Life Stories of
Jasper Alfonzo Rawlins and Cora May Burbank
By Lindsay Marcus Rawlins
(With help from brothers, Aerial, Horace, and Reed; sister Mae; and sister-in-law, Velma, my brother Owen's wife.)
My mother was Cora May Burbank Rawlins. My father was Jasper Alfonzo Rawlins, although he always went by the name of Alf.
I was the youngest of six boys and two girls. Our sister, Ruth died when she was eight months old. I never knew Ruth. I always thought I came into the family to take her place. I grew up knowing my five brothers and one sister; Aerial, Horace Owen, Howard, Mae, and Reed.
Velma remembers Mother and Dad this way. "Dad Rawlins was slender, clean shaven with blue eyes and dark brown hair. Mother Rawlins was almost as tall. Dad Rawlins was not of great stature. He was so kind. Mother Rawlins had dark brown hair. It wasn't quite as dark as Dad's and her eyes were also blue."
Below are many of the most vivid things I remember about my father and mother. I always felt that I was born of good stock and I've appreciated the good parentage I've had.
Mother was born in Brigham City. Her father (Daniel Mark Burbank) was a polygamist. He had married two sisters, Sarah Adeline Lindsay and Mary Jane Lindsay. Mother grew up through her teenage years in Deweyville, Utah.
Grandfather (Daniel Mark Burbank) was only there about half the time. The law got after him as it did other polygamists and he moved the other family to Bennington, Idaho, and left mother's (Cora May Burbank) family in Deweyville.
The Oregon Short Line Railroad went through Deweyville. Mother with her brothers and sisters used to walk along the track and gather up coal that fell off the train. Grandfather would get some wood for them. They'd save bacon rinds to rub the saw so they could saw the wood more easily.
They lived in a little two-room log shack just east of the railroad a ways. (I saw that home at one time. I don't know how in the world they got eight kids in there.) They could bar the door and bar the windows. They had a big gray, mean dog that mother thought was part wolf which they tied by the door.
There were a lot of tramps walking up and down the railroad. One night somebody got to beating on the door. Grandmother Burbank (Mary Jane Lindsay Burbank) said, "Who is that?" He said, "That don't matter. You open the door and let me in." Grandmother kept talking to him through the front door. While she was talking to him Aunt Laura opened the back door and turned the dog loose. Mother said, "I can still hear that man scream and the profanity that he used." A while later the dog scratched on the back door. They opened it and let him in. He came in and laid a part of that man's pants on the floor, put himself on it, and went to sleep. But mother (Cora May Burbank), said "Some of us kids didn't sleep through the rest of the night."
One winter Grandfather Burbank was in Bennington. He got word that his family in Utah was sick. He took to his skis and his snow shoes and a little pack of food and headed across the mountains. He had to cross the mountains, enter Cache Valley, cross Cache Valley, and go over the hills to Deweyville on foot. This took several days. At night he'd build a fire by a tree where he'd sleep. There were wild animals around, and the fire helped keep them away.
His wife (Sarah Adeline Lindsay Burbank) in Bennington never knew for months if her husband had made it. Then about spring she got word that he was all right.
It was difficult having two families so far apart that Grandfather eventually moved mother's family to Bennington. Bennington was cold country. It took a lot more fuel and it was harder to make a living. The season was short. They couldn't raise any fruit.
Mother said that when she was a teenager she was walking in Bennington with another girl who was pushing her baby in a baby buggy. She said they could see through the grass the head of something kept popping up. They thought it was one of the kids trying to act up. It turned out to be a mountain lion. Mother took a blanket from the buggy and waved it. She said that the only thing that kept that mountain lion from attacking was the motion of that blanket as she waved it in the air.
As a teenage girl, Mother went up to Glen's Ferry and cooked one year in the kitchen of a railroad cafe. When the train would stop there, the head cook would get up in the caboose and talk to the men. One day the train started and by the time she got ready to get off the caboose it was going a little faster than she thought. She jumped off, fell down, and skinned her knees. Mother kidded her that she should be a little closer to the door when the train started.
Dad grew up in Lewiston, Utah. Grandmother and Grandfather Rawlins homesteaded in Lewiston. However, the winter that Dad was born, Grandmother and Grandfather didn't stay the winter. They didn't have a good enough house, so they went back to Richmond to have the baby. If they would have stayed, Dad would have been the first white child born in Lewiston.
My father was the youngest boy of the family, so he became the cow puncher for the family. They used to range their cattle at Star Valley for many years. Dad would go and range his cattle out there all summer, then he'd bring them back in the fall. Dad's family tried to get their crops planted in Lewiston before driving the herd to Star Valley.
One time as Dad was going to Star Valley with Riley Lewis, a friend of his, they had one old cow that wouldn't keep up. They tried everything to get that cow to keep up with the herd. Finally Riley reached down from his horse and picked up a small, flat cactus with all those prickly pears on it. He rode over and lifted that cow's tail up and put that cactus under her tail. That old cow took off and stampeded the herd. They were several days gathering up the herd before they could go on.
Star Valley was rough country at that time. The people there built a place to meet for Church meetings, dances, and everything. One night at a dance one of the outlaws of the country came in the door and stood there by the piano. He had two guns on him, and a black hat, and the typical outlaw look. He walked over and asked one of the girls to dance with him. The girl said, "I can't dance with you while you've got those guns on you." So he went back over to the piano and took his guns off, then his belt, and laid them up on the piano. Dad said the outlaw shook a wicked foot just like the rest of them. He danced the shottish and all those old dances that they danced. After he danced a few dances, he thanked the girl, put his guns on, and left. They never saw or heard anymore about him.
One day Dad was coming home. He was riding across Bear Lake Valley. A man rode in behind him and visited with him. Dad didn't travel with guns. Dad said. "I noticed that he had guns on him." That man stayed just a half a horse length behind him and visited with Dad clear across Bear Lake Valley. "When we got over to the other side, he said "It's been nice visiting with you.'" Then he went one way and Dad kept on coming home. Dad knew some of the outlaws that were famous in that day.
Around the campfires at night, he used to play the mouth organ. It blended in with the coyotes howling.
Dad said that he was over helping Joe (Joseph Rawlins) plow one year. There were wild horses up on the range of the mountains west of Cornish. Along in the afternoon the horses would head for water. They would come down and run right into the river for water. There would just be a streak of dust as they would come down into there. One year a pinto stallion that could pace came in on that range. (The legs on one side of the horse would go the same direction at the same time. They generally go across.) This horse always paced wherever he went. He'd pace up and down and over those hills. They used to chase him, but they never had any thing that would run fast enough to get him to break that pace. They used to hobble mares and turn them loose with him to get some colts. The horse finally left but they never got any colts from him.
At one time Dad had to cross Bear River with a herd of cattle. The river was in flood stage and it went right from the brow on one hill to the brow of the other. Dad swam that herd of cattle across.
Mother was visiting Aunt Laura, Mother's sister, who had married Oscar Pope when she met Dad.
There is a difference of opinion as to where Aunt Laura and Uncle Oscar Pope lived. I think they lived both in Lewiston and High Creek. However, I feel at one time they lived at approximately 800 South and 450 East on the north side of the road in Lewiston. (Across from where Clyde Littledike now lives.)
One spring we opened up the potato pit and I went uptown to Joe Owens' who was a blind man who lived here in town and told him who I was. I told him that Dad was opening the potato pit that day, and if he would come down and tell Dad how many potatoes he wanted, we would bring them up to him. He said that he would be down. He came down here. (He walked all over town with his cane. He'd sometimes hang the cane on his arm and clap his hands. He could tell whether he was close to a building by how it echoed.) He came in the house and started telling me about the first time he met my mother. She kind of grinned. He told of the house down on 800 South. Mother was a girl there scrubbing the floor for her sister, Aunt Laura. He walked up and opened the door and poked her with the cane as he tried to come in . She said, "You old blind fool can't you see where you're going?" Then she realized that he was blind. He laughed while he was telling that story but she didn't laugh - - that still embarrassed her years later. That's the reason I feel that Aunt Laura lived there at least part of the time.
Mother and Dad were married on March 5, 1902 in the Logan Temple. Dad was thirty and Mother twenty-three.
Education-wise it seems like Mother told me that she graduated from elementary school. That was all they had in that area.
Dad went to one year of college at the AC (USU). I don't know if that was the full year or just one winter. He had about as much education as anybody around at that time.
Aerial, the oldest child recalls, "The first thing I can remember about my parents is that they were sawing wood. (At one time there was a forest all around our home. The old settlers that came in like Grandpa Rawlins planted trees like mad. They were fast-growing trees. The ants look over in the summer the ground was just covered with ants. I remember coming into the house one time just bawling with ants all over me.) Dad cut those trees down in the winter time for fuel for the next year. He cut a year ahead. Mother and Dad were out sawing, and I walked behind one of them, and they accidentally poked me in the face with the butt end of the saw. I still carry the scar. I remember landing on my back and making a lot of racket."
Aerial also recalls the trips made to see Mother's parents. "We used to go up through Cub River Canyon, over the mountain, down into Paris, through Montpelier, and then into Bennington with the white topped buggy. Mother took the children by herself. We'd take two days for the trip. That was a great time. It was just a mountain trail. There was a forestry trail from the bottom of Cub River Canyon to the top. It was a long canyon. That was a pleasant time, and we always had a lot of fun doing that. Mother was an entirely different person when she was in the mountains that way. Both of my Grandparents were raised on the frontier, and I guess it leaked over into some of the rest of us. We'd go over to Grandmother's and that was a great time. She didn't have much. But what she had we were welcome to. Grandmother didn't have a refrigerator but she had a well with a big wooden bucket and that was where she kept her milk, butter, and the cheese she made.
Mae tells that when Grandma Burbank died, Dad and Howard went over to the Burbank home to get some of the things that Mother was to have. Along in the wee hours of the morning Mother could hear the team coming into the yard. She got up and went down and asked Dad, "Why didn't you stay overnight? Why did you drive straight through?" He said, "Did you ever sleep with Howard?" (After Howard was asleep, he would rub his feet together. They used to wonder if it was the grasshopper in him.) Dad thought it was sure better to drive all night that sleep with Howard.
When Grandfather Burbank (Daniel Mark Burbank) died, Mother caught the train in Cornish to go to the funeral. Before she left, Dad said that he didn't want her to inherit anything in Bennington. He said that he had her and that was all he wanted from there. After the funeral, Mother waked if she could have the stove lifter, a pair of pliers, and a screwdriver that Grandfather had made. That was all she wanted. She got those items and went to catch the train. She said that she was always curious as to how things were divided up.
My father was crippled all the days that I knew him. He was twisted out of shape with rheumatism and he had sugar diabetes. I never knew until I got diabetes that some of the pain that you have in your joints is caused by diabetes along with rheumatism. I don't know which pain is worse, but when you get the two together, which I have, I can sympathize a little bit more with Dad.
He used to have me rub his feet and while I was rubbing his feet, he'd feel just fine, but the minute I'd quit, then his feet would hurt. I never could understand that when I was a kid, but now I've got feet about the same way.
Dad is remembered for saying, "I'll give you 'all you may ask' if you rub my feet or back."
They tried to treat Dad with insulin, but he couldn't take it. They tried treating him with everything that anyone suggested.
I asked Dad once what he'd done for rheumatism. He said that he had tried everything that anyone had suggested, including peeing in a bottle and burying it on the northwest corner of the farm in the dark of the moon of August.
Reed tells the story that one day Mother was rubbing his back with some horse liniment. Some of it got away and ran down his spine to a very sensitive spot. He could hardly move when she got started, but he got up in a real hurry and danced and whooped and hollered when the liniment was spilled. They both laughed about that for a long time.
Another remedy that Dad tried was a sweat box. He sat on a chair, inside a box, dressed in the clothes he was born in. The box came up so only his head was out. An alcohol burner was lit under the chair in the box. He would sit in there till the sweat just poured down his face.
He had good teeth, but they thought that was what caused his rheumatism. So they pulled his teeth out. That didn't help his rheumatism or his disposition either.
Horace tells that one winter Uncle Jode (Joseph Rawlins, Dad's brother) took a sheep camp up to Dempsey Hot Springs (now known as Lava Hot Springs). Dad and a friend of his, Hall Stocks, went up and stayed in the sheep camp part of the winter to try and cure some of their ailments. Howard also went with them as he had pneumonia every winter. The hot springs gave Dad quite a bit of relief. Also, that winter Howard didn't get pneumonia.
One of their neighbors up there had the prettiest red frying pan. Dad was curious about it, so one day he went over to see it and found that it was just a rusty pan that had never been cleaned out.
Someone came down from Preston and sold Dad a Model T Ford. Dad went back to Preston with him, bought the car, and drove it home. While driving in the yard, he missed the driveway and ran into the ditch. He got out disgusted. The older boys took the team and pulled it out of the barrow pit. Dad came in the house and I asked him what happened. He said, "I said, Woah, and it didn't stop." I don't suppose he ever drove again. The kids always drove.
One of those years before I went to school, we were going over to see Grandpa Burbank. Grandma had died. Grandpa lived alone in a little log cabin in Bennington. I believe it was in February. Dad's rheumatism was bothering him, so we went up by Lava and spent a day or two there. Dad soaked in that good warm water. He always felt that helped him. Then we went on over to Soda Springs where he drank some of that soda water. He liked that soda water but I could hardly stand the stuff. I thought he was a pretty tough man to drink that water. Along in the afternoon we headed on the road to Bennington.
Out on the Gerogetown divide on the dirt road between Soda and Bennington, he said, "Whup, whup, you've got to stop. I've got to go to the bathroom." We stopped right there in the middle of the road. There wasn't any cars in sight, and Dad got out and got around behind the car which was the only shelter in the country. He said, "Howard, go find me some bum fodder." Howard run off across the country and came back with a handful of dried foxtail that had made it through the winter. My Dad said, "Good night boy! I've taught you all I know and the only thing you can find is dried foxtail." My Mother laid her head on the back of the front seat and laughed till the tears run down her face. I've kidded Howard over the years about that and he said, "So help me, that is the only thing that survived the winter."
Dad was a farmer. We came along in the Depression years, and Dad thought if he could milk twelve cows all the time, (we always had a few dry) we could survive. I remember they had fixed the barn to stable the cows. We kids took turns. We knew which cows we had to milk and which ones the other guy milked. Each one milked their share and that's how we lived. Dad and Mother would store enough fruit, potatoes, carrots, and cabbage to last the winter. I used to wonder at how they stored cabbage. They'd put it in a pit, but they'd stick the roots outside. I asked Dad why they did that. He said, "Well, we're not gonna eat the root anyway." He felt that if we raised enough sugar beets, we would have enough money to pay the taxes in the fall, but a few things, and pay tithing. We had some beef, pork, vegetables, a pile of wood, and a milk check to pay the light bill, and we'd get by just fine.
Horace relates, "There were two orchards planted. Mother and Dad set out the one when they were married. That was the old orchard for us kids as we grew up. But later to the north side of us, there was the young orchard. That's where the pie cherry tree was, the gooseberries, and the apricot that wouldn't bear fruit. We'd eat all the pie cherries before they were ever ripe, the same with the gooseberries."
Velma, Owen's wife relates, "After we were married, I remembered that Mother Rawlins would be out working in the garden. It'd get hot so she'd come in and soak a rag in cold water. It would be about three or four thicknesses. She would wring it out a bit and put it on top of her head under her hat. That would help to keep her cool while she worked in the garden a little longer.
"In the fall when it'd get frosty and might freeze, she'd get up early in the morning and sprinkle the garden with cold water. That way she saved a lot of her plants later because sprinkling the water seemed to draw the frost out." If all the plants were wet they could stand a lot colder temperature.
We didn't buy food or fuel. We had chickens, eggs, milk, and Mother made butter. Mother had a start of live yeast up in a two-quart jar on the kitchen stove. Owen's wife, Velma, explained how they used the live yeast. "The start of the yeast was usually 1/2 to 3/4 cup. When yeast was needed to mix a batch of bread, water was drained from boiled potatoes, oftentimes a large piece of a boiled potato was well mashed and put in the water which was cooled to about body temperature and the yeast bottle was filled to about 2/3 full. Two tablespoons of sugar was stirred in, and the lid was just set loose on top of the jar. By the next morning the yeast had worked and was ready for mixing the bread. This amount leaving a start in the bottle would raise a large batch of eight or ten loaves. Mother Rawlins had a pan that held eight loaves which was a standard batch for her.
If an accident happened to the start of the yeast, they were traded around the neighborhood and a start could be borrowed from a neighbor."
They had some wheat they would take town to the flour mill each fall. They would get 50 pounds of flour for every 100 pounds of what they took down.
Velma remembers that for breakfast they always had their dishes filled with cooked cereal and then there would be a bowl full of cereal on the table that they could fill their dish with. Also they had plenty of milk on the table.
There was one thing she would never do. She would never let us kids have a hot drink for breakfast. Most of her brothers lived on coffee and bull durham. (Bull Durham was tobacco. They rolled their own cigarettes.) She didn't want anything that resembled a hot drink or a cup of coffee. Aunt Em used to come here and she had to have her tea. Mother told her, "You can fix your own tea and buy your own tea. I won't have anything to do with your tea." She didn't want her kids drinking coffee. We could have a glass of cold milk and that was it.
Velma also remembers that Dad Rawlins wasn't real gungho about vegetables. Mother Rawlins said, "All right, if you don't want it, don't take it. But don't say anything. If the children don't hear you say that you don't like it, they'll probably eat it." For supper they always had vegetables. The family worked hard so everyone had a hardy supper. She had a glass fruit bowl that was always full of bottled fruit and set on the table for meals.
Each fall they would drive over to Deweyville or Brigham to buy their fruit. Mother took some classes at the college on canning. Velma said, "She bottled fruit using the open kettle method. She would peel her peaches and put them on the stove in a big pan. When they had cooked a certain amount of time, she would dip the fruit into a bottle and seal it. She would continue doing that until she was done."
To bottle their beans they used a big copper clothes boiler that was about three feet long and a foot and a half high. We cut a board to fit in there and we drilled holes in it for a rack so that the fruit wasn't on the bottom. Mother generally bottled in two quart jars. After the beans were in the bottles, they would be boiled for three hours.
Velma remembers, "Mother Rawlins always felt that part of Dad's sugar diabetes problem was because he had eaten mostly hot biscuits, potatoes, and meat and gravy as he was growing up. She felt that they had too much of this starchy food and needed more vegetables and fruit. She never allowed her children to have hot bread. She made biscuits for dinner right after breakfast and set them on the screen porch to cool so they'd be cold. I never did see her make hotcakes or anything like that. The only one in their family that I ever saw have hot bread was Dad Rawlins. She used to make some kind of special muffin for him occasionally."
This was a whole wheat muffin, and I don't think it had any sugar in it. It'd get just as hard as a rock. That was the only bread he could have after he got sugar diabetes. He tried to break it one day, and he couldn't cut it with the knife he had. Rather than say anything, he laid it on the table and hit it with his fist. It just crumbled. Mother said, "My land, what are you doing?" He said, "I can't eat it that big, I can't get it in my mouth."
Dad and Mother always had chickens. We had a little chicken coop. It was always a long coop that was north and east of the house. It was a warm coop and the chickens would lay most of the winter. When we needed a chicken to eat, we'd kill one. My job was to catch the chicken. After it was caught, I'd hold the legs and the wings in one hand, then I'd take hold of the comb of the chicken and pull the neck out across the chopping board. Then Mother would take the axe. She'd take a full swing clear back up over and around and cut the head off. There my hands were just a little bit apart on the chopping block. I'd just shut my eyes. Mother asked me, "Don't you trust me?"
To bring in the money for the things that they couldn't do themselves, they used to do some of the following types of things: They would haul beets all winter. Also, when the roads were being graveled by the county, the boys would haul gravel during the winter. The boys drilled and cultivated beets. Part of the time they also rented some land that they farmed. Also, they always ran a grain binder.
Merle Hyer said that when he was in the bishopric, the entire bishopric would meet with ward members for tithing settlement. (Merle went into the bishopric in 1932. Dave Hendricks was bishop, Dow Lewis was first counselor, and Merle was second counselor.) Dad's health wasn't very good and Mother would go in to settle tithing for the family. She would say, "Here's our tithing," then would lay it out in greenbacks. The bishopric used to marvel at how a crippled man had that much money. Maybe being a good tithe payer was how well they survived so well.
I remember once when Mother had to leave home for a while. She said, "If the house catches fire, run in and get our money, it's stored under the mattress. Out of curiosity, I checked it and there were several hundred dollars.
Dad was a good director. He'd outline the work, then he'd line everyone to do it. He also remembered being a boy. He could deal with the older kids and he could deal with the younger ones. He couldn't work in the years I knew him. It was a real tough job for him. He could make it down to the barn, but he couldn't do much work.
One of those winters, Dad was just laid up and couldn't go. Toward spring of the year, Owen and Horace were a little long doing their chores. One of the neighbors has loaned us a milk cart to pull out to the street. It had a pipe tongue on it with a T across the front so two kids could get on there and push on it. Owen and Horace had taken two calves and tied a calf to each side of the tongue. Then they got in that milk cart and turned those calves loose pulling that cart. They went through ditches, fences, and everything else. Dad said, "I sat there and watched those kids take the ride of their lives. I'd liked to have gone and got them out of that milk cart, but I couldn't catch them." So he just sat and watched. When they came in, he said, "I believe you've been tortured enough."
I remember that I would ride every colt that came around here and every calf too. One day I was down at the barn and a bunch of boys were setting there. There was a bunch of nonsense going on. Dad was sitting on his chair by the pile of wood. Horace put me on a colt. I wrapped my hands in its mane as it came a buckin' right across that yard towards Dad. We got a little excited -- we were afraid it was going to run over Dad. Instead that danged colt went right up over that pile of logs. I can still remember my mother scream, "Get off," and Dad hollering, "Stay with it. If you fall off you'll get hurt, but if you stay with it you'll be all right." There I was taking orders, trying to figure which one to live by. Of course I didn't want to fall off either. I ended up landing on my knees on top of the logs.
Despite the calf trick and my horsing around, Dad said, "If I've got my kids, I would almost face the devil himself." He told me the year before he died, "You know, I just couldn't let my kids leave home. That was a mistake. The way to raise kids is to raise them well, wean them, and let them go." I have tried to follow that advice. I thought his judgement was good.
Mae tells the following story. "Reed and Lin and I were sent down to thin beets down below the row of trees. We thought those rows were awfully long for each of us to take a row so we always worked on the same row. One would start the row, one would go up a ways and then start, then another would go up a ways further and start. Lindsay thought that we left him a lot longer piece than we left to ourselves. Dad thought he'd come down and see how we were doing. He wanted to make sure we were down there working. Lindsay saw Dad a coming down the field with his cane that he called his persuader and thought he was walking extra fast. And boy, did Lin start thinning beets fast."
One time we were building a big stack of hay. There was a barbed wire fence that came right up to the corner. It was just the right distance that when the hay stacked up just as high as it could go that the horse would be right up against the fence. Aerial ran the fork. We had put one more wagon on to see it we could get through. Aerial wanted Mae to drive it. He dropped the fork down. The old rickety wagon had just a few boards on it and he accidently hooked it. Then he said to me, "Now you hit that mare and get that up there before it falls off." Right at the crucial time, I hit the old mare and she groaned a little heavier than usual. I looked back and there was the wagon, the hay, and Aerial going up in the air. Just as he tripped the fork down came Aerial, then the hay, then the wagon. I dove through that barbed wire fence and lit going right up the road with all I had. Dad was sitting there in the Model T Ford, and he realized the next event so he was getting out of the car as fast as he could. He met Aerial coming through the fence. Dad took his cane and said, "You go back and straighten out your mess."
"Not till I whip that kid."
Owen said, "If you've got to fight somebody bring me down and I'll take you on, but don't whip the kid."
I was coming up the road to home. Between Dad and Owen they talked me out of it. Owen got to hollering, "Come on back, you're safe."
I said, "I trust you, but I don't trust him."
Dad said, "I believe we've got him calmed down. I don't think you'll get whipped. Come on back." It took a little persuasion, but I came back though I watched awful close.
One time I asked Mother about loosing her teeth. She started to tell me, but tears started rolling down Dad's face. She said, "I can't tell you. I can't do that. It was my own fault." I never did get the rest of the story until Aunt Ol (Olive, Mother's sister) told me.
Early in their married life, Dad came home one night. It was dark and they didn't have any lights in the barn. They had a lantern, but he could milk the cow in the dark. He sat down and was milking that cow in the dark. He had a darned calf running around there. It would come up and bunt him while he was trying to milk the cow. Mother snuck down to the barn and goosed him. He was goosey and in a reflex action he hit her in the mouth with a horseshoe he had in his pocket. That's how she lost her teeth.
Aerial relates, "One thing I remember about my Mother was her love of horses comparable to Dad's. We were always dickering for a horse somewhere. With one of his transactions Dad came up with a little brown mare that we called Molly. She had the easiest gait of any horse I've ever ridden. However, when anyone went to get her by the time they put the bridle on her and got in the saddle they were bitten. And they knew they had been bitten. But Mother could walk up and touch her anywhere. Molly would come to Mother, and Mother would saddle her and get on with no problem whatsoever. It just seemed like they understood one another.
When things would get hectic around the house, Mother would go out, saddle up the mare, and take off. She enjoyed that very much. She enjoyed riding. She and Dad would go off together on their horses. Dad had a stallion, and he'd take his stallion and Mother would take Molly. Dad's horse was a great big horse, and Mother's was a little one. Mom's horse could run underneath the other one. It was a sad morning when we went out and the little brown mare had died during the night.
Mother's job was quite a task. Early in her married life, Dad's health deteriorated. She had to depend on young boys and do a lot of things by herself.
Mother's responsibility came doublefold as Dad's health got worse, she had to take more responsibility. She took it, and she could herd the clad. I didn't think that she had quite the patience that Dad did. That may be wrong but as I view it from my point, I didn't think she was as patient as Dad.
When it was about time for school to be out and for the kids to start coming home, Mother would walk down in the field, to get the cows, and start bringing them up. After being cooped up in the house all day, I believe she enjoyed the walk. Dad would have liked to walk with her, but he couldn't go. So he'd get around on the porch on the east side of the house with Reed's binoculars and watch Mother to see that she was all right.
We used to drive through the ditch in the field. We had got tired of that so we built some cement embedments to build a bridge. There was a little water in the canal to water the stock. The cows were out in the field gleaning the fall feed to finish it off when Mother went to get them.
Dad was always glad that he watched Mother from the porch because one day the board we had across the ditch on those cement embedments broke with her and dropped her in the water about to her knees. She wrestled around in that mud for awhile and finally got out. He watched her until she got out and saw that she was all right. She was a little mad and muddy. He didn't say much about the cows when she came home. She told us, "If you want me to go get those cows, you put a better board on that ditch."
Edis Taggart related that just north of the house were the railroad tracks. All the high school kids came up there and met the school car which was part of the train. In bad weather, all of them would come indoors. Edis remembers the house being so full of kids that you couldn't get another one in. He wondered how mother stood all the racket.
Reed relates that when one of the kids didn't want to go to bed, Mother would recite this poem.
"Let's go to bed," said Sleepy Head.
"Let's wait a while," said Slow.
"Fill up the pot," said Greedy Gut.
"Lets eat before we go."
Reed tells the story that Carline (Caroline) Rawlins, Dad's sister-in-law, suggested to Dad that he plant his potatoes in the dark of the moon of May. So he tried it. Dad said that they never did come up. He said, "I'll be damned if I plant any more in the moon; I'm going to plant them in the farm."
Dad was a good teamster and he always prided himself in having good horses. Hyrum Karren, Sid Karren's father, told me the following. He said, "Your Dad, Alf, used to drive a bay, bald-faced, stocking-legged team named Rob and Fox. He hauled beets all fall for somebody. I never saw your Dad stuck. Down on the road going to the Sugar Factory, there was a great big mud hole. Everybody had a terrible time getting through the mud hole. They'd get back with a big run, whip their horses, and hit that mud hole wide open, and they'd generally get stuck." "But," he said, "Alf Rawlins would drive up there, get to the edge of that hole, stop, wind his team, then he'd drive halfway through the mud hole, wind his team again, then he'd go on out. Now, everybody thought that Alf Rawlins was wrong, but Alf Rawlins was never stuck. He knew what his horses could pull, and he loaded accordingly. When he spoke to that team, they went to work, and they pulled. Your Dad always carried a buggy whip, but I never saw him use it.
Owen and Horace tell the story that they were coming west into Lewiston on the main road in the white-topped buggy. It was raining. The windows were down and they pulled the curtains down so that there were just little holes in the middle where the reins came through. They could peek out and drive the team.
Uncle Frank Rawlins (Dad's brother) lived in the house where Farrell Smith lives now and he could see Dad's team when it was coming home. The phone rang, Dad answered it. Uncle Frank said, "Alf, your team is running away." Dad knew Owen and Horace were with the team and it was about time for them to come home.
He said, "Frank, is the team running straight?"
"Could you see the whip?"
"Both lines in place?"
"OK, they're trying to find out which horse is the fastest."
After they came in, backed the wagon into the shed, put the team in the barn, and came into the house, Dad asked, "Which one of the horses is the fastest?"
They looked awful dumbfounded.
Dad said, "The next time you try that, why don't you get out in a road where you haven't anybody to watch you."
"How'd you find that out?" they asked.
"Well, Frank called me up and told me my team was running away, and I thought if they were running straight that you were trying to find out which horse could run the fastest. Now, which one could?" he asked, I don't know if they ever told him or not.
Horace also relates, "Another time Owen and I were hauling beets in the fall. We had Old Babe on the lead. I beat the hell out of her. Uncle Frank saw it so he told Dad. When he was telling Dad how we whipped that old mare, Dad asked, 'Did you ever work her on the lead?' He said 'No, I never did.' "Then don't you growl at those kids 'till you've tried it.' Uncle Frank left us alone after that."
One year, when I was the only one still in school, we'd gotten all the beets topped. Howard and Owen took the best team and were down hauling beets at the pile. Reed was through topping beets and was in the way. Dad said, "Reed, I've talked to Uncle Goudy (Goudy Hogan, Dad's brother-in-law) and also to the field man from the Sugar Company. You ought to take that old team, Babe and Bird, and get Reginald to help you haul beets. They you and Reginald split it." (Reginald was George Rawlins' boy.) Now the rules of that game down there are that you don't get stuck and you don't horseplay. You're a couple of grown kids and I want you to work. I don't want you down there fooling around and getting in the way. I've told Goudy that you would live all the rules."
So Reed and Reginald went down to haul beets. One night just about the time I got home from school and came into the door, Uncle Goudy came in the house right behind me. "Alf," he said, "that 'Chub' of yours (that's what he called Reed) almost got stuck. He just whipped those old mares of yours." Dad leaned out on the front of his chair and asked, "Did he get out?"
"All right, if they hadn't pulled hard enough for me, I'd a whipped 'em too."
Goudy said, "Yeh, I thought of you, that's why I came to tell you."
Dad said he always liked to dance. He danced until he got crippled up and couldn't dance anymore.
When I went to the dances in Lewiston, Dad's instructions were, "Why, when you go to a dance, you dance." He said he remembered a boy that was about his age whose father paid him not to dance. He said that darn kid always went, and he lived up to the agreement, he never danced, but he drank all the whisky around there. "Now," he said, "If you're out there dancing you're gonna mind your business."
Dad said that they had to have all their own entertainment here. Dad could play a mouth organ. (I was told he could also play a Jews harp though I never did see him.) He used to take his teeth out. He'd take them out because he said, they'd drop down and cut off his breath and he'd blow up. He called them his "store" teeth. He'd got a hold of that mouth organ and he could make that mouth organ put out with good music. He could sing and do a little good entertainment here. It was ahead of what we now call Family Home Evening. We would stir up a little activity and make a little homemade ice cream.
When one of the kids had been somewhere, Dad would want them to give a report of where they'd been, what they'd done and what they could do. I remember once Reed went down to Huntsville to Mae and Allen's. They had dog races down there. We'd never seen dog races around here. When he got back, we shut off the radio, and Dad asked him to tell us about the dog races. We used to have good fun with that. We spent several nights telling about that.
Now Dad's instructions to the kids as they left home to go somewhere were "Now, mind your business and think before you do anything and maybe you won't act. Always plan out what you're doing before you do it. Somebody trusted me and I trust you."
Horace said that Dad's philosophy was never whip a child while you're mad or you'll overdo it. Mother would do it while it was fresh on her mind so she wouldn't forget it. Horace relates, "Out on the north side of the house, there used to be some old trees, suckers had grown from them. Mother would tell us to go out and bring in a limb, and we had to bring in a good one. If we brought a little one, she'd wear that out on us and then send us out for another one. So we were ahead to get a good one and get it over with at once."
I came along in the latter years of Dad's life. Everybody always spoke well of my Dad. I remember once there was a pretty little gal in high school. I asked her to a dance with me. She drew out a map of how to get to her place. I went there and knocked on her door. Her mother opened the door and said, "Come in."
She asked, "Who is your father?"
I said, "My father was Alf Rawlins."
She said, "I used to dance with your dad, and I have gone with your dad. Now if you're as good a boy as your dad was when he was a boy, you're welcome here."
I've never forgotten that. We're the products of our parents and what we're taught. That made quite and impression on me.
Reed tells a story. "There were three of us, we each had a girlfriend. One of the other guys had the car, and we'd been up to Preston. Coming down through Fairview one girl just insisted that she be allowed to drive that car. She said she could drive but we found out that she couldn't. Down there where those two old schoolhouses were, we landed in the ditch -- mud all over. We went and woke up a neighbor man, and he wasn't inclined to help some dumb kid out of the mud puddle.
He said, "Who are you?"
Reed said, "I'm Alf Rawlins' boy."
"Oh, I'll go pull you out of the mud then. You tell him that I pulled you out of the mud. You'd better straighten out and start driving straight from now on."
"I thought that was pretty good. My Dad's reputation up that far got me pulled out of the mud puddle."
When they organized the first Benson Stake, they got several of the boys from Lewiston and ordained them Elders. They lined them up in the choir seats in the old chapel in Lewiston according to age. Dad was the oldest one and they ordained them, thus creating the first quorum of Elders in that Stake.
Dad was the quite type, and it was hard for him to express himself. He was going to take a mission call at one time. He got the call, but then the older members of the family, his brothers and sisters, thought that he should stay home and take care of Grandma and Grandpa. Grandpa Rawlins had made arrangements for Uncle Jode and Aunt Mary Ann, his wife, to come and help run the farm while Dad went on a mission. But the members of the family got that stopped and Dad stayed home. He told me, "I should have gone anyway. When you get up of mission age, and you get a mission call, you go on a mission, regardless of my situation, where I am, or how I feel. That shouldn't have any bearing on your filling a mission."
Mother was a good woman. I know at family prayer, Dad used to do all the praying. I don't know why he didn't call on us. Of course, I wasn't enthused about it enough to volunteer. When Dad died, we'd have family prayer. Mother would say, "Hey, now you guys take your turn." That's how I learned to pray, under Mother's direction.
Velma said, "When Mother Rawlins married into the Rawlins home, she came to a home with two older people who needed care and a lot of attention. I understand Grandfather Rawlins was blind then. They needed quite a bit of attention in spite of their trying to be on their own. Mother Rawlins took care of them in addition to caring for her own little family. When Owen was born, she had an especially hard time because it created a female problem, but never in all the years, no matter what happened, I never heard Mother Rawlins complain about one thing. She always seemed to accept and do the best she could."
My mother taught Primary all her life, so Lindsay Rawlins always went to Primary. In the summer we used to have Primary on Saturday afternoon. Some of those older brothers used to get a little bit excited when their derrick boy had to go to Primary. (The definition of a derrick boy is that the derrick boy ran the derrick horse and took all the blame for anything that went wrong.) Mother would say, "You all do something else, but he's going to Primary." So I'd get out of riding the derrick horse and that was one good thing about it.
Owen's wife, Velma, remembers that "Mother Rawlins often took her Primary boys to the Temple to do baptisms for the dead. That was a frequent thing. Several times a year she would take them down to the Temple to do baptisms. She used to make pots of chili and take it for parties and picnics."
Aerial recalls, "Mother used to like to go up High Creek Canyon. I remember she'd say, 'All right, get your chores done early. We'll go up to the canyon.' We had a white-topped buggy, and we'd hook up the team. While we were doing chores, she would load up what she wanted in the white-top buggy. Then we'd take off, we had our lunch up there alongside of the creek. We had a special place where we used to like to go. It belonged to the Day family up there. We would go in on that private property, and we'd have our picnic and our lunch. It was a lot of fun, and she got a lot of enjoyment out of it. After Dad got crippled up with arthritis, she didn't go on those trips very much."
Mother always went to Church until after Dad died and then her health deteriorated real bad and she wasn't always able to go.
I remember one old boy in the front of us one day in Sacrament Meeting at 2:00 o'clock in the afternoon. He had great big long teeth, and he went to sleep. He'd start teetering back and forth when he'd get back just about ready to come over onto the other bench, he'd wake up. Then he'd come forward and snap those big ole teeth together. I got to giggling about it. And Mother saw to it that from then on that we sat ahead of him and I looked forward. I think that she had a hard time keeping her countenance straight, too.
The Mutual had to have a boy and a girl to run the activity of our M.I.A. group. The girl had accepted. I was the only boy left, every other boy had turned it down. I knew everyone of them had turned it down, because they had bragged about it. I said, "Well, Mother, I suppose they'll ask me to do the job now. Every other boy has turned it down." She said, "Hey, wait a minute, let me talk to you." She said, "The job and the blessings of that job are for the one who does the job. There are no blessings in the job itself unless you do it. Now, if they ask you to do it, don't be worrying about what all those others have done. You just do it." I've often thought about that. Mother's counsel was real good.
One time I asked Mother about Ruth. I had asked Dad the same thing. Dad started to tell me and stopped and said, "I can't tell you," and the tears run down his face. "The toughest job I was called to do was bury that little girl."
I waited for some time and when Mother and I were alone, I asked, "Mother, I really don't want to badger you, but if you felt so inclined, I'd like you to tell me a little about Ruth, because I never knew her in this life."
She said, "That baby died so fast and so quick. I just grieved and grieved. I couldn't quit. One night in the middle of the night, I don't know if it was a dream or whether it was a reality -- I was wide awake when I realized it had happened -- Mother came back to me.
"She said, 'Now Cora, cut this out. I have got Ruth and I will take care of her. Now you quit grieving about her and go about doing your things and leave it alone, because I'll take care of her and you forget it'"
Mother said, "Then I got over it because I didn't want another speech from my Mother."
Dad said to me, "Now, Lin, I've never believed in sending a kid to Church, but I can't take you. I just can't go. The days I feel good enough to go, I'll go, but most the days I just can't make it. Now I'm struggling with all I've got just to live." I knew that. And I said, "Well, Dad, I'll make it, and I'll go." And I went.
But the last year he lived, I came home one day from Church. We had dinner and I got around there by him and said, "Dad, I'd like to talk to you."
"All right, go ahead."
I said, "I made an agreement with you that I would go to Church without you but I've come here now to see if I can negotiate a change in the rules."
He said, "All right, what change do you want?"
"I've got to the point where I just cannot hardly put up with Fast Meeting. There are three men in the ward that occupy most of the time. All they do is tell how bad the youth is. I'm not guilty of all those things. The kids that are there are not guilty of those things."
He asked, "Who are the men?"
I told him. He said, "Well two of those men, I grew up with. I knew them as boys. I didn't act like they did when they were boys. The other man fits the program." He said, "I think all they're worrying about is they think you act like they did, and I don't believe you do. Now what you're doing is letting them drive you out of the Church. The Church is true and I wouldn't let anybody drive me out. Now you can act like a good High Priest and sleep through their sermons. That's all right with me, but you're still there."
A year or so later, the third man that Dad didn't know, got up and waved both hands and shouted and cussed at the youth something unmerciful one day. I just had an awful time sitting there. The next week I was teamed up with this man pitching bundles on a thrashing crew. I kept trying to figure out a way to bring up that speech to him. The thrashing machine broke down and we sat there on a couple of bundles waiting for a wagon. I kept wondering if this wasn't the time to talk with him about that. Finally I said, "You were a bit wound up Sunday, weren't you?"
He said, "Well, maybe a little bit, why?"
I said, "I'm not guilty of all those things you said the youth were guilty of. Some of those things I didn't even know what you were talking about. The kids who were there aren't guilty of all that, some of them who weren't there probably were, but not the ones who were there and heard you. Now, I've got a brother on a mission. When he gets home and I get old enough, I plan to go on a mission and I plan to be ready to go. I don't plan to break any of the rules that would bar me from that. Here you get up and say all of us are going to hell. Now, I don't believe you. All that list you've got, I've never got involved in that. Why were you preaching to me like that?"
He sat there on that bundle and looked right down at the ground for it seemed like I'd said enough, maybe too much, so I quit. He finally raised his head and he proceeded to tell me of his youth. Dad's judgement of him seemed absolutely correct. He was afraid that the kids were acting like he had done. I said, "When you repented of those things and changed your ways, did you have to go clear to the other extreme so that you don't trust anybody. There are a lot of good kids here."
I never did hear him get wound up that hard again. Some years later he moved to Logan and over the years when I'd meet him on the street in Logan, he'd run over and shake my hand. So I guess I didn't lose him as a friend.
I turned 15 on January 19, 1935, Dad turned 63 that year on February 1. He always said that he was the groundhog. I congratulated him on his birthday. He said, "Well, I've been wanting to talk to you." I believe that was one of the better visits I had with him. Sometimes It's hard to visit when he was in a lot of pain. He'd have to forget the pain and sometimes it's tough enough it couldn't be forgotten. He said, "Lin, I believe this is my last birthday on earth. I've lost the fear of death. The only thing that bothers me about dying is that you're not raised yet and oh, I'd love to raise you, but I can't make it."
That made quite an impression on me. I said, "I'd like you to raise me, but if you don't, I'll make it anyway." I'm still on the road trying to make it.
I'll tell you about the day that Dad died. It was the 16 th of November 1935. The older boys were topping beets. I guess it was a holiday in school 'cause I wasn't in school. I was doing a few things around the house. Dad seemed awful weak that day. I went and rounded up Aerial. Then I went uptown.
Uncle goudy was in the bank. He asked, "How's your Dad?"
I said, "I don't think he'll make it through the day."
He said, "Are you going home?"
"Yea, pretty quick."
"I think I'll go see him."
So Uncle Goudy came in and saw how Dad was and got right back out to his car and got his wife, Aunt Mint (Dad's sister) and came back up here. Aunt Ev, Edis Taggart's Grandmother, was a sister and she was here. We got Aerial here. Uncle Goudy came in. I guess there'd been something between them. I always thought a lot of Uncle Goudy, and I thought a lot of Dad. He came in and went over there by Dad and pulled up a chair to him and took him by the hand and said, "Alf can you hear me?"
Dad nodded his head "Yes."
He said, "Alf, I've done some awful foolish things in my life to you. I've regretted that with all my heart! Now will you forgive me for all the transgressions I have done so we can separate clear and free without any grudges or anything. I love you with all my heart."
Dad nodded his head that he could do that and the tears run down those men's faces. That was quite a thing for a fifteen year old boy to watch.
Then Aunt Evelyn went over there and took a hold of him and said, "Alf, when you get over there, you tell Joe (Joseph Leavitt was her husband) that I'm ready to come. I'm tired of this living alone business and I'd like to come over with him. Now would you tell him that?"
Dad nodded his head that he would.
Then he got weaker and he started looking around the room. Mother couldn't stand there. She'd nursed him for so many years, and to watch her husband die -- she just couldn't do it. I can't remember who it was that went in the kitchen and told her, "Dad wants you." So she went in and sat down to the side of him. He took a hold of her hand, and she began to cry. Then Dad just eased away and was gone. He had to see his wife one more time before he left.
At Dad's funeral, Jim Kirkbride, the county superintendent of schools spoke. He said he met Dad when he was a boy out in Star Valley. "Alf Rawlins could meet with almost any group. He knew them personally, he could talk to them. He could dance and he could visit. He got along with most everybody that he come in contact with."
Horace said that he went over to visit Mother after Dad had died. As he visited with her, she talked about when Dad had died. She said that several days before he passed away he told her, "They said they would come and get me, I wonder why they haven't come." He repeated that several times. Mother said she never did have the courage to ask him who was coming. Several days later he passed away.
I remember after Dad died, Mother got sick. Reed had left on a mission and she told Howard, "Now look, come Saturday you plan your work and get it done, but Lin's going to scrub this house, now you leave him alone. He can milk his share of the cows come night and morning, but the rest of the time, he's going to clean house." Mother did not believe in just mopping a floor. She believed in getting right down to a floor and getting after it with a scrub brush and some soap and a big rag to wipe it up. Then I had to wax it after I got done. She was a little bit fussy. She would lay in that bed and look at the ceiling and she didn't want to have any cobwebs up there or she'd say, "Now you get rid of that." I'd come home from school and she'd say, "There's been a fly bothering me here all day, now get that fly swatter and see if you can do away with him now. I can't put up with that." So I got real acquainted with Mother that last year.
Mae relates, "I had gone up to Logan with my daughter, Ruth. Ruth was real little. I had taken the car and taken Mother down to Dr. Porter in Logan. He examined her. Ruth ran out of the room and down the hall of the doctor's office, and Mother went to get her. Dr. Porter closed the door and said, "Your mother has cancer. There's nothing that can be done for her. I would suggest that you just do all you can for her and make her as happy as you can." I went out and Mother asked, 'What did he tell you?' I just made up a little story of what he had said and didn't tell her the truth. We drove down to where Aerial lived west of Logan. Mother stayed up to the house and I went to the milk barn and told Aerial."
The advise of the doctors (and everyone that was supposed to have known what was best) was that Mother shouldn't be told what was wrong with her. I've thought over the years that had we told Mother, there were some of those things that we could have avoided. I think maybe she would have done a few things differently.
Some months later it was suggested that Mother go to Dr. Daines. Mae relates, "Dr. Daines made Mother feel that he could do something for her, but Dr. Porter told me, 'Just be as good to your mother as you can; there's nothing we can do for her.' But Dr. Daines said he could operate on her and help her."
Along in January of 1937, the cancer in Mother's stomach had gotten so big that they took her to the hospital and operated on her. Dr. Daines did the operation. Uncle Jode was dressed up in surgical clothes and went in and watched it. They wouldn't let Howard or I in there, but they let Uncle Jode in. He came out and said, "They can't do a thing for her. So they'll sew her up."
Mother had a blood cancer. So they sewed her back up and the doctor said, "We can't do anything for her. The only thing we can is sew her up and try to keep her out of pain as much as we can. There's just nothing we can do."
My instructions from the family were "don't you tell her what she's got." I think they were afraid I was going to and I wanted to tell her. Had I known then what I know now I would have told her, regardless of what they told me. She used to badger me pretty heavily. "Now, Lin, what have I got? There's things they're not telling me." I'd shake my head and say, "I'm not a doctor." I have regretted that through the years.
Aerial and Dorothy lived in Logan that year. Dorothy went in and spent a day with Mother in the hospital. Mother kept telling Dorothy, "Now when Merle Hyer comes to get me, you let him in." And that was the tune all day long. Well a day or two later she rallied and said, I'm going home now." So we brought her home. That winter was terrible the snow was so deep one could drive a team and bobsled right over the fences. It was thirty degrees below every night. The wind blew and the snow blew. The trains were snowbound across the country. They couldn't get a train through Wyoming. Lots of towns were marooned. But we brought Mother home. I came in the house one night in February, as I got home from school. She said, "Lin, you call the Bishop and ask him to give me a blessing and have him bring Jim Taggart with him. I've got to have some relief." I called Bishop Hendricks and asked if he'd come and told him Mother's request. He got in his car, backed out and went right down the road and picked up Merle Hyer and came to the house. He never thought another thing about Jim Taggart. When they came in the house, the Bishop said, "Oh dear, Merle, I wasn't supposed to bring you. I was supposed to bring Jim Taggart." Merle said, "Let's go get him." I said, "No, this is good enough. You two can do it. That's just fine." So the Bishop anointed her and Merle sealed it and blessed her that she could be relieved of pain. She couldn't get relief from morphine, but she just calmed down and about midnight was gone.
I gathered up Owen and Howard. Reed was on a mission, and Mae was down in Ogden having a baby. She couldn't get here. Horace lived in Houseley's. It was about dark, and we debated that somebody ought to get up to get to Horace and get him. It was 40 degrees below that night. We finally talked ourselves out of it. The next day the wind quit and the sun came out and it warmed up to 20 degrees below. I drove to Richmond and walked in to where Horace was and told him that Mother had died. He said, "If you'd come and got me, I'd a come." I said, "Horace, we were afraid that we'd freeze to death and one funeral was enough."
At Mother's funeral, we substituted Allen, Mae's husband, for Reed and the six of us carried her to the grave and laid her to the side of Dad. I was a tall, skinny kid and they put me on lead, opposite Horace. They matched you up according to height. But it seemed like he carried his corner better than I did mind. Horace said that Dad was to Mother's funeral. I didn't see him or come in contact with him, but it seems fitting to me that Dad came back to get her.
As we waiting to have the funeral, we wired Reed. We'd sent him a letter telling him of Mother's condition when she was in the hospital -- she wasn't expected to live. We thought that he ought to stay on a mission and do what he was sent out to do. So the day after Mother died, Bishop Hendricks called me and said, "Lin, I just got a phone call from President LeGrande Richards in the Southern States Mission. He called me and asked if he should let Reed come home to his Mother's funeral." (Now this was a 17 year old boy passing out judgement. I never told Reed that story for many years.) I said, "No, Bishop. He can't get home. The trains coming across Wyoming are snowbound. There is no way he could get home." They might be snowbound for a month. Tell him that it's the family's decision that he stay there and do what he went out there to do. We'll handle it from here." He called President Richards back and told him. President Richards notified Reed that it was a decision at home that he stayed and finish his mission.
The hospital was eventually paid after Mother's illness. However, there were strong feelings against the doctor because it was felt that he operated knowing that there was nothing that could be done. Reed relates, "I took a threatening letter from the doctor up to Langston Barber at the bank. I asked him what we should do about it. He said, 'I know a little bit about that situation. They're nothing but a bunch of dirty thieves. I'd send them a dollar. If they accept that, then there's nothing they can do to you. They'll get around to writing another letter; send them another dollar.'" I said, "If I take your advise and go to jail will you come and see me?" They eventually quit writing. They probably got $20.00.
I'm going to tell you the last time I met my Mother. Back in those years I was living alone in the family home. I had my bed in the north room, about where the stove is now. I was doing some courting and I'd gotten to the point I thought I'd found the girl to marry. But when I asked her it took her a week and then she turned me down. When I left, I told her that if she didn't want me I didn't want her. So I came home and went to bed. I was laying there in bed thinking that the whole world had come to an end. I was alone in the house, and I heard my Mother say, "Lin." I reared up in bed and said, "All right, Mother. I'll get over it." I felt better. I thought of the time when she told me about Ruth, now this wasn't that serious but sometimes when one loses a girlfriend it may seem that bad.
At the time Dad died, I was so scared of the dark that I couldn't make it to the barn. When my parents started to die, I realized that I had to get over that, and I had by the time I left on my mission.
My farewell was the last time I met my father. He was there. I sat in the north seat up behind the rostrum on our church house. We stood up and sang the opening song. As I sat down in that chair, both of my father's hands came right down on top of my head, and they stayed there. I've wondered in years gone by why I didn't turn around, but I didn't dare for some reason. As my turn came to speak, the hands lifted and that's the last time I met my father.