel. I got a piece of chalk and
drew a line on the sidewalk from the school to our home. Gayle still
remembers following the line and feeling safe.
Gayle wrote this in 2001 “I vividly remember being scared to start kindergarten. We had not lived at 1366 Cleveland Rd. very long and as a child I was quite convinced I would never be able to find my way home from school. Kent showed me great compassion and caring by riding his bike to Mark Keppel [1/2 mile away] and drawing a chalk line from the school to our house. When school let out that first day, I remember following the chalk line all the way home.”Los Angeles Temple, 1956
March 11 1956 the Los Angeles Temple was dedicated. It was an historic
occasion in many respects. The saints had been looking forward to this
day ever since my grandmother, Emma Scholl, attended the Los Angeles
branch in the early 1900s. I was 9 years old at the time and am not sure
why I was able to attend because, as I remember, you had to be 10 to attend the
dedication. I remember walking through the temple during the open house.
The elders quorum president in our ward had a unusually beautiful wife.
I walked directly behind them,in the line, during the
open house. As I looked at this couple, I thought to myself, "When I
grow up I want a beautiful wife like this man." That feeling has
never left me. This was the first time I remember having an interest in
beautiful women. I appreciate beauty and am in total awe at the two
magnificent women I married. I remember seeing President McKay standing
in front of a large group of people waving a hankie as he gave the
hallelujah shout. It was impressive.
Emma Scholl: The L.A. Temple opened for visitors in December and was open for two
months. I did not go until the dedication. L.A. Stake day was Monday 12 March in the Afternoon. Wayne and Elna Astun took me and I had a front
seat. I had been hard of hearing for two months, but I heard well that
day and since. President McKay offered the dedicatory prayer and it was
wonderful. Tuesday afternoon was Glendale Stake day. Elaine was pregnant
two months and had a cold, so could not go. President McKay offered the
dedicatory prayer and it was wonderful. Tuesday afternoon was the
Glendale Stake day. June and Kent and Glen and Audrey went. The temple
opened for ordinance work 16 April, 1956. I went 18 April, rode with
Carlos and Pearl Stewart. Benjamin Bowring was President. There were 11
women and 10 men in the morning session, no new ones. I attended the
8:30 a.m. meeting. I went home on the Bus. (March 11th was a Sunday and the Glendale Stake day was Tuesday March 13th.)
|Emma Scholl: Glen and Audrey
went to the temple 24th April 1956 at 6:00 pm to have Gerald sealed to them.
June and Elaine went with them. They all four went thru the 7:00 pm
session. I stayed with Elaine's children.|
Kent 1959: One time a group from our deacons quorum went to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. On the way home, we were being dropped off one by one and
the brother who was driving asked what street I lived on? I replied,
"914 N. Isabel St." Jim LeCheminant picked up on the name Isabel and made up a
song, "Isabel Jezebel spitfire special."He made up lots of verses and
everyone laughed. Recently I talked to Gordon Christiansen and without
prompting he sang the song back to me, " Isabel, Jezebel spitfire
special." That little tune stuck in his head for over 60 years.
Chapter 3 Toll Jr High
This may sound strange but my favorite toy growing up was a bottle cap. During my Jr. High years I made a friends with Paul Lauten who lived across the street. With upraised right hand, Paul taught me how to place a bottle cap on top of my thumb and with my middle finger behind the cap's edge, flick it, and send it flying. Swinging your arm forward gave additional lift. The caps flew across the street with ease. We had contests as to who could hit a can or sail the cap into a box. We did this for hours. We got really good at flicking bottle caps great distances.
thing we liked doing was making blow darts. We took glossy
magazines, tore a page out and twisted into the shape of a dart. The last corner of the paper was moistened to hold the dart in place. We
shoved the dart into a piece of PVC. When you blew with all your might
it sailed across the street. We also fired the dart into fruit where it
stuck firmly. Sometimes cars drove down Cleveland road and we fired our darts over their roofs. You should have seen the looks on the drivers faces.
|1366 Cleveland Road, Glendale, CA|
This was about the time we took up knee-football. It was played on our front lawn at 1366 Cleveland Road. Susan Briggs, Annie Briggs, Paul Lauten, and my siblings got on our knees and kicked off from one end of the lawn. A soft football was thrown. Once in a while we caught our knees on the metal sprinkler heads but we liked playing anyway. One time I stood on the front lawn, held a real football in front of me and drop kicked it with all my might. The ball nailed our corner street light. The glass held firm for a second, then split in half crashing to the ground. Amazingly enough the bulb remained in tact.
|1960 Cleveland Road House, Julie seated, with basketball backboard |When we moved into 1366 Cleveland Road dad attached a basketball backboard and hoop on the front of the garage. Everyone in the neighborhood played on the court. Horse was a popular game and we played horse and around the world for hours. I still remember the sound of the basket as it made a twanging sound when the basketball hit the loose rim. Our basket wasn't sturdy like a modern hoop but we love it and played for hours. After Grandpa Scholl build the fence around the backyard we didn't have to go very far to retrieve the ball. I remember it being dark and Carol ringing the dinner bell. We stalled saying, "Just a minute Mom." To us it was very important to finish the game.
|1959 914 N. Isabel St. Glendale, CA, back yard|As boys we loved giving "the circle" to each other. One of us made a circle shape with his thumb and pointer finger and tried to get others to look at his circle. If your friend looked at your circle you got to hit him. But if he stuck his index finger through your circle, he got to hit you. There was quite a bit of hitting but it was all in good fun and harmless.
I am not exactly sure how this came about but I hit a growth spurt in Jr. High. It was almost like I had restless leg syndrome. The only cure I knew was to do deep knee bends. The inclination could hit anytime, anywhere. Four or five deep knee bends and I was good. One day Brent Frost who was a year ahead of me informed me, "Kent at Toll Jr High it doesn't matter how far away you are on the field or down the hall, I can always pick you out because you are the only one doing deep knee bends."
My second year in Jr. High I got a healthy dose of whooping cough. This was before they developed a vaccine. I coughed for months. Once I told the PE coach I was just getting over whooping cough. "That makes no difference, run!" He demanded. So I ran and coughed my way around the track. When I got back I did a few deep knee bends.
best friends during my teen years were Lynn Reeder and Brent Frost.
Unfortunately they were in a grade above me. In spite of this we saw
each other at church and scouts. During high school the three of us noticed
the formation of cliques. There was the Sports Clique composed of the
jocks and young men who played competitive sports in High School and at
church. There was the Social Clique composed of the daters and popular
kids. We didn't fit into either group so we formed our own clique. We
called it the Woha Clique. The term was tongue-in-cheek because we
didn't really hate women. We loved beautiful girls and looked
forward to the day when we could date, marry and have children.
The Glendale West Ward was filled with talented people. One of them was sister Forence Hansen. From Florene's obit: "Florence shared her talents with anyone willing to dance. She
choreographed ballroom routines for dance festivals and students at
Brigham Young University. In her career with Bob's Big Boy she traveled
the world and helped open new restaurants. [she taught all the
waitresses and carhops at Bob's Big Boy on Colorado. She was highly
prized because of her high standards of hard work and morals. Even "two
left feet Dick Callister" sings her praises!" Florence taught us all how to dance in Mutual. "All the boys line up on this side of the hall," she insisted. We followed obediently. "All the girls line up on this side" she pointed to the opposite side of the cultural hall. We all knew what was next and we jockeyed into position in line so we could dance with the pretty girl across from us. "Now walk toward each other and meet in the middle. You just found your partner" Florence instructed. She taught us how to square dance, ballroom dance and have fun. It was awkward at first but we were learning how to act around each other. Walter Henry was a natural dancer and was the best dancer. Others were less fortunate. Tad Callister, Gordon Christiansen, Paul Lauten, Brent Frost, Wayne LeCheminant, Jim LeCheminant, the Leeper brothers, Lynn and Mike Reeder, Larry Nobel, Bill Jones, David Fretz, Mike Doyle, Mike Ragsdale, John Reese, Kirk Schade, Don Browne, George Nelson and Vernon Jolley all participated. While we danced Florence beamed. That was a good sign.
|Florence Hansen and second husband Robert Canaan who she met in the Riverton Temple|
Gordon Christiansen: At the Stake youth dances, a lot of us would go into the foyer, and we would choose a card like the 7 of diamonds. and Tad Callister would make a call on the pay phone and the voice of the phantom would say the name of the card over the phone so we could all hear. We did the phantom many times. I'm surprised you don't remember it. Tad left the dance temporarily and called his brother Dave and say get ready. A few minutes later a bunch of us would go into the foyer. Tad would call his brother Dave. Dave would start counting as soon as he picked up the phone. 2, 3, 4, until the card selected was said. Tad would say "Hello, Mr. Phantom when the right number was said so Dave would know the number. Then, Dave, would start saying the suits, diamonds, hearts, spades and Tad would say tell them the card, Mr Phantom, when the correct suit was said. Then Dave Callister, Mr Phantom, would announce the selected card over the phone so we could all hear it. The card would be selected by the group before the call, and there was no apparent communication with the Phantom, so we were all amazed at how the Phantom could know the card.
Another story Gordon tells is when he and Tad Callister were driving around Glendale. Tad turned to Gordon and said, "Let's drive over to Tanya Hale's home and see if she is there." Gordon said, "Great" and they drove over to Isabel Street where Tanya lived. As they drove past her house they saw Tanya and some guy on the front porch talking. The guy saw Gordon and Tad in the car and got very ticked off. He jumped in his car and chased Gordon and Tad. Not sure what he had in mind but it wasn't good. Gordon and Tad got the jump on the guy and that was the end of the story.
Chapter 4 Death of my Mother
My bedroom was adjacent to my parents room. Between us stood a single interior door. In 1960 when she began to look really sick I prayed that the Lord wouldn't take her. I was diligent in my prayers knowing that if she died everything would be different. My mother and I had been close for years. She liked spending time with me and I with her. At night toward the end, I heard her moaning in pain through the adjoining door. It's hard to sleep with your mother crying in the next room. Sometimes she called for Dad in a desperate voice. Once four year old Jeff came into her bedroom and touched her bed and she reacted harshly. That was not Elaine. The day before she died she checked our drawers for school clothes to make sure we were all set for the year. That was Elaine. The morning she died I knew she was gone. Bishop Callister, Lock Hales and the Relief Society president knocked on our door. Bishop Callister was very kind to our family. It was a sad time for everyone. One month and 15 days before, Bishop Callister had lost his own daughter Paula Kay. I'm sure he had lots of empathy for us. There is a saying that cancer doesn't happen to a person, it happens to a family. It happened to us.
|1962 Kent leaving for the summer at Margaret and Deans in Washington State|
After the death of my mother Dad decided to sent me to stay with aunt Margaret and uncle Dean Ottley. Margaret was one of my dad's sisters. They owned a lot of land in Quincy, WA. Fortunately I was beginning to develop some muscles which were sorely needed for farm work. One farm task was riding on the back of a "slip." A slip is a large board that is pulled behind a tractor. My job was to reach out with hay hooks and grab large bails of hay and heft them onto a stack on the slip. It took all of my strength to maneuver the bail into place. Another job was to move the hand line that watered the alfalfa. Dean's had a few "hand lines." The 6 inch aluminum tubes were about 8 feet long. To unhook them you needed to lift the pipe so the water drained and twist so the pipes came apart. After an hour of that I sat down to get my breath. That job needed doing a couple times a day. It was not fun but I did my part.
Dean had a brother named Hugh Ottley who also owned a section of land in Quincy where he grew potatoes. When harvest time rolled around it was all hands on deck. Dean, Margaret, their sons Gary, and Richard, as well as daughter Janet and Manuel the day laborer and I all went to lend a hand. In the potato field, Hugh had a large machine pulled by a tractor. We stood on the back of the machine while a conveyor belt rolled the potatoes past us. We pulled out the culls and let the big sugar laden potatoes roll up the belt into the awaiting truck. You had to work fast but everyone pitched in and Hugh had a good harvest.
|LtR Margaret Gardiner and Dean Ottley, Quincy, WA|
On Sundays we rested. After church Margaret made popcorn and we played games. It was almost like having my mother back. She smiled and laughed and lit up the room with her face as we played games. I liked her a lot. One night I was sound asleep when I felt her hand on my shoulder, "Wake up Kent, you don't want to miss this!" I opened my eyes, put my clothes on and dashed to the front yard. About a hundred feet away Dean's 15 foot tall haystack was on fire. The bright flames lit up the night sky. I bet people could see the fire from fifty miles away. The next day I overheard Dean and Margaret discussing the cause. They thought Manuel left a cigarette smoldering next to the haystack. Fortunately they had insurance on the hay and didn't get hurt too badly.
I remember tending sheep. Dean had a herd of sheep which grazed on the remaining alfalfa after it was bailed. I discovered that sheep are not the smartest animals. They wander here and there and spent most of their day eating. Dean had a sheep dog and I learned how to whistle and motion to the dog the direction I wanted the sheep to go. Ever since my sister Sandra was bitten by aunt Audrey's dog Penny I lost my love for canines. But this grey and white sheep dog revived my faith and we became friends. When the summer was over I bid the dog and the family good-bye and boarded a bus for Gendale.
Chapter 5 Herbert Hoover High School
|Hoover High School, 1960's|
High school was a social scene I wasn’t prepared for. At Hoover High everything had to do with what clique you were in, how popular you were, who owned the nicest car, or who was the most attractive. While all of this social maneuvering was going on, I worried about who I was going to talk with at snack break. During each break I usually ate a piece of fruit, while others feasted on Hostess cupcakes. My main concern at the time was not food; it was feeling socially acceptable. One day when I was a junior, an attractive girl in my seminary class named Sherry Cornwell came up and handed me a doughnut, smiled broadly, and proceeded to carry the conversation, which I was grateful for. She stood 5 feet 7, had a great figure and cute nose, and was very warm and gracious. From that moment on I loved her. Each day after school, we walked home hand in hand. In fact, I spent most of the next few years thinking about her. Sherry was great company. In my senior year, I took Sherry to the prom at the Biltmore Hotel in downtown Los Angeles in my dad’s 1954 Ford station wagon.
|Cheryl aka Sherry Cornwell|Sherry’s father was a milkman for Adohr and her mother worked as a secretary for Griffin Printing. Sherry’s parents were both non-members. Sherry joined the church some time before we met and all her friends were LDS, including Susan Peters, Cheryl Finney, Carolyn Baker, Jane Riley, and Melody Owens. She loved the church and me. Especially me. I remember going to the mission home nervous and worried. Sherry held my hand so I could make it up the steps through the mission home doors. She wrote and called me my entire mission. I got home in October, 1967, and by December I was looking for some jade to give to her as a Christmas present. After some soul searching, I decided I wasn’t ready to get married because I had no education and no real job and was still immature. It was difficult to break off our loving, sweet relationship, but I needed more time to grow up.
On the other hand, Sherry was ready to get married and soon she became Mrs. Sherry Scott. Today she is a faithful member of the church, realtor, mother of six, grandmother of ten, and lives in southern Utah.
The Lauten family lived across the street. When I got ready for school I combed my hair and brushed my teeth in a small bathroom near the back of the house. From the little bathroom window I overlooked the Lauten's home. I remember seeing Sue Lauten get into an old 2-door Dodge Sedan and drive to school. She was a popular cheerleader. Her father George ran his own restaurant on San Fernando Road in Glendale, called Lauten's Coffee Shop. The restaurant opened in 1941. George's father started the business. It was a
steak house. Paul and I worked there as dishwashers and later as
cooks. George walked around and greeted the guests and was an honest
owner and employer. In the mid 1960s he moved to Lone Pine, CA and
opened up Bobo's Bonanza on the main street. Unknown to me at the time, In WW II George Colonel
Lauten asked for and got his wish for combat duty and was sent to
Raddlesden, England and became part of the 447th Bomb Group. The Eight
U.S. Army Air Force was the largest, most powerful aerial armada in
history. George was commanding officer of the 708th Bombardment Squadron
during World War II.
He had more than 600 men under his command
and flew 14 missions. During a special raid over enemy territory, the
two lead squadrons had to drop behind because of mechanical failures.
This put George and his squadron at the front. He led 360 "flying
fortresses," (B-17s) in one of the 10 largest raids during the war.
George had his wife's name painted in huge letters on one of the planes
he flew. Colonel Lauten was awarded the World War II Victory
Medal, the American Theater Medal, European-African Medal, Middle
Eastern Theatre Medal with three battle stars, the Distinguished Flying
Cross, the air medal with one oak leaf cluster, the American Defense
Medal and the Croix De Guerre for helping in to liberate France. He
served in the U.S.A., England and France.
To me George was a simple restaurant owner. I started as a dishwasher. The work was hot and sweaty. I worked with a Spanish speaker named Manual. To me Lauten's was Manuel. He seemed indipensible. His pet name for me was Con-da-lawn-e-o. We had fun together busing the tables, gathering the plates, cups and utensils into large gray tubs and dragging them into the back where we rinsed and shoved them into the dishwasher. A cloud of steam burst forth from the cleaning machine. We didn't care. Occasionally Manuel went out back for a smoke. The cool evening air was a welcome relief from the restaurant chaos. When we had time he teased me about being slow or laughed when I dropped a plate. It was all in good fun. We liked each other. Paul Lauten was the cook. Watching him was like watching an orchestra leader. Waving his arms, he could do five things at the same time. On a hot skillet he cooked eggs over easy next to a sirloin steak, cleaned the open skillet, looked at the next paper order on the swivel, pulled vegetables out of the freezer, snatched a clean plate onto which he shoving a chicken fried steak and a pile of mashed potatoes. Next he lifted the entree into the serving window, and rang a bell, alerting the waitress to pick up the order. Eventually I became the cook and it was my job to do what I saw Paul's do. Lauten's had a 4 foot high cigarette machine by the front door. As a joke once I lit up with Manual out back. Later a young ward member named Richard Pettit came in for dinner. To be funny I looked through the serving window, smiled at Richard and exhaled smoke through my nostrils. Smoking was not enjoyable for me and I didn't inhale but it did make for some funny moments. I'm glad I didn't take up smoking or drinking. The first question they ask when you get cancer or heart disease is, "Do you smoke or drink." After WWII 70 percent of men smoked. In the 1960's it seemed like everybody smoked. People wanted to look like movie stars or doctors in TV commercials who said smoking was good. In 1970, President Richard Nixon signed legislation officially banning cigarette ads on television and radio. Nixon was okay with lying but against smoking. Does that make any sense? Nixon secretly bombed and killed thousands in Cambodia, but was against smoking? Even more strange today is that we are fine with letting murders out of prison, abortion, stealing, infidelity, destroying property, adultery and outright lying but not smoking. Very strange.
|Madras Shirt|Madras Shirts
During the 50s a lot of kids wore black and white converse tennis shoes, 501's and a white pocketed t-shirts. In
the 1960's the surfer look was very popular. Many bleached their hair,
wore Hawaiian shirts and sandals. The Beach Boys brought a new culture
to Southern California and most liked the new look. I had a surfer
friend named Bill who looked the part. He had bleached hair and wore
light beige pants and an oversized madras shirt. I thought he looked cool. Madras shirts were made
in India and when you washed them they bled. In fact if you weren't
careful they bled all over the rest of your wash. They had to be handled
gently in cold water. I liked plaid and the bright colors. This was the
look I liked. For most of my life I have worn light beige Dockers and
plaid shirts. A teacher I worked with at UES later worked for
another school and on the day he retired every kid in the school wore a
plaid shirt. It was Doug Russell Day. Today I wear nylon gray or black
hiking pants and Penny's Stafford shirts. It was hard giving up the
white Dockers but Deborah insisted they were too baggy. She was right. 60 years after
the surfer craze, I still like brightly colored plaid shirts.
Fortunately mine don't bleed.
|LtR Kim Eardley, Gene Priday, Kent, Blane Bateman.1965|
In 1964 at the end High School the bishop asked Bryan
Pettit and I to go to the Worldwide Explorer Conference at BYU. Bryan's dad drove us to Provo in his Ford Falcon. I sat in the back of the Pettit's little tin bucked holding on for dear life. It was a large
conference with young men from all over the USA. They held classes on dating,
dress, manners and we did a lot of sports. I liked it. While there I met
Blaine Bateman and Gene Priday. After the conference I stayed with Gene
Priday for a couple of weeks before heading home. He liked Faberge Brut colone,
girls and Chevy Super Sport cars with big engines. The Chevy SS had a loud exhaust from its big V8. .
Once we went to Christiansen's, a store on American Fork main which Gene's father owned. After arriving BYU we hung out together. Fifty years later Gene Priday was made second counselor in the Timpanogos Temple Presidency. He spoke at our stake and afterwards I went up to him and asked if he remembered me. He had a funny look on his face like, no not really. I told him I slept in his bedroom as a kid. I began to look more familiar to him. His wife stood next to him wondering who I was. Finally I revealed who I was. It was a funny moment. Gene then told me a story of being the head of the Temple visitors center in Hawaii. A Polynesian man and his wife had been inactive church members for many years. His mother insisted he visit the Polynesian Cultural Center while in Hawaii and the Temple visitors Center. He did so reluctantly. As he walked up the path to the center Gene felt he should greet him. Then he began telling the man about eternal families and in particular about being sealed in the temple so the marriage covenant could continue in the next life. At the end of the conversation Gene committed the man to go back to church and get worthy to enter the temple. The man was so touched he gave Gene a big Polynesian hug. Later the man and his wife came back to Hawaii and were sealed in the temple. Gene was friendly but didn't appear to have any inclination in developing our relationship any further. Blaine Bateman became a local dentist and retired today in Alpine. He owns horses. I contacted his office but he never returned my calls. Some people move on.
Gordon Christiansen: After high school everyone went their separate ways. Paul Lauten and Don Browne joined the army. Jim LeCheminant, Gordon Christiansen, Brent Frost, Tad Callister and I went to BYU. Steve and Ron Leeper went to BYU then became a Doctor and lawyer respectively. LaMar Johnson was a big kid who was a little older than the rest of us. After high school he joined the Hell's Angels. One time Vera Leeper was walking out of a 7/11 in Glendale and as she exited the building she saw a rough group of bikers in leather jackets and ear rings. From among the group of malcontents she hears LaMar Johnson yell, "Hell-o Sister Leeeeper."
My first year at BYU I roomed in the Cannon Center with Brent Frost. Lynn Reeder, Brent's best friend, was already on his mission so we decided to room together. Knowing my focus on health this may seem strange but the day I arrived in our dorm room I shocked Brent by lighting up a cigarette. It was my last and as I think back, it was a dumb thing to do. Brent did well in all of his classes so we had time to goof off. One of our favorite pass-times that winter was a bouncing contest. Each person stood in the hall and tossed a tennis ball in such a way as to make it bounce a few times before landing in the trash can fifteen feet away. You got a point for each bounce as long as it landed safely in the can. It was a mindless game we enjoyed. Saturdays we took a bus to downtown Provo to the men's stores to see what cool clothing was in stock. Clarke's was on University Avenue where we went most of the time. They had Gant shirts and Corbin cotton trousers which were popular brands at the time. There is still a Clarke's tuxedo store on University today. Since we both planned on missions we looked at suits and sturdy shoes. Brent Pratley, an Orthopedic Surgeon, made friends with most of the young men in the West Ward. He went on a mission and encouraged us to do the same. Before I came home at the end of the school year Brent handed me his credit card and told me to go to Clark's in Provo and buy any suit I wanted. That brought a smile to my face. The suit I picked out had a reversible vest and looked sharp. I wore the suit until it had a large hole in the pants from riding a bike. I had it patched and continued wearing it. That was the best suit I ever owned. Thank you Brent Pratley. I attended Brent's funeral. Over his lifetime he paid for 73 missionaries to go on missions including Vai Sikahema. Vai, BYU football star, who wrote an article praising Brent's generosity.
|1965 BYU Banyan|
The Watts riots, took place in the Watts neighborhood and surrounding areas of Los Angeles from August 11 to 16, 1965. At the time I was working as a short order cook at Van De Kamps. We provided Atwater and Glendale with hamburgers and shakes. The restaurant
was located at the corner of Fletcher Drive and San Fernando
Road in Atwater Village. The cool thing about the place was that the huge windmill on top of the roof which lit up at night. This was the summer before I went on my mission. I remember getting news reports about the riots and wondering if I was going to be okay getting home. Most of the chaos took place in southern Los Angles. I wasn't really worried as I drove the '54 Ford Station Wagon home with no problem.
|Van de Kamp's Bakery and Coffee Shop with Drive-In service, seen here
at night with a row of cars parked around the lighted building, located
on the corner of Fletcher Drive and San Fernando Road in Atwater.|
|Watts Riots, 196|
|LtR Brent Frost, Kent Gardiner, Hyde Park, Church of Jesus Christ of LDS Chapel, 1966|
I loved England, including its churches, historical buildings, winding roads, Beatles, English accents, fish and chips, quaint
candy stores, vintage clothes, and people. Mostly I liked the people. During the 1960s England was discovering rock and roll and
the outrageous fashions found on Carnaby Street. This was the backdrop to my missionary work.
|LtR David, baby Wilson, Polly|
In February, 1966, I was transferred to Maidenhead, Berkshire. As I walked up the front walkway to my new digs, I could hear
my new companion, Eric Butler, singing opera upstairs. Eric was from Park City, short, balding, brilliant, and a great companion. In my last area I had tracted hundreds of hours without success, we began "tracting" the streets south of our digs and before too long, we tracted out Polly Wilson and her husband David. She was a young, pretty mother with brown hair and a newborn. We taught them first couple of lessons but worried about the third because it was about the Word of Wisdom. People in England love their tea, and most young people at the time smoked. Before the lesson we fasted that they would quit cigarettes and tea. At the end of the lesson, Polly prayed, "We know the church is true. Please help us quit smoking. We know it will be hard and we need your help." They quit and we got permission to go to their baptism in the Hyde Park Chapel, downtown London.
It was a long drive from Maidenhead through the winding streets of London to the Hyde Park Chapel for their baptism. I had
a hard time finding baptismal whites and, in desperation, I finally decided on button-fly pants that ended at my ankles. The
Wilson's laughed when they saw me. As David and Polly went down into the waters of baptism, the spirit testified to us of the truthfulness of the church. Toward the end of my mission we went through the temple with David and Polly.
Twenty years later, Suzanne and I went back to England. Both David and Polly had divorced and remarried. Polly had taken up smoking again. David lived in Redding and had a new little family. Suzanne and I held family home evening with them. The day we left David couldn't get his car started. We went out to the street and pushed his car until it started up. I stood there thinking about how much had happened between the two of us. He put his arms around me an gave me a big hug and said. "Kent I feel the same way I felt when you first came to teach us." That same weekend his son, who was a baby during the first visit, was being taught the gospel in Southampton. I lost track of David but pray he is still faithful.
We also went to church. Before the Maidenhead branch met in the room of a local school. Now we had a beautiful little chapel. As we walked from the parking lot to the chapel I was surprised to see Adelaide Wallace again and she remembered me. I baptized her and her husband after David and Polly. An older lady came up to me and asked if I remembered her and I said no. She remembered the time Elder Butler and I were called to the home of a female member of the church. The girl came to the door in a filmy negligee. We gulped, excused ourselves and left. Twenty years later she remembered that event.
|I trained Lowell Billings for a month and a half in Maidenhead. Great missionary!|
|LtR Billings, Gardinerl, Sis Windom, ?, Boyer|
From my mission journal:
3 May 1966 Taught the Burnette family; I told his wife an answer and she laughed so hard she almost fell off the arm of my chair. Elder Thomas was with me and Mr. Burnette said, "I have a question." and Thomas said , "Shoot me the juice Bruce." Highly irregular.
4 May 1966 While out "tracting" Elder Billings got an appointment but forgot the lady's name. So he said , "How do you spell it?" She looked at him and said West, W-E-S-T." I had to turn around and stifle my laughter.
I was sorry to see old Elder Billings go. t I really enjoyed the time we worked together which was only a month and a half. He so slow that his mom said he was gonna be the last one to be resurrected. He's got taste somewhat in clothing and has much enthusiasm.
Bob Layton was one of my post-mission buddies. We served in the mission field together and when we got home we struck up a friendship that has lasted 50 years. He was very good friends with one of his mission companions named Scott Cameron. Many years after our mission Scott Cameron accepted a call as director over the Mesa Temple Visitors Center. During this time they made contact with an Elder Edmunds who was serving a mission in Mesa. In the mid 60's Scott and Bob had tracked out a Walley Edmunds. He was dusty and dirty because he delivered coal to homes. They taught him and he joined the church. The young missionary Elder Edmunds was Walley Edmunds grandson.
After I came home from my mission in October 1967 I got a job working at Penny's in downtown Glendale. I straightened shirt displays. It amazed me how quickly one person could completely disorganize the entire department in just a few minutes. At the same time I took in a semester at Glendale College in the spring of 1968. The church had an Institute across the street from the College where we parked and took religious classes. My two favorite teachers were Gerald N. Lund and Bill Wait. Bill was an amazing story teller. He was a former fireman for the Los Angeles Fire Department. He regaled us with stories of daring rescues and interesting people, like old Leatherlungh who worked with him and pulled people out of burning structures. One time he went to downtown Los Angels and befriended a homeless man. Bill took the man out to lunch and bought him some clothes. He told us the man's struggles in life and how he endeded up on the street. We sat on the edge of our chairs wondering what Bill would reveal next.
I remember three classes at Glendale College. One was Meteorology which is the science dealing with the atmosphere and its phenomena, including both weather and climate.. The teacher was a member of Mensa is an organization for people with hi IQ's. She told us how smart she was and how important the Mensa was. I remember little else. Another class was on classical music and Art. The teacher was well dressed and precise about everything he did. He played various pieces of music and taught us how to listen. My psychology teacher had a rule that if you were late to his class you had your final grade docked one full grade per time you were late. Few people walked in late and this put everyone on edge every class period.
I had two other jobs during this period. One was delivering phone books. I went to a warehouse and stacked the 54 Ford station wagon to the ceiling with phone books. Then I drove to a Glendale neighborhood and dashed between houses and apartments dropping phone books on door steps. The pay was good but I certainly trashed the station wagon. The other job was as a pall bearer at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills. As unusual as it may seem, there are people who don't have relatives to mourn for them. I was their official mourner. The other fellow who worked with me and I arranged flowers around the caskets. During my mission I tired of wearing a suit. This job required us to wear a dark blue suit. It also required us to be somber but the other fellow and I did a lot of laughing. He was good at finding humor in the sadness of moments.
|This meter was hooked up to the intake manifold of my 55 Chevy. It was used to conserve gas.|
With all the money I was earning from these random jobs I bought a 1955 Chevy two door sedan. It was brown, had black tuck and roll seats and a Hurst gear shift. It cost $200 and had plenty of power. For fun I bought some little spacers which I screwed in between the springs to give the car a stiff ride. It had a radio with reverb. When you flipped a switch the music sounded like it was coming from an echo chamber. I drove the car around Glendale and later to BYU.
Once I decided to break the picket lines at our local Ralph's Grocery store. I parked the '55 in the parking lot and stacked shelves for a few nights. One night I came back to my car to find sugar all around the entry to my gas tank. I called my dad and we had the car towed home. I removed the gas tank, cleaned it thoroughly and put everything back in place. It took a day. Since then I have always had a locking gas cap on my cars.
|Nancy Bergen 1960s|
of the girls I dated after my mission was Nancy Bergen. I met her at a
church event and immediately asked her out. At the time I was driving my yellow
MGB-GT. She lived in Highland Park, an area nearer to downtown LA than
Glendale. I drove over toward her home and was surprised to look in my
rear view mirror and see the flashing lights of a cop car. He pulled me
over and I got out of the car. I asked why I was being pulled over
because I knew I wasn't speeding. He said, "We don't often see cars like
yours in this neighborhood and wanted to see what was going on." I told
him I was picking up a young lady for a date. He smiled and said,
"Sounds good." I continued to Nancy's home. There I found her family had
an infestation of cockroaches. We later cleaned out the pests and painted her parents' front room.
She had a girl friend and the three of us went to the beach together. I
was interested in photography at the time and took pictures of both of
them. I liked Nancy's pretty face. However
there didn't seem to be any chemistry between us so we parted friends. We are now linked on Facebook. She and her husband Lorenzo to have 9 children and
are active church members doing all those things active church members do. It's nice seeing people you like doing well.
For most of the late 60s I lived at Monte Vista a couple of blocks away from BYU campus. Many of the Glendale guys lived there. Around the corner was a gas station where I worked for a time pumping gas. There was a motel just up the street which served bread and soup for $3.00. A nice hot meal was welcomed relief from the food we cooked. Most of those years I drove a 1958 MG Magnette. The car had a small Jaguar sedan look. I loved the car. I bought it from Bud Leeper. In my last year in Seminary he picked me up in the little car and drove me, along with his two boys, to seminary. It had a wood dash with very cool gauges. The engine was small but it cranked right along. Interestingly enough you could crank start it. To do so you put the key in the ignition, turned it on, went around to the front of the car and with a crank handle shoved it into the front of the engine and cranked with all your might. It often started. Once it snowed in the parking lot and I was late for school. I backed out of the parking space directly in front of our downstairs dorm room and gently hit a car in back of me because the snow covered my back window and the person behind was illegally parked in the center of the lot. Sometimes I parked on the street to avoid such occurences. One time I was stitting in our dorm room and heard a knock at out door. I answered it and found an unhappy fellow student who also lived at Monte Vista. He told me he had just backed into the grill of my MG. It put a crease right across the grill that I loved. In fact previous to this my mission buddy, Richard Watson, had placed a Dr. Pepper can on top of the grill and I took a photograph of the display. I liked the photo so much that I included it in Unmitigated Gall, my first book of poetry. The fellow who backed into my car was a humble little guy and I told him not to worry about the accident.
The 50's and 60's were filled with great rock and roll. While on my mission the Stones came out with early albums like Between the Buttons. I remember sitting at a Whimpy Bar hearing Let's Spend the Night Together for the first time. I liked the beat, the lyrics and the feel of the early Stones. I heard my first Beatle album at our diggs in Feltham, London. Another time we heard the Beatles were going to play in Hounslow. I wanted to skip tracting and see them. But my companion had other ideas. When we taught David Wilson and his wife Polly in Maidenhead, David recorded the 3rd discussion on his professional Revox reel to reel recorder. That evening we challenged them to live the Word of Wisdom, all recorded for posterity. The Revox machine was large and had two 8 inch reels. Later David silenced the voice track on some Beatle songs and we added our voices to the Beatles instrumentation. We sounded pretty good.
When I got home from my mission I played Moody Blues, Beatles, and early Stones on the stereo in the corner of the dining room at 1366. Dad was not a big fan. He had a blonde wooden cabinet with many old albums but never played them."Turn that down!" my dad demanded. I don't think he was a big fan of any type of music but he particularly didn't like ours. JT played Yes and I played Beatles and Stones and Dad played nothing.
In the dorms at BYU I had two large speakers about three foot high and 18 inches across. I stapled a cloth covering over the face of the speakers but neglected to add the wood trim needed to finish them off. One day my roommate David Hawkins surprised me by buying some wood strips and together we finished the wood edging around the perimeter of the speakers. If you sat right between the two speakers you got the full effect of the music. When the Beatle's White Album came out we immediately bought it and cradled it back to the dorm. With great anticipation I dropped the needle on the black vinyl disk. We listened as the needle threaded it's way down the groove. Our eyes widened as beautiful music emanated therewith. We played the album until it was a wonder that the grooves remained intact. Each song was relished like a precious jewel. George Nelson, a friend from Glendale, and I oohed and awed over the album covers for the Beatle's Revolver and St.Pepper's Lonely Hearts Band. This was modern artwork and we loved it. When each new album was released it was a big event. I remember listening to Steppenwolf album entitled The Second. Some of the tracts were "Faster than the Speed of Life" and "Tighten up Your Wig" and "Don't Step on the Grass, Sam." I thought these were the best songs I had ever heard.
After I graduated from BYU in 1969 a friend of mine named Bob Layton and I decided to look for a summer job in Boston. A fellow missionary, Eric Butler, who lived with his wife, was part of the reason for going back. With very little money we drove Bob's VW from Phoenix to Boston. Once we asked the bishop if we could stay overnight in the chapel and he said yes. Another time we rolled out our sleeping bags along the freeway for a night's rest. When we got to Boston we stayed with Eric. After a couple of nights sleeping in his front room Eric informed us his wife wouldn't get near him while we were sleeping in the adjoining room and we needed to look a little harder for a place to live. We found a small room to rent in Peabody Terrace, Harvard's married student housing. Bob's mother created an elaborate bed covering made of all his old levies which I thought looked really cool. Bob got a job mowing greens on a Jewish golf course. He tanked up each day with four liters of Coke. It was hot work. I got a job helping with "special needs" children at a camp in the Boston Bay. There was a bus which picked up the children. One day one of the kids's parents didn't show up when we were dropping them off and the bus driver tied him to a post to wait for his parents. I liked working with the kids and decided I wanted to be a teacher. We met girls and dated a little. Bob met Helen. They had five children and later left the church and Bob. I also began writing poetry on the banks of the Charles River. Previous to this I picked up a little book called "The Mason Williams Reading Matter". I thought it was creative and fun so I used it as a model for a book I later published called "Unmitigated Gall". It was a frivolous book of poetry, pictures and a few short stories. The book satisfied my creative bent and later in life that book morphed into my 16 family history books.
My last year at BYU included teaching classes and student teaching. In one class I took I was required to come to the front of the class and sing a song. As most people know I cannot match pitches. I asked to beg off the assignment but the professor insisted. I stood, walked to the front of the class and began singing. The professor made a funny face and said, "Never mind Kent, you can sit down." My first student teaching assignment was in the Granite School district. When things weren't going well the teacher I was under had children all put their heads on their desks for long periods of time. I viewed his techniques as draconian and didn't see much that I wanted to copy. My second teaching assignment was with Sue Wilson on the east bench. She believed in the open classroom. In order to individualize her instruction she had centers where students worked independently on interesting assigned tasks while she worked with a group. Children did really well working independently, thinking and recording their progress. I became a believer. Once as part of her science curriculum she had me pull my 1959 MG Magnette onto the field. I hooked up my battery to a rocket launcher and we spend a couple of hours firing off rockets.In a number of ways Sue Wilson changed my life for the better. Later I was to spend 39 summers shooting off rockets on the intramural field at UCLA.
After I graduated from BYU in 1970 and I got my teaching credential. I immediately got a job with Professor Perlmutter from the University of Utah. Together we rented a room at the top of the First Baptist Church at 13th East and 6th South in Salt Lake City. I taught about 20 kids in what was called an "open classroom." For a while I lived with Mary and Gloria, then found a small apartment across the street from them. With my first paycheck I bought a Stereo Receiver. I strategically placed my two speakers across the room from each other and hooked up the turntable. As a stress reliever I lay on the floor with my eyes closed and listened to rock and roll. That was joy.
|My apartment near 183 A Street, 1971 while I taught at the SLC Model Scholl, SLC, UT|
|Beethoven's grave Vienna’s Zentralfriedhof cemetery, nearby are Schubert and Brahma|
In 1972 I started teaching at Stanton Elementary School in Glendora where I met Ben at a youth activity. I invited him to my apartment to listen to music and he brought along some Beethoven. He explained to me how to listen to classical music. "Listen for the first theme, do you hear it? Now listen to when the second theme comes in? Tell me when the music changes you hear the first theme again? " That little exchange led me into a new life of classical music. I view Beethoven's third symphony is an absolute explosion of sound. One day I hope to visit Vienna where Beethoven, Brahms and Schubert are buried. I'd like to pay homage to the three greatest composers of all time. They bring me joy. After Suzanne died I remember hearing Mozart's 23 piano concerto, second movement. Unlike anything else in life that piece reflected the sadness of losing one's spouse. It still brings me to tears. When Suzanne was alive I viewed Beethoven's 7th Symphony, second movement as "our song." The gentle nature reflected my feelings toward her. Today my favorite piece is Brahm's 1st Piano Concerto. It rattles my bones.
1972-1973 Stanton Elementary School, Glendora
A generation that walked to school and then walked back.
A generation that did their homework alone to get out asap to play in the street.
A generation that spent all their free time on the street with their Friends.
A generation that played hide and seek when dark.
A generation that made mud cakes.
A generation that collected sports cards.
generation that found, collected and washed & returned empty coke
bottles to the local grocery store for 5 cents each , then bought a
Mountain Dew and candy bar with the money.
A generation that made paper toys with their bare hands.
A generation who bought vinyl albums to play on record players.
A generation that collected photos and albums of clippings.
A generation that played board games and cards on rainy days.
A generation whose TV went off at midnight after playing the National Anthem.
A generation that had parents who were there.
A generation that laughed under the covers in bed so parents didn't know we were still awake.
A generation that is passing and unfortunately it will never return!!..
I loved Growing up when I did.
The following are under construction:
Mimi Smith held or controlled the reservation to Dinkey Creek. Before her the reservation was held by the ward James Brown was in. Because of this, Suzanne as a youth went to Dinky Creek many times. In the late 1980s we held our family vacation there. Visitors slept in cabins and there was a large dining area. The main attraction was the stream next to the cabin and surrounding lakes. One time I asked Ashley if she wanted to go fishing. She said, "Yes." We gathered our fishing gear and headed toward a lake within walking distance of the main area. We found a big rock and laid out our fishing gear. As soon as Ashley tossed in her bait the fish began to bite. We both started catching fish. Most were small and we threw them back. After a while Mike Wooten and Noelle found a spot across the lake and began fishing. They were not doing well. Ashley squealed with joy as she continued catching fish. Her joyful giggles finally drew the attention of the Wootens and they yelled across the lake, "We want to catch fish like you, can we trade places?" Ashley said, "Sure." and we traded spots. Ashley continued catching fish and the Wooten's again came up short. At the end of the day a craft event was held in the common area. We decorated T-shirts and this was mine:
The very month Suzanne died, September 1994 Deborah Snowden took out her endowments in the Los Angels Temple. At the end of 1994 I began thinking about dating. The idea seemed strange since my heart was still with Suzanne but knew I needed to move on. After my own mother died my dad said that some people accused him of being insensitive. He responded that life still needed to go on, meals made, and kids taken care of.
Ping Pong Champions
In 2017 we were called on a Daily Dose Mission in the Orem Mission.
|LtR Deborah and Kent Gardiner, January 29, 2019|
On January 29, Kent and Deborah were set apart as ordinance workers in the Timpanogus Temple. From the first day we began serving I felt at home and knew this was the place for me. The first couple of months were taken up with learning the ordinances. After serving one night Deborah said "Kent now that we are temple workers I'm wondering about some of our entertainment choices?" Now don't get me wrong, we have never watched rated "R" movies or movies dealing with adultery. But I knew what she meant and agreed we needed to avoid certain entertainment. About a year before during Sacrament meeting I had the distinct feeling I should send someone some money. I won't go into the reason why but I had a feeling it would help with my worthyness. I sent the money and immediately had a sense of well being. A number of times in my life I have gone to the Bishop with something that gnawed at my conscious. After confessing and asking for forgiveness, resolving not to repeat the sin my whole body relaxed. I still remember the uplifting feeling as I walked out of the Bishops's office. It is very important to be worthy to work in the temple and there is a deep sense of peace when you can say you are worthy.
Someone asked me what I like about working in the Temple. I have two reasons. First the words of the ordinances are amazing. Being worthy of blessings in the next life is important and I think that all revolves around our covenants. Holding sacred the temple covenants and keeping them with diligence is the way to happiness in this life and the next. I hold my temple covenants with my two wives as my most sacred possession. Secondly I love the temple workers. Being with them gives one a glimpse of what life will be like on the other side of the veil. I talk to many men as we work our shifts and appreciate their goodness and commitment. One of my favorites is Brother Lovejoy. He is a former policeman in northern California. When he dated his future wife his father in law did everything he could think of to discourage the relationship. According to Brother Lovejoy his wife was 5'2 and could shoot the center of a target at 20 yards. "She looked a lot like Elisabeth Taylor, said Lovejoy." They had three children and when she was 36 she died. His wife worked with his second wife in Primary. He has lived with his second wife for 44 years. When they first blended families one of his boys disrespected his wife. He picked up the kid, put him up against the wall and told him that was no longer acceptable. He told him that from now on this son was in charge of his new wife's youngest daughter. He took the job seriously and today they are best friends. I asked Bro. Lovejoy why the Lord took his wife. He gave me the same reason I have come up with: to help me be more mature.
One of our privileges as temple workers is to come in contact with amazing people. One of these was the Timpanogos Temple President Ronald B. Funk. A few times he came to our preparation meeting and spoke to us. I was told by Bro Jones who works with me in the temple that when he worked in the LA Temple the presidency gave an inspirational message every week. President Funk had four rules to be successful temple workers. One was to "just show up." He said that in any job the main goal is to show up for work on time and ready to go. This is importnt because other workers are depending on you. His second rule was to "act based on principal and what you know is right not on feelings." He said that when you act on what is right the feelings afterwards will be positive and you will have a confirmation that what you have done is good. His third rule was to treat patrons and fellow temple workers with respect and don't do anything that might embarrass them. I think this goes without saying but I have also heard a number of stories where this hasn't been followed. His fourth rule was, "Don't explain what the temple ordinances mean. Let the Lord do the teaching." I have thought about his rules and believe they are sound.
Pres. Smith set us apart for our mission to the Lehi FamilySearch Center. In that blessing he said we would see miracles. After a month we have seen a few. Here is one. When I drove old restored cars in California it was always a hassle getting my cars smogged. One time I leaned out my a 1958 MG Magnette. It was so lean I had a hard time getting the car over the speed bump just before entering the smog check facility. Today in Utah you can have your antique car registered as an antique and get a pass on smog. About 6 months ago I saw the check engine light go on in my 2003 Camry. It had been about ten years since I got a catalytic converter. I used my diagnostic tool and sure enough the catalytic converter was dead. The car runs well and I like driving it but the car is only worth a thousand dollars and a converter can cost $1500. A couple of months later the check engine light went out. So I thought to myself, maybe it fixed itself. In any case I will wait until I get my car smogged in February. I took the car into the shop and after they checked the car the lady at the front desk announced your done, you passed. A second later the tech walked by and said, "There is no light on the dash." I can only assume he was talking about my car.
We love working in the Lehi FamilySearch Center. To a person everyone in the center is warm and friendly. You can walk up to anyone and begin a conversation and share what your are doing. Soon they tell you about themselves and their families. People are very helpful, always looking for ways to help other people last night. This is true except for the Shift Coordinator Tuesday nights. She is a large woman who never smiles. She looks like you just told her her dog died. Last night I decided to tell her I was open to helping people. Her job is to greet people when they come into the center and place them with the person who can help them most. When I approached her she was busy talking, so I just stood their waiting my turn. When she was done speaking she turned to me saying in a depressed tone of voice, "What do you want from me?" I said, "Hi how are you doing?" Then I added, "I just wanted to let you know I have been helping people this afternoon and hope to do the same tonight." "OK" came the response. As I drove home I thought about her words: "What do you want from me?"
|LtR Kent Gardiner, Don, former policeman, Lovejoy.|
Starting next week (April 2022)we will be there three days per week. Monday and
Friday 1:00-5:00 and Tuesday 5:00 - 9:00. That is a total of 12 hours.
Tuesday evening there are many groups of youth that come and work in the
Discovery Center. They log onto an iPad type of device and walk around
to different displays. They place their iPad device next to a 5 foot
screen and do different activities. If you go to Activities on the FS
website you get an idea of what they do. The youth love seeing who they
are related to and what life was like in their country of origin. My
wife really enjoys the youth and helps them to have a good time. They
spend about an hour at the center. I like helping people with FS. On
Fridays we are shift coordinators and are in charge of making
assignments, seeing everything runs smoothly, and training new
missionaries. When someone walks into the center my wife will greet
them, find out what they want to do and assign them someone to help
them. There are many different machines for people to digitize film,
negatives, photos and VHS tapes etc. The best part of the center are the
people who are absolutely lovely. Our shift coordinators on Monday are
the Beechers who have served 13 missions! It is great fun but when they
day is over I am tired.
April 26 2022 Last night Deborah was dong Discovery with a group of youth. She was
helping a 13 year old girl who told her she was being raised by her
aunt. When the girl opened up FamilySearch she discovered her
biological parents. She stood there looking for a moment and then said,
"Those two people are my parents, can you tell me if they are married?"
Deborah had to tell the girl that her parents were alive and because FamilySearch keeps records of living people private. It was a bitter swee moment for everyone.
A week ago an 18 year old girl named Rachel was doing discovery. She told Deborah that her ancestors were from Baden, Germany. Deborah came to me and asked me to come over. I did and Rachel told me that two years priviously, at Christmas time, her grandfather announced to the family that he extended their line two generations into Baden. I asked Rachel for the FS ID of those two Baden residence and that I wanted to show her something. She went back to Discovery and I went to the computer and pulled up a birth and marriage record. Then I went back and got Rachel. On the way to the computer I asked, "Rachel, Do you read German." She said, "Sorry no I don't." I said, "I'll bet you do, let's see." We sat at the computer and with a couple of hints on certain letters she read almost everything on both documents." She said, "This isn't that hard." I told her that if she could read her anestors names and dates in German she could look further in the documents and extend the line even further. She was thrilled and said a grateful, "Thank you Elder Gardiner." She learned something new.
June 16-20 2022 Bear Lake
Everyone went to Bear Lake where we stayed in a 9k for four days large home. We played pickle ball, walked down to the lake and Ryan, Brett and Deborah and I went to church. It was held in a large chapel which may hold 2k. They hold services at 9, 10:30 and 11:30. It is the only building in the church like this. Weston fell asleed in the asle and the second speaker told about how he and his wife served on the large medical boat the US has. He also told about how George Washington had about 110 rules of civility. A couple were that you shouldn't drum your fingers or talk while yawning.
A few months ago Deborah and I visited Chad in Omaha. For most of the time we cleaned his home which was a complete disaster. At one point we discovered none of Chad's vacumes worked so we borrowed one from the Elders's Quorum President, namely James Ford across the street. They had a bunch of boys who we saw clearing snow from the walkways. Since then Chad paid 9k to get a aue pair. We met her at Bear Lake. Her name is Vivian Bitar Dos Reis. She is a lovely girl who plays tag team with Chad while watching Gracie. She is 26 years old and her birthday is August 25. Vivian is from Belem Brazil. She lives with her mother on the 72 floor of an apartment building. Her mother is divorced and her mother's family is in the construction business in the city. Belem is on a large river about 3 hours from the beach in northern Brazil. She says there is lots of crime in Brazil. Her cousin who spent time in Canada gave her some advice. Keep money on you while traveling in case you need it and don't worry about being robbed like in Brazil. He also said, "There will come a time when you will want to speak Portuguese and can't. Be patient." Vivian went to church with an LDS girl in Brazil and liked it. She described a large first meeting and then being split between men and women for the next meeting. She has been in Omaha since the first of June. Chad wanted her to meet some of his neighbors. She met James and Jessie Ford, who live directly across the street from Chad and found out their son just began serving a mission in Belem. Vivian told her mother about this and her mother was excited and wants to help Elder Ford. I told Vivian how amazing this was. She said, "Yes, it is amazing." Vivian asked how Deborah and I met and I explained about losing my first wife and what a temple is and how Deborah's Temple Sealer and Dr. Brown set us up while working together in the temple. She was impressed. As she is telling me all this tears are rolling down my face and Deborah who is hearing bits and pieces is also in tears. Chad hates the church and thinks President Nelson doesn't know anything more than any other man, and Joseph Smith is a con man The Lord is using him to bring the gospel to Vivian. She said her hobbies are reading and going to plays and movies. Her English is very good although she looks up the meaning of words occasionally on her phone.
Here is something I learned at 76. When Dr Brown was alive, in his later years, he was always invited to camping trips especially at Dinky Creek. He usually came for a couple of days and then disappeared. I wondered why? After spending five days with all of my children and grandchildren under the same roof I now know why. The noise, confusion and activity of everyone all in one room is wearing. We love seeing everyone and we love quite conversations with them but after a day or two Deborah and found ourselves fleeing to the solitude of our own room. I'm sure Dr. Brown felt the same way. He spent his retirement years traveling to Canada, Europe and the Orient and from what he said he and Elaine had a great time. As one gets older quiet time becomes very important. That being said we love our service in the Tempe and in the FS Center but it is nice to come home and be together. That is soul satisfying.
I remember the day, in prayer meeting, when Brother Mangelson announced the passing of one of our fellow missionaries. Of course it was a sad day for everyone. Even those of us who didn’t know the missionary felt sorrow. But the way it was presented by Brother Mangelson I thought it was a day of great celebration. The brother had conquered life an had moved to a happy place. I told Brother Mangelson I wanted him to announce my death. He has the ability to make you feel good even under dire circumstances.
Another time we brought two friends to the center and after a tour of the Center we all sat down in a circle in a classroom. I watched, mesmerized, as Brother Mangelson told of miracles, discoveries and the exciting adventure of finding long lost cousins. He made me want to resign up for another mission. After some time he told the couple to pray about their decision as to weather to work in the center or not.
I like greeting Sister Mangelson and seeing if I can get a smile. She often does. One of my favorite memories of Sister Mangelson is the day I greeted her with nothing particular in mind. I happily said, “Good afternoon Sister Mangleson!” She replied, “Don’t ask me to do anything.” I thought that was very funny because Sister M is alway busy organizing, posing photos, and looking after the details of the center. She is very dedicated. I like that about her. When you look at her computer you see a sea of post-it notes. It almost looks like a garland. Her computer is the nerve center of the Center. She is very detailed.
Another time it was late in the day when itwas time to close the center. We were shift coordinators and felt some responsibility to lock up the Center. For some reason Security didn’t activate the door and the little light on the monitor next to the door was still green. It was past 5. We told Sister M to go home and we would wait until Security turned the monitor turned red. I’m sure Sister M was tired but that wasn’t good enough for her. She waited a bit, then called Security. After a few minutes the monitor turned red and we wished Sister M the best as she walked to her truck. Her dedication is a good example to me and her attention to detail is admirable.
It has been a great honor to work with Brother and Sister Mangelson. Kent and Deborah Gardiner.
August 1, 2021 Yesterday at the Center it was close to closing time. A small group were gathered around the front desk chatting. Our shift co-ordinator, Sister Beacher, joined us and asked how to close the center. It was a strange question because she has been the shift co-ordinator for months and that is part of her job. In any case I piped up, “To secure the front doors there is a small light by the front door that is normally green. When it automatically turns red the building is locked and secure. If the light doesn’t turn red you need to call security and get them to lock the door.” Then sister Beacher looked at me and said, “You are lier and have been so since the beginning!” Sister Monroe at the front desk said, “No he is right that is how to secure the building.”
I looked at McKay Henricks next to me and said, “Is she kidding or does she actually mean that?” He shrugged his shoulders and said, “I have no idea.” I then said, “I don’t think that is a good thing to say.” Sister Teacher said she wanted to leave early and Brother Henricks said he would secure the building. Nothing further was said.
Most people at the Center and in the Temple are gentle kind and treat everyone like Temple patrons. It makes one wonder what deamons Sister Teacher is dealing with.
July 27, 2020 Judy Rowe email: I have been enthralled with the work you and Elder Bird have gone to prove your points on scanning the photos at the center.
Since I am the trainer of the techs and have been at the center since it opened, I am going to use my experience of 4 years and the advice of the people that I report to since we opened, to determine how the techs will be trained. I will continue to do this until those men called to positions at the center tell me to do otherwise.
1. We offer the patrons a FREE service and as much knowledge as each volunteer missionary has to scan their photos. I have sent out additional information to the techs, to prepare them to answer further questions. I don’t know of a patron that has asked for a different DPI or a Tiff format, that has been told they can’t do it. (Many people scan Tiffs at the center and most missionaries I have talked to don’t know the difference between Tiffs and Jpgs.)
2.The instructions given from the opening of the center have been to scan the photos at 300 dpi and on .jpeg. As far as I know, none of the patrons has come back upset because their photos were deficient. That doesn’t mean some haven’t, I just don’t know of any. (I already sent her an example this week of someone who was upset because they scanned at a low resolution and threw their photos in the trash.)
3. Time is a factor that is important since digitizing photos is one of our devices in constant demand, so having them scan just in case they might need a larger DPI is a waste of time. (This is totally absurd, people can take all the time they want to do quality work.)
4. When you were trained in tech, you said you didn’t want to serve as a tech and I said, whatever you want we are lucky to have you serve as a consultant. I watched you share your opinion in a prayer meeting, trying to train missionaries in an area you weren’t responsible for. (All true, I saw a woman waste her time scanning negatives at a low unprintable resolution and I informed my shift to watch out that this doesn’t happen again.)
5. I appreciate your desire to make things the best that they can be, but sometimes we have to step back and let others that are assigned that responsibility do their job. (I have no problem letting people do their jobs, however there are many opinions at the center and everyone is entitled to their opinions.)
July 29, 2020 Judi came to me after prayer meeting and asked we were still friends. I assured her we were and gave her a hug. When you attack another person it leaves you unsettled and upset. Those feelings demand you make things right because you know you are in the wrong.