Little purple pansies, touched with yellow gold,
Growing in one corner of the garden old
We are very tiny but must try, try, try
Just one spot to gladden, you and I.

In whatever corner we may chance to grow,
Whether cold or warm the wind may ever blow,
Dark the day or sunny, we must try, try, try
Just one spot to gladden, you and I.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

We're Coming to Town

When we arrived in Logan to visit my grandparents (Harry and Elizabeth Shaw), Grandpa would go to the newspaper and have them write up an article that, "Bessie Harmon and her three children have come from Los Angeles to visit Harry and Elizabeth Shaw." It was typical to have reports from families printed in the newspaper. That made me feel like a celebrity!

People from outlying areas would come into Logan on Saturdays to shop. My mother, Bessie and my grandmother, Elizabeth would drive the car and park in the center of town on Main Street. There they would be able to visit with friends and relatives that would come in to shop on Saturday afternoons. Mother would give us each a dime to spend in the 10cent stores. I loved to buy "Big, Little Books." They were children's story books about cowboys, animals and other stories.

One day Grandpa made a U turn in the middle of the block on Main Street in Logan. A policeman (his friend), stopped him and said, "Harry, you know you can't do that!" (meaning it's against the law). And Grandpa responded, "I didn't think I could, but I did, didn't I!" And Grandpa just drove off!

On hot afternoons we'd all pile into Mother's car (5 children, and Grandpa and Grandma as well as Mother who drove). We'd take a trip up into the mountains and so enjoyed the cool breeze and the beauty of the river and mountains. On the way home, Grandpa always stopped at the Drive-in. We'd often order a fudgesicle and Grandpa would always order a "Poopsi-cola." We were so embarrassed and would correct him, yelling (so he could hear us - he was hard of hearing), "Grandpa it's a Pepsi Cola!!"

Grandpa worked in the Logan temple several days each week. He would rev up the motor of his Buick (important to own a Buick) so he could hear it and then zoom out the driveway. I didn't know what a temple worker was and I always thought he was a janitor at the temple. I'm glad to have found out years later that he served others as a temple recorder (not as a janitor).

Before my dad left us, he bought my mother a white car (possibly a Chevrolet). It had previously been a demonstration car and through the white paint we could still read "Mobil" who had sponsored the race car. That was very embarrassing to all of us. Mother drove that car for years until Grandpa and Grandma came to live with her and Grandpa bought her a tan colored Buick.

Rolling out the carpet for Grandpa Shaw

While I was visiting Grandpa and Grandma Shaw in Logan during the summers, Grandpa would often sit out on the front porch. When I was about 14 years old, Elizabeth Price (my cousin)taught me how to sew and I purchased some deep green velvet material to make a suit. I laid out the fabric on the living room floor and on into the dining room. Grandpa came in to eat lunch and walked on top of the laid out fabric as if it were his welcome carpet! He left dusty footprints all up and down the fabric! I was horrified to see footprints on my fabric. My children often asked, "What did you do?, what did you say?" I didn't say anything! We wouldn't think of saying anything to our elders! But the fortunate thing was, the fabric was undamaged and I just brushed off the dusty prints. The suit turned out nicely and I wore it for years.

Red Bricks

In our Orangevale home, east of Sacramento, in the early 1960's, we built what seemed like miles of brick planters in the front and back yards. We were able to buy historic used brick from the early 1880's (approx) Sacramento courthouse. There was no quality control in those days and the bricks were irregular shapes. Some of the bricks would have one side painted as it had been the inside of a painted wall. It took a large amount of mortar to level the bricks for the planters. One night we had mixed too much mortar so we quietly continued to work into the wee hours of the morning. We didn't want to disturb the Cantoni family, our next-door-neighbors, as we were working near their bedroom windows. The planters turned out beautiful.

After the planters were landscaped, Gordon planted strawberry plants around the other plants in the planters. In a few years we had LOTS of strawberries. They were big and delicious. The girls would go out and pick large bowls of strawberries and once in awhile, our whole dinner would be homemade strawberry shortcake. It was a hit with all of us.