Thursday, March 8, 2012




Castle Gate Houghton house five houses below the Church
My earliest memories are of living in a housing project in Castlegate called the "Rows".  We lived right behind our cousins the Harrisons.  Colleen was close to Joyce and I in age.  My earliest thing I remember was when Joyce had the measles on Christmas Day and we couldn't go out, I must have been about five years old. 

I remember when Jim and Jack lived with us, they would take us to Royal and leave us to walk home.  Anther way to tend us was to lock us in the cellar.  The next memory I have is Mother teaching us to love to read which is something I still enjoy doing, I always have a book with me.  
I used to like to visit my Grandmother Houghton.   She had a neat glass case filled with little nick-nacks which she would let us take out and look at. 
Sharron's Mother, Helen far left, uncles and Grandma Hall
at Winter Quarters
We used to go to the store for her a lot and get five cents worth of sugar, five cents worth of flour and such things.  She never bought very much.  She would make Caraway seed cakes which we thought were wonderful.  Grandma always had her mirrors covered because some old lady kept looking at her.  She would come to our house for dinner and only stay for a minute because some old lady kept looking at her.  My Mom told me one time Grandma took the bus to Salt Lake and was very confused about how she got there.  I think she must have suffered with some sort of depression.  She had several children and only three survived to adulthood.  One little girl died from burns she suffered when her night gown caught fire.  Life must have been hard for her to leave her family and move to United States. 
I can't remember my Grandfather very clearly but Mom told me he used to bring me a banana every day because I was so small. 
Charles and Catherine Houghton
I remember my Grandfather Nielson, seems to me he was always such a mean old man.  It was only at his funeral that I heard he was once a nice man. 
I remember going down to the railroad tracks to see the troop trains moving across the country.  I always felt sad because Jim and Jack were in the Navy and on ships.  I know my Mother worried about them a lot.  It was hard on Mom when Jack died, she was very close to him since he lived with us a lot.  I imagine she felt a lot like their mother. 
I remember starting school and having my first grade teacher, Miss Diane, she was really mean; she would make us hold out our hands and she would slap them with a ruler.  I can't remember if she ever hit me but I trembled every time she walked by. 
When I was in the second grade I won a spelling contest, I always did well in school.  My friend Marilyn Thacker wanted to win the contest and she told Mrs. Long that I cheated.  It was so silly because we didn't know what words they would ask us to spell.  I remember the prize was a mirror, comb and brush.  Marilyn and I were the best of friends and we had a Crisco Can full of marbles that we won from the boys.  We used to do everything together.   I went through the first grade to the twelfth with Marilyn, Willadeen Miller and Mary Margaret Russell.  We had a lot of fun.  We all did very well in school and were very competitive for grades and such. 

Grandpa Joe Nielson
Seems like as with all large families we always had something wrong, such as measles, chickenpox, etc.  When we were growing up there were no antibiotics and so when you got a sore throat you were sick for a long time.  I remember one of our friends had a bad case of mastoiditis, she was out of school almost a whole year and when she came back she had a big bandage over her ear where they had to drain the abscess.  Polio was a real threat and Mothers worried all summer that their kids would get this.  Those who got it were very crippled and some even died.   I remember my Mom worrying about this all the time.  
I remember my Mom taking us swimming in the river under the railroad bridge.  We would swim and she would embroidery.  I wonder now how she could stay there when she couldn't swim a stroke.  She did make sure that we all took swimming lessons and learned how to swim.   There used to be a bus that took us from Castle Gate to Helper so we could all swim. 

My Dad always had a season pass to the ball games in Helper.  We would go and sit inside and he liked to look over the fence.  I think he had a hard time being around people because he was deaf.  He had measles when he was seven and lost his hearing.   My Dad was really a smart man but his hearing loss was a real handicap for him.  In today's world he wouldn't have had it so rough.  He taught himself to read lips so he could carry on a conversation.  I remember he liked to do math with Charley, fish, deer hunt, raise his pigeons and climb rocks.  I remember him telling me about pulling himself up to a ledge and being eye to eye with a rattle snake.  I shouldn't forget he liked to go to Spring Glen and drink wine with his Italian friends. 

Helen Nielson Houghton and Bill Houghton
I remember during the War when he would walk to work every day so he could save gas coupons for our annual vacation.   We would load up whatever old car we had and head for Southern Utah where we trekked through Zion’s, Bryce’s, Wayne Wonderland and best of all Fish Lake.  We always had a tent that leaked and smelled like old canvas.  I think often of the old surplus rubber raft he bought.  He was sitting on it with our neighbor telling him how wonderful it was when it blew up on them or under them.  It was quite funny.  
Dad also liked Randolph Scott in Western movies. Drive-in Movie theaters and he loved TV..
I think my Dad was a very spiritual man.  He never went to Church but I think he read the Book of Mormon repeatedly.  He was very quiet.  I don't think I ever got to know him.  He was so happy when Kent and Pat were born, although I think he knew he was not going to live long.  I wish I could have known him as an adult. 
Helen Nielson Houghton
My Mom had a hard life, it was very hard on her to raise Kent and Pat alone.  She did her best and I think they turned out very well.  She would be proud of them.  Most of the time she did not feel well and she just kept plugging along doing her best.  What more could anyone ask of her.  She was quite the lady.   I remember during the War when she belonged to the Women's Auxiliary, she had a little silver and blue cape they wore and they would go practice first aid and they would march in the Labor Day Parade.  She never had much money but she was generous to everyone.  She would share her last meal with anyone. 

I remember when she got robbed at the store she worked in and would not give the money to the robber.  She told him to go earn his own money.  I don't know anyone who did not like her.  Mom loved to read when we were growing up, she always had books which she shared with everyone in town.  I think she love her job at the Library very much.  She was very intelligent and I feel given the right opportunity she could have been anything in the world. 

Mom was a good cook.   I remember when I was in Nurses Training getting a box of her Wonderful Fudge, which I would share with everyone.  She kept me in Nursing School and I know this must have been a great sacrifice for her.  I didn't think much about it at the time but now I appreciate it so much.  Mom could always find someone to help if it was something as simple as sending Fern Fish a book of stamps or taking meals to Anne.  I'm sure she's one of Heavens Choicest Angles. 
Sherron   Pat  Kent Charles   Bill
One thing I would thank my parents for if I could was to opportunity they gave us to learn and for encouraging us to get an education.  It was goal they set up for us and helped us to achieve.  A lot of kids we grew up with didn't get this support from their parents. 

I went to the same school for eight years, we were terribly poor but most everyone was in the same boat.  We used to have good times sleigh-riding in the Winter, swimming and playing tennis in the Summer.   We had a house that had a lot of tea vines around it and we used to make a play house in them and playing we were Mommies playing with our dolls.  I remember tagging along after Joyce and her friends and they were so mean to me, sometimes they would even throw rocks at me.  We would take our lunch and go on a picnic up by the water tank. 

Halverson, Boynton, East Kids going camping, Darald's truck
Ever since I was a little girl I have wanted to be a nurse.  I worked hard at school so I could get a scholarship for school.  My scholarship was for $250 dollars which seemed to me a fortune.  My books for the three years were $94, now one text book costs that much.  School was always easy for me and I was shocked when we got to college and I found out you have to study.  I look back now and wondered how we survived those three years.  We would go to Westminster in the morning, come back to the hospital have nursing classes in the afternoon and doctors lectures at night.   We had to maintain at least a C average or flunk out.  I wonder how we did all that and still have to do shifts at the hospital.  We still found time to go to Bill's Diner for coffee, watch Elvis Presley on TV and chase boys.  It was quite a three years.  On November 27, 1957 Darald and I got married.  We were married at Russ's house the day before Thanksgiving.  We went to Reno, Nevada for our honeymoon.  We have had four children, Cory Lynn born Oct., 23, 1959, William Mark born Nov., 23, 1962, Catherine Ann born July 15, 1965 and Craig Leo born March 28, 1968.  We had a lot of fun when the kids were little.   We camped a lot, water skied.  It was nice the family was close and we camped a lot with them and their good friends the East's.  We went to a lot of ball games, dance rehearsals, drill team presentations, Parent Teacher Conferences, archery tournaments etc.   We have had a lot of ups and downs but mostly they have been good times.

Joyce    Sherron   Charley  Castle Gate
The children are all grown and settled and we are blessed with some wonderful grandchildren, some ours and some we share with other families.  We have Barey born Nov., 25, 1980, Brock born January,. 9, 1984, Brooke Ellen born September 10, 1984, Hayden Guy born December 28, 1990, Alix born February 26, 1991, and Morgan Kelly born August 22, 1994.  We have three others that are like our own, Jessica Austin born December 22, 1981, Niki and Nathon Burr who call us Grandma and Grandpa.  Cory has been married twice, first to Cindy Lou Burr, June 1980, and Michelle Austin July 19, 1986.  Mark married Shirrilyn Loveless on March 5, 1987.  Cathy married Guy Rulon Anderson on June 16. 1989.  Craig married Stacey Hanson on July 31, 1991.  They all seem to be happy.  We enjoy our grandchildren immensely.  It is nice to just love them and enjoy the milestones in their lives.  I wish I had been more relaxed with my own children and loved them for what they were and not fretted so much about when things went wrong.  I have always enjoyed being a wife, mother, grandmother and nursing which have taught me a lot about life.  I have learned to accept people exactly the way they are and not to be to judgmental of them.  I have made a lot of wonderful friends. 

Joyce   Sherron   Charles   Bill 
When I was ill last year I truly appreciated my family, everyone was there for me all the way.  My sister was so good to me, who else would take me in and give me such tender loving care?  I appreciate all of the brothers who were there for me with their visits, calls and everything.  I love the nieces and nephews who came to see me and call me.  I appreciate all the love and prayers said for me.  My children were so special at this time, they were truly there for me.   I could not have asked for more.  Darald was with me 100% of the time.  He took such good care of me.  I could not have made it without them all.  I'm glad I pulled through so I could tell everyone how much I love them all.  It's not often in life you get a second chance. 
Well Gene you probably didn't expect a whole book when you asked me to write this.  You have been a special part of our family, you have always opened your home to us.  I know it has not been easy being the home away from home for our family.   We have always been welcome in your family and I appreciate your Mom, Dad, brothers and sister.  I feel we are more than in-laws. 

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