WALKER FAMILY HISTORY
INTERVIEW WITH GLEN HARRIS WALKER
Glen: When grandpa Walker was on his mission, one of the general authorities visited the mission. A family had a five year old boy, who had developed an infection in his eyes and had gone blind. Grandpa was just a missionary, but the general authority asked him to assist in the administration. The general authority stood behind the boy as they administered to him and grandpa stood in front. When the administration was finished, and they took the bandages off, the little boy could see. The first person he saw was Grandpa. Grandpa didn’t see this young man for years and years. One time, Grandpa was in Salt Lake and went to a Dutch missionary reunion. A man walked up to him at the reunion and said: "You are Elder Walker. You are the first person I saw after my vision was given back to me." So he never forgot him. He lived in the Ensign Stake. I can’t remember his name right now, but he told me the story personally.
Glen: I think the Apostle was Elder Rudger Clawson.
Glen: Do you have the story about Rudger Clawson being the President of the Quorum of the Twelve, when the General Authorities heard that Grandpa Walker was holding carnivals and having games of chance in the cultural hall to raise money for the building fund. The President of the Quorum of the Twelve came to check on what this Bishop was doing in Canada. President Clawson came up and stayed at President Allen’s home. He and President Allen came to visit and see the carnival. The Stake President said: "Let me have you meet the Bishop." He called Dad over, and introduced him to Rudger Clawson.
President Clawson looked at him and said: "You were in Holland on a mission." Grandpa said: "Yes." President Clawson said: "Do you remember what you did for me once?"
Rudger Clawson and the missionaries were run out of Germany. They came in cattle cars into Holland. Dad was the Acting Mission President at the time. Dad went down and met the train, took them all over the their quarters, had them get baths and get clean clothes. Rudger Clawson said: "I’ll never forget you. This carnival is OK."
So they kept having the carnivals.
Glen: When we lived in the Ensign First Ward, our Bishop, George Cannon Young was ill. So we went down to see him at the LDS hospital. As we were visiting with him, in came Elder S. Dilworth Young; who came to administer to him. They were cousins. Bishop Young introduced us and S. Dilworth Young turned to Bishop Young and said: "Do you know what the Brethren call Glen’s father? They call Jim Walker the Brigham Young of Canada, because of all the things he has done for the people up there."
Glen: Grandma came to Canada about the time that Grandpa got home from his mission. Grandpa was attending the Stirling Ward and then transferred over to the Raymond Ward after his mission. The very first choir practice that he went to during the week after he got there, he spotted a little gal that he wanted to get well acquainted with. That was the first time he met her - at choir practice. The courtship developed from there, and they ultimately decided to get married. They saved their money so they could go and be married in the temple. They let their folks know that they would come on the train to be married in the Salt Lake Temple. Uncle Elliot Taylor and Aunt Mama were married on the same day.
Bill: Uncle Elliot told me that he and Grandpa were very close. He said they put their missionary papers in the same day and they corresponded with each other the entire time of their missions. Elliot was in Japan, Grandpa in Holland.
Glen: When we would go to Utah, we would always stay at Uncle El’s and Aunt Mame’s, or at Uncle Ez and Aunt Em’s place. They were the ones that we got best acquainted with in the family.
Bill: Tell me the story about when Bob tied Reed up in the tree.
Glen: Bob and Sid Romrell tied Reed up in the tree. It was about lunch time and they had him tied up in the tree, by the feet with the rope up over the branch. Grandpa came home for lunch and they didn’t see him coming. The next thing that Bob and Sid knew, they had their feet tied with ropes and they were hanging from the tree. Dad said: They’ll hand there until they learn to behave themselves.
Grandpa used to catch us unaware every once in a while. I remember Bob skipped church one Sunday and went and took his horse down, just before the first of July. He was training his horse for a race. I saw Bob get his pants kicked mighty hard when Grandpa came home and found out where Bob had been.
Another time, one Fast Sunday, two or three of my buddies decided we would skip Sacrament Meeting. We decided to hide in the closet, and then sneaked out the back door of the church. We went down and stopped at the Club Cafe, where Gee used to be, and thought we would go in and have a pie ala mode. We stopped there and Uncle Reed and Tom Witbeck were already there having a piece of pie, so I said, "Let’s not stay here."
So we went down to the York Cafe, where those two Chinese fellows used to make pretty good pie. We walked in there and who should be sitting there but Ralph and Nibs Fairbanks and two or three of their buddies. I said: "This doesn’t look good, let’s go down to the Utah Cafe." That was the furthest away from the church.
Jim Heninger and Lee Fairbanks were with me. We got in the back both of the Utah Cafe. That’s where all the guys from the sugar factory always came. There I was eating a piece of pie and I looked up and there stood my Dad. He had started the Fast and Testimony Meeting, then turned it over to his counselor. He said: "I’m missing three boys." He came to the furthest restaurant, and found me first. He said, "Do you know where Ralph and Reed are?" I said "yes", and told him. He said: "OK, get in the car."
We stopped at the Club Cafe and he said:" Go tell Ralph to come right now." He came and got in the car, and he drove down and I had to go in and get Reed at the York.
We went back to church, and Dad opened the back door. He didn’t wait for anybody to finish their testimony, he started marching us in, and Ralph and Reed and I all tried to sit down at the back. Dad said: " Oh no you don’t. You’re going to sit on the front row." He marched all three of us up and sat us down on the front row and then he went back up and sat down on the stand.
If I ever skipped Testimony Meeting after that, I made darned sure everyone else was there. I was about 13 or 14 at the time.
Glen: I remember another time when I was in my mid teens. The deacons were really acting up during one of the talks. Dad got up between speakers and said: "If you Deacons can’t learn to behave, we’ll have to start treating you like little kids." The next speaker got up and started and these kids just kept going and going. Dad got up off the stand, went down and put one deacon under one arm and another deacon under the other arm and took them back up to the stand and sat one down on Les Palmer’s lap, and one on his lap. Those kids sat there and squirmed and squirmed trying to get out of the Bishop’s grasp. Dad said afterwards: "I just told them - When you can behave like deacons you can go sit with the deacons. As long as you’re going to behave like little kids and disturb the meeting you can sit here with the Bishopric." They gave their promise and so finally they let them go back down and sit with the deacons. They were good kids the rest of the meeting.
Bill: Dad told me that Jane was talking so much once in a Sacrament Meeting that Grandpa got up and said: "Now, if Jane will stop talking, we’ll continue with the meeting."
Glen: I don’t remember that, but I’m sure he would have done it.
When we used to meet in the cultural hall, before they finished the chapel, the light switch was just out in the hallway where you went down the stairs. One summer night, all the lights went out during the meeting. They thought the power had gone off, but when they looked out the windows they could see other lights so they knew that somebody had turned the switch. Grandpa went out and turned the switch back on at the main breaker, and the lights came back on. He went back in and sat down, and about ten minutes later out the lights went again. Grandpa went out and turned the lights on again and returned and sat down and he said to Bishop Evans: "Next time the lights go out, you go turn them on, I’m going to go get the guy who’s turning them off."
The lights went off again, and Dad was pretty fast at running, and he took off. He caught the first kid and said: "I know who you are, you stand here, and I’ll be right back." He ran and caught the next kid, and told him to stand right there and then caught the third kid. He marched all three of them back, marched them up on the stand, stopped the speaker, and had each one of them stand and apologize to the congregation. Then he made them sit down on the front row for the rest of the meeting.
Bill: I guess they were kids from the ward?
Glen: Apparently. I can’t remember who they were, but Dad told me that story a couple of times.
Glen: Dad used to say quite often. He used to get really disgusted with the behavior of some children of Bishoprics and Stake Presidencies. I remember Dad used to say at the dinner table: "OK you guys, I want you to know something. Always remember this: You are no better than anybody in the ward. But always remember you’re just as good as anybody." He used to say that quite often. He had lots of things that he was quite wise about.
Glen: Once, two men from Magrath came over to see him. They said: "Bishop Walker, we’ve got a business proposition for you." They told him they were looking for $10,000.
He said: "What makes you think I’ve got $10,000?" They said: "You live in a big house, you drive a new car every other year, and you’ve got 2 or 3 kids in college." Dad said:
"That’s right and that’s were my money is going."
Bill: What were your Dad’s favorite themes or topics when he talked in church?
Glen: Mainly Living the Gospel. He was a great scriptorian. In fact, many people in the Stake would say they would rather hear Dad talk, than most of the general authorities. He got down to the nitty-gritty and he had scriptural backing for what would make statements about. He used to encourage people to remain faithful in the church.
I remember he told me one time: "If you ever have an opportunity to be a Bishop, and if you want a good active ward with a good group of people, there are merely two things that you have to do: Maintain a good youth program, and make sure the older people are going to the temple."
That’s what Dad always concentrated on: Having a good youth program and getting the older people to go to the temple.
He was the Bishop all the time that I remember, and he was released when I was about 14 or 15.
(He was the Bishop of the Raymond Second Ward from 1924 to 1941. Prior to that he had served as a counselor to Bishop J. W. Evans from 1912 to 1924.)
His counselors were Wilford Heninger and Les Palmer. He never changed.
Another one of Dad’s favorite sayings was: "Never spend your money before you get it."
Glen: When Dad was the Bishop, he and Mom didn’t socialize too much. He felt like his obligation was to the ward and he had to be careful about who he socialized with so no one would be offended. The way I remember it, the people they socialized with were his counselors and their wives. They used to go to each other’s homes Sunday evening, after everything was done and have some ice cream and cake and have a visit. After they were released even, they used to keep doing that.
As they got older, Wilford Heninger was the Stake Patriarch, and Dad was the Stake President.
Wilford built a new home, just across the road from Harry Fairbanks, right next to Sister Knight. They went over to Wilford’s place one Sunday night after church. Wilford said: "Jim, come with me out in the kitchen." Dad and Wilford went in the kitchen and Wilford shut the door, and got down on his hands and knees and he said: "Kick me."
Dad said: "What do you want me to kick you for?"
Wilford said: "I always said, if I didn’t obey your counsel about not spending your money before you had it, you ought to have somebody kick you. Well, I spent mine before I got it. I built this house with what I thought I was going to make this year - and I got hailed out."
Bill: Who was the Ward Clerk when your Dad was Bishop?
Glen: Ammon Anderson. He was a brother of Billy Anderson, a son of James S. Anderson. Ammon had a heart condition. He was a very faithful brother. He took care of everything he could.
Dad brought up in Bishopric meeting one day that Ammon was very ill and out of work, and nearly out of coal. Without saying anything, the next morning Wilford Heninger took his truck and went and got a load of coal for the Andersons and had it delivered before 9 a.m.
At the carnivals, they used to go to Lethbridge and sell chances on winning a car. This was back in the depression days, and people would spend their dollars, hoping that they would be the ones to win a car. Wilford Heninger used to say, "Well, how many tickets do I have to sell?" They’d tell him what his share was and he would sit down and write the check and say: "I hate selling tickets." He would just write a check for what they wanted.
One year at the carnival - guess who should win the car? Jane. Dad wouldn’t let her keep it. He didn’t think it was right for the Bishop’s kid to win the car, so he turned it in.
Bill: Obviously, Grandpa had a real belief in education.
Glen: Grandpa used to tell us: "If you will get an education, I’ll support you in anything you want to accomplish. But if any of you want to be a lawyer, I won’t pay one cent for your education." In fact, Ralph once said to Dad he wanted to be a lawyer, and Dad said: "Where you going to get your money from?"
When Willa Rae and I were going to get married, Dad said: "OK, you can get married, but you’ve got to promise me you’ll not do anything to keep from having children and you’ve got to accept all callings you get in the church. If you do that, I’ll support you."
Willa Rae and I were planning on getting married in about November. There was that little house that your Mom and Dad lived in, out on the farm. It wasn’t being used, so we decided we would live there to start with. We went out and we scraped and repainted and re-shingled the roof and everything else. We were making progress, and we were talking about running electricity to the house. I was out on section ten summer fallowing, and about 9 or 10 in the morning, Dad pulled up and I stopped. He said: "Shut the tractor off and get in the car, I need to talk to you." He said: "Your brothers want to start farming by themselves; they want to start buying the farms from me. But they all want to farm by themselves, and they want to know if you’re going to stay home and farm or if you are going to go back to school. So what do you want to do?"
I said: "Well, I’ve always thought what I’d like to do is stay home and farm in the summer and fall, and then go back to school. That way I can support myself and have an interest in the farm."
He said: "Well, what do you want to be?"
I said: "Well, eventually I’d like to get into medical school, but while I’m in medical school I might have to hire my brothers to do some of the work."
Glen: Dad said: "Well, I don’t think that will work. If you want to be a doctor, get in school, and your share of the estate will be to get your education.
He said: "I will tell you one thing - I wish you would stay home and farm, because, you may be the youngest, but I think if you stayed home and farmed, you would be able to keep your older brothers together."
I said: "OK, I’ll think about it."
Dad said: "OK, you think about it, and when you come home for lunch, let me know what you want to do." He gave me three hours to think about it and make my mind up. He figured you didn’t need to take a long time making a decision. You knew the facts, so make a decision. That’s the way he always was. He always thought you should make your own decisions. He would give it to you to decide, and then he’s say: "OK, that’s what we’re going to do."
So I decided to go back to school to be a doctor.
Bill: You’re going to be the Temple President in L.A. Can you tell me about Grandma and Grandpa’s thoughts about the temple?
Glen: They were firm believers in living the gospel, sustaining the leaders, and participating in all activities in the church. Grandma and Grandpa went two or three times a months to the temple. They used to go every Tuesday, and spend most of Tuesday there. Later on, when Grandpa was on the High council, he was an ordinance worker for a while. They were very active in going to the temple.
Go back to the time they got married. Being a young couple up here in Canada, it would have been easy for them to have decided to do something else. But they decided that a temple marriage was what they wanted, and they encouraged all their children to get married in the temple. They were upset because several didn’t get married in the temple.
They tried very hard to see that all their family were active in the church and sealed in the temple.
Grandma always used to say: "Remember Satan rides high after midnight." So the rule in our family was you had to be home by 12:30 a.m. If you can’t get home by then, you need to call us and tell us where you are and when you’re going to be home, and why you weren’t able to be home by 12:30.
I remember it was a Friday night, and I borrowed the car and seven of us went over to Lethbridge. We had girlfriends in Lethbridge and we were at this party. I suddenly looked up and it was 1 a.m. I could just see my Dad killing me, and I think the other guys could imagine their Dad’s killing them, because we had seven guys that each had to take their girls home before we could go home. We knew that would take more than ten minutes. We hustled and took everybody home and started for Raymond about 2 a.m.
It was winter, February, and about 20 below zero. Just as we got out passing the Lethbridge airport, we passed a little coupe car with all the windows frosted up. We could tell someone was in the car, so we stopped to see who it was.
We backed up and I got out and went over to the car and who should role the window down, but President Edward J. Wood, the Temple President.
He had his wife and Sister in law in the front seat with him and they were all wrapped in blankets. He said: "My car froze up."
I said: "Well, why don’t you come with us? Mom and Dad will have extra beds and they’ll be happy to have you spend the night."
He said: "I would really rather get my car back into Lethbridge, because I’ve got to get back to the temple tomorrow."
Glen: We towed them back into Lethbridge, and then took them to the Marquis Hotel and made sure they had a room for them. Needless to say, by the time we did that and got home, and dropped all the guys off, I walked in the house after 5 o’clock.
Who should be there, but Dad, pacing the floor. "Where have you been?"
Well, I told a little bit of a white lie; I said: "Well, we would have been home in plenty of time, but we found President Wood out on the road with his car frozen up. and we had to take him back to Lethbridge, etc."
He listened to my explanation, and then he said: "That’s a likely story. Well, get to bed because you’re getting up at 6 in the morning to go to work." I think that was one of his favorite things, it didn’t matter what time you got home on Friday night, you got up early Saturday morning to go to work on the farm.
I went to bed and he called me at about 5:30 and told me to get the cow milked before we headed for the farm at 6. All weekend long, about every time I would pass him he would say: "Likely story." "Likely story."
They went to the temple that Tuesday. When I got home from school, Dad said:
"Glen, I apologize. I didn’t take two steps inside the temple, before Pres. Wood came up to me and said -’Boy was I glad to see Glen the other night.’"
But I never did tell him how late it was when we found him.
I think Pres. Wood was the Stake President for about 35 years and the Temple President for about 25 years. He was a wonderful man.
Anyway, Mom and Dad were great temple workers, and they were always very excited whenever their kids went to the temple.
The night before Beth and Harris were to get married, Harris went to Lethbridge to see Beth. He was quite late coming home and so he was driving fast and made the turn off the main road at the Welling turn-off, and lost control of the car in the loose gravel and rolled it. He didn’t want to disturb anybody, so he walked the five miles home and didn’t get home until about 5 in the morning.
Grandpa got Uncle John Salmon, and took Harris and they went out, hooked a chain on the car and towed it home. Of course, they had to borrow a car for them to go to the temple. So they called the temple to tell them that they would be late because of a car accident. Well, whomever it was that made the announcement went in and said: "The Walkers are going to be late because Harris was involved in a car accident." They didn’t know if he was hurt or what. So Beth sat there stewing until they finally showed up.
I was only a kid, but I can still remember that.
Bill: Tell me about music in the family.
Glen: Dad and Mom both liked to sing. They liked to sing in choirs. Grandma always sang in the choir, and Grandpa would sing whenever he could. Being in the bishopric, he would sometimes get up and go back and sing with the choir, especially on special occasions. Grandpa had a beautiful baritone voice, but he could sing tenor, too. So they were interested in music and always encouraged all the kids to get some music in their souls. They used to encourage us to sing in music festivals, and things like that.
They had the idea that if you wanted to take music lessons, you had to take piano lessons. I remember, when I was a kid, I wanted to take guitar lessons. They told me that after I had learned to play the piano, then I could take guitar lessons. I finally gave the piano up, and never got my guitar lessons.
Glen: Of course, Harris learned how to play the violin. Aunt Beth learned to play. Aunt Mary took a lot of vocal lessons. I remember Reed taking vocal lessons. I remember Sister Snow used to teach Reed vocal lessons, and it always seemed to me they only sang one song - All Through the Night. That’s the only song I ever heard Reed practice. I thought - How boring.
They always had a good choir in the ward.
Glen: When Dad was in the Alberta Legislature, he was the leader of the Opposition Party, and he sat across the aisle from the Social Credit Party. The Minister of Education was Solon Low and the Minister of Lands and Mines was N. Eldon Tanner.
When they’d get to church on Sunday, Dad would say to them - Do you guys really believe that Social Credit stuff? President Tanner would say: "Jim, I’m as much a Social Creditor now as I ever was." Dad would say, "But you still haven’t told me whether you believe it or not."
Bill: Many years ago, I was at the SL airport and saw President Tanner at the baggage claim area waiting for his bags. No one was with him so I went up to him and introduced myself to him, and told him I was Jim Walker’s grandson. He was in the First Presidency at the time. He just praised Grandpa and went on and on about what a good man he was.
Glen: Right after the war, the Japanese in Raymond asked Dad if he would condescend to ride on the float with them in the Raymond parade. They said: A lot of people think we are the enemy and we would like to have you ride with us. Dad said: You are fine people; I 'll ride on your float with you.
I think it was you Bill, as the float went by, you incredulously turned to you Mom and Dad and said: "I didn’t know Grandpa was Japanese."
Bill: It doesn’t surprise me that he would stand up for the Japanese in the community. Uncle Bob told me that Grandpa was always standing up for the Hutterites.
Glen: He was the one who got the legislation passed during the war. The Hutterites were conscientious objectors. He got the legislation passed that the Hutterites could not buy property within 50 miles of their colony, so that the servicemen who were at war would not be shut out from buying property when they came home from the war. Then that legislation was repealed after the war.
Sammy Kliensaucer was the head of one of the colonies. He used to ask Dad when he was going to become a Hutterite. He would say You Mormons preach the United Order, but we live it. Dad would say: Sammy, when I get your job, I’ll become a Hutterite. (laughter)
During the war, Dad stood up for the Japanese in our community. He would not tolerate anyone talking bad about the Japanese. He said: "They are fine people and they are fine farmers, and good citizens." So he would not tolerate anybody criticizing them.
He stood up for the Hutterites, too, because he felt they were fine people.
When Dad got out of politics, someone asked him why he had given it up. He said: "I’m not a big enough liar to be a politician."
Bill: Aunt Beth told me that Grandma was pretty happy when he lost the last election.
Glen: She didn’t like the politics.
Glen: During the war, it was often difficult to find workers to finish the work on the farm.
Sometimes Dad would hire some of the Hutterite boys to come in and help on the farm. Sometimes they actually came and lived with us for a few days while they worked with us. One of the Hutterite Bosses said to Dad: "We would never let our kids go anywhere else, but your home. We know there they will be cared for." That was quite a note of respect from the Hutterites.
Glen: I’m going to tell you my sex education talk with my father. When I was 14, Dad and I went out to the farm. We were going to help Fay load some bucks to take them up to the ranch. After we got them loaded, I was going to go ride in the truck with Fay. Dad said: "Glen, do you want to drive the car up there?" I was 14, and I was more than willing to drive the car.
We got up to the ranch. We opened the gate and pulled in. We didn’t go very far. We had a dugout in the side of the hill, where we could just back the truck in and hit the edge of the hill and unload the sheep on the side of the hill.
I was going to tear over and help Fay, and Dad said: "Sit down for a minute." Dad said, very seriously, "Do you know why we bring the bucks up here at this time of the year?" I said: "Yes, we bring them up here in December, because we want to start lambing in the middle of May." He said: "Do you understand it all?" I said: "Yes." He said: "OK".
That was my complete sex education with my father. I’m sure he was going to talk to me in the car on the way up to the ranch, but he hardly said one word all the way up. He was pretty quiet on that trip.
Glen: Another funny story, is when I got home from my first year of medical school, Dad met me at the train and told me my job was to do the lambing. He said we had a wet spring, and so the other boys were farming and I would need to take charge of the lambing.
I went and did the lambing with 3500 head of sheep. Dad and the boys would help when they could.
Dad came up one time with a car full of grandkids. I had ewe that was having a hard time delivering and I had her in the lambing shed. I had thrown some straw around and I was sitting there pulling this lamb. In walked Grandpa with about 10 of the grandkids. You may have been there with him.
When Dad saw that I was pulling a lamb, he kicked the kids out of the barn. Well, I was in the pen by the side of the barn, and within one minute I had every knothole filled with an eye. I said to Dad: You might as well tell them to come in and we can talk and I can answer come questions. So the kids all came in and they started asking questions. It got so embarrassing for Grandpa that he left.
These kids wanted to know how that lamb got in there, and they wanted to know this and that. When the lamb was born, the ewe got up and licked the lamb off and started eating the after birth. They wanted to know what she was doing that for. ‘Was I born that way?’ and ‘Did my Mom do that?’ etc.
After I had finished the education, I found I was in trouble, because Beth said to me later: ’What did you tell my little kids up there?’ I said: ’They watched a lamb being born and I explained it to them and they just asked questions.’ She said Richard, who was about 5, came home and asked me: ‘Mom, when I was born, did you eat the after birth?’ That was the sex education for a bunch of those little guys, and you were probably one of them.
Glen: One time, we had an old "bone cracker" at the Bar K-2 Hutterite colony, his name was Joe Mandel. They would pass from father to son what they knew. They could manipulate pretty well. Bro. Joseph Fielding Smith, who as acting Patriarch to the church, was visiting. He would often stay with Sis. Knight, but come and eat dinner with us. One night he was there and he told Dad he had been having lots of back trouble. Dad liked to do his own doctoring, or take them out to Joe Mandel, so he I’ll take you out to this Hutterite bone doctor - he can fix your back for you.
The next day we went out there. I went with them. Joe Mandel had him lie down on the couch, and ran his fingers up and down his back and all of a sudden he twisted him and Bro. Smith let out a blood-curdling yell. But when he go up he said: It feels better.
Bro. Smith made a donation to him; he couldn’t charge a fee since he wasn’t licensed.
Joe said to Dad: ‘I’ve watched you limp for years. What’s wrong with your foot?’
Dad told him he had caught his foot in a hay baler when he was younger and it was crushed so bad the doctor wanted to amputate it. Joe said: ’Have you ever had any other treatment?’
So Dad let him feel it and he sat there and felt his foot for a few minutes, then he gave it a twist and a snap, a pop, and bang, and Dad about went threw the ceiling with a big yell. He was surprised, because after that Grandpa didn’t limp more. I’ve thought the last few years I’d like to have him work on me.
When Mom and Dad were first married, Dad would work at the office, then he would ride the horse the five miles out to the farm and work until dark. Then he would come home. Mom said, ‘Well, the least I can do is milk the cow for you so you don’t have to do it when you get back from the farm at night.’
Dad came back one night and Mom said: ’That’s a crazy cow. I can’t milk her. As soon as I get in there, she ducks her head and comes running at me. I have to turn and run back out the gate.’
Dad laughed and said Oh you’re dreaming. He went out and milked the cow that night. The next morning he watched while Grandma went in to milk the cow and it charged her, so he milked the cow from then on.
Glen: Up on the 3rd floor of the church, they used to have an old organ. It was an old foot-reed organ. The reeds started disappearing, because kids would take the reeds fro whistles. They couldn’t keep the thing in repair. Grandpa’s office was right across the street from the church. One day he saw some kids going into the church, so he locked up the office and walked over to see what was going on. Here was this kid who had the organ apart and he was pulling the reeds out. Dad said he kicked that kids pants every step he took from the third floor to the front door.
Bill: I guess that’s where my Dad learned to kick.
Glen: We knew when Dad was going to come home so we would work real fast to get out chores done before he got there. Except Ralph. Ralph would go lay down behind the couch and read magazines. Mom would keep saying: ’Your Dad’s going to be home in 10 minutes, you better get your work done.’ I remember this one Saturday, Ralph heard the back door close and so Ralph just sauntered through the dining room to head down stairs to do his work. Dad followed him around the table and came up behind him and kicked him in the pants so hard, Ralph went about 15 feet and never touched the floor.
One day Dad went out to the Knight Sugar Company farm next to the sugar factory. They had a lot of Englishmen there that were doing some haying. They had a team of horses on a wagon that was loaded and stuck in a ditch. It was 10 minutes to 12. Dad said to the man that was with him, ‘If I don’t get that wagon out in the next ten minutes, that team will stand there all through the lunch hour.’ These Englishmen will stop as soon as that factory whistle blows for their lunch hour, and they won’t do anything till one hour later. He said: "I’ll get them out of there, I know which horse it is that balks."
Dad picked up a pitchfork, yelled Get up, and whacked the horse across the behind. The horses jumped and pulled the wagon right out. Dad handed the lines to the Englishman and said ‘OK take them into the barn.’
Dad got back in the car and the man that was with him said: ’I just lost every bit of respect I had for you.’ Dad said: ‘Why?’ He said: ‘I just concluded, if you would hit and animal like that, you would probably hit your kids. ‘ He said: ’you know Jim, I have a son, and I have never laid a hand to him. Sometimes it has taken me 45 minutes to convince him that he needs to do something, but I’ve never had to lay a hand on him.’
Dad said: ’My gosh, If I took 45 minutes to talk to each of my six boys every time I needed to get one of them to do something, I would never get anything done.
Glen: Once when we had been to Huntsville, I was driving Dad’s car, and I was kind of tailgating the guy in front of us coming down the canyon. Dad said to me: ’Well, don’t stop now, you might as well run into him.’ So I got closer to him, and Dad didn’t say anything else.
Willa Rae: When we would come home from school, it was always May, and it would be Stake conference time. Grandpa Walker was very stern and very exacting, but so loving. No matter what happened, there was always that love. We arrived just before stake conference was about to begin, and Glen went right up to the front to greet his Dad, and Grandpa would throw his arms around Glen and give him a hug and kiss. And he would do it right in front of all those people, the building would be packed. It was always very tender to me, because no matter what, this strong leader would embrace and kiss and hug his son in front of the whole congregation.
Another thing that I always noticed, just before they would begin Stake Conference, when they would come in, Grandma would always come in with them. He would always have a place for her, and Grandpa would take her over and see that she was seated, and then he would walk up to the stand. I can always remember that, even before we were married. It is something that stuck in my mind, watching President Walker, and the tenderness that he had for Grandma Walker.
And when the other kids were gone, and Glen was the only one left at home, Grandpa would always take her to his meetings with him. And Grandpa would always have to drive fast because; Grandma would always have to do one more thing before they would leave. That was a tender thing that I watched, even when I wasn’t yet a member of the family.
Delia Woolf said she would be visiting Grandma and the phone would ring and someone would want Grandpa. She would say, yes he’s here. And Delia would say, it doesn’t seem that he’s here, we haven’t seen him for an hour or so. She would say, ‘Well, he hasn’t kissed me good-bye yet, so I know he’s still here somewhere.’
I remember once when they stopped the car right in the middle of Main Street for one of them to get out to go do something and they leaned over and kissed good-bye - right there in the middle of the street.
Glen: We weren’t supposed to go to the movies on school nights. One night Reed and I couldn’t resist the temptation. We new Mom and Dad were going, so we waited till after we knew the show would start and then we went in. We waited till our eyes got acclimated to decide where to sit so we would know where Mom and Dad were sitting. We knew when the show would end, we would be standing right by the back door, so that we could run like mad. We could cut through the alleyway and try to get home before them.
Dad would come in and check on us to see if we were in bed as soon as they came home. Reed and I just got there in time to jump into bed with all our clothes on just before Dad walked in to check on us. We were still puffing from running home, so we had to hold our breath while he was checking on us to stop the puffing. We just made it.
One night when Ralph was a senior in high school, Bob had come home for Christmas vacation. I was sitting up reading a book I had to read for school. At 2 in the morning, the door opened and I heard some one trying to sneak up the stairs. I heard Dad say: Bob, Ralph, Is that you? Bob said: ‘It’s me.’ Well, Dad really chewed him out and told him even if he was in college, he still needed to get home at 12:30, and so Bob went on up stairs and went to bed.
About 10 or 15 minutes later I heard on the front steps, someone stomping up the stairs. The front door opened and went Bang. Stomp, Stomp Stomp, upstairs and then back down to the kitchen to get some milk or something else to eat. I said: ‘Ralph, you crazy idiot, Bob just got yelled at 15 minutes ago.’ Ralph said: ’He tried to sneak in didn’t he?’ He said: ‘When you come home late, act natural, make all the noise you want to and they’ll never wake up.’
We went to Cardston with the high school basketball team once, and when we were on our way home, the school bus broke down and we didn’t get home till 5 am. Dad said: Did you milk your cow last night before you left for the ball game. I said I didn’t have time because of when the bus was leaving. He said, Well, then you go milk that cow right now. And I had to go milk the cow then, even though it was scheduled to be milked again that morning.
I suggested to Dad once that we just drop off a milk can with Mutt Ralph who goes out to our farm where we have 40 head of milk cows and milking machines. I said, I’ll go over to Ralph’s and pick up the can of milk. Dad said: ‘No way. You need to milk that cow, you need to haul your hay and you need to shovel the manure.’
Someone once asked dad what he would do with his boys if he completely got caught up with all the work on the farm and the ranch. He said: ‘I would never run out of work for my boys.’ If there was nothing else to do, I would have them dig post holes.’
And the man said: ’Then what would you have them do next?’ He said: ’Fill in the holes.’
Willa Rae: I remember Grandpa waiting for Grandma to finish her choir practice, and sitting with the grandchildren and telling them stories about when he was young.
I remember when Grandma and Grandpa came to Montreal to visit us once. I remember that he would sit on the couch and read the scriptures, whenever he wasn’t playing with the children or doing something else. Glen would be at school, and Grandpa would be sitting on the couch reading the scriptures. Grandma and I would be in the other room doing something, and he would often call us in to talk to us and ask us about a scripture he had just read, or just to share it with us.
He told us when we got married, we couldn’t have a car and we were to get a very inexpensive apartment. He thought cars and school didn’t mix.
Willa Rae: We all respected and loved him some much. He was this marvelous wonderful Stake President. When we got married, I thought it was just awesome, the knowledge that he had. I can still see him laying on that ugly old green couch that we had and just reading the scriptures.
Glen: I remember he would lay down and be reading the scriptures, and he would fall asleep. But he would never drop his scriptures. You could go back two hours later and he would be in the same spot, with his scriptures open in the same place.
Glen: Let me tell you about the spiritual experience that Grandpa had when he had the appendicitis. The doctor came in to see Dad on Friday, and said, I will not be back to see your husband over the weekend. Another doctor will check on your husband over the weekend. His fever was up over 104, he had a ruptured appendix, with peritonitis; they just left him open to drain him.
She said she was just getting ready to leave; it was about 4 in the afternoon. She was going to return home, so she could get home before dark.
She said two young men walked into the room. She said: Who are you? They said: We are your sons, we are Floyd and Lloyd. We’ve come to help Dad, but we can’t help him until he’s got his garments on. Mom was in the process of putting his garments on when the nurse came in. She got the garments on him and then when she turned around the boys were gone. She continued to get ready and went home. Later that evening the phone rang, and it was the hospital. She was expecting the worst, but was informed that he was doing much better. His fever had broken and it was down to normal. He was discharged the next day.
Glen: Dad told me that they lived on the ranch in Coalville, and then his Dad decided to move them into town so they could have more contact with others. He said that when they moved into town, he was so shy, he was nearly frightened of his own shadow.
Dad came home from first grade one day crying and said he hated school because the boy who sat behind him would pull his hair all the time. His older brother Jack, who was in the 4th grade, but the same room, decided he would take care of his little brother, and the next day when the kid that sat behind Dad started pulling his hair, Jack came right out of his chair, went across the room and smacked the kid. Well, Jack got in trouble with the teacher, who sent him out to get a willow for a whipping. He brought it back, and the teacher had him bend over and whipped him, but the willow immediately broke because Jack had notched the willow. Well she went out and got her own, and really gave him a whipping. Dad said, Jack got whipped nearly everyday from then on. Well their Dad was the same as our Dad: If you ever get in trouble at school, you’re in worse trouble when you get home. Apparently their home was just over the fence from the schoolyard.
The teacher sent Jack out another day to get a willow, and Jack decided he wasn’t going to do it. The teacher looked out the window and saw Jack going over the fence. Dad said all the kids in the class were looking out the window as the teacher tried to catch Jack from the one side of the fence and Grandpa was on the other side of the fence trying to catch him from their yard. The fence had a 2X4 across the top and he was going down the 2X4. Their other brother, Alec, used to get beat all the time, too.
Glen: Years later, Dad and Uncle Alec were walking down the street in Ogden. This was when Dad was married and had a family. This lady passed them on the street and said: ’Good Afternoon Walker boys.’ Dad tipped his hat, but Alec just looked straight ahead and kept walking. Dad said: ’Come on Alec, your mother raised you better than that.’ Alec said: ‘Don’t you know who that old biddy was?’ Dad didn’t know. Alec said: ‘That’s our old school teacher, and if you think I’m going to raise my hat to her, you’re crazy.’
When they were up on the ranch, a couple of times the Indians would come onto the ranch and had pow wows with them. Grandma and Grandpa Walker always gave the Indians what they wanted, fed them.
He said he used to see the Indian campfires, up Chalk Creek, near Coalville. He said it used to really scare him.
Glen: Dad and LeGrande Richards were friends, and they used to like to get together and talk Dutch. One day they were talking about the mission in Holland, and LeGrande Richards said: ‘I wonder whatever happened to Sister so-and so.’ Dad said: ‘I baptized her.’ LeGrande said: ‘How did you get her to do that?’
Dad said he was getting transferred, he said this woman had boarded and fed the missionaries for years. She knew them all and fed them all, but she had never joined the church. Sometimes she would serve cake and ice cream to up to 20 missionaries after Sunday church meetings.
Dad came down stairs with two suitcases, and all the missionaries and this sister said: ’Where are you going?’ He said: ’I’m going to a baptism.’ She said: ’Whose?’ He said: ’Yours.’ And she said: ‘OK, I’ll get my coat.’
He later said to her: ‘How come you never got baptized before?’ She said: ‘You’re the first missionary that has asked me.’
She had missionaries living with her for over 20 years.
Glen: LeGrande Richards visited Cam’s stake in California years ago, and Cam took his son up to introduce him to Elder Richards. Elder Richards said: ‘let me tell you about your Grandma and Grandpa Walker. When I was the Presiding Bishop of the church, your Grandma was the Young Women’s President in her Stake, and she was the best young women’s president in the church. And I’ll tell you about your Grandpa too; I have known him for years and I love him like a brother.
There was a great respect there between Mom and Dad and LeGrande Richards.
Bill: He must of known many of the Brethren very well.
Glen: He certainly accomplished much in his life. He has quite a posterity. Most of them are active in the church. You know that he loved his family. He always enjoyed having his family around him. He always enjoyed his grandkids. When he went to the ranch or the farm, he usually had a carload of grandkids with him. He loved to have them with him. He loved to see them get out and do things. That was the attitude he always had.
You know that he loved his family.
End of Interview
Transcribed by William R. Walker Oct. 17, 1995