Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Day I Almost Killed my Nephew

We were visiting at Connie's around Easter, 1985.  This was when they lived in River Heights.  They had ride in cars for the boys.  They also had three wheelers.  The weather was pretty good.  Matt was about four, almost five at the time.  Where we were visiting I wasn't sure how things worked.  Matt was sitting on a three wheeler that had been started.  He decided to go for a spin.  I didn't see any problem with it.  (Not being familiar with three-wheelers and kids it didn't dawn on me this was not a good thing.  They rode the battery operated cars frequently; but I must admit the three-wheeler was quite a bit faster.)
Matt got going OK, but he was going fast.  It didn't take me long to realize Matt didn't know how to slow the thing down.  He took off across their back yard and weaved back and forth driving like someone who had too much to drink. 
Matt had some concept of steering and took a serpentine route through the back yard.  I made sort of a help attempt to stop him, but when Kelly saw him he made a bigger attempt, running all out across the field to catch up with him.  He had almost caught Matt when he got to the other end of the field, which was a fence lined with trees.  Matt mad an attempt to turn, and in fact turned the vehicle almost 90 degrees; right into a tree.  The tree stopped him fast, and he flew off the seat of the three-wheeler and into the branches which cushioned his stop.  Kelly was mad for a second and started to yell, but then stopped.  We were just lucky Matt hadn't hurt himself. 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Duckwater: Spring Festival Mat 17-19, 1985

When I worked for the Duckwater Shoshone Tribe, we decided to start holding a yearly festival.  Virginia Sanchez, Kathleen Graham and I particularly made it part of our job functions to put together the festival.  This was a big task, and involved lots of fund raising.  I kept soda and candy in a drawer at work for people to come and purchase for fund raising.  Virginia, who worked with the school focused on the youth activities, and Kathleen and I focused more on the adult activities. 
   The festival started with a traditional dance Friday night.  We had a big bonfire going and a couple people to play drums.  This included Danny Millett.  Danny Millett was a tribal elder.  He also had a wash board type board he would use to make the sound of a bear sharpening his claws for the bear dance.  The dancing included a couple of community wide round dances.  We could have had more energy, but we had a very fun time.
   Saturday was very busy of course.  It started with an early morning chuck wagon breakfast.  Sheri and I helped with the food.
   There had been several shelters constructed poles and pine boughs and people could set up under to sell craft items, or like a bazaar.
Danny and Lillian Millett

   We had several activities planned for Saturday.  The school put on the traditional youth hand game tournament.  The kids from Duckwater didn't do very well.  The school principle ran some children's games and gave out prizes.
   I put together, and participated in a horse shoe pitching tournament.  I did OK for a few rounds but really didn't last very long in the tourney.   We also organized arm wrestling and pool tournaments.  We were also going to do a ping pong tournament but there wasn't enough interest. 
   The big event of the day was the big pot luck and barbecue.  The tribe sponsored the meat which was a beef cooked under ground.  It was excellent.  Mitch Maes was in charge of the roasting of the meat. 
   After the meal we had a Western dance, while others continued to play hand game and card all night.  These were gambling games played by the adults.  Sheri and I enjoyed the dance for a while, but we retired early compared to most as festivities continued all night.
   There was a breakfast the next day, but Sheri and I didn't help with this. 
   Sunday we didn't have church until the afternoon to allow things to calm down, and for the festivities to be picked up.
   A wrote a paragraph in my journal at the time.  "The Spring Festival we very well and it wasn't too much of a pain as I though it was going to be.  It was pretty fun in fact, except for breakfast which I was preparing by myself for a while."
Duckwater still has an annual event, although it is held later in the year.  May the weather can still be nippy in Duckwater.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Job Hunt April May 1985

In the Spring of 1985 Sheri and I time to move back to Utah from Nevada.  (In Sheri's journal it says we were talking about moving as early as February.)
I discovered there may be a position opening up in Roosevelt.  Ralph had called Sheri's mom about the job.  I called Ralph and he gave me additional details.  This was in March.
We made several trips to Utah--before the job even opened officially--to look at homes and ask about job possibilities.  The job I had heard about was questionable for some time.  Someone may have wanted to transfer into it. 
I was so interested in returning to Utah I interviewed interview with the Ute Tribe with Joanne Yazzie.  Fortunately I did not get the job, as things were always a bit unstable with the tribe.  We waited nervously for some time. 
Part of the problem was a worker with mental health (which at the time was also part of the state) was thinking of moving to Family Services.  I later learned this was Rick Hendy.  He decided to stay with mental health. 
When those rumors started I did call the mental health office to ask about any job openings, but they didn't have any.  That was also a blessing because there were very negative rumors about the management at mental health. 
On one of these many trips to Utah, Sheri and I went so far as to pick a house we liked.  It was a single wide trailer over a basement.  We spent an evening on the porch and really dreamed for a while.  The price was right and it did have some room to expand. 
The job finally did come through, after some time of hoping, praying and worrying.  I interviewed for the job in May.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Duckwater Shoshon Tribe: Resignation 1985

May 30, 1985 I went back to work after traveling to Utah.  I had accepting a job with Utah State Social Services in Roosevelt.  About the first thing I did after getting back to work was to type a resignation letter.
As I was typing it Mary Lou Gomes, my supervisor, looked at it and said "Oh, no."  I remember my emotions that day were really mixed.  I was happy about the new job, moving back to Utah; but also had some strange feelings about leaving.  It was really happiness, but also a feeling of sadness on top of that; a feeling I was letting people down.  On top of that was a bitter-sweet feeling about having to say goodbye to so many people.

Trip to Roosevelt 1985: Job Interview

I had decided it was time my career should take a turn.  We had lived in Duckwater almost two years.  For memorial day, May 1985 Sheri and I traveled to Roosevelt via Logan.  In Roosevelt I interviewed for a job with Utah State Social Services.
We took things easy in Logan.  We did go on a memorial day picnic, up the canyon to Hyrum City Park.
Tuesday after Memorial Day was a business day.  I got a haircut and we headed to Roosevelt.  The job interview was more a formality as I think they had already decided to hire me.  Ralph Draper and George Glines interviewed me.  As of that day I knew I was going to Roosevelt.  I would begin working June 17, 1985.  That gave me two and a half weeks to get things in order.
Sheri and I had been in Roosevelt a few weeks earlier, and had seen a trailer we liked.  It had been sold.  We did take Wednesday and look at houses.  Tim Cox was our realtor.  We left it that we would look closer after we were in the area a couple weeks later.  We were going to move in with Sheri's parents temporarily. 

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Buffy Made Me an Uncle

Clyde Eugene Buff Jr. "Buffy" was born just after by thirteenth birthday making me an uncle as I was going into the eighth grade.
I had the opportunity to babysit him.  At that time my sister was living behind our home in the duplexes as 600 South in Hyrum.  It was just a walk through the garden to get there.  I remember babysitting and trying to earn money for Christmas presents.  I would watch basketball or football after he went to sleep.  Less often I would do homework.  I would even change his butt if I couldn't get out of it.