The Big Move by : Mother
After graduating from the University of Denver with a Master’s Degree in Library Science my husband, Jim, returned to our home in Hyrum, Utah where we had been living for the last three years. Jim proudly announced we would be moving to Carbondale, Illinois where he would be a cataloger at the University of Illinois Library. My first reaction is where is Carbondale? He gathered all the family together, got out the Atlas and showed us a map of the State of Illinois; Carbondale was at the southern tip of Illinois. Everyone exclaimed, “It is so far away—halfway across the United States.” We were all glad that Jim had a new job, but hated to leave our beautiful home and many friends.
The day of the big move came on the 28th of August 1967. “Boy,” what a lot of work; we had so much stuff to move—things to sort and throw away—trips to the Deseret Industries. A moving van came and loaded up all the furniture, but we also had a wagon full, the back of the pick-up and the car. I drove the car with sixteen year old Sara, fourteen year old Connie and 18 month old Dianna. We also had with us our Siamese cat Fifi. Jim drove the pick-up with the wagon behind him. He had with him, eleven year old Weldon, nine year old Bill, six year old Charles and the dog.
After going through Denver, I began to get a sick feeling as we were leaving behind the beautiful mountains. We seemed to travel for miles and miles. We started through Kansas as the sun was coming up in the morning and were just leaving the state of Kansas as the sun was going down. The children were very restless all through Kansas as all they could see was farm land and windmills. They made a game out of who could count the most windmills.
When we arrived in St. Louis, Missouri we took a wrong road and ended up on the east side where all the colored people lived. We were all very scared as this was a different color of people than we were used to seeing. All the homes and buildings were so run down and poor looking. We were still 120 miles from Carbondale. We were three days and two nights on the road.
Carbondale was a beautiful place; the trees were so green and moss was growing up the trunks. Squirrels would run from one tree to another and were everywhere. The humidity was very high and something we were not used to. We all felt so sticky and hot. My hair and the girls wouldn’t hold a curl so we all had our hair cut short.
You never needed to water your lawns or gardens because of the high humidity and when it rained it really poured. The most beautiful time of all in Carbondale was in the spring when the red bud and dogwood trees would all com in bloom, with their beautiful red and white blossoms.
It was a new adjustment for all of us. The children met colored boys and girls in their schools for the first time and it was frightening for them and we were there at the time of the civil rights movement.
We were in Carbondale for two years and when it was time to leave we left many choice people and were all grateful for the choice time we had while we were in Carbondale.