Stories of Growing Up
Conversation among Norine Fox, Rulon J. Fox,
Norene (Renie) Felt Kopinsky, and Russell Ray Felt
Recorded 22 January 1986 in ________’s home
Transcription from audio tape by Dayleen Hobson Felt, March 2003
Russ: [To Norine and Rulon] Could you tell us right now your earliest recollections of home? I want all the old stories—about your family.
Norine: [To Rulon] You’re older than I am. You can remember. (To all ) He tells me I remember things wrong!
Renie: Well, I remember some stories Mother used to tell about him (Rulon) when friends used to come.
Russ: Well, tell me what you remember--your earliest recollections of home in Lehi and when you moved there.
Rulon: I told you the other night all that I know.
Russ: Well, tell it again.
Norine: [To Rulon] What did you remember the other night?
Rulon: Well, I told about what I could remember in the old place that we lived, there in the Knudsen place.
Norine: I didn’t live in the Knudsen place. I was born in ____house.
Russ: Well, talk about that Knudsen place again and where it was.
Renie: Is that that big house that is south of where………..
Russ: [To Renie] Wait a minute. We’re listening to them. Be quiet.
Renie: Well, I’m trying to identify where….
Rulon: It was located there where Willard Timothy built.
Norine: Will Timothy.
Rulon: He tore the old home down, and it was where the Knudsen’s had their garden in between the two houses. The old, big Knudsen home is still standing on the corner.
Norine: Oh, that great big white place?
Rulon: Where Thelma lives.
Russ: Well say again where that is now.
Rulon: That’s the block south of Main Street.
Russ: Is it the Bank Street or is it over on the Mortuary street?
Rulon: It’s the one in between.
Russs: The one in between.
Renie: That’s it. Where that auto parts…..
Rulon: It’s the one that goes down [south] from City Hall.
Rita: Napa Auto Parts?
Norine: Center Street, First South and Center Street.
Rulon: I can remember Knudsen’s had a well box, they called it, on their porch. When we lived there in that little home, they opened a door in the side of the porch which opened into that well box. Our folks used to take their things up there and store them in that place.
Norine: Flowing well water ran throught it.
Rulon: A flowing well ran through it.
Renie: Was that grandpa’s [Isaac Fox] first home?
Rulon: No. I don’t know where the first home was. They lived on Main Street for a while.
Norine: Somewhere around where City Hall is, wasn’t it?
Rulon: No, it was where those three new buildings are where Will Burton had his dentist shop. It was right in that area somewhere close. It was an old adobe house that stood there.
Norine: Well, I can remember Christie talking about living there with--when she was a girl--with Grandma Fox.
Rulon: Well that’s, I guess, who it was.
Norine: They had mud--a dirt floor. There was a sheet or something for the ceiling to keep the dust and the water out. They were poor!
Russ: Talk about I. W. [Isaac Wilson] Fox now, your grandfather. Now, go over that, what you remember there.
Norine: I don’t remember him at all.
Rulon: Uh, I can remember when I was just, oh about six, or seven years old—five, or six or seven, somewhere there--going to their place when grandmother [Margaret Ann Slinn Fox?] died, and he was sitting at the side of the bed, and he said, “Margaret, I never thought that you’d go before I did. [I thought] that I would be the first to go.” I was just a child, but I can remember that very well.
Norine: And I can’t remember ___Alta Skown. She can remember grandpa a lot.
Russ: Tell me what he was like.
Rulon: Well, he was very stern. His way was always right.
Russ: That point…….on to the swipe of Rita…__a smile.. [laughter]
Rulon: There was only one way for everything.
Renie: Does that sound familiar?
Rulon: He was the town physician…,
Norine: He was an herb doctor.
Rulon: ….And he made his own medicines from herbs and some—what do they call them? Elements? Drugs?
Rita: Where would he get those things?
Rulon: ….They had some drugs at that time.
Norine: The basic philosophy behind it all was that if it wasn’t nasty, it didn’t do any good. I can remember that stuff that we had for sore throat. O-o-oh, that was horrid!
Rulon: I can remember two things that went into his medicines, and that was powdered sulphur and black pepper and cayenne pepper. And, he put mustard in.
Norine: He had an ointment, a rubbing stuff, that lasted--Mother had some for a long time--that we rubbed on for pains and aches.
Rulon: Yes, that was made with lard for the base, and then it had, I think, cayenne pepper and mustard, and one or two other strong herbs. When you put that on, they’d put a flannel cloth over it. They’d put that [cloth] in the oven and get it hot, and then put that on your chest. After they put that in the oven two or three times, it didn’t need to be put in any more! [laughter] The mustard and cayenne pepper, and whatever else went in, would keep it hot. But, it was good for croup and infection on the lungs.
Norine: Mother [Lucy Hartley Fox] had it kind of watered down. She’d put some soda in it, so it didn’t get too hot. I had mustard plasters on me a lot of times, haven’t you?
Rulon: I’ve had all of these remedies.
Russ: You talked about a little his relationship with the three wives.
Norine: He only had two at the same time.
Rulon: Some of that’s better not said. [laughing]
Russ: Say it anyway. [Rulon laughs]
Renie: Grandma Fox got the dirty end of it, is that right?
Norine: Grandma Fox was the first wife. And then he met this………what was her name?
Rulon: Sarah Brain?
Norine: No, not Sarah. That wasn’t her name. He met her on the boat coming here to America and had plans of marrying her, and grandma was working for one of the Church authorities. I can’t remember which one. And he came home and he said to grandma, “Did you know your husband is going to the Endowment House tomorrow to marry Elizabeth—was that her name?—Brain?” [Eliza Ann Brain] And grandma said, “No, I didn’t.” She hadn’t been sealed to him at that time. He said, “Well, you’re going to be there and be sealed first.”
Renie: That was the Endowment House?
Norine: The Endowment House, uh-huh. And grandma said, “I don’t have anything to wear.” He said, “I’ll get you something.” So he saw to it that she got to the Endow-ment House the next morning. And grandpa was not too happy about the whole deal, but he saw to it that she was sealed to grandpa first and then he was sealed to this other woman. So he had these two wives at the same time. And then the judge’s mother, this Eliza [Ann] Brain, died and then he married Aunt “Kitty” Simmons [Catherine “Kitty” Sophia Simmons]
Russ: But your parents took care of your grandmother….[Margaret Ann Slinn Fox]
Norine: Well, no, Aunt “Kitty” took care of grandma for a while, quite a while, according to Alta.
Rulon: I think she stayed with her older children, Aunt Martha Ann, and Uncle Alfred, and Uncle Robert. And then when father [Isaac Fox] came off his second mission and married mother [Lucy Hartley], she came to live with them.
Norine: Uh-huh. I can remember that…. .that’s the only memory I have….
Russ: How old would she have been at that point?
Norine: Well, she was old, because I can remember playing outside and this little tiny lady—and that’s all I can remember, was a little tiny lady—stopped me and said, “Can you tell me where my son, Isaac, lives?” She’d gotten lost going around the house.
Renie: Well, Aunt Norine, tell about the way she used to bathe.
Rulon: When Norine was just a child—well, she was still in a baby buggy—mother put her in the buggy on one Sunday and told me to take her out and go around the house with her. I went across the street and down the sidewalk, and grandma saw me, and she come running after me and I started running with the baby carriage with Norine in it and her after me! She couldn’t catch me, and finally mother came to the rescue and she caught me. Then she started giving me a spanking for being naughty to grandma. And then grandma said, “Run, pet, run, don’t stand there and let her spank you!” I can remember that. [laughter] And so, I ran. I broke away from mother and ran. When I went back in the house ….
Norine: He got two spankings.
Rulon: …mother didn’t pay any attention to me for a while. It got more than I could stand. I couldn’t stand to be disregarded, so I went up and put my arms around her legs. She just sat down on a chair and gave me a right good spanking, and she said, “Now that’s for being naughty, and this is for being rude to grandma”—so I got two paddlings for one offense. [laughter]
Russ: Talk about your own parents a little bit, what you remember about Grandpa [Isaac] Fox and grandma [Lucy Hartley Fox].
Norine: (To Rulon) Can you remember mother’s black taffeta blouse? A waist blouse that grandpa sent from England?
Rulon: I don’t know where she got it, but I remember it.
Norine: It had little fine pin tucks all down the front of it and some black jet buttons, and I still have those black jet buttons that were taken off that blouse. O-o-oh, I thought that was so pretty! There was a little pin that she wore right here in the front of the high-collared neck.
Rulon: And she brought a big heavy cape from England.
Norine: Oh yes, I remember that.
Rulon: What was that made of?
Norine: Well, it was a kind of a curly…..
Rulon: It was curly, like a curly dog’s hair.
Norine: …..kind of like carrocles.
Rulon: That’s what it was—carrocle cloth. When we kids would get sick, get with cold (kids had colds all the time in those days), and when we’d get a cold………
Norine: That was our “security blanket.”
Rulon: We’d put that “blanket” on and sit on the wood box at the back of the range and sweat out the cold.
Norine: But that “blanket,” or that cape, was part of the medicine. That was the cure.
Rulon: And then if that didn’t do it, she’d put our feet in a tub of hot water with cayenne pepper and mustard in it and put that cape around us.
Norine: ….and steam.
Renie: Tell about Grandpa Hartley’s [John Hartley] letters to grandma [his daughter, Lucy].
Rulon: Well, we could tell you about grandma’s experience in England.
Renie: Yuh, joining the Church.
Rulon: She was interested in the Church, an investigator. She played the organ for them [ LDS] at the place where they held their meetings.
Renie: What denomination was it?
Norine: Methodist, I think it was.
Renie: Methodist, or Baptist?
Norine: Well, the church house where Uncle Herbert [Albert Hartley] said they attended belonged to the Methodist church when I was there, so I assumed they were Methodists.
Rulon: Well, I don’t know whether they met in that church or whether they met in some public building, anyway. When mother decided to join the Church, she couldn’t get grandpa’s consent until she was twenty-one. The first Sunday, I guess, after her twenty-first birthday--was the first baptismal they had after her twenty-first birthday--she was baptized. One of her sisters told her father. He asked the girls where Lucy was, and they said she had gone to church and that she was going to be baptized. So, he had them put her things in her suitcase and put it out on the sidewalk. The sidewalk was right in front of the house.
Norine: A row house.
Rulon: When she came from church, her things were out and the door was locked. She took her things and went to one of her friends.
Rulon: Lizzy White….…
Norine: Ethel Wright.
Rulon: Lizzy Wright and her husband—Lizzy and Bob Wright’s home. She lived with them until the boat that she was scheduled to sail on…..
Russ: About how long?
Norine: Oh, it was several years.
Rulon: No, it wasn’t that long….
Norine: Yes, it was, because she came in 1893, and she was born in 1868, so the difference between 68…she was how old? Ninety-three from…..
[age 25, so she could have lived with them three or four years]
Rulon: Well, she lived with them for a while anyway, and it couldn’t have been too long because Aunt Nancy [Hannah “Nancy” Hartley] came soon after she was twenty-one.
[What was the difference in their ages?]
Renie: Well, what was the missionary’s name who baptized her? Cottrell?
Norine: Johnny Cottrell.
Rulon: Johnny Cottrell.
Renie: And did she live with them when she came…..?
Rulon: She lived with Cottrells after she came here, yuh.
Renie: Was that in Lehi?
Norine: Johnny Cottrell was engaged to Minnie Layton while he was on the mission, and Minnie Layton met mother in Salt Lake and took her to her home.
Russ: Well, wait a minute, they got to New York. She would have come to New York. Then how did she get from there to Utah?
Norine: I don’t know. By train, I guess.
Rulon: She came by train.
Russ: The train. What year would that have been?
Norine: Around 1893.
Russ: So the train would have been through here at that point?
Rulon: Oh yuh.
Norine: Yes, uh-huh.
Russ: And she had money saved to get her here?
Renie: Well, the Cottrells….
Rulon: She worked and saved her money, and Aunt Nancy worked and saved money, too, to help her come. And then when she got here, she worked at Bishop Cutler’s place and sent part of her money to England to help Aunt Nancy come.
Renie: What brought her to Lehi?
Rulon: …And then, when Aunt Nancy came, the two of them sent money for Aunt Tally to come.
Norine: And grandpa learned that money was there—they sent it to the bank—and he confiscated it, he was the ______. And the next time they sent it to the Church headquarters and got more for Aunt Tally to come.
Renie: Grandpa [John] Hartley was a railroad engineer, was it?
Norine: Uh-huh. Engineer for the Great Northern Railroad. [In England]
Rulon: He was the engineer who engineered the train when the Royal family would go anywhere. They called it the crack train, or whatever it was. And he was the engineer on it.
Norine: And I saw the—Uncle Herbert [Hartley] took me to the yards, and they had this engine on display. He said, “The one that father drove was like this. Now I don’t know whether this is the one that he drove or not, but it was like this one.”
Renie: Do I remember that mother said that he disappeared for a while, and they thought he might have come to check up on his girls?
Norine: Yes, and his wife wrote to Aunt Tally in Canada and asked if her father [Tally’s] was there. And Tally said, “No, I haven’t seen him.” Then Tally wrote to mother and asked, “Has he been to your place?” Mother said, “No.” He never did explain where he’d been. I asked Uncle Herbert if he remembered it--his father being gone--and he said, “No, because he was away often.” He said he was gone a little bit longer than he remembered when he stopped to think about it, but he said, “I wasn’t concerned about it, apparently,” because it didn’t register with him. When we kids were born, grandpa always sent a gift—I can remember a little pink flannel dress that my dolls wore for a long time. When he’d write to mother, he’d never say “Dear Daughter” or “Dear Lucy,” he’d just start saying what he wanted to say—usually it was something bitter about the Church. At the end, he’d never say “Your Father.” He’d just say “Your Somebody.” That was the signature at the end of his letters.
Renie: Don’t you have one of those letters somewhere?
Rulon: He never did join the Church of England.
Norine: Oh yes, they belonged to the Church of England and left that because he….
Rulon: He refused to join the Church of England, and his family thought he’d lose his job on the railroad because he wouldn’t join the Church of England.
Norine: He did after mother left. Uncle Herbert said they were members of the Church of England, and he got angry about something that they did, and then he joined the Salvation Army, and he got upset with them because they asked him for contributions. He joined several different churches and Uncle Herbert knew about it.
Renie: Has the work been done for him?
Norine: Yes, but not for Uncle Herbert. And it’s got to be done. I have his birth date, and I can’t find the letter that Clifford [Herbert’s son] wrote telling me the date of his father’s death. So, we’ve got to write to England. I’ve written and asked Clifford for it, and he won’t, they don’t, answer my letters.
Renie: Well, how did Isaac Wilson Fox, my great-grandfather, get here when he came? He was from England somewhere near the same place that…..
Russ: Wait a minute. Hartleys were from Sprotbourough.
Norine: Well Sprotbourough is to Doncaster what Sugar House is to Salt Lake.
Russ: Okay, now, to answer Renie’s question about where did I.W. Fox come from over there…
Norine: They came from Leeds,
Russ: Right close.
Norine: …..and ________’s still in Yorkshire. Grandpa Fox and grandma joined the Church and almost immediately…
Russ: In about what year? What does that say there, Rita?
Renie: Was that I. W. that this belongs to?
Norine: This is the I. W. that we’re talking about.
Russ: The man that we’re talking about. who was stern and…..
Renie: Isaac W.
Norine: Um-hmm. Yeh, and they were sent almost immediately up to Scotland to preside over the Glasgow Conference.
Renie: And that was like, the mission, or a stake, or whatever it was.
Norine: Oh no, it was a mission, the Scotland mission in Glasgow.
Russ: I heard that I. W. Fox also lived in Ireland. Is that….?
Norine: No, I don’t think so.
Rulon: He lived in…….
Russ: ….or Wales
Rulon: Wales and Scotland.
Norine: They left Scotland to come to America and went back to Liverpool where they got the boats at Liverpool to come to America.
Russ: Now hold on. There’s I. W. and his family…..I’m lost a little bit.
Norine: His family consisted at that time of Grandma Margaret Slinn Fox and Aunt Martha Ann (Taylor), Uncle Robert, Uncle Alfred, and father [Isaac], and Charles, and Aunt Carrie [Caroline]. Well, Charles died, didn’t he, before they got here?
Rulon: I don’t think Charles ever came.
Rita: Oh, he died in 1844.
Norine: Yuh, he died in England. He wasn’t with them when they came.
Russ: How old was Isaac then, your father?
Rulon: He was twelve when they came here.
Norine: I thought he was nearer eleven.
Renie: How did they come across the plains?
Russ: Yuh, talk about that, according to…..
Renie: Hand carts?
Rulon: They had two ox teams—two yoke of oxen and a wagon.
Norine: They came on the last sailing boat that carried saints.
Russ: What do you know about the sailing boat?
Norine: [To Rulon] Do you remember father telling about he and Joe Colledge?
Norine: They were kids about the same age, and scared them all to death once. There was a storm--they were six weeks on the ocean, crossing on this sailing vessel—and they had taken one of the masts (I don’t know where the sail was at that time), but anyway it was down and over the side of the boat, and these kids crawled out on it. The boat tossing in the waves scared them all to death for fear these kids were going to fall off. Father said they got spankings for that.
Rulon: They were just mischievous kids, and they were into everything.
Norine: Everybody else was sea sick, but not these two kids. And then, it was interesting, Colledges came to Lehi, too.
Renie: Well they came directly to Lehi, and then when they got here with the oxen, were they sent….?
Rulon and Norine: They remained in Salt Lake for a while.
Russ: Well now, they got to……what do you know about their crossing? What stories do you know of their crossing?
Norine: You mean….
Russ: From New York. You’ve got them to New York now
Norine: I can remember father talking about Florence, Nebraska, and I don’t know how they got to Florence. And then….
Russ: About what year would that have been? [To Rita: Can you tell that from the genealogy?]
Rulon: It was either…..
Russ: He was twelve. What year was he born in?
Rita: Oh, 1849.
Russ: So you’re talking 1871.
Norine: They came in the early sixties.
Rulon: ’60 or ’61 was when they came.
Russ: And then, all right, Florence Nebraska. What else? You talked about the Platte River.
Rulon: When they got to the Platte River, the oxen hadn’t had water for a day……
Norine: Grandpa had enough money to buy two oxen at Florence for the trip across the plains.
Rulon: ….and when they got near the river, the company captain ordered everyone to stop and unhitch their oxen and take them down to the river for water, a drink. They were suppose to unyoke them and take them one at a time. Grandfather decided that was too much bother, so he got on one of his lead oxen (and just unhooked them from the wagon) and started down for the water. When they got to the water, the lead team went out into the water and the back team wanted to get the water, too, so they pushed the lead team right out into the river. And then they took off and pulled the back team with them, and they headed for across the river. Father said that when they got into the middle of the river, all they could see was grandfather ahold of their oxen’s horns trying to hold their noses up out of the water and grandpa’s pipe sticking up out of the water. Then, when they got across, they got their drink and by that time they [the company on shore] were hooking the oxen up again to start out. They called across to [grand]father to get back over and get his oxen hooked up. Finally, they started out without him. When his oxen saw the others go, they went back into the river and swam across, and they hooked them up and went on and caught up with the company.
Russ: You talked about one of the children being left behind after…..
Rulon: Aunt Martha Ann. [To Norine] You know that better than I do.
Norine: Aunt Martha Ann telling about it: She must have had long hair, and it was braided and she wandered away from the rest of them and went down toward the river, and there were some trees there. Suddenly some Indians came out from those trees and were headed toward Aunt Martha Ann, this little girl. Grandma saw what was happening, and she, in her mind, decided that they were going to take Aunt Martha Ann. So she ran as fast as she could just screaming. And I guess her screaming frightened the Indians away. But she [grandma] always felt that if she hadn’t done, Aunt Martha Ann would have been taken by the Indians.
Rulon: Aunt Martha Ann had been lost, though, for some time, and the company had gone ahead and left….
Norine: I didn’t know about that.
Rulon: …. and left grandfather’s family there, and they were looking for Aunt Martha Ann, and then,
Norine: I didn’t remember that part of it.
Rulon: …and then this is what happened while they were looking for her. But she was lost for a while.
Russ: Do you remember any other stories?
Norine: Aunt Martha Ann was around fifteen or sixteen, wasn’t she, at the time, I think? Seventeen…She was very attractive.
Renie: I can remember Aunt Martha Ann.
Norine: Yuh, you should be able to.
Renie: She lived right there next door to LaVere Trane and Mick Zimmerman’s place.
Norine: I remember when father and Uncle Robert and Aunt Martha Ann (Uncle Alfred had died) got together and were going to write their family history. All of this should have been written down [they thought], and they planned all this. Melba and Charlie were living there then, because I had their car and I left father at Aunt Martha Ann’s and went up and got Uncle Robert and brought him down, and then I went in the house, and they were jangling, those three! They couldn’t agree on anything!
Renie: That’s a Fox trait.
Norine: Each one was right and the other two were wrong. Finally, in disgust, Uncle Robert said, “I’m going home. We’re not getting anywhere.” So I left to take Uncle Robert home. He was cussing those two, he said, “Isaac was so young he didn’t sense what was happening, and Martha Ann’s getting old and she’s got it all mixed up.” I went back and father was waiting for me, and I went in to tell Aunt Martha Ann goodbye, and father got in the car, fuming, and Aunt Martha said, “Oh, those two, they’re just terrible,” she said, “they had everything wrong. I guess they weren’t old enough to really know what was happening.” And then I brought father home and he was fuming about those two old bitties that they were wrong and got it all mixed up.
Renie: Wasn’t Aunt Christie a lot like Aunt Martha Ann?
Norine: Yes, quite a lot.
Renie: Build? Little?
Rulon: When they were crossing the plains, at night when they’d all be around the campfire, father used to entertain them. He knew more….
Norine: He had a beautiful voice.
Rulon: He knew more Scotch songs than was ever written, I thought. He could sing some of those Scotch songs and sing them with a Scotch brogue. He entertained the company.
Renie: Well, did he….
Norine: And he also entertained the pioneers in Lehi.
Rulon: Oh yes.
Renie: Didn’t he play a lot of instruments?
Rulon: And when they got part way across the plains, a man joined the company…..
Norine: That was in Lehi.
Rulon: …. going to California.
Rulon: …and he heard father entertaining the people, oh, for a number of nights—a week or two, I guess, maybe—and when they got to Lehi, he wanted to take father with him to California and he would give him a musical education. Grandfather said, “What about it, Isaac, do you want to go? It’s up to you.” Father said, “No, I want to stay with the family.”
Russ: Well, I.W. had music background, too?
Norine: Well, he was musically inclined, but he didn’t have any music training.
Renie: Well, neither did Isaac.
Norine: Father went to school when they went to Scotland. He was about six when they went up to Scotland, and they put him in school and he came home crying. He couldn’t understand what was being said. The older kids went to school and got along okay, but father was the baby. In fact, as far as school was concerned, Carrie was younger. But they didn’t make him go back to school.
Renie: Didn’t he have an equivalent of the second grade?
Norine: He didn’t have that. He didn’t go to school.
Rulon: He said he spent two weeks in school. That’s the only formal education that he had.
Norine: And that in Scotland, when he couldn’t understand.
Russ: So the music training was all self taught.
Rulon: Self taught.
Norine: He had a natural voice.
Russ: How did he come to Lehi? How did he, I mean, how did they end up coming to Lehi?
Rulon: They were sent.
Russ: Brigham Young in Salt Lake sent them here to Lehi.
Russ: The same with the…..
Norine: The Colledges.
Russ: They were sent here to Lehi to colonize.
Rulon: Well, this was a well established settlement when they came in “60.
Russ: Is the home, then, that you described, that Knudsen home….. is that the first home?
Russ: Where did they first live when they got here to Lehi?
Norine: Right there on Main Street, about….
Russ: Right where you were talking about by the Whorlton’s dental…?
Rulon: That’s where father lived before he went into the Knudsen home. That was father and mother who lived there. Now I don’t know where grandfather lived when he first came here.
Norine: That was about where Uncle Roi’s house was.
Rulon: Oh, grandfather built that house after they’d been here a while.
Norine: Oh, did he?
Renie: Now when grandpa—your father—he married Aunt Christie’s ……..
Norine: Christiana Gaddie.
Renie: Okay, first. And then she died in child birth.
Renie: And then he married Aunt Libbie’s mother…..
Norine: Elizabeth Zimmerman.
Renie: Elizabeth Zimmerman,
Renie: …and they lived, then, in that same place?
Norine: Yeh, they lived where father was living when [you?]___were born.
Rulon: No they didn’t.
Renie: He went on a mission, then, when you were alive or when he was married to these other….
Rulon: He went on a mission before Harold was born.
Russ: The first mission was before your family, any of you, was born.
Rulon: The first mission was when Aunt Christie’s mother died. His first wife died, and they sent him on a mission.
Russ: Where did those children stay during that time?
Rulon: They stayed with………
Norine: There was just Aunt Christie.
Rulon: Aunt Christie stayed with Grandma Gaddie.
Russ: Okay. Before you go on to that, how did Isaac and Lucy, your mom, how did they get acquainted…just….?
Norine: The choir in Lehi.
Rulon: Father was leading the choir, and she was the organist.
Renie: She lived with Cutlers at the time.
Russ: Did they ever talk about courting?
Norine: No. [To Rulon] Did you ever hear?
Russ: Nothing said about that…how they….?
Norine: Except that at this choir where she met him. Aunt Libbie’s mother, Aunt Elizabeth, died 20 January 1892, I think it was, and mother and he were married in 1895.
Rulon: He went on his second mission right after….
Norine: Oh no, his second mission, all of his boys were……let’s see, he had all the boys, but Aunt Libbie wasn’t born. But she was born after he got home from his second mission.
Renie: And that was to the islands?
Rita: Who died in 1892?
Norine: Aunt Libbie’s mother. Her name’s Elizabeth Zimmerman.
Rulon: Her name was also “Libbie,” Elizabeth.
Russ: I lost you a little bit. Now he got back from his first mission. Then he married……
Norine: Then he married Aunt Elizabeth….
Russ: In about 1884 or 1885.
Norine: Well no, the one mission he went on was in 1883,
Russ: Then 1886 or 1887.
Norine: And then he came back and had [thinking] only these other children. I can’t remember whether they were boys.
Russ: We’re on the second marriage.
Norine: Yeh, from the second marriage. There was Ike, Uncle John, and Uncle Clyde—those three boys. And then Libbie was born after he came home from his second mission.
Norine: And then, after he and mother were married in 1895 and after Harold was born—or, no, right after they were married they went to Skull Valley…
Renie: On a mission.
Norine: On a mission with the Hawaiians. And I think mother came back to Lehi to have Harold and then went back. They were only a little over a year, was all they were there in that mission. And so,
Russ: They stayed in Skull Valley.
Norine: Uh-hmm, and Harold was a baby there.
Russ: In Skull Valley.
Renie: There were lepers out there, and did grandma say something about having to wash her hands when she……
Norine: Oh no! She said she’d shake hands with those people. She said leprosy wasn’t as infectious as people feared or else they were awfully blessed. She said, “I wouldn’t hurt their feelings for anything.”
Russ: There were lepers among the Hawaiians, then, in Skull Valley.
Rulon: They were having a problem with the natives there. They weren’t getting along with the supervisor that the Church had sent there to preside over them, and father was acquainted with President Joseph F. Smith.
Russ: In Hawaii. Sandwich Islands.
Rulon: He was a missionary companion together [with father], and so he asked father and mother to go out there and help educate those people and teach them how to farm. They didn’t know anything about farming.
Norine: Oh, that was a mistake……
Russ: Grandfather had deep feelings about that, didn’t he? Bringing the Hawaiians, or allowing them to come, and then sticking them in Skull Valley?
Norine: He thought it was cruel.
Rulon: They just took them there and sort of dumped them off there and put this Supervising Elder out there over them, and he didn’t have any particular concern for them.
Russ: Like a reservation, almost.
Rulon: Yuh, it was just a job for him out there.
Russ: And they eventually all died off out there?
Rulon: No. Some of them died, and the rest of them went back. There was only a few…..
Norine: Yes, there’s a burial ground out there.
Renie: Didn’t some of them move into Salt Lake?
Norine: Yes, some of them moved into Salt Lake. After I was born, or about the time I was born—there’s a letter in those things I have of father’s—where he received a notice to go on another mission. And then there’s a second letter that said “Oh, we didn’t understand that you had already served three. Just forget you were called this fourth time.” That’s signed by this man’s name, Reynolds, in charge of missions.
Russ: What was life like there on the farm and in the house, there?
Norine: We didn’t know we were poor! We thought we were just like everybody else. We had plenty to eat; we grew everything….
Rulon: You mean at our place?
Rulon: Father always raised a couple of acres of potatoes, and he’d sell them, just a sack at a time. Up in the old Co-op store, they had a cellar under one of those long buildings, and they’d keep vegetables in there.
Russ: You’re talking about where the…..
Rulon: The old Co-op store up on State Street.
Russ: Oh, okay.
Rulon: And father got a section of that, that he’d put his potatoes in. Then the store would sell some of those potatoes, and they’d [End of Side A on the tape]… to pay his taxes. He always raised some beets to pay his taxes, and some left over. And after he’d paid his taxes, that’s what we had to live on.
Norine: And the wheat.
Rulon: Well, of course, he had his wheat and flour.
Rita: What store was the old Co-op? What is it now?
Norine: It’s Christiansen’s, where it was.
Russ: East of the tracks there. East of the old theater. .
Rulon: And the potatoes that he stored up there in the Co-op paid for most of our clothing—all of our clothing, I guess—because that’s what he put those potatoes there for, was to have money for our clothing and whatever groceries or other things that could be bought in the store………was paid up for.
Norine: And at Christmas time, the Co-op always gave—I can remember that—a great big sack of hard tack candy that father would come home with.
Renie: Well, when you were doing that, what ground did the farm consist of, just what you had Unc? Except [?] the Harrison?
Rulon: No. When father and mother came from Skull Valley, they moved into that Knudsen place, and father bought a building lot there, right in that vicinity, and was intending to build a home there. That’s that corner where the……
Norine: That old white house is.
Rulon: ….Keith Lott, the one that his wife…
Norine: Oh, on the other corner.
Rulon: ….the Co-op………..[Rulon and Norine talk at the same time]
Rulon: That was the lot that father bought to build the home on. When father first came here as a child, he worked for Karen on that lot where Norine is, and Karen took quite a liking to him.
Russ: Thomas Karen.
Rulon: Thomas Karen. And so when they decided to sell, he told father he could have the first chance at that place if he wanted it. And there were nine acres, I think it was, or nearly ten acres of ground there and the home. And they made arrangements to buy it. And then he had rented some ground from Johnny Taylor, and he had that out to the new survey. There was 34 acres out there, including the pasture. That was the ground he farmed, that that he rented from Taylor and that where Norine is, and that out in the new survey. There was about 30 acres of farming ground all together.
Russ: You bought this piece here.
Renie: From Harrison.
Norine: I can remember when you mentioned the milk house, the well house, we had one back where that well was, and I can remember going out there and skimming cream off the big pans of milk that were sitting there in the cold water, and putting some sugar with that thic, thick cream and putting it on bread.
Renie: I can remember going like that……………[?]
Russ: I can remember being in that.
Norine: And I can remember when father somehow, and I don’t know he got that pineapple, some fresh pineapple, but he had some crushed pineapple, and it was in a big bowl out there. Applesauce was my favorite dish. And I saw this “applesauce,” which I thought was applesauce, but it was pineapple, and I couldn’t wait to have dinner and have some of that. Then mother put just a little bit on my plate, and oh, I made a fuss and said, “You know I like applesauce.” She said, “This isn’t applesauce; this is pineapple. Apple was apple as far as I was concerned. I screamed and made a fuss, and when I tasted it, it wasn’t applesauce.
Rulon: And then she screamed more than ever!
Norine: But they made me eat it. [laughter]
Renie: Well, behind your house, I do remember, there was a big tree. There was an old coal house on the north side of the granary, and didn’t you guys have a swing?
Norine: And there was a tree by the coal house, and a tree across into the lawn.
Norine: That lawn, it was just weak.
Renie: Don’t I remember you saying that you used to swing in that swing out there, that there were some episodes?
Norine: There were a lot of episodes. Everybody in the neighborhood would get on the coal house and straddle that rope and swing off, and away we’d go.
Renie: And did I remember grandma making soap out under that tree?
Norine: Uh-hmm. There were two trees—cider apple trees. And we had the apples made into cider. There was a cellar out in the corner by the…..
Rulon: Most of that cider came from that building lot that he had over there, the Knudsens.
Norine: [Laughing] I don’t know where it came from, but he’d put the cider in big barrels out in that celler, and we’d stick straws down through the hole in the top.
Renie: That cider cellar was over by Skinner, I mean where Zimmerman….in that corner, north of the flowing well.
Norine: Uh-huh, just north of the flowing well.
Rulon: It was just west of where Eikens’ garage is.
Renie: Wasn’t it a little south of it?
Norine: Yes, a little south of that.
Renie: I ran into some of the rocks.
Norine: Yes, those rocks are still there.
Rulon: It was right where that, just next to that garage.
Norine: The back end of it.
Renie: You know, don’t I remember mother telling about Uncle Rulon being a problem at school, and that the teacher was bringing him home one day, [Norine laughts] and every step he’d grab onto the pickets on the fence, and when he got home, they brought him into grandma? Now, what’s the story about that?
Rulon: It’s off the record. [loud laughter]
Rita: I want to hear Aunt Norine tell it.
Russ: Come on, now, let’s hear that.
Norine: Well, he’s had an assignment at school, and he was to read a story through two or three times—I can’t remember which it was—
Rulon: 500 times, to make the story correct.
Norine: He read it through once, and that was enough. He wasn’t going to read that story again. Mother knew he’d read it because he’d read it to her. The next day, when the teacher called for preparation—“How many read this story this number of times”?--he hadn’t. He wasn’t going to say he had. And so he had to stay after school to read it. And he refused to read it; he’d read it once.
Russ: And then, keep going now, Unc, what do you remember about that?
Rulon: Well, we stayed there till dark, at the school, and I still wouldn’t say I’d read it 500 times.
Norine: [Under her breath] It wasn’t 500.
Rulon: And so she started bringing me home--or taking me to her place to finish reading it 500 times. When we got to where her place took off from where the road was coming to my place, I took off. She grabbed me by the collar and started to screaming for Miss Yewlit, who lived right on the corner there. She came out, and the two of them drug me over there, and then they decided they’d better bring me home. So they brought me home. Father wanted to know what the matter was. She said I’d…..
Norine: Wasn’t prepared and you weren’t going to be prepared.
Rulon: So I told my side of the story. Father said to Miss Lewis, “Is that right? Did you say that they were supposed to read that 500 times?” She said, “Yes, I guess I did.” He said, “Did any of the other students read it 500 times?” She said, “They said they did.” Father said, “Did you believe them?” And she said, “No.” And then he said, “Well, is Rulon any different than the rest of them?” And she said, “Well, I guess I’m as much responsible for the trouble we’re having as he was.” So she apologized and went home. When she got out of the door, I got a right good spanking. [laughter]
Rita: How old were you?
Rulon: Oh, that was my second year in the fourth grade, I believe.! [more laughter] And then he……
Norine: It was five times, not 500 times.
Rulon: It was 500 times. Five times is nothing. Everybody was reading it ten times. And then, after he gave me a good spanking, he told me how proud he was of me for being honest and truthful.
Renie: Well, there’s another story I remember mother saying about him [Rulon]. Grandma got upset and was going to feed you to the pigs.
Norine: Oh, when mother was upset with any of us, she’d say, “I’ll feed you to the pigs.” That was just an expression. Melba—[to Rulon] she was what, about 15 months older than you?
Norine: And she was his guardian angel. And she took mother seriously. And she thought she really meant it, that she was going to feed him to the pigs, so she took Rulon and said, “Come on, let’s run away.” So they ran away—and hid under the bed—and went sound asleep.
Rulon: We went sound asleep, and our folks were all over the neighborhood looking for us. Mother thought that when Melba said that we’d run away why that’s what we were going to do. She knew we wouldn’t go anywhere, but she thought we’d start out. And then, when we didn’t show up for an hour or two, why they got excited and started looking for us. I don’t remember whether they found us under the bed or whether we
Norine: Crawled out.
Rulon: ….got our sleep over and came out.
Norine: I don’t remember either.
Renie: Well, I can remember mother also saying—or somebody saying—grandfather milked cows, did he, for a while? And didn’t you and Uncle Harold take cows to the field and it was clear down to the ..
Norine: New survey.
Renie: And you had a horse named …
Renie: Napolean, only Napolean was a she?
Renie: And Queenie was a horse. Tell us about that.
Norine: And Napolean’s colt was a male we called Cleopatra.
Renie: Oh yeah, that’s right. But didn’t you and Uncle Harold take those cows back and forth?
Norine: Oh, I took them back and forth a lot, too.
Rulon: We drove cows three miles every day to pasture and back.
Norine: And I rode Napolean down there for a long time, taking cows back and forth.
Renie: When I had, I think it was “Old Flash,” Aunt Norine told me how well she could ride. She knew how to ride, so I put her on Flash, and Flash took her to the barn and tried to rub her off and pulled her apart. [laughter]
Norine: Well that was a lot of years later. Uncle George would tell you that I could ride a horse. He told me I could ride—what was that horse’s name? Mews?
Renie: No, not Mews.
Russ: The two of you, the boys, you’d go down in the morning. walk down? ride down?
Rulon: No, most of the time we had a horse to ride, but in the spring of the year, a time or two, when we first started to drive them we hadn’t cut hay, of course, and we’d be short of hay, or about out of hay. So we turned the horses, all of them--riding horse and all—in the pasture when we weren’t using them.
Russ: So you’d have to walk down.
Rulon: And we’d have to walk down. Sometimes if we could catch the pony we’d ride her back and stake her out along the ditch bank, then ride her back at night for the cows and turn her in the pasture. But she wouldn’t let us catch her. So father gave Harold and I each a heifer. When they were a year, a year and one-half old, something like that, I broke mine to ride. And I’d ride her to the pasture in the morning and then walk back. And then at night I’d walk down to get them and ride the heifer back.
Russ: Did Uncle Harold walk?
Rulon: And Uncle Harold would walk when he went.
Norine: And on Sunday morning it took three or four times as long to do this trip as it did the other days of the week. [laughter] When it was Rulon’s turn he never could make it back in time for church.
Renie: Tell them about family prayers.
Russ: Yuh, that’s what I forgot.
Norine: Well, Reva Fox lived across the street. Uncle George sent her over one night to get something, and she was gone a long time. When she went back, he was scolding her. She said, “I couldn’t help it. Uncle Ike prayed eight buggies passed.” Father was known for his long prayers. Rulon would get restless during these prayers and get up from his knees and was doing most everything. And Clyde was ready to chase him at any time. They’d get into some scraps all the time.
Russ: You mean he’d move around during the prayer?
Norine: Oh yes, all this would take place while father was praying.
Rulon: I’d get on Clyde’s back. [laughter] He’d get down on his hands and knees, and I’d get on his back and he’d go around trying to buck me off. We could tell when father was getting to the end of his prayer. He’d scamper back into place, and I’d slip off and on my knees just in time to say “amen.”
Russ: Where was Uncle Harold in this? Cause I don’t see him just sitting idly by.
Rulon: He was a good boy. [laughter]
Renie: Uncle Rulon was a scamp. Well, didn’t Uncle Harold have an accident once with the team and it hit him in the back of his head.
Rulon: They were scraping. That ground hadn’t been irrigated very much.
Renie: Where was that?
Norine: Back of the house where Rulon lives.
Rulon: And they’d plow ditches different directions out through it to get the water on all the places. Father decided that that was too much work. He had leveled the new survey down there with team and scraper. So he and Uncle John were scraping on that piece just south of where the chicken coops were. We stopped for noon and Uncle Harold and your mother and I were down there. Uncle Harold was always around the horses. I stayed at the back of the scraper, and Uncle Harold was out in front of the horses. I don’t remember whether one of us tipped the scraper or whether it just tipped over when they let the neck yoke down. It scared the team, and they took off. The doubletrees came loose, and there they went with the neck yoke and the doubletrees. Uncle Harold took off ahead of them to the south. Oh, I remember; I was right with Uncle Harold, and I turned and went to one side and the team just missed me. As they caught up to Uncle Harold, the neck yoke struck him in the back of the head, and it just buried his head in the loose dirt when he hit the ground. He was unconscious for the best part of the afternoon.
Norine: And he had horrible headaches all the rest of his life, and nose bleeds. He’d wake up in the middle of the night with his pillow just soaking wet with blood.
Russ: ….How old would he have been then?
Rulon: I was in the neighborhood of four or five, and that would make him—
Norine: About three years old.
Rulon: Well, we might have been there a couple of years. I guess we’d been there a couple of years, because I can remember them plowing the ditches out through….
Norine: About six.
Russ: So, you were little guys then.
Rulon: Yuh, I was four years old when we went and moved there. I guess that’s [the event] after we’d been there a couple of years. So, I’d have been about six and him nearly ten.
Renie: Didn’t you and Uncle Harold used to torment Walton Russell?
Norine: Oh, dear, the hair cut that you gave Walton or, no, it was Melbourne?
Norine: He wanted a Mohawk hair cut, and Christie wouldn’t consent. Well, he wanted his head shaved, then. I can’t remember what he was thinking.
Rulon: No, he didn’t want his head shaved. He wanted a Mohawk.
Norine: It was on the 4th of July.
Rulon: And Christie wouldn’t let him have it, and so he came and got me out of bed about five o’clock in the morning.
Renie: How old were you?
Rulon: Oh, I was…
Norine: A teenager.
Rulon: Yuh, I was a teenager. And he got me out of bed and wanted me to cut his hair and give him a Mohawk. Uncle John had some clippers and scissors. I guess he’d left there by then, I don’t remember, and married…
Norine: Oh yes, John had married.
Rulon: But he left the scissors and the clippers, so I took the clippers and went right up and clear over the top of his head that way and then over this way—just clipped a cross through his hair—then sent him to show his mother. And she was going to ring my neck. So, of course, the only way it could be straightened out was to cut it all—run the clippers all over his head. And he laughed.
Russ: That was just what he wanted.
Renie: And well, he did other things to Walton.
Rulon: I don’t think Christie ever did forgive me for that.
Norine: Oh yes, she did. She laughed about it.
Renie: Boy, I remember mother saying, “Pull’em tight, Vern.” But I don’t know the exact the story behind that.
Norine: It was just a spatting [?] machine.
Russ: And you all spatted?
Norine: No they would. Harold and Rulon. He’d come back for more.
Russ: Music was always important in your family.
Norine: We had family night every night around the old organ.
Renie: Did you have an organ? I thought you had that old piano.
Norine: Nope. We had an organ.
Russ: An old pump organ.
Rulon: It looked something like that.
Norine: Uh-hmm. And we’d sing.
Russ: The whole family?
Norine: The whole family. We learned part singing. These boys could sing the tenor parts, and I could sing the alto part, and Melba could sing the alto part, the soprano part. We had quartets, and duets.
Russ: Who played?
Rulon: Grandma played first, and then when Melba got big enough to play, why she did the playing.
Renie: How did you learn the piano? Did grandma teach you, or did you just pick it up?
Rulon: Melba had twelve lessons on the piano. Ethel Wright, the home that mother stayed in, she was a little girl, and she came to Lehi—her and her husband, and he never worked a day in his life, and she was trying to support the two of them by giving piano lessons. She gave Melba twelve piano lessons, and that was her musical education.
Russ: So, for all of you, it was just what you learned there in the home.
Renie: I can remember when I was a little girl and Uncle Harold would come over and get the milk, and there was a piano—it wasn’t the one mother had—it was an old piano that was in the living room on that west wall.
Norine: Oh, that was the one your father had. He had a piano in California, and Tom Jones had one in Lehi. Tom moved to California, and your Dad moved to Lehi, and they traded pianos.
Renie: I remember Uncle Harold coming over to get the milk, and sometimes he wouldn’t come over until 9 o’clock at night, and he’d sit around that piano and sing and play. And that’s how I learned music, listening to it.
Rulon: Your mother bought a piano before she went on to California.
Renie: Yuh, that’s the one they got.
Norine: That’s the one that’s in here now.
Russ: Uncle Harold was living where they live now?
Norine: No, they lived across from the old scratch house.
Russ: And he used to separate milk out for everybody. I remember that. There was always a little stainless steel pail, I remember, with a lid on it that ended up coming into the house and going into the fridge.
Norine: I can remember taking milk around the corner to Brother and Sister Holmstead, the old couple. I just had my first and only brand new coat, and it was a purple velvet coat. It was in the winter time, and I put this coat on to go show Mrs. Holmstead. As I went around the corner, I slipped on the snow and fell and spilled milk all over this brand new coat.
Renie: Well, didn’t grandpa give Mrs. Ellingson milk?
Norine: No, it was Rulon.
Renie: Oh, was it you? Oh, well who did I go up to her place with every once in a while to deliver the milk?….
Norine: I would take the milk up to Mrs. Ellingson.
Renie: I can remember going with you.
Russ: You didn’t have much, but did you ever want for anything?
Norine: No! No! I didn’t know we were poor. We had bread and milk often for supper, and I thought it was because we liked it. I didn’t know it was that we were poor. Maybe that’s all there was. I don’t know. I still don’t know.
Russ: Did you have any idea what a yearly income might have been?
Norine: Well, cash money, no. It was all barter.
Rulon: The beet check went to pay the taxes, and there would be a little left over. The potatoes went to pay for our clothes and what groceries we bought.
Norine: The wheat and the flour. We had our own meat. We’d have beef and we had chickens and we had pigs, sheep. Well, we always had to have sheep.
Rulon: Well, those were Harold’s sheep. There weren’t many sheep around there until Harold……
Norine: Well, I can remember the sheep, because he never could go up to Christie’s to spend a couple of days because he had to take care of those sheep. Christie and Will used to giggle about that.
Russ: Well, how was that house arranged when you were kids? I always get that muddled, you know, the rooms.
Rulon: Well, it wasn’t anything like it is now.
Russ: How was it when you were kids? Say that, I can’t…..
Rulon: Where Norine’s kitchen and living room is
Norine: Were bedrooms.
Rulon: … was a two story building, and had high walls—or high ceilings--and it was two stories high. It was a real high building. I think those ceilings were twelve feet.
Norine: And then there were bedrooms upstairs.
Rulon: And then there were bedrooms…………
Russ: The stairwell was always where it is…?
Norine: Yuh, where it is now.
Renie: That was where the kitchen was.
Norine: That was our living room.
Russ: Your bedroom is the living room?
Rulon: Yuh, and where her bed ……
Norine: The other bedroom is…..
Rulon: …..the west bedroom is, was our kitchen. When we first moved there, that was just a shanty. And it only came out half way from the width of what it is now. So, the folks extended it out to be in line with the big part of the house. Where Norine’s kitchen is was where Grandma Fox used to live. It was a big room, and Grandma Fox lived there. That was the last part of her life.
Rita: Renie knows a funny story.
Russ: Well, tell it.
Renie: In there where Aunt Norine’s kitchen was, Aunt Norine wanted to take a bath. And it was the old tin tub days. And so she didn’t want the boys to see her. And, as I remember mother telling it, she was by the tub and she went over to shut the door….
Norine: Went through into her bedroom next to that east door in that one big bedroom.
Renie: And she was in her own ____, turned around….Now you go ahead and tell it…
Norine: …and shut the door, because I didn’t want anyone to see through. And I turned around to come back, and there sat John in the chair looking at me. And I got down and crawled……[snickering] back to the tub. [laughter] Oh, dear.
Rulon: Every Saturday night we took our turn in that tub, a No. 3 wash tub. And we’d heat the water on the stove. On the kitchen range, there was a water tank, and that was always full of hot water.
Norine: And I was the youngest, so I got to be the first one to have a bath.
Rulon: And, then we’d put two or three dish pans on top of the stove and get them hot. Then we’d….
Russ: Now you, the boys, you all slept upstairs.
Rulon: When we were small.
Russ: And cold winters. There’s a story about that, as I recall, or something. All of you….you’d undress downstairs and run lickety split to go upstairs? Was that…..?
Rulon: Something like that. [laughter] And that’s the same flight of stairs that Santa Claus kicked Harold up.
Russ: Go around that again.
Rulon: Well, it was Christmas Eve, and Harold and I were sleeping upstairs and Melba and Norine were downstairs. They had their bedroom downstairs. Uncle Harold and I were on the stairwell there listening for Santa Claus to come,
Norine: And Santa Claus came.
Rulon: …and after he came and left, why we took over and went down, and we were hiding all of Melba and Norine’s things—taking them away from the tree and hiding them. We were just in the act, and Santa Claus came back. I’d dropped out of sight somewhere—I don’t remember where—and Harold headed for the stairwell. Santa Claus caught him just as he started up, caught him with his toe.
Russ: And boosted him right up.
Rulon: And when things quieted down, I snuck out and went back upstairs.
Norine: And Renie, and Dick and you [Russ]—why that was always the proof that there was a Santa Claus, cause he
Renie and Russ: And it still is, with these three. We had a hard time figuring that.
Renie: Well, tell how you went to college the hard way, Uncle Rulon. You graduated from high school and then you worked your way through by a long process.
Norine: He worked at the sugar factory. He’d go a quarter at a time, maybe two quarters—a winter and a…..
Rulon: When Uncle Harold and I were about like, oh, Chris and Matt, from then on for the next six or eight years, if we’d get caught up with work on the farm, father would say, “Boys, if you want to go get your lunch put up, then go get a job today, why go ahead. We’ve got things pretty well under control.” So, mother would put our lunch up and we’d go sit on that little foot bridge out across that ditch that was in front of the place, and within about ten or fifteen minutes some farmer would come along and pick us up and take us to the field. Two of us would thin and acre of beets a day. Uncle Harold would get fifty cents, and I’d get forty cents.
Norine: They were self supporting from the time before they were twelve years old. Each one of them bought their own clothes.
Renie: Is that when Uncle Harold and you had worked on the Gardiner Ranch?
Norine: Oh no, that was much later.
Rulon: That was a little later.
Norine: Not too much later. Well, you were in high school.
Renie: Well Gardiner Ranch was where Sherwin Allred’s farm was.
Russ: That was the farm out here over the river. And you worked for them just doing farm work out there then later on.
Russ: How old would you have been then?
Rulon: Well, it was before I started to high school, then all through high school. Whenever we weren’t busy on the farm, why we’d go there. And Gardiner’s went right past our place every day to school. They picked us up a few times, like I’m telling you, and then finally they hired Uncle Harold to go over and drive team. That’s all he did over there was just drive their horses. But I went over and stacked hay for them. And then when they were cutting grain I’d stack their grain as they cut it--header grain.
Russ: Bundles and….?
Rulon: No, no bundles, just loose—cut it with a header—just take the top heads off. They’d elevate it into a wagon and then they’d bring the wagons into the stack and pitch it up by fork. And I stacked their grain.
Russ: You stacked it, and Uncle Harold drove the teams in to haul it…
Rulon: He drove the team generally, and if he wasn’t driving the header, he was drilling grain or getting ground ready to drill.
Russ: He was pretty good with horses, was he?
Norine: Very good.
Rulon: He was very good with horses.
Renie: I got him on a horse, on Old T___, one day when he was in his early eighties, and he got on and rode around several blocks.
Rulon: Well, he just loved horses. He’d come over to my place when he was working at the mill. He was working night shift at the mill, and he’d come over just as quick as he came from working at the mill. He’d come over and get my team ready to go to work, and he’d go out and work on the farm until I’d get through doing my chores, and then I’d go out and he’d go home and go to bed. And when I was working down to the river, he’d go down there and start working, and I’d get in the car and go down and take over and he’d get in the car and go home and go to bed.
Renie: He was the one who showed me what to do when I broke Trigger…that one riding horse I had. It was Uncle Harold, he had quite some harness that he had me use. Was he in the cavalry when he was in the service?
Norine: I think so.
Russ: In the cavalry?
Renie: He was in World War I.
Rulon: He worked in…..they called it the Remount, in the cavalry. That’s where they took all of their outlaw horses, was to the Remount, and these fellows that worked in the Remount had to rebreak them so that they were fit to go back into regular duty.
Russ: Where would that have been?
Rulon: Camp Kearns.
Norine: Camp Kearney.
Norine: No, California.
Russ and Rulon: California.
Russ: What year? 1917 and 18? An in there?
Renie: He wasn’t in the service very long and the war ended, as I recall.
Russ: That’s the same as Dad was.
Norine: Yuh, and Harold was scheduled to sail, I think it was the next week.
Rulon: They had sailed. They were on their way when the Armistice was signed.
Norine: They were headed for Siberia.
Russ: Siberia, he was going to?
Rulon: Uh-huh. And they kept them out there for a couple of months after the Armistice was signed.
Russ: He went to Siberia?
Norine: No, he didn’t ever….
Russ: Just sailing around.
Rulon: Just sailing around.
Russ: I didn’t ever know that.
Norine: Delbert Norman was with him.
Russ: Now, Unc, when you graduated from high school, you went on and did some college work.
Rulon: Yuh, I went part of the time for three years, down there. One quarter one year, and two quarters each of the other two years.
Renie: What was your major? You were majoring in chemistry and meteorology, weren’t you?
Rulon: Oh, I hadn’t selected a major.
Renie: Well, how come you’re so good at predicting the weather? I thought you had a lot of years in that.
Norine: That was natural.
Rulon: That was just part of the required curriculum.
Russ: How come you left school? Was it because of the farm and things at home?
Rulon: Yuh. Father had lost his sight, and he couldn’t see to take care of it. I tried to get him to sell. He was entitled to a couple of government pensions. But he says, “The government doesn’t owe me anything.” I knew he couldn’t take care of it, so I just quit school and took it over.
Russ: Is that a regret?
Norine: Yes, he always wanted to be a teacher.
Rulon: I never did regret it, because I did it because I wanted to do it.
Renie: But he couldn’t understand why I liked horses, because he didn’t. Right?
Russ: But you would have liked an opportunity to have pursued….
Rulon: That was my intention, yes.
Russ: You never looked back once you did it, then? Did you ever wonder in your life and wished you’d….
Rulon: No, I did what I wanted to do. Well, I’ll have to take that back. I don’t remember whether it was just before I got married or just after I got married. I decided I’d like to go back to school, so I tried to get your father to take over the farm, and he didn’t want it. And I tried to get Uncle Harold to take it over, and he didn’t want it. And so, I decided that school was out and I’d stay with it. I’d been doing it for, oh, three or four years, I guess, and when neither one of them wanted it why I just took over. Your father and mother came from California in 1929, and I took the farm over in ‘25. I guess it was about ’31 or ‘32 when I decided I wanted to go back to school. Your Dad figured it was too much for him to take care of the chickens and the farm because the two of us had been doing it, so we built some more chicken coops…..
Russ: And expanded the business.
Rulon: ….Then we stayed in the business until World War II came.
Renie: It was after World War II, wasn’t it?
Rulon: We couldn’t buy chicken feed. We’d order a ton of feed, and they’d send us 500 lbs. Our chickens were out of feed about half the time—out of mash. As fast as they quit laying, why, we just sold out
Russ: Well I remember that operation, I remember when those last loads of chickens……We used to sneak out there with those long chicken hooks you had and hook them by the legs when everybody had their backs turned, because that was great sport. We’d let them run and then snag them with those long hooks.
Norine: Renie would go and crack the eggs and take them down to Mr. Grant and give them to him for cracked eggs.
Renie: Well, they didn’t have very much, and I can remember…..
Rulon: Al Roberts. Yuh, Al Roberts used to buy cracked eggs from us. We’d sell them for about a third the price, and for fried eggs they was just as good as any other, for making cakes and for cooking.
Norine: It was Mr. Grant that Renie broke, did the cracks, for.
Rulon: Al came over for eggs one day and mother said, “We haven’t got any now, but after they get through with their candling them, or casing them, why there will be some, I’m sure.” Renie said, “I’ll get you some!” Out the door she went, and in a few minutes here she came back with a bucket full of cracked eggs!
Norine: Well, I thought that was for Grants. I didn’t think you were doing that for Al Roberts.
Rulon: Yuh, it was for Al Roberts.
Russ: Al Roberts or Joe Roberts?
Norine: Joe’s wife. Al was Joe’s wife. Her name was Alice.
Russ: Alice, okay.
Renie: She’s a lady that’s up the street from Aunt Norine’s house.
Rita: [To Renie] Would you say that outloud now?
Rulon: What’d she say?
Renie: I said she was the lady that swept the streets “Aunt Norine style.”
Russ: I don’t know what that means.
Renie: Well, Al Roberts used to grouch. She swept her family right out of the house, she was so clean. And then she’d go out and sweep the streets.
Russ: Like Aunt Norine, huh?
Renie: …Like somebody else I know.
Rulon: Sometimes I’d go over there to visit with Joe, if I’d see him sitting out on the fence or if he was out watering the lawn—he always used to water it with a nozzle on the end of the hose.
Russ: I remember that.
Rulon: And he’d be watering the lawn, and I’d just slip over there and start talking to him. As quick as Al would see me out there, why she’d come and she’d do the sprinkling. She’d walk around the lawn like this [demonstrating], turn off the water, and go back in the house. [laughter] She wouldn’t put more than 20 gallons of water on that big lawn.
Russ: Aunt Norine, when you got out of high school and then went to college.
Norine: I went two years….