“I love that man better who swears a stream as long as my arm and is attentive to administering to the poor and dividing his substance, than the long smoothed faced hypocrites.”
That quote by Joseph Smith sums up much of what I believe. I have been always so fortunate to end up with the salt of the earth, or at least being amongst them.
No matter where I go, or what I do, I have been very blessed.
I made a stop at the Oneida County Museum on Saturday. I ended up chatting and visiting with those ladies for a length of time. Most of them knew or knew of my relatives from Samaria. It was a good day. I sat and had lunch with an 88 year old, Daphne King Thompson. She was a good lady. We discussed her lawn, and she informed me about the Welsh Festival that had been revived in Malad. Did you know Malad (Samaria) has the most Welsh people outside of Wales? Yep, it is a bona fide fact. BYU said so! So I think I might join the Welsh Society. After all, some of those Williams, Jones, and Evans are my relatives. Also, seeing where I served in a mission for Northern Wales, and my ancestors really did come from Southern Wales, why not? I can support a good cause. So, if you are interested, www.welshfestival.com It is only $10!
Meier and Frank continues to go well. I am now a full time painter. Who would have thought. That Law and Constitutional Studies major has come in mighty handy in telling that paint where to stick and not to. Things are good at work. I like having a my own list of things to do and having my own drive to get it done, rather than a taskmaster of any sorts. Oddly, somehow moving from receiving to maintenance, my opinion actually counts for something. I don’t know how a position change actually gave me intelligence in the presence of others, or at least an opinion to be expressed.
I stopped to visit my cousin Ralph Naef. He is a 1st cousin, twice removed. We share Regina Nuffer for an ancestor. He came to our reception, which is a great thing, seeing how we had never met. I promised I would stop to visit him. We had a great conversation. But moreover, he gave me a book. Oh yes, more to add to my family history. It contains the whole Naef family history, but I am only going to add the descendants of Charles Daniel Naef. Ralph was telling me, that he has 600 and something direct descendents, and like 900 if you include spouses. That is simply amazing. That is from a number of descendants that was compiled over 10 years ago. So I am sure there is well over a thousand now.
A good friend of mine from work, Bob Corliss, allowed me to look up some records on the internet with his information. I stumbled upon a registration form for my great grandfather, David Delos Donaldson, and WWI. He was working in Twin Falls, Idaho. The best part is, we never knew he went to Idaho, ever. Not only that, he was working there, and was exempted because he was working to support his younger siblings and mother. He did later enter, we don’t know when or how, but went to France in the Argonne and was gassed there. He suffered his whole life and eventually died from the mustard.
With this information, I went to visit my Uncle Dave Donaldson because my Dad did not know anything. So I picked his brain. We know little about my Great Grandfather before he married. Now we know he was working for Ballantyne Plumbing in Twin Falls in roughly April 1917. He served in WWI with two brothers. As mentioned, he was hit with mustard, spent some time in hospital, and he wasn’t getting better, so they sent him home. He married my Great Grandmother in 1919, Berendena Van Leeuwen. They had 5 children. During the great depression he worked down south as a plumber. Dave did not know where, but there was a possibility it was at the Hoover. When they went on a trip to Los Angeles, he insisted on stopping at Boulder City and the dam on the way home. Oh, we do know that before they got married, he worked as a plumber in Phoenix. How long we don’t know, but he could not bear the heat down there. During the depression when he worked down south, the family stayed in Ogden. Dave was young enough that he did remember his father coming home, but not where from. Again during WWII, the whole family moved to Napa, California and Great Grandpa was a plumber at the naval yard there, he made it sound like Oceanside. I do not know if there were any other naval bases down there. Then they moved back. The family must not have stayed down there, or he did not work the entire war, as my Grandpa and Grandma met in 1941-1942 at the Berthana on 24th street Ogden at a dance. They were married in April 1942, shortly before he left for war. They were not allowed to be married in the temple because Great Grandpa was not a member of the church. I am not sure if this was to get him to join or what, but it backfired. My Dad was born on 4 July 1943. My father did not see my Grandpa until he was 3 years old when he returned from war. Anyhow, Great Grandpa was a plumber by trade. He worked up until the 1950’s when his health failed him. He picked up smoking because it soothed his lungs. It sounds like the mustard burned his lungs the rest of his life. He would smoke to deaden the nerves. Dave told me this increased until he died. Even the last few years of his life, he had oxygen when he went places and when he slept. But he kept smoking. Dad told me of one of the few memories he had of his Grandpa. He went to visit him in Ogden, Grant Ave if I remember right, and he was laying in bed. There were newspapers all over the floor. He got into a coughing fit and coughed a big thing of phlegm up and it went on the floor. It was the combination of the irritation to the lungs from mustard, and the smoking. It was what eventually killed him. I was told the story that when he had had enough, he had my Great Grandma cook this big dinner, and he ate it, and then passed away afterward. Apparently his body could not handle certain foods, especially meats. He just could not take it any more and wanted a full meal.
Dave told me that David Delos Donaldson’s father, William Scott Donaldson was a plumber also. Supposedly he had a confectionary in downtown Ogden at one time as well. We have a picture of them standing in the store. His mother, Mary Elizabeth Williams, was according to Dave a witch with a b. She was high minded, snooty, and a brat. Dave said never once that he was in her presence did she ever notice him or give him the time of day. He said she was very negative and a condescending person. Nothing went right, everything was wrong, and it was everybody’s fault. He never liked his grandma, and would rather move out than be in the house when she went to move in. At one point, Great Grandpa did not allow her to move in because Dave would move out. She was the daughter of David D Williams, whose brother, John Haines Williams, is the father of those Williams who settled Samaria, Idaho. All those William’s in the Malad Valley are my relatives, and they are the Welsh I spoke of earlier.
Berendena Van Leeuwen, my Great Grandmother was an amazing lady. Everybody loved her. Betty, Dave’s wife, told me that whenever she thinks of the Donaldson home in Ogden, she sees herself pulling in the drive, and the curtains parting and this little curly headed woman with a big smile with a little wave beaming at her. She was an amazing cook, never using recipes. She had an infectious laugh and loved everybody and everything. In 1955 she was in an auto accident that handicapped her the rest of her life. It was an Oldsmobile 88 that she went to pass a semi and he put her into a telephone pole. She did some major damage to her hip. She had a full body cast for a long time. She had over 14 major operations. The final one, one for kidney stones, weakened her enough that she died shortly after. Despite 4 years or so of being handicapped, Dave and Betty told me that she was as chipper and happy as ever. It did not even seem to phase her. They took her camping several times, but the one they remember is the one before she passed away. They would be out fishing and they would put her in a chair on the bank to watch. She would giggle at the birds and them. Betty insists that when she smiled the whole world brightened. Dad remembers Great Grandma coming to visit with her monster bed. Dave remembers that very well too! After she went out to live with Grandpa and Grandma two different times for about a month each, he said she could go, but he was moving the bed no more. Dad remembers her in a full body cast but she was funny.
Dad would tell me about Grandma always having home made bread. They got in trouble more than once for coming home and taking some when they should not have. Dad also told in Grandma’s funeral how Grandpa would come home, sneak in, ask if anyone was looking, and lay one on Grandma. Other times he would come in and they would start dancing in the living room. During the war, Grandma and Grandpa would kneel at 9 o’clock no matter where they were and pray. In the spirit of oneness.
Anyhow, that is all I am going to share now. There was more about David Delos’ siblings. But I am not so sure on all that, need to do another interview, then I will comment.