Friday, March 18, 2011

These People Are My Own

I’m visiting my home town this weekend. My Mom has been going through old papers. We looked at some of them together. Some are too tender, some are too sad. Then we found something very interesting and inspiring. It was a book of biographies. The students of my sixth grade year, 1988, had done interviews and written the bios about people from our community. These are my treasures. These are people who comprise a small town, where a village raised a child. These were the people who knew what I was doing when even I didn’t. My Mom’s sister, Susan, told me a story that hasn’t left my mind. She said that before Dad’s funeral, she made a call from her home in the city to one of our local small town florist shops. Aunt Susan said, “I need to order flowers for a funeral.” The woman on the other end of the phone said, “Oh. Monte Gee.” She knew. My Aunt Susan went on to make her order and to tell the woman that she was my Mom’s sister. The woman reassured my Aunt with a sentence that won’t leave my mind and that has absolutely proven itself. “Don’t worry,” she said, “We take care of our own down here.” These people are my own. Interview by Kristy Funk, Biography of Sandra Gee, Librarian Sandra remembers as a young girl she had her jaw broken. The doctor had to wire her mouth shut. She guesses it was supposed to make her listen more and not talk so much. If Sandra was a bird, she would be a peacock. The reason is they have lots of eyes on their tails and she would read a lot of books and take care of her family. Sandra admires her mom the most because her mother is always thinking of others. Interview by Ryan Leonhardt, Biography of Steve Jensen, Mine Chemist and Scoutmaster When Steve was young he loved all kinds of sports. He loved to be outside and to be in the wilderness and he loved animals. If Steve was an animal he would be a cougar, because they are fast and sneaky. If Steve was writing a message to the future generations it would be to love each other. Interview by Bruce Yost, Biography of Lavar Leonhardt, Teacher Lavar grew up on a big farm. So he learned how to work. He had a fun life living on a farm, riding horses and cows. If he was an animal he would be a wolf because nothing messes with a wolf. If he had a message for future generations he would tell them to worry less about success in life and to worry more about people, helping people and loving people. Interview by Tori Truman, Biography of Jackie Skinner, Member of the PTA Board, graduate of Cosmetology school If Jackie were a color she would be red because is makes a statement and it is bold. If she were an animal she would be a dolphin because they are smart, free, and a friend to man. When Jackie was as little girl she had the chicken pox during the Christmas Season. Christmas Eve she could not sleep because they were so bad. They were even in her throat. After everyone else had gone to bed her father let her open her largest gift and it was a tea party set. She and her father sat up all night long and had a tea party with her dolls. Interview by Russell Taylor, Biography of Royce Stilson, Former School Board Member Royce remembers when he was a kid he was always hunting, fishing, and making rope swings in cottonwood trees near the creek. If Royce was a bird, he would be a Periquin Falcon, because they are sleek, fast and a sure hunter. If Royce was writing a message for a time capsule, he would tell them to choose the right and never back down. Interview by Kira Fox, Biography of Lynne Taylor, Aerobics and Dance Instrustor Lynne remembers when she was little that her mother was old, wrinkled, and gray. She was very loving, very feminine, and always tender, gentle, kind, but a very strong person. She raised eight children all by herself because her father died. She remembers how sad it made her when people would make fun of her mother because she was old. Age doesn’t matter, she made up for it by being kind and loving. If Lynne was to write a message for future generations, she would write, you can be whatever you dream to be, don’t be any less than what you can be. Interview by Genette Gist, Biography of Doug Jensen, Buyer for Utah Power and Light Doug says his childhood was a happy one. He said he remember when he was in the second grade and he kicked a kickball through the window. Doug said is he was an animal, he would be a bear for the reason, they’re grouchy. Doug says he admires his daughter Amanda because she’s always happy. Doug says if he wrote a message to the future generation he would say, do your homework! Interview by Natalie Christensen, Biography of Gordon Bennet, Highway Patrol Gordon’s life as a child was very exciting. He liked the time when he and his friends went and jumped off buildings and broke their arms. If he was an animal, he would be an elk because they are so big and massive. Their horns grow very strong, also they are very graceful. Gordon says that he admired the most, his good friend Loyd George because he always helped people who had problems. Advice for future generations: don’t get involved in drugs and have respect for your country. Interview by Bret Hansen, Biography of Ray Wareham, City Council Ray’s life as a child was very exciting and very happy. The people were all poor and had no material things. He grew up on Molen Road, and there were a great number of children. They skated every winter, and swam and herded cows in the summer. His greatest asset in life has been the value of hard work. By working hard he has achieved most of the things he wanted to. If Ray was a color he would be blue, because to Ray, it is clean and it is a color that everyone enjoys. It seems to be a never ending color. When you look in the sky or ocean, it’s there. Interview by Mark McKell, Biography of Jim Behling, Safety Engineer at Cottonwood Mine Jim’s childhood was exciting. He and his family moved a lot of times and went to different places. Just during high school, he moved ten times. If Jim were a bird, he would be a Canadian Goose. The reason is because they fly south to warm climates and see a lot of places. If he was an animal, he would be an elk, because they are neat and distinguished. Interview by Amie Gee, Biography of Leslie Danzer, Seamstress When Leslie was four years old her two sisters were killed in a car accident by a drunk driver. It was a very sad experience for her. Leslie’s life as a child was very happy. When she was six years old, her brother was born and they grew up together in Bountiful, Utah. If Leslie were a color she would be peach, because that’s the color she already is! If she were an animal, she would be an octopus, because she could help more people by sewing with all of those arms. Message for future generations: It is what is in your heart that counts. Interview by Sheldon Kirkham, Biography of Bruce Funk, County Clerk If Bruce was an animal he would be a tiger, because he would be free to roam around. If he was a color, he would be maroon, because he like that color more than any other he paints with. If he was any kind of plant, he would be a tree, because he would like to be tall and strong. He admires God the most, because he is amazed at his creations. Interview by Kristin Danzer, Biography of Drew Sitterud, Business Owner (Grocery Store) Drew’s most significant childhood experiences were being close as a family and having an older brother that had time for him and also made him feel important. Drew thinks the characteristics of a “perfect friend” should be one who will leave you better than they found you. If Drew was writing advice for future generations he would tell them that they are great people and nobody can make them feel little but themselves, and they have a Father in Heaven that loves them. Interview by Peter Bunderson, Biography of Frances Leonhardt, Homemaker and Custom Quilter Frances had a wonderful childhood. She remembers when she was eight years old, she sang on the radio with Dolly Parton. If Frances was a bird, she would like to be a robin, because she likes to be first and robins are the first birds in the Spring. If she was an animal, she would be a poodle, because they’re pampered and well cared for. She wants younger generations to know that they should always have the courage to stand for the right, to have high standards and be obedient to parents. Interview by Kyla Rollins, Biography of Lane Justice, Community Sports When Lane was 7 he went to the State Prison with his dad, who worked there. The convicts cut his hair. One of them would push him on the swings, and then took him out for ice cream. When he was 10 he won a dream horse in BLM. In high school he cut his finger off in a workshop making a table. If he was a bird, then he would be a magpie so he could bug certain people. His hobby is riding horses, because they are enjoyable, but he is allergic to them. He plans on having three kids. When he was a kid, he had a white house with bars on the windows, 6 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, a front room and an attic, where he slept.

17 comments:

Tanner and Kristin said...

What a fun walk down memory lane! I loved the advice given in the biographies. It's timeless! Reading the story of your aunt calling the floral shop brought tears to my eyes. The words, "we take care of our own down here" are so true. Everyone is like family. Love it! And love your fabulous posts :) Enjoy Ferron and give your mom a huge hug for me. xoxo

Natalie said...

That is pretty neat, that you found all of those interviews. I can barley remember doing those.
You brought back memories for me.

Candace said...

I love Ferron and all the people there! I loved what the florist said...it is so true. When Uncle Mark died it made it a little easier knowing that Aunt Darline would be well taken care of by her loving community in Ferron. I miss living there and being able to go visit because my parents no longer live there. Ferron will always be "home" to me :)

Fran and LaVar said...

What a nostalgic post, and truly one that I relate to! Thanks Amie for starting our day out by remembering when you kids were in sixth grade and the great people you've all become. When I reflect upon the 30 years we lived in Ferron, the florist summed it up correctly when she said that "we take care of our own down here". Love it! See ya soon, Mom Leonhardt

barbara beck said...

Amie,
Thanks for sharing all of these! They are amazing! I love these people and am so grateful to have been raised in such a wonderful community.

Tori said...

That was a great post. It brings back many memories of 6th grade.

Tori

Ryan said...

Wow! What great memories. Must have been a good teacher to assign this. I love Ray Wareham's answer about his favorite color.

Ashley said...

Cool! I will show Mark, he will be so excited! Tomorrow is his birthday and I think this will make his day!

Emily said...

How fun!

KathyS said...

Thanks for sharing these. Every one of those people have had my respect over the years. Loved their comments and learning more about each of them. I love living in Ferron!

SandraGee said...

Aim you're awesome! How fun it is to read those biographies.

Grandma Sony said...

Oh you did it again ~ what interesting biographies - so fun to read and picture each person in my mind - love and respect for all of them. So interesting how time flies, and yet truths remain the same. Great job !

Farley's said...

Amie...I had forgotten all about these interviews. How blessed we are to have grown up in a small town where people do indeed take care of their own.. I hope all is well with you and your family is in our thoughts and prayers as you are going through this difficult time. Lots of Love!!!

Michelle said...

WOW!!! Nothing like taking a stroll down memory lane. Oh, I miss Ferron, I miss the people and I miss being little. That is an amazing thing to just happen to find. Very cool!

Tasha said...

I'm seriously in love with this post! For so many years I have told Dave how amazing it was to grow up in a place where everybody takes care of everybody. So many happy memories! I can't believe how accurate these answers are still...interesting how your mom has come full circle since she's the one who is always thinking of others. I think mom would still claim she wants to be first AND pampered...maybe at the same time!Haha And Dad's comment about the wolf...dead on! This is classic!

Christy said...

How cute are those? Almost made me cry a little. I loved the ones where they said they admired their mothers. So sweet.

Sheldon said...

Wow Amie...I find it fairly amazing how genuine is your appreciation for that little berg. We're polar opposites in our regard for our childhood home, yet your perspective is one of which I can approve. Thanks for taking the time to write about your time-capsulesque discovery which reminded me of several people and a time I'd thought reasonably forgotten.