I'm looking to build a list of reasons to agree or disagree... This is all I have so far: Please help!
Showing posts with label Mom and Dad. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mom and Dad. Show all posts

You should write your father's Life History

Best reasons to agree: +6
  1. Its hard to understand yourself very well without trying to figure out parents.
  2. Your kids will want to know about their grandparents.
  3. If your kids become famous, biographers will want to know about your family. 
  4. Writing about your parents can be a fun activity that brings your family together. Its a good way to remember stuff. 
  5. A well rounded person can have fun, work hard, relax, and also find time to write about their experiences, or document what they are doing, or did. 
  6. You can't just do stuff all the time... you also have to reflect... going through the process of gathering stories, photos, and memories allows you to process, and look back...
Best reasons to disagree: -1
  1.  Every time you spend doing one thing is time you can't spend doing something else. 
# of reasons to agree: +6
# of reasons to disagree: -1
# of reasons to agree with reasons to agree: +0
# of reasons to agree with reasons to disagree: -0
Total Idea Score: +0

Mom and Dad in Sun Valley.
This is my dad's life history. Also check out the ongoing projects for my mom, and mom's mom, and dad's mom.

I asked my dad the following questions:

1. What is your full name? Why did your parents select this name for you? Did you have a nickname?
It was his Mom's dad's name (James Anderson). Melvin and Marvin because he was the oldest. He was only 15 minutes older. He would always rub it in.

2. When and where were you born?
Dad was born at the Dee Memorial Hospital in Ogden Utah. This is also where my Mother-in-law was born.

He also lived on the Fort Warren Army and Air Force base, in Shayne Wyoming. Baptized in Shayane. He was living there when WWII broke out in 1941 (December 7th). His Dad was shipped out a month later to Africa. Air force was a branch of the army. They were fighting Germany in 39 and 40. Was living in Shayane when Pearl Harbor was bombed.

You should write your Mother's Life History: Myrna Carlene Matheson Laub

Carlene and Marvin
What is your full name? Why did your parents select this name for you? Did you have a nickname?
She doesn't have a clue where Carlene came from. Jene called her Carlene. Only "Merna Matheson" was on the birth certificate. Carlene was written in with an arrow to her name.
When and where were you born?
Cedar City Utah. Only child born in a Hospital.
How did your family come to live there?

Jon Sommers Higbee (Mom's Mom's Dad's Dad's Dad) was sent there, and his son: John Mount Higbee (Mom's Mom's Dad's Dad's) was 17 or 18. Sommers wife had died from exposure when they were kicked out of Jackson County. They were forced to sign over their property, to pay for the expenses of having the militia run them out of their house... I think John Mount Higbee met Mary Clark in Nauvoo Il, when they were kids. They were also in the same wagon train. One of the moms (Higbee or Clark) had a sick child, and the other family cared for it. When they left Nauvoo they were mad at each other because the baby had to go back. They got over that while crossing the planes, were dating.

Their kid, Samual Alonzo Higbee met Sarah Ann Jones in Cedar City. There had been four generations in Cedar City, when Gwen was born. Their ancestors were in on the founding of Cedar City. They had lived in the old fort. The fort sort of had dormitories, a center square with wagon, similar to cove fort (by Beaver and Snowville). They had settlements about a day’s journey apart. The fort in Cedar was like that.

John Mount crossed planes with his father. John Mount was buried in Touqerville.

Thomas Jones (Born 20 Jul 1827) snuck out a window to join the Mormons, and came to Utah by himself, when he was 19 or 20. His wife Sage Treharne's parents died of Colera coming to Utah on the Mississippe river, leaving 4 children. Sage went to live with (Evens), and was reluctant to marry. There kid was Gwendolyn's mom's mom. Sage Trehane was a post mistress. Her husband died leaving her with 4 kids (was in Bishop-rick). Sage's brother was involved in the Grand Canyon expedition (a book Undaunted by Gerald Lund was written about it).

Carlene watching the Grand kids playing on the beach in McCall. 2012.
Were there other family members in the area? Who?

Had lots of cousins, but didn't know them as well because they were mostly older. When she was in her teens, they would visit in Southern California. Would go back every year.

Was really close Laurel Lunt Huelett. Her mother and Laurel's mothers were double first cousins because brothers married sisters.

Both mothers were in relief societies. Quilting Bees. Climbed trees, hide and go seek. In corn field. Jump rope. Walked all over town, to the roller skating rink. Did boats down the irrigation canals. Experiments with backing soda and empty ketchup bottles. Had chickens, had a dog. Catch with softball. Kick the can. Lived across the street from elementary school that had swings. Mostly remember climbing the apple tree. Played paper dolls. Cut stuff out of Sears and Roebuck catalogue. Would ride in the back of the pickup to go get ice cream cones.

What was the house (apartment, farm, etc.) like? How many rooms? Bathrooms? Did it have electricity? Indoor plumbing? Telephones?

Always had indoor plumbing, but everyone else was born in grandmother's house, with a mid-wife.

Across the street were aunts, and uncles.

Gwen's dad always had pink mints for the kids. When Gwen’s mom died, the kids went to live with relatives. Her father married the woman who took care of Gwen when she was sick. They had 5 kids. He might have been more involved in their lives, but Gwen never mentioned anything about being lonely, or sad, or like an Orphan. The families were all so close, with so many relatives. Her father and Mother had several family members in Cedar. Gwen's dad carried a shovel out in the desert, because of all the rattle snakes. He worked at Iron Mountain mining gold and silver. There were pay checks to him from Iron Mountain. Cedar was originally to mine ore. Brigham Young sent Welch minors.

Most little town sent stuff up to ZCMI. Cooperatives. Wanted to be independent of wealthy eastern interest.

Sort of a barter system.

Were there any special items in the house that you remember?
  • Piano. Left in Cedar when they moved. 
  • Chickens, 
  • rabbits, 
  • Wood Pile. 
  • Coal Furnas was delivered, it would go into the basement. 
  • Copper tub for Saturday night, in the kitchen. The stove had a water well in it. Wood burning stove, would heat the water. 
  • 1 bathroom between bedrooms. Doesn't remember where everyone slept, but the kids must have been in one room.
Finances were better by the time Carlene came along. Depression was 1932. Mom born in 1934.

What is your earliest childhood memory?

Walking in the Irrigation Ditch in front of their house. Watering the inside of their house. Cleaning house, took the hose inside. It was probably her cousin Laurel's idea.

Remembers being sent to the bathroom to wait for her dad to come home and spank her.

Remembers her brother tripping on the rocks in the walk way, and running in and laying on the kitchen floor. He had to have 14 stitches or something like that.

Her mother sitting on the front porch at night time, watching the stars, and singing songs to her.

Martching the the 24rth and 4rth of July parades. Would get a new dress for the 24rth and Easter.

Describe the personalities of your parents.

"My memories are flawed. They are more feelings than fact." So take things with a grain of salt. Not sure anything is true, what I say about others... All I know is that I love them, because they were part of my life.

I don't ever remember them fighting back and forth. When she said come back, I'm not done with you, that it was more one directional.

Father: Don't know how to describe my dad. Like other of that time was not too involved in her life. Enjoyed music, and reading. Self educated. Very mechanical. Could fix almost anything. Was a tinkerer. Physically strong. Barrol chested. Was not "careful". Led choirs on his mission. Had a good range of voice. Played the piano in priesthood meeting. Dad remembers him playing the piano.

The lady that played the Organ, Sister Olsen, thought he was just wonderful. She had a little pip-squeek of a husband. Dad was quite strong and handsome.

Doesn't know if her not going to Church was a point of contention. They were older when she got married.

Mother: Gentel. Great cook. Best Apple ties you ever tasted. Liked things very neat (dad could often care less). He probably wouldn't pick up a towel, she tells me when I have left them laying around. Interested in fashion. Always concerned with appearance. More emotional than her dad. It would make her upset when she would get upset and Gordon wouldn't want to argue. She would say, come here. Face me like a man. I'm not finished.

In California her mother didn't go to church as much as her father. She loved meet the press. Liked listening to church programs in the morning. Loved Sunday morning.

Carlene had people tell her that they had never had a better teacher. She was organized. Didn't always follow the lesson. The kids payed attention.

What kind of games did you play growing up? What kind of things did you do?

  • Mostly remember climbing the apple tree.  Front yard? 
  • Hide and go seek in corn field. With family? Neighbors?  
  • Jump rope. 
  • Walked all over town 
    • to the roller skating rink. 
  • Did boats down the irrigation canals. 
  • Experiments with backing soda and empty ketchup bottles. 
  • Had:
    • chickens
    • a dog. What kind? 
  • Catch with softball. 
  • Kick the can. 
  • Lived across the street from elementary school that had swings. 
  • Played paper dolls. 
  • Cut stuff out of Sears and Roebuck Catalog. 
  • Would ride in the back of her parents pickup to go get ice cream cones.

What was your favorite toy and why?

Roler skates. Does not remember dolls, or toys. Just hide and seek in the corn, climbing the trees.

What was your favorite thing to do for fun (movies, beach, etc.)?

Climbing trees

Did you have family chores? What were they? Which was your least favorite?

Don't remember least favorite. Like an only child in a way, and so it was just fun doing things with my mother. She was a fun person to be around. Carlene's mom Gwen liked to work in the Garden. Her dad was gone a lot, but her mom would drive her cousin Laurel in the back of the truck to the creamery.

Did you receive an allowance? How much? Did you save your money or spend it?

Does not remember receiving an allowance.

What was school like for you as a child? What were your best and worst subjects? Where did you attend grade school? High school? College?

Loved school. Have a report card from 1st or 2nd grade saying that her mother had helped her with Math and that she was doing better. Loved stories and English. Could take college credit. Best was grammar. Liked diagramming of sentences. Was pretty good at Algebra. Could memorize for test. Mostly got A's and B's. Liked to read.

Only one Elementary school in Ceder City.
Wildrose Elementary in Monrovia California.

Clifton Jr. High in Monrovia California
Monrovia Arcadia Duarte High School (1,000 kids in graduating class. A main building a science building. The year she left they put in a swiming school. She was on the drill team with about 20 other girls. They were the wild cats. Drill team marched behind the band. You had to try out for it. Dad says she was the best looking one. White with green trim, and it had a "Wild Catt". Did drill marching in formation, and pom-pom rutines.)

What school activities and sports did you participate in?

- Tennis (Jr. high, had a wall @ Jr. High with a Tennis net line on it. Had whole side of Gym). Had a pretty good serve.

- Didn't learn to Swim until I had a job @ a bank in San Marino. Worked as a switch board operator and Bank of America in Azusa a teller (everything from A to Z in the USA).

- Worked as a book keeper single.

- Worked in the Library of Citrus Jr. College, in the reference. It was a neat job, except she had to walk around and tell people to be quite. She was too young to get the kids to be quite. The first house the bought was across the street (1 block) from Citrus Jr. College. It was also 1 block from the church. For 1 year they held institute in their garage. The church put in sheet rock and stored the chairs and tables. Paul H. Dunn spoke their once. At different times (2 at a time) 4 service missionaries stayed to build the church. It was when Members built the church. Utah, at the, gave young men an option of doing service missions instead of going to jail.

Do you remember any fads from your youth? Popular hairstyles? Clothes?

I never did follow the fads very well. I wasn't very up to date I guess. A lot of the kids were into cashmere sweaters, white-buck shoes saddle shoes.

Her girlfriend had a Thunderbird, and they had just gotten a Nash Rambler, and she said oh no my car's out, we'll take it. When they were first married, with a class reunion, when they were living at 118 N Galanto Ave, Glendora, CA 91741.

Had hole in the garage for Doxi to go into the garage. Lemon tree in the back, orange tree, avacado tree. David when you cut down the orange tree.

Cathy loved the dog, and would sit in the box with him. Wore a path in the yard. Pushed a ball around the yard.

Who were your childhood heroes?

Dad was democrat, mother was republican. Dad was a fan of Roosevelt, because everyone felt like he pulled the country out of the depression.

Amelia Earhart, Madame Curie, Eleanor Roosevelt, Mahatma Gandhi.

Howard Hunter gave them their Temple Recommend.

Wonder woman. Ester Williams (Olympic swimming, and movie star). Her Mother.

What were your favorite songs and music?

I remember my mom playing this song. It brings a tear to my eye listening to it now. It starts off kind of slow, but you can tell from his face at the beginning, that he is going to wail on that piano.
The sound of Music. Les Mes wasn't out until they were married. Carousel, moonlight sonata.

The Lost Cord. The Sound of Music. I love you truly, truly dear. Can I have this dance for the rest of my life? Anniversary Waltz maybe. The rubber tree plant. Come down where you ought to be.

Her dad would sing Invites.

They used to go dancing at the palladium, and they had big band, and jimmy Dorsey.

Didn’t like Elvis.

Liked John Denver. Les miserable. Carousel. They didn’t have kids for 6 years that is when we adopted David. There was a song in their called the sylicay.

Mom really liked a song from Jesus Christ superstar. Mary Magdalene sang it. I don't know how to love him. I wouldn’t have liked the song probably, in the context of the play, but I liked it by itself. Anything melodic. I don’t like the “yeah, yeah, yeah” repetitive drum beat, repetitive songs. Don’t like the repetitive bolero…

Love the simple Quaker song. Loved Megan singing the Shucking of the Corn, and the African American spirituals. Malaguena. Danny boy. Come to the church in the wild woods. The old songs that Dad used to sing. I believe in Christ. I love the piano. She takes this piano class. A lot of the people in the class have $20,000 dollar that do any instrument, but I always just go to the piano.

I love the harp too. Some people have nice voices, but it is hard to major in music, unless you can play an instrument. She had a neighbor that could play the ukulele. She was interested in the Autoharp, because it could just do cords, and you could sing along.

Did you have any pets? If so, what kind and what were their names?

We had a dog when she was a little girl in cedar city. She remembers her dad had to put borax acid to kill the worms. The dog got ran over, she thinks. Dogs were outside animals. Most of my friends had dogs that would sleep in their beds, and run through their halls, but she never had one.

She had cows and sheep. Her mother's uncle was a shepherd, and they would get the bum lambs. She remembers putting them behind the kitchen stove for them to keep warm. She remembers one lamb following her around everywhere. 

They had bunnies that were raised for the meat. 

She says I was really cute with the baby chickens, on Jessie lane.

Got chickens to be self sufficient. Didn't like the bloody eggs. Marvin didn't like to kill them, and we didn't like to get the eggs. Had the chickens for a couple of years. Big lot and a big garden.

Dried fruit. Corn with a board they shoved the corn down on.

Didn't have names for them.

Were you ever mentioned in a newspaper?

Dad was for his Eagle. They used to do a lot of readings. In Nampa was written up for a poetic reading at a stake activity.

Who were your friends when you were growing up?

Lockie, Janette. Frankie Eliot (played softball).

What world events had the most impact on you while you were growing up? Did any of them personally affect your family?

WWII ended in 1946. Korean War during high school.

Describe a typical family dinner. Did you all eat together as a family? Who did the cooking? What were your favorite foods?

Always had breakfast, lunch and dinner at the dinner table. Dad would call on someone to pray. Simple prayers. Was mostly Mom and Me. She was 8, Don was 16. Finished his GED. Medic. War factory. A medic in Korea. She would help with the food. Mother had bad arthritis. Dad liked bread and Milk.

Mother always said she was a really fussy eater.

How were holidays (birthdays, Christmas, etc.) celebrated in your family? Did your family have special traditions?

Always had Christmas tree, stockings, lots of stories, lots of music. Lots and lots of music. Always sang Christmas Carols.  They never were able to get us kids to do it. Dad was a good singer. He could carry a tune. Mother played the cornet (trumpet like thing). In the band.

How is the world today different from what it was like when you were a child?

Oh man everything is different. We went and saw Sky Fall. When your dad and I were young, we would have walked out of that. Everybody, in and out of the Church said that was a great movie. You got two old prudes. The crudeness has increased. When I was growing up you could be poor, but if you had good manners, were interested in education. Gracious was a big word. Civil was. Now it seems that is not the case anymore. The more the in your face, the more proud they are.

My knee surgery is a big change.

Friends come in and out of your life. I used to think that if you had friends, they would be friends forever, but if you don't stay involved, you don't stay friends.

When David and Cathy were little, but within 10 years when they had Steven, they all were working... They would go for walks, talk over the back fence, and visit. They all hang clothes out, and no dishwashers.

Men didn't do dishes or change diapers. Her mother would say that a woman should work at least as many hours as a man did. By the time I was a child, she knew a lot of women that would watch a lot of TV.

To leave the TV on when company came, was the heights of rudeness. They tried to treat company like an honored guest. With her dad Heck and Darn were swear words. He would say an ignorant man can't express himself without swearing.

Never talked a long time on the phone. It was expensive. Careful with money. Lights turned out when you left a room. Money was tight for middle class. Never felt poor but felt frugal.

"So your dad and I are prudes." Mother had to make all of our clothes, and you didn't waste a scrap, but everyone else was in the same boat. Never felt class conscious.

Skyfall seemed to be saying that if you were beautiful, or smart, character didn't matter too much. In the olden days, it was the opposite.

Who was the oldest relative you remember as a child? What do you remember about them?

Her grandmother. Mettie Christina Matheson. She was old. Did spinning wheel demonstrations. Up until she was 8 she lived close to her, but she only saw her after that when they came back to visit. She wore her dresses down to her ankles, and disprove when she mowed the lawn at her uncles house in shorts. Finally her aunt Lidia came out and said you are upsetting your grandmother, could you put on pants. Dad's mother. She had raised 13 kids, in a 2 bedroom house. Her husband was bishop, and she supported him on two missions, sowing and cooking. Don't know how she did it. Then her husband became the stake patriarch. Mom has a picture of the house she did it in.

She was a little bit bitter. In the history Alex would give the shirt off his back to anyone who asked for it, and his own children would go without. Carlene's dad was the only one to finish high school. They had great hopes for Carlene's Dad. All of the 13 are dead. Carlene's dad's brother wrote a book of poetry.

Hopefully they are doing something fun.

He loved to go spelunking  and he loved his wife, and about poetry. How do you make poetry with a wife named Zela. Life is funny. Don't take us too seriously.

Life is such an adventure. Went to see an exhibit at the discovery center, bodies revealed. Didn't find it gross. Dad did.

What do you know about your family surname?

Matheson. Used to be a big clan. Associated with the stewards in Scottland. Different ways of spelling it. Mathison and Matheson. Doesn't know the difference. Matheson trucks that deliver the mail. Someone went to Australia. Most came from Scottland and went to Canada.

Someone was studding to be a Presbyterian minister.

Is there a naming tradition in your family, such as always giving the firstborn son the name of his paternal grandfather?

Alexander and Gordon are repeated.

What stories have come down to you about your parents? Grandparents? More distant ancestors?

Large Clan. Presbyterian vs. Catholic was a big deal. Against England. Lost land because they were on the loosing side.

Are there any stories about famous or infamous relatives in your family?

Dad's cousin was a Governor of Utah. Democrat. Buried in Parowan Utah. Scott. Carlene's mom would say that the her family was mechanical, and musical, but that her Dad's family would pick up pork chops with their hands.

Have any recipes been passed down to you from family members?

Her dad liked bread and milk. Mom made good pies, and was a good cook. Custard pies. Panana Cream. Macaroni and Cheese, Tuna and noodles. Roast or Chicken, and Potatoes and Gravy on Sunday.

Are there any physical characteristics that run in your family?

Red Head. LaVane was blond. Don was blond, with a red beard.

Are there any special heirlooms, photos, bibles or other memorabilia that have been passed down in your family?

Has a Bible that belonged to Marry Clark Higbee. 1897. Big. Old cookbook of her mother's. Early 1900s. She gave me her Dad's journal, while he was on his mission. She gave Baby Boby a poetry book that belonged to her Dad, from Milton.

When and how did you meet your spouse? What did you do on dates?

Church dances. Every Sunday, or every other Sunday went to a fire side. Went to the beach a lot. Walked to different things. Walked down town. Went to the park. Monrovia park was up in the mountains above. Went there for picnics  waterfall. Mostly group dating (beach). Paladium in LA / Hollywood. Grauman's Chinese for special movies (wear they have Star's hand prints). Observatory. Road shows. Young Men's and Young Women's. Would play baseball / Softball. They would all play. Played Tennis. Swimming all summer long.

Melvin's Joice worked security. They have the oscar's. It is a different place now. Everything is so dirty.

Went to China town. Aloe Vera street Los Angeles.  Long Beach pike. Huntington Library, where they made Fantasy Island.

The movies weren't so suggestive.

What was it like when you proposed (or were proposed to)? Where and when did it happen? How did you feel?

Marvin proposed. They were at BYU. They went up to memory grove in Salt Lake. Feels like yesterday. Sat on a bench. Got engaged in April, between basic training... Came home for basic training. Then went back to California, and then Japan.

Where and when did you get married?

St. George Temple.

What memory stands out the most from your wedding day?

Ate at Dick's Cafe. Some of her family from Cedar City came. Some of Dad's family came. Grandma and Grandpa Laub hosted it. They went to Las Vegas. Got married in March. Stayed in Las Vegas 2 or 3 days. BYU was on Semesters. The new semester was March 20th, and they had to find a place to stay. Mom had an old Plymoth. 2 tone green. Don't remember where they stayed in Vegas. Both got jobs.

How would you describe your spouse? What do (did) you admire most about them?

Kind. All the boy scout: Reverent, clean, considerate, pleasant to be around. Not critical. Doesn't complain.

What do you believe is the key to a successful marriage?

Patience. Hard work (they used to always say "patience is a virtue, find it if you can, seldom found in women, always found in man."

Your dad has always been positive and supportive. I just feel very lucky that he is not negative.

I feel cherished. Show your partner your best side, rather than bringing your worst side home. Marvin never brought a bad, grumpy attitude home.

Maybe it has to do with content with yourself. We don't have to be in competition. I think Marvin is content with himself. Marvin said "I can improve"... My mom laughed and said, but he doesn't loose any sleep.

How did you find out your were going to be a parent for the first time?

Got a call in the night, and a good friend in Santa Monica said there was a baby born. Doctor wasn't 

LDS but was impressed with LDS people. He liked to place babies in LDS homes.

Picked him up at the hospital 3 days later.

Why did you choose your children's names?

"Because our names were unusual, and I wanted names strong names." David means beloved, and we waited a long time for David. We had a lot of Cath's in the family. Carlene

What was your proudest moment as a parent?

When the kids graduated from college, marriages. Blessings of the babies. Baptisms. When I argued with the lady at the Cafeteria at South. That pleased me because I was a timid person. That you had the guts to do that. Mr. Beamer. Loved going to BYU with you. You were happy then. You lost some of your confidence in high school. You were a happier kid in Jr. High. I was proud of you being on the seminary counsel. I don't know why those... I guess every oportunity that I saw each one of you reaching out... it was like getting a star on my forehead when you did well.

What did your family enjoy doing together?

Genealogy. I enjoy being with people that are pleasant. I would just as soon do that go on a cruise ship. I enjoy walking, and swimming. She goes to Curves. Marvin goes to Rec center. Carlene goes to water Olympics

What was your profession and how did you choose it?

My profession was momma. It was chosen for me. Life seeking life. We are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself.

If you could have had any other profession what would it have been? Why wasn't it your first choice?

Forest Service would have been a 2nd choice. I was offered a job in the forest service in Delta Utah, but he took the job teaching in California. Devar Felshaw was the superintendent of schools in Glendora, and was also the Stake President.

I always wanted to be a Madaam Curry. I think I would have been a missionary. I would have liked to have made a difference, but I'm not very brave. We watched a 60 minutes about people working on a medical ship. Your mom would have liked to have done that. Did elementary school teaching in college. Got up to student teaching twice. I came along the last time, and her Mom came to live with them, when she started student teaching. Last two years of Dad's college, Dad was laying carpet, and so she could go to school full time (his memory). Her memory was that she worked part time the whole time she went to school. Took classes at LA state. Doing student teaching at Boise State. Took methods classes at Boise State.

She would have liked to have been a professional student.

She would have liked to have been a concert musician.

Of all the things you learned from your parents, which do you feel was the most valuable?

Marvin: hard work. Carlene: to be an honorable person. Do the best you can. Be kind to people. Be worthy of respect.

What accomplishments were you the most proud of?

Raising my children. Their success. That you are good honest people. Whenever you giggle... even if we don't see us, whenever they know we are happy at times, that is our greatest accomplishments. We know some times that you are very happy. Like that picture in the ABC book, and all of you look happy... that's just worth a million.

What is the one thing you most want people to remember about you?
I tried. Persistence. Marvin: "She hasn't given up on yet".
  • Washington's Farewell Address 
  • Gettysburg Address. 
  • MLK's I have a dream speech. 
  • Inaugural address of John F. Kennedy
  • The Chambered Nautilus Oliver Wendell Holmes
  • Rabbi Ben Ezra by Robert Browning
  • Marianne Williamson: "Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.' We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone and as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
I was so naive. Would read quote "Ode to a grecian urn" and had no idea what the "Unravished bride" was talking. She once told my dad that her sister was apostate (had left the church) but she said the word "prostitute".

Did her mom teach her piano?

Her mom was a good pianist, but she had lessons from someone else, in Monrovia. Walked to lessons.

Bought piano in California. First piece of furniture they got, but they left it in Ceder City.

Mother played saxophone.

Henry sang for president Hoover (or maybe it was a different president. It would have been... she'll get back with me). God be with you when we meat again, when he came to tour Zion Canyon.

What did they do to their house in California while they went to McCall for the summer?

They rented it out to newly married people from the church live in it over the summer.

How many years did she volunteer at the family history center?


Did her Dad almost get drafted into WWI? If not, was it because he was married?

Yes. Didn't have a family yet. WWI was starting while he was on his mission in Germany. Went on his mission after they got married. They wanted to teach, save money, and tour Europe (Germany), but the war stopped that plan.

Was her dad good at the violin?
When he was in Germany he went to a factory that made violins, and the owner of the factory sold it or gave it to him. The music professor in the college at Cedar City played it and said it was the best violin he had ever played.
Where their letters from her mom and dad? Did he write in German? Any material from her mom's teaching?
Did LaVane, Don, or Jean get momentoes from her parents that could be photographed or scanned? Bobbie might have a few of the letters that Gwen and Gordon sent to each other.
What are Mementos and Artifacts from your life and the stories associated with them.
Name of friend who she played softball with. Frankie Elliott.

Pictures say a Thousand Words

Mom and Dad in Sun Valley I think.

Mom and Dad at BYU. Dressed up just to go to church, or a special event?
Mom has said it was hard to go to Church because they wanted kids so
badly, everyone else had them, but they didn't

My mom and Dad. To do: Find location from
Mom and Dad, and scan a higher resolution image
My Mom was the youngest, but her Mother came to live with her, even though she still had small kids, and didn't have as much room in their house. My parents turned their garage into a room for her.
Never seeing her or my dad raise their voices at each other.
Her giving really great talks as relief society president.
Her wanting to stop at all the historical markers along our trips.
Her teaching me how to play the piano, which I have neglected much in my old age.
Her wanting to talk about ideas, music and poetry.
Her taking me out of school on my Birthday to go to the State Capitol and watch the proceedings.
Her letters every week to me on my mission
Her waking up every morning to cook and eat breakfast for me, even when I was in early morning seminary.
Her and my Dad throwing water on Derek and I
Mom was sad that should couldn't play the way she used to when she was young, but I remember her playing this while I was growing up:

Data (to be turned into narrative)

Homes with Street names:

Ceder City, Utah
Jessie Lane, Nampa Idaho
Camp Morrision, McCall Idaho, Summers of ???
South Powerline, Nampa, Idaho
Wedgwood, Nampa, Idaho

Talks / Speeches

My mom gave talks at Church when she was young. I think they had speech competitions or something. She got a signed

Her dad didn't come to the come to her speech competition that she won from the stake.

Didn't call, because calls were expensive.

Moved to California when orange county was still largely orange groves
My dad had one of the beach boys in school.
Teachers were better paid in California. Sacrificed to be away from problems of big city.
Moved there when she was in Jr. High
Carlene remembers being well known and well liked in Church, traveling to different congregations giving speeches while she was in high school.


Mom worked at a bank in California (name? Location? how did she get it? )
Had up to (20 or 30 people?) at lunch time.
She hired 2 or 3 workers to help
She had to build a door into downstairs, and install a deep 3 portion sink
She would make breakfast, snacks, and lunch for the kids.
Had a swingset, sand, toys (lots of legos) in the house for the daycare kids. We had carpited balance beams
Wedding / Catering Business
Started wtih Ray Hanson
How did it get started?
They used to keep stuff in a shed on the Hanson's property. I remember going there and there was a gravel circle turn around.
They built a shed at the back of our property. I think my brothers and dad poured the concrete... It had special
They had a camp trailer specially made to carry round card tables.
Had 2 or 3 backdrops made of pipe. I think rinehart shooster made them?
Had lattice backdrops
Glass things
Lacey Table clothes.
Differnt colored plasticy things under them
Set up for occasions in Churches all over the treasure vally
San Chapelle winery Idaho
I learned to pin table cloth corners
I remember trying to look tough carrying chairs and card tables, for the younger sisters of girls getting married.
Mom would pay me to help
Dad was often the one who was assertive enough to tell people that we were going to start putting away stuff, even though people were still around talking. Perhaps that is where I got my
Restlessness when people are making small talk.

Born: in Ceder City, Utah
Age of parents when born
Age when married:
Age when father died
Age when mother died
Age when child #1 was born:
Age when child #2 was born:
Age when child #3 was born:
Age when child #4 was born:
Age when child #5 was born:
Age when Jean, LaVane, and Don died.
Age of her Sisters and brother when she was born.
She used to play softball with a neighbor, who was some sort of local star, and the ball would hurt her hand.
Her memories
Her mom ringing chicken's neck
Indoor plumbing?

Arts and Music

My mom's dad loved music.
While in Germany, on his mission,
he would often attend operas. (Make a list from his Journal)
He usually led choirs, according to the life history of Gwen
When the family moved from Utah to California, Don backed over his violin, so he must have played.
How good? What did he play?
He would sing in Church. Mom remembers him singing, Invictus before they took it out of the new Hymn book, because it contains the words: "I thank whatever gods may be".
Her dad would play on the piano and sing before church started, and he wasn't allways the best players. I think my Mom says she remembers it embarrassing herself and her mom a little bit.
I would say that my mom usually sang quietly in church.
Live performances
My Uncle Earl had season tickets to the Boise Philharmonic Symphony. When he gave my mom some tickets, she was very grateful, and I went to my first professional Orchestra. (Later when Megan moved to Chicago, Anita-Kay bought us tickets to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra).
My brothers, and I (and perhaps my dad) would kid my mother because she was known to have gotten teary eyed at parades.
Music transfer
I did a few piano recitals when I was in Piano, and my family traveled to Disney Land when my brother's marching band played in a Disney Land parade. I know one of my brother's trumpets had to have some dents removed from being thrown in the bushes.
Mom taught me piano when I was a kid. When I was to obnoxious she took me to Sis Wilde’s and Wadsworth’s for piano lessons.

My mom ran a daycare and a Wedding Business (The Speciallty Shoppe) out of the home. She also plays the piano in the nursery at Church.

Often Busy

She is involved in Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) and
Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (DUP).
She also plays the piano in the nursery at Church.
Stake and Ward Relief Society President
Volunteer for (at least 10 years?) at the family history center.

List of Mementos and Artifacts from her life
The Book of Mormon signed from Howard W. Hunter, when he was stake president of her ward, and she got for winning a speech contest?


My Mom and Dad first came to Idaho to visit my Mom's sister LaVane, who lived in Boise, but had a cabin in McCall. While in McCall my dad met people who worked at the Scout Camp. That is how he started working their in the summer.

After Watts Riots I think my parents wanted to move away from Los Angeles. They almost moved to Oregon, but ended up moving to Nampa, to live closer to her sister

My mom's sister LaVane had Parkinsons disease. She needed care for 15 or 20 years. My mom coordinated the in-home care for her sister for many years. When the care got sick or couldn't work, she would drive to Boise to take care of her. She hired, fired, and kept the schedule for all the help. Of course she loved her sister, but often love involves sacrifices, and my mom was always the one making them. I remember my mom crying one night that she wanted to spend with me... I think she wanted to go to my seminary graduation or something, but she needed to take care of her Sister.

Ceder City
Meadow Lark sings Ceder City is a pretty little place
Decedents from Mountain Meadow
Life in Ceder

To do:
Obtain the Specialty Shoppe pricing form my mom came up with. Scan it, and put it here.
Get missing photos from brothers and sister.
Find summary for 50th wedding anniversary.
Transcribe her dad's mission journal.
How young were her parents in the oldest picture of her parents have?
What was the city in Oregon they almost moved to instead of Nampa? (Aberdeen Washington, on the coast)
Collect random memories from family members: Donna, Bobbie, Anita Kay, Brothers and sisters
Turn random memories into narratives
Do history of Marvin
Upload video / or audio
Fill in missing information from below, making stories out of the Mementos and Artifacts
Consolidate from highlights of Christmas letters
Consolidate from mission letters.

Describe the personalities of your brothers and sisters.

LaVane: Neat. Smart. Ambitious. Knew how to read before she went to kindergarden. Mother would put words on the ice-box (father intergects that ice-man came once a week with a big block of ice), windows, doors, piano, and LaVane would learn thjem very well (sight reading, not phonics). She was 19 when Mom was born. She had lots of boy friends in ceder. Was secretary to a state senator from Cedar city, got her sister Jean a job. Knew how to dress. Had a knack for looking really sharp. Loved to Dance. Wanted to be a dancer. Ball room.

Jean: She loved to party. She was the life of the party. You know how everyone kind of gravitates to somebodby because they are so much fun. She and my mother could giggle, and I would have big deep conversations with my mother. I was kind of jelous of that. She could enjoy life. She had lots of friends. Everybody in the neighborhood loved jean.

She died in 1977. Oscar Albert Erickson AKA "Sweed" was a master mechanic. He worshiped the ground she walked on. When she died he fell apart. He drank, and gambled. He liberated some prisoner of war camps, and she thought that is why he drank. He went into Hitler's eagle's nest berchtesgaden.

They had Marsha, Chuck, and Gary Erick Erickson. Chuck could not go the funeral when his mom died. He just sobbed. He and his dad became drinking buddies for a while. Swede had lung cancer and couldn't talk. His family, there were about 11 of them, had about 1/2 that were active within the LDS church... The grandparents came across with the perpetual immigration fund, associated with an LDS general authority that didn't treat them very well. A "walker" from a bank treated them well (non-LDS)...

Sweed was a down hill skier, who broke his leg. Or was it a jumper?

Jean and "Sweed" lived in Evenston Wyoming. Mother and Father built a little house for them on the back of the property. And here was my mother, who always wanted things very nice, but Jean and Sweed were always having parties. Jean sayed it was good she came to live with Carlene's mom because she could help her mom when she was having arthritis. Megan's teen-age perception was that Jean was disorganized and didn't help much, but she did make her mother lauph.

Brother: Don was her older brother, and Carlene was just the bratty little sister. After carlene got married, they got along better. When Carlene was 16, she was 24. When they moved to California, he didn't graduate from high school. He got in a special program to get his GED. Several people were bussed to an Airplaine factory, and they came back home on the week end. But he was never home after Carlene was 8, and he was 16.

He didn't serve a mission, but he was overseas as a medic in Korea. When he was 25, 26, and 27 he had the back bedroom, but wasn't an important figure in her life. Carlene's mother's sisters boy (a cousin) Bill Lence let her go down and spend a week with him. They went ice skating, auto racing. Don't know why her mother let her. She was 19 and he was 24.

More serious.

You should write the Life History of your Grandmothers Gwendolyn Higbee Matheson (Mom's Mom)

This is my mom's mom's life history. Also check out the ongoing projects for my dadmom, and and dad's mom

Typed by Michael Laub, from a photocopy of the original that Gwendolyn typed on a typewriter. Comments by me in parenthesis

Henry Gordon, Gwendolyn Higbee, And LaVane Matheson 

It must have been a sad day when I was born. I was the fifth child in less than nine years, and arthritis had made mother (Sarah Ann Jones) a cripple long before that December 5, 1891. She was bed-fast most of the time until she died early in 1895 (10th of March) when I was a little over 3 yrs. old. Five little children had to be parceled out with relatives, and it fell to my lot to live with Grandmother Higbee.

So you see I went to live in a large home that had already housed many children and where no more were to come. (click below to read more)