Oral Ballam’s Class

Back (l-r): Gerald Larson, Claine Skidmore, Richard Thompson, Lowell Andersen, Lenard Christofferson, Dale Andrus, Dallin Bell, LeVar Spackman, Richard Lewis. Third: Renee Murray, Lillian Jonas, Afton Bright, Ludean Burbank, Shirley Spackman, Tess Carlson, Phyllis Christensen, Elaine Thompson, Nancy Traveller.  Second: Joan Atkinson, Beverly Thompson, Norma Hunt, Oral Ballam, Shirley Albiston, Joyce Whittle, Edith Smith.  Front: Edward Johnson, Dick Skidmore, Monte Merrill, Burt Erickson, Melvin Hodges, Robert Anderson, Earl Egan.

Here is a photograph from Park Elementary in Richmond, Cache, Utah.  These names were given to me by one person with some clarification and correction from a couple of more.  I believe the list is overall correct, I hope the spelling of the names are all right.  I presume this photo was taken about 1944.  I do not know anything more about the teacher, Oral Lynn Ballam, either.  I could not find anything on the rest of the individuals so I assume they are still all living.  If I have it, I provide more information after the names.

Gerald “Jerry” Larson

Claine Bullen Skidmore (1931-2012) married Beth Stoddard.

Richard Thompson

Lowell Andersen (1930-Alive) married LeRita Mary Jonas (1932-Alive).

Lenard Christofferson

Dale Andrus

Dallin Ray Bell (1931-1988) married Elaine Blanche Tew (1930-2005).

LaVar Hadley Spackman (1930-2011) married Kathryn Bell and Theola Newman Buttars.

Richard Lewis

Renee Murray (1931-1996) married Harry Lawrence Holloway (1929-1996).

Lillian Jonas (1930-2009) married Ray Laurence Talbot (1926-1980).

Afton May Bright (1931-1994) married  John Cleve Olson (?-Alive).

Ludean Burbank married Christensen.

Shirley Ann Spackman (1931-1976) married Darwin Rawlings (1919-2011).

Tess Carlson married Wade Christensen.

Phyllis Christensen

Elaine Thompson

Nancy Traveller

Joan Atkinson

Beverly Thompson (1930-1970)

Norma Hunt

Oral Lynn Ballam (1901-1993) married Delis Lamb (1901-1981).

Shirley Albiston married Gary H Larsen (1931-2005).

Joyce Whittle

Edith Smith

Edward Johnson

Dick Skidmore

Monte O Merrill  married Eunice Tidwell.

Burt Erickson married Ardell.

Melvin “Dell” Abraham Hodges (1930-1979)

Robert Henry Anderson (1931-1990) married Julia Corinne Cowger (1924-2004).

Earl Delbert Egan (1931-1990)

Rawson Trip to DC

Amanda’s cousin, Jed Rawson, decided he wanted to stop and see Washington.  He made the arrangements to stay with Dennis and Gwen in Springfield.  We went up for Thursday.  We had a busy little day.  We visited the Capitol, Library of Congress, National Archives, Air and Space Smithsonian, Natural History Smithsonian, Washington Temple, FDR Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Jefferson Memorial, Washington Monument, and I am sure there is something I missed.  Oh we did stop at the White House too.  It was a busy day and you can see that in the photos.

In other news, Ross Andra had a pretty major heart attach at church last week in Salt Lake City.  I am not sure what doctrine they were teaching but it definitely knocked him over.
I received a phone call last weekend from Iona Mellor in Anaheim, California.  She is my cousin as a daughter of Otto Andra.  It was good to visit with her for more than an hour.  I sent off some group sheets to her so she could return them to me with some more information.  I look forward to hearing back from her.
I posted a blog earlier on the Presidential debate.  Talk about a few people nipping at me since!  Geez.  Relax a little people.
Tomorrow I spend the day working at the National Genealogical Society’s convention here in Richmond.  That should definitely be interesting.  The church made quite a few announcements for it.  They are literally about to move a mountain!  The Granite Mountain!

Republican Presidential Debates

There is a flurry of activity on the blogs about the recent debates.  I watched both of the last two Republican Debates and thought I would add my thoughts as well.  I have refrained from making comments as my connections to the political circles and dialogue is much more removed that in the past.  Those with whom I am most likely to associate now are those whose opinions come from media exposure and relationships that don’t have close association with the actual contenders.  My own experience tends to fall in line with this more and so I question some of the validity of my opinions.  I don’t know all the details or what is really happening behind the scenes.

Out of the debates a couple things are clear.  A few seem to know what they are really doing and are confident in it.  Others seem to have a prepared line or facade in which to convince others of their opinion.  Rudy is one that certainly believes what it is he is saying and is not about to be manipulated.  Romney is also one who has done his homework and knows where he sits and what he believes.  Lastly, Ron is well entrenched in his thoughts and opinions.  The rest of them seem to be giving us a line, trying to impress us with laurels, or out to make political statements and force a change rather than the whole package.

McCain rings out as a politician of the true sense.  Saying what needs to be said and trying to look Presidential.  Truth be told, he just looks old, feeble, and that cheesy smile gets old.

Thompson definitely could be a strong contender but he just keeps talking about the past.  Wisconsin this, Wisconsin that; why doesn’t he just talk about LaFollette and it would be complete.  Rather than really running a campaign it seems he is a bit stuck on himself which never really works out well.

Hunter and Tancredo have their little pet projects for which they are primarily running.  Both ring in often and loud about the immigration subjects.  Neither really have anything that points they are leaders or great men to be at the head our country.

Brownback is just another Senator who has failed to even gain much notoriety in the Senate.  If he can’t shine there, why do we expect him to shine as President?

Jim Gilmore has his leader experience as a Governor like several of the others.  He has a quiet confidence but comes off as not having a great grasp on national issues.  I am sure he does know more but perhaps it is his delivery.  But he seems to be running more for the title of most conservative rather than President which will not sway those independents and other fence sitters.

Mike Huckabee is the only one that seems like he could be a serious contender but he appears to be out of timing.  It is a bit like he should have spent some more time in the incubator.  He has some great ideas, knows where he sits and stands, just don’t express himself fully and completely.  Perhaps it is the lack of forcefulness in his tone.  He is one that comes off as more along for the joy ride.  He is doing what he feels is expedient.  He is out promoting his way of thinking, his actions and example, but that he isn’t totally serious.  Perhaps this will change, but he is just dabbling right now.  His campaign and much more show this.

So, let’s look at who appear as the three big boys of the debate.

Ron Paul certainly knows where he stands and what his thoughts are.  He is so completely predictable in his thoughts and comments that he doesn’t even need to speak on the stage.  We know his thoughts.  That is something which certainly comes to his aid.  He is dependable and will not shirk at the moment of trial.  He was, is, and always will be.  His major weaknesses are that he has an awkward delivery.  First he comes off as an intellectual.  The Dr instantly injures him in some of the same way that it did John Kerry.  Nobody questions he is smart but can he connect with the every day citizen and voter?  His message is stark and clear.  However, it is not the every day thoughts of your typical American.  While he would totally have been center of the road even up until the 1940’s somehow Americans have moved away from his strict interpretation of the Constitution, Monrovian/Washingtonian/Jeffersonian ideas of non-intervention, and smaller government.  Even Republicans are shifty when he speaks of what were once hard-core Republican doctrines.  In order for Ron to win, he will have to teach American history, the importance of history, and convince all citizens of its importance.  Otherwise there is no way we can return to the old moorings of our national and even republican cornerstones.  He may end up like Burton Wheeler and find himself elected out of office if the trends of the past 60 years continue.  (Having said that, it appears we are returning to some of those moorings, but how much I don’t think we really know)  Lastly, his age is a minor unnoticed question.  He does appear some of his age and usually a bit ragged.  As if teaching history were not burden enough, looking Presidential is a struggle for him.

Rudy Giuliani come off looking like a fighter but the audience’s reaction to his challenge to Paul shows how far Ron Paul has to go.  The audience and Giuliani show their obvious ignorance.  If he read the 911 Commission’s Report, he didn’t pay much attention.  After all, that was one of their premises concerning our state and the blow back we were receiving due to our interactions economically and militarily in the middle east.  Paul’s optimium response would have been “Did you read the 911 Report?  If so, you would be very familiar with what it is I am speaking” and left it at that.  Instead he came with a long response that lost the majority of Americans who were awake at this point in the debate.  Rudy gave a zinger, which shows his disregard for parliamentary procedure, debate rules, and the common decorum required.  Nevertheless, Paul was given a response in which he could have nailed Rudy to floor for his lack of security homework but did not.  The debate went on and Rudy was comfortable and confident.  That did everything to help him.  They went after him for his position on abortion and he stood his ground.  He tried to weasel away from the questions but the moderator at a moment of being good required he answer.  We have to question whether he will always be straightforward and honest or will the citizens always have to corner him?  Regardless of personal feelings I may have for or against abortion, Rudy will still have a struggle with many of the Republican Party since this is a topic of interest for them.  In all likeliness, if elected, he would nominate a justice or two and for Republican’s this is the chance to change the tide with Roe.  Will they go for the man who cannot guarantee their position?  Or will they, hoping to get consensus from independents and hope for the best?  Lastly, a question I have is concerning his political credentials.  Yes, he ran New York City, but city government has some stark contrasts with a state or the national government.  Do we really know he can navigate those channels?

Lastly, there is the enigma of Mitt Romney.  Where in the world will he take the country?  He is the only person on the roster who appears to need to answer questions about his religion.  Each of the candidates has their changes or “flip flops” as they like to refer to Mitt’s reversals.  I am not sure that is totally the issue at hand.  Romney appears confident and well thought out, much like Giuliani, except Romney has appeared to have that the whole time.  This is all the more true when compared with the first GOP debate.  Romney has real work experience.  He is not just a lifelong politician.  It is obvious that he worked his way up through the world of business and can understand the true forms of efficiency, responsiveness, and having a vision/charter.  What is more, he is specialized in knowing how to weed out problems and rebuilding an organization from the ground up.  That does not deal with consensus but in flat out making decisions, learning, and pressing forward.  A politician has the long history of always making sure his rear is covered so he can be reelected.  He has to second guess everything and reevaluate things to recast them to a variety of people for their acceptance.  Opinions rule in politics.  But in business, those things are not rewarded and not often encouraged.  Leadership and pure blazing the trail is what really makes one successful.  Romney has shown that he can do that with absolute power in an organization and has stepped into the government realm to add his help.  That seems to be of great value.  Make decisions and then see who you can line up as friend or foe rather than the other way around.  That is his strength.  He understands the need of fiscal and financial leadership.  Capitalism does not long reward debt and operating in the red.  This is something which will be of great value to him in office.  He took it to Massachusetts and it seems he would take it to Washington.  He has many characteristics which make him agreeable to be among the best for the options for GOP Nominee.  But I still have some serious reservations about a the man who professes complete fidelity to his religion but wants to bash some of its fundamental doctrines.

We will have to see where these things move.

Jonas Family Photos

Jonas Family Photos

It has come time for the information regarding the Jonas Album.  There are a couple of generations in there, but like the Andra line, I will not include much information on the living individuals.  Only those familiar with the line will find those photos interesting or of much value.  However, you may be able to figure some of them out by their names.

Some of this information has been given in previous posts.  Particularly in relation to the Coley album and the Lost Trunk.  I do have quite a bit more information in relation to some of these families.  I have told some of the stories previously as well.  I will have to post more later.

Joseph Jonas
10 Jan 1859 – Frenchtown, Monroe, Michigan
23 Jun 1917 – Richmond, Cache, Utah

Married
Nov 1883 – Logan, Cache, Utah

Annetta Josephine Nelson
18 Nov 1864 – Logan, Cache, Utah
23 Dec 1907 – Provo, Utah, Utah

Children
Margaret Jonas
17 Jun 1884 – Logan, Cache, Utah
17 Sep 1904 – Thorpe, Kittitas, Washington
Mary Nelson Jonas
17 Jul 1885 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
21 Sep 1899 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
Rosa Nelson Jonas
5 Sep 1886 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
20 Feb 1951 – Preston, Franklin, Idaho
John Nelson Jonas
14 Aug 1888 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
19 Dec 1918 – Richmond, Cache, Utah (Influenza)
William Nelson Jonas
2 Dec 1889 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
14 Apr 1972 – Murray, Salt Lake, Utah
Joseph Nelson Jonas
19 Nov 1893 – 19 Nov 1893 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
6 Sep 1932 – Ogden, Weber, Utah (electrocuted)
Annetta Josephine Jonas
12 Aug 1896 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington
12 Aug 1896 – Ellensburg, Kittitas, Washington

Christian Andersen (married previously to Caroline Mathilde Halverson)
9 Oct 1873 –Christiania, Akershus, Norway
9 Aug 1957 – Ogden, Weber, Utah

Married
29 Jun 1904 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

Rosa Nelson Jonas
Information listed above

Children
Rosetta Mabel Andersen (married Vordis Rio Cazier)
23 Oct 1905 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
9 Jun 1981 – Townsend, Broadwater, Montana
Christian Cyrus Andersen (married Florence Zelnora Child)
21 Dec 1907 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
7 Jul 1980 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Annetta Cleone Andersen (married Christian S Miller)
24 Nov 1909 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
19 Jun 1981 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Merlin Andersen (married Ruby Harris)
20 Sep 1913 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
30 Dec 1998 – Westpoint, Davis, Utah
Verla Jonas Andersen (married Howard Wayment Lythgoe)
16 Mar 1917 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
22 Jun 1999 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Arvie Jonas Andersen (married Dorothy Dean Hobbs)
30 May 1921 – Lewiston, Cache, Utah
22 May 1990 – Ogden, Weber, Utah

John Nelson Jonas
Information listed above

Married
5 Jun 1912 – Logan, Cache, Utah

Nellie Armina Jonas
26 Jul 1889 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
11 Dec 1953 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

Children
Calvin Anderson Jonas (married Viola Florance Chapman)
6 Aug 1913 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
17 Jun 1991 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
Melvin Anderson Jonas (married Doris Everts)
31 Mar 1917 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
16 Jul 1944 – San Marcos, Hays, Texas (drowned, married Doris Everts)
Armina Anderson Jonas (married Don Farnes)
5 Mar 1919 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
30 Mar 2011 – St George, Washington, Utah

William Nelson Jonas
Information listed above

Married
6 Jan 1921 – Logan, Cache, Utah

Karen Marie Thompson
31 Oct 1892 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
13 Jun 1980 – Murray, Salt Lake, Utah

Children
Delwyn Thompson Jonas (married Myrna Mae Bowman)
4 Jan 1922 – Logan, Cache, Utah
10 Dec 2003 – Murray, Salt Lake, Utah
Maynard Thompson Jonas (married Lois Rae Lemmon)
9 Apr 1923 – Thatcher, Franklin, Idaho
31 Jan 1997 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Gaylen Thompson Jonas
14 Mar 1925 – Logan, Cache, Utah
19 Sep 1944 – Peleliu, Palau Islands
Vaughn Thompson Jonas (married Dorothy Wiley)
7 Sep 1926 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
8 Aug 1991 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Carvel Thompson Jonas (married Beverly Clayton and Barbara Williams)
17 Sep 1934 – Sandy, Salt Lake, Utah
Still living
William Thompson Jonas
22 Oct 1937 – Murray, Salt Lake, Utah
23 Oct 1937 – Murray, Salt Lake, Utah

Joseph Nelson Jonas
Information listed above

Married
6 Sep 1916 – Logan, Cache, Utah

Lillian Coley
26 Aug 1898 – Lewiston, Cache, Utah
11 Feb 1987 – Layton, Davis, Utah

Children
Joseph Herbert Jonas (married Hilma Grace Erickson)
14 Aug 1917 – Richmond, Cache, Utah
23 Jun 1993 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Spencer Gilbert Jonas (married Viola Amelia Cole)
10 Dec 1920 – Burley, Cassia, Idaho
26 Aug 1996 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Irwin John Jonas (married Mary Elizabeth Popwitz)
2 Sep 1921 – Thatcher, Franklin, Idaho
11 Jul 1944 – Lowe, France
Wilburn Norwood Jonas (married Colleen Mary Andra)
15 May 1924 – Lewiston, Cache, Utah
14 Mar 1975 – Burley, Cassia, Idaho
Ellis Seth Jonas (married Geraldine Pitcher)
6 Sep 1926 – Lewiston, Cache, Utah
12 Aug 2012 – Smithfield, Cache, Utah
Evan Reed Jonas (married Lona Rae Jensen)
4 Sep 1928 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
4 Feb 1999 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah
Lillian Annetta Jonas (married Ray Laurence Talbot)
15 Jul 1930 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
20 Feb 2009 – Layton, Davis, Utah
LeReta Mary Jonas (married Lowell Hansen Andersen)
1 Aug 1932 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Still living

Wanner Family Photos

Wanner Family Photos 

Here is another update in the long goal to load all my photos up onto the blog.  I have loaded my maximum for the month of May already but am happy to report I am about 90% done.  Then I can spend time writing and commenting about other things rather than the latest updates in photos.

My last update relating to photos dealt with the Nuffer family.  My ancestor from the Nuffer family married a Wanner introducing a new name for the line.  Here is the information on the Wanner family.

It is a sad note that four of my great grandmother’s siblings all lived to be adults but died for a variety of reasons.  Two from flu, one from blood poisoning, one as a missionary in New Zealand.

John George Wanner (Johann Georg Wanner)
18 Oct 1845 – Holzgerlingen, Boblingen, Wurttemberg
16 Feb 1922 – Logan, Cache, Utah

Married
6 Jun 1870 – Holgerlingen, Boblingen, Wurttemberg

Anna Maria Schmid
21 Jan 1849 – Holzgerlingen, Boblingen, Wurttemberg
9 Dec 1929 – Logan, Cache, Utah

Children
John George Wanner (Jr)
29 Oct 1870 – Holzgerlingen
5 Jan 1947 – Chicago, Cook, Illinois
Christina Wanner (married Charles August Nuffer)
30 Mar 1872 – Holzgerlingen
10 Aug 1940 – Preston, Franklin, Idaho
Maria Magdalena Wanner (married William Addison Wagstaff)(More information at this link: Wagstaff Family)
12 Sep 1873 – Gruenkraut, Boblingen, Wurttemberg
23 Oct 1952 – Ogden, Weber, Utah
Johannas Wanner
23 Jun 1875 – Gruenkraut
5 Nov 1875 – Unknown
Johannas Frederick Wanner
28 Jul 1876 – Gruenkraut
12 Nov 1878 – Unknown
Luise Sophia Wanner (married Jeffery Marcelin Bodrero)
30 Mar 1879 – Gruencraut
1 Feb 1967 – Logan, Cache, Utah
Jacob Frederick Wanner (married Mary Elizabeth Carter and Eva Christensen)
14 Jan 1881 – Gruenkraut
25 Aug 1955 – Preston
Pauline Wanner (married William Henery Crossley)
1 Apr 1884 – Gruenkraut
10 Dec 1921 – Ogden
Gottlop Wanner (married Rebecca Hicks and Grace Elizabeth Stewart)
18 Jun 1886 – Gruenkraut
25 Mar 1952 – Inkom, Bannock, Idaho
Wilhelmina Wanner (married Moses Bodrero, brother to Jefferey above)
12 Sep 1887 – Gruenkraut
4 Mar 1991 – Logan (103 ½!)

John George Wanner
29 Oct 1870 – Holzgerlingen
5 Jan 1947 – Chicago, Cook, Illinois

1. Married
14 Nov 1894 – Logan, Cache, Utah (divorced or did she die?)

Eliza Stirland
3 Dec 1876 – Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, England
Unknown death date

Children
Earl Wayne Wanner
31 Oct 1895 – Providence, Cache, Utah
29 Jul 1962 – Unknown
George Phineas Wanner
1897 – Somewhere in Present Franklin County
Unknown Death location or life.

2. Married
31 Aug 1898 – Logan, Cache, Utah (divorced)

Regina Friederike Nuffer
26 Jan 1869 – Neuffen, Esslingen, Wurttemberg
10 Mar 1942 – Preston, Franklin, Idaho

Children
William Cristoph Wanner
9 Nov 1899 – Mapleton, Franklin, Idaho
1 Dec 1918 – Camp Genicart, Gironde, France (Influenza)
Willard John Wanner (married Gladys Laverna Thompson)
9 Nov 1899 – Mapleton, Franklin, Idaho
19 Oct 1979 – Preston, Franklin, Idaho
Mary Louise Wanner (married William Fredrick Andra, my great grandfather)
5 Mar 1901 – Mapleton, Franklin, Idaho
11 Aug 1991 – Preston, Franklin, Idaho
Golden Wanner
4 Sep 1902 – Mapleton, Franklin, Idaho
26 Nov 1918 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah (Influenza)
Eva Virtue Wanner (married Adolf Ernest Spatig)
24 Feb 1904 – Mapleton, Franklin, Idaho
12 Aug 1968 – Preston, Franklin, Idaho
Rulon Wanner
6 Nov 1905 – Mapleton, Franklin, Idaho
26 Feb 1924 – Logan, Cache, Utah (blood poisoning from razor cut)
Serge Nuffer Wanner
8 Mar 1908 – Preston, Franklin, Idaho
5 Oct 1929 – New Zealand (killed as a missionary for LDS)

3. Married
5 May 1921 – Fort Myers, Lee, Florida(divorced)

Annie Janes Metts
29 Aug 1873 – St Augustine, St Johns, Florida
4 Jan 1961 – Unknown

4. Married
3 Jun 1942 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

Grace Irene Frasure
5 Jul 1893 – Evansville, Rock, Wisconsin
Mar 1980 – Salt Lake City, Salt Lake, Utah

Thanks be given

There is not a whole lot to report on at the present.  We enjoyed a Thanksgiving here in blessed Virginia.

Amanda and I drove to Massanutten, a resort up in the hills.  We went up to spend Thanksgiving with Amanda’s Uncle and Aunt.  It turned out to be an interesting day.  I enjoyed the drive up to the area.  Gordonsville was the highlight of the day, the town having a personality completely its own.  A rare thing it seems these days.

Massanutten wasn’t anything to boast about.  They do have a very large indoor water park.  Other than that, it was just a bunch of condos in the middle of the mountains.  Don’t get me wrong, the mountains were beautiful.  How much more beautiful without the “hello, here I am” presence of the resort? 

Amanda and I have determined we will never go out to enjoy our Thanksgiving meal again.  It seems to undermine what the day is about.  Who would have ever thought it was Thanksgiving.  Where was any resemblance of Thanksgiving, other than a commercial version of the foods associated with the date? 

We went back and pretty much watched the TV for the rest of the day.  Driving home, we were relieved to leave the situation which seemed lacking so much.

Hopefully, I can pay some homage to the day here even though the day did not provide much.

This week, I discovered I am the posterity of individuals who lived at Jamestown.  Yes, next years celebration of 400 years in America, honored even by the Queen, is directly relevant to me.  Not just through this nation, but through my ancestors who lived there.  The Clark (or Clarke) family, the Summers, Lumpkin, and Thompson groups I am all related to.  There is a possibility my Clark’s even come from the famous John Clark, who was the Master’s Mate on the Mayflower.  He had been to Jamestown before, imprisoned in Spain, made the trip of the Mayflower, and eventually made his way back to live in Jamestown.  He died not too much afterwards.  I am also a descendent of the Graham Clan who settled parts of Virginia, West Virginia, and Kentucky.  They extended into Missouri, Indiana, Iowa, and Ohio as well.  I am an American very deep in some roots.  One of those Grahams was a personal friend of George Washington, and convinced him to help endow a new school he had founded.  Yep, a Graham founded Washington and Lee.  My history includes three future presidents, universities, and other numerous recorded aids to society.

My roots expand the ocean many times.  My roots run to Wales, Ireland, Scotland, and England.  My ancestors were in the court of rulers; my ancestors even ruled parts of the Roman Empire.  My ancestors come from Sweden, Norway, and the largest number from Germany.  I have family who can be traced into Russia, Australia, and a score of other nations.  The foundations I have been given are broad and inclusive.  I am so very fortunate.  Each of us have a history which began long before we were born.

Those blessings extend beyond my family.  This nation, which has its hopes in liberty and freedom are one of the greatest blessings to me.  I am very fortunate.  It may be a weakness in many ways, but is a great boon in many more ways.  I pray for the principles upon which it is founded to continue to go to the whole earth.  I pray that those principles would be grasped by other nations and be implemented into their states.  I pray our nation might return to the principles of truth and freedom for which it is founded.

I remember the lives of those who were given for this freedom I enjoy and others do not.  Two of my Great Grandfather’s were gassed in WWI and both lived to tell the tale.  Both met painful and difficult deaths due to it.  One grandfather has purple hearts to show for his wounds and success in WWII.  The other grandfather tried to enroll, but due to health issues was not allowed to be a part.

I pray for the soldiers of freedom everywhere.  I care not what nation they represent, as long as they are there for liberty, freedom, and truth.  I pray God will bless those who represent those hopes and ideals.  That those who do not represent those ideals, or those they represent, will be thwarted in their designs.

It is with gratitude I offer my thanks to He who makes death not a fear.  I thank and give adoration to the Savior of all mankind, even Christ that we might all live again.  That despite wickedness and fear, we have nothing to fear but sin.  I express my deepest thanks for the restoration of His church back on the earth and the miracles which abound about us.  The gathering of lost nations, the restoration of Israel, the building up of the kingdom in preparation for the king whose right it is to rule.  My deepest sympathies are with the restoration and furthering of eternal purposes upon the earth.  My greatest joys and delight come from this impressive, yet almost unrecognizable effort happening in our midst.

I am pleased to have been born at this time of such great blessing.  It is with a certain hope I see the future, despite all which is prophesied to come upon us.  So much pain that the Saints will barely escape with their lives.  We have seen little or nothing of what is to come.  Nations will rise up against nations and desolation shall abound on all the earth.  Those of the order of God have not need to fear though.  This I am grateful for.  For the Priesthood which shall protect those within the covert from the storm, for the Resurrection that those who will be lost; both for their own sins and for a more full judgment upon the wicked.

Most close to home I thank for those who are dearest to me.  I am thankful for those who so deeply touch the deepest parts of my soul.  Many who are now separated from me by death, but that too shall not be for long.  My dearest wife, and all her splendor for which I am a blessed soul.  My parents who fought and struggled so hard for my upbringing and their abiding love for me. 

There is a whole multitude of souls I could reference for their influence in my life.  The more I learn and contemplate, the more I realize how intricately every soul is linked to one another.  Even years later we remember the influence of another.  There are influences from childhood, influences from events far away, and even influence from beyond the grave.

My heart is full.  I am thankful for all things. 

Visit from Grands

This week brought some happy differences from the mundane run.  Not at all to give the impression that life is mundane though.  The longer I live, the more I realize it is just like beauty, all in the life of the beholder.  There are those people wandering their lives thinking they are a nobody and with nothing great in their character or soul.  Then there are those people who find fascination, excitement, and life in all there is about them.  They are a different breed.

Somehow, I feel like in Richmond, I walk through a load of people with no excitement in their lives.  Life is a labyrinth for them to wander and walk.  There are so few who are in it for the game, and the experience.

The great Samuel Clemens, a fascinating man.  One who watched the every move of those about him with great detail.  Their every movement captured their personality for him.  That is one of the things that made him such a great writer.  He was able to take those little details and wind them into a story and make the characters that much more real. 

Suppose it would be the experience of the riverboat pilot which would teach you even more closely to watch the details of the water.  The slightest quiver could mean life or death.  Just his assumed name of Mark Twain shows a certain yearning.

Earlier this week I was able to pick the brain of a man who I found to be very fascinating.  A silent man in the past, but who gave voice this week.  I wanted to hear his story.  So I started to inquire and found some wonderful stories.

Having William Borah fresh on my mind, I was thinking of the honour of the President of the United States coming to visit you in your home state.  Senator Borah toured with him and introduced him to all audiences that he was presented before.  For some reason this has really lingered with me the past weeks.  President Roosevelt paying one of the greatest honours to a man of the opposite party.  President Franklin Roosevelt went to Republican Idaho and toured with its Senator.  It also showed the distinction of Senator Borah.  This really has hit home with the latest election.

So it was with greatest delight that I wandered through the mind and history of Mel Thompson.  Learning he moved with his family to Nyssa, Oregon in the mid 30’s.  They moved up there and basically homesteaded a new territory.  Knowing many of my own family would move to that same area within the next 10 years I really sought to pick his brain. 

Family history and my delving into history met ironically in the mind of Mel.  He told of the experience when he was still in school that the President of the United States came to town.  Yes sir, little Nyssa, Oregon welcomed the President.  I knew who one of the men was who traveled with him, the same Senator Borah.

These stories come to life for me when I can go to the places these events happened.  But they come so much more alive when I know a person and can learn from firsthand experience.  Like sitting on the porch of the Price home in Malad, Idaho where Senator Borah visited with Helen Daniels Price’s father.

Having been to Nyssa several times in my life, the latest just in 2005 when I traveled out there with a visit to Parma.  The Amalgamated Sugar Factory, with which Dad was closely tied for a good 25 years.  Cannot forget the Sharp family members who moved, and some of which still live in Malheur County.  The Fort Boise replica is not far away either.  Oh, and the elusive Rhoda Christensen Davenport Pappas Halan who wrote letters from there, but that is the end of the story.  I have found no more.

All truth can be circumscribed into one great whole.  That truth certainly extends beyond the theoretical.  That truth engulfs us into it as well.  Funny thought, to consider ourselves the truth, but in essence all things are truth.  Whether we like or live it or not; even our lying is in truth and will be treated as such.  Our lives mingle, intertwine, and are very much related to each other.  How could one ever conceive that their actions don’t affect another?  President Roosevelt, Senator Borah, and in the school yard where the children were let out from class to go out to the street to see the President’s motorcade prove that point.  One of those children had a face, had a personality, and had the name of Melvin J Thompson.

Last weekend, we went to Washington to attend the temple, to see Amanda’s grandparents, and to witness of a baby blessing.  It was a great weekend, but turned even better when Amanda’s grandparents came to stay with us for an evening.  An honour I would be willing to give a lifetime to do with one of my sets of grandparents.  (I suppose I am giving a lifetime to do so!)  It will yet come to pass and I will cherish that day.

We attended the Washington Temple Saturday morning.  Amanda and I were asked to be the witness couple for the session.  That was our second time.  Shanna just thought that was something else.  I wish I could have done an endowment with any of my grandparents, living I mean.  It bothers me even still today my Grandfather, my only living grandparents, chose not to come to our sealing.  For what reason I do not know, and probably prefer not to know.  There again, how woven our lives are together.  That the mere presence, or absence thereof, would so affect me.  What if Mel Thompson had not been in the audience that day?  Who would ever have known?  Nobody would have known, but now I do.  Somehow it rings a siren to my soul and brings back me back to the reality of the past.  It seems so far distant sometimes.  But now that nameless face has altered my life some 70 years later.  Even further, all those who read this will be altered to one degree or another, by this events significance.  That says nothing of all the other individuals present that day.  How many of them told that experience later in life, how many wrote it down, how many family members recall that event today.  I would venture that at least one somewhere, somehow, even if from a recorded record.

Our families were tied a little more closely that day in Washington and the following convo.  The drive back to Richmond brought out the stories of childhood in Pingree, Idaho; Nyssa, Oregon; and Ogden, Utah.  The stories included excursions to the Pacific and World War II and running into Mel’s brother at Pearl Harbor from Air Craft Carrier #77 to his training at Farragut in northern Idaho.  His missing attendance at the Laie, Hawaii Temple by one day was told followed by his bouts in learning telegraphy for the railroad.  Even those appear to be the most ordinary have a life to tell.  Sadly, it is in the eye of the storyteller that plays just as much of a role as that of the listener.  The listener has to seek and find connections, living what is true empathy.  In return, the speaker has to give of himself in such a way for the other to experience it. 

Is it any wonder the gospel works the way it does?  Not only does one have to be prepared to receive, but the giver has to be prepared to give.  Otherwise neither will give nor receive and both will most certainly not be edified.  One side operating just doesn’t work.  It falls on deaf ears, or is droned out before even arriving at the other party.

Too often there are those who are giving for the wrong reasons make it strained.  Those who seek it for the wrong reasons ruin the experience.

Anyhow, it was a fascinating lesson, and I was able to come and grasp some more of the 60’s.  I have really struggled coming to understand the 70’s and 70’s.  I just cannot tell why.  Even though I was born in the late 70’s, there seems to have been some type of disconnect.I have been fully engulfed in Richmond, Utah in 1961 and 1962 through the eyes of Lillian Coley Jonas Bowcutt.  The lifestyle of a lady in her 60’s though just does not seem to portray the era.  Especially this is true in a community which was still very rural and in some ways behind the times.  I just cannot seem to get the culture of the time.  50’s, 40’s, 30’s, I feel like I have a very good grasp, like experiencing through proxy.  In stepping backwards farther, I struggle to back further and feel it is due to the 60’s and 70’s.  Honestly though, I have not much desire for that time.  I don’t know why.  So I push further back into the 20’s and 1800’s without it. 

Anyhow, I never really got to pick Shanna’s brain much.  I got Mel on such a roll that he was not about to give up his shine.  We both were so enjoying it while the others just slept, knitted, or did something else.  So I regret not picking apart Shanna’s past, which I am sure holds many interesting experiences and stories.  Perhaps another day, with the right experiences will open that book.

They spent the night, and we had breakfast together before Amanda went to school and I went to work.  Mel, Shanna, Dennis, and Gwen toured the Museum of the Confederacy and St. John’s Church.  We invited them for dinner, of which they accepted.  We made white chili for their dinner.  They loved it, we put it over rice with corn.  In the end, games and conversation were out as Dennis seemed not very desirous to stay.  So we bid them adieu and wished them well on their drive home.

It was an experience I will not soon forget.  It is a rare thing such experiences happen.  So much has to align for such events to occur.  A man I had viewed as so quiet proved to be very perceptive, keen, and wise.

I don’t like the tone of this little blog, so I think I will be leaving.  I feel like I am condescending or portraying some type of sage.  Which I am not attempting, but failing.  I am so weak at words it is frustration.  What I would not give to have the power and verse of Mark Twain or Hugh Nibley.

Mt. Vernon

Probably time for another little update. We have just returned from another weekend up in the bustling city of Washington. We went up last night, stayed with Dennis and Gwen Thompson, and had ourselves a great time. We attended the Washington Temple this morning. Amanda, Dennis, and Gwen all did a session while I did initiatory. It was a great, much needed, release from the week. I actually quite enjoyed myself.We had lunch with the whole Thompson Clan to celebrate Grandparent’s Day, and then they went off to a soccer game for Faith and Destiny. Amanda and I met up with Greg McNeill and headed to Mount Vernon. This was Amanda’s first visit, my third. We drove over separately and spent the time walking through the grounds. Amanda was already exhausted from the day, and seemed to be dragging the whole time. She says she enjoyed Mt. Vernon. I really liked sitting with Martha Washington and listening to her talk about Thomas Jefferson. She did not have much to say that she liked about him.

Greg and I had a great chat about a whole host of things. We discussed politics, Mormons, campaigns, Supreme Court rulings, and who knows what else. Poor Amanda was even more exhausted after hanging out with us. It was great to catch up with him though. He is a good man. He announced and gave us his wedding date for May 26th next year. I have put it on my calendar, we are planning to go, it is at Fort Belvoir at the officer’s club. That should be exciting.

The week went well. I worked my tail off some more and became pretty frustrated with things. I am supposed to have two full weeks of training, all day long. That is 10 days. So far, I have had a whopping 3 days I think, and then they tell me that they want me to do more sales or something. I honestly don’t have a clue about what I am doing with some stuff. For example, I collected premium from a lady this week for a policy that has been paid for up for 20 years. She was old and senile enough not to notice, and I had no clue. What the company will do with that is beyond me. The best part, it was life insurance premium I collected, and is technically illegal for me to do so. That is how green I am in many ways.

I did write three policies this week, but I need to learn how to do more. I want to, but I seem to be so very alone. Oh well, I will endure.

They made me go on a conference call this week. That will be the last time I do that. I spent a good 30 minutes listening to the sub-regional manager talk about all these little goals and that they have for us. They are not paying for my lost 30 minutes of cell phone time. Next, Mr Stone himself said that a goal that is not ours, does not have the power to motivate. Well, I will be making my own goals. I don’t care if I go to Nashville. I don’t care if I get some luxury spa set. Honestly, I don’t care if I have a big bonus at the end of the year. I want to feel my job is worthwhile, and that I am succeeding at it. That is hard to do sometimes when you have not a clue what is going on, and then some people start riding you for their goals. Well, I know where they can go. Back to that little throne that they think they are on, and live their little dream. I will do the work in my realm, and do what is necessary, with what capacity I have. I don’t know how they expect me to write 15 policies in a week when the three I had this week were in my estimation pure luck.

On top of all that Marc, tells me he wants me to be a Sales Manager. I cannot even get the training to sell, why in the world would I want to be a Sales Manager and oversee other’s selling. How can I train on something I have not yet figured out. Seeing as I won’t get the training just yet. Having said all that, I cannot expect them to do so, nor will I pass the buck. I will do my part, I will do what I can, and improve at my own pace. How they expect more, on my own, I have yet to figure out. If somebody can help me, I would appreciate the advice on how I can do more than I know how. Trial error is not the best way, but if that is all they leave me with, fine. I will work that method. I do have a great set of resources from Mr. Stone himself, but the LSAT takes precedence right now. Not that I am doing great in that either, but at least I have priority.

Well, time to prepare for the Sabbath. Lessons to review, read, and ideas to be familiar with. I hope this coming week will provide greater opportunities and I will keep my sight higher. I cannot let myself get weighed down by my inadequacies. ( I think I spelled that wrong, but I just don’t want to check….)