Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Alice had her Wonderland she found by chasing the White Rabbit down the well.  Well I found my wonderland after the War and after gas rationing.  I found this oasis in the desert in the midst of all these red rocks.  My wonderland was called “Wayne Wonderland” but to me it was “Gene’s Wonderland”.  I tried to read the stories that the Indians wrote there so many years ago and tried to name these different formations that had no name.  People were living in this magical valley, their houses and farms built here and there along the river.  After looking things over we visited old Doc Inglesby from Bingham, where I was born.  He had the house with the high fence.  I have fond memories of sitting on a chair on this large old porch that may have been part of the Oyler house and store.  I remember looking beyond the grass and the large shade trees to the Indian writings on the rock walls.  The gas pump was one that you had to hand pump the gas up into the glass cylinder at the top where it was visually measured by the markings on the glass.  This was before electricity and telephones.   They had a gasoline driven refrigeration plant where we bought the frozen meats we needed for our pack trip into the Boulder Mountains.  It was just a good old country store where neighbors and strangers could shop and talk.

This was many years before I met and married my wife who had a great grandfather (Jorgen Smith) who founded a town below here that he named Notom.  Some of his children married and settled Fruita.  They built houses, a school and planted the fruit trees and gardens that made it look so beautiful.  It was harvest time and they picking apricots and they wanted us to help them.   In order to talk to them we had to pick fruit and we enjoyed it.  We didn’t need money only answers to a million questions.  I talked to many people there but I can only remember De Ana Oyler Smith who married into the family.  Relations were the Smiths, Holts, Mulfords

Then one day I came back to my Wonderland to show it off.  The road was gone and a new one was in its place.  I couldn’t quite find my way around here now.   The name, the store, the houses, fruit cellars and farms had been destroyed.  I began to feel sorry for myself until I thought of the people, the kids and even the farm animals.  The little store would have been a great visitor center.  It, other houses, the farms and fruit cellars that the pioneers had built are gone and no one remembers anything.  At one time I was told that the trees would be taken out too.  Oh, what would I give for a picture of it as I remembered it.

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