Saturday, September 29, 2012

My History in Theater: The Pajama Game

During my school days, I was in The Pajama Game twice; eighth grade at South Cache Junior High School and Senior year at Sky View High School.  Well, in eighth grade I was actually in the chorus, and we sat on these hard wood benches they had placed in front of the stage.  But I saw the play over and over.  I remember Hal Machley was the male lead.  I don't remember who was the female lead.  The best song was "Steam Heat."
Senior Year, Sky View 1975

I must admit I was disappointed when Pajama Game was announced as the school musical my senior year.  However we had some fun with it.  I only had a minor part, as the salesman.  The salesman  rought back the sabotaged pajamas and placed them on Hinsey, who then loses his bottoms.  And then at the end he was the person introducing the pajamas as the pajama fashion show.  We were double cast and the leads were Craig Buttars and Chris Jensen as Sid opposite Ginger Hamilton and Helen Denton as Babe.  Helen took Spanish with me a couple years.
Again Steam Heat was the show stopper, along with the dropped pajama bottoms, especially the day Danny Jonas forgot the boxers, and ended up in his jockey shorts.  Everybody jumped a bit more that day.
The show was double cast, including me, but I was a factory worker in the other cast, and sang a short solo.  Also built a pyramid at the company picnic.
 Me (Salesman) lauding pajamas at a pajama party

Sid and Babe
Sid and Babe
Tick Tock

me and the guy

Sid and Babe, Two can sleep as cheap as one

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Cody Nielsen: neighbor, murderer

Cody Nielsen and his family lived on our block when I was a bit older, this would have been Hyrum fourth and second wards.  They lived there after I came home off my mission, and probably before I left.  I remember him attending church with his mother and sister.  He was always a very active boy, probably ten years younger than me. I think my older brother, who was always more outgoing and compassionate than I had more contact with the family.  I must admit, my daily path did not cross with the Nielsen family, but I always felt for his mother.  When I saw the family at church it seemed she was over worked as Cody was a pretty active boy.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Carma Hainsworth: Accessory to Murder

originally published 6/18/2010
Ronnie Lee Gardner was executed today by firing squad in Utah. He had committed two murders, the second in an escape attempt from a Salt Lake court with a gun that was provided to him by a woman.

When I attended University of Utah, I worked for the Utah Boys Ranch as a counselor. Mostly that meant I worked with the house parents doing whatever they wanted me to do, watch the boys etc. While I was there Carma Hainsworth and her husband (I don't remember his first name) were hired as alternate house parents. At that time there were two houses open, and they would give the houseparents their time off by taking over at each house for a couple of days every week. They were fired after several months, and I am not sure of the circumstances of their being let go. I wasn't there when it happened.

A couple years after working there I was visiting with the house parent I worked with, and she told me of Carma's involvement in the Ronnie Gardner case. She had helped him with his escape which resulted in a lawyer being murdered, and a court bailiff being wounded. This took place at a court house where Gardner was on trial for another murder. Carma was later convicted of being his accomplice in the escape attempt, and everyone understood her to have gotten the 22 pistol to him with which he committed these crimes.

Sometimes who you know can haunt you. It happens that Ronnie Gardner's girlfriend was also Carma's sister. I thought it odd that Carma had been convinced by this guy to be involved in the escape attempt, rather than the girlfriend herself.

Carma Hainsworth
Well maybe my thoughts were correct, as Ron Gardner has admitted his girlfriend provided him with the gun. Carma was involved in the escape attempt, having a change of clothes prepared for the murderer to change into. She maintained her innocence with regards to the gun. In the end, witnesses could identify Carma, and not her sister, and as a result she spent eight years at the Utah State Prison.

I did see her once at the prison. I was there as a social worker for a completely unrelated case. I saw her and we said "hi" to each other, but that was the extent of our conversation. We recognized each other and acknowledged each other and that was it.

Monday, September 17, 2012

poetry I like: A Wife

A Wife
by John Jaques

I’ll speak a work commandingly
Of modest, true, and faithful wives,
For everybody knows they are
The pride and comfort of our lives.

How boundless her devotion is
How tender her affection!  She
Think toil, or pain, or sacrifice
For his dear sake will pleasure be.

How beautiful are all her ways!
How charming all her manners seem!
How precious she is in his sight!
With her life is a glorious dream.

How sweet and wholesome is her love—
How pure, how fraught with life and health!
How gracious all her favors are—
Unbought and priceless, truest wealth!

Her husband thinks when she’s away
There’s always something going wrong;
But when she comes into the room,
Brightness and gladness come along.

She is more welcome than the spring.
More welcome than the flowers in May.
More welcome than the morning sun.
More welcome than the light of day.

The magic of her presence spreads
A grateful influence around.
The very rustle of her dress
To him is a delightful sound.
Her voice is sweetest melody. 
Her step is music to his ear.
The air is full of light and love
And blissfulness when she is near.

The ground’s enchanted where she stands.
There captivation in her walk.
There’s fascination in her eye.
And pearls of wisdom in her talk.

“A glory gilds” her every deed
A halo doth her life invest.
Who else could do things half as well?
But everything she does is best.

The best thing I ever did
Was making a good girl my bride.
The best day I ever saw
 Was when she stood thus by my side.

It was fulfilling God’s great law.
To us a grand experiment—
From that blest day to this blest hour
We’ve not seen first cause to repent.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I am Hewn out of Stone

I read a book about the geology along the Pioneer Trail. "Hard Road West".  "Rock--naked broken, mountainous rock--is the West.  Water is sparse in much of the West.  Soils are thin, plants are few.  Rock rises to view with rare clarity, revealing its intricacy and structure."  (Meldahl, Keith Heyer)

I have had the thought for some time, that I am hewn out of stone.  I have on my desk at work a picture of the Tetons.  It was in my father's trunk, which I inherited when he passed away.  In this picture, the jagged rock of the Grand Teton Peek is intermingled with the snowy glaciers.  The clouds float overhead.  The Tetons were a special place to our family growing up.  We use to go to Jenny's Lake.  My great grandfather was an early settler of the Teton Basin, the back side of the Tetons.  And so to our family, the Tetons were a mystical, magical place.  A place where we were firmly planted.

Growing up in Cache Valley, I could always look to the mountains, the rock cliffs.  We would tell the seasons by the view of the snow on the mountain.  When you could see the woodpecker, left in the pattern of the snow against the mountain face, it meant spring had finally arrived.

Living in the Basin there were rocks.  I use to stop at someone's home in Gusher, and see the mushroom rock.   It was a small version of something you might see in Bryce Canon, in the shape of a mushroom.  It was in a pasture.  I don't know if it still stands,  but I visited it many times on the trip between Roosevelt and Vernal.

Outside Vernal is Dry Fork Canyon, with its sheer cliff wall across from the park where someone painted a flag with the words "Remember the Main".  And close by are houses built, it seemed, into the cliff.  Those are rocks that are firm, immovable. Rocks that created a sense of foundation.

And when you drive in the high Uintahs, above the timberline, all that is left are rocks, sharp, jagged, monolithic rocks--incredible.

In coming to California, the first thing you see are the magnificent granite monoliths.  Rocks and cliffs larger than anywhere else in the world.  Yosemite makes its living on these rocks, and the waterfalls that flow from them.

Still nothing gives me as much joy, as climbing to the top of a boulder, standing on top in a conquering way.  Living in the Bay Area, we can look and see the mountains, and if you drive up to them, you can find large rocks, Goat Rock and Castle Rock.  On a Saturday there are any number of rock climbers on the face of these large rocks.  But they are not planting rocks.  They are rocks you have to look for. They are not rocks you can look towards, and see on a daily basis.  Here from where I work, you can look to the mountains, and see the Lick Observatory and hill; but no, they are not the strong foundational core rock.

Traveling in the train I see Mount Diablo, and the North Peak.    Oak covered peaks, but still I am unable to see the strong rocks and cliffs.

And so I have been looking.  Sometimes I brought rocks home from work when I could.  Some rocks I have hauled from Utah, and put in front of the house.  I miss the rocks we have left at former residences.  They were my friends.  But even so, the small rocks I place around the house are not planting rocks;  rocks where you can plant your soul.  I have rocks displayed in our living room.  But I seek large rocks, that I can climb and conquer.   I would love to have such a rock someplace on our property.

I am hewn from stone, and I am looking for that solid foundation.

The History Nut

The History Nut 

Maybe I should have studied history in college.  My Dad did, and received his Master's from USU, writing his thesis about the forced move of the Uncompahgre Ute Indians from Colorado to the reservation in Eastern Utah.  He took several trips doing research, and maybe from this began a desire to know more about history.

However my first love of history goes father back than my Dad's travels.  While growing up, we lived in Illinois for a couple of years in Carbondale. A member of the branch had a property with enough open land to have a branch garden.  This property had something else.  It had bomb craters from the Civil War.  You could still see them.  I was fascinated with the Civil War.  But when a teacher offered me a how-to baseball book or a Civil War book I took the baseball book.  I was still a boy, and playing baseball was something I did a lot back then.

I did study some history in college.  I took the history of Cache Valley course, and did a research paper on the History of the Reorganized Church in Cache Valley.  Not many people know that the son of Joseph Smith, Joseph Smith III, visited Cache Valley as president of the Reorganized Church, and there was a great debate between the two philosophies in the basement of the Logan Tabernacle.  (The main floor was not completed and the basement was the largest room available in the Valley at the time.)  At one point someone yelled from the gallery, "Don't talk to the son of the prophet that way."  Joseph Smith had a great respect from the people which carried over to his son.  Even so there were not a lot of converts to the church headed by Joseph Smith III.

I also recently delved into WWII history, as I wrote my father's history.  It was good to understand that war a bit better.

I have also studied pioneer history as part of learning of my own ancestors.  More recently I have been learning California pioneer history.  Did you know there was a battle in Santa Clara as part of the Mexican American War?  There are many things with regards to history I enjoy.  I am often reading a historical book.

PS  My Dad's thesis is in the special collections section of the USU library.  The paper I wrote is there as well.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

My Baptism

Hyrum Third Ward from "Home in the Hills of Bridgerland"
I attended a baptism of a girl today with my wife who is the Primary President.  It took me back to memories of my own baptism.  I was baptized in the old Hyrum stake center, third ward building.  My calculation says it would have been September 4, 1965.  As is customary in our church, I would have just turned eight.

Back in those days there were three wards in Hyrum.  The only one of the church buildings still standing is Hyrum First Ward.  I lived in Hyrum Second Ward.  All of the South part of Cache Valley was one stake, including Wellsville, Millville, Paradise, Nibley, Providence, River Heights, Mendon and Young and College Wards.
Hyrum Second Ward from "Home in the Hills of Bridgerland"
Hyrum First Ward

We started with a meeting in the chapel.  It was the only way to include everyone.  The font was in the basement.  I remember there was a big line.  So many children that I couldn't count them all.  My dad baptized me.  Most children were baptized by their fathers.  I remember one girl who was not, I think her name was Paula Christensen.  I remember she cried and cried, but they dunked her just the same.

But to be honest, I don't remember much about this day.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My Poetry: This Christmas Your Son is Dead

My thoughts on the pat down situation.

 With the recent goings on in the media, full body and pat downs of regular citizens,no religious exception, unless you are Muslim. I don't understand.  It seems CAIR has us turned into knots.  It is time somebody stood up to CAIR, and we started using some common sense.  That would be nice.

I wrote this poem last year after the attack on Fort Hood.  This was a preventable attack, if we had been more worried about safety rather than political correctness.  I don't think the poem is very good, but the feelings were real, and I feel important in this debate.  It was also a reaction to the military general who talked about he importance of maintaining diversity in the military.
This Christmas, Your Son is Dead

This Christmas, your son is dead,
But don’t worry, diversity is alive,
Better for more sons to die,
Than for us to lose diversity in the military.

This year, your 80-year-old mother
Will be searched at the airport,
But it is random, we wouldn’t
Want to look like we are targeting anyone.

So the peaceful Muslim sitting next to you
Will not be searched, it’s the luck of the draw,
Islam is the religion of peace you know,
Don’t worry if he says his prayers, or makes threatening comments, or situates himself in such a manner as to be prepared for an attack, or shouts the name “Allah,”…….
He is a peaceful man.

Of course if you comment, or report him
Or do anything, I will think you are a bigot.
His is the religion of peace.
You are the hater.

This Christmas, your son is dead,
We were blind to all warnings
That this killer could be a terrorist,
Diversity is still alive.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

A poem I found on Facebook: Angel Child

 This was posted by a distant  cousin on Facdbook, and I decided to post it as a tribute to Billy Boy Wardle, our baby who was stillborn.  four pounds seven ounces.  Dec. 9, 1984.

poem written about my older brother :)
Angel Child
He stood in line real quiet, with a timid little smile, 
the line was moving forward preparing for earth's trial. 
"Oh no" said God, "you cannot go, "as he looked on him with love,
 "I need you little angel child to stay with me above."
 "But don't I need a chance on earth, just like all the others? To be in a family with sisters and with brothers?" 
"You see," said God, "you need not go, you have a perfect soul. 
There's not a single reason you must leave my heavenly fold." "Oh please, oh please, I have to go and be like every other, Just let me go a little while. Please let me have a brother." 
So thinking hard and waiting before he gave reply, 
The lord said almost sadly, "Alright, for you I'll try." 
The lord knew what a challenge this request would impart, For he had to find a family to love him from the start.
 For already being perfect, the angel could not stay.
This most important person wouldn't even last a day. 
His parents had to be the type, special like no other.
 And of course, he could not forget, a special older brother. 
So looking down, he found the little family he would need
 and started to prepare them for the path they had to lead. 
So with a sad and tender smile, god sent him down to earth he was needed home in heaven, so 'twas not a normal birth. 
but Angel Child was wanted, and cherished from the start 
and he left his tiny footprints on his parents soul and heart. Sometimes there is sorrow in the things God has to do, 
but he trys to send a rainbow to help us see it through. 
For the reason that the angel had to have an older brother 
was to help to heal the aching heart of a father and a mother. So we remember Angel Child with love and tender heart,
 this 6 inch 3oz. little boy, so loved before his start. 
We'll keep him in our memory and cherished in our heart,
 for in this loving family, he'll always be a part.
written by- my grandma 'Gail Kidd Wardle' :) she really knew how to write good poems :)