History of William Richard Anderson
as told to his daughter, Fern Gillette, probably in 1967.
Will was born 6 Mar 1884 and died 28 May 1967, shortly after making this recording. He and his wife Alice (31 Dec 1884-26 May 1961) had a wonderful and interesting life together. Alice was a daughter of Joseph and Emma Bevan, and Sadie Bevan Christensen's older sister. Will and Alice married on 31 December 1902 and had " five fine boys and four lovely daughters" as Will was known to say. One of those lovely daughters was Fern Anderson Gillette. Fern went to a lot of effort to preserve her family's history and I am so thankful she did. Here is the actual recording that Fern made of her dad telling us about his and Alice's life. Fern's son Paul loaned us the recording. Will was a fine man, a talented artist, musician, and a great storyteller. I am thrilled that everyone will be able to hear him tell some of the stories that made up his life. --Summer Jackson
I was born in Oslo, Norway, March 6, 1884. I came to Utah at the age of four. I Lived in Salt Lake City on the west side close by the Jordan River. I remember when I was baptized out in West Jordan, in the Little Mill Race down there when I was 8 years of age. After we had moved down from Parley's Canyon, we lived there one winter on Hardy's ranch taking care of it, and we had a farm out in West Jordan and I remember distinctly about the baptizing. I was very scared and my mother says, "Go on, William." She says, "You'll come out and you'll just jump around." You know when I got out of there I did jump around I was so tickled. Anyway, oh, a little before that, oh well, just after I was baptized there, it was in 1893 and there was the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple. There was an unusual occurrence, don't know how I ever got in there, but I remember sitting in this room along the aisle, And right in front of me on the left side was a little girl and her father sitting there. And a she had a little hat on with all kinds of flowers and ribbons and kept, the hat wouldn't stay on and I was just watching every move, every move. I didn't remember anything that happened in the services except the "Hosannas." And of course, when we got up to go to another room and we passed by some and I was in the rear about 2 or 3 steps, and uh, as we went past these large mirrors this little girl says, "Daddy, there's a little girl with a hat on just like mine." It was in this big mirror, see, and everybody heard it, and I heard it and of course, passed it on. And uh, the funny part of it, ten years later up in Alberta, Canada, she was my wife, but I didn't know this was the same girl until I was sitting there in the front room one day and I heard her say to the neighbor, she says, "You know I was to the dedication of the Salt Lake Temple. My mother made me a little hat and that hat, I couldn't keep it on and the ribbons and I had the devil of a time. And I remember passing these, I realize now they was mirrors , but I didn't know at the time, I says "Daddy there's a little girl with a hat on just like mine." Well, of course, when I heard that the whole thing opened up to me and here I was. It was the little girl with the funny hat was sitting in there and a couple of my kids in with her.
Course after we got all straightened out we heard that there was work up north and went up to work with 2 of my brothers. We rode up together in wagons no bigger than a water wheel barrow. We started out, it took us exactly one month from Salt Lake City, all up through Montana and wound up in Cardston, Alberta Canada, July 24, 1898. We spent one month on the trip. I had my old ? and my old muzzle loader.
Anyway, one time went wrong we did struggle course I got a job driving to and fro for old Ray Kimball for 10 months. I weighed 102 pounds when I started and ended up 148 the 10th of December. I was well fed.
Of course a lot of things happened. Nothing of any special interest until we moved down to Raymond. Went down there to plow for the United Sugar Company. We got three and a half for an acre and everybody was to scrape up five good horses and of course I was one of them. I was applying round there and make my way to my future
You know there is nothing very slow about Allie when she was a girl growing up. Any girl that could have 100 Utah boys and have them all crazy about her and still not marry 'em and just send 'em on a mission. I was monkeying around down there, the hotel, and I was on this bike and a hotel window opened upstairs and a head stuck out and there was Allie. She says, "Well, you're having a good time, huh?" "Yeah, I'm practicing."
She says, "You know there's a dance tonight." "There is?"
"Yes, and I haven't got no partner." "Well, I'm in luck then."
"OK, you be up there about 8:00," and I was there.
You know, I still got the old mandolin that I had for 58 years. I got it when I first worked for Ray Kimball. The Kimball boys all had a little string quartet there, and I got stuck on this old mandolin 'cause they had a good mandolin player there, and I tried to buy it, but they didn't want to sell it. I says, 'Til give you 1 months wages for that
mandolin," and doggone if they didn't take me up on it and I have owned it ever since. Well, I took that to Raymond with me and you know we had a rally in the park up there in Raymond, ol1 LD King and two or three of them. Olf LD was always up in the church and I was always the lead man and them there were the follower uppers. And we used to play at all the old hoe downs and uh, especially political club meetings. And, uh, you know I seen LD King up there in the late 1954. He was only about 93, he's only about 10 years older than me. And he still could remember all about them mandolin days. And rememberin" Ld King as I did, when we went to Canada in 1954, I knew that little Allie was a great little gal to get in arguments. Now I says, " Allie, when we get down to Raymond, you agree with them guys." I says, "They're Kanooks. They like to pick at something down in Utah or Idaho or the politics or something," I says. "Just agree with everything." Well, sure LD made two or three passes about the weather and about the politics and about the republicans and democrats and little Al and him was lockin' horns. I thought maybe he'd invite me up to the house, but you know that throwed a kind of a cloud over it, their party there, and they didn't part as great friends. They parted as competitors. I couldn't make her see the point before we got there and I knew just what 'd happened.
Getting back to my youth before we was married. You know what, a lot of funny things happened. I can't make it out exactly, but I was going with Allie down there in Raymond and she was beautiful and she was talented and she had a lot of experience with beaus and all that stuff. And I was just a kid about 18 and greener than grass and big and hungry all the time. Well, I went up to Raymond , no up to Timber, our old home. When I got to thinking up there I thought to myself, well Bill, you're not a gonna
be topic for that gal. She's too far advanced for you. She's too uppity, uppity. And thought to myself, I believe I better write a letter and explain I got a job up here and that I'll probably be back in the fall sometime. I mailed that letter and do you know couldn't sleep all night. I got up in the morning and went down and got that letter out of the box and tore it up. And that afternoon I went down to Raymond and they met me there, her mother met me at the door and says "I'm glad to see you back, Will. Allie's been deathly sick for four days ever since you left She's had the terriblest migraine headache I ever heard of. The beaus have been a calling up and calling up, trying to get a date with her and I've been protecting her." You know I called in and came in there and Allie brightened right up and I stayed a couple hours and next morning she was in perfect health. Now I don't know what in the world, now something caused me to go back and something caused her to be sicker than a dog for four days so she wouldn't go out with these guys and I'd lose her. That's the way I figured it.
Fern says I ought to go back and tell about that experience I had with that squaw man up there in ??. Now that was before I was married and I couldn't have been more than 15 years old. And I was also a scrappy little fella and he came over to the ranch and he wanted me to come over and help him get some wood. Now thought it was kind of strange to have to hire a man to help him get some wood. So goes over, I rode my old bony horse over there. I used to have a saddle horse and rode him bare back, he was just a long-legged, he could go a mile a minute. And of course, I had him right in the corral there. We hit out for the timber, there was mostly brush and dried up willers and all that stuff. We'd get a whole load on there and then we'd come back and every day we'd go out there. I noticed all the time though, that he always sat on the back rangers and I always had to drive the team. He always had a gun across his flap. I thought it was kind of strange, like I was a captive or a convict,
was kind of leery about it. So one day we was eatin' our lunch, we always took our lunch up there, and he jumped up and grabbed that gun and started down through the
brush through the opening in the willers. And when he come back he could see I was scared to death. And he says, "Well, I know that you wonder why I done that," and he says," You know I got a deadly enemy in this country. There's another squaw man down the ridge there. And I always knew that if you watch the horse's ears, they can always hear a long time before a human can, and they can sense anything approaching. Them horses both threw their ears forward and I thought ol! Bush is sure on our track and sees if I could find anything," Of course, by that time, I was pretty scared. Anyway, I drove and we took our load back to the home and I made up my mind I was gonna make my escape that night. I was not a gonna stay there anymore. But you know he'd even follow me around wanting to know what I was doing. So remember I went around there, I was making preparation to get on that bony horse and go over the ridge into Canada. And I went around and made the excuse that I was feeding him, so he was satisfied with that and he went back to the rest of the corral to some of his other cattle and stuff. And you know I just dropped the bars down and jumped on oi" bony and I went over that hill hell bent for election and uh, I felt very relieved. And in three or four days he come over there, but I didn't want to see him, and he told my mother he'd give her a four or five dollars he thought I had earned and said, "I don't know what ever struck Willy. He just got on his horse and went out of there like a shot out of a gun." That was it.
Well, finally we made up our mind to get married. She sent all her old beaus on missions and she'd wore out all the rest of them. She still had me and I was tough. Anyway, we got married, but do you know for one thing funny, 50 years after, we rode up there to Canada for a duplicate of our license and they had no record of us ever being married. If it wasn't for our Temple marriage we wouldn't have been a married people. Anyway, I built a house, a one room house, a lumber house and we moved into it. We had a folding bed. Fern wants me to tell about an episode that happened there. You know I must have been a devil, I must have been a terrible guy, of course I,
but just imagine the joke I was playing, now you listen to this. She was sleeping as sound as could be and I was up making the fire and I had to go out and milk the cow. You know, I always had a cow in them days. And I thought to myself, well, I'd like to have her up and have her stirring around by the time I get back. So the cat was a sitting there and I says, "Allie."
"What do you want?"
"Allie, look up here."
"Look what I'm doing."
I had the cat in my hand, see, and I reached over and opened the oven door and stuck the cat in. And she seen me do it, and, I waited long enough so I knew she seen, cause that cat would have roasted alive and there I went. Boy, them quilts started a flying before I shut the door. I could see quilts and blankets flying every direction.
You know the long winter days up there in Canada, there's a little bunch of us guys we liked to play poker, penny ante, and so up there I got used to playing that penny ante. And when I got down here to Tooele, course, I was running the butcher shop, and I had some of the boys was card sharks and I had never said anything. So one night, one Saturday night after I closed the shop, I got into a little card game , a little penny ante card game. And you know it was about 12:00 when I come in with a big grin on and I was going to fix everything up, cause I was feeling good, I'd had a few beers, but who do you think was sittin' there? There was Allie's mother and Allie's father sittin' there, and they never said one word, nor Allie didn't say one word. But was putting on the dog, oh, I was grand, but nobody was answerin" me, nobody was saying a word. Pretty soon brother Joseph said, "Well, I guess we better go home." So they got up and left. And you know what Allie says, "Get them shoes off and get to bed." That's the only words she said. And you know for fifty years after, I never no more dared to go out and play cards. She cured me and there was never one word
You know Fern who loves old history, something that happened to somebody about a million years ago. So, she's got me to tell this, how we come to go out a Canada. Well, there was this big drought up there and or Dave Stevens and Cy Erickson, my neighbors, we ail make up our minds we're gonna get out of Canada. So, we thought, we didn't have to go. I had a nice, everything was fine, healthy, we had some money, fact, I think I was about the only one that had any money. The other two just saying starvation. Anyway, we pulled out of Canada down across the wilds of Montana with fourteen horses and wagons. And you know, by the time we got down to Dillon, I sent Allie on the train from there to Tooele and I took, the three of us, took a contract to put up some hay there in Lima, Montana. For one month we put up hay and uh, his horses were so damn wired, pardon the french, were so wild, they couldn't put 'em on these bull rakes, that my old farm rag was docile and they just fit in perfectly. So he had to hire my teams to run the bull rakes and I made pretty well. Anyway, after we'd cut all the hay there and got settled up, I'd plowed a lot of land for him that fall, Allie was down here living in Tooele, you know I got a chance to sell 'em outfit, I made a special sacrifice price and they took it, wagons, horses and everything and I wound up down in Tooele with , oh, I think I had between one or two thousand dollars cash. Of course, I hired from the butcher business, my brothers was in the butchers business over in Sandy. So I went over there and you know they proposed, they thought I ought to get into the butcher's business over here. I've never seen, knew nothing about anything, but they sponsored it and we put in a butcher shop. And you know we had a competitor up the street, Val's Market. Everybody who had ever tried to start a market in Tooele always tried to put olf Val's out of business. Well, I thought to myself, that's not the goal? of your enemies, make friends with £em. So we put in this butcher shop and you know that they'd let me have their head butcher to come down there and cut my meat, and it wasn't long until he left, after a year and a half, and he
sent me down another butcher that they had. They had a big market, see, it seemed like took a notion to sponsor me, because I was so friendly or I needed help or something. I don't know what ever happened, right to this day, right to this day their boys would just do anything and I had a surprise once, their oldest son, after their father died, they got in financial difficulties and I remember olf Vern come down to my shop one day and he says, Bill, could you give me a check, demand check, for $350. and I'll give you a check dated Saturday, $350. I've got to have $350 or I'm sunk. And you know, just imagine, comes this competitor and asks you for a loan of $350 for three or four days. That's how we felt at work and you know he got it and his check was good Saturday. So, that is the episode of getting into the business.
You know, it wasn't all work in Tooele. Lots of people looks at their life's work and think how gruesome it was, think how I'd hate to have that to go over again. I had a wonderful time. I worked, I wore out five different automobiles. I done more huntin', but, and uh, and went thousands of miles, nearly I wore my wife out finally. And we had some wonderful friends, ol" Doc Davis and his wife, Phoebe, she was my Allie's aunt and of course I got left playing with Doc. And never will forget one time with ? I had some life insurance renewed and went into his office and, "Sit down here, Billy," he says. He says, "Billy, how old are you?" I says, "Fifty, Doc." "Oh," he says this, "all these measurements and blood pressure stuff says your forty-five." "Thanks, Doc. I says, "And if you was a drinkin' man, we'd go out and hoist a couple." Just imagine how close I was to ol" Doc. You know ol" Doc had a front. I guess how I come to get so well acquainted with Doc is on account of his wife being my wife's aunt. And uh, finally, I got through that exterior, that dignity. He had to have a certain dignity you couldn't penetrate, but I got through there. I remember one particular time I went on a
ittle vacation and didn't say anything to him. And he come in the shop there one day, and me and Allie was standing there and he says, "You know," he says, "I come into this shop the other day while you was gone. I didn't know you'd gone." And says, "I
seen a strange man with Billy's apron on and tears come to my eyes." I just got through talkin1 about ol" Doc. I had another friend Burt Lee? He was a painter up at the smelter, wonderful disposition. And I got well acquainted with him and we used to hop rides together and one thing or another. I never will forget though, this particular time in the shop there, it was clever. I always had, there was one of them, my customer used to make some great wine, home-made wine. She'd bring me up a gallon of that and ol" Burt knew that I had it week ends there. So, he come in pay day there, and stand around picking his teeth. And I didn't know how to give him a glass of this wine, because the house was full of people. So, I thought to myself, come to my mind, Burt, how about that, remember you wanted me to buy you a specially fat mutton. Yes, it's come in. Yeah, it's here. And uh, went in and I says better look. Went in there and of course, he had a little glass of this wine and looked at the mutton all right, and stood around a while longer. And I says, "Weil, thats a pretty big mutton, Burt. I don't see how you ever could use all that. How about half of it, I'll split it down." "Well, I don't know," he says. "I'll split it down. You might oughta just want a quarter of it." "Well," he says, "How big does it look/' Went in, course he had another glass of wine. Finally, I stood around so darn long that I had to do something, house was changing people, paying our bills and goin", but we was pretty slick. And I says, "You know that front is a lot cheaper than the hind. That hind almost agin as much meat in the front." He says, "I never did get a good look at which end I wanted." So I says after about three good looks at that mutton, old Burt was out there and he was very glad. "Well, I says, "After we closed the shop, I thought we was going out and fry some salt bacon and maybe get us a rabbit." "Say that would be fine." He says, "You call Nell up." I says, "Why do you want me to call?" "1 wouldn't dare to. You've got to go home with me." Says, "I would no more dare so." And he made me call her up and says we're going to pick her up in about a half an hour and get ready and for her to call Allie. And you know I had to pert near protect that guy, that little wildcat of his, he
expects to be clawed right down to the fingernails. Anyway, we had our trip, but is there room for a little more. That particular time we went out, we used to get a cottontail or two. And uh, of course, we had a little stuff with us, made us feel very brave. We'd take the hind quarters and fry them in it. And at this particular time, we fried some potatoes. Burt, he was one of the best cooks I ever saw. He was a regular ol' calf cook, and he had the frying pan full of good food, but we'd forgot the spoons. And you know them women are sitting in the back of that car. And he says we'll whittle out some wood spoons. And he had some flat pieces of board, and uh, they was some pretty good looking spoons. And you know they would never touch that, they was so high-toned. And you know, we dove into that and I'll tell ya, it tasted mighty good. And they sit right back there in their dignity and starved.
(Fern; Well, Dad now just how old are you?) Well, Fern, you know, there's very few people know whats really my age because I was born in the dawn, the dawn. Anyway, with the Doc's file that he give me, you know I was telling you, that five years he give me, and the five I took made me quite a young buck.
(Fern: Dad, now tell us the names of your children.) Fern, you're sneaking up on us. Well, so many people, you know if you got a bunch of kids like I had, to right off the bat to name them off is something. So, I dug up all their second names, not their first names, it was: John, Lester, Zuke, Sylvester, Earl, Compton, Vivian, and Dean, and there was Joe and Eurastus. Now the names of my children, of course, when I do a little thinking I can remember them all if I really want to get down. There's Thelma, Bevan, I was gonna say Syke but she's got down Francis Marion, and there was Fern, Sadie, Big Nick, Brain, Wilson, of course he's Witt's to me, Gayle, little Gayle, and Don Ross, he was the last. You know how I come to get him. Was out huntin" down to Star Valley and he dropped out and uh, I seen something white and wiggling over there, wiggling over there. And I thought it couldn't be a rabbit, cause it was white. And snuck over there and grabbed him and gosh, I had Don Ross and I took him home and
give him some bread and milk and started growing up. Yeah, I had six fine boys and four lovely girls and like Confucius says, "A man's never poor if he's got worthy sons." And they talk about these delinquent kids, I believe my kids was half grown up when they was still little fellers. They worry more about me and Allie and what's gonna become of us. I remember one time, Nick come and he says, "Dad, you got to go over to high school with me this morning." I says, "What's the matter. I don't go to school." He says, "Come on over with me, will ya?" And so I thought, well, maybe I have to bail him out or something. Went over there and we went into the principals office and he went in first. And so, I loomed in the door and he seen me and he says, "Max, you come to school next week. Come right back to school Monday morning." Turned his head and we went. So, after that, him and the principal had, he told the principal a thing or two, because, I says, "Well, what did you want me to go back and help ya?" "Well," he says, "You know I want to graduate." That's the kind of kids I had. They wanted to graduate. They didn't want to be dropouts. Course I'm bragging bout them now.
Now, you can thank Fern for a lot of this stuff. It seems like she's heard so much, she's prompted me and insisted on me telling these funny little stories and it seems, but she says, sooner or later they'll be very valuable And uh, and a man's never poor if he's got worthy sons and daughters, remember that, daughters, that's all.
I was telling you that I bought an old mandolin and had it all my life. It belonged to a man named ? Course when I was courtin" Allie I was a playing Grandma Bevan's, the old Kimball ward waltz and the old Kimball ward padrille. And I kind of thought, I thought, I had a sneaking idea that I was making some progress and I think them tunes helped me out quite a bit. So, I'm kind of rusty I haven't practiced up much, but I'll see what I can do. I'll have to record a little of that, (plays the mandolin) (Fern:
How about that.)
(Fern: Dad, you've got a good voice, singing voice, I know. Will you sing us just a little
song?") (He sings and plays and mandolin.) (Fern: Very good.) You know I knew could sing, all right. I used to ride the cows and stuff and that and sing and hum and had my private little songs. But you know, nobody ever asked me to sing, until today and Fern asked me to sing and I refused. I didn't, I thought, well, you must never refuse the first time you was asked.
(When you went up to Canada I'd like to hear that story when you went out with one box of shells and what the outcome was.) Yeah, what the outcome was. When you go out there in Milk River Ridge with a shotgun and one box of shells you better make them pay. We didn't have a lot of money to buy shells. I had to make things go. But had exceptional luck that day. I think was reason was it was in the fall of the year and them ducks was just getting ready to leave, and there was a lot of young ones, big mallards, and uh, course I had ol" Spike, he was tied right down in the brush there. That's my little Bay horse. And I had flour sacks and all the strings on the saddle with ducks in it and you know on the road home, I was going along a little ridge and I seen a coyote. He was sniffing and coming along and I had that little horse of mine trained just lean one way and he just stayed and all the time he was a fading down the hill that coyote was a looking at me, you know, he thought he had me scared. All the time was a getting my gun out and you know I got him. Took them 24 and uh, I couldnft ft do with all them so we took 24 and the coyote out of a box of shells. Took half of them down to my brother»in-laws and Allie got half of them. She didn't know what to do with them. She cleaned them all and remember them great big pans they used to have in the old towns, ranges. They were great big bread pans. Well, she had two of them loaded. You have to remember there was no refrigeration, something had to be done with those ducks. I had duck for a week and everybody come in had to eat duck and we finally got rid of them. And they was sure good.
(Dad, that story you just told was a go getter, but we'd like to hear another one. The time that you and Bert lee? and Nellie and Aunt Sadie and Allie and yourself went out
on this rabbit hunt. And you actually, I understand, got some cottontails. Just what were the details on that story.) I was supposed to remember all the details you was supposed to remember all the trips. Well, I'll tell ya. Ol' Burt, he had a private seat on my right in the front. He was a wise guy and he always had a gun there. And uh, we was a driving along out there by Dolamite, going out to where the hunting grounds was and uh, it was night and uh, we seen one rabbit jumped across the street. So I slowed right up and ol" Burt was getting his gun out and he took the glass down so he could lean out and he had his gun out there and one, two rabbits was sitting out there and just dancing in front of us and the women was screamin' and we had the gun, we had the doggone thing on safety. And he couldn't get his gun off. And the rabbits hopped away. I never seen such a crazy bunch of women in my life I think that was really the highlight, I was so excited I forgot whether we ever got any rabbits or not.
You know I told ya this happened right out there by Dolamite. I don't know if you strangers ever knew where Dolamite was or not. Anyway, I remember one night, one of those hunting trips we had, we're starved for hunting. But we decided we was sick of rabbits, so, we took some weenies and sauerkraut, ol' Burt Lee and his wife they loved sauerkraut. And uh, course, he had to have a little of Mrs. Johnson's wine and uh, he was feeling his oats and talk about food and boy, he could talk. So he cooked it all up and do you know he couldn't eat one of those hot dogs. The women ate them, but did I devour them. I enjoyed them and he sit there right the side of me just admiring how I could eat them hot dogs. That's a story for ya.
You know what Fern just said, said, "How 'bout that time you went to Grand Junction." Well I'd just about forgot about that, but it sure brought me back to life. Old Burt was on the right and I was a drivin" with Nell and Allie in the back seat. And of course, he'd pass back just a little tiny bit of wine once in a while and all we was doin' was listenin' to them talkin'. You know there's a lot of things happenin' around this country that I never thought could happen till I heard these women. And ol' Burt, his
ears was propped up, then when they kind of slowed down he'd help them out a little bit. But we kept a drivin', a drivin", listening to the women and you know we was out to Price, Utah for we knew it and then we kept on a goin\ You know Burt wanted to go to Denver. I says, "I've got to go back to work in the morning." And we went on to Grand Junction and she says to me whats the difference, he didn't care. So we went out to Rifle, Colorado, that's the other side of Grand Junction, through them big peach orchards, trucks was in from Iowa and Nebraska, was loadin' up them peaches. They have to get them a little on the green side, but there was a cut off between there over to 40, about 18 miles of rough road, and we got the map out and says we gotta get back onto 40, because we gotta go back through Vernal, we're way down here. So, I started on this 19 mile trip and uh, them women in the back, every time we'd hit a
badger hole, they'd cuss. Well I hit one that throwed Allie, and she had a stiff neck and she complained all the day bout that neck of her's. But I hit this one and I don't know, she went right into the ceiling and uh, she yelled and when she come down, "Boy," she says, "my necks all right" Do you know I cured her neck I don't know, there must have been a kink there. So, we got over on 40, drivin" along, ol" Burt, he's just takiiV her in. We got to stop in one place and they cooked supper That's one thing Burt and Nell was good, they was the doggonest couple there was They must have been homesitted or something cause they could sure cook her up. And you know, we finally got back into Tooele about 4:00 in the morning and I had to go open the butcher shop at 8:00. I got a couple hours of sleep, but in them days I was tough, I was really tough. I worked my full shift and never,r and never yiked once. (Fern: Seems to me he's still tough.)
'II have to tell you this one. This is a dry run, a dry run. We started out one Sunday afternoon and uh, Burt says, "Have you ever been to Snowville?" "No, I've never been to Snowville." "Well, it isn't very far. Let's go out that way. I haven't been out that way for years and years and years." So, we got to Snowville and uh, kept on a
goin' through this town, gas was okay, got out to Struvell, that's another little town and there was a little road goin' to the left, kind of a, it was a black top road. He says, " wonder where that goes?" I says, "Well, lets find out." And you know we was sober as could be and we followed that up until we got way up in the foothills and there's a little town over there and do you know what happened, damned if I didn't blow out a tire. And there was a service station there and I didn't have any money, cause we didn't intend to go on any trips that day But you know, I had my credit card and you know, got that tire on there all through that credit card. Then he says, well he says, "We're not very far from the city of rocks. "City of rocks, what's that?" I says. "Well, that's where the emigrant trail buried all that gold and where they keep going out there huntin'. It's only south here a little ways. Let's go out there and see if we can see it after I got the tire." So, we went. Or Burt went out there, and there is some most fantastic rock I ever saw, course, I didn't know where to dig or anything, but while we was looking around we got clear to the other side of that and saw this road to Oakley. I says, "Where's Oakley?" "Just over the hill in Idaho there." Course it was dark, pert near dark, and I didn't have any money. And uh, I had my credit card. I had gas, good tires. "Oh," I says, "HI tell ya. I do know a guy in Oakley. Or Sid Nelson and he runs a pool hall over there. Lets go, I can get a check cashed over there." So, we went over the hills of Sharon finally got down into Oakley. I found the pool hall all right and ol' Sid, I told him our predicament and I only cashed a $10 check. Course I had my credit card. I could get all the gas I wanted. Then we went on into Burley. Course we had to get a cabin that cost me four bucks, and double ? four bucks in them days. Well, uh Nell says, "Here's where we had our homestead. Here's where Burt and us had a homestead in the early days. Took up right here close on the Snake River. Tomorrow morning we'll go down there and show you where we had our cows. I don't think anything's there now. I don't know there's anything." So we went down next morning and uh, course there was nothing on the land, but the beautiful Snake,
beautiful grass everywhere. She says, "I thought this was gonna be my future home, but you know Burt. One day he says, I seen his head back and lookin' far in the distance. I thought, well that's it. I knew, you know that guy, here's an even million dollars if he took a notion to go back to Tooele and you know he went back to Tooele, and he lost the homestead, and he deserted the whole thing. And did she give Burt hell and Burt never answered a doggone thing. Well, we went on down and course we hadn't had any breakfast. Went into Pocatella, course this is the next day, we'd had hot dogs and stuff there at the stand, and I was the only man that had money. I still had them six bucks and, but ol' Burt, he was the best traveler I ever saw. If you ever got into trouble or got lost he could just make anybody tell him just all about it. So do you know where we went? We went clear up to Soda Springs and over to Fish Haven and Bear Lake and clear back down through, over the hill into Logan. Finally, got home. Went out for a little Sunday afternoon drive and you know it was a dry run, we didn't have a thing. We was gone two days. It was sure fun though.
Fern was just saying how we was just, I was trying to encourage Syke to continue this story. That (s the story of the seven craws About 18 to 20 miles right west of Lovelock, Nevada about the turn of the century, there was a wonderful gold strike there. And uh, the main mine was called the Seven Craws. Now why, I don't know. Then there was Montezuma, mazuma which is slang for money. Then a little further on was Vernon. Those three mining towns sprung up there and I suggest we go out there. I think what encouraged us to go was that name of seven craws. Sure or something, anyway, we got out there and course the town was all washed away by a great big thunderstorm, and that's what ruined that whole country, but, and the new Seven Craws, there was some people there, exploring, trying to get some ore. And there's one little fella there, that sure encouraged us. He was a little ol" prize fighter. He said he had sparred with Gene Tunney. Course Syke, he was awfully interested in that and Fern she's always exploring. Well, we stopped over by the old ruins of Bern
and you know, that she wandered around and she finally found an old jail and she picked up an old time magazine and you oughter here the stories that's in that magazine. Well, I don't think I'd even ever repeat it. Anyway, we just wandered all around that country, finally got back to Lovelock and hit for Winnemucca. Course it was dark and we drove around there. And he had a steel telescope case that he keeps all his lures in. There's enough lures in there to give to everybody in the ward, a full complete outfit, and you know what, I seen him buying some more. He got over there and fingered some stuff,f and he bought some more hooks and stuff. So, they got out in the boat and we got to fishin', but all the time he was a studyin' this lure, studyin' this lure. And I was just as interested as he was, because this was a great big beautiful bunch of stuff And I had a little hook on my line with an angle worm on it. Course wasn't paying no attention to it, cause I was watching him fingering his lure all the time. Lo and behold, here, and a fish grabbed him, and you know I caught four, and you know he never got a chance to do that. He was a figuring the lure all the time and when he got a beautiful thing on there, he'd got to take it up and see if it would work again. And while he was doing all that work, and I was enjoying it, I caught four beautiful fish. That's a good fish story.
Weil, I really have to laugh. We was sitting here chatting, me and Fern, and reminiscing back over the years and I remember the first Oldsmobile I had, brand new Oldsmobile. And I had a barn in the back of my house and uh, I had a good lock on that. And I'd fill it full of gas thinkin', well, at night I'm goin' to have a nice little ride down to ?. So, I goes out there and I start the car up, and I look at the speedometer, hell, there's hardly any gas in it. I thought, I've got a gas leak around here, because says, there has to be a leak for the simple reason that the place is locked, was locked when I come in, the car is locked and everything. I've got the key, so I've certainly got a leak. And 20 years later I found out the mystery, do you know what that mystery was? She (Fern) got a long fingernail on her little finger, and her and Barbara
Campbell would go down there and she could unlock that thing, that thing, for one reason or another, and they'd go to Grantsville and prowl all over the country and bring it back as sweet and as lovely as ever. And here I was, in 15 years I found out the truth, talkin' about Fern. I remember, went out, was out in the southern part of the county where the only jack store was. You know in them days you used to go out and kill a couple of nice young cottontails and just take the hind quarters and we'd fry (em up. Fry potatoes if we had time and uh, we had a nice little lunch out there, but we'd left our wine jug, always had to have a little wine, yeah, didn't have a little wine to keep going to do the cookin'. Anyway, when we got home, for some reason or another I says, you know I left that jug of wine out there. And Fern insisted on knowing exactly where it was and like a doggone fool I told her the truth. And she went out and got that, and coming home she was arrested in Stockton. And she said she got up to 28 miles an hour going through town and had four cops after her and they drug her into court, now thats our dear little Fern at 15 or 16 years old. You think she's such a dream, well, I'll tell you right now she can get out of some of the damnedest messes ever saw. (Fern: Now I'll tell you the really truth on that story. That was really far fetched. The reason I was arrested in Stockton, I was leaving from Tooele to see a friend in Ophir. This wasn't even on the same day, and I was going about 30 miles an hour and there was a train on the track, and that was the only reason they even caught me, because I couldn't go through. I had to stop. And one policeman walked up to me and arrested me. They just said I would have to come to court. And I never did tell the folks about it, I was afraid to. But I told Bev and told him he had to go with me to court. So, the night before we were to go to court, the deputy or someone called up from Stockton and said the judge wouldn't be there the next day, so they'd have to postpone it. And that's how the folks found out it had even happened. So, I finally didn't have to go over and appear, they just dropped the charges. I have to smile now when I think I was going about 30 miles an hour and got arrested for speeding. As far
as the wine was concerned, when we got there, there wasn't even a half a cup left in the jug. And we, but we had fun going out there anyway in an old truck trying to find it.)
You know Fern, of course, had to straighten everything out like she always straightens everything out. She never did teli you when she used to work for me down to the market., 15 years old. How she used to sneak away in the bedroom and read a novel and get a little quiet. Because I kicked about it, she thought I was a terrible employer. And they used to have a little customer called Mrs. Fox, the gentlest little thing, you know Fern, at 14 or 15 years old was very aggressive, she'd get little Fox over in the corner and make her confess to everything she ever done. She was one of the best clerks I ever had there, providing we were busy. But if we wasn't busy she had the greatest little girlie way of getting away doing other things I ever did see. Course we always took her back and we're awful happy to think we got her. (Fern: I guess I better say a little finale about that. I never did quit. He'd always can me about once a week. For some reason I'd walk out on and not do my job, but then he'd have to ask me to come back. I never went back and asked for the job so he had to give in a little bit, too. But I do say it helped me an awful lot to work there and in my future life I think I've been able to meet with people and talk with them just because of the experience that I had there, in that market.)
You know I was just telling Fern, now me and her went to goin' back over these years, now I'd like to hear ol' Syke say a few words. You know he's got a few ideas in there maybe, in all them time she was about 15 years old, bout how he was the greatest 100 yard dasher. Bev said that he beat him and Bev, he was a real hundred yarder. never will forget the time I watched him and run the 220. They were on the line, there, and why, they were out there in front of him 20 yards and the first 50 seemed like they was just leavin' him. But them little short legs of his started a buzzin' and I never see such a buzz saw in my life, and he catched up, no he passed them, and was ahead 10
yards time they got, I believe it was the 440, but the for the first 100 yards. But Bev was always telling about what a wonderful runner Syke would have been if he had just trained a little more. So Syke I wish you'd answer a few of these things, get it straightened out. You can even straighten that fish story of mine out. I don't mind, might be just a little off there You always say you did put a lure on there, but i never seen a lure on that line, but I know that I got four fish and I know that you was a very busy man, but you wasn't catching fish. Well, you answer this.
(Syke: Well I just got in for dinner and listened to this tape that Fern and Will prepared here and I've got to do a little adjusting here on some of the stories. They're just twisted around just a little bit. I always have been quite a guy to fix lure and have my own lure and everything and try to figure out how to catch fish and what to catch them with. This day that Will's talkin' about, we went to Strawberry Reservoir and we
had a real nice time up there. Of course, we, I usually try everything I got in the tackle box, and I was busy fixing lures and everything, and as far as I know, I thought that I fixed Will's line for him, and had a bob gear on there and he caught his fish on my favorite line and tackle and pop gear. But he says he had a a little pole and this line and a hook on it and a worm. But maybe I was too busy fixin' lure and wasn't watching him. But I do know he caught those four fish all ight and anyway, I still think maybe he thought he had that other pole out there, but i think he had my pole and my favorite pop gear. But anyway, they were nice fish and we really had a good time there fishing. Now about Fern, I can verify some of the things, I know she really liked to drive cars and always had a big dog on the car a barking where ever she'd go. I knew that she occasionally had special ways of starting Dad's car. Sometimes when he parked in front of the show she could go open it and take it for a little spin and take it right back to the same place and he didn't know about that too often. And on some of these other things, I heard about her getting arrested, I know she liked to drive. She'd drive anything.)
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