Chapter 1 : How I Got Here

My youngest sister Christie was born when I was 14 years old, and grew up after most of her siblings had left the nest, so many of the stories I have been telling for years, she heard after she was an adult, if she heard them at all. She asked me if I would write a book about my life, and the stories I love to tell. I grew up in a time when there was no television and few radios. If we were to be entertained we had to do it ourselves.

My first reaction to Christie’s request was to write and tell her I don’t have enough brains to write a book. It just had not occurred to me that I could write anything that any one would want to read, but with her encouragement, and that of my daughters, and a couple of my grandkids, I decided to try.

I have always told my own kids, and grand kids, that I was hatched out under a rock, and had to crawl all the way home looking for my mother. I couldn’t find her in the house, but I finally looked in the raspberry patch where she was picking berries. Because I was so pretty she picked me up and decided to keep me.

I thought I would add some photo’s to the story as I tell it so that you can see what it was like. I grew up on a small farm a mile and a half from the village of Weston, Franklin County, Idaho. At the time I was a kid there was a millinery store selling ladies hats and stuff like that. Here is a photo of the millinery store. The fence was gone when I was growing up. Archie Lott’s home was to the left of the store. A vacant lot to the right large enough for several buildings. Then came Archie’s store then the old post office building on the corner. These old stores were just kind of scattered around the village. At the time I was a kid Archie had a small soda fountain and sold hamburgers and milk shakes etc. In the back was his barber shop, mostly used at night after farmers were through work for the day. He had a pool room attached to the side of the building at one time, and a small grocery with some other hardware Items. Later he became the post master and took over the post office building on the corner. He just knocked a hole in the wall so he could go from his store to the post office without going out side.

I remember a little meat counter in the store at one time as well. Vere Jensen my mother’s cousin came in one day. He had a hair lip and didn’t speak very plain. He said to Lois Nelson who worked for Archie for years. “Hi want som mutn”. “What did you say Vere“? “Hi want som mutn.“ I’m sorry Vere Lois said, I don’t understand you. For which he said, “For hell sake lady Baaaa.”

I remember Vere used to come to our farm to help in the hay some times. He would be running the Jackson fork and came to the field with the empty wagon with horses on a fast trot almost on the run. When he would get to the loaded wagon where he would change with the hay tramper who was usually me, he would start about 50 feet away pulling on the lines and holler whooooooooa to his horses until the hay rakes would collide and break something. Then he would have to get out the bailing wire again.

There were three stores selling groceries in Weston when I was growing up. Tom Preston built a large store which sold furniture at one time. It had apartments covering all of up stairs. Later Clive Beal put in cold storage lockers down in the basement. This was a real help to those of us who had no way of keeping food in summer time other than to can it.

There was a garage, owned by Ray Hansen, two pool halls, and a gas station. There were also two blacksmith shops at one time but only Frank Olsen’s when I was growing up. None of these are left now in 2006. Pigeons took over the Apartments up in Preston’s building. All the other businesses closed up one by one. But Weston has grown in population. They have two wards now. The grade school and High school are both gone. As roads improved and people could drive in cars instead of buggies it became easier to shop in Preston or Logan. Here is photo of the Blacksmith shop.

Right across the street was Rays garage and it looked about the same as the blacksmith shop.

When telling a story to little kids I often started by saying, “now when I was a little girl…” this or that happened. Often the kids would say, “you were never a little girl.” “Oh yes I was. That is why I was named Shearl.” I never liked that name because a neighbor, Dale McKay teased me and called me Shirley. It was also he who told me if the lightning spelled my name during a thunder storm I was a dead duck.

Telling stories has always been a delight for me. Most are just things I remember that happened to me. Those stories I have told that are not true are so far fetched that any one listening knows they are not true, but they are still entertaining especially to kids. There will be few of those kinds in this book.

We had a radio in our house and there was much storytelling on it. I think in many ways radio was better than TV is today. You listened to stories told by masters. As they told the story there was some guy standing by them doing sound affects. Your imagination did the rest for you. There was no bad language of any kind. Every day there was Jack Armstrong the all American boy, The Shadow, Hop-a-long Cassidy, Gene Autry, Roy Rogers, Gang Busters, Ickabad Mud, even Helen Trent who ask the question, “can a women find true love at age 35?”, Amos and Andy, and lots of other comedy, but no foul language. There were many others more exciting than the garbage they put on TV today.

I wanted a radio in the barn so I wouldn’t miss any thing while doing the chores. Dad thought it would disturb the cows. I bought a small one and he let it be in the barn. I told him the music would make the cows give more milk. It came on each time we turned on the lights. That made chore time much better for me and I think dad enjoyed it also once he got used to the idea.

I remember when he bought the 1936 Chevy; the older boys tried to get him to get it with a radio. That was optional then, as was a heater. But dad wouldn’t, saying, “A radio would put you to sleep and you would wreck the car.” I don’t really know why, but I remember the car salesman came to our farm. One car dad was about to buy when the salesman made the mistake of saying it was maroon in color. Dad thought it was black. I don’t know why he didn’t want maroon. He was colorblind, I remember as a kid going to Preston with him, and he would put his hand up to shade his eyes and say to me, “ Keith what color is the light? The sun is in my eyes.” He would never say, “ I can’t tell what color it is.”

A few years later we did go to a garage in Logan and buy a Gram Page Cavalier. Marion was driving by then and while backing out of the garage he smashed a fender. They fixed it for us though as I remember. That was the car I learned to drive in.

My mother, Myrtle Whitney Morgan was born 3 Nov. 1899. My father, Ezra Burnath Morgan was born 23 Sep.1897. The thing I remember most my mother saying to me as a boy was, “Keith I don’t know what will ever become of you.” I don’t really remember what I did but I must have been a pain sometimes to her. Well I do remember one thing. I sat one day when very young and snipped off the leaves of one of her house plants with a pair of scissors until she caught me. She has been gone now for more than 21 years and I wonder if she is still disappointed. No one knows my weaknesses more than I do, but I have tried to make my mom and dad proud. Because Dad died young I have tried to help when I could to do what I thought he would have done had he lived.

I like to think mom kept this little poem because of me.

That Little Boy of Mine.

A tiny turned up nose, two cheeks just like a rose,
So sweet from head to toes, that little boy of mine.
Two arms that hold me tight two eyes that shine so bright
Two lips, that kiss good night, that little boy of mine.

No one will ever know just what his coming has meant.
Because I love him so, he’s something Heaven has sent,
He’s all this world to me, he climbs upon my knee
To me, he’ll always be, that little boy of mine.

I remember my mother telling me how proud I should be of my Morgan name. I always have been, and tried to find out what it means.

As far as I know our name Morgan came from (Welsh) “by Sea” or “By the Sea”

Morgan – a Welch name of high antiquity. The founder of the Pelagiam heresy in the 4th century (about A.D. 360) was a true Welchman, a monk of Bangor. His name was Morgan which signifies “of the Sea” and this was correctly Latinized Pelaguis. All other authorities agree in giving this name a like antiquity.

It was Saturday morning 10:15 AM in the hospital in Preston, Franklin County, Idaho, when I got my turn on earth. I weighed in at a whopping 10 pounds 2 ounces I had dark hair and gray eyes, and was given the name of Keith Shearl. Mother wrote that she really wanted a girl, and had the name Marrine picked out.

I remember as a small boy being dressed like a girl even up to the time I started school. I hated it! Mom would put the same long girl’s stockings on me as my sister MerLyn wore, saying I needed them to keep from having croup. To make it worse I was dressed in short pants so those stockings showed. I would go to the back of the school bus and take them off, which was no easy task, they being pinned to my underwear. I would stick them under a seat and put them back on when I went home after school. To this day I have never worn a pair of short pants once I was old enough to choose for Fmyself what I would wear. Photo’s of me as a child all had me in something that would have been more fitting for a girl, such as a blouse with a lacy collar or something just as you see in that photo.

Grandmother Whitney thought I was neglected because I was not a girl, but mother says it was just that I was so good. I preferred to go to bed rather than be fussed over. I remember when I was small, my aunts coming to the house and they always wanted to kiss me. I hated that and sometimes I hid in the barn if I saw them coming.

I was greeted by brothers, Burnath Maurice – 11 years, Elvour Whitney – 9 years, Marion Whitney – 5 years, and one sister, MerLyn who was 18 months older than her new brother. My dad was 33 years old, and mother was 31. I was followed 5 years later by a brother Sylvan Lowell and nine years after that Mom finely got her second daughter Christie.

My new home was a two-room frame house located on grandfather Morgan’s farm about a half-mile east of the railroad, and about one and a half miles from the village of Weston, Idaho. The family belonged to the Weston Ward of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It must have been very crowded in our house with just two rooms only about 12 x 12 each. I have few memories of my oldest brother until we were adults, so maybe he was already gone for the most part. I have a memory of one of my older brothers working for Bill Tanner but I am not sure who. I know Sam worked for Grandpa Whitney some and perhaps stayed there a lot. Bud Whitney, a cousin also stayed with Grandpa and Grandma Whitney because his mother had died. Marion, just older than me worked and boarded with Mel McKay. He was paid $1.00 a day and his board and room. I remember thinking how rich he was when he came home to visit sometimes. I remember him taking me to town on a horse and buying candy. I don’t remember Chuck being gone until after he was out of High School and got a job in Hollywood California. I have no idea what he did there but the name was exciting to me.

Above my grandfather Whitney’s home was an old house or cabin is probably the best discription, which was just under the West Cache Canal. Grandfather’s farm was below that and ran down to Bear River. One night I was with some of my cousins up there, I don’t know if Uncle Wells lived there or why we were there, but it got dark and Bud left. When Carroll and I left to go back to Grandpa’s, it was a very dark night and we had to walk a third of a mile along a path next to the creek that ran down through his land. It was pretty scary to walk there in the dark and I guess Bud heard us coming and sat down by the creek until we got there. Then he yelled “Boo!” I never came so close to dieing before. I ran all the way to grandpa’s house without looking back. This may be what stunted my growth, I am the shortest one of the 5 boys in our family.

I have read in my mother’s writings an account of grandfather Morgan and his wife Christie moving their family from Logan to Weston. Now I have a little more of the information given by Lowell Wendell Nielsen in a book he wrote about his grandparents. The Nielsen’s and Morgan’s were partners in the purchase of Adam Campbell’s farm of 160 acres.

The Morgan Family moved into a small log house on the property to plant the crops. (I remember that log cabin which I played in as a boy. Grandfather had built a new brick home by then next to it. The log cabin had a little stairway leading to the loft upstairs.) They had 5 children when they moved there and Floyd, the youngest, was born after moving to the farm.

John Nielsen his partner assisted in the work when he could take time from the mill where he worked for his brother-in-law Issac Jorgenson in Weston. (This mill was still there as I grew up. I remember going with dad as he took grain to have it made into flour each year.) Early in the summer of 1907 John left his job at the mill and went to farming full time. They rented a home in Weston and had a Mr. Erikson build their home just east of the Morgan home, (where Washington J. Thompson lived when I was a boy growing up on our farm.) They moved into the new home in early October 1907.

In the spring of 1908 the Nielsen’s and the Morgan’s decided the farm should be divided. The Morgan’s took the west half and the Nielsen’s took the east half. Grandfather Morgan’s farm now has a road called the Linrose Road running along the west side. The county road, was then only a trail running along the front of the farm, from the railroad tracks and on down to the Bear River and on to Fairview and Preston. A fence was built running between dad’s farm and what we knew as kids as the Thompson place.

John ended up losing his farm sometime after his wife Eva died. This was during the depression in 1930. I guess that was when Wash Thompson bought that half of the farm.

Dad and mother met when he was 16 according to her journal. It has always been interesting to me to compare the life style of each generation. They had few of what we would call luxuries in their day and worked very hard to put food on the table. Here is a photo showing how Dad courted Mom before they were married. She spent many years traveling with a horse and buggy doing her church work. It was an improvement when he bought a white top buggy. It had four wheels, two seats, and a top over it to keep the sun out a little. 

Mother wrote in her journal that Dad rented the Fifield place north of his dad’s farm after they married. Six months after they were married, they moved into their “castle.” It was a two-room home with bare floors and a cellar under one room entered by a trap door. There was no running water, no electricity, no bathroom, yet she uses the word castle in describing her home. Will Hansen, Luther Fife, Albert and Alf Jensen, friends of the family built it. This was some place west of Grandfather’s cabin. Later Dad moved those two rooms next to his father’s home, dragging it with horses to the east of grandfather’s cabin, because he couldn’t get water where is was. Later he added two more rooms, and a bath, with a basement under the new part. Both electricity and running water in the house came when I was a kid in grade school. We used lamps for light and carried the water into the house in a bucket before the electric line came to our farm. A lantern was used in the shed to see to milk by in winter months. We had none of the electric stuff that is available today. No toaster, no blender, no refrigeration, no iron, nor any of the other things we feel we must have now.

The house was heated with wood or coal. There was no insulation in the walls, ceilings, or floors. I remember each spring when we took out the stove in the living room to make more room we had a spring-cleaning. We had something that looked like play dough that kids play with today. This we rubbed on the walls to clean off the soot and smoke. It was a real hard job but we all pitched in. We molded the dirty part in and used a clean spot over and over until all was used then we got a new piece . A wood stove was still used for cooking summer and winter. It could be 90 degrees outside and mom would have a fire going to bake and prepare the noonday food. It was so hot inside that doors and windows were left open to catch any breeze that might come along. This invited many flies from the outside in even though we did have screens on them. We always had a sticky paper hanging from the ceiling to catch them. A home made trap was always at the barn. The flies would crawl into a funnel and then couldn’t find the way out. Thousands were trapped and died, but there were always more.

I was in high school when we got a refrigerator. If I remember right my brother Chuck bought that for Mom and Dad. Before we had that we put milk for the house in a bucket and went to the water trough where we swirled the bucket back and forth one way then the other until the cool water cooled the milk. Meat and fruit and veggies had to be canned if kept. There was an ice box to keep things in but you had to replace the ice regularly. Sometimes blocks of ice could be covered with saw dust and kept from melting too fast. A phone was also put in when the phone line finally came to our farm. A four party line was all we had. One neighbor had one ring, another two rings, another three rings and the fourth four rings. If someone was using the line when you wanted to call you just had to wait, but you had to pick up the receiver to see if someone was talking. If there was no one using the line the operator would come on and say, “Operator” then you would tell her what you wanted. You could ask her what time it was or what movie was playing in town or just about anything and she would tell you. If you wanted to call someone you just said please connect me with so and so. Our neighbor Marlene Maughan was always talking to Georgia Lannan when I wanted to call my girlfriend for anything. Before most people got a phone, people would call someone who had a phone and ask if they could run to the neighbor and call them to the phone, or take a message. People were nice enough to do it also Now days it is all done with a computer and how I hate to talk to one of those.

Mother wrote in her journal that it was 1935 when they added the new part onto our home. I would have been five when this basement was dug to be under the new part of the house, and Dad let me help with the work. I thought I was really big stuff as I drove the team that pulled the scraper full of dirt out of the pit. I was undoubtedly only holding the lines because Dad had his horses so well trained they did whatever he told them to do even though at the time I thought I was driving. That is one of the great blessings of being raised on a farm you get to go to work with your dad every day. I learned so much from him. Some of which I didn’t like at the time. He always said a job worth doing was worth doing right, and every post put in a hole had to be straight. Every row of beets had to be straight. His haystacks had to be straight.

Dad did nothing until he had the money to pay for it. He ran out of money for bathroom fixtures so that was not added until I was in High School. I hated that outhouse and made a lot of pee holes in the snow rather than walk through it to that privy. Thinking back now we must have been very poor people. I don’t remember ever seeing a roll of paper from the store in that little building. There was always a Sears or Wards catalog or news print of some kind in there.

From mother’s journal

In 1935 when Sylvan was a baby in arms we started our basement beside our two rooms. Then added two bedrooms, a bath and a small hall over the basement. We added a small front porch and a screened porch on the back off the kitchen. Then put a new roof over it all including the old two rooms we had. The continuing noise of the hammers annoyed Sylvan, I held him in my arms to give him a chance to sleep. Maurice had mumps and nearly went crazy trying to stay in bed. He finely had to get outside in a rocking chair, but we saved him which we doubted at first.

Albert Jensen and Auto Gassmen of Weston, did the rough work on the house. Ervan Cole of Preston, plastered inside. Mr. Layne of Lewiston, and Neils Bastain and Lloyd Miller of Weston, each helped with the inside finishing. Guy Nelson also of Weston put the oilcloth on the kitchen walls. All this was done over a period of years. Burnath’s father helped paint the house white with green trim. Later Burnath and the boys changed the color of the trim to brown. What had been our bedroom was now a kitchen with built in cupboards. What had been our kitchen was now our front room. Our building plan was never completed.

With this much accomplished, we built a chicken coop, replaced the straw shed with a small cow barn. The white top buggy had taken the place of the little black buggy. Burnath kept his horses even after a ford car replaced our buggy.

The earliest team of horses I can remember Dad having is a gray team he named Snap and Fly. Mom said he raised them himself. He did custom cultivating and drilling for other farmers because that team did it straight and could walk without stepping on a beet. As I remember this team was brother and sister but not very well matched to look at. Snap was taller than the little mare and larger. Dad pulled them sometimes on the 24th of July celebration we had in Weston. People would see that little mare work and try to trade with dad. When they couldn’t get him to sell the mare they would try to sell him a horse that matched her better. Dad always just said, “No thanks. I am happy with what I have.”

I remember years later at Mom’s funeral, meeting Delbert Schvaneveldt in the church. He said, “You’re one of the Morgan boys aren’t you?” “Yes,” I said, and he told me he still remembered that gray team my dad had and how he tried to get that mare away from him. Sometimes they did put one of his horses with the mare and pulled them together.

I asked dad why that little mare could out pull her larger brother one time and he said, “Desire” She just loved to pull. Dad would hook her tugs one link up on her to give her a little advantage on a larger horse and they just couldn’t out pull her. I don’t know if people knew that or not. When he hooked her to a pull truck it was the same thing. Then he would sit and talk to them, telling that mare to back up one step or go forward one step and she would stand and prance in place until he was satisfied and said “go.” She would then dig in. You could see every muscle as it worked. Snap had a tendency to leap into the pull and dad didn’t like that and told him so and he would then settle down and pull with the mare. I loved to watch them. I get goose bumps just telling about them.

In order for a team to pull well they have to be in shape. Sometimes if dad didn’t have enough work to keep them in shape he would hook them to a drag we had there in the yard and pull that around. It was made of some lumber with heavy rocks on it and would smooth the ruts in the yard as he worked their muscles. I couldn’t remember what happened to that team, but Marion told me Fly died on a ditch bank in the field from brain fever and he couldn’t remember what happened to Snap.

I remember once I thought I would be helpful. Dad had the irrigation water and was cultivating sugar beets at the same time. He left the team and cultivator standing in the rows of beets while he checked his water. I came along and thought it would be helpful if I drove to where he was. I climbed up on the cultivator, which was a machine with knives that ran between four rows of beets and cut out the weeds growing there. To guide it you pushed with your left foot or your right and the seat you were sitting on moved to move the knives one way or the other. I only went about ten or fifteen feet when dad saw what I was doing and yelled at his team. They stopped immediately but I had cut every beet out for that distance. That is the first time I ever heard my dad swear. Not at me, but at the loss of so many beets in four rows. We had a very small farm and he couldn’t afford to lose any thing. If one of his horses even stepped on a beet he told them about it and they wouldn’t repeat it.

Dad always kept a pony on the small farm we had. He used it to carry the canvas dames he used to water the land. The first riding horse I remember was a sorrel mare they called Nance. I was too small to ride her so I must have heard the family talk about her. Marion got her stuck in quick sand down by Bear River and they had to pull her out and she wasn’t much good after that. Dad bought a little bay mare from Stan Winn, that he got from the Black Foot Indians. Her name was Bird, but we changed it to Floss, after Stan’s wife. She was a Christmas present kept in Uncle Jack’s barn until Christmas morning. I remember they said the Indians used her for a bucking horse for sport. If you pulled on her mane at the bottom of her neck she always bucked. She pitched my older brothers off but when they put me on she walked around the yard gentle as could be. I was only 4 or 5 years old I guess. I rode her out into the field and thought I was doing so good I kicked her to go faster. Her trot was terribly rough but her lope was ok. She took off and it scared me so I crawled up on her neck so I could wrap my legs around her neck and hang on. She could have just lowered her head and I would have gone right off but she didn’t.  I broke her to the harness and drove her in the Parade in Weston on the 24th of July when in my teens. The colt by her side is the first one she had. I tried to get a palomino but failed.

She had some other unusual habits. We had barbed wire fences. If you lowered a wire gate and lead her across, if a hoof touched the wire she would panic, and sometimes in her panic she would cut herself up. We always had to pull the gate back before taking her through. Another problem we had with her was we could never let go of the lines. If you did she was gone. Marion rode her to Clarkston one time to visit the cousins. When he came home over Big Hill, he got off to relieve himself and made the mistake of dropping the reins. She took off and he walked home. She would hold her head to the side so as not to step on the reins and she could run full blast that way.

One time we let her run with the other animals to glean in the fields after the harvest. I went out and tried to catch her. I would drive her into a corner and she would watch until she thought she could just barely out run me, then she would take off. I always lost the race. Over and over I tried to corner her but failed. If I would have had a gun I may have shot her. I finally gave up and headed to the house. She just followed me into the yard, and I could then bridle her and go. I guess she thought I was just playing a game. We had a small orchard about a half acre with about a dozen trees and that is where we usually kept her.

My sister MerLyn rode Floss one year in the parade in Preston when she tried out for Queen of the rodeo. I have a photo of horse and rider all decked out in their rodeo garb.

I also remember Dad teaching me to show respect for older people with yes sir, and yes ma’am, I was never worried about facing other people after being disrespectful but facing my Dad was another matter. How I acted was important especially in the church. I was not allowed to run around and play with other kids inside the church. If I wore a hat it came off as soon as I stepped inside the church. I am still amazed when I see young people come into the church wearing a hat.

I have never forgotten the feeling I had once when we were at Sacrament Meeting which in those days was held rather late on Sunday evening so the farmers had time to do their chores first. I’m sure I was preschool age and was so sleepy. I got hold of someone’s pant leg and followed them all the way to their car. When I was getting in I tripped over a torn piece of floor board and that woke me up. I knew that was not my car. I remember the fear as I raced back to the church looking for my Dad and Mom.

It is strange what the brain stores away in our memory. I have always remembered the Fredrickson family that lived up in Cederville. I always thought they were rich. They had a pack of kids and lived in an old rock house on a dry farm. But when they came to church in the wintertime the mother always wore a fur coat. He was usually dressed in a new pair of bib overalls. I guess if I had been old enough, I might have known that coat was an old hand-me-down old with the fur coming out here and there, but to me it represented wealth.

My mother always thought her boys could do no wrong, or at least she talked that way, perhaps in hopes we wouldn’t do wrong, but I was not a perfect child even though she said so. We didn’t have TV or anything to entertain us so we made our own fun. At night after chores were done sometimes all the kids in the neighborhood would get together and play until long after dark. One of the things we played, was who is the boss of Bunker Hill. Someone was on high ground, a hay stack, a dirt pile, anything and the rest of us tried to push him or her down. The one who was successful was the new boss. Run Sheepy Run was a fun game as it was getting dark. It was kind of like hide and seek but you went looking for different ones and had to outrun them to the goal or you would always be it. Anti I Over was played usually if there was only two to four people. We would toss a ball up on the roof trying to get it to roll down the other side. If it came back you yelled, “Anti came back.” You only got so many tries. If it went over the person on the other side would try to catch it. If they caught it they could come around the house and throw it at you. If they hit you they got a point. Some of the games we played were a bit rough.

One particular Saturday we decided to have a rodeo over at McKays. My parents and Brother and Sister McKay had gone to town for supplies I guess. We made the mistake of trying to ride the bull. We got the rope on him ok but he didn’t cooperate from there. He took off and we couldn’t hold him so anyone could get on. He would drag 2 or 3 of us easily. We would run to a post and wrap the end of the lariat around it and he would snap that post off. We would run to another post with the same results. It wasn’t long until he had most of the corral torn down. We finally managed to get the rope off and let him go. We were still digging postholes and repairing the fence when Mr. McKay came home. This was just one of the times we were in trouble.

My older brothers told a story about being with a cousin Clair Butters one day going down the road when he saw a lady going into an outhouse. He stopped and with his rifle he shot through the roof of the outhouse scattering a lot of shingles, and scaring the lady almost to death. I don’t know if that was true or not because I was a lot younger and not there. It does remind me of a poem I have though. It is called the Outhouse.

The service station trade was slow
The owner sat around,
With sharpened knife and cedar stick
Piled shavings on the ground.

No modern facilities had they,
The log across the rill
Led to a shack, marked His and Hers
That sat against the hill.

“Where is the ladies restroom, sir?”
The owner leaning back,
Said not a word but whittled on ,
And nodded toward the shack.

With quickened step she entered there
But only stayed a minute,
Until she screamed, Just like a snake
Or spider might be in it.

With startled look and beet red face
She bounded through the door,
And headed quickly for the car
Just like three gals before.

She missed the foot log- jumped the stream
The owner gave a shout,
As her silk stockings, down at her knees
Caught on a sassafras sprout.

She tripped and fell- got up, and then
In obvious disgust,
Ran to the car, stepped on the gas,
And faded in the dust.

Of course we all desired to know
What made the gals all do
The things they did, and then we found
The whittling owner knew.

A speaking system he’d devised
To make the thing complete,
He tied a speaker on the wall
Beneath the toilet seat.

He’d wait until the gals got set
And then the devilish tike,
Would stop his whittling long enough,
To speak into the mike.

And as she sat, a voice below
Struck terror, fright and fear,
“Will you please use the other hole.
We’re painting under here.

There is no author for this little ditty but it sure sounds like cousin Clair to me.

I may have learned a lot of things from my brothers. Chuck told about he and Marion one day when dad wasn’t home, and Frank Shrives mule came into our yard. They caught two cats and tied their tails together. Then they put them over that mules back, one on each. When they dug in their claws trying to get away that mule really put on a show. He ran through a few fences trying to get rid of those cats. I was thinking of another time when they tin-canned a stray horse and turned him loose on the road. The cans with little rocks in them rattled as they bounced off the heals of that horse. He was soon in a race to see if he could beat the train now coming down the slope from Dayton. I remember being spellbound wondering if the train would win and block the road that racing horse was using. The horse just made it in time.

I remember dad didn’t have much use for mules. He had a team once and they ran away with a hay wagon. The wagon broke loose when they went over a ditch, but they continued out on to the road, running along the side. When they came to a telephone pole, one went on one side and one on the other. The spreader lines hit that pole and took most of their teeth out. You can’t get much for a team of mules with no teeth.

We mostly rode the calves that we had been warned not to ride when we had our little rodeo. Orin McKay our neighbor just couldn’t get the knack of it. He would lean forward instead of back and every time the calf would raise his head it would bust his nose. He lost a lot of blood but never did get very good at it.

Grandfather Morgan was the sixth son of Thomas Morgan and Mary Elizabeth Tingle. All came from England, converts to the restored gospel. I never met my grandparents on Dad’s side of the family. They died young before I got my turn on earth. I hope I will get to know them some day on the other side of the veil.

Grandmother was the daughter of Anders Pettersson, and Maria Catharina Nilsson, of Sweden. Grandmother’s name has always been written in family records as Christina Lovisa Pettersson, but that was not really her name. Because of the patronymic system used in Sweden her name was Kristina Lovisa Andersdotter. All her sisters used that name in Sweden and her brother Karl was Andersson. A cousin Lois Hawkes Cutler, has a tape she got from her mother Vera Morgan Hawkes, sent to her from Sweden where grandmother’s sister Anna is talking and refers to her sister as Kristin, which is a nick name for Kristina. I had the privilege of meeting Grandmother’s sisters Anna and Elin when I served my first mission in Sweden.

My father Ezra Burnath Morgan, was the oldest of six. Edgar (known to me as Uncle Jack), Marie, Vera, Florence, and Floyd.

My mother Myrtle, was the daughter of Samuel Alonzo Whitney, born 14 April 1873, a twin, and Edna Vilate Hulse born 8 Feb 1874. Grandmother was the youngest of 13 brothers and sisters. She was the mother of 10 herself, Wells, Louise, Florest, Myrtle, Leone, Merlin, Mervin, Varsel, Fern, and Violet.

On 3 Aug 1930 I was blessed by Peter D Maughan in the Church in Weston, and given the name Keith Shearl Morgan. My hair stayed a dark brown and the eyes a steel gray. My hair was cut a Dutch cut for the blessing. ( I think that means they set a bowl on your head and cut every thing that sticks out around it).

Mother wrote, ” A new born babe resembles the bright and hopeful ray of the sun that smiles upon us at the dawning of a day.

“Doctor Allen Cutler and Superintendent Winward, along with day nurse Fern Jensen, and night nurse Joan Kenard were all in attendance at the birth of our fifth child. The family had hoped for a girl and had the name Marrine picked out. (This new baby was said to be the prettiest newborn baby ever.)” Did you notice that last sentence? Now haven’t I been telling you all my life I was pretty? And you thought I was kidding. Now you have it in writing confirmed by the mother. No rash, just fair skin, he was a good baby and one we couldn’t spoil.

Mother continues, “Like a precious pearl, so lovely and white, is the first little tooth that comes into sight. At 4 months Keith cut his first front teeth, two of them. The first one came through 25 Oct 1930 on Aunt Vera’s birthday. The other one came on the 27th, the day we were giving Aunt Ethel a stork shower at Dawson’s in preparation for Eugene’s arrival.

“We never got a baby picture of Keith because he just couldn’t sit still long enough. At one year he measured an inch over average and was 2 lbs too heavy. At two, he is still in the lead in height and weight. At six years, he was taller and a bit broader than MerLyn. He acted like a big brother to her almost from the time he entered school.”

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