WALKER FAMILY HISTORY
INTERVIEW OF HARRIS WALKER, FAY WALKER, BETH WALKER ZEMP AND MARY WALKER FAIRBANKS. JULY, 1987 at RAYMOND, ALBERTA. INTERVIEWED BY BETH RUSSELL WALKER
HARRIS: Dad arrived here in May, 1903. He came with Uncle John and Aunt Maggie Salmon.
BETH: He went back that fall.
HARRIS: He left on his mission in 1907, from Coalville. I think he had already attended the LDS Business College before his mission.
BETH: I know he was the ward choir leader in Coalville, before he left on his mission.
HARRIS: Dad went to public school for five years, and he finished grade nine. He didnít start school until he was eight years old. So he went through nine grades in five years. Thatís all the school he had until he went to LDS Business College. Thatís where he learned how to play basketball, at the business college. He played on the LDS Business College basketball team.
FAY: He worked on the farm before his mission. He had a farm here, and he rented the farm to Uncle Alex.
BETH: The first year they farmed here, Dad and Uncle John, one of them drove the team and the other stood in the back of the wagon and they scattered the seeds that way. They had no equipment to seed with, so they did it from the back of the wagon.
HARRIS: Uncle Alex stayed one year. That was the year they had 80 acres of grain and in the fall they had a good crop. About the first of September, they made one round with the binder, and stopped for the night. That night the big hailstorm came and hailed them out 100%. They didnít have any money.
FAY: Uncle Johnís land was right next to them and didnít get hardly any hail on it. Dad and Alex had another 80 acres out east, and the hail jumped Uncle Johnís and hit the other 80 acres, too. Uncle Alex said: "Any time a country treats a guy like that, it isnít worth staying." He left the harnesses hanging on the binder and went back to Utah.
BETH: They had some beats, and they thought it was going to freeze, so they didnít go to church that day, they stayed home and plowed the beets. That night it froze so hard they never got them, and Dad said that was the end of any Sunday work. After that, he would never work on Sunday.
FAY: Uncle Alex would never come back up. I think he came back only once, in 1938.
HARRIS: And he only came for 2 or 3 days; he didnít want to have anything to do with this country after the start he got.
FAY: Dadís mission ended in 1910. He was out for 39 months, on his mission. For six months he presided over the mission, as the interim Mission President, following the death of the Mission President. When he finished his mission, he soon returned to Canada, and stayed after that. Mom was already living here when Dad returned in 1910. She came up here to work as a secretary for E. P. Ellison who was running the Knight Sugar Company.
FAY: When Dad came up here he lived with Salmons. They lived in a tent for quite a while, the first year they got here. They were living in the tent, over here near where George Hoferís house is. Uncle Alex was here with Dad and Uncle John when the blizzard hit in 1903. When the blizzard hit, they had six-foot deep snowdrifts around their tent. The only was they could get out was to go straight up.
HARRIS: They said it snowed three feet on the level in that storm. Dad said that was the biggest storm that he ever saw in all the years that he lived here.
FAY: The night before the big storm, a trainload of people and livestock had just arrived from Utah. They had just unloaded their cattle into the stockyards at Stirling, and half of the cattle were dead when the storm was over with. A lot of those people went right back to Utah after that. They couldnít take it. You read the history of this country, and there were people, who intended to come up here from Utah for 2 or 3 years, make their fortune and then return to Utah. That was the attitude that many of them had.
HARRIS: I think thatís right. Most of them originally intended to go back to Utah. Mom and Dad were married on Feb. 21, 1912.
FAY: They went to Salt Lake and were married in the Salt Lake Temple in a double wedding, with Uncle Elliot and Aunt Mame. (Uncle Elliot Taylor was Grandpaís best friend from his teenage years in Coalville, and Aunt Mame was Grandpa Walkerís sister.)
When they returned to Raymond, they lived at the back of the old sugar company office.
HARRIS: Raymond had four diagonal streets that came right to the center of town. One came right straight from the sugar factory. The building was back from the corner, back behind where Doug MacLeanís house is. It was a brick building. We lived there until I was six.
FAY: When I was just a little guy, they built the house and we moved down there. They said I used to stand at the front window and bawl, because I wanted to go back home.
HARRIS: I was born in the house, where Art Jensenís house was, so I guess we didnít live in the office until after that. Fay was born in the office. We lived in the office when we were little kids, so I donít know when they moved to the office. The house I was born in was on the same diagonal, right next to Charlie Strongís house. It was down the street a little bit north and a little bit west of the Ali Bennett house.
BETH: They moved to the office before I was born, because I was born in the office. They twins were born in the office too, and Mary was born in the new house.
HARRIS: So it would have been 1913, or early 1914 that they moved to the office. The twins were born in 1916, so I would have been nearly four.
BETH: I remember the first day we moved into the house, looking out the big window, and I bawled all day, because I wanted to go home. I didnít want to stay there.
HARRIS: Well, I was six when we moved there, so it could have been late 1918. However, Mary was born in 1918, so maybe I was five.
BETH: It seems like we moved in the fall, before Christmas, so maybe it was 1917.
HARRIS: They moved a house up here from the Stephens lot. They moved it up here and then built on to the house.
BETH: I heard Mom say that when they lived in the other house, they didnít have money to pay for it, but they bought a cow. So they bought it on an installment plan. They had just had it a short time, and it died, and they still had to keep making payments for the cow.
FAY: That cured them of installment buying.
HARRIS: When I was a small boy, five or six, I used to go with my Dad sometimes and watch him play basketball. I would watch him practice, and sometimes see the games. I couldnít have been more than about six when I first saw him play. I canít remember him playing in the Opera House, but I remember him playing in the old high school gym. I used to go climb up in the balcony to watch.
FAY: Thatís too long ago for me. Dad always played baseball.
HARRIS: I know Dad played a lot of baseball before any of us kids can remember.
FAY: The first summer they were here, Dad and Uncle Alex played baseball with Stirling. They used to play against Lethbridge over in the old Galt Gardens. They played down towards where the station is, and when Alex would come to bat, the people that had stores facing Galt Gardens would get out in front of the store to catch the balls, because Alex could hit the ball so far, he could knock it through their windows. But he struck out lots of times too.
HARRIS: Dad and Alex were both runners, as well. But I donít know any details about it. July 1st, and other times they would have races, and Dad and Alex would win about everything around here.
FAY: Dad was put in the Bishopric in 1912, when they split the Raymond Wards. It was before Harris was born. J. W. Evans was the Bishop, L.D. King was the First Counselor and Dad was the Second Counselor.
HARRIS: He became Bishop in 1924, I was 12. He served as Bishop for 17 years. (Released on 16 Feb., 1941) He served on the High Council, first as an Alternate, then as a regular member of the High Council, before he was called as Stake President.
BETH: Dad was elected to the Alberta Legislature on March 21, 1940. I remember that was a really big deal and then we went to the temple early the next morning and Earl and I were married. We went to the temple at 9 am, and we were married at 3pm. Thatís how long the sessions were then.
HARRIS: I was in medical school then. Dad served in the Legislature for four years. His last year up there he was the leader of the opposition party in the house.
BETH: When he was defeated for re-election, I remember Mom was so happy. I think she celebrated when he wasnít re-elected.
FAY: He became Stake President in 1947, and was Stake President until he died, in December of 1954. He was Stake President for seven years.
BETH: As far back as I can remember, Mom was the Secretary in the Stake Relief Society Presidency. Sister OíBrien, Dotís mother, was the President. I remember she used to have to do the reports, and I used to help her. I knew where everybody in town lived and I would chase all over town getting reports for Mom. I was just 6 or 7.
HARRIS: Mom also taught Sunday School, most all the time. I think she taught Sunday School whenever she wasnít pregnant. She taught Sunday School from the time we were little shavers.
BETH: Mom wasnít always at Sunday School, because in those days mothers with nursing babies often didnít go. That was when we had Sunday School in the morning and Sacrament Meeting in the afternoon. I remember one time that she had planned to go to Sunday School. Ralph was the baby. We got all the kidsí things ready, all the shoes shined and everything done, the boys suits all ready. When we were all ready to leave for Sunday School, we couldnít find Ralphís shoes. Everybody looked for them. And we looked and we looked. That was in the days when all the babies wore shoes; they didnít let their babies go bare-footed like they do now.
So Mom decided she would stay home with Ralph. She could have dinner ready by the time we got home.
We used to have an old refrigerator, with the block of ice in the top. The boys would go dig the blocks of ice out of the icehouse. We had big round pans like this that we used to strain the milk in.
HARRIS: We also had a big round pan underneath that we had to keep dumping.
BETH: So Mom decided she would get dinner. She went to the fridge to get the pan of milk, and there were Ralphís shoes floating on the top of the pan of milk. Do you remember that Mary?
MARY: Yes, I remember it.
BETH: Somebody had the frig door open, and Ralph had toddled over and put his shoes in there.
MARY: Some of the kids used to float their shoes down the irrigation ditch, too.
HARRIS: We used to have a whole house full of boarders. The boarders all lived up stairs. Some were students at the Knight Academy.
BETH WALKER: Well, you only had one bedroom downstairs, where did all you kids sleep?
HARRIS: I donít know where we slept. We were just little fellows. I guess we were piled three deep - I donít know.
BETH: Grace Van Wagoner worked for Mom when she had boarders. We had boys and girls as boarders. Grace was a sister to Maude Sorenson and Stella Galbraith.
HARRIS: I remember Neil Fisherís wife, Alta; and Rhoda Whitehead from Claresholm.
I think Milt Hansen was there. It seems like they had about six boarders all the time (during the school year) for two or three years. I can remember all the boarders up to the table eating.
FAY: Maybe we slept behind the pot-bellied stove in the dining room.
HARRIS: Well, I remember backing into the pot-bellied stove after I got out of the bathtub. I burned my seat on the stove.
BETH: Mom needed Graceís help because she said: "We canít take boarders, weíve got a bunch of little kids." People would say, but youíve got plenty of room in your house. We donít want any special treatment, just let us live with you. They didnít have any place to stay. Anyway, she and Dad talked it over and decided they didnít want boarders, but they ended up doing it just to accommodate the kids who couldnít find a place to stay.
We had the front room then, and there were big folding doors that swung between the dining room and the living room.
FAY: We added on, they just included the front porch into the living room. That added about eight feet. What is now the front porch used to go all the way across the front.
MARY: We used to have a bed out on the porch and we would sleep out there sometimes.
Earl remembers where the front porch was.
HARRIS: Ask Earl; he can tell the details about that. (lots of laughter)
BETH WALKER: One time at our house, we came home late and Harris was going to be so quiet and not let the folks know what time he had brought me home. He stepped back and leaned against the doorbell. (laughter)
MARY: I went with Harris one time to Lethbridge when he had gone over to see you, Beth. I remember I had to wait and wait and wait - it was so late.
HARRIS: What was it, 10:30?
MARY: It was plenty late. When we got home, Harris said: "Whatever you do donít wake the folks up. Iím going to stop the clock." So instead of turning it back, he stopped the clock. (laughter) We went up the stairs and just as we got to almost the top stair, Harris dropped one of his shoes and down it went clunk, clunk, clunk, clunk clunk. Dad said:
"Whoís that? Are you kids home? What time is it?" Harris said: "I donít know, the clock is stopped." (lots of laughter)
HARRIS: How come I donít remember that? I think she must be manufacturing that.
MARY: No, that is absolutely fact. Harris said: "For himmel sakes, why didnít I think of that?"
HARRIS: I donít think I knew what himmel meant in those days.
BETH WALKER: Did your house have a furnace back then?
HARRIS: As far back as I can remember, we had a furnace.
FAY: It was an old gravity-flow furnace.
HARRIS: Dad would go down and throw a big hunk of coal in there at night. I remember one time when everything was on fire down there, and I can remember watching him put it out. It would really get hot sometimes.
FAY: And we had the pot-bellied stove in the corner of the dining room. That is where we used to go in and go to sleep.
BETH WALKER: Harris would tell me he could always remember Fay standing in front of the pot-bellied stove getting warm before he got into bed.
MARY: The heat from the furnace was gravity flow, so it didnít get warm upstairs.
HARRIS: I donít think we had vents upstairs then.
MARY: Yes they did. When I was a kids we had them.
HARRIS: Well, you were a kid later that us.
FAY: We were old people when you were a kid.
HARRIS: I remember going upstairs to go to bed when we were little kids, and Fay would always end up at the foot of the bed. He would get under the covers and crawl right down to the foot of the bed, with the covers over the top of his head. It was cold up there.
BETH: We used to have a potato pit in the southwest corner of the basement.
HARRIS: Later on we built a potato pit up in the corner of the lot, over here where Beth and Earlís chicken coop is.
MARY: I remember when Mom would send us down to get potatoes; we would be scared to death because there was no light down there. I remember we would stick our hands in there to get a potato and hope we didnít come up with something live. We would grab the potatoes and run upstairs as fast as we could go. It was pretty big. It was the west end of that big room.
FAY: We had a soft-water tank in the basement to catch rainwater off the roof.
HARRIS: It was a great big one. It must have been seven feet high and five feet across, and maybe six feet in diameter. It had a little tap at the bottom.
MARY: Everybody used to come to our place and ask for a bucket of water, whether it was low or not. There was a girl from the other end of town used to come over to wash her hair at our place. Ruth Evans used to come all the time to wash her hair.
BETH WALKER: What about the sand box you had in the basement?
MARY: We had two sand boxes. Over in the southwest corner there was the big shelf that we had playhouses on and we had two sand boxes. The rule was you didnít get in it, because the sand was wet all the time, but everybody was in it all the time. We had it for several winters.
HARRIS: We had coal in the basement in a coal room. We had tons and tons of coal down there in the southeast corner. Dad would bring in enough to last all winter. They would truck it in the fall, and put it through the coal chute. It would be absolutely filled with coal. Some of them used to bring the coal up from Johnny Wallís coal mine. S. B. Card used to run a coal agency.
BETH: Earl tells his folks used to go down and dig their own coal out.
EARL ZEMP: They would go down and dig their coal out and load it in their wagon.
HARRIS: We would always spend Christmas and New Years with the Salmons.
FAY: We would alternate. We would go to one home for Christmas and then the other home for New Years.
BETH: We did that until there were so many of us that we couldnít get everybody in the house.
FAY: I think we did that until we were teenagers.
MARY: The last few years, I remember they came to our place for Christmas, because there was a bigger crowd.
BETH: I sure do remember the decorations that we used to put up.... We had family home evenings about as long as I can remember.
HARRIS: We had Family Home Evenings from the time I was about 13 on.
MARY: We used to have an activity where we would see how high we could kick pie tins. (laughter)
HARRIS: Dad would always do some tricks for us. He would do some sleight of hand stuff.
MARY: He would do the trick where he would pound the quarter through the table, and pull money out from behind your ear.
HARRIS: He would put his hat on his toe and flip it up in the air onto the top of his head.
MARY: Then we would try and do it. We used to sing lots of songs, and tell stories.
BETH: We memorized all the witnesses to the Book of Mormon and we memorized the Articles of Faith.
MARY: Mom would sometimes make popcorn and she would make an icing to cover it that was so good. Every so often she would say: "Itís going to be family home evening, but I havenít got a treat." So Dad would go down and buy an orange for each one of us. That was a real treat.
BETH WALKER: Well, I remember that if we got an orange in our Christmas stocking that was a real treat because we didnít get them through the year.
FAY: Our home teachers used to be Heber Coles and George Fairbanks, Maryís father-in-law. They would go home right after church, and Dad was always late coming home from church, so they would always appear at our place about the time Dad got home from church. Mom would have dinner ready then and they would always have dinner with us.
BETH: I remember Harris and I about got spanked for laughing about that.
FAY: Sometimes they would stay from about 12:30 until 2:00 oíclock, and they would just go back to church with us. Sometimes when weíd see them coming, someone would say, "Here come the Home Teachers.", and we would disappear.
HARRIS: I remember Loren Hancock was our Home Teacher for a long time.
BETH: I remember he came as Santa Claus one year.
MARY: I remember once when we had some company; one of the visitors went to the bathroom. We had that bathroom that had two doors, one going into the bathroom and the other one from Mom and Dadís bedroom. Whoever it was forgot to lock both doors, and our hired girl went walking right through the bathroom and just said ĎExcuse Meí as she ran right through.
HARRIS: I think we had Venice Collett as a hired girl, and we had Margaret Kurts. Margaret Kotkas stayed for a long time, and we had Beatrice Nurse. She stayed with us for a year or so. And Aunt Cecil lived with us for a year or so.
MARY: Aunt Cecil had a little baby hospital thing up at Manila and Biddy Meldrumís. She rented a room in their home and she did nursing and took care of babies. When Aunt Cec came we thought she was the most glamorous thing. She always dressed fancy. She had a permanent. She had a black satin evening coat with white fur all the way around and all the way down. I can see Beth trying it on right now. She had black satin pumps with big silver buckles, and she had kind of a blue-lavender dress with sequins on it. It was the fancies thing. And she got dressed in this fancy thing one night with this black satin coat and it was real cold and she had on her fancy shoes. She put on white wool leggings.
BETH: She would put on her makeup and then put her hat on, and then she would get dressed. (laughter) She said: ĎI wonít muss my hair up that way.í
FAY: Well, she had her boyfriends.
HARRIS: I can remember her going out with Jim McLean. She would have married him except he smoked.
MARY: I can remember Mom and Dad had gone somewhere, and Aunt Cec was getting supper. Jim McLean was there.
BETH: She used to give Mary a dime to get rid of her.
MARY: I remember I said something and she whacked me on the back of the neck, and I couldnít move, so she whacked me again. I sure left her then. She was making omelettes, and she had the handle turned out, and Bob backed into it. The pan tipped up and dumped all the omelette inside his clothes. She ripped his clothes off and grabbed a can of olive oil.
MARY: She dumped the olive oil all over him. Bob didnít have a scar - but he screamed. He just screamed and screamed. That was where I learned never to leave a pan with the handle facing out.
BETH WALKER: What about when Mary wrote on the fence?
MARY: Well, we wonít tell about that. (laughter)
HARRIS: I donít know anything about that; I think itís a family secret.
MARY: Someone taught me the word bugger. I thought I was real smart - I learned how to spell it. So I took a piece of old brick and wrote it on the board fence. (laughter) They were having a big Sunday School party out to Temple Hill, and I got punished - I couldnít go to the party.
BETH: What about Fay racing horses?
HARRIS: Let Fay tell it - he knows it best. I was there, I know.
FAY: You can tell it.
HARRIS: It was during Sacrament Meeting. The horse was old Dolly, a little buckskin horse we had, and she could run pretty fast. I think Fay was about eleven. Fay disappeared and didnít go to Sacrament Meeting one day. Right after church some kid came tearing up to the church and said to Dad: ĎDo you know where Fay is?í. ĎHeís down to the fairgrounds racing Dolly. Heís been running her all afternoon and sheís so sweaty there isnít a dry spot on her.í And there wasnít.
BETH: Mary and I wanted to save him from Dadís spanking.
HARRIS: Dad went down and got a little stick, a little willow down in the trees at the park and he used it all the way home.
MARY: We gave Fay a shingle and he put it inside his pants. We watched through the window when Dad got him home and whacked him with his hand. He whacked him hard. Fay was just screaming and we were just laughing our heads off, because we knew it was only Dad getting hurt. But there was a shingle nail in the shingle. (laughter) On Fayís end. And he really was screaming cause it hurt. (laughter)
FAY: I think that knocked all my brains out. (laughter)
HARRIS: You know Fay used to racehorses on Dominion Day all the time. He was so small; he was a really good jockey. He used to race all kinds of horses.
BETH WALKER: What about baptisms?
HARRIS: Are we supposed to tell that? Itís illegal now.
BETH: Well, it wasnít then. We had a huge bathtub; and all the winter baptisms used to be done at our home in the bathtub.
MARY: We were all baptized on our birthdays. Theyíd fill up the bathtub. Sometimes theyíd come with a crowd of kids. I remember Marjorie Wall stuck up her toe three times. She had to be baptized three or four times.
FAY: I know they pretty near drowned her.
MARY: Theyíd raise the kids up and give them a towel and then theyíd run into the kitchen to stand by the kitchen stove. They would dress in there and it was just like a flood. All the way through the hall we would have water.
BETH: They made sure they were baptized. They made sure they were under. In the summer they used to baptize them in the canal.... Right after we were married, Earl went to sleep one Sunday afternoon. He was really out. I was painting my nails so I had some bright red nail polish so I painted his toe nails bright red. They called for him - they were going to do some baptisms and they wanted him to come and baptize these kids. He went there and pulled off his socks and there were the bright red nails. The little kids were whispering: ĎHeís got bright red toe nails.í (laughter)
BETH WALKER: I did that to my mother one time, when I was living home when Harris was away, and I thought she was going to kill me.
MARY: Once, I decided I was going to move into the north bedroom. It had that great big long closet. We painted it yellow and green. There was an old typewriter desk. We painted that. Mom took an old high chair; Mom was the carpenter. She took the old high chair that had been downstairs with the arms broken off. She cut the legs off and we painted that. so I had a little table I could sit up to, and I used the old typewriter desk for a dressing table. We had two or three of those tables upstairs. I think she said they had them built when they built the house. Thatís all the furniture I had beside the bed. Maybe they had them for the boarders to study at, I donít know for sure.
Do you remember we had a little thing with four drawers in the bathroom? That was before she had that cabinet built in there. I remember Mom building that. These drawers had come from something and she built the thing to put the drawers in. Dad didnít know how to hold a hammer.
BETH: Dad wasnít home long enough to hold it.
Talking about painting; Mary was in the south bedroom and she decided she was going to paint the woodwork. Paul was working at the Merc in the paint and hardware department. She called and ordered some paint to send over. She got all ready to paint, and when she opened up the can to start - it was mauve. She was really upset and said: ĎIím going to call that Paul Fairbanks and give him a piece of my mind.í She really scolded him. She was upset about the color of the paint, but she was all prepared and ready to paint, so she went ahead and painted it that color anyway. That may have been the start of when Paul and Mary got interested in each other, Iím not sure.
MARY: Do you remember when the Indians used to come to town?
BETH: Mom would always give them something to eat. Grandma Harris would also, when she was here.
HARRIS: Grandma Harris would get up, sometimes as early as 5 am, and she had a big tin cup. It was a big tall cup. She would go out and milk her cup full, and drink it right after.
FAY: She liked it warm, right fresh from the cow.
HARRIS: She didnít trust the milk that we milked.
MARY: I remember when Grandma came she always made the bread. And remember the buns she made? She would always dip the buns in milk and then in sugar and cinnamon. She made cinnamon rolls and cinnamon buns. I met George Lomus in Calgary once and he said to someone else: "Mary comes from a family where they would put a great big pan of hot biscuits on the table and they melt."
BETH: Before you could say the blessing and look up - they were all gone.
BETH WALKER: What about your motherís raspberry cobbler and her cakes?
HARRIS: Mom would make good cakes, and she used to put orange peel in most of them.
BETH: She would make them all with sour cream.
MARY: With whipped cream and coconut. She used to make raspberry cobbler. She had a pan about the size of those milk pans and she would put a big white cup in the middle, put the raspberries in and she would make that. And then she would prepare a great big bowl of whipped cream. Ohh, we never had enough of it.
BETH WALKER: I remember her warm white cake with whipped cream on top of it.
HARRIS: She didnít make pies very much, but she was a great cake maker.
MARY: We had lots of ice cream, too. We would have to go get ice out of the ice shed, when the boys were at the farm I would have to go out and dig the ice. There was never a light globe in it. Youíd climb in there in the dark, climb up over the boards, climb in on your stomach over the cinders. And then youíd have to feel for the light. And you always got it!!!!!! Youíd put your finger right up in that socket and then you knew it was time to get a light globe.
HARRIS: That was a half-a-day job, to make ice cream.
BETH WALKER: A few years ago, I told Harris I was going to get him an ice cream freezer for his birthday; and he said: "No youíre not!" "Iím not turning anymore ice cream freezers." I said: "Well, Iím going to get an electric one." And he said: "No youíre not, weíll buy our ice cream at the store."
BETH: Not many years ago we learned of a trick that Bob pulled on Mom one day when she was have a quilting group at the house.
MARY: One day Bob was playing with his pals. I think it was Billy Rodeback and Sid Romeril and Doug Heggie. One of them said to Bob: ĎYour mother is having quilting, letís go get some of her ice cream.í They went down the basement and then Bob sneaked upstairs and got four great big tablespoons, and down they went. They dug the ice off, and took the lid off, and they ate until the ice cream was half gone. Then they said: ĎWhat are you going to do?í Bob said: ĎI know just what to do to fix it up.í So he went upstairs and got the baking powder and dumped it in and whipped it up and said: ĎIt will rise.í (laughter)
BETH: And Mom served it to those people. She probably never, ever knew.
HARRIS: Do you remember Bob knocking the glass off the table and breaking it? He was six. Mom was standing right beside him, and she said: ĎWhat did you do that for?í Bob said: ĎI didnít do anything.í Mom said: ĎYes you did I was standing right here watching you and you knocked that glass off the table and broke it.í Bob said: ĎI didnít do it - gravity did.í (laughter)
MARY: Do you remember when Bob got out of his overalls?
HARRIS: I remember when Bob fell out of the south window and landed on his head. He missed landing on the cement by about two inches. He went right straight down and landed on the dirt. He just missed the cement.
BETH: He was on the cupboard in the kitchen and he went out the kitchen window.
ELSIE: Do you remember when Eleanor and Marilyn plucked all the tulips?
BETH: I sure do. (laughter) HARRIS: I think it was mostly Marilyn.
BETH: Grandpa was just standing there watching them, just laughing. Grandma sure didnít laugh.
HARRIS: She planted four hundred tulips. They were all in bud, just ready to flower. I think they left three or four.
MARY: Do you remember when they had that awful hailstorm?
HARRIS: It was 1925. It broke all the north windows in Raymond.
BETH: It was just before the first of July.
MARY: Jane was asleep on the couch. The doors were all closed. This big hailstorm came and we heard all this glass crash. Mom said: Ď Kids, weíre going to kneel down right now before we even open that door.í So we knelt down and had a word of prayer. We opened the door and went in and Jane was completely covered in glass, but there wasnít a scratch on her. That great big window in Momís bedroom had broken and crashed all over Jane.
HARRIS: When Bob was one, he went down the basement stairs in the stroller, head over heels. He toppled over and over, and it didnít do anything to him.
BETH: Mom fell down the stairs when she was pregnant with Bob, but she had her arms full of clothes and that is what protected her. Those were the clothes she was going to wash. She missed the top stair and fell all the way down them.
MARY: She also fell down stairs in Utah. She went down with us when we took Romay down to be operated on, and she went with Aunt Em over to one of the boyís new home. They went in the house and the light was out in the hallway, and Mom stepped back to let Aunt Em in, and she fell down the stairs backwards.
BETH: That was when Glen was in Salt Lake.
MARY: She was going to come home with us, but Glen said: ĎSheís going to stay with us.í She stayed with them for a couple of weeks....
Mom used to make all our clothes.
HARRIS: She didnít make mine.
MARY: I remember Aunt Cec left a dress that was kind of an ugly color. Mom took it and dyed it, and it was then a pretty dusty rose color, and she made a dress for me. I thought I was the catís meow. I remember her making me a navy blue serge dress, with a green collar. On the belt she cut little rounds and put marbles in it, so I had little green balls on the end of my sash when I tied it. And it had serge pants, if you can imagine how they felt, with these green bands on them that hung below my dress. Ted Meeks used to call me green pants. Thatís because we only had one dress and we wore the same one all the time.
BETH WALKER: What about the layettes she made?
MARY: She was always sewing like mad right before she had the baby, to get nightgowns and dresses and all those things ready.
BETH: Thatís what we did when we had our babies too. We made them out of flannelette. You didnít go buy sleepers then, like you do now. You had to make them. Earl got me a bunch of sugar sacks from the factory, and I made them into diapers.
Before I went to Normal School, Mom made me a navy dress, with red satin sleeves. I just saved it for best, I had only worn it a couple of times; we had a literary at Normal, and I went to basketball practice. I put my dress in my locker, and went to basketball practice. I went back to get my dress after practice and it was gone. I never saw it again.
MARY: It was the prettiest dress. And Earl never got to see it. (laughter)
HARRIS: When Dad wore his suits, he never would wear a cuff. That was back in the days when everybody used to wear cuffs. He thought cuffs were a nuisance. Of course Dad always wore high top shoes. He had too because he got his foot smashed in the hay bailer.
BETH: I remember he got a nice pair of oxfords once, and decided he would try them, but he couldnít wear them.
HARRIS: I donít know when it was. They were bailing hay and the bail got stuck or something and he shoved his foot in to kick it loose, and it caught his foot and smashed it flat. They told him his foot would never be worth anything and they wanted to cut it off. He wouldnít let them do that. I think it took him most of a year to get over it. I think that is when Uncle David (Momís brother) came up to help with the farm work while Dad recuperated. I think he was here for a year and helped them.
Mary was asking how old her trees were the other day, and I told her I knew exactly how old they are because it was just before we moved into the house. I guess I was five. We were planting the trees. Of course, I wasnít doing very much, but I was telling Dad how to do it.
MARY: We believe that. (laughter)
HARRIS: We were planting the trees and we got most of the way down, down to the old house, and Dad said: ĎIíve got such a pain in my belly, I canít do any more.í We had an old model T car, and Dad was trying to crank the car, to get it started. It was hard to crank. When he would spin it around it would hurt him so bad that he would have to quit. I remember trying to crank the car; only it didnít start when I tried it, either. Finally he went back and gave it another kick and it went.
He was in the old hospital, called the Van Haarlem Hospital on 11th Street and 7th Avenue in Lethbridge. He was there for six weeks. They said he was going to die all of the time. He apparently just about did die.
MARY: He always said they cut a hole in him big enough to put your head in.
HARRIS: In those days if they had a ruptured appendix, they would have a great huge hole and let it drain. (Many would die in those days if they had a ruptured appendix.) He had a big hernia in the side of his abdomen as a result of this, but eventually it scarred over pretty good. So he was able to get along later, although he had to be kind of careful about it (and he usually would wear a support, kind of corset, to support his side.) Dad nearly died. He was there six weeks. He nearly died quite a few times.
Dad had undulant fever when I came back to Raymond to practice (medicine), or soon thereafter. I think he had it off and on for a year. He had rheumatic fever before that.
BETH: I think he had rheumatic fever in 1922.
HARRIS: When he had rheumatic fever they thought he was going to die then, too, for about two or three weeks.
BETH: They had to make a thing like the top of a covered wagon to put over him. He couldnít even stand the blankets on him. T.L. King, and Melvin King, and Ed Hawk made that for him.
HARRIS: He just about died when he had the rheumatic fever, and of course, that is why he did finally die. It was because of his rheumatic fever, and his rheumatic heart.
Then he had undulant fever. Dad ran into Andy Lund up town one day. Andy said: ĎI hear youíve got Bangs Disease.í Thatís what they call undulant fever in cows, you know. Then old Andy laughed so hard he could hardly walk, to think Dad had Bangs Disease. When I got back in 1943 or 1944, he had a flare up of undulant fever.
He was in St. Michaelís hospital in Lethbridge. Before I got back, Dr. Fowler had him in the hospital. He had been there about two day. He said: ĎIím not staying around