Friday, April 29, 2016

Outdoor and Night Games: Hyrum in the 60s

Some of the games we played growing up were large community games.  These were games such as kick-the-can, hide-and-seek.  We lived kitty-corner from Todd Nielsen and I remember going there for some very large kick-the-can games.  This was hard on whoever was "it" because it was almost impossible to capture a large group before someone kicked the can and set everyone free.
In this game someone is "it" and attempts to capture everyone while also defending the can (a can placed in an open location.)  this could become tricky as if you went on direction to capture someone, somebody could come from the other direction and set everyone free.  However it was a good evening game in the summer.
Tag was also common.  Again we would often play in the Nielsen yard.  They seemed to have a big front yard and many of us would congregate there.  Different tag versions included regular tag.  However we would also play frozen tag, where the person "it" had to capture everyone.  If he touched you you were frozen until someone not touched yet could tag you and then you were unfrozen.  This game seemed to be a bit more even than kick the can and not quite as difficult for the person "it."
Other communal games would be participating in sports.  On day we went to the Nielsen'a for a big game of football.  Everyone had their own t-shirt upon which they had put numbers with magic marker.  I remember I tended to Willie Wood of the Packers.  One child, whose mother didn't want to mark a shirt, came with the numbers pinned to the shirt.  Some people just don't understand.  You can't play with pinned numbers because they are dangerous if a tackle sport.
We would also organize baseball games in our community.  When we first moved to Hyrum, there were two vacant lots next door.  We used these for a baseball diamond.  We would have friends from a couple blocks away come to play.  This would include the Wengreens, the Nielsens and the Burnetts.  Even Denny McClain would come at times.  We had quite some adventures.  This lots included hills form soil removal when they put in our house.  This made a nice home run fence.  Our bases were not always conventional.  We had a big rock as our third base.  Charlie was playing third.  One game a low liner was hit.  The ball hit the rock and bounced up and caught Charlie a good one in the face.  I can't remember where, but it was bloody and painful.  We replaced our third base after that.
We had some good fun.  When they finally built homes next door it did not destroy our baseball games.  We then moved across the street next to the Burnetts where there was a pasture which sufficed for a good baseball playing field.  Weldon would usually put these games together.  It is interesting because when he was 15 he started running Hyrum Little League games and organizing leagues on a broader basis.

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Duckwater Personalities: Sophie Allison and Irene Mike

When I was in Duckwater, Sophie Allison and Irene Mike were already part of the Senior Center program.  However they were both still very active.  They were sisters.  They were some of the few who actually attended the Lund Ward on a regular basis.  And when we started a branch in Duckwater, they were very active.
One of the most impressive things about Sophie Allison was her weaving.  I feel, in her own right, she was keeping a vanishing tradition, with lots of history in Nevada, alive.  I visited her one afternoon while she was preparing willows for weaving.  She gathered the willows from along creeks.  The Currant Creek had a large patch of willows and this was a favorite spot for gathering.  She would keep the willows in water until she was ready for them.  She would take a willow form the water, and then hold it in her mouth.  With her fingers she would peel the bark away.  In this manner she prepared the willows for weaving.  Sophie was adept at making cradle boards.  They had a different design on the hood for boys and girls.

 She also made baskets.  Mostly she would make baskets to assist in the gathering of pine nuts.  I remember she would make cone shaped baskets for this.
This is a skill that was important to the original Shoshone.  I don't know who is carrying on this tradition now that Sophie is gone.
Sophie in the middle and Irene on the right
Many of the children from the reservation looked to these two women as Grandmother.