Friday, October 21, 2011

To Continue on with my Story

Two of my brothers were over this last weekend and we talked about what it was like growing up in Garden Valley, especially up on the Middle Fork of the Payette River.  They recalled when our oldest brother, Tommy, took a gas motor that dad had taken from an old Maytag washer (replacing it with an electric one) and hooked it up to a generator to power car headlights so we could ice skate after school on the frozen pond down the road from our house.  The daylight on winter days in Idaho is really short and we didn't want to skate in the dark.

We also sketched a map of the area where our house stood - across the river from the portable sawmill.  You can't get to that place the same way anymore, as the bridge has been taken out and the road down to the river in that place has been gated and access is restricted.   See below the pictures I took this summer as I attempted to go down to view our 'old stomping grounds.'

We talked about where the barn where we housed out old blue roan milk cow was located - just over Smith Creek which we had to cross to reach our home after we went across the single lane wooden bridge that spanned the Middle Fork.  Roger remembered there was a shed in front of the barn that housed a corn mill/husker.  And next to our pump house was an old garage/car port with an abandoned Wiley's Jeep with fake wood-grained siding.  The reason he remembers it is because there were so many of us kids, he and Adrian would sleep during the warmer nights on a mattress in the back of this abandoned Jeep to relieve the crowding in our small house. 
By the time I was in Junior High, we had moved from the Middle Fork to the South Fork of the Payette River - up by the Ranger Station.  Again we were near the river, but at this place along this river, the riverbed was covered with rocks, the river was swift, and the water was oh so much colder than the water in the Middle Fork.  There was a fair-sized island about 6 feet out from the riverbank and by the time we had waded out to it, our teeth were chattering, but it didn't keep us away.  That willow covered island was our new playground when we weren't climbing the hills.
When I was in my high school algebra class (1962-63), our teacher, Mrs Thomas (second row left in picture below), was a unique lady that had traveled all over the world, had tutored in Hawaii for a wealthy family, had lots of fun stories to tell, and loved introducing us backwoods kids to the city life and culture.  She would take one or two of us at a time to Boise to 'operettas' (one of the theaters was putting on a series of Nelson Eddy and Jeannette McDonald musicals)

and out to restaurants to eat (Chinese, Mexican, whatever).  This was my first time experiencing this kind of life.  For Garden Valley had no movie theater, no drive-in, no bowling alley, no soda or hamburger shop, and no other typical teen hang-out that most people associate with the 1960s.

 On steps of GV High School my freshman year

I had spend one summer in Boise with my music teacher, Marcella Boylan (she gave me 8-10 years of accordion lessons, driving to Garden Valley from Boise once a week) to entertain her deaf daughter.  She had sent us to the movies (saw 'A Shot in the Dark' with Peter Sellers), taken me to a beauty shop for a permanent, and I accompanied them to a large wedding.  But most of the time I spent in her home keeping her daughter company.  This was in 1964 when I was a sophomore.

Another memory about my freshman year at Garden Valley High School (1962-63) - my history teacher was Mr. Lindsey, whose son Mark Lindsey was the lead singer for Paul Revere and the Raiders.  (The band appeared regularly on national television, most notably on Dick Clark's Where the Action Is, Happening '68, and It's Happening, the latter two of which were co-hosted by Revere and Lindsay.)  Mark's brother attended our school and was in my grade.  The rest of the family remained in Council.

I never really dated in high school (remember I was the extremely shy, chunky gal with all the brothers).  I went to one of the proms with my brother, Adrian.  I liked lots of boys and when I was a senior one of the boys I had liked had joined the army and he wrote to me a lot.  He was sent to France, which was a country I had always wanted to visit (I took French in school just in case I ever got to go).  His name was Tom Johnstone and he was related to a guy who owned a cattle ranch in Garden Valley, as well as Montour and Emmett (this guy eventually was involved with the initial planning for Tamarack resort in Valley County, Idaho and even has a park in Garden Valley named for him).  Tom's father, his brother John and his sister moved onto the ranch to work for their relative.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Roger's Story

My younger brother, Roger also added his recollections to my story - "I was named after a truck driver my mother knew and my middle name, Tuttle, was my grandmother's maiden name, on my mother's side.  I was born in Emmett Idaho on June xx, 19xx at 714 pm, I was 20 inches long and weighed 7 lbs. and 9 ozs.  My Doctor was Ed Newcombe.

 Baby Roger with older siblings

I have no recollections of my mother's parents. My father's dad, I only remember him sitting in a chair. But Grandma I remember quite well, she always had graham crackers on top of the refrigerator.

The first place I remember living was behind the Garden Valley Store. The store had an uneven wooden porch, and an old horse hitching post out front. There was a big beautiful yard on the one side and on the other a road went up and made a big loop. We lived at the top of the loop to the right directly behind the store. There was a couple of other building at the top of the loop and then a big white house on the left. This was where the Arterburns lived. In the center were some trees, one of which had a platform built in it, a tree house. Behind our house, on the way to the outhouse, was an old Model A car body, and a wood shed of some sort.

Roger (front) at house behind store in GardenValley
Down the road a ways was the schoolhouse. There was a very high slide, teeter-totters, and the giant strides. This was a tall pole that the top was free to turn and had several chains attached with one or two bars at the end. You grab one of these bars and run around the pole and swing on the end of the chain and take giant strides to keep going. [You had to really watch out, especially if some of them were shortened to just two bars across - they would hit you in the head really hard.  I still have knots on my forehead from being hit by the Giant Strides.  But boy did I love to play on them. Reba]  It was a lot of fun in later years but then I was too small to make it work right. When I was five they let me visit the school with my brother and sister. I remember going across the road to a hand pump well to get water in a bucket for drinking water for everyone.

 The Giant Strides

Across the road from the school, where the water pump was, there was an old building that used to be a stage stop. It was a big building with a porch all the way around it. Inside was a large room with several rooms along one side and a kitchen area at one end. The Taylors lived there, and we use to go watch TV there. It seems like always war movies.

 Beside the stage stop was a small house where Mr. Quinn lived, and between the two buildings was a wooden fence with a big gate. Through the gate were several old buildings one of which was a granary. It had a big piece of board missing from the door so we could sneak in and play in the grain bins. And it seems like I was always finding pennies on the ground around that door. We also found pennies where the old school burned down between the high school and the grade school.

One day Adrian, Reba and I decided to walk to the river, and we took off across the fields toward the river from the store.  We didn't get far before Tom (our oldest brother) came and got us. We tried to hide behind a hay stack but he had already saw us and came right to where we were, and took us back home.

I had quite a crush on the daughter of the store proprietors. One time Adrian and Reba talked us into kissing under a rug that her mother had put out on the line to beat the dust out of it. I went in one end and she went in the other and when we met in the middle we kissed. I remember her lips being chapped. As we kissed we heard Adrian and Reba laughing, they were looking up at us from the bottom of the rug. I was up in the tree house watching when the Arterburns moved away. I don't remember what my feelings were but it must have left quite an impression since I remember it so clearly.

The only other memory I have while living behind the store is one of my uncles buying my warts. I had several warts all over my hand and he said if he paid me a penny for each wart and I didn't spend the money they would go away. I hid them in a tin can with a lid, inside the bottom of the couch and my warts went away.

The summer I turned six, 1955, we moved to the other end of the valley, across the river, behind the old portable mill. Our house was a long house built on two big logs called skids, for a foundation.  There were two rooms in the main building, a long room that was kitchen, dining room and living room, a small bedroom at the end and another bedroom and a big porch built along side.  A wood shed along side the driveway and a garage in back and of course the outhouse behind the garage. The woodshed was more of a tool shed with a elongated roof in back where we kept our fire wood. It was all up close to the hill not far from a white cliff face, which can still be seen from the main road that goes up the river.

 Into Army 1968, trained for helicopters in Alabama military base.  Served in KY, Alaska, and Vietnam, getting out in 1970, after 13mos in Vietnam."

Roger told me this week that he is again attempting to write his life story for his children and grandchildren.  Maybe one day I can post that story on my blog also.  Til then, I will continue on with my story and genealogical research notes.