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Chapter 11
The Good Years
Part 1

In the late forties, after the war when bicycles could be bought again, one of Is friends had gotten a bicycle for his birthday. The boys were about 14 years old. Is friend rode his bicycle over to our house to show Frank and me. My remark to was, "Oh, you have a new wheel!" He looked at me rather funny and said, "No, it's new." When I had had a bike many years before, we called them wheels so I had to him why I said wheel. During the war, bicycles were hard to get. Charles took his and Harry's bicycles Using the best parts of each, he made Frank a bike of his own. With a paint job, the like new. 

When Frank started to junior high school, he decided he wanted a paper route. Billy Latting and Frank each wanted a route. I explained to Frank how it would tie him , but he still wanted a route so I said all right. By this time the McFetridge's had built home farther south and we had moved to White City Addition. However, Frank and Billy got on the bus and went downtown to the World building where Mr. McFetridge apply for a job. They went directly to Mr. McFetridge's office. (This sort of amused Mr. McFetridge as he had progressed in his job beyond this stage.) He told the boys what to to apply and I'm sure recommended Frank as he was called to work shortly after that carried a route through high school as had Harry and Charles. 

It wasn't Billy's cup of tea and he only lasted a few weeks. As with the others boys I felt this was very good for future handling of people and getting along in general. When Frank reached sixteen, we made the same car arrangements that we had made with his older brothers. For his first car he should have had one which was not so complicated. It was a good car, driven by a professor, with well treated upholstery - only real trouble was that it was a l2-cylinder Lincoln Zephyr. All Frank's friends tried to find out how it worked. 

One day when Erwin and I were with Charles, we drove by Braden Park two from our place. Frank was there with his car. The hood was up and it appeared to us that Frank and his friends each had a cylinder to tinker with. It wasn't too easy to get the car back in working order. I guess the boys learned something from this experience. Harry and Frances had moved to their own house leaving just the four of us. Charles, Frank, Erwin and I. Charles was working and had his own car. However, the four of us did make some lovely trips together. Frank often took a friend with him on trips. 

One Sunday we decided to go to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. This time a neighborhood boy went with us. The boys stopped on the way over and had a swim in one of Arkansas's clear rivers. We had often stopped there in earlier years. Near Eureka Springs is the White river. At this time the dam hadn't been built and it was a beautiful river. A lookout tower on a hill let you see just how beautiful the river was in its natural state. 

During the seventies with my husband's niece Jackie White, and I took a trip through southern Oklahoma and southern Arkansas. We came back through Eureka Springs and drove out to the Lookout Post. What a disappointment A had been built above this point and the river was a small stream. Eureka Springs is mountainous with streets that seem to go almost straight up or down or with steep curves. Houses are built with their foundations on one street level, but often go up to the next level. 

On this trip we traveled much of the same ground by car that Lenore Shannon and I had traveled in 1919 by train. Our first stop was Albuquerque, New Mexico where I have relatives now. These same relatives lived around Tulsa in 1919. In 1930, Harry , Charles and I had spent 6 weeks in Albuquerque with these relatives because of Harry's health. Our family doctor had wrongly diagnosed Harry's condition as tuberculosis. 

I decided that dry air would benefit Harry's condition. Actually we found out when we got to Albuquerque that he had infected tonsils which we had removed by a doctor there. We drove around the area where Harry and Charles had played as youngsters before visiting one of my cousins. Corning into Albuquerque from the east the highway goes along the bottom of the mountains. Charles and I started talking about the tall pines and various things on the mountain. We had made this mountain drive in 1930. 

From the highway the trees look like small shrubs. My husband and Frank thought we were wrong about how small these tall trees could appear. My cousin Eathyle decided that the mountain trip was one we would have to take. She had just bought a new Cadillac and we felt safe. For some reason about half way up the mountain the car stalled. Luckily the road wasn't so narrow where we had to stop. Charles, being of the nature he is, has always been interested in finding what makes any machinery work. His knowledge came in very handy as he fixed the car and we went on with the trip. 

While we were in Albuquerque, we made a side trip to Santa Fe and Taos going to see the oldest church in Santa Fe, the Governor's House, and many other interesting buildings. In Taos we saw the mission and the Indian pueblos, the river through the village, outdoor ovens, even a store for tourists to buy some of their wares. A young girl who was there to take care of our wants was reading a book for a college class she was taking. In Albuquerque, we went to the Hilton Hotel to see the murals my cousin Ben Turner had painted on the walls. 

All of us, including Ben, went to Old Albuquerque, a part of Albuquerque proper, and ate at the favorite Mexican restaurant A large tree was inside and extended through the roof. Ben had a studio in Old Albuquerque. His mother and I were first cousins, but Ben was only ten years younger than I. In 1930, when I was there with the boys, Ben and his brother Bill were in high school. Bobby, the younger brother, was the age of our boys. On our trip to the mountains this time Ben drove the car. Turner, Ben's father, was a railroad man. He was on the Santa Fe "Chief', a luxury train. 

He left one day and stayed all night at Winslow, New Mexico, and came back the following day. His wife Myrtle was working at Penny's store. For the two days Turner was on the road, I would shop for groceries and make the meals. Turner did these chores on his day at home. He often took Bobby and my two sons to the parks, the zoos and on trips within walking distance of the house. Ben and his father liked to hunt One morning we got up early, dressed the three boys in coveralls and heavier layers due to the cold night air, and went duck hunting on the Rio Grande river. I stayed in the car and kept an eye on the three boys. 

There was an irrigation ditch nearby with a wooden bridge across it. The boys were playing on this bridge and Bobby fell in. The water wasn't deep, but it was too cold to leave his wet clothes on. By this time the sun had come up and it was warmer. Luckily Harry's clothes fit Bobby. Harry took off one pair of coveralls and let Bobby wear them. No damage done. (Coveralls were one piece, no separate pants and shirts. They were quite popular at that time.) Even in high school Ben was drawing a cartoon strip for the paper. He had his easel in his bedroom and Charles was very interested in watching him work. Ben was a very likeable person and very good to the boys and me. We stopped at Gallup to visit my cousin Leona and even went to a cave that was about 25 feet to climb up. 

It was called the Kit Carson Cave. From here we drove through the Petrified Forest, on to Flagstaff, then turned north and followed the gorge of the Colorado river to the hotel and cabins at the peak of the Grand Canyon. Several lookout places along this trail give you a chance to see the development of the gorge. We hadn't made reservations so all we could get was a large one-room cabin which had two double beds with straw mattresses, and no bathroom. There was a public shower with a toilet outside. We were glad to get this facility.

Night was already starting and we didn't want to go over unfamiliar roads by night. This was an experience for all. When Lenore and I were here in 1919, we came up by train from Williams, Arizona and stayed at the Bright Angel tourist cabins. She and I rode the burros to the bottom of the trail. It was an all day trip. Boxed lunches were packed and overalls and jackets were furnished on this tour. Lenore and I stopped with the rest of the party at the halfway house on our way down to the bottom of the canyon and again coming back. 

This was one place that hadn't seem to change. I walked down a short way on the trail. It was just as narrow and close to the edge where it dropped thousands of feet as I had remembered. The halfway house could be seen from the ridge of the gorge near the hotel, almost like an island of level ground with buildings to accommodate travelers. Burros still travel on the mountainside. Lenore and I rode the train back to Williams and Highway 66. (On our later trip with Charles, we drove the car to Williams where we had to get new tires.) 

We stayed there a week with the Daggs family who had a summer home in Williams and a winter home in Phoenix. Jann Daggs and Lenore were old friends. Mr. Daggs and Jann's brothers were away tending their sheep in their summer pastures up in the mountains. However, Jann arranged for us to do many things, which included a party held by the Forest Rangers at their tower. This tower experience was all new to me. On our trip in 1952, we went on to Las Vegas where we stayed in a motel. Erwin and I were both tired so Charles and Frank went back to the Strip to see what it was all about. 

They too were tired and didn't stay long. From Las Vegas we drove to Zion Park in southern Utah. In Zion we drove along the bottom of the wide canyon where we could view the beautiful highly colored rocks. As we drove out of this canyon, we went through tunnels with turnout places cut into the hill where we could view the rocks at different heights. Here also chipmunks would come very close to us expecting a handout of food. Here the weather was beautiful, but when we got to Bryce canyon we were met with snow and much colder temperatures. 

Bryce was unusual in that here we were at the top of the canyon looking down -- but it was so cold that we soon got back into our car and drove on to Salt Lake City and the Great Salt Lake. In 1919, Lenore and I traveled by train to Salt Lake City where we had a layover before going on to Grand Junction, Colorado. She and I walked all around the Mormon buildings. We were not allowed to enter the Temple, but tours were offered in the Tabernacle we found out later. There was no one around at the time we were there so we tried one of the Tabernacle doors. It was open. We went in hesitantly. The inside was beautiful. 

We had heard you could hear a pin drop at the front where the choir sits and at the back of the auditorium. I walked to the back and Lenore stayed at the front I tried the pin bit, but, you know, I don't remember the results. As we came out the door, a man told us we should take the tour, but we had to get back to the depot as it was nearly time for our train. With the family in 1952, we drove all around the city and around to the back of the Mormon square. Since on this trip we were riding in a car, we could see a lot more of the surroundings of the city and the lake. 

Since the advent of television, we have been able to hear and see the Mormon choir. From Salt Lake City we drove to Salida, Colorado, where my cousin Lucille and her husband Garold lived. Salida is the finish line of the well-known canoe races down the Arkansas, the river which has its beginnings a short distance from Salida. Garold took us to the town of Climax to an old gold mine. To get to the gold mine we had to drive on a very narrow winding dirt road up the mountain. Garold started up the wrong road and had to turn his car, a very long Buick, around at a very narrow place in the road. 

He had more faith in his brakes than we had. The car was near the ledge with the front actually hanging over. Frank, Erwin, and I were in the back seat and climbed out of the car. This left Charles in the front seat with Garold. Charles couldn't get out because there was no place to step. I've often wondered how we would have felt if something had happened to Charles. Garold did manage to get the Buick turned around without further mishap and found the right road to the mine. 

When we reached the mine, we were almost to the head of the Arkansas river. Frank decided he would jump over it as it was so narrow. However, his foot slipped and he sat down in the shallow water. Luckily there was a blanket in the car to wrap around him. These New Mexico and Colorado cousins had grown up with me in Oklahoma. Leona, from Gallup, had stayed with us while she attended The University of Tulsa one semester. Her brother was a year and a half older than I. Lucille was a year and a half younger than I and Lucille's brother was only two weeks younger than I was. 

Growing up--in Tulsa--we went many places together and we all spent time in each other's homes. Garold and Erwin got along fine, so we visited each other and went on trips together. On the 1919 trip, Lenore and I went from Williams, Arizona to San Diego, California. There was no air conditioning then. Even though we had Pullman - reservations, the windows were open and the heat was so intense that I kept a wet towel on my face and neck. This heat hurt me worse than the 1934 drought we later had in Tulsa. What a relief when we reached Needles, California, and were out of the desert! 

We went on to San Diego to visit the McDermott family formerly of Tulsa. The McDermott's had owned a store between Second and Third streets in Tulsa which they had sold for $50,000. They then retired to San Diego. Florence McDermott and I were the same age. Maggie McDermott and Harry had dated. Ross, the older brother, had gone with Princess. Maggie invited Lenore and me to see their ranch for raising rabbits. She called it a "ranch," but it was small, maybe an acre. We also rode big horses out to the military base where we ate and also jumped fences. 

Florence wrote me a letter when I got back to Tulsa telling me that she had been proposed to the day Lenore and I left California to return home. In '54, Charles had moved into an apartment and Frank and Harry were both married, so Erwin and I sold our home on Allegheny and rented a duplex. The house and yard on Allegheny were too much for just two people. We lived in the duplex for four years and then bought a smaller house with a smaller yard for our retirement years. During these four years of renting, Erwin and I decided to go to New Mexico for our vacations. 

We went by bus to Albuquerque and stayed at the Hilton Hotel as we wanted to see lots of things there and my cousins were all working. After we were settled in the hotel, we called my cousins and made arrangements to have dinner at the restaurant in Old Albuquerque and also went to their homes. This relieved them of worrying about us and we were free to go and come as we pleased. 

Isleta is an Indian settlement south of Albuquerque which could be reached by streetcar when we were there. Erwin and I took one day going there. We were lucky because it was "Rooster Day ." On this day, a chicken is buried in sand leaving the head sticking above ground. (The dirt around Albuquerque is mostly sand. ) Boys riding ponies compete by trying to knock the head off the rooster. The winner gets the rooster to cook. 

In the Hilton Hotel bar was, and I hope still is, a mural of this scene that my cousin Ben painted. Erwin and I decided to go to Santa Fe for a few days. We had been to New Mexico and Santa Fe alone on a previous trip. The Greyhound buses made regular scheduled tour trips of the surrounding country. We had taken this trip on our first visit alone. Mr. Copman was the driver on one of the large cars--not a bus, but longer than a regular car. Talking with Mr. Copman, we found that he had retired from Sinclair Oil of Tulsa and that his wife was one of the Dicky daughters. 

The Dicky's were a well-known family in Tulsa. He had been in the geology department and since Charles also worked in this line when first out of college, we were familiar with lots of the rock formations. Charles had called our attention to the various outcroppings of stone when we were on trips together. The outcome of this day's tour was that Mr. Copman told us that, if we ever came back and wanted to see the sights, we should come to his gift shop behind the oldest church in Santa Fe. 

We had visited this church before and knew where the shop was. On this second trip we went to their shop and made arrangements for a day-long trip. While we were in the shop, an Indian painter brought in a picture he had painted of pheasants flying. Mrs. Copman sold us the painting, without a frame, for $25. When Mr. Copman found she had sold it to us, he didn't like it because he had wanted to keep it, but he finally consented to let us keep it. 

We bought two screen prints the same size. One, titled Ovens, looks like the Taos Pueblo, the other, named Ouanchoo Church, is a mission built like the one in Isleta. These three pictures we framed alike. The next morning we started early on our day-long trip. I don't remember the sequence of events so I will have to name the places we went San Illdefanzo Indian Pueblo had a town square, a council chamber, an underground large hole and a ladder going down into it, sort of made like our cyclone cellars with steps going down into them. Here the Indians held their council meetings. 



Reproduced by 
Kathie Harrison
Ancestral Whispers
Copyright 2012 
All rights reserved.