Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Eye Doctor's visit, health care plan, I'm flagging Beauty in Art, and a hot movie



Here I am in my latest photo with my new eyes. Doc took it this morning. I went to Dr. Brens yesterday who is very pleased with the results of his cataract surgery as am I. He says I don't have to come back for a year. I did want to get my cataract surgery done in case our benefits change with the new health plan, which we are just now beginning to hear about. I am all set for change, because folks, I think everyone should benefit from a health care plan, not just some of us. I have enjoyed medicare and drug coverage for some time now with the help of medicaid, and I think we should give everyone a break as they do in other countries. We all may suffer together with the changes necessary in a health plan for all.
I know that some people are unhappy because they have a good health plan and a good enough job they can afford it, but that is not the case for many. When I was working I used to pray nobody got sick, and I just could not work at any higher paying job because my stamina was compromised in childhood. Many do not have the with all or opportunity to hold down a high paying job. If we want to keep everyone working we need to help people when they are sick. In the long run I think this will benefit our country. Most of the reports I have heard from bloggers in other country is that a health plan for all is not as bad as it seems to some.
I am disheartened with so many carrying like this is the most horrible development there could be. People we have already got a big health plan in medicare with drug coverage, so now what we need to do is rein in the excesses and spread out the coverage. I am a senior. Believe me, we are the most unproductive members of this society. The disabled usually aren't working either. Remember I have lived in subsidized housing for over twenty five years and I have known many many seniors and disabled. Believe me, doctors on the rampage can easily run up a million dollars in medicare costs with some very expensive treatment for someone who usually dies anyway. The system could use some closer monitoring.
I try to keep healthy, walking, and my expenses down, but people, substance abuse costs money. We are in the midst of an obesity epidemic. They become disabled and they cost you millions. Alcholics and their end of life care costs you millions.
Smokers and druggies cost you millions. I can't believe how sentimental people can get about rewarding the old with a worry free medicare program with drugs where the sky is the limit. When President Bush said how happy he was to be signing drug coverage into law for the seniors and others, I wondered if he knew quite what this was going to involve?
I am telling you, you have to monitor these costs closer. And I think we need to get tougher about substances people abuse, this means alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, and FOOD. I would like to see a whole lot more attention put on just why people are putting themselves in the hospital. We live next to a Circle K. Circle K has got to be thriving on beer profits alone. I hate to see young guys, disabled, doing nothing for years, in subsidized housing, and managing to buy beer on a regular basis, smoke cigarettes, eat too much, well it goes on and on. I don't know what can be done about us abusers, but we need help! Yes, I abuse food, not real bad, but I am enough over weight that my end of life medical costs are probably going to be considerably more than a healthier person would have. If I don't lose the weight. If I don't walk. If I don't find a way to stop eating so many substances that are bad for me.
What can I do? What help do I think I need? I will tell you, attention is the best cure and a challenge. You need to care about what your tax dollars are going for in the way of medicare and drug costs. You need to look at what all these addictions are doing to our society.
I started this entry to flag Beauty in Art which is a photographer's dream blog, many links to some wonderful sites, including National Georgraphic's annual photo contest. Ann just finds these things. Check it out on my blog list.
I just checked out Broken Embraces from the Red Box for $1, a Spanish film with Penelope Cruz, and Doc and I both loved it. He has got such a wonderful TV, HD, 46 in. screen, for the best viewing.
I will be talking about the health care plan again and posting more Memoirs!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

MEMOIRS--Chapter Fourteen--Uncle Reed snaps in the room with the dead pig


DAUGHTERS OF THE SHADOW MEN

Chapter fourteen

Uncle Reed started having a pretty bad time around the time Darrow got killed falling off the School House ledge. He had just gotten home from the mental hospital probably for the fourth of fifth time, and as we were driving through town one day, the whole family having just come from Salt Gulch, Reed ran along side the car yelling at us to stop. We pulled up by the school house. He said, “Have you heard, one of the Moosman twins has fallen off the School House ledge!”

Daddy and Mother tried to calm Reed down and finally were able to find out the boy who fell was Darrow. I didn't know him very well even though he was in my room at school but he was two grades ahead of me. They said he and the other boys went up on the ledge after Sunday school to roll rocks off and Darrow got too close to the edge and slipped off. One of his brothers ran down to try to find him and the other one ran for help. He died in the fall, his blood spattering the pale sand rock ledge in big spots. Everybody said Darrow was a daredevil, always taking chances.
We school children marched into his house the day of his funeral and saw Darrow in his casket, his mother sitting beside him. She was another everyone was worried about might go mad again over this death, as she had been a patient at the state mental, too, more than once. Like Uncle Reed.

Then Lola Jo, Uncle Reed and Aunt Thirza's fourth daughter just seven months old, developed pneumonia. Aunt Thirza came through Salt Gulch and picked up her brother Morias to go with her to take the little girl to the doctor. My cousins always said their mother stopped on Hell's Back Bone bridge and discovered Lola Jo was no longer breathing, so they just turned around and came back.

I didn't really know how Reed handled that death, but it must have been very hard on the whole family. I know Aunt Thirza grieved over Lola Jo for years. She had struggled so hard to keep Carol with the heart defect from catching any germs that would kill her. Now Lola Jo, thought healthy, died in a few days! Fortunately Carol, five, did not take the pneumonia.

Aunt Thirza decided that it was no use expecting Reed to help her make cheese, so she decided to move from the school factory house into her old family home where her brother Merlin, a bachelor, still lived. He and Reed were the best of friends and she had talked to Merlin who said he would help her take care of Reed so he would not have to go back to the state mental. Marion, my six year old cousin, said that her mother had been having her watch him when she had to do something. Aunt Thirza also said that Uncle Reed had such a hard time sleeping at night he kept her awake and she was not getting her rest.

The King family was relieved as Merlin was a gentle man and they thought he would be a big help in looking after Reed. I am sure Grandma King was exhausted with trying to help watch over him when Reed would come down there and move around in the trees preaching to the spirits.
Now comes a time when I have to wonder why some things happen like they do. The next thing that befell Uncle Reed to upset him violently was this, and you are going to find it difficult to believe, too, as I did, because there just doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason for it. Reed and Merlin went to Richfield through Escalante, so the upper road out of Boulder through Wayne Country must have been closed. They stopped in one of the canyons on the way and got out of the car. They were standing beside the road--Mother said they had bought a bottle and were drinking, and a car came speeding around the bend. It somehow swerved and hit Merlin, tearing off his leg! It did not stop but took that part of him as it sped away. Uncle Reed was left to try to comfort his dying brother-in-law and best friend, mangled on the side of the road. The hit and run driver was never caught.
When I heard this story I thought Uncle Reed is never going to get better now. Surely a fragile man like him can only take so much before his mind splits. He'd had more than his share of sorrow and pain with Max dying getting bucked off a horse in a rodeo. But Merlin was not doing anything but standing by the side of the road. Maybe too far out. I don't know.
Well, the very last time, practically, I ever saw Reed, we had come down the lane to Grandma's house and Mother and Dad were down to the corrals talking to the men working there. Marion, Max, and Carol, Reed's daughter with the big hole in her heart, were with us. We children got out of the car and ran up to the old ranch house to play. I even think Margie and I took LaRae with us who was only three. She naturally wanted to play, too. Nobody was living in the ranch house that winter. Grandma had gone to her home in Escalante and insisted Grandpa go with her. When we got close to the house I could hear Reed in there sort of shouting as he often did when he was preaching a sermon to the spirits.


My cursed curiosity compelled me to open the door to try to hear more clearly what he was saying. We started moving inside. I noticed a pig carcass laying on the kitchen cutting table. A long sharp butcher knife was laying beside it.
I looked up and saw Reed coming out of the living room, rushing toward us. He looked mad maybe because we were interfering with his concentration. As though in a slow motion nightmare, I saw him stop by the table and pick up the long sharp butcher knife. Then he turned and came after us with it in his hand.
I started running, I thought to get help. I figured he was the maddest at me because I was more a stranger to him. He didn't see me often, but as I ran I prayed I would not hear a scream if he caught up with one of the children.

I never ran faster in my life, straight to Mother and Dad, stammering out what was happening. After they ran and checked to see if all the children were safe they just turned away and started talking about something else. They did not even go bother Reed. I was deflated. I just did not think they understood how frightening Reed had looked.
If he had just hollered at us, told us to get out, we would have run, but not thought anything of it. It was the fact that he picked up the butcher knife that scared me about out of my wits.
I thought well, I guess they think he didn't kill us, so it was just Uncle Reed acting crazy again. I was wrong. A week later the Sheriff and two other officers came to pick up Reed. Mother and Dad met them, so I was there with them. I saw Reed start to cry as soon as he saw the Sheriff. He sobbed, “I will be good, I will be good. Please don't take me away.” They told him to get ready, so he picked up his oldest daughter Marion calling her his pet name for her, “Punkin” and kissed her good-bye.
Oh, I was so sad, so terribly sad, because basically Reed never came home again. I just did not know if the punishment fit the crime or if Reed was just too sick to be able to handle the onerous gift of his freedom any more---




The header of a dark storm over the ocean is by Connie. Reed in the top photo in his cow punching days. Old ranch house with Grandma and Grandpa King in front. Last photo a couple of years later when we cousins were altogether for the last time at Christmas, before Aunt Thirza had to move to the city with her three girls, Marion, Carol, and Max, to try to make a living without Uncle Reed. Linda, my last sister, had been born.

Monday, March 29, 2010

MEMOIRS--Chapter thirteen--Going to school in Escalante and starting my job driving the team



DAUGHTERS OF THE SHADOW MEN

Chapter Thirteen

The highlight of my second grade year was a two month visit to the second grade in Escalante. Mother told Daddy that never again would she stay the whole winter in Salt Gulch, so after the new year she must have gathered up her brood of four and moved to Escalante to stay to Grandma's house. She might have stayed there by herself with Daddy allowed to visit occasionally, since I think Grandpa and Grandma Wilson had moved back to Boulder. Grandpa might have rustled himself up a job teaching high school by then. Grandma King might have been staying in Boulder another winter or Mother might even have gone to live with her for two months since she had often lived with Grandma King both before and after she married Daddy.
I know we traveled to Escalante over what was called the upper road into Boulder over Hell's Backbone above Salt Gulch. Crossing Hell's Backbone bridge was always the worst of the trip. I would always ask to walk across the bridge rather than drive but wasn't allowed to very often. I just did not trust that bridge! Down in Sand Creek you could look up and see this bridge way up in the air spanning two deep canyons on either side. It just looked dangerous. When anyone talked about going to the Grand Canyon I always said I did not want to go, as I thought I had enough deep canyons in my life.
I guess I had heard too many stories about how the Escalante cat skinner, “Sixty Mac” had crossed a dangerous temporary bridge made of planks with his cat to connect the road over two deep canyons. He did not even tell his pregnant wife what he was going to do for fear she would go into labor out of fright. Everybody clapped when Sixty landed on the other side without plunging with his cat to the bottom of the gorge.
The CCC boys had been contracted to build the road so the mail could be brought to Boulder by truck instead of mules. After all, it was 1938. The CCC boys built a lot of roads all over the country so why not that one?
Now these same CCC boys were building a road over what was called the lower road into Boulder which was nothing more than a rough wagon trail over sandrock and deep sand down to the Escalante river, up through Calf Creek and over New Home Bench into Boulder. I always asked to be allowed to walk up Thompson's Turnover on that road but was hardly ever allowed to do that either. So Margie and I would lay down in the back of the car and pray. Daddy would sometimes have to make three runs on that road before he made it to the top in his car. I prayed we would not be like Thompson and turnover into the canyon. There was always a canyon to fall into on those old roads.

It did take Daddy a long time to go over the old or the upper road to Escalante to buy a drink. The new road would probably cause him to become a worse drunk than ever he would get to the liquor store so fast.
I think Mother was half way trying to leave him when she moved as far as Escalante to spend a couple of months. I loved my teacher in the second grade. Her name was Mrs. Schow and she was young and enthusiastic like Golda Petersen. Margie got an older teacher in the first grade by the name of Mrs. Lee but she knew her business. Margie and I made friends with two sisters who were the same age named Jean and Joan. I envied them so because their mother combed their hair in ringlets every single day, and she dressed them in the latest fashion. Mother made our dresses but she always made them too long on the grounds that we would grow out of them. They would be in tatters by the second year, but we would have to go around in dresses below the knees like two little old ladies. I think Mother was suspicious of little girls in short dresses and long hair. She never got used to how long hair looked since she and her sister had curly hair. Every picture she took of us when our hair was long, we looked like we were forty years old. Mother's idea of a decent hairdo was not chic. I did not get to wear long blond hair hanging down my back until I left home.

Well, we had to go home some time, since Mother had such a big family, so finally Daddy talked us into moving back to Salt Gulch just as the spring work was starting. I knew my work load would start up again, too, as now there were two little kids under two to watch when Mother gardened and bottled. But a wonderful thing happened. Bill decided not to work for Daddy anymore so I told Daddy when haying time came I would drive the team hooked to the hay wagon and stomp the hay all day, too.
All I can say is that it was a good thing I waited until I was eight to start a man's job. I would be exhausted by the time I stomped hay all day. But I loved driving swaybacked old Pet and her mate. She was the best old dear. She never acted up at all. I told Daddy she was the most patient hardworking old work mare I could imagine. I could not understand why I had never heard of her before. I could hardly wait for Pat to get old enough to break to the harness.
But by the time Daddy broke him, Old Pet was gone, and the horse age was coming to an end in Boulder! Mother was the one who got everyone buying Case tractors, but that story comes later. There was still some more upset to come due to the violence of men, but I don't have the strength to write about that today. I will end this chapter with my salute to good old Pet and all the workhorses who worked for mankind for centuries. I could just cry when I think of their faithful service. I think that was also the year that I was looking everywhere for stories about horses. We did still ride the cow ponies and always would on the rough cattle trails. Daddy told me when I was a year or two older he would take me to punch cows in Sand Creek where his winter cattle range was. I could hardly wait. Now I had that to look forward to. Horses provided me with the purest joy in life I was ever to know in childhood.




Top photo is the old Hell's Backbone bridge built by the CCC boys. The second photo is the terrain off one side of the bridge. Third photo is 2 teams pulling a wagon up the hill on the primitive old wagon trail called the 'the lower road', in a place resembling Thompson's Turnover.
Last graphic by Connie describes my love and feeling for horses.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

MEMOIRS--Chapter twelve--I look for answers in adult books and God sends an angel to our home


DAUGHTERS OF THE SHADOW MEN

Chapter thirteen

I started to read adult fare in the second grade. I just did not think I could wait any longer to find out if there was anything in books that might explain to me what had happened to my father to cause him to be so different from how fathers and married men were supposed to be. Golda Petersen, my first grade teacher, had further spurred me on by having a story writing contest for the first four grades she taught in the little room. I did not trust myself to write anything but a fairy story, which bore no resemblance to anything that was happening in my real life, but to my surprise Miss Petersen awarded me first prize. I don't know but what my winning while being the youngest child in school caused some of the older students to hate me and think I was a little know it all, but it promptly convinced me I should become a writer.
In the second grade Miss Petersen left and my new teacher, Mrs. Hansen, was quite annoyed when I suggested I might be allowed to go into the big room to look for more interesting books to read. She implied I certainly could not, so I started looking around the house to see if I could not tackle something quite simple my mother and dad were reading. Mother subscribed to as many magazines as she thought my dad would pay for, and I found a story in the Saturday Evening post I thought I might be able to get through, all about Babe and Little Joe. I had no trouble with it, so after that I just read anything they read. I soon did not even read Babe and Little Joe with a lot of interest. Little Babe was just too sweet. Nothing ever happened to her that remotely resembled what went on in my life , either.
I can't tell you what a huge disappointment Zane Grey as an author was to me. Because I did not have anything else to read, I went through every Zane Grey novel I could possibly borrow. Mother refused to buy Zane Grey because she and Daddy thought western novels were beneath them. Hmm, I could see why they did not relate. Nobody in those novels acted remotely like them. Mothers did not spank their kids for nothing at all, and Dads did not get drunk and still ride their horses very well. I did not know where Zane Grey got his information about his wild west, but about all he got right I thought were his descriptions of the canyons and mesas. But descriptions rather bored me. I needed novels with real meat on their bones.
I was doomed to be disappointed quite often in novels about the west, which was why I determined I would have to grow up and write about the real wild west as I lived it. I didn't care if my stories disgusted the religious and horrified the old. I would tell nothing but the truth. All those lovely stories were nothing but lies I thought. Why would writers want to pretty up the truth like that?
I did not get to read a lot in Salt Gulch, I had to work so much, and neither did Mother. But she was my best source of reading material for years. She would do anything to get something to read. For a while we took Grit Magazine and I used to look forward every week to reading the serial in that one. I read Grandma King's relief society magazine stories even and I had to be desperate to do that, those little boys and girls in those stories were so saintly. I wondered if Grandma had ever thought she could pattern her own boys' lives after theirs. She was dreaming if she did.
And now her son had caused my mother to get pregnant again with her fourth child, that she no more wanted than an elephant to raise along with everything else. That was about when Daddy started us saving his dogey calves and every other critter on that place that lost its mother, as if we already didn't have enough to do. We hardly even had time to go to church, but Mother said she loved to go to get away from the work a little while while. I suspected that is why all the ladies in town were such faithful church goers. That was how they for sure got a day off without feeling guilty! I thought they were gluttons for punishment to listen to all that preaching. Daddy would be home nursing a hangover from his Saturday night party. The only time he went to church was when one of his kids were blessed. From certain remarks of his I knew his opinion of the preaching was about the same as mine.
Mother had decided to have her child in Salt Gulch. She had persuaded or maybe even demanded Grandpa and Grandpa come and deliver it. Imagine! She said she could not afford to go to Richfield to have it in a hospital. Grandpa did not want to do it, but he had to or she might have tried to have it by herself and he could not let that happen! She might die. Well, they had the worst time getting that kid born. Grandma described over and over again how Grandpa tried and tried to get it born, for hours, maybe days for all I know, and Grandma finally went in and laid on the bed and had a heart attack.
Grandpa finally coaxed Ann to come out who was the first redhead in the family. That was always her claim to fame. That and having been born in a real log cabin like Abraham Lincoln. Grandpa was so mad over the scare he got he told Mother right then and there he could never deliver one of her babies again, and not to ask him! They promptly called for Ellen Thompson to come over and help with the new baby as Grandma could not lift a finger. Ellen came and stayed for two weeks.
After about a week Mother caught sight of our hair and made us come to her bed and she took a pair of scissors and whacked it off clear above our ears. And then sent us to church. I was mortified about the savage hair cut that amounted to cruelty to helpless animals but happy to report we had a little red headed sister.
Well, you have never seen such a glorious head of hair as gradually appeared on that child. It grew in looking exactly like a halo. Besides that she was one of the sweetest little children ever born. For the first five years of her life she looked and moved like an angel among us. I doubt if she ever even cried. Her hair was an indescribable golden red. It made people stop in their tracks and stare. I am telling you it was a good thing that hair calmed down when she got older and went a little dark or that is all anybody would ever have talked about was her natural hair.
Even after her hair went a little darker, although still gloriously wavy, visiting relatives from afar would want to see the child with the hair everyone talked about. I could see from the sensation this child caused, why people would come from far and wide to see the little Lord Jesus. They could probably see holiness in his eyes. Ann was a real little baby angel and has remained so to this day.
I am sure the Lord saw that if ever a family needed an angel in their midst it was this one. And sent her.






Connie knows about the power of a little child.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Preparing for transition


I was beside myself last night as I had absolutely no one to talk to and my eyes were too tired to read any more. Finally after an e-mail to my sister in which I made contact with my sister who has passed, she (spirit) said she brought someone with her who I had known in life fairly well. He had been in law enforcement and I have always been very interested in law enforcement, probably because cops deal with true crime and have to sort out suspects and try to catch the perpetrators of violent crime. She thought of him as someone I might talk to who would be supportive of my memoirs in which a serious crime had been committed. My sister on this side had said a relative on her husband's side was still going through upset in his family because of a rape of a minor by a brother-in-law. The law had been called in and he had been charged but there was huge conflict over whether he was guilty since he denied it and his wife was not speaking to others in the family who were on the side of the victim.
I thought how much damage is done to other members of the family besides the victim who must deal with the fallout as well. This family has been in turmoil ever since the assault happened.
This former cop spoke to me and said that he could see I was having a tough time getting enough support in writing these memoirs and talking about the circumstances that surrounded the crime. He had become interested as he was good friends with my sister, and he said he wanted to try to establish contact and see if he could be of help. My sister in the spirit has been of tremendous help on several matters. In fact, in dreams she has urged me to be sure to write these memoirs before I die.
She says that the more such matters can be dealt with on earth the better. I have found it incredibly difficult to upset everyone with an in depth look at what I perceived was going on at the time. But I did not want to go to my grave without talking about it, either. I have waited until a lot of the people involved died, but can't wait any longer for fear I die myself before I can get the story out there.
I was actually able to sit and meditate a conversation with this former cop which is hard to do, but I had a number of talks with him when he was alive, so I think that was why I was able to do it. It was very comforting to be able to talk to someone who is knowledgeable about criminality and had spent a long time working as a law enforcement officer. His father was also a long time law enforcement officer. There is much to consider when a crime has been committed. I am sure he could understand why it was not always possible for people in remote areas to access help from the law.
I thought it should be possible when you get old enough to talk to some of those who have gone on even though you have not completed all your tasks and are not ready to leave the earth yet. He is a year younger than I am I think, so he is very close to my age. So I am going to see if he can prove to be some help in the weeks to come, while I am writing my memoirs. I have got some difficult years of my father's alcoholism to get through. Years away from home. I don't like to burden my sister here too greatly who has been my main emotional support. She was also affected by my dad's alcoholism, as we all were. So I am seeking help anywhere I can get it, from the living and from those who have passed on.
The cop was very surprised at the condition of my companion Doc, but I told him that I have tried to help alcoholics all throughout my life, however I could without paying too high of price for it, because I see it as one of the worst scourges affecting mankind. I knew this former cop when he was jailing a lot of wild drunks in the construction town where he worked and we both lived, so he certainly knows about the toll alcohol takes from a cop's point of view, dealing with bad wrecks and domestic violence and everything else that goes with alcohol. In fact, I had to call him once for domestic violence, him and another cop. They ended up taking me to a hospital for the night as my nerves kind of snapped when I was asked to sign a complaint. Why, because I was too afraid to sign that complaint for fear worse would happen. Instead, after I got out of the hospital the next morning, I went home, packed up, and left town for several months. He didn't know all the circumstances of what happened, so now years later, he was like interrogating me about what did happen, and I was finally able to fill him in.
I never knew of him to have a drinking problem, so I don't think he entirely understood the fear a woman might feel about signing a complaint that could jail a man. If that man has already tried to kill you, you don't want to make him any angrier at the moment.
I always thought defense in these situations, and I always thought it was better to leave sometimes than to stay and fight. After the man cooled down, he was likely to be a lot less dangerous.
I have felt that a lot of women have been murdered by pushing a man in a dangerous state of mind too far, thinking that he shouldn't kill them, so he wouldn't. And he did.
I told him that Doc was not a dangerous drunk, but I was always careful not to expect more of him than he could give. The spirit said he was going to read my memoirs as I wrote them, so that he would be talking about them to my sister to get more enlightenment about them if he needed it. She had known him even longer than I had, and fell in love with the other cop as a matter of fact who had helped me that night. But this was a case of the woman not getting the man. I always thought this cop was the love of her life, but they both married other people. He is still alive. She has been dead over 20 years.
The visitor and I were attracted but we were both married. When he divorced I was single, but he married again I think almost immediately. He died a few years ago and his second wife remarried. His first wife died of breast cancer after they were divorced, so that was sad. They had five children so he says they are both still tied to the earth, coming to see about them. He said they are now just parents who had agreed to disagree.
Life gets complicated! But I will take help from anyone who is willing to give it as I say. I went down today and told Doc all about this visit from a spirit, and as usual he is always surprised at what crosses my mind.
I am sure this spirit will come in as needed, when I am desperate as I was last night. I try to hang in there with the living if at all possible. But there is bound to be more people my age dying all the time. Let's get real. I thought I would tell you all about this visitation as I promised I would write about any changes that occur as I get closer and closer to departure. I am sure I will have more such experiences before I am done here.


Connie made both of these beautiful graphics.

Friday, March 26, 2010

MEMOIRS--Chapter eleven--Working ourselves to death in Salt Gulch




DAUGHTERS OF THE SHADOW MEN

Chapter eleven

It is always difficult to get to the downside of molesting which is its bad effect on you. I became a rabid little masturbator which I was sure nobody else my age was. The only one I could think of who might have shared this habit with me was my cousin Ray two years older. He had taught me how to do it on the fence a few months before he had to leave town with his disgraced father. I was sure that he had some older teachers of sexual activities just as I did. He was too obsessed. His mother found his behavior very disturbing, and I was sure that his father's behavior with the young neighbor girl while drinking would not do him any good either, any more than my father's behavior while drinking was doing me. I pretty much attributed my interest in masturbating at the age of six to being awakened by the intimacy of my sexual encounter with Bill. Well, he actually had not hurt me as in pain, but the abduction had certainly been violent. I had no choice in the matter.
But I had made up my mind that if Bill ever bothered me again I would have to tell to save my own life. He had just gotten extremely scarey. I was sitting there thinking that last day in the corn this might be the day I died. I thought of stories I had heard of other little girls who had been similarly abducted but were never seen again. If I ever got home, I was going to have to do something different and I had done that, at least, but now I was masturbating on a regular basis.
I hoped I could keep it a secret because surely only little girls driven mad by bad men did it. I was probably as bad or worse than some of the older boys at school who would run at you and say words like 'fuck.'
LaRell, the only boy in the first grade who come to think of it might have been held back because he had been such a slow reader, did not do it. He came from a religious family. I knew my religious cousin, Winolia, a year older, probably did not even know what the word meant. I stayed to her house a time or two and every night, her dad, my Uncle Joel, who eventually became the bishop, would kneel down and pray the longest time. It was almost laughable to think of my dad doing such a thing.
Uncle Joel moved to Boulder at the behest of his brother, my Grandfather Wilson. Grandpa's dad had died when he was eighteen and he had always kind of looked after his younger brothers. My Aunt Ira, his wife, did not much care for Boulder, but recognized that her husband Joel was such a good man, he was needed among the outlaws of Boulder, including my dad, the husband of his niece, Irene. Mother could almost shed tears over her Wilson relatives and their religious calling as compared to the skeptical King sons who were all rapidly coming to a bad end.
Grandpa Wilson was not as earnest and good as his brother Joel. He had been very handsome as a slender young man, and had an eye for the ladies as they had for him. Grandmother Wilson acted like she was still trying to fight off the ladies, especially now that he was in such demand as the 'Doc' who could deliver babies even better than the local midwives.
LaRae was going to be a year old that winter. She was so cute and smart, and was already making us laugh so hard with her witty remarks as she was to do all her life. And such thick hair she had, everyone marveled over it. Her eyes were bigger and her eye lashes longer than mine. And she had kind of a roman nose, but forever elegant. I was afraid she was going to be the beauty of the family. I did have blond hair which kept me in the limelight, just barely, but I could see my nose was going to be kind of fat and snub like Grandma Wilson's and Margie's was going to be long and sharp like my Grandmother King's nose, which people said was a witch nose. Grandma had a sharp tongue like a witch, too, but was very kind to her grandchildren. She only spoke sharply to Daddy's drunk buddies who she hoped were to blame for leading her son astray, who was older than they were, for gosh sakes! If anything it was the other way around. Daddy was the bad influence. But you cannot reason with mothers who cannot see faults in their sons. Margie's tongue was rather sharp, too, she loved to quarrel with me, but my temperament was more like my Grandma Wilson's. I was always the last one in the crowd to get mad. I always thought about whether I could afford the price I might have to pay.
I could not help but overhear all my mother's worries about getting pregnant again too soon. I hoped that she and Daddy would be able to control themselves as much as she did because you cannot imagine the work she had to do in Salt Gulch while Margie and I tended LaRae. Daddy and she decided to plant a huge garden every year. You could hardly restrain Daddy from planting stuff to cause the ladies in the family a lot of work, a big potato patch, but Mother was just as eager to keep him busy with a big patch of field corn, and when Daddy found out how well alfalfa grew in Salt Gulch he and Mother were improving the land until he had nothing but work, work, work from dawn to dusk. Nobody else could set the irrigation water well enough to please him. He hardly had time to get drunk on the weekend.
That fall I was in school when they had the threshing crew over. I was very sorry I had to miss the threshing because it was fascinating. In those days the men would use something called a binder to put the grain into sheaves which were stored in a stack. When the thrasher came and was pulled in place by two teams of horses if I remember right, there would be an awful racket coming from the engine of the thresher and straw would be flying out one end of it as a man sacked the threshed grain which was hauled to the grainery and poured into bins.
This was when Mother really found out Margie was so allergic to grain, hay, and such, it was not even safe for her to be out around it. If her wheezing even scared Mother, you can believe it was bad. You had to be about dead to scare Mother. She would still act like, well, if you die, we will bury you and go on. I have never seen such a tough woman.
Anyway, Mother had to outdo herself with a delicious meal to feed the hay and the thresher crews. Daddy had to hire an extra hand when I refused to drive the team. I hated to let him think I had turned chicken but I just was not going work anywhere with Bill.
We had the flood the last of May which I already wrote about. I did so hate to write about the molesting. And even worse have to admit I became a masturbater. I doubted if any mother would have let their children play with me if they had known it.
And Bill was still hanging around working for Daddy I suppose hoping he might stumble across me out of sight of my mother or my dad but he never caught me again. I made sure I was as safe as possible with such a devil on the place. Even if I had to stay in the house and wash dishes instead of driving the team when I was six.
I don't know when I found out that Mother was pregnant again!
It must have been a black day for everybody. Margie and I already had to tend LaRae for hours while Mother filled what seemed to me like hundreds of bottles of corn, string beans, tomatoes, peaches, apples, apricots, and pottawatamie plum jam out of the wild ones that grew in Salt Gulch. Oh, if they did not chop her enough wood she would even give the hired men hell. She told Daddy not to plant as many tomatoes next year as she was not going to bottle all the ones that were going to waste ever again! Course she had to make extra bread to feed the hay crews. I will tell you the job of a country woman with no electricity or running water in the house never ended.
She would even send Margie and me to carry big buckets of water from the ditch, and she about came to blows with Daddy because he did not build her a trough to carry the water a little closer to the house. She hardly even had time to jump in a vehicle and go to Boulder to get the mail, which Daddy complained she liked to do for hours. But he somehow always found time to disappear on the weekend to drink. I could see that Daddy thought the only way you could get any time off as a country farmer and rancher was to get drunk. That is the way he had been defying his father for a day off for years and he continued to do it, especially after he was married, acquired a ranch, and was his own damned boss.




The top painting of Salt Gulch is the dream one my Aunt Neta painted, whose dad homesteaded the ranch. The second one is how the house looked when we lived there, a dose of reality.

The little cowboy made by the talented Connie is how people picture the innocence of all little cowboys and girls everywhere.

The last picture is of steers getting fat in green pastures to be sold in the fall, how Daddy made his money, painted by the little baby, LaRae, in the memoir when she grew up to be a good artist until she up and died over twenty years ago. She was a victim of that hard life too. She died, didn't she?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Blogger Community photo challenge: WINDOWS



5pm view of downtown Phoenix on Central Ave from my 9th floor apt.










5 pm view of the post office from my 9th floor apt.








5 pm Sheraton where my son Dan works







See my blog list for link

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Since I live in subsidized housing, and am on medicare, I think I should be willing to express my opinion on the health care bill passing


I think many of us seniors have been living in what is termed by some as a socialist state for some time. President Bush, a republican, was proud of getting drug coverage passed in medicare, which he knew pleased senior citizens who know that lobbying and voting are key to getting senior needs met by the government. But I thought we would see costs for medicare go up and up. One big fad became getting everyone thought to need it a scooter as paid for by medicare. I will bet that has cost the government a great deal and it is even questionable that this is the best way to go for many senior citizens whose limbs will fall into worse repair without more regular use. Which will cost more money, etc. in medicare down the road a ways.
Well, these are problems that develop when government has to monitor programs, so my opinion is that providing health care for all is going to force more monitoring just because without monitoring the cost might well bankrupt the country. We will have to count costs now, where I don't think we have been doing a good job of that when just a percentage of the citizenry have been receiving health care, drugs costs, etc. I think it has been too easy for providers to take advantage of government programs up to now.
Nor is it fair or even wise I think for seniors and disabled to receive such a large portion of the 'socialist' pie when they are not even the productive ones of our society. By letting these programs run wild, we have done more to take advantage of the worker, than I think we will if everyone is to be provided with health care somehow, through some means.
I don't want to see the worker taken advantage of. Nothing can lead to more depression and an attitude of what is the use. Just the very fact we are going to be thinking about the health of all the country is progress.
I have been dismayed by so much quarreling going on between the different factions with I would say both sides unwilling to admit when they are in the wrong. I do not think the majority of people in this country believed the government should be funding abortion, and I was very heartened to see President Obama compromise on this issue to get the plan signed. His actions caused some of the extremists among the pro choice faction to say he had betrayed the cause, but I think he proved himself to be very wise when it came right down to it.
I thought abortion funding was the most disturbing addition to the national health care plan, but he had made a campaign promise to help that faction pass FOCA designed to make abortion rights untouchable. Well, I think the plan must have always been to make it a part of the health care plan. I thought those who fought it fought with God on their side. And I think God spoke to President Obama about when he needed to compromise on this issue, and he listened. I am very moved by the fact that he listened. I think that is the only reason the health care plan passed. Obama listened to God. Don't worry. I think we can hold President Obama to his promise not to include abortion funding by presidential action. That is who needed to step in when congress was deadlocked. He found the way to do what was best for both parties. I think in time this will be seen as a presidential action that was so needed to give us confidence in our leadership. We need that to get us through the days of figuring out how to make this health plan work.
No plan is going to be perfect, but we needed a working plan that would address all of the people's problems with health care not just a few.
I have confidence now in President Obama as a leader in difficult times. The Texan congressman who yelled "Baby Killer" was not listening to God.
I don't think anyone is listening to God who speaks before he thinks, says hateful nasty things, is racist, unfair, and bigoted. We need to be very careful, very careful that we don't stir the fires of hatred up until they can't be put out and bring tragedy down on ourselves because we do not want to listen to ourselves and tell when we are wrong.
Each side. Listen to God. And pray, because right now we are too stirred up, too divided, and way too quarrelsome. I think we need to calm down and remember that are all Americans, not just Republicans, or Democrats, we are first of all, Americans.
Sometimes we need to just stop the quarreling so we can moved forward, united.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

MEMOIRS--Chapter ten--"I hated Dick and Jane and Spot in the first grade"



DAUGHTERS OF THE SHADOW MEN

Chapter ten

The fall I was six I went to school for the first time riding the bus eight miles to Boulder with the Salt Gulch kids who lived there year around which included Frank and Barbara Coleman and Marilyn and Mack who were step children of Morias Hall who had married their mother Marie and brought her to Boulder. She was pregnant with their first child. I had already been studying hard how other people lived who did not have alcoholism in their home. Barbara's father, Parley, did not own a ranch as large as my father's Salt Gulch ranch, nor were the water rights as good, but I thought he and his wife Esther lived a lot more sensible life with their eleven children so far than my mother and dad did with only three children.
As far as I could see Barbara's parents never quarreled at all and seemed very content with the entertainments they came up with to keep them and their children occupied. I found out they played all kinds of games and Barbara and Gay were the most delightful companions in showing Margie and me how much fun we could have playing steal the house in their pasture and making squawberry beer and going hiking and making hollyhock dolls. Sometimes their older sister Leah, who had worked for us at the cheese factory house, would play with us which made it even more fun.
Although Barbara and Gay had no horses to ride--their father and older brothers had to use them for farming--they had a great deal of nerve. Barbara would even handle snakes when she found them which caused me to run home when she decided to do that. I had been developing a phobia about snakes. I even had nightmares about them. But she had also learned all the places you could hike to from her older brothers and sisters, and from the general history of Salt Gulch which the family knew well from living their a long time. She said she would take me on hikes here and there, so I could see all the sights there were to be seen in Salt Gulch. The Colemans were very proud of the Salt Gulch terrain which they seemed to think was quite as spectacular as the Boulder side. So I could hardly wait for summer to come so I could be guided to all these places by an expert like Barbara who seemed like a real country girl to me. She did not know what town was all about but she sure knew the country.
Marilyn Steffensen, a couple of years older than I was, was very beautiful but did not like Boulder very well. She had been very sorry she had to leave the city to go with her mother. I felt sorry for her because she had not wanted to be a pioneer girl at all, and now she had to be whether she wanted to or not.
When I got to school I found out there was another girl, Elaine, in the first grade who was from a large family, too. Elaine and Barbara were distantly related. I soon surmised her father was not an alcoholic either, so their home was bound to be more peaceful than ours. Elaine was also very beautiful like Marilyn. She was a real country princess. LaRell was the only boy in our class. I felt very sorry for him because his dad had died of a heart ailment a year or so before, leaving his mother on a sandy little ranch with eight children to feed. They were dreadfully poor and missed their father very badly.
But my greatest joy was to be my teacher, Golda Petersen, who had been persuaded to teach in Boulder that year but was to leave the following year to go to Wayne Country to marry her fiance, another teacher. Golda was red haired and very kind. I dearly loved her. She made a special point to tell me that she had three younger sisters she loved, who were all red headed, too! I thought my sisters had beautiful hair, too, but it was not red, even though I had a red headed grandmother King.
But I regret to say that I did not love Dick and Jane and Spot. I can't tell you how those first grade primers aggravated me. Mother was confused and could not figure out why I hated Dick, Jane, and Spot. I thought it was too risky to tell her that no children were probably as simple minded and ignorant about life as to love those little books. I just could not wait to get to the more interesting stuff to read. As far as I could see all the primers, even in the grades above me, were the same boring texts. I could not wait to get to the novels Mother loved to read so often to my Dad's disgust that might enlighten me about the problems that bedeviled people. My reading fare in the first grade greatly tried my patience.
Given my penchant for analyzing problems I had already concluded that poor Grandma King with her love of church had inadvertently done a bad thing in moving to Escalante every winter so her children could attend better schools. I doubted if the boys had gotten any better education than the older Coleman children were getting in the two room school house in Boulder the parents had all insisted on building. Why hadn't Grandma decided to do the same? Perhaps it had been the custom for some of the women to move to the bigger town in the winter, but I thought it had been a terrible mistake, because Grandma was no match for those wild boys of hers! They needed Grandpa King's strong guiding hand at all times, even if he applied the bull whip when extremely exasperated. In fact, they got so out of hand during the winter, that was probably why he was driven to the whip when he had to straighten them up in the summer.
I could just see from what my cousin Ray had been doing in Escalante what my dad and his brothers had done. They had probably tampered with alcohol and tobacco, and since they did not have a ranch in Escalante, were far too idle in town during the winter months when they should have been kept so busy with chores they did not have time to get into so mischief.
Naturally living in town might have seemed more entertaining to Grandma and Aunt Hazel who were good women and loved a big church relief society, but town was not good for their boys who tampered with alcohol every one of them!
In fact, since Grandpa King had not married until he was thirty I could not help but wonder if he had fallen into the same temptations as my dad must have done in his teen and bachelor years, which might have caused him to agree to Grandma living in town while he stayed on the ranch with the hired men.
Oh, the things I thought about after I was molested were never to be found in Dick and Jane and Spot primers. But I thought my studying all these problems was crucial to my survival, because even though I was now able to keep that molester at bay, every single weekend, my drunk father, who I thought of as two men, the drunk and the sober, came home to disturb the peace of our home. My mother seemed to go a little insane when she saw him drunk. She would start to call him names and she would fight with him sometimes all night. She just could not be calm when she saw that he had altered his total personality into a state she could not and would not tolerate without extreme protest.
What was to be done? Grandma and Grandpa Wilson did not understand alcoholics nor it seemed did Grandma and Grandpa King, since Grandpa was not alcoholic even though his four sons were and some of his grandsons, even though not very old. Some of the hired men even got drunk regularly on their days off.
I realized that I was the poor little daughter of a bad drunk right away, from what some of the school boys would holler at me at recess. “Two-fingered Joe!” Hurt, I did not see why they would call me by my father's drunk name, but some of the boys seemed proud they knew what he was called by some of his alcoholic friends. These were the wild boys who had older boys in their families who partied and drank. Some of them aspired to grow up and drink too as well as ride horses and punch cattle.
There was a lot to learn at recess that was not contained in those simple little books about Dick and Jane and Spot. How long was I going to have to wait until I could read grown-up books. I guessed that I was not going to find any real information in children's books, at least not in the ones I found in that school. Fairy stories like Hansel and Gretal were about all I related to, where the poor parents had no money to feed their children so took them out in the forest for the wolves to eat, but guess what Hansel dropped little rocks and found his way home again to be tolerated I supposed by the parents for a while longer until their money ran out again. I thought Hansel and Gretal were frightfully forgiving. I doubted if I would have been that loving to those hard-hearted parents. Looking to find them again so they could get treated the same way all over again! Dick and Jane and Hansel and Gretal did not seem to be in the same class of children. I was surprised mothers and dads and teachers even let us read Hansel and Gretal.


Photo Hell's Backbone Bridge--most scenic spot above Salt Gulch. Header photo-Boulder schoolhouse where I attended the first grade, with the same towering silver maples and cottonwoods that were there when I went.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Visitors from the spirit world.......




Connie sent me the dark lady in the graphic at the top, the caption of which, "Oh Lonesome Me" almost makes me cry for I have been thinking all day about what terrible pain Debbie must be enduring to leave her family. Debbie was dark like this woman and must have been very beautiful when she was young. She will find healing for her affliction in the other world, I know, but her heart is not going to stop hurting for a long time with the pain of leaving her family. I finally called for my sister LaRae in the second photo who was 51 when she died and left her her two daughters to miss her so much, and her grandchildren and now two great-grandchildren, to come and talk to me about Debbie. I always feel that those who die away from here after they have lived here so long will come back and mix and mingle with all the others who have passed from this old hotel-dwelling place. When I watch old videos of parties we have had, I feel as though I am watching ghosts dancing and walking about because most all of them are dead.
My Aunt Nethella in the last photo died around the same time LaRae did only she was 95, nearly 45 years older than my sister LaRae was in her passing.
LARAE: Yes, you don't get over leaving your family very easy. So you just come back as much as you can and spend time with them anyway.
GERRY: I felt sadness today when our sister Ann reported on the funeral she went to for a woman who was incidentally around 94 when she passed, and she saw a woman there you always called your best friend, you spent so much time with her in high school. When Ann mentioned your name Lois shed tears, so she has not gotten entirely over your passing so young either. I will never forget over 20 years ago seeing her at your viewing sobbing as though her heart was breaking. The hardest deaths are too soon. I talked to our sister Linda quite a long while this afternoon, but now I am feeling lonely because there is no one to talk to in the long evenings. Doc is getting more and more impaired by his alcoholism, so it's been a long dying for him. Limiting his ability to participate so much. Today I went to breakfast with Chad's Mother and Dad who spent time traveling all around the country now they are retired. I said it must be wonderful to have a companion to go traveling with when you are old. I explained that my companion was too impaired to travel anywhere. He is very reclusive right now. He has almost become a ghost while still alive!
LARAE: Yes, he will probably feel more alive when he is gone than he does now. His burden of alcoholism will be lifted from him.
GERRY: I heard today that Jack had been seen camping out with other homeless around the library but surely he did not winter there. He would have frozen it has been so cold and rainy. He's still drinking, too. When you fall homeless and have to sleep on the ground, you are really down and out, but he is alive!
LARAE: Desperate people living desperate lives. I did as you asked and checked on Debbie. She is resting. As you guessed, she is devastated at leaving her family. She still has many ties to people here so she will be back and forth and all over the place checking on her family. Praying they will be able to get through her passing without worse happening.
GERRY: Her daughter was so close to her. Debbie told me about her serious illness. In a coma for two months I think Debbie said. So she almost died. That is probably who Debbie is the most worried about. Debbie lost her son though, not too many years back, through substance abuse, so she will be joining him. That was a big tragedy for the family. And so Neta has come to join the other old folks. She lived to a ripe old age as did Aunt Nethella
NETHELLA: I have been waiting to get my two cents worth in. I am very pleased, naturally, with all the history writing you girls are doing. Your Mother, LeNora, and I did our part, now it is you girls turn to write the history books. I am very pleased that so many younger women decided to write for the festival this summer about older women they admired who lived and had to work so hard in the old Boulder, back in the days when there was no electricity, or running water in the houses, and bad roads. I rode a lot of horses to get there in my time. Now I know I am not up to date in talking to the living as I did not know I would be doing it, so I will step back and let LaRae speak, as she seems to be very good at it. I think I can learn something from her!
LARAE: When you don't live to be an old lady you learn to do a lot of things you never thought you would, like try to get the attention of the living who might be lonely enough to tolerate a visit from the dead.
GERRY: I feel as though I was preparing for my passing, too, as I meditate each night, my older eyes unable to take the TV and its fare, although I am praying tonight that the health care plan has passed with restrictions on abortion funding as they claim. I felt cutting down on those deaths was so important, and I was heartened to see Congressman Stupak demanding the restrictions before he and other hold outs would sign the bill. Some are very cynical and say the democrats don't mean what they are agreeing to.
LARAE: The pro life people will have to hold them to their promise not to include abortion funding. We in the spirit world as much as anyone want to see abortion deaths cut way back. I was pro choice there. Now I am pro life, couldn't be anything else once I was saved, lifted out of the grave to live again. You literally have to be reborn if you don't believe. You can't believe that everyone is saved. What that means cannot even be comprehended there, but it was a huge change in my thinking. Actually I was not really thinking before because I did not believe in life after death or that I would be saved. We are celebrating Raymond's commitment to a higher power here to conquer alcoholism. Doc is lost because he cannot believe. Jack is lost because he cannot believe. He needs help. He needs AA, too, enough men to help lift him up. If he could find them, he could sober up again, but without intervention of some sort he is not going to make it. Gary, your son, needs help. He needs AA, too. AA could help him a lot more than he thinks it would. Because those men would understand a lifetime of drinking.
GERRY: Alcohol takes such a toll of human lives, does so much ongoing damage to so many. I am hoping now that Raymond will get strong enough to help others.
NETHELLA: AA saved my son Richard from sure death from drinking. You know he became an inspirational speaker for AA, known in the northern part of the state. He says these programs are badly needed in the southern part, and I know they are. He says he will come soon with a message for Raymond and Gary. He says to pray constantly for intervention. He and others will put men there who can help Gary in Phoenix and Raymond in Utah. They will be there to to help inspire work for alcoholics in southern Utah. I am so sad when I realize what Clyde's drinking did to his family, what my brother Glen's drinking did to his, and to our brothers Reed, and Max, and my nephews Stuart and Park and Ray. I wish I had been more aware, but I wasn't. Now I have learned to pray for the family. Tell Raymond and Gary and Dan and Scott, tell all of them, they will get help from a higher power, and from all of us. I feel like praying now for the King family. And for all the alcoholics and lonely people everywhere.

Debbie who was loved by many at the Westward Ho gone too soon:/Breakfast fun


She was only in her early fifties, but she had been a familiar figure here at the Westward Ho especially this last year when she was in charge of the video library. She and her husband, George Gambrell, had just moved to Payson. She had been struggling for a long time with a hernia, trying to lose weight, so the surgery to repair it would not be too risky, but she seemed to be doing well. She was active, and the last time I saw her she was smiling and happy. But then she always smiled. Connie sent me this graphic with the word sadness on it, the day before she died, and I think the woman looks like Debbie as she might have looked had she been slim, what she was always striving for. I understand so well the struggles of those who have put on weight and are trying to lose to get healthier. Debbie was found in the morning, so it appears she may have died of a heart attack in her sleep. She was so devoted to her family. I am sure they will miss her so much. God rest, Debbie. I will miss you in the world, too.

I was invited to breakfast this morning by my daughter Ronda and her husband Chad, because his parents, Bob and Mary Joe Seifert from Estes Park, Colorado, were visiting. My grandsons, Jamal and Ethan, were present and we had such an enjoyable breakfast up Central to the Good Egg where we usually like to go for our breakfasts out. Chad was going to take them all(except Ronda) to a spring training baseball game. It's such a lovely day. I am sure they will enjoy it. Here are photos.



Saturday, March 20, 2010

MEMOIRS--Chapter ten-Rattlesnakes of the human kind


DAUGHTERS OF THE SHADOW MEN

Chapter nine

I have found out that I transposed events in my reluctance to talk about the next rather shattering event in my life that happened during the first summer in Salt Gulch after Bill came to work for us. The flood did not happen until the following year.
I had not been paying the slightest bit of attention to Bill. I had been interacting with hired men since I was born. My Grandpa King was known for giving wandering transients a job, a bed, and some good food to eat, so there was always someone I did not know working for him. He seemed to like to talk to men from the outside world as did my dad who had partied up and down the state with an amazing amount of men.
I was sure that whatever went on in the old falling down cabin where Bill lived, sex was only a small part of it. Bill was apparently quite entertaining for my dad to pursue a relationship with him when he was sober, but then he had interacted with his father's hired men, too, all his life, so his dad was the one who had undoubtedly given him a taste for experiencing the world through the eyes of the wanderers.
I did not even realize Daddy had gone somewhere when Bill unexpectedly accosted me out by the corrals where I roamed freely at will. Margie was given to allergic attacks out around the corrals so she wasn't with me. We had found out she had quite a severe penchant for hay fever that was probably going to limit her activities in the hay fields. This was a lot more of a hay producing ranch than Grandpa's Boulder ranch. Alfalfa did not grow nearly as well in that sandy soil, so Grandpa only raised wild timothy. Mother was already helping Daddy improve his alfalfa acreage in various ways.
Anyway Bill suddenly grabbed me by the hand and said, “Do you want to go tend the water with me?” I had never had a hired man ask me to go tend the water, and I was thinking about whether to agree when he started dragging me down around the hill. This forcefulness I definitely did not like and began to get alarmed. I was far more frightened when he headed toward the corn. He thrust me down into it until it almost hid both of us as he pushed me down to the ground and sat down beside me. To my shock and horror he pulled up my dress and I felt his knowing hand inside my underpants.
There he quickly found my small mounds and began to caress them. I had been taught very well by hot tempered adults not to say anything when they were doing something to me I did not like. For a child to argue with them only seemed to incense them more. I am talking about my mother here who went crazy if a child objected to her discipline and thought she was being 'sassed'. I waited for a few minutes before I started to wiggle and say, “I have to go! My mother is going to be looking for me!”
That seemed to frighten Bill so he reluctantly let me up and I ran, almost stumbling, back toward the house. I already felt crippled by what had just transpired. I hurried into the house where I stayed the rest of the day, I still think in profound shock trying to decide what I needed to do.
I immediately thought of Daddy's altercation with the cattle rustler, his former best friend. I thought if Daddy finds out about this Bill is a dead man. I was just sure he would not wait for the law to take care of him. The law played a very small part in our lives being so far away, in the country seat or somewhere. We had no law officers in Boulder.
I thought I had to decide right then and there whether Bill deserved to die for his crime. This trying to decide what to do went on for several days and to my shock, Bill must have interpreted this lack of action as willingness, because he grabbed me again a few days later. This time he went on a little longer with his business in my underpants before I could persuade him I needed to go, that my mother would miss me. Quite a few days went by after the second encounter, and I still did not do anything about the attack, and Bill took advantage and grabbed me again!
As I was sitting down in the corn which by now had grown another six inches and quite adequately covered us from view I tried to think why Bill would take such a terrible chance by grabbing his employer's little daughter, just barely turned six, I had had a birthday, for sexual purposes. I suddenly remembered some information I had heard about Bill just in the last few days.
Mother said that he was extremely angry at Daddy because Daddy would not take him to party with him on the weekends. “He hired him to do the chores,” said Mother, “because I told him I would not do them anymore when he was gone. Bill is crazy if he thinks Clyde is going to take an ugly old thing like him to Escalante to party!”
She was almost implying Daddy could find younger and more handsome men to enjoy his company. I was sure she did not know what she was saying, but now I began to understand that rage and jealousy after all the attention Daddy had paid him during the winter had caused Bill to snap. He was in such a jealous state that imagining how much pain Daddy would feel if he knew what he was doing to his daughter gave him more satisfaction than any possible worry about what could happen to him as a result.
Well, he could die that is what could happen to him, but I knew that I had to do something. The next time he took me he might do far worse than he was doing right now. He actually was causing me to have sexual sensations which I did not know a child as young as I was could have, stimulated by a grown man.
This was horrifying enough to help me to remember the danger he posed to me while he was still working for Daddy. I started staying very close to my mother at all times. I kept Margie with me so he would not by chance grab her. If I went outside I never went further than ten feet from the kitchen door where I would be able to see my mother working.
Bill never bothered me again. As Daddy's interest in him subsided he took to killing rattlesnakes about the fields as a hobby. Pretty soon he bragged he had enough to circle his hat. You are a scary person, all right, I thought and I never thought of a rattlesnake again but what I connected him with Bill, the most poisonous creature I had ever run into or indeed would ever would run into.
When I started school that September and had to ride the bus, I was very worried that Bill might try to way lay me when I got off, so I insisted that Mother and Dad be there to pick me up and when they didn't I got very angry. I would dart along behind the trees, making my way over the hill and down into the ranch as though pursued by demons. I let them think I was afraid of coyotes but my urgent insistence caused them to show up most every day.
I did not worry about him grabbing Margie because once I was gone I figured she would not go out around the corrals for fear of having a hay fever attack. She would stay in the house helping Mother with Baby LaRae.
I still said nothing to anyone about what Bill had actually done to me. He worked for Daddy about a year longer and then by mutual consent they sort of terminated their working relationship as well as their socializing. I was playing once, however, on top of the hill in the middle of the ranch, and looked down and saw Bill and Daddy together shoveling or doing something by the tall corn. I looked back and they had disappeared just like that! I figured Bill had taken Daddy into the tall corn just like he took me. And Daddy had followed along like an obedient child.

I had a sudden vision in my mind of Daddy when he was not a lot older than I was following a hired man kind of like Bill into the corn or wherever he wanted to take him. Daddy was a boy and could not have escaped a hired man hungry for sexual contact as easily as I had. I even recalled one who worked for his family for years who had never been able to find a woman to have anything to do with him. It could have been somebody like him who taught my dad the ways of men with boys. His dad would have made him keep on working in the fields no matter what kind of rattlesnake he might encounter there.
About ten minutes later I turned my attention back to the corn field and Daddy and Bill had reappeared and were innocently going on with their shoveling. So that is how Daddy does it, I thought. He is a sly cuss. Daddy seemed to be a very sexually active man at that age, because it would not be long until Mother was pregnant again!
I told Daddy I was sorry I did not think I was old enough to drive Old Pet and her teammate hooked to the hay wagon. I did not want to get that close to Bill. I said I would wait until I was a little older, thank you. Daddy did not object. I was a girl after all and there was plenty for me to do in the house with Mother who seemed a lot safer right now than a rattlesnake like Bill.


Connie made the top graphic, Connie, who always 'gets' my story, as a good supportive friend will do. Denise Yagmourian who lived with my son Raymond a number of years painted the picture of the predators in the tall corn. I was so struck by it I bought a print of it from her. I hope she will not mind me posting it in this entry.

Friday, March 19, 2010

I was talking to the Bohemian Cowboy in Austin, Texas tonight---

Photobucket
--who many of you know is my son, Raymond. (He is pictured in the beautiful header by Connie-one of my favorites) We had a long talk I really enjoyed and boy did I need it! I was feeling that my list of people I could talk to had almost dried up! All the while we were talking, I thought God is answering my prayers. I am sure he will be blogging in a day or so, and he will tell you what he is doing. We were talking about my memoirs and I realized after he hung up that in order to get out of writing about the worst thing that happened in my life I even transposed events and jumped ahead in time. My sister Ann was able to correct me by looking up the time line in one of her handy history books. The big flood did not occur until I was 6, so I am a year ahead of myself.
Now I will have to do some correcting in my memoirs and try to get it right. We sisters are all trying to write our memoirs and the worst trouble we have is trying to remember what happened when. We have a vague idea, but that does not get it.
I was tickled today to have my grandson Dante, 15, appear on Facebook, so now I can exchange a few remarks with him. He had barely appeared on there and somebody asked him about his videos on You tube so I had fun looking up the first one we made and putting it on Facebook, so he can go to it and link it to his profile where people can find it. The video is one about his dog bite which I think is still very pertinent telling people they can be bitten by dogs!

I will post the video at the end of this entry so you can take a look at it if you have never seen it. He couldn't talk about the bite which put him in the hospital for a week for a long time, but he was finally able to make this video.
It's going to be fun to talk to Dante on line as I had to ban him from my computer so did not know how I was going to talk to him since his dad has been working so many weekends we have not even been able to go to the movies together. I also have fun talking to his mother, Angelina, on Facebook, too. I asked my son Dan where he had disappeared to as he used to be on Facebook, too, but those conversations are too long for him. Ha. I have two sons, Gary and Dan, who are men of very few words. They both think I am incredibly long winded, and I was very puzzled by their shorter than short conversations, until I recently remembered my dad was a man of very few words. He could go all day long riding beside you on a horse and never say a word. I attributed this to all kinds of reasons until a couple of my sons turned out like him. Raymond has more of the talking gene he undoubtedly inherited from me, or we could never have had the long enjoyable conversation we had today. Gary is known for his cryptic remarks on the family site so he will do well on Facebook. He also follows his own rules with spelling. That is inherited too. My sister Linda does that and my Aunt Neta did it even though she had graduated from college. She spelled like it sounded, and nothing could ever change her.
My mother was the talker, so between her and me my poor sister Margie a year younger than I did not believe she ever got to say a word. She got so in the habit of letting Mother and me do all the talking, I had to remind her she had not said anything for an hour and I was getting tired and was going to have to quit or go home if she did not take her turn!
Believe me, writing your memoirs is not easy, but I will be back on the job tomorrow no doubt getting the task done. I think it is everyone's job to write their memoirs as soon as they feel up to it. I love them and always try to keep a couple of memoirs handy to read from the library. I get the reviews out of People Magazines. They have turned me on to some wonderful ones. The younger people can write or tell some of their experiences on film to share, just as Dante has done in the following video.

MEMOIRS--Chapter nine--Biggest flood ever seen in that country hits Boulder Creek


DAUGHTERS OF THE SHADOW MEN

Chapter nine

1937 was the year of the big snow that dumped 4 feet on the Hogsback just before LaRae was born. Men working on the Spectacle Lake reservoir on top of the mountain were forced to stop that year before they were done. The dam wasn't quite to the top nor had a spillway been built. That spring the dam leaked some when the thaw came, but again they were unable to complete it before being driven off the mountain by storm. That was the year that the big thaw finally filled the reservoir to overflowing and broke the dam.
A frantic caller on the telephone told us that the reservoir had filled up and the dam had broken. A huge flood was on its way down the Boulder creek. It would be roaring down the west fork of the Boulder to where the east fork and the west fork joined, so frantic warning calls were going out to everybody who had ranches along the Boulder creek. Mother and Dad were very concerned because the King ranch bordered the Boulder creek, but the old ranch house had been built on the hill for the very purpose of not being on the creek bottom where floods in those days before most of the water had been diverted by a pipeline and dams were much bigger.
We were used to seeing the bridge swept away from time to time. In fact the main highway bridge into Boulder had just been rebuilt and was expected to last a long time the way it had been engineered.
The cheese factory house had been built on the creek bottom toward the east, where Uncle Reed's family was now living, so Mother and Dad jumped in the car with Margie, and me and Baby LaRae to rush off to see the flood and make sure everybody was safe.
When we got to Boulder the flood had not arrived yet. We all had trouble believing a flood was even on the way. Mother talked to her brother Crae who was staying with his Mother and Dad on their ranch. He met up with several other young men and they even went up the creek aways. Suddenly Mother looked up and saw the flood coming and started screaming at Crae and the others to get out of the creek bed as fast as possible. They were soon running for their lives.
I looked and could finally see it. It looked like a huge brown dragon gobbling up the trees and rolling big boulders with a roar like I had never heard before or since. We ran back up the hill west toward Salt Gulch. Daddy jumped in the car and drove it up the hill aways. Mother and Dad had just been speculating whether the new bridge would go.
When the flood roared by the bridge flew up in the air like it was made out of matchsticks. We ran further back up the hill for fear the brown muddy dragon might crumble the banks and devour us. Margie was so frightened she jumped up and down and screamed. Mother, of course, was ready to slap her out of her 'hysterics' until Daddy stopped her.
I could not believe how the creek bottom looked after the flood. It was almost completely denuded of all the beautiful trees that had been growing there for years. Big boulders that had never been there before were evidence of the power of the flood waters that had brought them there. The creek bottom looked so ugly to me now when I thought of how many hours we had played in the creek when it was low, catching tadpoles, covered overhead by a canopy of green we had taken for granted, I felt like crying.
But the adults were all saying well at least nobody had been killed even if it might take another fifty to a hundred years for it look like it had before. The town was still determined to complete the Spectacle Lake reservoir so pretty soon men were at work to build the dam back to preserve precious water that was now going down the creek.

The creek bottom did come back enough by the time Crae came back to Boulder two years later, so that he could baptize me there in a pond that had been dammed for the purpose of swimming. He had been active enough in the Mormon Church preparing to go on his mission that he was qualified to do so. I can remember some green that had revived and a tree or two that had not been uprooted entirely. But nobody was ever going to forget the biggest flood that had ever come down the Boulder creek, thanks to the town which had more or less caused it by a reservoir not quite finished when Mother Nature went on a rampage and dumped record snow falls on top of the mountain.
You can never predict Mother Nature. I had been terrorized many times already in canyon country by flash floods. Sometimes we would have to wait a day before we could cross the Escalante river half way between Escalante and Boulder. The bridge in Calf Creek which flowed down a canyon into the Escalante had been washed out many times by flash floods. The natives all knew a rainstorm in canyon country where the water had no place to go would bring a flood, but still the saddest stories I ever heard were about drivers who had tried to beat the flood and had brought eternal sorrow on families who lost somebody and had to go searching for days to find the body.
Canyon country and floods went together, and after the Boulder Creek flood I was especially worried my dad would be one of the impetuous fathers who could not wait and drowned his whole family in a flood in his eagerness to get to town and buy a drink.



Connie made Child of Darker Skies which just seemed to fit my story. Top photo of the canyon country carved out of the land by flooding.

Herrad

Blog Archive