Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Three Stories  by Lionel Jensen

Mosida by the Lake
A land of promise until the  waters of  Utah lake waters simply was exhausted and the farms dried up

Money was always a scarce item in our family.  While we were living at Mosida the county offered four cents bounty on gophers.  Our father was authorized to pay for the scalps or heads.  My sisters, Mazella, 11 years old and Viola, eight years old, carried water by the buckets full, day after day, drowned the pests out and collected the bounty.  They eventually became pretty good head hunters.  They didn’t scalp or cut off the heads: they brought in the whole carcass.  The smell got unbearable, so father buried them under the new shade trees.  They were good fertilizer. 

Do you have an Aunt Mary, one or two or maybe three of them?  If not, you have an empty or vacant place in your life.

Aunt Mary #1
Mary Halvorsen Peterson (mother’s sister)
This Aunt Mary is the one who cured the “Itch.”  She was about two years older than my mother and I believe their love for each other was the greatest.  She had large blue eyes, very fair complexion, and a smile that made you happy all over.  She was a wee bit on the fat side and when she laughed she shook like Santa Claus.  These were the days when all the women wore their hair braided or in a bun or bob on the top of their heads and fastened their hats with a dangerous weapon, even more dangerous than an Atomic War Head, at least more accurate.  They were called “Hat Pins”.  Some of those hat pins were very extraordinary, having heads of black or white beads.  Some of them appeared to me a having heads of pearls or diamonds.  They were very eye catching.  They were as sharp as needles and about six or eight inches long.  I remember as a child going to the funeral of my Grandmother, Johanna Marie Halvorsen.  There was a lady in the procession ahead of me wearing a hat with a bird on it.  I guessed the reason it didn’t flyaway away because it was pinned to her hat.  Some of those women’s hats were covered with plums or cherries making one’s mouth water or giving a person hunger pains, especially on Fast Day. 
Oh, I almost forgot about her cure for the itch.  After her husband Uncle, Jim passed away Aunt Mary lived a lonely widow’s life for many years.  Her children and grandchildren visited and cared for as good children sometimes do.  So, when the automobile became available and people could travel as families to visit friends and relatives in those far away places, the family planned a vacation in Idaho and Yellowstone Park. 
Aunt Mary, LaRhea & Wendel, Elda

Aunt Mary #1
(Mary Halvorsen Petersen)   One of Aunt Mary’s experiences in Yellowstone Park, as she recalls it in her exciting and interesting way:  They had their tent pitched near Old Faithful.  Aunt Mary was too old to hike and enjoy walking around and viewing the many interesting sights so she just sat down and rested in the tent.  Something started to rub against the tent, back and forth, back and forth.  Aunt Mary peeked out and there, itching its posterior, was a huge black bear.  Aunt Mary was so frightened’.  What should she do?  That old bear was big enough to swallow her in one bite.  The only weapon she had was her “Hat Pin”.  She waited until the exact spot on that old bear was in perfect position (let go).  There was a yelp, a growl or a roar.   Aunt Mary’s Hat Pin was jerked from her hand and the head of that hat pin almost pulled the tent over.  Aunt Mary said she guessed the Itch was cured because that old bear didn’t come back for more treatments. 

Aunt Mary #2
Mary Peterson Halverson
One of my Aunt Mary’s was my Uncle Andrew’ wife.  She was my oldest one and was very beautiful yet fascinating.  Her nose was just perfect.  It was place where she hung her glasses, when they were lost.  I don’t think she needed them to see through because when she looked at me she sort of bowed her head and looked over them.  She wore a white apron that was tied around her middle as she was usually busy around the kitchen.  She could make the best sweet rolls ever.  On the front of her apron was printed, “Hi Roller.”  This was the time I was first learning to read.  Now that I am older and surmised or guessed that the complete words were, “Nephi Roller Mills or Lehi Roller
Mills.”  She was pleasantly plump and beautiful and kind to me.  I still remember her as one that I loved and one that loved me

Ane Mary Peterson Halverson
I remember wearing flour sack clothing -- do you?
The Flour Sack                       Bev Kennedy
In that long-ago time when things were saved,
When roads were graveled and barrels were staved,
When worn-out clothing was used as rags,
And there were no plastic wrap or bags,
And the well and the pump were way out back,
A versatile item was the flour sack.
Bleached and sewn, it was dutifully worn
As bibs, diapers or kerchief adorned.
It was made into skirts, blouses and slips,
And Mom braided rugs from 100 strips.
She made ruffled curtains for the house or shack
From that humble but treasured flour sack.
As a strainer for milk or apple juice,
To wave men in, it was a very good use,
As a sling for a sprained wrist or a break,
To help Mother roll up a jelly cake,
As a window shade or to stuff a crack,
We used a sturdy, common flour sack.
We polished and cleaned stove and table,
Scoured and scrubbed from cellar to gable,
We dusted the bureau and oak bed post,
Made costumes for October, a scary ghost,
And a parachute for a cat named Jack,
Ray, Mary, Merrill, Andrew
Eliza, Joe, Harvey
From that lowly, useful flour sack.
So now, my friends, when they ask you,
As curious youngsters often do,
Before plastic wrap, Elmer’s Glue and paper towels,
What did you do?
Tell them loudly, and with pride don’t lack,

Grandmother had that wonderful flour sack!

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