A Trip to Bingham
By Maurine Forman September 1989
My brother, Wayne, and I have to hurry. In fact, we have to run most of the way up Cyprus Street in Copperton. It's Saturday morning, and if we hurry, we can catch a ride with Aaron Beard in his small pickup truck. Aaron is the solicitor for the Bingham Mercantile, that is, he goes from house to house in Copperton to take orders for the daily grocery delivery. Grace Olsen has threatened not to buy groceries from him if he doesn't come back to give the neighborhood kids a ride to Bingham Canyon so they can go to the movies. 'Course, if the ladies forget something they can always call the store. Like the time I forgot to buy my mother a birthday present, so I called the store and charged some nylons to my dad. Then I had to make sure I was there when my oldest brother, Ken, and Joey Badovinitz delivered the groceries on the steps of our back hall so I could find the present and hide it from Mom. Mom never let on about it. She just paid for it herself. She probably heard me on the telephone.
We pile into the back of Aaron's truck which is filled with boys and girls. My gang of girl friends is already seated. The ones who can't fit have to crowd in the front and sit on each other's laps. Aaron kind of talks through his nose, and we have to listen closely to catch what he is saying, but he is a good-hearted guy and everybody likes him.
We push each other and kid each other as we ride along. Keith Mayne is here. So is Don Stoddart, Rukus, Brig Knudsen and Val Farnsworth. We pass the long Precipitation Plant where copper is leached from the water piped over the dumps. We pass through Lead Mine, which is where Mike's Hamburger Joint, the Moonlight Tavern, and Starlight Beer Garden each do a rousing business.
|Frog Town Yampa Mill|
The narrow two-lane road winds around the canyon floor. Soon we pass Dry Fork Canyon which was the site of the first community of Copperton, built around the Copperton Mill. Now the English Dairy flourishes here. We can see the cows grazing lazily on the sides of the dry hills.
On the South, up high, we can see the 5860 and 6040 dumps of the Utah Copper Mine, and sometimes watch as the trains stop to dump the waste ore from the mine down over the mountain. Oh, we love to watch this process.
Donna Rae says, “Remember when we climbed up on the dump to slide down and just got away from there when a train stopped to unload?” We do remember, and remember being scared out of our wits!
As we draw nearer to Bingham, someone always says, “Look up there! There's the Lion and the Mouse!” And as we look toward the North along the ridge, we can indeed see the outcropping of dark brown rocks shaped like a large lion holding a small mouse in his paw silhouetted against the sky.
|Frog Town and Rail Depot|
Aaron slows down a little as we pass under the railroad bridge in Frogtown -- the lower end of Bingham Canyon. This was where Wayne and I were born and we always look for the red wooden house behind the tennis court and the railroad track that we knew so well. This was where our younger sister, Beverly, was born, also. In Bingham a lot of houses can be built in a small area. They are close together ... sometimes walls touching ... almost built on top of each other ... and some are perched up high and dug into the mountainside.
Riding along in Aaron's truck is fun, and we yell and whistle at groups of kids walking and running up the sidewalk. Bingham has just one long Main Street with a few Gulches and Heights here and there, so we can see everyone as we ride along. Everybody is going to the movies today. Hey Brig! What are you doing? Get back in here! Brig leans out and grabs hold of one boy's shirt and almost gets pulled out of the truck. Watch out, Brig!
The boys put their fingers in their mouths and whistle shrill, piercing whistles that ring through our ears. Chick can do that too, but she is too shy. We pass Heaston Heights where the houses are up high on the side of the mountain. As we whiz past Freeman Gulch, Bonnie tries to stand up but gets pushed back down. Everybody put your hand over your heart, she says.
That's where I wuz born, and someday ... you'll see ... it will be a national monument!
That's where I wuz born, and someday ... you'll see ... it will be a national monument!
“Sure!” we say. “Oh, sure!”
|Joel Jensen school-band|
There on the left is Bingham Central Elementary School where most of us began our formal education. There's Markham Gulch, with the big railroad trestle spanning the canyon. The road climbs steadily upward to the trestle with houses built along each side. Not too long ago a mudslide devastated some houses here pinning our classmate, Don Throckmorton, under his mattress. He escaped but was shaken up a bit.
We can see that tall brick Civic Center that used to be a schoolhouse. This is the main part of Bingham now ... Upper Bingham. The stores, apartments and houses are built closer together and built very close to the sidewalks. There's the Bingham Meat with the sawdust on the floor ... The Bingham Bulletin (the only newspaper in town) ... the Bingham Hospital, where Dr. Paul Richards is in charge, and Reddy Kilowatt at the Bingham Power and Light.
“OK, everybody out. Here's the Bingham Merc.” We all scramble out and run. We don't even stop to thank Aaron, just take it for granted that he will let us ride with him again. The boys go their own way. They won't let us hang around with them.
Since we have some time to kill before the show at the Princess Theater starts, we decide to go into the Bingham Merc. We climb the wide, wooden outside staircase that serves as an impromptu stage during Galena Days celebrations. During one Galena Days celebration we had played in the grade school band on these same steps and Bonnie had sung her rendition of "Timptayshun". Also song fests and War Bond rallies are held here. Many boys are serving overseas in World War II. One of the War Bond rallies we will always remember starred the famous comedy team, Bud Abbott and Lou Costello.
Chick and Donna Rae are stopping at the undies counter. “We need a pair of underpants for a present.”
“What size do you want?” Mrs. Hockings speaks with a soft drawl so that the words kind of roll right out.
“Oh, I think Size 14 will do. It's for our friend and I think Size 14. Don't you, Chick?” Chick nods her head.
“Are you sure?” Mrs. Hockings reaches under the counter and brings out the briefs. She gives them a little shake, then spreads them out over the counter. W..a..a..a..a..y out over the counter. Size 14 covers everything!
|Donna Rae Olsen|
“I can't stand it! I can't ... can't...” Chick stands there helplessly as her bladder gives way and she feels little drops trickling down her leg and dribbling into her shoes. “Let's get out of here!” They run over to the archway where we have been watching and laughing too.
We stop to look at the shoes displayed on a small table. Men's shiny brown oxfords ... women's black patent leather babydoll pumps ... girls' brown oxfords with a fringed flap in front ... brown and white saddle shoes ... maroon-colored penny loafers and those comfortable flat huaraches.
Bon spies the tall ladder on wheels along one wall, used to reach the boxes of shoes that are stacked far up to the ceiling and quickly climbs on. Jean gives it a big push. Across the wall Bonnie flies ... one leg sticking straight out ... both arms wrapped tightly around the rungs. “Jiggers! Here comes Rex Tripp ... the boss!” Boy, do we run fast through the aisles and down the stairs.
Downstairs is the Grocery Department. A bustling, busy place where the butchers, Ed Johnson, Elwood Johnson and Ras Rasmussen are laughing and joking with the lady customers as they cut the meat to order. The clerks, Babe Dowdell, Hanna Sanderson, Eva West and Lillian Rassmussen are filling orders sent in earlier, smiling and talking to other customers at the counters ... writing down their orders in a small tablet with carbon paper in the back to be put under each new sheet used. A large roll of brown paper stands on one side of the counter. Each purchase is wrapped in the paper and tied with string which hangs down from a big ball suspended overhead.
It takes us a long time to get through the line, but no one seems to mind. We're not in any hurry ... besides, there is so much to see here.
We are fascinated by the billing system. “Look there!” Eva West clips the bill to the top of an oval cylinder. She opens the cylinder and puts greenbacks and coins inside, then hooks it to a cable running overhead on pulley wheels. She pulls the attached chain very hard and the cable starts to move. The cylinder travels over to the side wall where it is joined by another cylinder from the butcher shop. Now we can hear the "squeak, squeak, squeak" as they move along, looking like tiny gondola cars swaying and jerking above us.
The cylinders make a sharp turn upward to the second floor, then travel to the office situated at the back. The cashiers in the office, Daisy Adderly and Cora Hocking Bogart, check the bill, keep a copy, put the money in the cash register, then clip the original bill to the cylinder, put any change owing inside the cup, pull the chain and send it back downstairs. We stand there gazing upward as the little cars return and the receipt is handed to the customer.
We each grab a Twinkie as we pass the counter, charge it to our dads and not waiting for a bill, we run out the door and down the street.
I remember that I've got to get my shoe sewed. GoGo will do it.
We file into GoGo's Shoe Repair shop and he says, “Get out!” “Why should we get out? We've got a right to be here ...” but, Oh Oh, here come GoGo chasing us out the door with his arm raised shaking it up and down. “Get out! I'm not having any snot-nosed, noisy kids in here.” Us?? We have our feelings hurt as we hurry on down the street. He must be thinkin' of someone else.
I turn around and shout, “But I need to get my shoe sewed. My mother said ‘Get it sewed’.” The back of my shoe flops up and down as I walk nearer to him, pulling Shirley along with me. We don't want to get too close because he talks to loud.
“Oh! Do you have money?” He asks sweet as pie now. “Why don't you come back and let me look at your shoe?” He had been standing defiantly in the doorway, but now he holds out his hand as he steps outside.
Slowly I take off my shoe and hand it to him, then following him, we all crowd inside his dark, dusty little shop that smells strongly of shoe dye and leather. We fight for the few seats along one way, but of course, I get to sit down because I have only one shoe. We can hear Mr. GoGo muttering to himself about Dumb kids who walk on the backs of their shoes above the chatter-chatter-chatter of his large sewing machine. Before long, he brings out the shoe and glares at me. “Don't do it again!”
He makes me feel like a little worm and I cringe as I stoop to put it on and hand him the 10 cents he asks for. All smiles again now, he turns the money over and over in his hand. “Now I have enough for coffee and a donut too. Out...out my little ones. Hurry on out.” He follows us to the door, locks it and the last we see of him is his back as he disappears into the Wells Cafe next door.
We decide to walk up the street again to look in the window of Lendaris Merc. There is a large flowered apron that we think will fit a large flowery grandma, and sweaters and baby booties and dresses.
Jerry opens the door of the J. C. Penney Store (the second such store in the United States) and dashes in. Well, what can we do? We have to run after her. The hardwood floors shine with a new coating of wax in this long, narrow store. Downstairs is the stockroom that is always turned into a wonderful toyland at Christmas time. Besides toys, Penney's sells clothes, dry goods and a whole department is devoted to sewing supplies and material. The bolts of cloth stand upright on shelves with the end of the cloth hanging loosely ... like softly padded soldiers with capes all in a row. We look at every bolt and of course have to touch them and lift the material up. We pick out all kinds of pretty cloth for blouses and dresses because most of us wear homemade clothes some of the time.
“What are you kids doing over there? You mustn't touch!” Mrs. Florence Toy bustles out from behind the counter and heads our way. “Leave them alone!” We start to take off, but as we crowd into the aisle ... there's not enough room ... Bev gets pushed to one side and ...there they go! ...... The material bolts topple down like dominos and go falling to the floor. We run, then ... run...run...run...run...
“Is she coming?”
“Let's get out of here!”
“Why is someone always chasing us?”
“It wasn't our fault, was it?”
“Of course not!”
It's time for the show to start, so we line up at the Princess to pay our 15 cents for a ticket. Outside there are posters announcing the coming attractions. William Boyd (Hopalong Cassidy) ... Ma and Pa Kettle ... and Bing Crosby, Bob Hope and Dorothy Lamour in "The Road to Zansibar".
The small lobby is crowded with kids jostling for a position at the candy counter. Shirley has a nickel so she shares her bubble gum with us, and today we each have an extra dime so we can buy a Creamsicle. On the walls of the lobby are pictures of old time movie stars ... Mae West ... Greta Garbo and Rudolph Valentino.
Everybody swarms in to find a seat and we just sit down when Bon meets Rex and smiling coyly, she goes with him to sit with the Copperfield boys for her "date". Sometimes he even buys her some popcorn.
As we sit in the darkened theater, we recognize many kids who go to our school. In fact, everyone goes to our school -- tall, short, fat, skinny, Mexican, White, Bohunk, Italian, Irish ... 'most everyone gets along fine, and now they are all laughing as Mr. McGoo walks blindly around and Elmer Fudd chases "that cwazy wabbit" with his shotgun.
Pop-pop-snap-pop-smack ... our mouths are full of gum and we smack and pop away.
“Who's making all that noise?” Theater owner, Harold Chesler of the balding head and bulgy dark eyes that seem to see everything even in the dark, is at the end of our row frowning at us. “You kids will have to be quiet!”
“Oh, it wasn't us.”
“We think the noise is just awful. It's those Goris kids over there. They're popping their gum and making lots of noise.”
“Alright, Goris, outta here. I told you that before!”
There are a lot of Goris kids in their family and each has a number that they answer to. In fact, here comes two more.
“Hey ... Two...Three and Five go home. It's time for you to eat.”
There are so many that the kids eat in shifts. The three boys leave reluctantly sticking out their tongues at us as they go past.
Dot jumps up screaming, “A mouse! I know it was a mouse! Everybody put your feet up!” All around us kids are jumping up and yelling, “Mouse! Mouse!”
Oh oh, here come Chesler and Bonnie's uncle Joe Brisk with their flashlights. Joe is supposed to be running the projector.
“Let's go to the restroom.” Girls don't go to the restroom alone. We always go in a group. Bon follows along behind.
“P.U. ... WHAT STINKS?” Donna Rae yells loudly. All of us comment on the smell and go about our business.
Bonnie tells us “It's that disinfectant. That strong disinfectant and moth balls. It's really hard to sit down in here and hold your nose at the same time!”
“What's that?” Pat wrinkles her nose and moves back.
“That! That great big bug!”
Donna Rae laughs, “Oh that. That's only a cockroach. This is cockroach cubbyhole, y'know. They're probably all over the place.” We make a beeline back to our seats and find two younger kids on our row. “Get out of our seats!” Dot holds out her fingers. “You know better than to take our seats. Get out or I'll pinch you!” They almost trip over each other as they scurry out of our way.
Chapter 6 of the serial... "Perils of Nyoka" is running now and we gasp as Nyoka almost falls over the cliff. That guy...that fat crummy one is chasing her. Look out! Look out!
Oh, I can't look ... she's going to fall! She's dangling over the edge and he's pounding on her fingers. How long...how long can she hold onto that branch? It breaks! She starts to fall... Oh, no! The end! The end of this chapter. The announcer is asking, What will happen next? Will Nyoka be saved? How can she escape certain death? Be sure to be in your seats next week for another thrilling episode in ... THE PERILS OF NYOKA .........
That familiar music and the black and white shot of a movie camera ... first the side with the cameraman cranking away ... then full front with the oval lens that always looks like two lenses blending into one as it comes closer and closer and closer ... tells us it's time for the
They're showing the latest pictures of World War II American Soldiers fighting the Nazis in Italy as the same old announcer narrates in his flat, nasal voice ... Ow-er boys at the froant are giving theer awl. Night and daaay they puuush awn. Tha tanks keep roalling...roalling relentlessly awn... driving awn to victoreee!
“Who threw that? Who threw that popcorn?” Jean stands up and looks around. She sits down and ZAP! A paper airplane lands in her hair. Now she jumps up and runs back to pound Ronald on the head.
“Come sit with me,” he says. “Stay here for the rest of the movie.” Oh well, she might as well. She thinks he's kinda cute.
“Hey! Better watch out!” Here comes Chesler with his flashlight, shining it on every aisle. Up and down he goes, looking for the neckers.
The bouncing ball bounces up and down on the screen and the singing time begins. Everyone opens their mouth wide and we sing along, watching the bouncing white ball that points to the words.
Marezy Doates 'n' Doezy Doates An Liddle Lamzy Divy A Kiddle E Divy Too,
Wooden Yew? If the words sound queer And funny to your ear A little bit jumbled and jii-vy Sing ..... Mares-eat-oats And Does-eat-oats And lit-tle lambs eat ivyyyy. Ohhh, Marezy Doates 'n' Doezy Doates An Liddle Lamzy Divy A Kiddle E divy too Wooden Yew? Yes, a Kiddle E divy too Woooooooden Yeeeeeewwwwww? ....
We sway back and forth together as we sing. No one holds back. All of us sing loudly and the theater resounds with our voices.
Another song is flashed on the screen. One that really makes us sit up and take notice.
Zo ve go Heil-Phufft....Heil-Phufft Right in Der Fuhrer's face
Not to love der Fuhrer Is a great disgrace Zo ve go Heil-Phufft ... Heil-Phufft
Right in Der Fuhrer's face.
Is ve not the Zupermen? Nazi is pure Zupermen?
Yah, ve is der Zupermen Zooper-dooper zupermen
Der Fuhrer says Ve is der Master Race
Zo ve go Heil-Phufft ... Heil-Phufft Right ... in ... der ... Hitler's ... faaaayyyyys ...!!!
We have fun with this song ... jumping up ... raising our right arms in mock Nazi salute and laughing as we give the raspberry in all the right places. Everybody is in a good mood when the song is ended.
The house lights raise briefly, then dim. The MGM Lion roars ... the movie begins.
STARRING SHIRLEY TEMPLE ... IN BEAUTIFUL TECHNICOLOR
We settle down in our seats for some serious movie watching. I'm so glad it's in color. How can they have a bluebird in black and white?
Little Shirley Temple with her head full of ringlets, her eyes shining and her rosebud mouth pouting, stamps her foot and puts her hands on her hips as the bluebird flies away.
I know we can find him if we just try! She puts her arm around her little brother and convinces him (and us too) that the bluebird is just waiting for them to find him.
They set out looking everywhere. Along the way the meet good guys and very bad, scary guys that chase them and threaten them and ... always ... always, the Bluebird of Happiness is just out of reach.
Finally they have to go back home. Tired, dejected ... but deep inside is a small ray of hope.
It's here! It's here! Our happiness is here in our own little home! It's inside ourselves! Our own Bluebird of Happiness!
Shirley smiles and the whole room seems to brighten. She sings with her brother and our hearts are lifted. Maybe happiness is inside each of us.
We saunter out of the theater, not wanting to leave the story ... still wrapped up in the long search. There are crowds of people in front of the theater. Crowds milling around ... walking here and there ... men shouting and laughing as they move in and out of the Pastime Saloon next door and the Copper King on the corner. In the middle is a big man with a heavy black beard and mustache, and dark eyes that, while seeming to rest on the man in front of him, dart quickly from side to side and take in every movement. On his head is a red bandanna handkerchief tied in a knot at one side, around his waist, holding up his pants is a frayed piece of rope and in his hand is the battered notebook he always carries.
Buy Bonds! he says. Sign now. Here! We need money to send packages to Bingham boys overseas. We need to take care of them. One dollar. Everybody give one dollar. I take care of them. You give dollars to me. I take care. Someday we will build monument to brave Bingham boys. Give now! It's the strong Greek accent of one of the town characters, "Chicago Charlie". Yes, an odd character he may be, but Charlie has a good memory. He remembers who pays and who doesn't and he'll hound the non-payers continually at work ... at play ... everywhere until they pay to get rid of him. He really gets around and we think he wears some of the funniest get-ups we've ever seen.
We snicker as we push our way through the crowd and try to keep our toes from getting stepped on. Down the street we go to meet our ride. It's so hot today that we wanted to walk through the one-way tunnel to Copperfield. (The traffic can only go one way at a time). It's a mile long, air cooled and our air conditioner in summer but today we just don't have time.
“Let's go to the Gemmell Club,” Jerry says. “I want to go bowling.”
“Oh, you can't even lift those big bowling balls,” Donna Rae laughs. “Besides, we have to climb up in the back and set our own pins. It takes too long. Remember, they kicked us out last time and told us to quit dropping the balls, and they even tried to tell us the alleys were only for Utah Copper workers.”
“Yeah, but our dads work there, so we can go if we want to.”
BOOM! BOOM! BOOM!
The store windows start to rattle, the buildings feel like they're shaking, even in the sidewalks we can feel the vibration!
The Utah Copper is blasting in the open pit mine. They blast every day at this time. Sometimes several times a day. The mine is very close to the town of Bingham. It almost surrounds the business district and several small towns further up the canyon. Some of the
activity is on the mountain just above the town. We can even hear it in Copperton when they blast.
Covering our ears, we dash into the Union Drug Store. We always stop here for an ice cream sundae.
We crowd in and sit down at the small round tables in the middle of the floor. Old Mr. Jimas walks briskly over to our tables, long apron covering his brown vested belly, glasses perched on the end of his nose. He peers over his glasses at us ... holds his little notebook up high with one hand ... clutches his stub of a pencil tightly in the other.
Schay! Vat will you haf today?
We want ice cream sundaes. What flavors do you have?
Ve haf Schnappy Schtrawbeddy...Redd Raspchbeddy...Cool Caar-amaal...Hot Schticky Fudge...and Schoft Creamy Marschmalldow.
We all duck when he talks. His Old World accent is thick and he "schnicks" and "schnips" and "schmacks" each word, spraying everyone within reach. We love to listen to him and watch as he gets angrier and more perturbed by the minute.
Do you have nuts?
Yah, ve haf nuts. Do you vant a cheddy?
Of course. Yes, we want cherries!
Now what flavors do you have? I forgot.
VE HAF SCHNAPPY SCHTRAWBEDDY...REDD RASCHBEDDY...COOL CAAR–AMAAL...HOT SCHTICKY FUDGE AND SCHOFT CREAMY MARSCHMALLDOW.
I'll have Sticky Fudge.
I want Strawberry.
We want Raspberry and Chocolate.
All eright! All eright! Two Schticky Fudge, two Caar-amaal, one Schnappy Schtrawbeddy, one Redd Raspchbeddy, one Marschmalldow and a Schnickers candy baarr.
Change mine to strawberry.
Change mine to fudge.
I want half carmel and half marshmallow.
VATE A MINUTE! VATE A MINUTE! YOU CAN'T CHANGE! I WROTE DEM DOWN. YOU CAN'T CHANGE!
Soon he brings our sundaes in pretty glass dishes and demands that we pay the 10 cents now. We have all saved the money so we put it out on the tables. We start to enjoy the ice cream, but Bonnie has lost her spoon ... or maybe she didn't have one.
I need a spoon. I don't have a spoon.
Mr. Jimas brings a spoon, but no sooner does he set it down than Dot and Jerry both cry, “I need a spoon. I didn't get a spoon!” He looks flustered now and irritated as he trudges back to get the spoons.
Here! I know I brought schpoons. Vat are you doing vith dem?
We dig in eating again and almost finish, but Beverly yells, “I can't find my spoon. You didn't bring me a spoon!”
Out from behind the counter he rushes. GAT OUDT OFF HERE! GAT OUDT OFF HERE! I VILL NODT BRING MORE SCHPOONS. YOU VANT ICE CREAM? YOU BRING YOUR OWN SCHPOONS! He chases us to the door lisping and smacking, shaking both his head and his fist.
Down the street we run again, laughing and calling each other "Schticky Fudge and Schnappy Schtrawbeddy. Next time we stop in for a sundae we will bring our own spoons -- wooden spoons, tablespoons, sugar spoons, etc.
Down, down, down the street we go on our way back to Frogtown. It's about three miles from the Bingham Merc. to Frogtown, so we have quite a walk before time for the Utah Copper shift change when we can flag down one of our dads.
There goes Mary up the ramp of the Utah Copper Hospital. And there we go too. Up the ramp and down the ramp ... up the ramp and back down ... swinging on the railing...climbing and hiding.
While we are running up the ramp, the door of the hospital bursts open and Dr. Russell Frazier hurries out, looking over his shoulder and calling, “I don't care what you say! I'm starved and I'm going to get something to eat! Call me if anything changes.” Dr. Harold Jenkins is standing in the doorway now shouting, “Don't worry, you'll be the first one we'll call.”
Dr. Frazier almost runs right over us before he turns around, and seeing us in front of him, he bellows
“HEY CHICKENS! BETTER SCATTER!”
“HEY CHICKENS! BETTER SCATTER!”
We do scatter out of his way, then as he walks down the ramp, his stout figure swaying slightly from side to side, his arms swinging briskly back and forth, Chick and Mary follow behind imitating him ... exaggerating his walk, swaying from side to side until he turns around at the bottom and yells, “GOTCHA!” He laughs cheerfully as we all run across the street and hide in back of the post office.
“Let's go inside,” Shirley says. “This is one of my favorite places.” And so we do. Inside, we run down the hall, then seeing the frowning looks we are getting from Earl James, the Postmaster, we walk quietly down to the end by the P.O. boxes, then back, to the look at the WANTED posters. Dangerous criminals they look like to us.
Donna Rae starts to run so we all follow her. We jump the gate that leads downstairs, then we can really run. The large rooms, high ceilings and stone floors echo every footstep and our voices bounce back to us as we shout. It's so nice and cool down here we want to stay for awhile, but we had better go.
Out the door and down the street again. Bingham's one long Main Street is lined on both sides with houses and businesses. Most are built right out to the sidewalk. It seems to stretch endlessly before us. Glad we are that the street slopes gradually downward toward the bottom of the canyon, so the walking is easier.
We round the narrow turn in the road where Dimas Bingham Grocery #2 and the Old Royal Laundry building still stand, then decide to take a detour down and over by the railroad tracks.
Here we visit with Shirley's little, white-haired Grandma Mayne on Railroad Avenue. She has a small, pleasant house with a tiny yard covered in grass. She gives each of us a cookie and some punch and it's nice to just relax for awhile. As we eat, she points out the place where the D&RG Train Depot was a beehive of activity and the passenger train, "Bingham Bill" ran a regular schedule from the valley to Bingham.
We thank her kindly and have to hurry on down the road.
Look! There's those funny little houses set out over the creek. We can see some outhouses here and there, (some still in use) from a time when everyone had outhouses and the sewer creek ran down the center of town. In fact, the creek is still here but is covered in most places. I remember it well, because I fell in it when we lived in Frogtown. P-U!
This reminds us of our marching song that we have composed and always sing when we walk very far.
Flow gently sweet sewer
Or'e Copperton hills.
This bright, brawny sewer
Where we take our spills.
Copperton Sewer Cha Cha
Copperton Sewer Cha Cha
Copperton Sewer Cha Cha
Copperton Sewer Cha Cha
Flow gently...flow faster
We fish for brown trout
We go in the daytime
And we pull them right out.
Copperton Sewer Cha Cha
Copperton Sewer Cha Cha
Copperton Sewer Cha Cha
Copperton Sewer Cha Cha...Chaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!
Not much variety in the chorus but we think it is kinda catchy and we march and dance on down the street.
Finally, we reach Frogtown noticing that the houses here aren't built quite so close to the road. Each house has a small yard... mostly dirt... some with lawns, but water is at a premium, so lawns are scarce. The road here, as it was further uptown, is only about 20 feet wide -- just room enough for two cars to pass in opposite directions. We spill over into the road several times as we walk and have to scurry fast back onto the narrow sidewalk to avoid getting hit by a car.
“Is she there?” Jerry is shading her eyes with her hand and searching the area behind the old playground for Flora. Flora lives up on the side of the mountain and scared all the kids around when we lived here. We didn't really know why we were scared. She was really very quiet ... but we sure were!
“There she is! She's over there by that house.” We stand there looking until she is out of sight, then move on.
Stop! What are you doing here?
Don't move. You're not going anywhere.
Who said you could come into our territory?
Three big boys are blocking our path and as the front girls stop, we all pile into one another. Where did these boys come from?
Shifting our eyes and glancing around, we look for a way out. There's the playground on one side...fenced in...and houses on the other. We nudge each other... then start to run as fast as we can across the street. Across the street...past the Copenhaver and Tibble's houses...down, down we run to Mayne Yard where we can dart in off the street.
“Are they gone?”
“Did they follow us?” Standing there scared to pieces...hearts thumping...pulses racing...we finally have to sink down on the dirt of the alley for awhile.
We listen carefully as we catch our breath, but hearing no sounds we decide that we are safe -- this time. They didn't catch us, so we creep out, look cautiously around, then dash on down the street. We run past Adderly and Nichols Garage, the beer joints and the bakery, Praggastis' small store and his house where my Grandpa and Grandma Ray used to live.
Cars are beginning to come regularly down the canyon so we know it's time for the Utah Copper shift change. By the time we reach the underpass and line up along the railing ready to wave if we see a familiar car, the traffic is quite heavy.
“There goes Mel Olsen ...” too late. He's gone. “Look! Here comes Ray Olsen. Catch him ... catch him ... Oh well, his car is too small anyway.” “Hey!” Moon says, “Here comes my dad! Wave everybody!” He slams on the brakes and tries to maneuver the car out of the fast moving line of traffic onto the gravel shoulder. We imagine that we can hear him muttering and growling under his breath, and when we run down and crowd in the car, we know he was growling about us. We can hear him!
“Why didn't you tell me you were going to be here so I could watch for you? Do you think it's easy to stop with all the cars traveling so fast? You're just lucky that I saw you and could make a turn off. Get in the car and SHUT THAT DOOR!”
We do just that, lean back and we don't make a peep the rest of the three miles back to Copperton. Dad drives down to 5th East where he lets everybody off that lives on that end of town and we head for home.
Will we be discouraged and not be able to go again? Not on your life! We'll be ready next week...as soon as we can get our 15 cents for the movie...10 cents for a sundae...and our schpoons, er, I mean spoons ... that is, if our mothers don't find out that we hitched a ride instead of using the money they gave us to ride the bus. We just had to have those Creamsicles!