Monday, March 18, 2013

People of Duckwater

Jason and Charlie Watson
Luke Baca

Rondee Graham and Corinna?

Matilda Thompson
Mitchell Maes and I eating pies
Mike family

Hilda Thompson and Family

Doug George and Family

Duckwater Branch, Sheri and I, Irene Mike and Sophie Allison

Kathy Millett on right

Danny and Lillian Millett

Sheri and Indian princess (Mike girl)

Susie Thompson and family

Top Row- Joe D Millett, Charlie Watson, Mike Hooper, Perline Thompson, Rondee Graham.
Bottom Row- Joseph Mike, Darrell Thompson Jr., Angel Graham, Corrina Thompson (Nestell), the little girl is Michelle Thompson, Maltida Thompson, and Tsianna Thompson.
Please help me with identification of people in pictures

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Duckwater Scenery and Fauna

Duckwater had such a combination of scenery.  There was the Nevada dessert.  However there were also the mountains surrounding the valley.  There was also a meadow in the middle of the valley, supplied by the Duckwater Springs.  There was a border between the meadow, which was farmed, and the dessert.
Behind our home there was a hill.  Upon this was the t.v. tower.  Sheri and I would go for walks on the hill.  One time a coyote came trotting along and stopped to take a look at us until I threw a rock at him.  I don't know if he thought we were lunch.  Upon this hill, and also in Duckwater were rocks and cactus.  The cactus produced a flower, and a cactus berry in season.  The only problem with the berry is the season was very short, but they tasted great.  They didn't keep very long in the fridge however, so it was like a two week feast and then it was gone.
We welcomed several critters into our home.  One time there was a snake that crawled in.  Another there was a scorpion.  I was running around bare footed and almost stepped on the thing.  When I saw it I jumped.
The other popular animal was the debus (Shoshone for stink bub.)  There was an abundance of them, and they would put their heads down and make their stink.
Looking towards reservation (North) from Halstead home

Views of the Valley

Duckwater Peak
Duckwater Peak was in the distance to the South.  There were mountains on the East and West of the Valley.  Sheri and I lived ten miles from the reservation with a ranch family, in their ranch house.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Duckwater 4-H

Duckwater 4-H, Perline Thompson, behind? Mary Blackeye, ?Angel's brother, Lorinda Sam, Michael Blackeye, Millicent Blackeye, me, Angel Graham, Jamie Frejo
Among the other duties I performed in Duckwater was to supervise the 4-H group.  I had no history with 4-H although Sheri did.  This is a program geared towards exhibiting at the fair, and completing projects.  The kids mostly did handicraft projects.  They also had to include a journal of their projects.  There was some amazing work done, especially intricate beadwork, mostly from a weave. 

Friday, March 15, 2013

Billy Wardle: My History written in 1983

Billy Wardle: written in 1983 for Uncle Norval’s book
I was born in Othello, Washington.  Even though our family had lived in Othello for some time I was the first to actually be born in Othello, as there was a new doctor there and I was born in his office.  Charlie was also born in Othello, in a new hospital three years later.  I weighed in at eight pounds eight ounces on August 5, 1957.  Mom says I was a beautiful baby with lots of black hair and when I was eleven month old I won a beauty contest.  Mom has a picture of me that she won from the contest.  Modestly speaking, I was a cute baby.
While I was a baby, Grandpa Charles James Wright (on my mother’s side) died.  I was only eight months old and never had a chance to meet him.
As a family we left Othello and the farm when I was six and in the first grade at Hiawatha elementary School.  As I was young I have few memories of Othello.  I do remember playing football with Weldon, the big dog we had, the numerous cats, and a big canal by our house.  Our old red pickup made a weird noise when it started.  I also remember the potato plants, and the alfalfa and corn fields where you could go and relax, and hide.
From Othello we went to live with Grandma Wright.  We did make a detour to Disneyland over Christmas vacation.  This is the only time I’d been to Disneyland.  It was also my first experience with seeing the ocean.
We stayed at Grandma Wright’s for the rest of the school year.  While there I attended Lincoln Elementary School (where my mother had also gone to grade school.)  I enjoyed living in Lincoln with Grandma, but did not enjoy school life.  The demands were much different than my previous school, and the trauma of meeting friends was a bit too much.
At the end of school we moved to Cache Valley.  We first lived in Providence for three months, and then moved to Hyrum into the house where we now live.
During the three years we lived there while my father returned to school I was closest to two friends, Todd Nielson and Denny McClain.  The three moves with in a year’s time had affected my confidence.  I attended Lincoln School in Hyrum for three years.  While there I gained some confidence in my scholastic ability.  When my dad finished school it again meant a move.  This time we moved to Illinois.  My dad took a position at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale as a librarian.
There I first attended Parrish Elementary; a new school not far from our house.  The second year I attended Unity Point School, which had grade from kindergarten through eighth grade.  Weldon also attended this year with Charles and me.  Weldon played on the basketball team.  I played some basketball, but not much.  While in Illinois I was a player on the championship Little-league baseball team.  My favorite friends were Dan and Don McKess.  We had a good time our second year as we lived in an apartment complex close to a park.  In the complex there was an abundance of kids with whom to play.
After two years in Illinois we moved back to Hyrum.  I attended South Cache Junior High School the next three years and graduated from there.  While there I participated in two musicals, ninth grade football and track, intramural wrestling and seminary.  I participated in Scouts and among other badges; I earned my “mile swim” award.
From South Cache I went to Sky View High School.  I finished my Eagle during this time.  At Sky View I participated in Spanish Club, debate, choir, two musicals and one drama production.  My favorite classes were creative writing, debate and Spanish.  While playing Pony league, the summer before my sophomore year, in a tournament in Soda Springs, Idaho, I bunted the ball and broke my arm when I tangled with the first baseman.  (The run scored as it was a suicide squeeze play.)  It hurt a bit, but more importantly my athletic career at Sky View came to a quick halt.  It is hard to play football with a broken arm and I never did get back into athletics.  I graduated from seminary.  During High School, especially my sophomore year, I was very reserved.  I worked with the sports program in Hyrum.  My favorite friends were Terrill Morgan, Dave Keeley, James Salvesen and Raeburn Ormond.  Weldon went on a mission to England during this time.
During high school I toured Mexico with a group from our Spanish class.  It was really a worthwhile experience.  I spent a week with a family in Guadalajara, and also time touring Mexico City, including Teotihuacan. 
From Sky View I went to Utah State.  I continued with debate fall quarter.  We only had two debate teams, but went to meets in Provo, Salt Lake and Pocatello.  I also sand in the University Chorale, participated in the Saturday’s Warrior chorus and the opera “Amahl and the Night Visitors.”  Winter quarter Weldon was back and we attended together.  I was able to get in one year and a quarter before going on a mission.  I worked at Del Monte to make money for my mission.  During the time between high school and my mission, I spent time putting out a newspaper, Hyrum Crusader.
I served a mission in Buenos Aires, Argentina--Buenos Aires North Mission.  I was in Buenos Aires and the suburbs the entire time of my mission.  Buenos Aires was a spectacular town.  The people there were truly great.  The missionary life was hard at times, but the life for the most part was good.  The emotions I had when I left Argentina were mixed.  I cried as I left friends—tears of sadness—and again when I got home and saw family—tears of joy.
Upon returning home I took up the study of journalism.  This was sparked by my publishing of the monthly (when finals weren’t in the way) newsletter Hyrum Crusader.  I had enjoyed it and hoped to write for a community newspaper.  I did write for the Utah Statesman and a local weekly during this time.  However my second quarter at home things did not go well.  I had done well the first quarter, but then things did not feel right.  My grades weren’t what I wanted and my feelings inside said I had selected a career poorly.  I determined to change majors next fall.
Upon returning to school I enrolled in anthropology courses.  I studied several careers.  I had decided to go into a people profession.  I was interested in anthropology, psychology or social work.  I had visited Machu Picchu in Peru on the way home from my mission and read about the Mexican pyramids.  I had also done really well in the Intro to Psychology class.  I interviewed people from each profession at school.  Social work sounded best and also felt best, so this became my new major.  This made the third time I changed my mind—journalism to anthropology to social work.   As I changed to social work I also had time to major in Spanish.  I also had enough credits to minor in journalism.  During college I ran around with Dave DeBolt, Weldon, Barry Braithwaite and Jody Platt.  I graduated “cum laude” in 1981.  I also graduated from Institute.  During school I worked at the Merrill Library and at the Language Lab. 
As school came to a close, I debated between work and graduate school.  Graduate school won out and I was accepted to the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Utah.  I first lived with dad in Salt Lake, but later with Cliff Elmore, and still later at the Utah Boys Ranch where I worked for two years.  (My mom and dad separated while I was on my mission, and divorced while I was in Salt Lake going to school.)
My first year at school Weldon and Sue lived in Salt Lake and I spent some time with them.  Weldon did a graduate assistanceship for Coach Jerry Pimm of the basketball program at the University of Utah.  When the assistant coaches resigned, he was the only assistant until they hired somebody else.  I did a field placement at Children’s Service Society as an adoption worker.  Between school work and my field placement I was pretty busy.
My second year I did a field placement in Roosevelt, Utah, working mostly with child welfare.  While there I met a beautiful girl, Sheri Pohlsander.  I had been confused about girls for some time; but Sheri seemed to wipe away my confusions.   We met in April and were engaged in May—just before I ended my placement.  The separation from May to our marriage in August was painful (and expensive).  I had started searching for work—which was hard to find.  I also finished my research project (on the Uintah Basin and Social Issues in a Rural Community) so I was sure to graduate.  I did get a job.  We had two offers in Roosevelt and Duckwater, NV.)  We decided on Duckwater and I started working with the Duckwater Shoshone Indian Tribe a week before our marriage.  Sheri and I were married August 11, 19983 in the Provo Temple.  Sheri is from Bluebell, Utah (20 miles from Roosevelt).  She was the neighbor of my placement supervisor in Roosevelt but I met her at her work.  (She worked at Gales Office Supply, my Bishop’s store.)  I had seen her once before (she turned my eye) but I really met her April 4, 1983.  I was impressed with our first meeting and determined to ask her out.  I asked Monty (my supervisor) about her as I knew she was from Bluebell.  It took me two days to get the courage to ask her out.  First date was a picnic in Altamont.  We went to the musical “Man of La Mancha” in which I had a part.  I was hooked from the start.  It took me a while to convince her.  She solved all my girl problems. 
Sheri is from a large family (13 children).  Her’s is a step family, but mostly her mom’s children by her step father.  Sheri was born a Scoresby (from Iona, Idaho) and adopted a Pohlsander (of German stock).  Her mother’s family is from Washington, close to Othello.  From Sheri’s history I determined we lived within five miles of each other when I was in Idaho Falls.  Life gave us both a few twists before we met.  Sheri lived in Provo (after her parent’s divorce) and then in Wells, NV with her new father.  They then moved to Bluebell about eleven years ago (1972).  Sheri has two full brothers and a full brother who has died, a step brother, a step sister, a half sister, and seven half brothers.  (That’s a lot of boys.) 
Sheri and I have been living in Duckwater for nearly three months.  I enjoy working with the tribe.  It is a small group of Shoshoni Indians.  Sheri has been doing volunteer work at the county school.  She teaches three kindergarten students.  The community is very rural and remote.  We drive 60 miles to church and 73 miles to shop.  The people, however, are very kind and willing to help each other.  I do all types of social work.  Mostly I work with the school.  I have started publishing a newsletter.  It seems I draw on all my talents as the community is small and if I tried to just do counseling all the time I would have little to do.  Sheri and I feel we were inspired to be in Duckwater.  We are good friends of our landlords, Jan and Ed Halstead and their children Emilie and Amie.  We are now becoming a part of the community.
Life has been good to me in my first 26 years and some months.  I have a great family, beautiful wife, chosen profession and am deeply blessed.  My life experiences have been pleasing and now with Sheri should be even more so.  I know the restored gospel is true, and try to do right.  Sheri shares my convictions.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Earthquake Relief: Northridge Earthquake

I had the opportunity to go to Los Angeles for a week after the earthquake of 1994.  We stayed in a tall hotel in L.A. where the building shook a few times from aftershocks.  I was assigned to a crisis center in San Fernando at Northridge University.  It was pretty busy.  This is where people came who were applying for federal aid, needing to talk to insurance adjusters.  There was a health clinic. The staff for that were from the South, Georgia or Tennessee.  I talked with individuals and families about bout how they were coping.  We had a comic book to hand out that discussed regaining a sense of control after a tragedy.  There was also water bottled by Coors which was available for people to take.

We had staff at several sites.  At one site they helped someone get into the hospital.  I did not have so much excitement. 

We drove around the area to see the destruction.  It was funny to see how the damage was so random, one block destroyed and the next fine.  We say the apartments that had pancaked, and the parking garage which came down.

Sue Villanueva was our lead.  I ate Thai food for the first time, very hot but great peanut sauce.

El Obelisco, Buenos Aires

This is a postcard, not my picture
The Obelisco (Obelisk) is in a plaza at the corner of 9 de Julio and Corrientes avenues in Buenos Aires.  My experience with the monument was during the regional conference, my companion and I went and sat at the base of the monument and ate our lunch of milanesa (breaded steak) sandwiches.  That was with Elder Stead.  The monument was just a short distance from where the priesthood session was held, and really not far from Luna Park where the conference was held.  The Obelisco also played an important part in the celebration after Argentina won the world cup in 1978.  There was a large crowd of people in the plaza celebrating.  I wasn't there, but saw the picture in the paper.

Lay Off Notice Santa Clara County

Within a year of my working for Santa Clara County at Virginia Street Project, and moving the family to San Jose, I received a lay-off notice.  This came just a few months after I was honored with our program as "Employee of the Month."  This wasn't a very fun time, as I realized it would be difficult to find employment with the same income, and our income was spread thin as it was.  I looked at contracted programs with mental health, but they didn't pay enough to support a family.  I looked at social services, and actually applied and interviewed for a couple of jobs.  I was told I didn't have enough court experience.  While I didn't have experience in Santa Clara County, I had been in federal court, tribal court, and courts in Utah and Nevada.  I had lots of experience in court, just not the court they worked with.
In the end the lay-off notice was rescinded.  I was going to stay with Virginia Street Project.  After we had the farewell dinner for a couple coworkers, within an hour, I got notice I was being transferred.  One of the employees for whom we had the farewell was staying.  A couple others left county employment, including our psychiatrist.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Poetry I Like: Earth's Angels

Earth's Angels

I like to think that wind
Is angels in the trees,
Stately noble angels
That no one ever, ever sees.

When the world is peaceful
And people and people are living right,
They rustle the branches gently
Throughout the entire night.

But when the world is wicked
The sorrow bursts from the trees,
And it sounds like the wailing,
Woeful hum
Of hostile, atrocious bees.
But in my imagining
It's angels sorrowing in the tree.
At night they call a council
Of angels on the earth,
Each angel chooses a mortal
To guide to his preordained worth.

So I like to think that wind
Is angels in the trees
Stately noble angels
That no one ever, ever sees.

Written by Naomi Lewis, age 17.
Penned the night before she died in a train-bus tragedy Dec. 1, 1938, South Jordan, Utah

Friday, March 1, 2013

Duckwater County School: 1983-85

 Duckwater had two schools, Tribal School and County School.  Both schools were K-8, but the Tribal School also had preschool.  When funds for the preschool were lost, I wrote a head start grant which was funded, so it was able to continue.  Sheri worked as an aide at the County School, mostly tutoring kindergarten students.

Edna Forsgren was the teacher principal etc.
19 students
Sheri's kindergarten Sara, J.J. Garnell


Jackie, Emily, Rayette




Cindy, Amie, Tina, Kathy


Sheri with school behind