Years ago, I sat down and asked my grandma a whole bunch of questions, and recorded the answers. I'm finally getting around to sharing it with you. If you are anything like me, you've heard a lot of stories, but they got so complicated I wasn't sure I understood them right. This is my attempt to understand the life of my wonderful grandmother. Enjoy!
Vaughan was a friend. He was an older man and she took care of him more or less.
My dad--Larry--well, first of all he remarried a lady named Ida and they had a baby. I remember going to their house and seeing the little baby. I think my dad was a lady's man and a gambler. Anyway, they divorced and then when I was in about the sixth grade we were living in Vaughan's house and my dad came, and he was getting married to Ruby, and she had two children. My mother kept the two children--Buster and Marie while they went on their honeymoon, except they stayed for a couple of years. I'm not sure how long. I must have been in the sixth grade. Buster was only about three and he couldn't talk very well. We couldn't understand him very well, I should say.
Marie was about five and neither of them went to school. 3 & 5. Little Buster was so cute--well Marie was pretty too, but we remembered for years afterwards when we'd say "there is is" he'd say "did a bum". There is is. Did a bum. That was his "there it is."
So mother tended my dad's third wives children, and then he was killed.
Did she come and take the kids? Yes.
Was that hard?
Yes. It was. Everybody was like--I mean everybody--friends and the whole family. Everybody just loved them. I don't remember her actually coming and getting them and taking them away, but she did. I must have been at school or something, because I don't remember her actually taking the kids, but I know we just loved them. That's just how your great grandmother was.
What special quality do you remember about your mother?
That everybody loved her. She made friends so easy. I mean my girlfriends, my old boyfriends--they were like her children and she lived her life for me. I mean she was always--that's all there was, just mother and I. But she made friends so easy. She made friends with anybody she met. She was an outgoing person. But, when she moved up to Heber--she knows more people in Heber than I ever knew living there for as long as I lived there. Everybody always liked her. I envy her. She was so outgoing and made friends so easy.
You know, she lived a pretty hard life. She was a waitress from the time she was 16 until she got emphysema when she was 80. She was waitressing right up until then. In fact, I think she said she was 13 the first time she waitressed. She was a waitress all her life.
Even in Heber?
Oh yes. Even in Heber. The doctors and everything. Dr. Bogess. She was an outspoken person. She tells the story--Dr. Bogess tells this story. She worked at The Hub and Dr. Bogess and Dr. Jenson used to come in all the time and sit and have coffee for two or three hours sometimes and never leave her a tip and yet, "Hey! Bring me another cup of coffee! Hey!" So she said that after a couple of months of them coming in every day, finally she blew her top and she finally had it with him. She told him off. "You sit here and order me around!" Well, I don't know just what she said, but anyway, she called him an SOB right there in the cafe. She said, "You never leave a tip" and they were just dumbfounded.
She got it off her chest and every time they came in after that they would leave a tip, believe me. And Dr. Bogess was a good friend of Boyd's--your grandpa, and he had to tell him--he didn't know that she was related to us, and when he found out, cause she told Boyd, she told us about telling doctor's off, and when Dr. Bogess found out she was my mother, he had to tell the story. "You know, I never thought about it til she told me. You know we sit here, and take up the table" and so forth. But he got a kick out of it anyway. And he came to her funeral. He said, "I'll never forget it. I was never so embarassed in my life! But it was true. It just dawned on me--she waits onus!" but anyway. that was the kind of person she was.
Do you remember the way she dressed?
No, not really. I mean, she was a waitress. Mostly in her uniform. She was just an average person. She didn't dress fancy and she didn't dress sloppy. She just dressed. Acceptable.
In California, did you live in just one home?
Oh no. I never lived in one home. That's what I remember most. We moved. We moved. We moved. We moved.
Did you like that?
No. I had...I mean I had a wonderful, happy childhood. But I hated it. In junior hight I went to three different junior high schools. I was a very unhappy person at that time. Chianging junior high schools every time. I hated that. But in the sixth grade we lived with Vaughan when she took care of him, and then we moved. They build a new junior high school--Kearn's junior high school, and I started it, because I'd been to the sixth grade with all the kids and then we moved into the new junior high school. We moved a lot.
Were you still living with Vaughan?
We moved. She must have met Bill Gordon, her third husband, because I remember junior high as being with him. I was unhappy and I wanted to go back to where I went to sixth grade, and that's why in high school we moved back there. And that's whe we lived across the street from Vaughan and that's the place where I lived all during high school. That was the last of the moving and then I got married. But before that we moved and we moved and we moved.
Of course, in the fourth grade I went to a private school for girls and it was wonderful! It was so much fun. I lived in a big dorm and that's where I first rode a horse. They had horseback riding lessons. It was a very private, expensive school.
How did you manage to get in?
Well, mother worked two jobs. She worked two jobs and she'd come on weekends, but she couldn't afford it. The main thing too, I believe my aunt told me, cause I had asthma all this time too and I was in and out of the hospital. I'd have a trigger of allergies and get rushed to the hospital and finally the bills got so high, even though she was working and trying to pay off the doctor bills and school. She had to get two jobs in order to pay the doctor bills off and yet keeping me in school. That was in the fourth grade. Then she couldn't afford to keep me in that school any longer, and I stayed with my aunt and uncle that next year, but mother was always there. Even when I was in the private school she'd come and get me on weekends and we'd go to this place where they had barbecued spareribs which I so loved--with the little fingerbowls, which they don't have anymore, and then we'd go play miniature golf or something. So I was with her on the weekends, but I lived with my aunt and uncle for a while, and I have a cousin who is three days younger than I am. Ed is 3 days younger than me, so that's the only brother I have ever known, and he's in California. I was born on the 26th and he was born on the 29th. so anyway, I lived with them for a year and then I went back with my mother.