I went to the Parker school in Provo from the first to the seventh grade. It was a two story building with eight rooms heated by a coal furnace. All the grades were separate. We sat in double desks, two kids together. Miss Cooms was my first grade teacher and she was a good one, too. In the fourth grade Miss Jean Williams taught me and I liked her a lot. Mrs. Swenson was my fifth grade teacher and was an excellent penman. Her writing was beautiful and I learned from her what I know about writing.

{PICTURE: 12 Parker School}

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All the books, pencils, notebooks and other supplies were furnished by the school. We took sack lunches for our noon meals. I remember in the first grade the teachers had long pointer sticks that they used to point to things they were showing us on the board. One day the boy who sat with me was acting up and the teacher turned to hit him with the stick and instead Mt the desk and broke the pointer.

Each day of school was opened with prayer and a song. We learned many Poems and songs. One of my favorites was a poem called "Lucy Gray". I memorized it and it was quite long.


"Lucy Gray"

"Oft I had heard of Lucy Gray;
And, when I cross'd the wild,
I chanced to see a break of day
The solitary child."

"No mate, no comrade Lucy knew;
She dwelt on a wide moor, -
The sweetest thing that ever grew
Beside a human door."

"You yet may spy the fawn at play,
The hare upon the green,
But the sweet face of Lucy Gray
Will nevermore be seen."

"To-night will be a stormy night;
You to the town must go,
And take a lantern, child, to light
Your mother through the snow."

"That, father, will I gladly do;
'Tis scarcely afternoon;
The minister's clock has just struck two,
And yonder is the moon."

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"At this the father raised his hook,
And snapp'd a fagot-band;
He plied his work; and Lucy took
The lantern in her hand."

"Not blither is the mountain roe;
With many a wantom stroke
Her feet disperse the powdery snow,
That rises up like smoke."

"The storm came on before its time;
She wander'd up and down,
And many a hill did Lucy climb,
But never reached the town."

"The wretched parents all that night
Went shouting far and wide,
But there was neither sound nor sight
To serve them for a guide."

"At daybreak on a hilt they stood
That overlooked the moor,
And thence they saw the bridge of wood,
A furlong from their door."

"They wept, and turning homeward, cried,
'In heaven we all shall meet'
When in the snow the mother spied
The print of Lucy's feet."

"Half breathless, from the steep hill's edge
They tracked the foot-marks small,
And through the broken hawthorn-hedge,
And by the long stone wall."

"And then an open field they cross'd
The marks were still the same;
They tracked them on, nor ever lost,
And to the bridge they came."

"They followed from the snowy bank
Those foot-marks one by one,
Into the middle of the plank,
And further there were none."

"Yet some maintain that to this day
She is a living child;
That you may see sweet Lucy Gray
Upon the lonesome wild."

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"O'er rough and smooth she trips along,
And never looks behind;
And sings a solitary song
That whistles in the wind."
----William Wordsworth

At school the girls usually played hopscotch at recesses and the boys played marbles. We would put a big marble out on the sidewalk and then shoot at it. Or we made a big circle and put some prize marbles in the circle, then we would shoot at them. If we could shoot them out out of the circle the marble would be ours. So we either lost a lot or won a lot depending on how good a shot we were. My hands would become very dry and chapped from playing this game in the spring and summer.

My two best friends were Thomas Gatherm who lived a block south of our home and Wayne Bean, my cousin. One night coming home from school we saw a boy named Lee Gee coming towards us. He had let his fingernails grow real long and wouldn't cut them because he said if he did he would bleed to death and die. So Wayne and I took him down this night and cut his fingernails off. He wasn't too happy but he didn't die either.

We used to play out under the street light with the other neighborhood kids in the evening. We would play "Run Sheep Run" or "Kick the Can." "Dare Base" was another favorite game. We would choose up sides, each side had it's base, then as side A tried to run to side B, side B would try to catch side A. Those caught would now be on side B. Today it is called "Cowboys and Indians''.

In the winter time Dad would let us take a gentle horse to pull a sled I had made using planks for runners. We'd give 5 or 6 kids a ride at the same time. We had instructions to not go off our block, which we adhered to very carefully.

Our shows or movies were silent ones and the words were printed on the screen and you read them as the movie progressed. Bill Hart was my favorite actor and usually played a "cowpuncher."

There was a curfew bell that rang in Provo at 9 p.m. every night and as soon as we heard it blast we would all go home.

Provo at this time had about 6,000 population. There were quite a few businesses on Center Street.

My sister, Ruth, had the Scarlet Fever at one time and our whole family was quarantined for 6 weeks. We children would play outside along the sidewalk. If anyone came along they would cross over on the opposite side of the street because they didn't want to catch the disease.

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{PICTURE: 16 Boots and Pants
I remember I wanted a pair of high top shoes so bad that laced and came up on my leg. Mother took me to town and we looked in several stores but could not find a pair that fit. Finally we did find one pair. I tried them on and said they were fine but mother said they were too tight. I wanted them so bad that I told her they were all right so we took them. It wasn't long before I found that mother was right. They were too tight! They hurt me so bad to wear them but I did not dare complain because I had insisted on getting them against Mother's wishes.

We always had chores to do before and after school. I started milking cows at about 6 or 7 years of age. I liked animals and liked to be outside so didn't mind.

{PICTURE: 16 Buggy with fringe on top}
One of my favorite memories is driving over to Salem, Utah in my father's surrey with the fringe on the top. The whole family would go over to visit a relative and on the way we would drive through Pond Town. This was a place where there was a big lake of water. The water would come up to the floor of the buggy just about and would scare us kids. We always enjoyed the trip and the staying with our cousins. They treated us so good.

I remember an accident happening to my sister, Melva, during these early years. She cut her finger on a can and got infection in it. The doctor took the bone out of the lower part of her finger which left it boggy and it got quite big. It kept giving her problems and so finally the doctor took the finger off.

Mother fell down the cellar stairs with the butcher knife in her hand during these years also and broke both her arms. The arms were splinted and wrapped for about six weeks before she could use them again.