House on 2nd North, 1953

The three girls were all at BYU now and all had made Acapela Choir and Linda had written the music and lyrics for a huge Varsity Show put on campus. Marilyn had a minor lead. We went up to see the show and then came back to California. I had been working for Walton electric but decided to go back and work on a masters degree. Steve and I packed up and left for Provo. I couldn’t go over 30 miles per hour, so we just trundled along through the California desert. A few miles before Baker, California, we had a flat tire. Fortunately I could see lights around the corner and there was a service station. The spare was put on and I bought another second hand spare in Baker, and we continued on. Steve went to sleep on the bedding in the back and I watched a beautiful moon cross the sky as we slowly moved along. Remember now, there were no freeways so you went through every podunk town all the way.

I had called the weather bureau before we left California and they said the weather would be good, but knowing the mountains of Southern Utah in the winter, I was apprehensive. When we reached St. George I was exhausted, and had planned to get a motel and stay the night. But, something kept urging me to keep going. But I did stop intending to sleep for an hour, but it was too cold so I kept going. It was then about 3:00 a.m. Halfway between St. George and Cedar City, it started to snow and I watched the big flakes that soon stayed on the ground and the road getting more and more covered. I stopped in Beaver and got anti-freeze put in the car, but I guess they put in the wrong kind. The snow continued and just before Cove Fort going up one of the mountains, my car overheated terribly and just stopped and we started sliding backward. I turned until we went into the mountain and got stopped. Steve woke up, of course, and he jumped out with his Boy Scout ax and chopped through the snow and got rocks and put behind the car. He was 12 then and there we were in the middle of a blizzard. I had thoughts of someone finding our frozen bodies days later, but along came a sand truck and stopped. He said they had to go to the foot of the hill and then would come back and pull us into Cove Fort, which they did. There they put on chains and said to get on our way because we might be there weeks if we didn’t. I was terrified. I called the girls and started to bawl. But, I asked the son of the owner of the station if he would be afraid to drive it and he said “not in the least’, so he said he would charge $3. to drive me to the next little town.

Before long we hit spaces where the highway was just wet and he said the chains were ruining my tires, so he stopped and took them off. I got to the next town, paid him, and started on. He had said that the only place otherwise where it might be bad was the Scipio grade, but the Highway Patrol was always there, and to put the car in low gear and go smoothly and slowly until I reached the top. Sure enough just before we got to the grade the heavy snow came back and no Highway Patrol in sight, but I did as he had said and we chugged to the top. From there on in it wasn’t too bad. And, we finally arrived in Provo about 5:00 p.m. as I remember. I was so exhausted I felt I should sleep for at least 24 hours, but there was too much to do.

I arrived back in Provo with Steve and trailer in tow. I started looking for a house which I supposed might take weeks. Wonder of wonders I found a big old pioneer house right away on 2nd North. It was a huge old home, but the rent was low and the location quite good and I took it and had the electricity and gas turned on. We took the trailer and unloaded, undecorated the Christmas tree from their apartment and got a new one and redecorated it and by Christmas we were in the house that would be home for several years. The house must have had a few pieces of furniture in it because I remember things that were there that I’m sure didn’t come from California or that I bought. It had an old upright piano.

We painted the inside and tried to make it as livable as possible, without outstanding success, but it was better than some we had lived in. We entered the front door, which would be the living room. To the right was a large room with a fireplace in which we put the grand piano and called it the music room. Then the huge kitchen that was completely out of the 1800’s was just north of the living room. Also, it had three bedrooms and a bath. The bathroom had a little enclosure for the toilet at the end of the room with a swinging door. One day I went in and sat on the ‘throne’, looked up and there on the wall behind the door was a huge cartooned man’s face looking at me with the caption ‘PEEK!”

I was startled out of my wits until I recognized Linda’s handiwork. She had the knack for cartooning and art work, and from then on it was a laugh a day for anyone who came to see us and needed to use the restroom.

Across the street lived the Snow Family and we became very good friends. Bessie was stake president of the MIA and she asked me to work in drama, which I did. She had been a widow for many years and struggled to raise and educate her family. She had Arnoline (her youngest at home) and also a married daughter, her husband and little son Steve, who we all adored. Every Winter, Mel, the husband, came and swept all the snow from around my car so I could get out. He didn’t have a high IQ by any means, but he was one of the best men I have ever known. Always being loving and kind with his family and going good things for others.

After the first of the year, I began again in Dean deJong’s office, and Steve entered Fahrar Junior High School. The three girls continued at the Y. Also, I began work on my master’s. This was a joy because I was in Psychology with an emphasis in Counseling and Guidance and each class was a new and exciting project. My main worry from the very beginning of my graduate work was not in the classes, nor the master’s thesis, because I had been doing a lot of writing through the years and had had several things published and knew the thesis would be no problem. But, my big concern was the Oral Exam I knew I would have to take with all my teachers and administrators before they would let me get my degree. I was heading for an M.A. since I had taken two years of Spanish, had had French and Spanish in high school and took a year of German at the Y. In this case since I got a B.A., my Master’s would be an M.A.

In my under graduate psychology classes, I had become very interested in this field, so decided I would get my master’s in Counseling and Guidance with a minor in Psychology. Beside there were no women in the Counseling Service at the Y and I knew they were desperately looking for someone and if I did well in my graduate work, that I would have an almost certain shoe-in for a job on the Faculty.

Also, I began to have some social life. During the year of getting my bachelor’s, I had never taken a moment for anything except attendance at Church and studying. Now I joined the Utah League of Writers and began going to other events. (Marilyn: Also, we were bringing home all the funny students we ran around with and everyone loved you, so that sort of gave you a social life coming into the house for a while.)