The first home that I have any memory of is a small little farmhouse my parents owned in Lakeview Utah. First HomeI am not sure if it is actually my memory or just the memory of my mom telling it but we had chickens (among other animals) and I used a large stick to chase the chickens evidently I was able to chace them into the chicken coop.) About all I can actually remember of this home is that there was a large billboard in the field to the north of us. From my bedroom window I could see this billboard, I thought it was a drive in movie screen and I was always trying to stay awake long enough to see the movie but I never could. I was 3 years old when we moved from Lakeview to Pleasant Grove where I grew up. I am told that the house was not quite finished when we moved in but my dad finished it up. I was sure happy there we had a back yard that went right into a fruit orchard, just to the north of the orchard was a field that was as big as all outdoors. Home in Pleasant Grove

I loved exploring the many wonderful adventures that I could conjure up in my mind. Because our home was in the foothills of Mt. Timpanogos Timpit was a very short walk or bike ride to the most wondrous mountain trails in the history of my frail existence.

I was able to start attending cub scouts about 2 months before I turned 8 years old. For my 8th birthday my Den Mother Sister Gurley gave me a puppy I named her Skippy she ended up with the name “Slurppy Slippy Sleepy Skippy Dog Wilson”. I always thought and still do think that she was probably the best dog ever was. As an example the Jakemans our neighbors to the north would turn their kids out on the front lawn call Skip over and tell her to keep an eye on the kids while they went shopping. Skip would lie down in the middle of the yard and pretend to be asleep. When one of the kids got to what Skip thought was the border of the yard she would get up and playfully “drive the kid” back to the middle of the yard then she would lay back down and again pretend to be asleep. When the Jakemans arrived home she would just come on back home. Skippy was a true neighborhood dog she had dishes at, at least 3 homes other than ours that I know of. Skip had a “square” appearance this was due to her back and sides rubbing the door to her dog house it kinda “combed” her hair into a square.

I had the most awesome trees any boy could have while growing up. We had two weeping willow trees that were so large you could see them and pick out our house from the top of Timpanogas Mountain. I built a clubhouse in the smaller of the two. But probably spent more time in the larger of the two. I rigged a rope between the two trees and had a pulley with a wooden seat attached to it. Much like the Zip Line of today except that this one didn’t have a release mechanism and you sat on it instead of hanging by your arms. I spent many fun hours gliding from one tree to the other and then pulling myself back up to the higher end.

How lucky I was to have parents who both seemed to understand and encourage my curious mind. When I was six my mom allowed me to play with her typewriter typewriter storyI was very frustrated well I remember trying to type a capital “8” and all I could get was an “upside down raindrop”.

My mom wrote a note to the editor of the Deseret News and got a small clip published about the experience in the colum known as “Small Talk”. The newspaper clipping just says “raindrop” but in actuality it was an “upside down raindrop”. On modern keyboards an uppercase 8 gives you an asterisk * but back then it was apostrophe ' which looks exactly like an “upside down raindrop”.

Dad and some of his friends built Tote Goats (an early motorized mini-bike) I used to ride it all over the mountain trails above our home and got to where I knew every nook and cranny of the mountain. One time while Skip was still a pup she followed my dad and I down through the trail through the orchards below our house. totegoatShe just about ran the pads off her feet attempting to keep up with us. When we realized she was following us Dad stopped and picked her up. She rode home on the Tote Goat and from that time until the end of her days if that Tote Goat left the yard it left with Skip on the seat. On the few times when she didn’t come when called all we had to do was start up the Tote Goat and she would come running.

My brother Wayne had a paper route for the Deseret News and as he grew older tired of it and moved on to other things I “inherited” it. Being a paper boy was a lot of work for a kid on a bicycle as we had to pick up the papers downtown and the route was up at the top of 2nd south. After school I would pick up the papers, fold them, load them on he bike and head up the hill delivering papers as I went. Often my mom would drive us on the paper route, I was and will remain to be amazed at how my mom threw papers. She could drive down the road and using her left hand throw a paper over the roof of the car and have it land safely on the porch of the desired house. I don’t have a memory of her ever missing.

We had a Ford Edsel, when it came time for an engine overhaul Dad did it in the garage.edsel This meant that I had the opportunity to “help” and learn. During this adventure Dad taught me something that has stuck with me. He was talking about his job and his attitude about work. He said as nearly as I can quote:


“A job is what you make of it. For example there is a man I work with who never has a good thing to say about his job or anything else for that matter, well no one likes to be around him because he is so negative. There is another fellow who has the exact same job who has lots of friends and is always pleasant to be around because no one ever hears a negative thing from him.

If you work for a man NEVER say anything negative about him or the job. If you don’t like the job or boss then get another job.”

That has stuck with me and I know that there were jobs I had that I didn’t really enjoy but have a hard time remembering it. I was and continue to be able to find enjoyment in all that I do and I know it is because of the attitude that I learned from my dad. Later in life I told my dad of that conversation and he could not remember it but I am glad that he took the time to talk to his son and teach me such a powerful principle.