Wayne Eldredge was born on Christmas Eve, 1920.

As a boy, he liked to hike, fish and explore different places with his cousins. He liked to ride Johnny the horse, and had 5 different dogs as a boy… all of them named “spot”. He met an old prospector who lived in a small shack up in the hills. The old man promised he’d leave his claim to Wayne… but then he disappeared a short time later.

After graduating from high school, Wayne attended Utah State, enrolling in the civil engineering program. Shortly after graduation, Wayne was called into active duty in the Navy, where he spent some time in the New York Shipyards and then in New Orleans, before shipping off to Guam, where he would spend the majority of his service in World War II.

After the war ended, Wayne returned home and shortly afterward was called up by the Navy to open and staff the first Naval Reserve Center in Ogden. It was during this time that he met and eventually married the love of his life, Bonnie Decker.

Together, they raised three sons, with Wayne often volunteering his time and talents to the Boy Scouts of America, as his sons grew and progressed through the ranks to Eagle Scout.

After serving as the commanding officer of the Naval Reserve center for 5-6 years, and a short time spent as a civil engineer with Peter-Kiewit company, Wayne took a job as a civil engineer with the Bureau of Reclamation, where he worked until retiring in 1979. Wayne took great pride in his work on the construction of the Causey Dam and the Willard Canal.

Wayne volunteered his time and talents to the Ogden Nature Center in its early years, and enjoyed traveling with Bonnie and taking trips to Alaska to visit his sons.

Wayne’s work ethic, love of life and love of nature has been passed on to his sons, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, who think he’s an awesome and amazing grandpa.


I was born December 24, 1920, the second child and first and only son of Lillian B. Stewart and J. Wayne Eldredge I always felt unfortunate that I was born the day before Christmas. Never once did I think that my mother also had to spend Christmas day in the hospital.

The earliest memories I have of my youth were at a two-story yellow brick apartment building on 27th St. below Grant Av. This building has since been destroyed. It was there that one of my earliest traumatic experiences happened. My sister Bette, who was supposed to be watching me, had her attention diverted when she heard the band for the parade that we were all going to attend. As she ran to the window, I fell out of my highchair and burned my hand on the kerosene space heater. I have carried that scar all of my life, but today it’s hardly visible.

I remember going to my Grandfather and Grandmother Eldredge’s home on the northeast corner of Grant and 28th St. Grandmother often had dinners for the whole Eldredge family. At these dinners, she usually served a small glass of wine. The glasses were left on the table within easy reach of a small inquisitive boy who grabbed one and sampled the contents. It tasted so good he finished all the other glasses. Immediately afterward his mother discovered him stumbling around and falling down. She called to his father who picked him up. He smelled the boy’s breath and declared, “this kid is drunk.” That was my first experience with alcohol.

The next thing I can remember is that we had moved to our new home at 1242 24th St.

This is the area where I spent most of my life up until I entered High School. These were happy, carefree days when I spent nearly all the time with my cousins who lived nearby. Leon Bartlett and Duane Stewart were my constant companions. Wherever you found one of us, at least one of the other was present.

As small boys are apt to do, we managed to get into our share of mischief. One of the things we always enjoyed doing was hiking in the foothills. There we managed to climb some of the cliffs that we weren’t supposed to. Often my mother packed us a lunch and we roamed all day, exploring the foothills and caves. One day I slipped on a slick rock and slid into a cactus. It was an embarrassing moment when I had to pull down my trousers and have Leon pull out the cactus spikes from my rear end.

One Easter, Duane, Leon and I all got little yellow ducklings. We kept them in our back yard. We used to play with them and let them run around on the grass. One day we went out to see them and one of them was dead. Since it was the smallest one, we told Duane it was his. He felt pretty bad about it and went home and told his parents. Uncle Earl said Leon and I were picking on Duane. So we decided that the ducks belonged to all of us. However, it was our yard that was getting all messed up. The ducks were getting pretty big and Mom was getting tired of all the duck droppings allover the yard, the driveway and the walks. Uncle Ken said he knew a farmer who would take them so our ducks found a new home. I always suspected that someone had a duck dinner. We also liked to go down to Woolworth, Kress or J.J. Newberry stores and buy little cars for a dime. These stores were called five and ten cent stores. We built little roads in the dirt and could spend a good amount of time playing with them. The three of us could always find something to keep us busy. We really enjoyed the smell of Aunt Hollis baking chocolate cup cakes. We were right there when the came out of the oven,

Uncle Earl was transferred by the Southern Pacific Railroad and moved his family to Sparks, Nevada. Our threesome became a twosome. One day Leon and I were chasing a small cottontail rabbit. We threw a cactus at the rabbit, hitting it in the nose. We captured it and took it home. When we got home we showed the rabbit to Annie Kissel, who was known as Aunt Annie to all the kids. When she saw the poor rabbit she told us it was just a baby and it’s mother was probably feeling very sad for losing her baby. We were both on the verge of tears, so Aunt Annie took us back into the foothills in their old truck so we could set the rabbit free. We never tried to catch another rabbit.

Another favorite things was catching sand lizards in the foothills. We brought them home, tied strings around them and let them cling to our clothing while we had them tied to a button. We had a cage for them in Leon’s backyard. Aunt Vida and Uncle Lee had moved into Uncle Earl’s home and were renting it. It was here that the lizards got loose and lived under the garage for many years, growing very big.

There were many orchards on upper 24th and 23rd streets. Most of these had been abandoned. We picked apples and crab apples and took them home. One day my mother saw the crab apples and said those would make good jam and jelly. So she told Leon and I to take my wagon and pick a load to bring home. While we picking we looked up and saw a large Irish

Wolfhound bounding toward us. Leon immediately climbed up a tree with me close behind. The dog stood there looking at us, wagging his tail. All he wanted to do was play. Eventually he got tired of waiting and wandered away. We climbed down the tree and took the apples home.

We had many experiences roaming the foothills. Leon was a little more daring than I and took chances that I wouldn’t take. But nothing ever happened to him. Once we were looking for watercress and I slipped on a rock and hung by my fingertips until he pulled me back up.

A favorite adventure was a hike up Indian Trail. One day we took a switchback and went up toward Taylor’s Canyon. Because there was a triangular shaped mountain behind a dip in the mountain, we named it Teepee. We carried a knapsack filled with Campbell’s noodle soup, some crackers, and a Boy Scout cooking kit. We built a small fire and heated the soup and had our lunch. After eating we were very careful to completely douse our fire and cover it with dirt. On this particular day we had the label off the can so we wrote a message on the label, put it in the can, and buried it. Neither one of us ever went back to see if we could find it.

Often in the wintertime we hiked across the foothills to a pond just west of the present Rainbow Gardens. There we went ice skating. It was a popular place for the neighborhood kids. Sometimes it was almost dusk by the time we started home and we saw things behind every bush and tree. We managed to scare one another so bad that we ran the last three miles home, but it never stopped us from going back.

In those days, they had morning movies at the Paramount Theater called “The Popeye Club.” My mother would give us a quarter to go to the movies. The movie admission was ten cents each, so we had just five cents to spend. We stopped at Kearns Bakery and bought a five-cent loaf of bread that we ate at the movie. This is the way we spent many of our Saturdays.

I think that Leon was the brother I never had. We spent most of our younger years together, sharing in joys and sadness. One of the saddest days of my life was the day someone fed hamburger filled with broken glass to my dog, Spot. We put him in Leon’s wagon and brought the suffering dog home. There was nothing anyone could do to save him. My Grandfather Eldredge offered a $100 reward for the apprehension of the guilty person, but no one was able to help us.

Before Duane left for Sparks the three of us were sliding on the ice in the gutter when Duane discovered money embedded in the ice. We were all excited and chipped the money out of the ice and split it three ways. Duane took his money home and put it in his buffalo bank. Leon and I immediately went to the corner store and bought candy with some of our money. Aunt Vilate, who was living with us at the time, said her boyfriend had dropped the money the night before and said we should return it. But her boyfriend said “No, let them keep it.” In the meantime Duane had managed to put all his in the bank except the silver dollar, which wouldn’t go in the slot. We gave what money we had left to Aunt Vilate, but we never got it back so we figured she must have kept it.

One Fourth of July, our whole family, including Uncle Earl’s family and Uncle Lee’s family, plus the family of Walter Paul who lived on the same street, planned an outing to Como Springs. Our parents hadn’t told us about this as they wanted to surprise us. Cleone , Phyllis, Donna Paul, Bette and I were feeling bad because there was nothing planned, so we took a trip of our own up Ogden Canyon. We got up early and took some bread and butter and things for sandwiches and put Duane in my wagon and started out. Our parents were frantic because they couldn’t find us. About this time Henry Kissel, who was a rural mail carrier, came home and

asked my parents if they knew where we were. He said he saw us going up Ogden Canyon, pulling Duane in the wagon. He said Wayne was walking on the wall between the road and the river. Everyone was quite upset because Henry hadn’t stopped and brought us home. We were quickly retrieved, whereupon my parents told us about the outing to Como Springs. But since we had done what we did, we would not get to go. The Pauls also would not take Donna. Uncle Earl’s family went ahead on the outing. We felt this was unfair, but the decision stood.

The Stewart family loved to go on outings up South Fork Canyon. Uncle Bart who was Aunt Myrtle’s husband had invented what he called a “motocook.” The equipment fastened on to the car’s running board and got its heat from the exhaust of the engine. You could put your meal in the “motocook” and go for a drive. It would be done by the time you reached your destination. This was used on many of our outings to South Fork. With the top off, it could also be used to fry or broil food.

I remember one particular outing with Uncle Ray’s family, Uncle Earl’s family, Aunt Vida’s family, and the Kissels, who were regarded as part of our family. The boys were running and jumping off a small embankment into an area of sand. Ray Junior, who was quite athletic, was jumping the farthest. Henry Kissel had been watching us and said he could do better than that. He made a run and jumped off the embankment; however, he landed butt-first instead of on his feet. I think he was sore for several days after. After our meals, when evening set in, we often built a big bonfire and everyone sang the old familiar songs.

The Stewart family get-togethers were not limited to the summer time. In the winter time several streets in Ogden were blocked off for sleigh riding. We used the 23rd Street hill for most of our sleigh rides. Both adults and kids were riding on sleighs. One day Uncle Earl got the idea to

build a bobsled( I think that’s what he called it). It was composed of a large plank (probably a 2X12) and made some steel runners for the bottom. The front end carriage was built on a swivel so that the bobsled could be guided and the rear carriage was stationary. The hill started up near Buchanan Avenue and ran down to Harrison Avenue. This was nearly three quarters of a mile. The bottom was sanded for about 100 feet east of Harrison in order to stop the sleds. We would pull the bobsled up to the top and then about twelve of the family would get on and ride it down. Needless to say, by the time we reached the bottom we were traveling at considerable speed. I am not sure but I think that there was also a braking system involved. We would make two or three runs and then go home for some home made chili. Marilyn Drive was also a sleigh riding hill. It started just below my grandparents house and ran to Harrison Avenue. Harrison Avenue was later changed to Harrison Boulevard.

The Eldredge family liked to get together on holidays and birthdays. Most Thanksgiving dinners were at Grandmother Eldredge’s table. I remember one particular Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma’s house on Marilyn Drive. The entire family was present--Uncle Vern’s family, Uncle Harry’s family and Aunt Mary’s family. When Grandma brought a big turkey to the dinner table for Grandpa to carve. I don’t know the real cause, but I saw the turkey sail off the platter and land on the floor. Everyone was laughing. Grandma calmly picked up the turkey and took it out to the kitchen. Moments later she returned and placed the turkey back on the platter. Grandpa carved the turkey and we all had dinner as though nothing had happened.

I’ll always remember the house on Marilyn Drive. During the drought years, Ogden City was on watering hours. Grandma and Grandpa hired me to water their lawn. Sometimes this

meant getting up early in the morning and riding up on my bicycle to water. Also, I sometimes cut their lawn. One day I had just finished cutting the lawn and my cousin, Doug Eldredge, showed up. Grandma fixed us some lunch and then paid me for cutting the lawn. At that time, she also gave Doug some money, even though he hadn’t worked at all. I always suspected that Doug was Grandma’s favorite grandson.

When I was 12 years old, I stayed with Uncle Vern and Aunt Ardel while mom visited Aunt Myrtle in San Francisco with Bette and JoeAnne.. Dad was working in Chicago at the time. One day I had a terrific pain in my stomach. I was taken to the doctor and he said it was an appendicitis attack. After my folks got home I was taken to the hospital and underwent an operation to remove my appendix. Dr. Nelson said if he had known my appendix was so large and inflamed he would never have allowed me to go outside the city. In those days, you remained in the hospital for a full week. Outside my window, on the east side of the hospital, was a big tree that Leon climbed so he could visit with me in the afternoon. This helped me get through that week in bed. I could also look out and see our house that was across the street on 24th street.

We had a number of vacations at Uncle Mark’s cattle ranch in Moore, Idaho. We called him Uncle Mark but He was actually my Dad’s, uncle. I enjoyed riding a horse named Johnny. Rex, Uncle Mark’s youngest son, put my feet in the saddle straps because my legs were not long enough to reach the foothold in the stirrup. Then I rode down through the fields. I could run Johnny and he sometimes jumped ditches. Uncle Mark always said that I was a natural born rider. One day when I was riding through the fields, a big blow snake hissed and scared the horse, which jumped sideways, but I never left my seat in the saddle.

Bette also liked to ride Johnny. On one occasion, she was sitting in the saddle and wouldn’t get off. I told her that if she didn’t let me on the horse I was going to push her and the

horse over. She screamed to mom saying, “Wayne’s going to push over the horse.” Everyone had a good laugh.

I remember one time when Mom, Aunt Mary, Aunt Vilate, Spence and Blaine, Uncle Mark’s two older boys, went up to Salmon for a celebration. While they were there, Mom had her fortune read and the fortune teller told her she was going to be in an accident on the way home. In those days most of the roads were dirt and gravel. We were on our way home, when just out of Downey, Idaho a car coming from the opposite direction ran us off the road. Our car rolled over three times, ending on its top. Everyone got out, except me. I was in the back seat and when the car rolled I was covered with the suitcases, clothes and blankets.

When Mom couldn’t find me, she crawled back in the window and pulled me out. In doing so she cut herself on a broken glass in the window. Some people passing by took Mom into Brigham City to a hospital where the cuts were stitched up. Dad arrived in another car and picked up the rest of us. He paid another passerby to watch the car until he could get a tow truck . When Dad and the tow truck returned, the man was gone and so were all the car’s wheels.

One of the big outings of the year was the Jenkins family reunion at Bear Lake. Grandma Eldredge came from a polygamous family, therefore she had many relatives. The reunion had many brothers, sisters, half brothers and sisters, all from the Thomas Jenkins family. For the part of the family living in Ogden, this required an all-day trip by auto. Most of the roads up Logan Canyon were dirt. They followed the river in most places, but sometimes climbed inclines to get over certain hazards. Drivers had to stop many times and fill the radiators of the cars with water. We were all thankful when we reached the summit and looked down at Bear Lake. I remember Joe Anne always referred to this as “bare leg.”

The family gathered at Fish Haven Resort, taking up most of the cabins. This was during

Prohibition, yet all the families managed to have a supply of home brews, wines and bootlegged whiskey. I remember that Aunt Maggie’s dandelion wine was much in demand. At night, all the families gathered together for visiting and entertainment. Most of the Jenkins boys could play guitars, so there was lots of singing going on. Uncle Ross sang “Poor Little Joe went out in the snow and died,” while Dad and Uncle Harry sat on the bed and cried. Needless to say, they were three sheets to the wind.

One of the aunts (probably Aunt Ardel) decided they had had enough, so she put the bottle in the middle of the floor and covered it with a coat. They searched high and low but never found it, even though it was hidden in plain sight.

When the stock market crashed in 1929, Dad came home and said the Biglow Bank had failed. This was where Grandfather Eldredge had most of his money. The Depression that followed caused lean years for the family. Grandpa and his sons struggled to keep the Examiner newspaper going. I remember Dad working a second job managing Glenwood Park, which is now known as Lorin Farr Park. In those days they had rides like merry-go-rounds and other carnival attractions. This second job helped us keep going.

I was in the fourth grade at Lorin Farr School. There were many children attending school who lived in shacks on the foothills, where many homes are now located. One of the things the school did was to provide a lunch for these children. The various families that could afford to send meals took turns. I remember when it was our turn I had to go home just before noon and Mom had a large pot of soup or stew ready. I pulled this back to school in my wagon. Sometimes this was the only meal that these children had.

My Mother was always generous with what she had. She bought shoes or clothes for

those children who had nothing. Many men were riding the rails searching for work. It seemed that every day someone appeared at our back door asking if they could work for a meal. When Mom had little chores to do, she would allow them to work for her. She said that it helped them maintain their self respect. Every time one of them left, I remember them saying, “God bless you lady.” I told her she was surely going to heaven. One day Mom asked how they happened to know where our house was. One of the men told her it was listed on a posting down in the jungle. This is where the men stayed when they were looking for work or had been run off the trains by railroad cops. Mom kept a special set of dishes and eating utensils just for these men.

During Prohibition, I believe everyone in the Stewart family made home brew. While we lived on 1242 24th Street, the Pauls and Kissels also made home brew. Mother had a big 10-gallon crock in the basement. This was located by the furnace where it could stay warm while the brew aged. Every time Mom made the brew, she also made a 5-gallon crock of home-made root beer. When the brew was ready we helped Mom fill the bottles and cap them. Then they were placed on a shelf so they could age. We could often hear the tops blowing off the bottles and then there was a terrible odor in the basement. I don’t think the home brew was as good as today’s beers. It always had a quarter of an inch of yeast in the bottom and you had to be real careful when you poured it not to make it milky. Dad had a special cabinet built in the back of the coal bin. It had a hidden door which could be opened by pulling on a hidden wire. This is where we stored our home brew.

One night after a party, Jack Lynch, Aunt Vilate’s first husband, was so obnoxious Dad had to ask him to leave. Jack was so angry he called the police and told them that my Dad had illegal home brew and where to find it. At that time Dad had many friends in the police

department. They called Dad and told them they were going to raid our house so all of us rushed down and hauled the cases of home brew out into the field in back of our house. When the police came they could find nothing.

Aunt Vilate lived with us and was always bringing a little excitement into our family. One day she was going down the street and she found a chicken that had a broken leg. She brought the chicken home and put a splint on the leg. Eventually the chicken’s leg healed and it became a family pet. There was a ledge that ran all the way around our house. Every morning the chicken “Biddy” would go to each bedroom window and tap on it with her beak. This was our early morning awakening. Biddy also laid eggs either in or garden or Annie Kissel’s garden. When an egg is first laid it is soft. Laying the eggs on hard ground we had a fresh flat egg once a day. She soon became the pet of the whole neighborhood. One day a stray dog came into the yard and killed Biddy before Dad could chase the dog away. Dad said it was a waste of chicken not to eat it, so he cleaned it and took it into Mom to cook. We all looked at Mom and said, “we’re not going to eat it.” Finally Dad said “I guess I couldn’t either.” So we buried her in the back yard.

Aunt Vilate had several boyfriends. I remember one time when we over at Uncle Ray and Aunt Inez’s. It was in the evening and the adults had been playing poker accompanied by a few drinks. Aunt Vilate and her boyfriend, Jack Lynch, Dad and me were driving down 26th St. when they got into an argument with two men driving another car. Dad had the habit of saying nasty things to people after he had a few drinks. Both cars stopped and Dad and the two men from the other car got out. One of the men knocked Dad down and while he was down the other man kicked him in the face, breaking his nose. I jumped out of the car and ran two blocks up the street to Uncle Ray’s and told them what had happened. Aunt Inez’s brother, Jack Hardy, was also at

the house. In the meantime, Aunt Vilate had taken Dad to the hospital to have his nose fixed. Then they came back to Uncle Ray’s. She told Uncle Ray she knew who the men were and where they lived, so Uncle Ray and Jack Hardy went with her to find the men. When they got to where the men lived the men hid and their wives said they didn’t know where they were. It was good for them because Uncle Ray and Jack Hardy would have given them the beating of their lives.

Aunt Vilate finally married Jack Lynch and moved away. She later divorced Jack and moved to California and married a man by the last name of Arnold. I didn’t see Aunt Vilate again until years later when Bonnie and I were visiting Bette in California, when we all drove down and visited Aunt Vilate. Her husband had passed away and her son was living with her.

I remember Grandma Stewart living with us at 1242 24th St. Grandma worked as a seamstress for the railroad. Every morning before she went to work I got up and had breakfast with her. She used to make me a cup of tea and after I drank it she read my fortune in the tea leaves. Grandma was always good to me and I think maybe I was her favorite grandson. One day while Mom was making spaghetti she accidentally spilled the hot water and it splashed on Grandma. Grandma had a quick temper and she proceeded to slap Mom just as Dad walked in. Dad said, “ You will never touch my wife again. I want you out of this house.” So Grandma moved away and got an apartment down on 23rd St. I would often go with Mom down to Grandma’s apartment and visit with her.

Annie and Henry Kissel played a big part in my early life. They never had children of their own. Aunt Annie, as I called her, used to have me come over every Sunday morning and make waffles for breakfast. She taught me from her recipe what to do. This became a routine thing in my life. Henry was my Godfather when I was baptized in the Episcopal Church. They also had a

bulldog named Mugs. Mugs was smaller then my dog Spot, but they became good friends. Whenever Kissels went on vacation, I took care of Mugs. I remember one time, when the family decided to go up to Idaho to visit Uncle Mark, we had to take Mugs with us. It was the worst trip we had ever taken as Mugs, laying on the floor of the car, passed wind all the way. We had to travel with all the windows open. There were two other dogs in our neighborhood, a bull terrier and an Airedale. They caught Mugs one day when Spot wasn’t with him. They chewed him up pretty bad. A mailman beat the dogs off and brought Mugs home. Shortly after that the two dogs came back into our neighborhood. This time Spot caught both of them. The Airedale was in no mood to fight and ran off and Spot chewed up on the bull terrier. This bull terrier belonged to a boy named Paul Greenwell. Paul was quite a bully in the neighborhood. He was always picking on someone smaller.. It didn’t matter if it were a boy or a girl. Every day when I came home from school Mom sent Spot to meet me. One particular day I was cutting through a field just off 24th St. on my way home when Paul caught me. Unfortunately for him Spot arrived at the same time and grabbed him by the pant leg. He let me go and told me tomorrow he’d catch me only he’d have his dog with him. It was a couple days later, however, before he caught me again and Spot was there and so was his dog. Paul sicced his dog onto Spot. The dog grabbed one of Spot’s legs and wouldn’t let go. In the meantime Spot started ripping into the bull dogs’ neck and finally got a firm grip. He was gradually choking the dog to death. Paul started to cry and told me to pull my dog off. I told him to pull his dog off my dog’s leg and then I would pull Spot off. Needless to stay we were never bothered by Paul and his dog again.

In 1932 the Kissel’s went to the World’s Fair in Chicago. I took care of Mugs. When they

came back they gave me a Beau Brownie box camera. I still have this camera. I used this little camera for years and took it with me when I went to the Boy Scout World Jamboree in 1937. All the pictures I took turned out, while some of the kids with more expensive cameras had problems.

Some of them asked me for prints of my pictures.

Schooling was always important in my life. My Mom had only gone to the 6th grade and my father had graduated from high school. Mom always wanted us to get as much education as we could. For someone with a 6th grade education, she accomplished quite a lot. She became a secretary to one of the Scowcrofts at their business. She always had beautiful penmanship.

Because of my birthday falling in December, I wasn’t eligible to attend public school until the year after my 6th birthday. Mom didn’t want me to wait so she enrolled me at the Sacred Heart Academy. My older sister Bette was already going there because of hearing problems. I went all day in the first grade. I still remember my first grade teacher’s name, Sister Euphemia. She was a strict teacher. Invariably, I ended up kneeling in penance by the side of her desk. However, this did not stop me and I used to play with her rosary and got in further trouble. When things got too bad I would cry. Then they would have Bette come down and sit with me. Bette had several teachers all of them nuns. I remember one of them, Sister John Joseph, who was her music teacher she loved to sing and dance.

Mom was always sending gifts and flowers down to the sisters. Sister Olette was the Sister Superior of the school. One day one of the sisters brought Bette down to my room to get me. I remember Bette saying what have you done now as we were taken up to Sister Olette’s office. It was Easter time and right at the end of the school day when we went in the office. Sister Olette gave both of us the prettiest Easter basket I had ever seen.

Days at Sacred Heart were not without trauma. The rest room was separate from the school building. I remember one day I had to go to the bathroom, only to find out that the toilet paper was wrappings that they used on oranges. I was not about to use them so I ran all the way home–about 31/2 blocks. When I got home no one was there. All of the doors were locked, but I spied an open window in one of the bedrooms. I was half way through the window when nature came calling. That was an embarrassment.

After one year at Sacred Heart, I started the second grade at Lorin Farr school. I was back in the same school as all of my neighborhood friends. Since, I had gone all day to school in the first grade and those in public school had only gone a half a day, my studies seemed much easier.

While at Lorin Farr school I joined Ray Minter’s drum and bugle corps. All of the public schools in Ogden had drum and bugle corps. I competed and won solo drummer position along with several other boys. (Photo) On one day each year there was a large parade where all the schools competed. After finishing the second grade, the principal called my mother and wanted me to skip the third grade and go into the fourth, but mom said that I was already a year ahead of children my age and didn’t want me to be with kids more physically advanced than I was.

After the sixth grade, I transferred to Polk School. I was in love with my fifth grade teacher, who transferred to Polk. Also my cousin Ray was transferring to Polk from Quincy School that only had sixth grades. While at Polk School, I made a lot of new friends. I remember one particular incident in music class when we were all supposed to be singing a certain song and Gordon Huggins, Howard Ochs, Clara Steckel and I decided to sing Jingle Bells instead. The music teacher sent us to the principal and we were expelled from the music class. We spent about a week

in the principal’s office during this class. We finally apologized and were let back in the class. I remember a class where they had a large display of bird eggs. One day there was a loud pop and the room was filled with an obnoxious smell. It originated right by my seat. The teacher, thinking that I had thrown a stink bomb, sent me home. When I got home, my mom asked me what I was doing there and I told her what had happened. She noticed something on my clothes and it smelled terrible. She called the teacher and told them about it. After an investigation, they found that one of the eggs had exploded and caused the fowl smell, so I was allowed back in school. The next year Polk initiated an 8th grade, but I wanted to go to Central Junior High School with Ray. Since I was in the Polk School District, they wouldn’t allow me to go. My eighth grade teacher thought that I was making a disturbance and came back and knocked me off my chair. I got up and walked out the door. Mr. Parkin followed me and asked where I was going. I told him I was going home and tell my dad that he had hit me. Instead, we went into the Principal’s office and Mrs. Light who was the principal listened to what we had to say. She made Mr. Parkin apologize to me believing that I was telling the truth and had done nothing.

The next year I enrolled at Central Junior High School as a ninth grade student. My locker mate was Alan “Toots” Van Dyke, who lived just up the street from me. The locker next to us was

occupied by a boy named Blair Burton who I knew from Polk School. He was larger than me and was always pushing me or Toots out of the way. One day I had enough and punched him. Toots said, “You can’t do that down here. We’ll get in trouble.” I guess I surprised Blair because nothing came of it. I always wanted to compete in sports, but I was always the smallest boy in the class, and the coaches didn’t think I could compete.

One of my teachers in Junior High was Thelma Reynolds who taught first and second year

Latin. I managed to barely get through the class, little realizing that she again would enter my life years later. When my sons, Dave and Mike, had her for Latin at Ogden High School. Mike told me that Miss Reynolds threatened “to call Wayne if he didn’t straighten up.” Mike was amazed that I had her for a teacher when I was going to school.

I started High School at the old Ogden High on 25th and Monroe. In those days High School was two years, eleventh and twelfth grades. One of the historic happenings during my eleventh grade was the day the students went out on strike. Naturally, I was one of them. The reason for the strike was that the principal had expelled the student body president and vice president from school for sending the school band to the state basketball tournament after the school had refused to allow it. They did this at their own expense. The word got around and most of the students left their classrooms and went outside the building. Some students stayed in and were looking out the windows. All the students outside started calling them “scabs.” The students then formed a snake line and started down 25th street. We were tying up traffic all the way. We went down to the city hall building to the mayor’s office. The mayor at that time was Harm Peery, Ogden’s “Cowboy Mayor.” He came out on the porch by his office and said, “I don’t know what you’re doing, but I’m for you.” We paraded down Washington Blvd. And then the police asked us

to break it up and we all went back to the high school. We were not allowed back in the building. The next day when we went back to school we were all informed we would be docked ten percent off of our grades for that term. Homer Olsen, study body president, and Mary Fister, student body vice president were allowed back in school. The only person who really suffered was Connie Pearce who the school administration accused of instigating the strike. Connie went to Wyoming to finish out the year. As a result of this strike, Ogden High withdrew from the present athletic region and were put in a conference with the three Salt lake City high schools. I finally made the track team at Ogden High School as a sprinter. However, I wasn’t motivated to train very hard and never accomplished what I wanted to do. Being so small in stature didn’t help my ambitions. The next year we transferred to the new Ogden High School on 28th and Harrison. Everyone called it the “Million Dollar High School.” My best friends in high school were John Reynolds, Pat Feeney, Chelt Feeney, and Bill Power. John, Pat and Bill were all members of DeMolay. They got me a petition and I joined DeMolay with them. All of us became Master Counselors of the chapter. Bill was the first, then John, then Pat and then me. Later, Bill was elected State President and I was elected State Secretary. During a DeMolay convention in Ogden, Ogden City allowed members of DeMolay to be honorary officers in the city government. I was elected Chief of Police. They gave me the oath of office and swore me in for one day. While acting chief of police, the police showed me through their offices and through their evidence room, showed me samples of marijuana leaves. While going through the jail section one of the inmates asked me to get him out of jail. I told him I couldn’t do that, he would just have to do the time. He said, “Let me out of jail and run me out of town.” All of the police officers and the other inmates laughed at this. The newspaper gave us quite a write-up about our activities.

(Get photo of newspaper article)

I never thought much about alcoholic beverages while I was growing up. It seemed there was always some sort of alcohol in our home. So beer drinking didn’t seem that big a deal to me as a high school student. A lot of my friends drank beer. My sister Bette and I were sitting in a booth at the Trocodero. We had a pitcher of beer on the table. In those days, a pitcher of beer cost a quarter. An Ogden City policeman walked into the “Troc” and stopped at our table. He asked Bette for her ID for proof of age. She showed it to him and he said ok and said nothing to me. I believe I looked all of 13 years old, but was never questioned. I guess he thought Bette was drinking all the beer.

I remember one time when I had a date and mom let me take the car. However, Bette had taken the car earlier and was supposed to be back in time for me to go. She never showed up. Mom said she knew where Bette was and for me to go down and take the car. She had some extra keys. So I went down and got the car. Bette came out and found the car missing and called the police and told them it had been stolen. They called mom and she explained to the police what had happened. She was one riled sister. But she got over it.

We generally got along unless I crossed her. A lot of her friends I knew also. Some were in my class at school and some were younger. A lot of them visited our house quite often.

To get back to my days as a DeMolay. Most of the social part of my life as a senior in high school centered around my friends in DeMolay. Another of my friends at this time was Robert Darling, whose father owned the Kirkendahl-Darling mortuary. Bob was my age and we had known each other through the Episcopal Church of the Good Shepherd in Ogden. We both served as altar boys and I later became the Crucifer. I carried the cross in the processionals. Another boy

in our Sunday School Class was Ray Hartman who would later reenter my life. Bob and I both attended Weber College. John, Pat and Bill were seniors at Ogden High School. Bob and I both joined the Skull Club while at Weber. We were charter members. Our advisor was Ferron Losee who was a coach at Weber. Most of our social life was still spent with our friends John, Pat and Bill. I really didn’t get into the scholastic part of Weber and was probably just an average student. I know this was because of the poor study habits that I had developed and was on the lazy side when it came to my studies. This time at Weber was when all over the country on college campuses men students were into the swallowing gold fish craze. At Weber, we had a student named Glen Stamos, who decided to go one better and swallow a live mouse. He got quite a lot of publicity in the local papers. I believe that he did this by tying the mouse, covering it with salad dressing and wrapping it in a lettuce leaf. I don’t know how he did this because it must have been a pretty large thing to swallow. He was involved in another of my escapades at Weber. At home, we had a chicken coop where Uncle Ken raised pheasants. In the shed, he kept all his feed. There were a lot of mice in the shed. I managed to catch one and took it to school with me in a match box. I had no plans on doing anything with it. We were in an assembly and all the Weber College pep club was on the stage. I was showing the mouse to Glen Stamos when he took the mouse out of the box and threw it up on the stage. All of the girls were running around screaming when one of the teachers, Thatcher Allred jumped up on the stage and ran around trying to step on the mouse. I believe that the mouse finally escaped. No one was ever caught for doing this. At this time, I was taking a chemistry class from “Stubby” Gray. I didn’t get much out of his lectures as he was always talking about his LDS mission. One day in lab, we were titrating for an unknown substance. Each student had an unknown substance and we were supposed to determine what it was. I spent three lab periods before I decided that it must be distilled water because none of the tests worked. I went up to Mr. Gray and told him that it must be distilled water and he said I was right. He just wanted to find out how long it would take me to find out. By this time, I was two labs behind the rest of the class and knew I would have a hard time catching up. The next lab period I brought some menthol crystals and dumped them in a beaker of boiling water. Needless to say the lab had to be evacuated. I knew that I would never pass this class so I got the necessary papers signed and dropped the class. After filing the papers in the office, I thought that everything was taken care of. I was wrong and received an “F” in the class. They called my parents and my Dad was furious. He said that I wasn’t attending classes and wouldn’t listen to me. I think that this was the time when I began to distance myself from my father. At about the same time as this was happening, I broke my right hand in the boxing match with Pat Feeny. I was taking a mechanical drawing class and couldn’t draw too well. I went to my instructor, Mr. Littlefield and told him that I couldn’t complete my assignment because of the broken hand. I wouldn’t be able to ink my drawings. I wanted to withdraw from the class but he said not to as he would grade me on my pencil drawings. This didn’t happen and I received a “D” for the course. He told me later that it was because I didn’t ink my drawings. This was the final straw and I decided that I wouldn’t return to Weber for my Sophomore year.

There were many activities in DeMolay that took up our time. We had a club room in the Masonic Temple where we had a pool room. Some of us became pretty adept at pool and snookers. All of our meetings were also held at the temple. We were engaged in a lot of athletic

events. We competed with DeMolay chapters in Salt Lake, Provo and Pocatello. We had baseball, tennis and bowling. The only event that I was successful at was bowling. I participated in all of them, and I was the captain of the bowling team. We managed to win most of our games.

The big thing in those days were to go steady with a certain girl friend. John went steady with Shirley Watson. Pat went steady with Marilyn Watson. I believe that Bob wanted to go steadywith Viva Mae Gammel, but I don’t remember if he did or not. I know he always dated her even though his mother didn’t want him to go out with Mormon girls. I don’t know if Bill ever had a steady girl friend. As for me, I sort of played the field. Those were the days of the big bands. I guess it is what they now call the Big Band Era. All of the big bands came either to Lagoon, where there was a big open air pavilion, or to the White City Ballroom which was located on 25th Street just above Washington Blvd.(Avenue in those days). All of the big bands were there. Tommy Dorsey, Jimmy Dorsey, Artie Shaw, Glen Miller and several others. My favorite was Glen Miller. His Moonlight Serenade was my favorite song. It was always so crowded that all you could do was just stand there and listen to the music.

It didn’t cost too much in those days to go on a date. Movies were 25 cents and you could take your date to a show and then go out to Ma’s & Pa’s in Roy for a chicken dinner for 50 cents. Gas was about 4 gallons for $1.00. Of course money was a lot harder to earn in those days. Twenty-five cents an hour was considered a pretty good wage. These were days of the great depression. Soon to follow were the World War II years that began with Germany attacking Poland, September 1,1939, when France and Great Britain declaring war.

At this time, I was working at the Standard Examiner as a “fly boy” pulling packer. My job was to pull the newspapers as they came out of the press and stack them on the counter for the circulation men. Whenever a new roll of paper had to be added it was also my job to knock the core out of the old paper and put it aside for use in the next one. On the day that war was declared by France and Great Britain, I had just gotten home from work and had a call to come back as they were putting out an extra. The first run, which was sent to Brigham City, was finished and on its way when one of the circulation men noticed that the headlines said “War Delcared”. They

immediately recalled the papers from Brigham City, made the correction and finished the extra edition. On my way home I could hear the paper being sold by people crying, “Extra, Extra, Read all about it. War Declared.” I always felt that I should have taken a bunch of papers and sold them as everyone sold out immediately.

The start of the new school year I went down to the University of Utah to enroll as a pre-med student. When the University received the transcript of my grades at Weber College, they recommended that I go back and finish at Weber. There was no way I was going back to Weber. I then went up to Utah State and registered as a freshman using my high school credits. I enrolled in Civil engineering.

The first quarter I stayed with a family named Hall, getting board and room. My room mate at that time was Gene Warden. After the first quarter grades were out you were eligible to pledge a fraternity. Once you declared to be pledged, there was a box in Old Main. You could check and see what bids you were offered. If you found one you wanted on the bid day, you’d go out to the top of the hill in front of Old Main and call out the name of the fraternity you were joining. I remember Gene Warden calling out Sigma Nu. Although I had bids from Sigma Nu and Pi Kappa Alpha, I didn’t want to joint either fraternity. I knew that Phi Kappa Iota, which was a local fraternity, was going to go National with Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE). Gene and our other roommate, George Tripp, kept after me to go Sigma Nu. I was rushed by Pi Kappa Alpha and they notified me that I had a bid if I wanted it. The next bid day I went to the top of the hill and called out Phi Kappa Iota. This fraternity was most of my social life at Utah State. I moved from the boarding house to the fraternity house. My first room was called the “Boar’s Nest.” It really wasn’t a room, it was just a space in the second floor hallway above the steps. I couldn’t complain as I got my board and room for $15 a month. I went through the usual “skunk week” and all of the humiliations they placed on us and was made a member of SAE. I guess I had the distinction of being the last pledge in Phi Kappa Iota and the first pledge class of SAE.

I know scholastically I could have done much better. I blame this on the fact I never learned to study in high school. My class schedule was long and hard. I carried 17 to 18 credit hours a quarter. You had to do this in order to graduate in four years. I managed to get average grades the first two years. You were required to take two years of ROTC at Utah State since it was a land grant college. However, because I had taken two years ROTC at Ogden High School, I didn’t take the final quarter. These were the days when all men on reaching the age of 21, were required to be conscripted for two years service in the military. Also at this time, the military services, Army, Navy and the Coast Guard were actively recruiting on campus. I had definitely decided that I wanted to be in the Navy. I applied with the Naval Air Corps, but failed the physical examination because I could not expand my chest the necessary two inches. During our Junior year and with my 21st birthday coming up, I applied for a commission in the U.S.Naval Reserve through a program sponsored by the Bureau of Ships. Bill also applied for a commission. We were both accepted into the program as probationary Ensigns with th provision that if we didn’t graduate we would go into the service as seaman. I went to Salt Lake City and took my physical in early November. I passed my physical and was sworn into the Naval Reserve.

On Sunday December 7, 1941, I was riding back to school when I heard on the radio that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor. There were 9 students in my engineering class who had all enlisted in the Naval Reserve. We all felt that we would be called up immediately. However, we received notice that we would continue our education and get our degrees. It was now necessary that I maintain the necessary grades to graduate. Otherwise, I would be called up as an enlisted man. Needless to say, my grade point average improved quite a bit

During the summer, between my junior and senior years, I worked for the railroad. I was a relief clerk and my duties consisted of relieving other clerks on their day off. One of these jobs was a route clerk working out of Utah General Depot. My job was to seal and tag freight cars that had been loaded by the military to be sent to various parts of the country for shipment to Great Britain.After going back to school for my senior year, the railroad granted me a military leave of absence.This meant that after the war I would have a job at the railroad.

During my senior year, many of my friends were drafted or enlisted. A lot of the members of our engineering class were in advanced ROTC and knew that they would be gone as soon as they graduated.. In the meantime, most of us were wondering where we go when we graduated. On graduation day, after we received our diplomas, we were given our commissions as Ensigns in the United States Naval Reserve. Mom, Dad and Grandma Eldredge attended the graduation. They went home after the ceremony. I stayed in Logan to pack up my belongings and came down with the flu. When I got home, I went to the doctor and then went to bed. I was sick for about a week when my orders to report for active duty came. On May 20, 1943, I was ordered to report to Salt Lake City for a physical exam and if found physical fit to report to the Naval Training School (Indoctrination), University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona on June 15,1943 for temporary active duty under instruction. I passed my physical and returned home. The Navy sent me a check for my uniform allowance. I went to Salt Lake City and bought my required uniforms. This was the start of my Naval career. I left home on June 13, 1943 for Tucson. I took the bus from Salt Lake City. Also on the bus were Wayne Christensen and Lowell Pack. Both were classmates at Utah State. I noticed that each of them were wearing black ties. I had on a khaki one. The salesman in Salt Lake had sold me the wrong color. We had quite a laugh about it. When we pulled into the bus stop at Flagstaff, Arizona, I ran across the street to a clothing store and bought a black one. We reported for duty at 0900 on June15, 1943. My good friend, Bill Powers didn’t get his orders to report until July 15. This put him a month behind us. It would hurt him when the AllNavs came out and we would be ahead of him for promotions.

We had a two month cram course in seamanship, ordinance and gunnery, navigation, communications and several other courses. Our time was pretty well taken up and we did get liberty on week ends if we didn’t have to stand duty watches. I found out that volunteer members of the drum and bugle corps didn’t have to stand watches. Since I had learned how to play the drums from Ray Minter back in grade school I joined up. It was pretty hot on the parade grounds with that drum strapped to your body. Several members passed out from the heat. We wre not allowed to communicate with any of the students on campus during the week. On week ends, it was all right. Some of the sororities had parties for us on the week ends. It was here that I first got acquainted with Mexican food. There was a party at what they call a grapefruit ranch. I had my first taco there along with several other dishes. I had eaten enchiladas on Fisherman’s Wharf in San Francisco. I think the heat was the worst thing we had to suffer through. Our living quarters were in Bear Down Gymnasium. There was no air conditioning. They finally put in swamp coolers that made it easier to sleep. However, several people came down with colds. I lucked out and never got one. On 25 August 1943 after graduating from Indoctrination School, I was detached from temporary duty under instruction and ordered to report to the Commandant, Navy Yard, New York, N.Y. for duty. I was given 5 days delay in orders which enabled me to go home first.

On 25 August 1943, I reported to the Commandant, U.S. Navy Yard, New York, NY for duty. There were no public quarters available, so I remained at the Clark Hotel in Brooklyn where I had stayed the night before reporting. They had a special rate for service men. I looked around for other quarters as the quarters allowance for an Ensign would not cover the cost of staying at the hotel. Along with another Ensign who was in the Naval Postal Service we found an apartment at Montaque Terrace. We were right on the bay and had an excellent view. We were also able to cook our own meals here. We stayed here about two months when my room mate was transferred. I don’t remember his name. I knew that I couldn’t afford the rent by myself so I looked for another place to stay. A few of the other officers were staying at a church boarding house and said that it was a pretty good deal. I checked in with them and they said that they had a vacancy but the room was over in the church building. I moved in and stayed here for the balance of my assignment to the Navy Yard. I had a room of my own and there were two other officers that lived in the room next to me. Every Sunday morning I was awakened to the sound of Sunday School singing. The dining area was just through the block.

My work at the Navy Yard was sort of a training program. We were rotated through the various Divisions like the Hull Division, Machinery Division, and Personnel Division. I liked the Hull Division the best since it fit more with my education in Civil Engineering. We were assigned as Naval Inspectors, generally under the supervision of a senior officer. I worked on some battle damaged ships and also some that were also in for repair. There were two ships under construction during the time that I was at the Navy Yard. The aircraft carrier Bon Homme Richard and the battleship Missouri. I believe that the name of the Bon Homme Richard was later changed to the Franklin D. Roosevelt. I was assigned as a hull inspector on both of these ships.

The social life in New York wasn’t bad. We could obtain free tickets to Broadway Shows and to athletic events. I remember that one of the shows I saw was “Arsenic and Old Lace”. I was also lucky enough to get tickets to the Red Cross Benefit game for National Basketball Championship. The University of Utah was playing St. Johns University. Utah had won the NCAA championship and St. Johns had won the New York Invitational. I went down to the ticket office and they gave be four tickets to the game. Utah won and became the National champions. After the game, I went down to the locker room and talked to Arnie Ferrin and Wat Misaka both having been graduates of Ogden High School. They were both a year or two behind me in school. I was also able to get tickets to the radio show “My Hit Parade”. Frank Sinatra was the main attraction. One of the popular hits of the dayy was “Paper Doll” sung by the Mills Brothers.

There were a lot of clubs that were set up to entertain Officers. I went to one in Brooklyn and met a girl named Elise Ackley. She invited me to her home for Sunday dinner. They lived in an apartment building in Montaque Heights. Her parents were wonderful to me. There I also met Celeste Michel and her mother. Mrs. Michel and Mrs. Ackley were sisters. They were quite interested in Utah. They said that they listened to the Tabernacle Choir every Sunday. I was invited over quite often and we would listen to the choir after dinner. Elise was going to Smith College and was away from home quite a bit. I took Celeste to some Broadway Shows and we generally ate dinner in New York. The only transportation we had and I got quite adept at getting where I wanted to go. There was no danger in traveling around Manhattan in those days. I took Celeste to the launching of the USS Missouri. I had two tickets. Then Senator Harry Truman was there as his daughter Margaret Truman was going to hit the hull with a bottle of Champagne. She missed and the ship was starting down the ways. A Naval Officer who was standing on the launching platform with them grabbed the line the bottle was fastened to and smashed the bottle on the bow. I can always say that I worked on the Missouri and was at the launching. It was on her deck that the war with Japan came to an end.

On 4 April 1944, I received orders to report to the Naval Section Base, Naval Station, New Orleans, LA for temporary duty under instruction in the Ship Repair Training Unit. I was detached from the New York Navy Yard on 17 April 1944. I reported for duty on 22 April 1944 to the U.S. Naval Station, New Orleans, LA. I made a hurried trip home to visit my parents. The only travel for me in those days was by train. I left New York on a Friday and had two days extra as the secretary had a basket leave which allowed me to travel to Utah. If there was n’t any problem the leave was torn up. This was a common practice which allowed you to go beyond the 50 mile limit of your base. I arrived in New Orleans just barely in time. It was really cutting it close. The duty officer who logged me in said that I was nearly AWOL. Public Quarters were available so I was assigned a room in the BOQ (Bachelor Officer Quarters). Married officers could also live here without losing there quarters allowance but they were assigned two to a room.

The training at the base consisted mainly of finishing the final steps of construction on ships that were constructed up stream at private ship yards upstream on the Mississippi River. We did the final work like stepping the masts and various structural changes to the hull. The majority of the ships were LSTs. We did have some smaller ships such as mine sweepers. We even did a Russian Ice Breaker. Our crews were men who had been recruited from shipyards all over the country to be assigned to Ship Repair Units. All of the men were rated. There were no seamen or firemen. They were from all of the shipbuilding trades. We could do a lot better work than the local civilian yards. I had two CPOs on my crew. They both had probably had forgotten more than I would ever learn about ship construction. I remember one night when we were stepping the mast on a sub chaser. The Mississippi river was really rolling which in turn caused the ship to roll. We had to weld a portion of the mast that was about 15 feet above the deck. None of the men wanted to go up the mast. Finally one of the CPOs said he would do it but he needed some one to help. I told him that I would go up with him. About this time Lt.Commander Wildman came by and wanted to know where I was. The men pointed up the mast. He called to me and said he would like to see me in his office. Later , I went into his office and he asked me what I was doing up there. I told him that the men were fearful of going up the mast with the ship rolling like it was and that if I expected me men to do something that I should show them that I wouldn’t order them to do anything that I wouldn’t do. He just reminded me that it was my job to get the work done by the men and not do it myself. After that, I never had any of the men say that they were afraid to do something. I enjoyed being here because we were actually doing something that seemed important to the war effort. One strange thing happened, however. The Russian Ice Breaker sailed down the Mississippi after we had finished work on her and went out into the Carribean and was never heard from again.

The social life here was a lot like in New York. There were Officer’s clubs set up in New Orleans the same as in New York. The enlisted men had the USO canteens. We made occasional excursions across the river to visit the French Quarter for dinners and dropping in at a few of the bars on Bourbon Street. I remember Pat O’Brian’s and the Court of Two Sisters. There were lots of famous eating places that we went to. There was also the officers club at the base where we had our meals. While I was stationed here, I was promoted to Lieutenant (jg) on 1 September 1944. I had my wetting down party at the Officer’s Club. This is a ritual where the promoted officer has to buy drinks for his friends. I also spent 5 days at the Anti-Aircraft Training Center located at Shell Beach, LA. I underwent training in the firing of 50 cal., 20mm, 40 mm, and 3"-50 guns. Shell Beach was located on Lake Pontchartrain.

On 19 October 1944, I was issued orders to proceed and report to the Naval Landing Force Equipment Depot, Norfolk, Va. For temporary duty in connection with E-8 Unit 205. I was assigned as the Executive Officer of the Unit. I believe that this was the worse station I had ever been assigned to. There were no quarters available and we had to find our own. I finally found a place for board and room through the Masonic housing. The people treated me very nice and the room and board was good. The duty was terrible. They had no training whatsoever for the Officers. The enlisted men were receiving training in small boat repair. As for the officers, they assigned us to gate watches. Directly across the street was a tavern. It seems that their juke box was playing continually. Songs I remember were Rum & Coca Cola, Lay That Pistol Down Babe, and He’s Stone Cold dead in De Market. There were several temporary officers there and I was senior being Lt.(jg). We had two Chief Warrant Officers who were there before I came and were always going up to Washington to see if they could get transfers. I also submitted my third request for sea duty, having done previously at New York and New Orleans. I was again turned down by Bureau of Personnel saying that I was needed in my present assignment. One day when I was on gate duty I noticed the Commanding Officers car pull up to the commissary and load a lot of groceries in the trunk of the car. He had an enlisted man as a driver. When the driver came to the gate, I asked for a property pass for the things he had put in the trunk of the car. He said he didn’t need one as it was the Captain’s car. I refused to let him out. He went into the Security Office and reported to the Security Officer who was a Lt.(jg) in the Coast Guard. He came out and relieved me of duty and let the car go. I was never put on gate watch again. The C.O. of our unit, Lieut. Erwin R. Davidson and Lt.(jg) Luby B. Jernigan reported for temporary duty. In the meantime, I guess what I had done at the gate started some action and everyone was getting orders to leave. One of the Warrant Officers said I don’t know what you did but they are sure moving us out of here. On 9 February 1945, We received orders to report to the Advanced Base Personnel Depot at San Bruno, California. Lt.(jg) Jernigan being the junior office had to travel with our men. Dave and I were able to travel separately. I was granted 11 days delay to count as leave so I went home to visit the family.

On 1 March 1945, I reported for Temporary duty at the U S Naval Advanced Base Personnel Depot. The fourth member of our unit reported for duty while we were at San Bruno. He was Ensign Victor Wolcott. We became real good friends. Here we received indoctrination on jungle survival, judo and small arms training. We had to march 5 miles with a loaded pack to the pistol range that was located on the Pacific Ocean. Here we fired 45s, 38s and Browning Sub-machine guns. After we had completed all of our training and were waiting orders overseas, we were give temporary additional duty as Hull and Machinery Inspectors at private shipyards doing repair and construction of Naval Vessels. Things were again dragging out. I figured I would never get to do my part in fighting the Japanese. An opportunity came to get in to Naval Aviation as a Naval Aviation Observer( Navigation). I was given a flight physical examination at the Alameda Air Station and found physically qualified and temperamentally adapted for duty as a Naval Aviation Observer. At last, I thought I was on my way to where the action was. It was not going to happen. On 26 June !945, I was notified that my unit had already been ordered to overseas duty.

We were all issued our overseas equipment. This included helmets, green uniforms and the officers were issued forty five caliber automatics. We were originally scheduled to go to Samar which is one of the Philippine islands. Destinations were always secret and were coded. By accident, I found out where our destination was. It really didn’t matter since our destination was later changed. We were ordered to report to the Commanding Officer, Pre-Embarkation Barracks, U.S. Naval Training and Distribution Center for further transportation for overseas assignment. At this time we always wondered who in our unit of enlisted men would go “Over-the-Hill”. I always felt that it would be one of the older enlisted men, but I was wrong. It turned out to be a young yeoman. He was the only one we lost. On 29 June 1945, we reported on board the U.S.S. Mendocino (APA 100). We also found out our destination was Guam.

Most of the officers were assigned to different duties. Since we were all passengers we had no duties in ship operations. I was given orders to deliver 50 seamen to the receiving barracks on Guam. It was my responsibility to take care of these men until we reached Guam. They were assigned duties such as mess duty and work duties keeping their quarters clean. I also was assigned to censor all of their mail. All of these young seamen were from the mid-west and had never been to sea before. The first night out we hit large ground swells which caused the ship to pitch and roll. Needless to say I had a real mess on my hands. I would guess that forty of the 50 seamen were sick. They were either laying on their bunks or standing in the showers throwing up. I got all of the sick ones topside in the open air. The others I formed into work parties and we hosed down the showers and decks and got them all cleaned out. The ten who worked on this detail I relieved them of all further duty for the rest of the trip. After we had the quarters all cleaned, I told the ones that wanted to they could go back and lay down. Most of them chose to stay on deck. It was an interesting trip. We also had some Navy Nurses being transported to overseas Naval Hospitals. One of these was particularly seasick. Every time I saw her she was standing by the rail. I felt sorry for her. I told her when she ate never to look out the porthole because that made for certain disaster. The seas would rise and fall as the ship motion went up and down. I hated to censor mail. It was like invading someone’s privacy. Some of the things that they would write about seeing in the ocean, I never did see. The only fish I ever saw were lots of flying fish and an occasional school of dolphin. We traveled in convoy until we reached Eniwetok atoll. It was very small. We anchored in a small bay but no one was allowed to go ashore. We could see some of the personnel stationed there playing baseball. You could see from one side of the island to the other at this point. When we left Eniwetok, we were on our own. An APA, which is an attack transport, is faster than a PA, which is a regular transport. The days were getting considerably warmer so some of us used to lay out on the deck at night. I was laying out there one night looking at the stars and watching the radar antenna rotate. All of a sudden, the antenna stopped and went back and stopped. It started rotating again and would always stop for a few minutes in the same place. The ship stopped its zigzag course and you could hear the engines speed up as the ship went in a straight course. I never did know the real reason for this but one of the ship’s officers told me they had picked up an enemy submarine. If they did, it would have had to be on the surface. One day, I heard the 3"50 gun on the bow of the ship go off. When I got up on deck, I saw the gun elevated and shooting at a silvery object in the sky. They would change the elevation of the gun and fire again. After several rounds they stopped firing. I found out later they thought that they were firing at one of those Japanese balloons. Later on, they admitted that the navigation officer had mistaken Venus for the balloon. He took a lot of ribbing for this. The gun crew did get a lot of practice. We finally arrived at Guam after 19 days at sea. Most of us were ready to go ashore. We reported for duty on 17 July 1945 at the Naval Operating Base, Guam, MI for duty. Our unit was stationed at a small village named Piti. It was here that I ran into Dean Johnson who was a fraternity brother from Utah State. He was a yeoman stationed here. We had only been here a short while when we found out that our unit was being dissolved. All of the enlisted men were reassigned and the officers were assigned to the Industrial Department of the Naval Operating Base- Guam- Saipan. All of the E-8 Units that were together were now a part of the base and we were assigned to various jobs. We were still living together in officer’s quarters on the base. I was assigned as officer in charge of the boat pool. I never did figure out what my training had to do with this. I had 50 LCP’s which were used to ferry the base workers around Apra Harbor to their work assignments. There were repairs being done on various Navy ships that came into the harbor. We maintained our own boats and their engines. I had an Ensign who was in charge of engine repair. His name was Don Adams. We became pretty good friends. He had graduated from The Citadel. We had a Commander Jones____ who was our superior officer and we didn’t get along with him at all. He was always griping about where we kept our surplus boats and how we lined them up on the shoreline. I was also in charge of issuing licenses to operate small craft. It is a funny story on how I learned to operate one myself. One day we got an order to pick up 15 new boats at the Piti base. We loaded up one of our boats with fifteen men and went over to get them. I had to go along as I had to sign for receiving the boats. Well one thing I didn’t consider was that we would also have to bring back the boat that we went over in. I am sure that all of my men were aware of this as they all took off in the new boats and there I was left with one to take back. I had operated one before but not too well. There were also a few reefs in the harbor but they were pretty well marked. I made it back to the boat pool dock which consisted of pontoons connected together with three lines extending out from the beach into the water. This made six docks to tie up the boats. Well, when I arrived all of the men were standing there with big grins on their faces waiting for me to make my grand approach. I knew that I had to point the bow into the dock and then at the last minute you turn the rudder and put the engine in reverse. I did this and made a perfect landing. They were all a little disappointed. I never did tell them that I landed at the opposite dock than the one I intended to land at. It wasn’t a bad assignment and I enjoyed working with the enlisted men. I learned to be pretty capable running LCVP’s and LCM’s.

When we were not running regular schedules in the harbor the men worked at keeping the boats up. They would make fenders out of rope to put between the boat and keep them scraped and painted. One day the Chief Motor Machinist and a few of the other men went over to the scrap dump and found a LCP that was going to be destroyed. We were allowed to bring it back and restore it for the use of the boat pool personnel. This was to be for our recreational use. The boat had a Hall Scott gasoline engine in it. Most of our boats were Gray Marine diesels. They worked hard on fixing it up. The Chief completely rebuilt the engine and then he scrounged around and found a screw off of an old Japanese landing craft. These were much faster than the ones on our boats. They worked real hard fixing the boat up and were quite proud of it. It could out run any boat in the harbor. It really stood out as they had put a special paint job on it and had an awning made of canvas. It was great for a few days until the obnoxious Commander Jones noticed it and wanted to know who it belonged to. He was told that the men had got it from the junk yard and

rebuilt it for their recreation use. The next day he came down and informed me that it was now the Captain of the Base’s boat. There were a lot of mad sailors. One day I noticed that there was going to be a Pioneer Day celebration on the 24th of July for all the military personnel on Guam. I”m not sure but I think it was held at Island Command up around Agana. I went to it and I was surprised at how many people were there. There were several of my fraternity brothers from Logan. There were Gordon Merrill, Bryan Harris, Dean Johnson and Ernie Saunders who had pledged at the University of Idaho. I also ran into a few others I had known. Keith Wilson was in the same class at High School and we were in the same patrol in Boy Scouts. Grant Cullimore who I knew at Utah State, Worth Wheelwright from Ogden, Delmar Gibson who was in my Engineering Class and was one of the 9 Engineers who went into the Navy on graduation. I am sure that all of the people there were not from Utah. It is like you have a party everyone comes. Worth Wheelright was flying in B-29's from the northwest field on Guam. We knew they took off each night to bomb Japan. The bombers that dropped the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki were stationed in the Mariannas. These bombs brought the war in the Pacific to an end. I know lots of people have criticized the United States for this but to the hundreds of thousands of service men stationed in the Pacific it was happy news. It meant that there would be no invasion of Japan. It is my sincere belief today that a lot more lives were saved than were lost in the bombings. Ernie Saunders was a master sergeant in the Army Supply Corps and we got together quite often. Whenever, I need new suntans he could supply them to me gratis. In turn, he could always arrange for boat trips down the island for his friends and officers. Sometimes I would go up and eat dinner with Ernie and he would come down an have dinner with me. I always ate in the Sergeants mess when I ate with Ernie. One of the 2nd Lieutenants asked me if I wanted to eat in the Officer’s mess, but I explained that Ernie was an old friend from home and I wanted to visit with him. Ernie’s Captain would also come in and eat with us. He had come down with Ernie on the boat rides and I got to know him pretty well. When Ernie came down to eat with me, he would always worry a little when I would pin some of my bars on his collar to get him into the Officer’s club as my guest. Being able to get a drink at the bar before we ate always appealed to him. I think that the fear of being discovered prevented Ernie from really being comfortable. I could have been in big trouble, also. We decided it was best to limit our meetings to boat rides and picnics.

Life running the industrial department boat pool wasn’t getting any better. It seemed that I could do nothing to please Commander Jones. He was never satisfied with how we had the boats tied up or stored. Nothing seemed to please him. I finally asked him where he would like me to put them. He stormed off saying that it was my job to find a place. About an hour later a young Ensign fresh from the States reported that he was my replacement and that I was to report to administration for a new assignment. I asked him if he wanted me to show him around and meet the men. He said no that I was to report immediately to personnel. I reported and was told that I had been transferred to the Naval Supply Center, Guam. I reported for duty on 17 January 1947.

After I reported for duty, I was assigned to the Electronics supply branch and was told to report there for duty. I was assigned as officer in charge of Shipping and Receiving. I guess in my interview I must have mentioned that I had worked for the railroad. The Commander in charge, I don’t recall his name now, was really nice. This is why I should have kept a diary instead of relying on my memory. He gave me keys to a jeep and said that it was assigned to me. He also said to take the rest of the day off in order to get moved into my new quarters and get settled in. The first thing I did after moving my gear into the BOQ was to go back to the Naval Operating Base and tell my friends what a good deal I had. The first person that I ran into was Commander Jones. He wanted to know where I got the jeep. I told him it was assigned to me. He asked if I thought that I could get him one. I told him no way that they are assigned to department heads at the Supply Center. I saw Ed Francisco and visited with him and Don Adams. We all had lived in the same Quonset hut. Ed told me that Commander Jones was worried because he couldn’t find a $1,000,000 sludge barge that was assigned to him. It was one of two that I had when I was in charge of the boat pool. He asked if I knew where it was. I knew but told Ed to have Jones call me and I would tell him where it was. He would have found out if he had let me show my replacement where everything was. It wasn’t until several days later when Ed came out to see me and said that I should let them know where the barge was. I relented and told him to tell Jones that it was in the inner harbor where we had put it after the last typhoon warning. I guess the men in the boat pool were so mad over the boat incident that none of them would tell him.

Officer’s quarters were in Quonset huts down near the beach of the ocean. We would get cool breezes off the ocean at night. Also after duty, you could walk along the beach. You could pick up all sorts of things that had been washed up from the deeps off Guam. This was especially

true after a storm. The officer’s mess was located on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I believe the officers club was also located here. Most of the work here was routine except for three occasions that I can remember. The first of these was when we got shipments of materials that had been sent after a typhoon had hit Okinawa. Everything was so messed up that we had to go through each box and inventory the contents. These would then be place in our storage areas. One large box labeled sonar dome was opened and found to contain 24 cases of beer. I don’t remember what happened to that.

While stationed at the Supply Center, I got my promotion to Lieutenant. I was called in by my CO and told I had been promoted on April 1st. I thought, “ Yes I’ll bet I did thinking it was an April Fool’s joke.” Three or four days later I was asked why I hadn’t gone over to sign my certificate accepting my promotion. I then realized that I had been promoted. I was a brand new two striper. I had my wetting down party at the Officer’s Club.

We had a storm warning of a possible typhoon hitting Guam. We went about tying everything down and hoped it wouldn’t hit us. Duty rosters were posted and whoever had the duty when the storm hit would not be relieved until after the storm was over. The night I had the duty I was due to be relieved in about an hour when the storm hit. All of the men had been billeted in our receiving warehouse as it was one of the sturdiest buildings that we had . I was in the office warehouse which was also quite sturdy. My Junior Officer of the Deck was a Second Class Storekeeper. The winds kept getting stronger and my JOOD was getting real worried. as a corner of the building would raise and bang back down. I told him to try and get some sleep. When there was a break in the wind I would take a quick look out side. There was a lot of sheet metal roofing blown off. We were told later that the winds had reached 100 knots We also heard that a sailor who had ventured out in the storm from a building next to ours had been killed when a piece of sheet metal flying through air had cut off his head. I was on duty for nearly 24 hours without any sleep. When the storm finally broke I was relieved of duty and told to go back to my quarters and get some sleep. I had to shake a lot of dust and sand off of my bunk, even thought the Quonset had been shut up tight. It surely did feel good to get some rest. When I awoke it was about 1600 hours. I decided to go back to the office and see how things had gone. When I walked in everybody was grinning at me. I said that I felt pretty good after getting 8 hours sleep. The Commander told me he thought that I must have gotten a good rest since it was now a day later. I had slept through the whole day and most of the next.

With the war being over, everyone was talking about going home. There was set up a priority for those returning to the States. These were based on being married, length of service overseas, age and requirements of the government. It looked to me that I would be one of the last ones to leave. Considering the situation at home, I wasn’t too interested in going home. I again requested a change of duty to sea duty or a base in Japan. I was again turned down on the basis that I was needed in my present position. All I could do now was to wait for orders to go home.

On 27 April 1946, I received orders detaching me from the Naval Supply Center and ordering me to report to the Commanding Officer, Receiving Station, Naval Operating Base, Guam for transportation to the nearest Receiving Station in the United States for further assignment by the Commander Western Sea Frontier. I reported the same day to the Receiving Station. On 12 May 1946, I reported on board the U.S.S. Hermitage AP 54 for transportation to the United States. I had mixed feelings about going home. I didn’t know what was ahead of me or what I was going to do. I was laying on my bunk trying to get some sleep in the heat of the Guam night, when I heard the engines start to turn over. There was a clanking of the anchor chain and we were on our way. We heard later that the Ships C.O. had been over at the Officer’s Club celebrating going home and had come back on board and ordered the ship to get under way. Someone said that he had broken the anchor chain in his quick departure. There wasn’t much to do except sleep, eat and play cards. I won $50.00 in one game and had to keep playing as I felt guilty taking money from my friends. I finally lost enough to get out of the game. We arrived in San Francisco on 25 May 1946 and told we would have to find our own quarters. We all checked into a hotel on Market Street. I don’t remember the name. We reported for temporary duty at District Staff Headquarters, Twelfth Naval District on 27 May 1946. We were detached from temporary duty and ordered to report the Separation Center at San Francisco to undergo separation from active duty.

At the separation center, we all went through physical examinations, civil readjustments, Veterans rights and benefits. We were issued our certificates of satisfactory service and honorable service lapel buttons. That was it. I had been granted 1 month and 12 days of terminal leave. which I had accumulated and detached on 29 May 1946. My release from all active duty would be 11 July 1946. There were several of us that had come home on the Hermitage staying at the same hotel. We all decided to go out to dinner and have a few drinks before we all went our separate ways. One of the other fellows ran into some Army nurses who were on the way to Hawaii and asked if they would like to come along. They were all for it as they knew that we had just come back from overseas. We all went to the Top of the Mark. That was areal nice place on the top of the Mark Hopkins hotel. Most of them were in when the doorman asked me for my ID. Since I didn’t have any after turning it all in at the separation center I tried to explain it to him . I was also the most senior officer. He said that I could have gotten the uniform any where. Everyone was amazed and we all walked out and went down to China Town where there was no problem. That cost the hotel several hundred dollars.

On 29 May 1946, I reported for a physical examination. I was found to be physical qualified for release from active duty. I was issued my certificate of satisfactory service and honorable service lapel button. I had 1 month and 12 days of leave coming. I was detached and granted the accumulated leave. I was given mustering out pay of $100 and furnished transportation to Ogden, Utah. My release would be effective 11 July 1946. This was to be the end of my Naval career. I had mixed feelings about going home. I think that my heart was still with the Navy. Just before leaving Guam, I had made one last attempt to prolong my overseas duty by once again volunteering for other duty. I realize now that someone had other plans for me. I arrived in Ogden to a new home. My folks had moved to 2505 Tyler Avenue. I had no idea what I was going to do. I had about 43 days that I would still be getting pay and to determine which direction I would go.

I was really at loose ends. I didn’t seem to have any direction. I had thought about returning to school and working on a Master’s degree. My grades had not been the best so I decided that this would not get me into a University. Nothing much had changed at home. The problems that were there when I left still existed. My new brother-in-law, Jim Raat, wanted to take me on a fishing trip to Hebgen Lake. I thought that this would be something I might enjoy and would get me away from the depressed mood I was in. We went up to West Yellowstone and I rented a motel for us to stay in. It turned out that Jim had very little money to pay his way. We went out to dinner and after dinner Jim met some old friends and went off with them. I decided to play a little Twenty-one at one of the local gambling joints. I lost three games so fast that I decided the dealer wasn’t completely honest. I guess that my bets of only one dollar wasn’t what he wanted. I wandered down the street and found a place where I played some Keno. I won about $30 and left. I ran into Jim and his friends and he wanted to borrow some money so I gave him the money that I had just won. It was getting late so I went back to the Motel to get some sleep as we were supposed to get up early to go fishing. When I awoke the next morning, Jim was still sleeping. I tried waking him up, but he said he was too tired. I told him that I was going to get some breakfast and that I would bring him back something to eat. When I got back he was still asleep. I woke him and said we had come up here to go fishing and by damn we were going fishing. I gave him the two scrambled egg sandwiches to eat and we finally got loaded up and went out to Hebgen to fish. We trolled from a boat and had pretty good luck. About noon, Jim said that he was hungry and said that he hadn’t had anything to eat. He had forgot all about eating the two sandwiches. We cleaned our fish and left for home. That was the last time I ever went fishing with Jim.

I was still at loose ends and didn’t know what I wanted to do. I had lost all confidence in my being able to work as an Engineer. I was really depressed and had pains in my stomach. I finally went to see Dr. Seidner for some tests. They pumped my stomach and did several other tests. When I went to see him about the results, He told me that I had “Battle Fatigue”. I told him that I had never been in a battle. He said that was what they called it. He said it was caused by all the tensions that built up during your wartime service. I let it go at that knowing that I didn’t have an ulcer. One day a Commander in the Naval Reserve called and asked me if I was interested in going back on active duty in the Naval Reserve. He said it would be as a Naval Reserve Recruiting Officer and the Commanding Officer of the Naval Reserve Training Center to be located in Ogden. It didn’t take me long to say yes and I was soon on my way back to San Francisco to be reinstated on active duty. It was to be a one year tour of duty. I felt that this would give me time to find something at the end of my one year tour of duty. Since I was still on terminal leave, my service time would be continuous.

My orders read as follows: “If found physically qualified, you will proceed immediately and report to the Commandant, Twelfth Naval District, San Francisco, California for active duty with the Director of Naval Reserve for a period of indoctrination and when directed, you will proceed to Ogden, Utah, for duty in connection with the securing of armories, administration of organized units and recruiting Naval Reserve personnel in Ogden, Utah.”I passed my physical and finished my indoctrination and was soon back in Ogden ready to get started on my new Naval career. I felt much better. I now was back in the Navy which I had never wanted to leave.

The first thing that I had to do was to find office space for the Naval Reserve Recruiting Station. I found one in the Old Post Office Building located on the northwest corner of 24th Street and Grant Avenue. I requisitioned office equipment from the Naval Supply Center and had received my necessary recruiting forms and was set up to start recruiting. The Standard Examiner gave us a lot of publicity and a new reporter by the name of Cliff Thompson was assigned to cover us. He gave us the publicity that we needed to bring in the Navy Veterans and new recruits. My biggest concern was to recruit a yeoman who wanted to return to active duty. The Standard ran an article stating that active duty personnel were going to be needed to man the new Naval Reserve Training Center that was to be built. At the present time, a Yeoman was needed to work in the Recruiting Office. In the mean time, I was filling out Shipping Orders by the old Hunt & Peck method. I was pretty busy filling out enlistment papers and felt bad because I couldn’t do it faster. One day a big tall man about my age walked into the office and said he would like to apply for the Yeoman position. He looked more like a professional fighter to me. He said that he had served in the Navy as a Chief Yeoman. He had his papers with him. I told him if he passed the physical he had the job. His name was Kimble Knowlden. I couldn’t have found a better person. Kim’s application was accepted by the Twelfth Naval District and after receiving indoctrination he returned and we were ready to go. We were kept real busy as there was a lot of interest in the Naval Reserve. Kim was really putting out the work and it wasn’t long before we had a full complement for our Surface Division. At the time of my reporting, I was designated as the Commanding Officer of Surface Division 12-50. Because of our success, Ogden was allotted another Surface Division and a Battalion Staff. We were pretty well along in filling the second division. We were the 2nd City to reach full complement in the Twelfth Naval District. I received a Letter of Commendation from the Commandant of The Twelfth Naval District. Patrick Healy became the Battalion Commander. My brother-in-law, Jim Raat was made the CO of Division 12-19.

At about this time, I ran into an old friend who I had “batched” with at Utah State. It was Jay Hancey. He asked what I was doing and if I was dating anyone. I told him that I had been so busy with the Naval Reserve program that my social life was being neglected. Besides, all of the girls that I had known before going into the Navy were either married or had moved away. He said that he knew a girl that he wanted me to meet. He said that she worked at Payless Drug. At that time, Payless was located just north of 24th and Washington. We stopped in there and he introduced me to Bonnie Decker who worked as a cashier. I asked her out and she turned me down. That kind of tweaked my interest. I didn’t know why any girl would turn down a date with a good looking Naval Officer such as myself. I didn’t give up and asked her out again and she said yes. We started double dating with Jay and his girl friend, Shirley Mills, who was a good friend of Bonnie. Neither of us realized that this would eventually lead to a lifetime commitment for both of us. We started going together regularly and also started going out with Marie and Leon. They were married while Leon was in the Air Force. Jay and Shirley were sort of an “On Again Off Again” relationship. Jay worked for Sears and was finally transferred away from Ogden. We arranged a date for Duane with Shirley and the three couples would go out together. One day when we were visiting Marie’s mother with Marie and Leon she took me aside and said, “Wayne, this ones a keeper. Don’t let her get away.” This was probably the best advice I had ever received. Anyone who was ever acquainted with Mrs. Higgins knew what a wonderful person she was. I took her advice and asked Bonnie to marry me. I had planned on giving Bonnie her ring on Valentine’s day, but the big tease that I was I took it down to see her on February 13. After opening and shutting the box several times Bonnie grabbed the ring box. I couldn’t take it back but I still felt that we were officially engaged on Valentine’s day. I thought that was more romantic. After a few changes, we set our Wedding date for April 4, 1947. Why we set that date I don’t remember. My Grandmother Stewart, Who was always very close to me was in the Hospital and not expected to live. Aunt Myrtle, who was here to be with grand ma told us to go ahead with the wedding as that was what grandma would want. Bonnie arranged the wedding and we were married in the Old Congregational Church on Adams Avenue by Reverend Darrel Farnham on April 14, 1947. This was a marriage that was to last over 60 years and was the best thing that ever happened to me.