Coming Back to Salt Lake After Boixe

Well, we left Boise with many unpaid bills which galled me because I hate debts, and I went to my folks to live in Poplar Grove. At that time Dad had a job delivering sales sheets for some company or other and they also had a little grocery store in Poplar Grove which Mother mostly ran but in which all of us helped.

By now the depression was upon the entire country and probably the world. No one had jobs or any money, and I went through a very rough period of my life. I found that someone that we owed money had come and taken all our possessions that we had in storage and we had no money to fight it and I had no heart for it anyway. I was having too many problems keeping body and soul together both physically and emotionally. Al went to Las Vegas, Nevada to see if he could get a job anywhere and I was there at home with my parents.

I’m very sure that mother didn’t realize how she was treating me at the time, but she was horrible to me and no other words will describe it. Because of Linda, who thankfully, was growing and developing in spite of everything, thank goodness, I couldn’t go out and get a job and there were not to be had if I had tried. So, I stayed home and cleaned the house, and cooked all the meals and tried my best to earn our board and room. I surely worked long hours. I didn’t have any clothes and neither did Linda. We didn’t have Deseret Industries then. At Christmas time Mother gave me a sweater that cost 50 cents and a skirt that cost the same and I wore them to Church for months and didn’t have anything else. Frank and Naomi (Al’s brother and sister-in-law came to see me occasionally because they were concerned and one day they saw Linda in socks with big huge patches on the knees. The next time they came, they brought her two pairs of socks which I made last for months and months. Vera was working for the telephone company and she bought her a cute little dress so I was able to take her to Church looking okay. Al was not finding a job and at one point he lied to me about something–the furniture loss of something, that really floored me so I wrote to him and told him I thought it best that we separate. I just couldn’t take the fact that he didn’t seem to be able to level with me on anything. However, in the next few weeks I thought it over and because of Linda, I wrote and told him that I felt we should be together. He made all kinds of promises and said he would do anything to keep us together.

Meantime, he came back to Salt Lake and one time we were going to go visit his folks for the weekend. I knew that his folks ate meat, potatoes and gravy all the time and never had anything of the diet that I wanted Linda to have as a baby so since my folks had big containers full of oatmeal, I started to take some to feed Linda. I know I should have asked, but I’m sure that if I had, Mother would have said to go ahead and take some, but I didn’t think it was necessary since I was only taking a couple of cups, but Mother saw me and just lit into me asking if Al’s folks couldn’t even feed their grandchild for two days. I was so crushed and hurt that I quietly poured the oatmeal back into the container and we left. In fact, at that time I became mostly like a vegetable. I took Mother’s rantings and ravings against Al and me also constantly, I had nothing and didn’t see much of a future ahead. It was a terrible time to live through and one I would not care to go through again, ever. I know that Mother remembered back later and was terribly sorry for all the grief she caused me. That was one of the tragedies of Mother’s life. She was always speaking out without tact at people and then regretting it and suffering over it later.

Finally Al got a job with a trucking company in Salt Lake and we got a pay check and moved into a little three room duplex over on about 5th West and 5th or 6th North. I don’t know where he learned to do that but he did and we finally had an income. Mother still continued to heckle us and accused Al of being untrue to me. She would call the trucking company at all time of the day and night and ask for him, and then when he came on the phone hang up. This especially happened if I said he was at work at night. Since Mother is gone, perhaps I shouldn’t write all this but in order to know about my life and feelings I must put some of it in.

We were so poor at this time that I still had no clothes and we were just existing. Then I got pregnant again, and another tirade or a dozen from Mother about this. We moved up into a little house if not on Apricot Street, then near there where the folks had lived when they moved permanently to Salt Lake. Soon after moving into what was sort of a hovel, we discovered bedbugs which I finally got rid of and tried to make the place livable. Since I had such a terrible time when Linda was born, and the doctors then said that I might have such a time again, I was very worried, so much so that my face was lined with worry wrinkles. Finally, Mother could see that I was in a very worried state when it got nearer the time for the baby to be born so she had Nicholas G. Smith, who later was the Church Patriarch but I don’t believe was at that time, but who had been their bishop or stake president and someone they thought a great deal of, come and administer to me. He promised me that the birth would be normal and I would have no unusual problems and this was a great comfort to me. Joan Kay Worsley was born, January 26, 1934 and the birth wasn’t anywhere near the awful experience as was Linda’s birth.

At this time Vera married Robert Taylor and we had her reception in the Lion House. Linda was a flower girl at the reception. I can’t remember now where we got clothes decent enough to wear but somehow we did. I guess I made her a little dress to wear and got one for myself somewhere. When Vera and Bob were first married they lived in the High Sierras in Northern California where Bob’s dad ran a dredging machine. They put these dredgers on the river and dredged for gold that was in the river bottom. It also seemed to me that Idonna met Ray Richins while she was visiting with Vera and Bob. There are pictures of them in that area on the day they got married.

Al was working all the time so I would take Linda and Joan to Church and while we lived there for several months, no one ever spoke to me and I never did know who the bishop was. However, while we were still living in the duplex on 5th West, I must tell of an incident–an unhappy one–but it is so clear in my memory I had better put it in. We didn’t have a car, but occasionally Al had to take trucks to Ogden and other places for repairs or something or other. On Mother’s Day the year we lived there, he told me he was sorry that he didn’t have the money to get me anything, but would have liked to. I knew that he was very generous with gifts for me when we could afford it, so I didn’t feel bad, especially since he mentioned that he felt bad about it. He had to work most Sundays, so I was home along with the children, and this day he had to take a truck to Ogden, the cab, that is. He stopped by the house on the way and I asked if we could go with him because I almost never got out of the house. He said okay, except there was only one seat in the truck, but we sat on blankets and went up with him. On the way back we stopped at Farmington to see his folks. While there, his Mother invited me into her bedroom to show me her ‘loot’ from Mother’s Day. As she went through things, she picked up a pair of nice white gloves and said, “And these are from Alma.” She never did include me in anything. Her letters were always addressed to ‘My Darling Baby Boy.” Well, I was really hurt. Not that I didn’t want her to have the gloves, but since Al had said that he couldn’t even buy me a handkerchief and then had bought her gloves, without mentioning anything to me. I was really furious. I didn’t say anything and we finally left and I was quiet all the way home. I couldn’t really carry on a gay conversation. Finally Al knew that something was wrong and asked what it was. When I told him, he said that it was a mystery to him. That he hadn’t bought the gloves and didn’t know why she had them and said they were from him. Finally, the only answer he could find was that he had left a collar with his Dad who had been in the hospital just a short time before this in case his Dad needed something. At the time $1 was quite a bit of money. He said he supposed that his Mother had taken that dollar and bought the gloves, which were nice fabric gloves at the time, for her and said they were from him. To this day I don’t know where the truth was. I was lied to so much at that point that from then on or at least sometime around then I never believed anything he said until I had it verified from another source. Those are harsh words, but the actual truth.

Time went on for several months and during that time we moved to another poor little old house in a rundown part of Salt Lake, probably even worse than the other one, but it was a little larger, and no bedbugs. We had a coal stove in the kitchen and when it got close to Easter, I didn’t have money to buy Linda and Joan new outfits, but somewhere I acquired a very large checked dress in excellent condition and I took it apart and made both of the girl’s very cute dresses. I washed and hung them on the line over the stove, but then tragedy struck. I took off a lid to put more wood in the stove and the line broke and both dresses went into the flames and were gone before I could take a good breath. I sat down and howled. This was Easter so Joan was two or three months over a year old and I found I was pregnant again. And again, Mother would have been terribly angry had she known, so I just didn’t tell her. I was always extremely sick to my stomach for the first five months of pregnancy, so it wasn’t easy to keep it from her, but I did.