Saturday, February 25, 2012

Silly Billy: a Play on Rhymes

I wrote this for Sheri one day I was playing with rhymes
Silly Billy
One day Silly Billy, our hero, went to lunch with Sheri Bearie,
Our very, very beautiful frilly filly from the upper crusty wusty.
That, to Silly Billy, was very, very hairy scary wary--
Because his hawking talking skills were rusty, dusty and crusty.
He thought, “A flower bower I could have used, or maybe a hilly lily
Because I’m klutzy whatsy with the cocky talkie walky.”
In the pit of his jelly-belly there were frilly willies.
He felt sickly icky, and his conversation was rocky, balky.
He had a stone bone in his gut, which gave him an unwelly belly.
Yes, our hero, Silly Billy felt tremendously tizzy dizzy.
His legs were terribly bobbly, wobbly, like smelly jelly,
And his head was bounding, pounding, sounding like a busy fizzy. 
“Help, I’ve a cockeye butterfly, in my throat, yucky stucky,”
Breathed our macho Camacho in a freaky squeaky
Voice, like a lisper whisper all gucky plucky,
With fairly no spare square air support, just leaky screaky squeaky. 
But his frilly filly girlfriend was no ordinary willy dilly.
She knew the slick Heimlich trick and applied it to Billy’s jelly-belly.
She went push, push, swoosh whoosh on the naval of Silly Billy.
And that cockeye butterfly shot out like a smelly deli selemi (err salami).
So our zero hero was saved by the frilly filly
And he felt weirdly cheery in his now welly jelly-belly.
So he opened his mouth to cockily jockey talkie, did our Silly Billy.
But nothing came out, for his crainy brainy was absentee and pretty empty.
The end (or is it the beginning.)
I’ll never tell.
 Love,  Billy

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Mission Presidents
Presidente Harris
President Bishop

When I first made it to Argentina, we were picked up by the assistants to the President, and taken to the President’s residence, Presidente Harris, where we had our first dinner in Argentina.  We stayed close to the mission home that night, and then the next day became part of transfers.
Similarly, at the end of my mission we had a similar experience, going to the presidents home to report on our mission.  This included writing a report of our future goals.  However leaving was different than arriving.  We were accompanied by our companion, who went to transfers and got another companion.  Returning from this visit, I was on my own.  That felt strange after two years of not being alone.  We were expected to find our own ride or transportation to the airport.
I served under two mission presidents in Buenos Aires, Argentina North Mission, President John Arthur Harris and President Joseph L. Bishop.  The attached articles are brief biographies of each of them.  President Harris went back to school and studied business after his mission.  President Bishop served another turn as mission president at the Missionary Training Center.  He then worked at BYU until his retirement. 
Presidente Harris was a native of Peru, but of Chinese extraction.  He would always present zone conferences in Spanish.  If I am not mistaken, he had three children during this time, at least two girls and one son. the youngest.  I remember one fun day at their house with singing and talent shows.  Elder Morasco did the skit with someone else behind him as his arms.  The person shaved him without being able to see.  It was funny.
President Bishop came to Argentina when I had about seven months left of my mission. He had been the President of Weber State College.  His wife had sung in the Tabernacle Choir.  When he came he interviewed us all at the church in Belgrano.  This is a two story church. As he interviewed the entire mission, the meeting took about all day.  The biggest difference is where President Harris was a native Spanish speaker, President Bishop was not.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Leslie Clawson

Leslie is fourth from right

Leslie is third form left in front
In the summer just before my second grade year, our family moved into Hyrum, Utah at 587 East 100 South.  Just up the street was the family of Leslie Clawson.  Even though we were both in the second grade back then, I thought she was the most beautiful girl I had ever seen.  She had light blond hair, and a dainty frame.  I had a terrible crush on her.  I was too shy to ever approach her, but there were plenty of neighborhood opportunities to see her, evening games, or just getting together for what ever.
In the third grade, we were put together for a dance in the dance festival.  I don't remember the dance, but I do remember being with Leslie.  The only problem was I had a big wart on my hand at the time, and it was a bit embarrassing.  Leslie was always gracious, but to ever think of us together was more than a possibility.  We moved away after fourth grade for a couple of years, and then when we returned to Hyrum, to the same house, Leslie moved to a home in a different ward closer to the dam.  She associated in a "more popular" group and I didn't feel comfortable entering.  It's funny how we label ourselves.  So from then on I only admired Leslie from afar.
Leslie had juvenile diabetes, and had to take special care of her diet and sugar.  I never had any contact with her after high school, and she has since passed away.  I understand the diabetes eventually got the best of her and she passed away.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Logan Hospital where Dianna was born and I had my tonsils out

The hospital in Logan which was across from the temple but was closed and knocked down, and then turned into a parking lot for the temple. My younger sister, Dianna, was born here April 9, 1966.  This was a Saturday, and we were all at the Hyrum Easter Egg-Hunt when we found out about the new baby.  We weren't allowed to go in but looked through the window. 
My next experience here was getting my tonsils out.  This was third grade.  It was shortly after Christmas.  I remember counting back from 100.  Then the next thing I remember my folks were waking me up in the car.  I'm sure that is not how it was, but that is how I remember it.  I did get to miss some school, even though the operation was during Christmas break.  I had a sore throat every morning for about a week into school.  The sore throat would go away late morning, and I played with Christmas toys the rest of the day. 
I had other experiences here--getting a cast off after breaking my arm in Soda Springs playing baseball, eighteen stitches in my forehead, getting a drain out of my foot, which I earned on the Green River, and a few other minor injuries.  Our family doctor was Dr. Burgess, and he delivered Dianna, and chopped out my tonsils.

Argentina's Dirty War

I just watched a movie "The Disappeared", which deals with those who disappeared in Argentina, and I wanted to write in this history, my views of this dirty war during the time I was in Argentina.  In 1976 a military government took over.  I was called on a mission to Argentina in 1977 and arrived in Argentina in January of 1978, during the summer.  I quickly learned that documents and visas were important.  There were some missionaries who had to stay at the MTC (Missionary Training Center) longer waiting for visas.  I quickly learned to never go any place without my "documents".  These were papers you had to carry with you at all times, even local citizens.  This was part of overcoming terrorists and seditionists.  The government made a wide sweep, and these are those times they crossed my path. 

My first contact was with a police check point.  It was a place we passed often, and so it was a bit strange that one day the police officer held his shot gun on us, Elder Ellsworth and I, and asked to see our papers.  My next contact was with Elder Findley, where we (everyone on the bus) were asked to get off a bus and our documents were inspected. 
About this same time, in the  community of San Fernando, we were asked to talk to a woman who lived in a high-rise complex.  She told us her story.  Her son had gone missing, taken by the government.  She was without a husband.  She was trying to make ends meet by knitting.  However her sadness was for her missing son, who had become part of the disappeared.

We missionaries were aware of the political situation, and faced it as something we couldn't change.  It was something you just put up with.  About this time I became aware of "Las Madres."  This was a group of mothers of those who had disappeared who would meet at Cinco de Mayo Plaza on a regular basis to march, demanding to know of their children.  I happened upon them on one occasion, a small group for the day, and they were outside the Cathedral, which also was on a corner by the Plaza.  The Pink House (President's Mansion) was on the opposite side of the plaza. 

When I and my companion moved to Don Torcuato, we were setting up a new area, and were looking for a place to live.  In doing this we met the brother of Presidente Aramburu.  He told us the story of his brother, how we was kidnapped, and later murdered by members of the Montoneros, a radical Peronist group which had turned to violence.  He was in tears, and very bitter as he told the story, which had taken place eight years earlier.  His brother was a former president of Argentina at the time of his kidnapping.

My next contact with the Disappeared was in Don Torcuato.  In this area a member family was the Bonavena Family.  They talked of a sister or brother and spouse of Hermana Bonavena who had to flee to Spain.  This was because they worked for a program teaching the illiterate to read.  This program was thought to harbor many seditionists.  As a result the net of suspicion lead towards this family.  They went to Spain, as Spain is the mother country of Argentina, they could get in without a visa.  They left their house and most of their possessions behind.  The house was occupied by a military family.

Also in Don Torcuato we came upon the story of Dr. Santillan.  After we met the doctor, the Bonavena family told us the story as they lived close to his office and home.  The Doctor had an office close to a train station called Kilometro 26 (an original name.)  A terrorist had been wounded.  There was a flight of stairs up from the train station to the road where the doctor had his office.  This wounded terrorist made it to the top of the stairs and to the office of the doctor.  It was shortly after that that the doctor became one of the disappeared.  However he was returned after a couple years of captivity and torture.  The Bonavenas said he aged a great deal during his captivity.   He was a grey-haired man when we met him.  I know he continued on with his career and was bettering himself.  He was studying herbal medicine and improving himself.

There was another incident when we were on that train.  There was a field area which separated Don Torcuato form the next town towards the Capitol.  One time while returning by train from the Capitol, we observed a tank in a villa miserable (slum) carrying on some operation.

Although I didn't realize it at the time, this area was important to the military government as it was close to "Campo de Mayo," a large military base where many of the disappeared were held and tortured and I am sure murdered.  I took the bus through the base on a couple of occasions.  The attitude was to not talk about anything while on the base, for fear you might say the wrong thing.

I had one other experience with the military government.  On one occasion my companion and I were on the street when a military truck passed us.  It came to a stop and a group of soldiers jumped out of the truck confronting the few pedestrians, which included my companion and me.  They were armed.  They asked to see our documents.

The Argentina World Cup Soccer was a big thing while we were there.  The home team actually won.  The movie that got me thinking of these things pointed out that the T.V. connection was brought into the prison.  However it also asked the question, how many were tortured during the match, how many were killed?  It puts a different light on things.