Total Pageviews

Monday, January 30, 2012

This week's RTT Column

Hinckley Elementary School--Part I (The Outside)

The old Millard Academy building was completed in 1912.  The Academy served the students across Millard County until 1923 when it became Hinckley High School.  The building was used in that capacity for 30 years until 1953 when Hinckley and Delta High Schools merged.  The building then became Hinckley Elementary School.

I walked to and from Hinckley Elementary from kindergarten through sixth grade in every kind of weather. As all the girls of my generation, we wore dresses to school every day, regardless of how much snow had accumulated or how hard the cold wind raged.  Walking to and from school wasn't the only time we were exposed to the elements.  The lunchroom was located outside the school on the north side of the building.  The sixth grade students were first to eat each day.  The younger students would stand on the cement walk waiting for the tables to empty before the next group would be allowed to enter, collect a tray of food and be seated to eat.  The cafeteria was a barrack building from the Topaz Interment Camp located west of Hinckley, it had been hauled in from Topaz sometime after 1948 when the Japanese-American citizens, who had been relocated there for three years during World War II, were finally released. (It would be interesting to know what the  Millard Academy and Hinckley High students did for lunch each day prior to this building being brought in and fitted as the cafeteria.)

We always rushed through lunch so we would have plenty of time on the playground at the noon recess. The playground took up the northwest portion of the school grounds with a tall silver slide, monkey bars constructed of 2" pipe, and two large swing sets all positioned in deep bed of pea gravel.  All the equipment was built of heavy-duty, galvanized steel and I believe is currently in use at the Hinckley City Park.  Behind the school there were two baseball diamonds and a football field.  There was also a pile of shale where children spent many recesses splitting rocks in search of trilobites.  The double-wide, straight sidewalk that ran from the street to the great arched front door of the school was the perfect place for jump rope and hop scotch and a large spot under a huge cottonwood tree at the south side of the school was cleared and leveled for playing marbles. It was a veritable fantasyland of recess fun!

During my second grade year, a new craze hit the playground--spinning on the monkey bars. Using our coat or sweater to limit the friction and for padding, we would hook one knee over a bar and throw our weight forward twirling head over heels around and around until we were so dizzy we had to lie on the grass while the world stopped reeling. It must have been quite a sight with all those little dresses and skirts flying in the breeze. This fad caused some trouble for me when my family moved to Pleasant Grove the last six months of my third grade year.  One of the first days at my new school, I tried to show some girls how to spin on the monkey bars, not realizing their bars were spaced differently.  When the bridge of my nose met a lower bar on my first rotation, it knocked me out and I learned how painful a broken nose could be.

When we moved back to Hinckley at the beginning of fourth grade, the new trend was to bring bright-colored plastic water guns to school.  Mr. Farnsworth banned water pistols, but that didn't stop kids from bringing them and having water fights during recess.  Over the first few weeks of school, the sidewalks and sandy playground areas were littered with green, orange, red and yellow plastic shards where Mr. Farnsworth would seize and smash the water guns to smithereens with the heel of his shoe.

Even though I was terrified of Mr. Farnsworth before I reached sixth grade, I looked forward to being the oldest at the school and to all the privileges that went along with that.  Mr. Farnsworth's classes were given the responsibility of keeping the school grounds looking nice. We had a day in the fall and one in the spring when we brought rakes, shovels and other yard tools and worked outside during the school day cleaning, pruning and burning to keep the grounds neat. These were the two days each year the girls could wear pants.  I can't remember if we took advantage of that to slip away from the work and twirl on the monkey bars.  It makes my nose ache to think about it.

Next week we will take a stroll down memory lane inside Hinckley Elementary School.  Please email or phone Georgia with your memories of this grand old building and the rooms, teachers, students, and events of this place ( or 801-737-4787).

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Within the past month, I have read completed four books.  
I have also read several chapters from my Folklore and Biology 
textbooks and I am on track with the 
100 day Book of Mormon reading plan our ward is doing.  
I have read a lot this month.  
I have watched no television this month.

Today I added two of the four recently completed books to my 
"Favorite Books" list on this blog.  
One of them should have been there all along 
because I have read and loved it twice before.  
I just finished A Tree Grows in Brooklyn 
by Betty Smith for the third time.  
I read it first when I was a teenager and again about 
12 years ago, but this reading, has left my heart weighed 
with a pang of tenderness and sadness.  
The poignant story of Francie Nolan growing up in New York 
in the early 1900s is both 
powerful and gentle; brutal and sweet.

The second book added to the list was one I 
finished a few days ago,  
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
by Rebecca Skloot is  
the true account of the woman behind the 
infamous HeLa cells which have changed the course of 
medical history forever.  It is also about Henrietta's 
poor, uneducated and beleaguered family left behind 
to struggle and suffer through the mystery of who 
their mother was and the part she has played in 
advancing modern science.
At times it was so compelling, I could hardly put it down 
and at others times, so disturbing 
I wasn't sure I could pick it up again.

I recommend them both heartily!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Rambling Through Time

I have been asked how to locate and read the Millard County Chronicle on-line. I found that it is now impossible to read the on-line version of the paper without having a username and password (which requires a subscription), so I've decided I will start posting my Rambling Through Times column here each week so they are accessible to those people who have asked to read them.  Thank you to my loyal fans--you both know who you are!

Here is the column that will run in tomorrow's Chronicle (1/25/2012) entitled The Merc:

Another fond memory of growing up in Hinckley was visiting Morris Mercantile on Main Street.  The 'Merc' was one of very few Hinckley businesses in operation while I was growing up.  Another was the Sinclair station at the corner of Main and the highway, which was referred to as the 'Hinckley Second Ward' due to a number of Aaronic priesthood holders who would congregate there on Sundays to drink pop and visit during church.

My mom would send me to buy lunch or dinner fixings at the Merc and would tell me to say, "Put it on our account." and Mr. or Mrs. Morris would write up the order in a little book, I would sign it, and the yellow carbon copy would go into the bag with the purchase.  I loved when Mr. Morris would slice long, red paper-wrapped bolognas.  When I close my eyes, I can still smell fresh bologna slices with the red strips of paper peeling from the edges.  I recall the ancient cash register that sat high in the center of the store surrounded by the refrigerator cases.  It probably weighed a couple of hundred pounds and it rang cheerily every time the cash drawer opened.  You could spend hours exploring the soft goods,  school supplies, toy rack,  greeting card drawers, and the shoe and clothing shelves in the back of the store, but my favorite thing in the whole place was the candy counter.

The Morris' candy counter was a glass case about five feet wide and four feet high with sliding glass panels in the back for  access. The well-stocked case had glass shelves.  The top shelf was divided into compartments which held the penny candy like Smarties; Pixie Sticks; Swedish Fish; Tootsie Rolls; Hubba-Bubba Bubble Gum; and my favorite: thick, stubby black licorice sticks that turned your whole mouth black.

The next shelf down held nickel candies which included packages of Pop Rocks and small boxes of Lemon Heads, Boston Baked Beans, and Alexander the Grape. Those thin taffy slabs and the flat Jolly Rancher sticks, which you could lick into a candy dagger, were also five cents each. 

Ten cent candy was kept on the shelf just below the nickel stuff.  A dime would buy a roll of Necco wafers; a thick, crunchy Chick-o-Stick; a bag of red or black Twizzler bites; or a box of Good and Plenty, Mike and Ike, or Hot Tamales.  Those long, red licorice ropes; the packets of powdered candy with the edible dipping stick called Lik-M-Aid; and the soda-flavored Bottle Caps also resided on the dime shelf.

The lowest shelf in the case held the items that went for a quarter--candy bars and rolls of Life Savers were the things I remember down there.  The candy bars were bigger and Life Saver rolls were longer back then, but  I rarely spent an entire quarter on one item.  I felt I got more value from my twenty-five cents when I purchased a bag of penny, nickel and dime candies. 

The Merc's clerks took candy orders from kids with faces pressed against the glass front of the counter.  Sometimes they spent long periods of time with a single indecisive child as he tried to select from the array of scrumptious options.  Once chosen, the medley of sweets were dropped into a small, flat, paper sack, the coins or old pop bottles would be collected and counted before the bag was handed over to complete the transaction.  After school and throughout any given summer day, a line of children was usually waiting for their turn to push themselves against the front of the case.  Mr. Morris was constantly saying, "Don't lean on the glass."  When I was young, there were a myriad of hair-line cracks along the front of the case, as time went by, the cracks increased in number and size and on my last visit to Morris Mercantile as an adult, the case had so many pieces of cardboard and tape holding the glass together, you could hardly see through it anymore.

When I was young, a visit to the Morris Merc candy case rivaled  a Willie Wonka golden ticket.  Every kid in Hinckley had a life-time supply of every candy we wanted (except for the Everlasting Gobstopper; that's what we were leaning against the glass looking for).  I wonder if Dr. Cox, the only dentist in Delta at the time, realized why the kids in Hinckley had the worst teeth in the whole county?

Do you share some of Georgia's childhood memories?  Please send comments to her by email or phone:  / 801-737-4787.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

University Tours through the Years

Yesterday I took Camille to Logan for a tour of Utah State University.  I can't quite put my finger on the reason why this has been so much more difficult on me than taking the other three around to universities during their senior years.  It was exciting and fun and we looked forward to the next phase of life, but with this youngest child, I'm wanting to hold back and hang on a little longer.  I suggested that she live at home and commute the first year.  That didn't go over too well.

Kevin, our oldest, received a scholarship from USU when he was a senior so that was the only university he considered attending.  He and I went to several campus events for seniors and were shown around and given the information on housing, meal plans, tuition and campus life.  He attended the Applied Technology College for the few months between high school and his mission and when he returned from Korea, Kevin had no qualms about his decision to attend Utah State.  We moved him into his dorm in August 2005 and he hasn't lived back home since then.  He received his undergraduate degree in May 2009 and started his masters program the next fall.  He receives his graduate degree on May 4, 2012 and we will see where he goes from here.

Danielle had several options open when she was in high school.  We did college tours at Weber State, Utah State, and Southern Utah State.  She auditioned with her clarinet for all of these schools' music directors.  Every one of them wanted her to play in their orchestras and bands and all offered her scholarships to do so, but none were as persistent as Dr. Stoffen at SUU.  He called her every day or two until she finally agreed to choose Cedar City.  She had a full-ride academic scholarship, a housing scholarship, and a music scholarship.  Dani finished her bachelor's degree is three years without incurring one penny of debt.  She ended up changing her major from music to history her junior year, but she still had a music minor when she was finished.  She graduated from SUU on the exact same day and time as Kevin was graduating from USU, so Rob and Bryan went south and Camille and I went north to support our graduates that day.  A month later newly married Dani and Kelly were heading to Baltimore.  Now three years later, Dani will be graduating from Johns Hopkins University with her Masters on May 24, 2012.

Bryan also had several university tours scheduled, but he decided that even though he played several instruments, he didn't want to be in college band or orchestra, so his tours did not include auditions.  He was burned out from the many high school music events he participated in.  Bryan had full academic scholarships offered to him by Brigham Young University, Utah State University, Weber State University, and University of Utah.  He also had an incredible amount of interest from out-of-state universities.  In the end, he opted to attend U of U in Salt Lake.  They required him to attend one quarter before his mission and then place the scholarship on hold until he returned from Hungary.  He attended one more semester at the U when he got home, but his focus had changed during that time, and he has since transferred to WSU where they have a stronger Information Systems and Technology program.  He is working towards his graduation in 2014.

So back to Camille.  She has mulled over her options and considered her siblings experiences.  She originally felt like she had to go some place the other three had not attended so she was leaning towards Utah Valley University, but that fell along the wayside somewhere.  Then she thought perhaps she would follow her sister to SUU in Cedar City, but that didn't see fruition and now she is set on following Kevin to Utah State.  Considering that is where I attended school 30 years ago and am once again enrolled, plus that is where her dad received his degree, I suppose that gives her more reason to want to be an Aggie.  Rob, Kevin and I all have had very positive experiences with USU and living in Logan.

This is such a big decision and becomes all-encompassing during the next chapter of a teen's life.  I wish Camille all the success and happiness she can possibly attain as she prepares to leave home and begin school in just a few short months.  I hope that I am up to losing our youngest child to university life and all that accompanies it.

Friday, January 6, 2012

2011 in Review

I'm having a difficult time getting into 2012.  Perhaps if I take a final look back at 2011, I can turn my face to the future and quit revisiting the past.  So, here, in a nutshell, is the sum total of last year at my house:

January:  (1) The Brunker's house burned down and Jess came and lived with us for awhile.  Camille referred to him as "The Ghost" because when he was here he was so quiet we forgot he was here. (2) I quit my job.  Things had been bad and getting worse and worse until I just couldn't take the contention and strife that accompanied being at that office.

February:  (1) It was winter and cold and dreary.  It is kind of sad my birthday falls in my least favorite month of the year. (2) On my birthday, Kevin, told me he was going to ask Lindsey to marry him.  That made my birthday and February sunnier this year.

March:  (1) On the 11th we received a phone call in the middle of the night from my brother, Jim asking if we had heard anything from our brother, Mark, who lives in Tokyo, Japan.  Jim had heard about the earthquake and tsunami but had not been able to reach Mark and his family.  (2) The Shumways were okay once they were all gathered back together as a family.  (3) Mark moved them to California for awhile while things were repaired and life tried to return to a semblance of normal.  (4)  Camille and I travelled to Arizona to visit with all the Shumways and Mark hosted a fabulous Pink Jeep Tour of Sedona.

April:  (1) The Ogden Temple closed. (2) Camille and I returned from Arizona and brought some sunshine with us.  (3) I bought new running shoes (4) We visited the Carl Bloch art exhibit at the BYU Museum.

May:  (1) I returned to school as a student at Utah State University.  (2) I spent a lot of time reading philosophy books and studying algebra.  (3) We moved Mimi into Julie's and David's house and started cleaning out her home. (4) I planted my garden and spent hours and hours working on the yard because we are having a wedding reception at our house!

June:  (1) Camille finished her junior year of high school. (2) Camille had her tonsils removed  (3) I spent a lot of time studying, attending class, and taking tests. (4) Kevin and Lindsey got married!  June was a BIG Month.

July:  (1) We had another reception for Kevin and Lindsey in Declo. (2) We really hit the cleaning-out-Mimi's-house project hard.  We spent many days of July in Springville sorting, throwing away, recycling, storing, selling, donating and hauling stuff and more stuff.

August:  (1) I finished my first semester of school in 30 years.  (2) We rented Mimi's house to a really nice family. (3) I started canning. (4) I took Camille and Savannah to Utah Olympic Park (5) I started another semester of school. (6) Bryan moved into his own apartment with "the Ghost" as a roommate. (7) The track was locked.

September:  (1) I did more canning.  (2) I was called to be Relief Society President for the second time in my life. (3) The track was still closed.

October:  (1) Camille turned 18!  (2) I spent a lot of time reading government textbooks and studying Quantitative Reasoning. (3) I was able to sneak onto the track one day when a gate was left opened, it was locked up again the next day.

November:  (1) Kevin and Lindsey spent Thanksgiving with us.  (2) The new track was finally opened to the public and I didn't have to climb the fence or walk the streets any more.  (3) Bryan turned 21!

December: (1) I finished my second semester of classes.  (2) Dani and Kelly came from Maryland for almost two weeks to celebrate the holidays! (3) I got to meet my blogging friend, Tina, for breakfast while she was here visiting from Maryland.  (4) My Mom came from Arizona for a couple of days. (5) I threw a holiday dinner party for some friends. (6) We had the Marsdens and Turneys over for a holiday breakfast on the 26th so we could see Sean, Megan, Adam, Melissa, Hannah and new baby Paige. (7) Kevin and Lindsey visited with us for a few days after Christmas.  (8) We spent an evening in Salt Lake eating Italian food at Buca di Beppo, seeing the lights at Temple Square, and attending a movie as a Crouch Clan. (9) It was a wonderful month of friends and family!