Interview of Milo Ross
Tape I – A
Wayne: Okay. I’m at Milo Ross’ home in Plain City, which is just through the lots from where I grew up at and the date is what, August the 13th?
Milo: Probably the 13th today.
Wayne: Wednesday August 13th. This is tape one, side one of a conversation I’m having with Milo.
Milo: Should have put on there Plain City.
Wayne: Oh, well, I’ll remember that. But I have trouble if I don’t do that little preliminary stuff, is I get the tapes mixed up. You have a quiet voice, so I think I could find a book or something to – oh—
Milo: Here’s one right here.
Wayne: Just to prop this –
Milo: How about this? What do you need?
Wayne: Just something like this.
Wayne: Since I want –
Milo: Here’s some more book. You know, you said you was talking to Aunt Vic Hunt. I’ll tell you a story about her. She’s over to the rest home, see. Yardley, he came in and he says – he and an attorney came in and he says, Mrs. Hunt, he says, you sure got a rhythm out of heart. He says, you gotta start moving around taking it a little more easy, don’t hurt yourself. She says, “listen you young punk.” she says, “Why don’t you tell me something I don’t know anything about. I’ve lived with that all my life,” she says.
Wayne: Well Paul – or Milo, can I just ask you a few obvious questions for the — and then – can you tell me your full legal name?
Milo: Do you wanna start now?
Milo: My name’s Milo James Ross.
Wayne: And what date were you born?
Milo: February the 4th, 1921.
Wayne: So, you’re two years older than I.
Milo: Born in ’21.
Wayne: Right, I was born in ’23?
Wayne: Yeah. Where were you born?
Milo: Plain City.
Wayne: And who were your parents?
Milo: My mother was Ethel Sharp Ross. That’d be Vic Hunt’s sister. Ed Sharp’s sister, Dale Sharp’s sister. My dad was Jack Ross. And he came from Virginia. They came out west and settled over in Rupert and Paul, Idaho. When they found out they was gonna have a sugar factory in that area. So, they run the railroad track a ride out. What they really done, they bummed their way out on the railroad, flat cars at that time. They was bringing coal and stuff out from Virginia out into that country. And Dad and Grandad and all the relatives that could decided to come out. And that was the only way they could afford to come out because nobody had any money. So they settled around Paul and Rupert, Idaho area. And that’s where my dad met my mother, Ethel Ross, because she had that store I was telling you about in Paul.
Wayne: Yes, go back and tell me again for the tape how your mom got up in Paul running a store.
Milo: Well, the – when they were going to work and back and forth from Plain City in to Ogden, they used to ride the Old Bamberger track out here. And when they – when the first came out, they had a – it was an electrical trolley car, you probably remember it had an arm on top that had –
Wayne: Right, yeah.
Milo: — Track. I remember riding the car once and I was down to Wilmer Maw’s helping them unload coal and stuff like that out of the boxcars down there. But that old dummy car used to bring them cars down there. They had a spur at Wilmer Maw’s store and also at Roll’s garage. Stopped right there.
Wayne: That’s right, yeah, I remember that.
Milo: Then they used to ship vegetables and stuff out from the railroad track from there out. But mother was going to Ogden on this – I don’t know how – how you call it a Bamberger Track Car, Trolley Car, or whatever you call it. But when they got making a turn and transferring, probably around 17th street in there where they used to be the headquarters, they got bumped and some of them got knocked down and hurt. I never did find out how bad my mother was, but the railroad company settled out of court and give them all so much money apiece, the ones that got hurt.
Well, my mother, she knew of a place in Paul Idaho that had some property. She decided to go there and buy that little store front and live in Paul, Idaho, because she married this Mark Streeter at that time. Maybe you remember him.
Wayne: oh, yes, yeah.
Milo: Mark Streeter. They went into Paul, Idaho and –
Wayne: Was she married to Mark?
Milo: She got married to him –
Wayne: When the accident occurred:
Milo: No. not – not – just after.
Milo: But she got the settlement and he found out that she had the money and everything and she had gone to Idaho, so I figured he – he probably figured she was a rich old dog, he went to Idaho to marry her.
Wayne: I see yeah.
Milo: So he went to the – up the store, Paul, Idaho, up there and they got married. And then they had a child, June Streeter, that lived with Dale Sharp, if you remember, for a long time.
Wayne: Yeah, vaguely.
Milo: But – and then she stayed with the Streeters in Ogden most of her life, June did. And then the war broke out, World War I. Mark Streeter, her husband, joined the army and left my mother, Ethel Ross, Sharp Ross Streeter, abandoned in Idaho without a husband with this daughter, and he never did return. So after so many years, my dad met my mother in Paul, Idaho at the store because the Ross had come there to work at the sugar factory from Virginia, the grandparents and the whole family, Phibbs and the whole – lot moving out, have a moved out down to there to try to get work. So that’s how my dad met my mother was in Paul, Idaho, because they had Streeters confectionery. And that’s (unintelligible).
Wayne: Did your mother have no contacts up at Paul? Were there Plain City people or-
Milo: That’s something I never did know because Uncle Ed Sharp never told me.
Milo: See, I was – mother came back here after she married dad, Jack Ross, we lived down by Abe Maw’s in an old log cabin house.
Wayne: With your father and mother?
Milo: Yes, Jack and my mother, Ethel. And then mother got sick with childbirth. There was – here mother had Milo – well, she had June to start out with Streeter.
Wayne: With Streeter, yeah.
Milo: And then she had Milo, my name, Milo James Ross, with Jack Ross, dad. And then there was Paul Ross.
Wayne: Little Paul?
Milo: Paul Ross, the blond, he fell out of Ed Sharp’s barn, broke his arm, fell on his head and concussion and he died when he was about 11 or 12 years old.
Wayne: I remember that, yeah.
Milo: And that was up at Ed Sharp’s barn. Then there was Harold Ross, and then baby John Ross. But John Ross died at childbirth with female trouble. And that was down in Abe Maw’s property where the old log cabin house was.
And then when Mother died, my Dad, he had no way of feeding us down here because he’d come from Idaho down here with her to come back to live in Utah around her folks. They decided to – he didn’t’ know what to do. He couldn’t feed us. So he went to each one of the Sharps families and Os Richardson ad everybody else and they said they wouldn’t help him.
Wayne: Os had married Mary—
Milo: Mary –
Milo: — Sister to Ethel.
Wayne: Mary Sharp.
Milo: So – and Ray Sharp, he didn’t want us. Over in Clinton.
Wayne: Oh, I didn’t know him.
Milo: Well, he was Ed Sharp’s brother. There was Ed Sharp, lived out here, and Dale Sharp.
Milo: But it was hard times for everybody. They didn’t have no money to feed nobody extra.
Wayne: This would be in the twenties?
Milo: That would be back in nineteen twenty – I was born in ’21 and I was five when I come back here, when they brought – the Sharps brought us back here from going back to Idaho. But when I was five, my dad took us to the hot springs and carried us kids – took us to the hot springs, and put us on an old – I don’t know whether the church built a railroad track into Idaho or not. But they got on a dummy or a car and they went into Paul, Idaho, from the hot springs at that time.
Wayne: And you went up on that?
Wayne: And –
Milo: My dad?
Wayne: — Harold.
Milo: — Harold.
Wayne: And Paul.
Milo: And Paul.
Wayne: And you went back up to Paul?
Milo: Paul, Idaho. I was – I was in the neighborhood about four years old at that time when he took us back.
Wayne: Now, he went with you?
Milo: He took us back there because dad – Grandpa and Grandma lived in Paul or Rupert, right in that area.
Wayne: Grandpa and Grandma –
Wayne: Okay, yeah.
Milo: And they was from – Where’d I tell you?
Wayne: Uh-huh. And how long did you live up there?
Milo: About a year. But you see, there was no money to feed kids. They couldn’t buy groceries and stuff. They came out here poor people.
Milo: And they was working at the railroad – sugar factory trying to make a dollar. And Mother, she figured maybe send the kids – when she got sick, send them back up to Grandpa and Grandma. And see, Grandpa and Grandma was old and they couldn’t take care of us, so she – she just couldn’t make a go of it with the store and because she was sick, you know, with childbirth. And then they – I don’t know what they done with the store and everything back up there, but it really wasn’t a lot, but still it was a place they was making a little money.
Wayne: But had your mom passed away by –
Wayne: – – When you went back?
Wayne: Did she die down here?
Milo: She died in the log cabin house.
Wayne: So she’s buried in the Plain City Cemetery?
Milo: Right on Ed Sharp’s lots next to Ed Sharp and his wife. (Telephone rings.) Let me catch that.
Wayne: Can I borrow – –
(Pause in Tape.)
Milo: … Ross and gas station there at five points. And this is his boy, Nick Kuntz, married this Rhees girl and the lived right across the street.
Wayne: I probably know her aunts and uncles up in Pleasant View.
Wayne: Beth and – –
Wayne: – -Dorothy and – –
Milo: See, her dad helped build these homes here for Jones when they built this housing unit when they bought that ground from Blanch Estate there.
Wayne: Oh, the Wheeler – –
Milo: Wheeler Estate.
Milo: But I was telling you about my mother.
Milo: Go ahead and tell me what you want.
Wayne: No, that’s fine because I don’t know this story. Harold told me some of it years ago, but – –
Milo: But – – are you still on tape?
Milo: I’ll tell you a little bit more about dad and mother. My dad, he always walked to work. They had no cars then. They had horses and buggies and that’s about all. And he walked from Plain City over to Wilson Lane to work at the sugar factory.
Wayne: Oh, yeah.
Milo: And let Folkman – –
Milo: – – Mark Folkman, them guys used to walk through the fields to Wilson Lane every day.
Milo: Or ride a horse.
Wayne: Yeah, that’s four miles or so.
Milo: Four or five, yeah.
Wayne: Four or five, yeah.
Milo: Used to go over there to work at the sugar factory.
Milo: And whenever they come home or anything like that, they’d bring groceries and stuff home and carry it, you know, they – – nobody had transportation at that time. But it was tough for everybody. You don’t – – you talk about money, there was no money. They used – – they used scrip money, you remember, for a long time they give them kind of a paper money. If you took a veal or something to town, they’d give you scrip money for it, and then you could trade it back for groceries.
Wayne: Can you remember the scrip money?
Wayne: I don’t think I can.
Milo: I’ve got – – I’ve got some papers and stuff like the stamps they used to save, sugar stamps and stuff – –
Wayne: During the war.
Milo: During the war – –
Milo: – – You had to have a stamp and stuff like that.
Wayne: Remember those tax tokens:
Milo: I saved – –
Wayne: Plastic – –
Milo: I tacked some of them with a hole in them, you know.
Milo: They called them Governor Blood money or something, your dad did – –
Milo: – – Mr. Carver. But there was no money for nobody around the country. And my Dad tried to feed us kids when we went back to Idaho wit Grandpa and Grandma. And they was – – they was probably like some of us today, didn’t have shoes – –
Milo: – – You know what I mean?
Milo: Hard going.
Wayne: Did your Dad go back with you to Paul
Milo: He rode back to Paul and stayed back there. He worked at the sugar factory for a long time with Grandpa.
Wayne: Uh – huh
Milo: And the Phibbs, there used to be a Judge Phibbs that married into the Ross Family. And they stayed in that area there for a long time. But I’ve – – my son now, Paul Ross, Milo Paul Ross, he’s – – he lives in Paul, Idaho.
Wayne: Oh, does he?
Milo: And it’s quite a coincidence, you know, and – –
Milo: – – I went back and I was gonna try to buy the building, one thing another, but it’s so hard to get the records and everything. But I do have the records and plot plan and some papers of my mother’s.
Wayne: Is the old store building – –
Milo: The old – –
Wayne: – – Still there?
Milo: The old store is there. I wanted to try to buy it, but Paul, Idaho, wants to restore the – – that street. Kind of run down, dilapidated, you know. They don’t wanna do anything right now until they get the money to go ahead and do things like that with it. But my dad called and said for the Sharps to come and get the boys because they couldn’t feed us. So that’s why Ed Sharp, Dale Sharp, and Fred Hunt, Aunt Vic Hunt, they took each one of us a kid. Ed Sharp took me Milo.
Wayne: Uh – huh.
Milo: Dale Sharp took Harold.
Milo: And Fred Hunt, that would be Aunt Vic, my mother’s sister, Vic Hunt, they took Paul. And then June, she stayed with the Streeters all the time.
Wayne: Now, they’re in Ogden.
Milo: In Ogden.
Wayne: Uh – huh
Milo: So that’s how – – that’s why June didn’t stay here with us all the time.
Wayne: Now, this Streeter business, did – – Mark you say disappeared.
Wayne: Did he never come back?
Milo: He came back later on in years. He went as prisoner – – He went A.W.O.L.
Wayne: Uh – huh.
Milo: Do you understand me?
Milo: They called him a traitor of the country. They figured he spied against the United States.
Wayne: Was he overseas?
Milo: I don’t know.
Wayne: Good heavens, I – –
Milo: But, you know, you hear these stories.
Milo: And then in World War II, he done the same thing. He collaborated with the Japanese out of San Francisco, see.
Wayne: Good Lord.
Milo: Yeah, Mark Streeter. But he says he didn’t, but he did. You understand me?
Milo: He – – He seemed like he always had his nose with the enemy. You understand what I mean?
Milo: Trying to make money that way.
Wayne: What did he do to make a living when he came back?
Milo: He’s just a dog catcher, something, picked up side jobs, Mark Streeter.
Wayne: Of course mother had divorced him then – –
Wayne: – – on grounds of desertion.
Milo: That’s why she married my Dad.
Milo: But, see, Dad called the Sharps and asked them to come and get the kids. So that would be in the wintertime they come and got us, and Ed Sharp took me, Fred Hunt took Paul, Dale Sharp took Harold.
Wayne: And June?
Milo: Stayed with the Streeters.
Wayne: In Ogden.
Milo: Grandma Streeter.
Wayne: And she was – – she was a Streeter. Her father had been Mark Streeter.
Milo: My sister is a Streeter. I’m a Ross.
Milo: We’re half.
Wayne: Yeah. Is – – is June still alive?
Milo: June’s still alive. She lives down in California.
Wayne: I don’t think I ever knew her, but I’m sure she was in Plain City a lot.
Milo: She stayed around with Fern Sharp all the time.
Milo: They used to come out and stay there. And – –
Wayne: When she went – – when she came down from Paul and you guys went to the Sharps, she went – – did she stay with Mark Streeter then her father.
Milo: Mark Streeter’s mother.
Wayne: Oh, not with Mark?
Milo: Well, Mark Streeter lived with his mother.
Milo: Do you understand it?
Milo: And, oh, you remember Christensen, lives down by the store.
Wayne: And Cap – –
Milo: He – – he lived down below Jack’s garage. But he had a brother that lived up by – – Ralph Taylor lives there now.
Wayne: Well, Cap Christensen – –
Milo: Cap Christensen.
Wayne: A – – (Unintelligible)
Milo: That was Cap, wasn’t it?
Wayne: Yeah, that was Cap.
Milo: Yeah. But you see, they had a daughter, would be Harold Christensen and – –
Wayne: And Max.
Milo: Max and all them – –
Milo: Artell used to run around with my sister, June, and Fern Sharp – –
Milo: – – The three of them. You probably remember them together.
Wayne: I just spent an afternoon with Fern.
Milo: Did you?
Milo: Fern Sharp?
Wayne: Yeah. Shields.
Wayne: Well, I’ve got that straight at last then. But do you know how long Mark Streeter was away before he came back?
Milo: Mark Streeter must have been away about four, five years, a deserter of the country.
Wayne: I wonder what he did in those – –
Milo: They – – they figured he was a traitor to the United States.
Milo: But he said he was sick in the hospital. They – – I really never did know.
Wayne: Yeah. I wonder if anyone does.
Milo: The only way you could ever find out would be to go through court records.
Milo: Weber County.
Wayne: Yeah. Okay. So that you’re with Ed, Paul’s with – –
Milo: Fred and Vic.
Wayne: – – Fred and Vic, and Harold’s with Dale and – –
Milo: Violet. She was – –
Milo: Her name was Violet Grieves before she married Sharp.
Milo: She’d be related to Pete Grieve and them.
Wayne: Uh – huh
Milo: And they would be related to the Easts in Warren. And Ed Sharp’s wife was East from Warren.
Wayne: She was.
Milo: So see, there’s kind of a – –
Milo: – – Intermarriage through the – – each family down through that line down – – but when Dad told the Sharps to come and get us out of Idaho, they came up to get us. And I was about five years old when they come. And before – – before we was ready to come home to Utah again, us kids was playing in bed and I got a – – a fishhook caught in the bottom part of my eyelid here.
Wayne: Good Lord.
Milo: And I was only maybe five years old and – –
Milo: – – I remembered it. And I can remember my Grandpa telling me, do not pull, leave it alone, leave it alone, and he said, I’ll have to get you some help. So, they went and got some help and these guys come back and I heard one of them say, you take his feet and I’ll take his arms. You know. And somebody else hold his head. So, what they done, they – – they – – I think they must have cut the hook or something and then reversed and took it out. I don’t know what they done. But it was caught in the bottom of my eyelid. But they – – I was sore of that when I come to Utah. And then when – – I don’t know whether Dale Sharp was with Os Richardson when they come up to get us or not. But they come up in a big car to Paul, Idaho, and they brought us home across the Snake River at Paul, between Paul and Rupert there someplace to bring us back home. And every so often, I’d look back and I – – I thought I could always see Grandpa and Grandma and my Dad waving goodbye to me.
Milo: And farther down the road we got, it seemed like we were always stopping, the car had trouble or something, tires or something. Putting water in it and that this – –
Wayne: This is Os and Mary’s car.
Wayne: Did Mary come up?
Milo: I don’t remember whether Aunt Mary was with us or not. I don’t remember who was in the car, but I do remember Os Richardson because he was kind of a heavyset man and he was quite blunt.
Wayne: Yeah, I remember him.
Wayne: He was our neighbor down at Warren.
Milo: He was quite blunt. And he’s – – I figured him a mean man.
Milo: And when I’d wave, he’d also say, put your arm down, you know, don’t distract me, and this and that, you know.
Milo: But we rode in the back seat, but I’d look back and didn’t matter which hill. I could see my Grandpa and Grandma.
Wayne: Yeah. Yeah.
Milo: But it was quite an experience. We came home and they.
Wayne: How old you were then, Milo?
Milo: Five years old.
Milo: But they – – they brought me back and give me to Ed Sharp. And they took Paul down and left him with Fred and Vic. And then they took Paul – – Harold down and give him with Dale Sharp. But I think Dale Sharp went us with us – – them to bring us back. And we were only within what, two or three blocks of each other, and yet I couldn’t go see him. They was afraid I’d run away.
Milo: So I was kind of quarantined, you know, and you’ll get to see him on the weekend. You know, they was trying to separate us.
Wayne: Could be, yeah.
Milo: And when Paul come here, he had a hernia down right this side of his groin. And when he’d cough or sneeze, it’d pop open like a ball inside.
Wayne: He’s just a little boy.
Milo: Little boy. And it would pop open and they had kind of a – – like a leather strap or something around there and a pad around it to kind of hold it in – –
Wayne: A truss.
Milo: – – Truss or something.
Wayne: A trust, yeah.
Milo: But it was tough for us kids.
Wayne: I’ll bet it was tough.
Milo: It was tough.
Wayne: You – – you were the oldest.
Milo: I was the oldest, five.
Wayne: Five and – –
Milo: Four and three.
Wayne: Harold was four – –
Wayne: No, Harold was – –
Milo: And Harold. Five, four, three.
Wayne: Five, four, three. Yeah and June was maybe six?
Milo: She was probably two years older than us.
Milo: Three, I don’t remember just what.
Wayne: Did you ever see your dad – –
Milo: Yes, sir.
Wayne: – – Again:
Milo: After the war, I went into the service, World War II, and I received a letter from Livermore, California, and it stated that my Dad was a veteran, World War I, and he was in Livermore, California not expected to live over maybe a week, three, four days. And he would like to see one of his boys if they’d like to come and see him before he died. And the Sharps and everybody told me leave him alone because he was a no good man. He never cared about us.
Well, I’d married my wife, Gladys, and we had this son, Milo Paul, but her dad Donaldson says, “Heck, Milo, if you wanna go down see your dad,” he says, “I’ll give you the greyhound bus fair down. $55, $80, whatever it is.”
Milo: He said you’ll have to thumb your way back. I said, well, if I get down there I’ll get to see him, that’d be fine. I asked my wife, if it would be all right to go, and she said yes.
Wayne: Were you living in Plain City?
Milo: Living in Plain City. And we were renting at that time just a house, you know. And I says to Dale Sharp and them, I says, I thought maybe I’d go down and see my Dad. And they says, forget about him. Him he’s no good son of a bugger, you know, they called him by a name – –
Milo: – – So I decided to go and I went to Livermore, California, and I jumped a ride out with an army truck and to Livermore, California, Hospital. I got there late – –
Wayne: Was this an army hospital?
Milo: Yeah. Veterans’ Hospital, Livermore. And I got there late in the evening. And nothing was going around and nobody was doing anything, it was on the weekend. So I go into the hospital and nobody’s around so I just kind of walked through the – – it was late and maybe 1:00, 1:30 in the evening, night. And I walked down through the halls and went up on the second floor and walked down the aisle a little bit, and I thought, well, maybe what I better do is just sit here in the corner, and maybe have a catnap for a while. Then I heard somebody cough, and heard them say, “what time is it?” And somebody said, “it’s about 1:30, 2:00 o’clock,” see? So I heard this talking and I walked down the hall a ways and I seen the one light on one of the beds and I says – – stepped towards the door, and I says, “Does anybody happen to know a Jack Ross or anybody in here, is anybody here can hear me?” And a voice come back and it says, yes. “Come on in, Milo or Harold. I’m your Dad.”
Wayne: Oh, boy.
Milo: And I walked right to that man’s door.
Milo: And It’s – – And about that time, two guys grab me by the arm and escorted me out of the room. And they gonna have me put in jail because he had no visitors. You understand me? He was on oxygen and this and that. So I says, “Oh, what difference does it make?” I said, “I’m his son. I don’t remember my dad.” I says “At least you could do is let me tell him goodbye. If he’s gonna die, what difference does it make?” So these two orderlies says, “you stay outside for a while.” So I stood there by the door and they hurried and they put some needles and stuff in his legs. Was probably giving him morphine or something. I don’t know what they were doing, trying to do keep him alive longer, something, I don’t know what they were doing. But I says to the one gentleman, he run past me fast, and I says, “Couldn’t I just say goodbye to my dad anyway?” And he said, “Well, just wait a while.” So pretty soon there was about three of them over my dad working with him, and finally the one young man says to the rest, he says, “Oh, let the kid come in and say goodbye to his dad.” So I walked in, talked to dad. He says, “I’m sure glad you come.” And I said, “Well, I’m Milo.” And I said, “I don’t remember you, Dad,” but I says, “I decided after reading the Red Cross letter I would come and see and you tell you hello. Tell you thanks for letting me have a Dad, anyway.”
Milo: So he says, “Well, Milo,” he said, “I’m gonna tell you a secret.” He says, “When I took you kids to Idaho, I was a son of a bitch.” Then he says, “When I got into Idaho, he says, I was a son of a bitch.” And he says, “It didn’t matter what I done, I was a son of a bitch.” He said, “Then they told me if I ever come back to see my kids after I sent you down to Utah, they would kill me.”
Wayne: The Sharps told him?
Milo: The Sharps. I says, “Which one of the Sharps?” And he says, “It’s best not to say, Milo.” But he says, “I’ll tell you secret, if you don’t think I ever come to see you, ask Betty Boothe.” He says, “You remember Betty Boothe?” And I said, “She’s been in my home, many, many, many times.” And he says, “I come out in a taxi cab three times, and I got Betty Boothe to go with me to see you kids.” And he said, “I rode out to Ed Sharp’s Farm and I didn’t dare get out of the taxi. Because I – – I was threatened I’d be killed.” So he says, “I did wave out of the taxicab and sit there and watch you out in the field,” us kids. And says, “If you don’t think I did,” he says, “ask Betty Boothe.” And then I got a different feeling towards my Dad – –
Milo: – – when he said that.
Wayne: Yeah, I can imagine.
Milo: Because I could see – – now I have letters that was sent to the Sharps and the Hunts and they hid the letters from us kids. They would not tell us that Dad and Grandpa sent us letters or anything. And I have these letters. And in these letters it’s Grandpa and Grandma asking please, tell us how the little kids are. And then my Dad, he wrote a letter and he says – –
Wayne: Now, were there – – they up in Paul all this time.
Milo: Paul, Idaho, all that time.
Milo: But the Sharps and them, they’d never read us the letters and everything because they – – they wanted us to be with them. The Sharps and Hunt. Do you understand?
Wayne: Yeah, I understand.
Milo: Kind of hard – – but I have those letters.
Milo: And when – –
Wayne: He was thinking about you a lot more than you thought he was.
Milo: Well, this is the bad part about life. Now, Aunt Vic Hunt, when Fred Hunt died, Howard Hunt got killed in the war, her son – –
Milo: – – Fred Hunt got – – died. Bert Hunt, their son, got electrocuted and Bob, the grandson, got electrocuted.
Wayne: I remember that.
Milo: The night before they got electrocuted, I helped Bert Hunt carry the milk from the barn to the milk parlor where Bert and his boy got electrocuted. And I helped carry that milk cans the same as they did the night before.
But Aunt Vic Hunt says, “Oh, Milo, she says, I just feel like I – – I’m being punished for something.” She says, “I’ve got a box here that came from you folks.” And she says, “I’ve got all these letters and everything.” She says, “I’ve read them. And I’ve never told you about them.” But she says, “I’m not gonna give them all to you now, but I will give you some of them.” So she give me some of the letters. And she had kind of an old cigar box. Remember the old cigars boxes with a lid on it? And she says, “I’ll give you this, too.” She says, “I think maybe I’ve been punished long enough now.” She says, “I’ve lost too many in my family. Maybe I’m being punished because I haven’t been fair to you kids.” She says, “Here’s the box, the gifts and everything they’ve sent to you.” I says, “Aunt Vic, if that means that much to you,” I says, “You keep the box. And then when you’re dead and gone, you tell your family to give it to me.” But I says, “I will take these letters. And I sure love you for it. And thanks for being good to us kids.” And I says, “Gladys and I will go now.” My wife was with me. She was really brokenhearted. I told her she was forgiven and everything. I says, “Live you life out.” I done a lot a work for aunt Vic after that. Helped her wire the house and anything went wrong, I’d go help her, help her, help her, help her, help her.
Milo: But when she – – she died, the family never did give me the cigar box of stuff back. They kept it. And I think today Archie Hunt probably has it.
Wayne: Now who would – – who is he?
Milo: That would be Vic Hunt’s boy, grandson. Bret Hunt – –
Milo: – – That got electrocuted. This is my wife and daughter, if you’d shut that off a second I’ll help them.
(pause in the tape.)
Milo: The letters and stuff that my wife and I got from my aunt Vic Hunt. And when I read them, I – – I felt a lot better towards my dad and my family because it’s – – they wanted to separate from us that Ross family altogether. But I have an old, old bible on the Ross side that’s a great big hardback bible from Virginia. And I have a half-brother back there. And my dad had married a day lady back there. When my mother died, he went back to Virginia to see if he could make ends meet to bring the family maybe to Virginia. But he couldn’t make a go of it with the day. And this son of his, Hobart Day, he told him about having a family here, Milo, Paul, and Harold, and John that died. Well, all these years, Hobart, the half-brother back there, instead of keeping the Ross family, he kept the Day family. So he kept the old bibles and everything back Virginia at the home back there. So I got Hobart, after I made contact with him after doing genealogy work after the war, then he – – I bought his way out here, him and his wife out here twice to visit with us. And he brought this old, old bible out here and it’s one of the King James, I’d say it’s about five, six inches deep, hardback. You’ve probably seen them.
Milo: But I that have of the Ross Family there, but it’s quite a deal, you know.
Wayne: Did you ever see your Ross grandparents?
Milo: Not after. See, they were old and feeble.
Milo: I never even got to go to their funeral. That’s what makes it bad. But my brother, Harold Ross, his wife, Colleen Hancock, she done a lot of genealogy work and she’s the one that got us together on genealogy to get the Ross family back to Virginia.
Milo: And Hobart Day, the half-brother.
Milo: But it’s – – and then I have – – I have my grandparents’ old china cabinet. And I have the old wooden washing machine. And I have the old cream separator they used to turn the handle on.
Wayne: Now, Which grandparents?
Milo: The Ross and the Sharps.
Wayne: After the – – your Ross grandparents passed away?
Wayne: And Paul.
Milo: Yeah, I’ve got part of their – –
Wayne: How did you get those – – That?
Milo: Through the – – through the people in Idaho.
Milo: See, they – – they set them aside.
Wayne: In the ward – – well, they weren’t church members, were they?
Milo: No. They were Presbyterians. They were not LDS. But I have this old wooden wash machine. I’ve recent – – redone it and put it together. Made new stays for it so every part works on it and all the metal.
Wayne: Did you go up and bring them back?
Milo: No, they were given to me from Paul or Rupert, Idaho. On the Phibbs side family or something like that.
Milo: So I do have – – And then on the Grandma Sharp side, I have parts of her old stuff, too, books and stuff. I have my mother’s records of Paul, Idaho store where they – – where they sold eggs, a dozen eggs like for two and a half, three cents.
Wayne: A dozen.
Milo: A dozen.
Milo: Yeah. They – – It’s amazing. I have – – I have a lot of old antiques and stuff. Before you leave, I’ll show you lot of my old antiques and let you see the washer and stuff like that.
Wayne: I’d like to see that.
Milo: Then maybe someday you’d like to come by and take a picture or of them or something. Or you can talk to them – – while we’re looking at them, talk to us.
Wayne: While we’re on family, your mother was a Sharp.
Milo: Ethel Sharp. Her dad was – – they lived where Ernie Sharp lived. Milo Sharp.
Wayne: Oh, yes. Now, was it Milo – – Milo Sharp was one of them group that separated from the church, was he not? And they became Episcopalians.
Wayne: Do you know anything about the cause of that split?
Milo: One Bishop.
Wayne: Really: I’ve not been able to pinpoint it.
Milo: The way I understand it, they – – they asked them to pay a tenth of the tithing of everything. And he – – he told them if they killed a beef, he wanted a certain part of that beef.
Wayne: The Bishop told them?
Milo: The Bishop.
Wayne: Do you know who the Bishop was?
Milo: I think Thatcher. Does that sound right?
Wayne: That sounds too late. Gil Thatcher was Bishop, we’re back in 1869 and ’70 when this Schism, this Split, so it wasn’t Gil Thatcher.
Milo: Well, I don’t know for sure.
Wayne: Shurtliff, maybe.
Milo: I was back in that area. But the Bishop at that time, the Hunts excommunicated from the church also. Fred Hunt, Vic Hunt, all them, they went to Episcopal Church.
Milo: They build the Episcopal church down by Dean Baker’s there. They use that for the Lions Club now.
Milo: My mother used to be the organist for it for many years, they said.
Wayne: Your mother Ross?
Milo: Uh-huh. But she was a Sharp, Ethel Sharp.
Wayne: Of course, Sharp.
Milo: She was a Sharp. She played the organ for them when she was younger. And she played the organ and kind of led the music and everything like that.
Wayne: You know, Vic didn’t know for sure what had caused – – it was her father, Milo.
Milo: Right, Milo.
Wayne: And he – – she said, oh, Wayne, they liked their – – to play cards and they did a lot of things that church didn’t like and they just finally got tired of it. But I think there was some – – something somewhere.
Milo: It was over – – it was over the meat. Dale Sharp – –
Wayne: Uh – huh.
Milo: – – Took care of Harold and Ed Sharp took care of me. And Ed Sharp gave the church an awful lot. He used give them the asparagus, he used to give them potatoes. When they harvest or anything like that, he’d say, Bishop Heslop, Bishop Maw, whoever the Bishop was, come up and get sacks of stuff for some of the people. But Ed Sharp and them, they always give to the Mormon church.
Now, when they built the Plain City church down here, they used to sell cakes and stuff, raffles.
Wayne: The new one?
Milo: The new one.
Wayne: That’s gonna be torn down.
Milo: Yeah, but I – – see, I helped build that. I was a carpenter on it and Lee Carver was the supervisor on it. And I was – – George Knight was the Bishop on it. But when they auctioned these cakes and that off, Fred Hunt was probably one of the ones that bought the cakes probably more than anybody. He probably paid four, five hundred dollars for a cake.
Wayne: Yeah, yeah.
Milo: So you see, it wasn’t religion against religion because they did – –
Wayne: Not by that time.
Milo: – – They were together.
Milo: But the earlier Sharps and some of them, And I think some of the Taylors pulled away from the church, too – –
Milo: – – And they went farther east.
Wayne: The Thomases.
Milo: Thomases, they pushed out, too, on account.
Wayne: But then they slowly worked back.
Milo: Come back in.
Wayne: Yeah. As a little guy then living in a family that was not LDS – –
Wayne: – – What was your religious upbringing, Milo?
Milo: Never had much. We did go to church.
Wayne: To the LDS?
Wayne: Or to the Episcopalian?
Milo: Episcopalian – –
Milo: When we went to Idaho, see, they didn’t have a Mormon church there. See, the Presbyterian, whatever it is. But I’ve got some of my mother’s song books and stuff, some of the old songs books.
Milo: They sing the same songs there as we do today in our church.
Milo: It’s kind of nice.
Wayne: I can remember as a kid, we would hear the bell ring, the bells – –
Wayne: – – Ring, and we’d run down to the end of the lane – –
Milo: To look at it.
Wayne: – – And look at the people going to church.
Wayne: But that – – those were – – those were only maybe once a month or whenever the minister could come out – –
Wayne: – – From Ogden. And that someone told me, I think, oh, Leslie’s wife, Ruth – –
Wayne: – – Poulson, that there was a lady lived out in Plain City, lived in that house where Leslie and Ruth lived, who was kind of she – – the representative of the Episcopalian Church, and she taught school.
Wayne: Did you go to that school?
Milo: I didn’t.
Wayne: Might not have been around when you – –
Milo: If you reach down there to your right side down there’s a little tiny book right there.
Wayne: This one?
Milo: I got a lot of little books like that. That book right there came from Huntsville. That came from the Joseph Peterson’s library in Huntsville probably, huh?
Wayne: Yeah, yeah.
Milo: But I’ve got – – I pick up all these books and stuff like this when I’m out around traveling, and I buy them and get them.
Milo: Now, I’ve got a lot of books like this and I’ve got a lot of mother’s books and stuff where she’s wrote poetry and stuff. My mother wrote a lot of poetry. And Albert Sharp got almost all the poetry and everything of my mother’s. So if you got on the Sharp – –
Wayne: I did talk to Albert, but I didn’t see any of your mother’s poetry.
Milo: She wrote a lot of poetry.
Wayne: Uh-huh. Well, that was probably true of Harold growing up with Dale Sharp – –
Milo: Non Mormons.
Wayne: But Harold went to Mutual with us.
Milo: We went to Mutual.
Wayne: You went to Mutual.
Milo: I went to Mutual.
Wayne: Uh-huh. And Harold became a member of the LDS Church.
Milo: Right. So did I later.
Wayne: Do you know – –
(End of Tape I-A.)
Wayne: …Of a conversation with Milo Ross in Plain City.
Milo: See, when we were – – When we went to school, we – – they’d always ask us to go to Sunday School or Mutual or whatever they had.
Wayne: Did you go across the square – –
Wayne: – – to – –
Milo: Yeah, we always – – he went anyway.
Milo: You know, because everybody kind of went together. Then we went to Weber High. I took Seminary.
Wayne: You did?
Milo: So – – well, Ruth took Seminary too. Your sister, Ruth.
Wayne: Oh sure. So did I.
Milo: So we took – – we took Seminary – –
Wayne: Floyd Eyre.
Milo: – – Together. We took seminary from Mr. Eyre, he was the principal, he was the teacher of it. But, you know, I enjoyed – – I enjoyed listening to the stories. Then I enjoyed taking the assignments, reading certain scriptures and things that they give us.
At that time, they did not press the Book of Mormon like they do now.
Wayne: No, I think that’s true.
Milo: See, And – – But I enjoyed it.
Wayne: And Ernie didn’t object to this?
Milo: Nobody ever – – nobody ever objected to anything.
Milo: It’s like the Martinis and the Ropalatos in West Weber, I’ve done a lot of building for them. The old grandpa and grandma and them guys, you’re not gonna convert them, but you see the young girls and the young boys are joining the Mormon church.
Wayne: Uh-huh, yeah.
Milo: See, the Martini girls marries the Dickemores that’s Mormons. So see they – – but the old – –
Turn that off just a minute.
Milo: …Truck – – truck and trailer all loaded. And I seen aunt Vic get hit. She came up to the stop sign from the west side and she stopped. And then she went to go across the road, and when she went to go across the road, there was a car came from the north, I’d say hundred miles an hour, some young girl. And the young girl was gonna pass her on the front as aunt Vic went ahead. She throwed on her brakes a little tiny bit and she got caught Aunt Vic back, just back of the door, back of her car. And that throwed Aunt Vic’s car around in a spin and the young girl come right on down to where I was at watching it.
Wayne: Where were you?
Milo: I come from the south. And see I – – I seen it all.
Milo: Well, I knew it was Aunt Vic’s car, and this young girl, she come down to road, and she was unconscious laying over the steering wheel. And she come down the road, so I pulled off the side the road so that she wouldn’t hit me, then she made kind of a slump over on the wheel and she pulled to the right side and got off the side the road and that’s where her car stopped. So I opened the door there and a kid come up on a motorcycle and I said, run back down to the store on your bike, motorbike, and get some ice and let’s put on her and see if we can revive her. So the kid, he went back and got ice and the called the cops and that. I told them to call the cops. And he come back with this bag of ice and I was putting ice and that on when policeman came, and she came to by that time.
Wayne: Now, is this the young girl or Vic?
Milo: The young girl.
Wayne: Oh. Where’s Vic all this time?
Milo: She was up at the intersection about 50 – – oh, a hundred, hundred feet farther up the road.
Wayne: In her car.
Milo: In her car. But she had spun around and she had went on the east side of the road facing south.
Milo: It spun her completely around.
Wayne: Didn’t tip over.
Milo: Didn’t tip over. But I seen it.
Wayne: Yeah. Her sister Mary was with her – –
Wayne: – – That day, I talked – – and I did – – I asked Vic what was it like growing up in Plain City as a not only a non Mormon, but as the daughter of one of the ringleaders in the separation. And she said, oh, made no difference. She said, I never had any prejudice. And Mary wouldn’t agree with her. Mary said they looked down on us.
Did you ever have any sense of being looked down on because you were not a member of the church?
Milo: I don’t think anybody ever looked on any of us.
Wayne: Did you hear Vic or Dale or any – – or Ed – –
Milo: Nobody ever – – nobody ever looked down on the church.
Wayne: Did the church look down on them?
Milo: I don’t think so.
Wayne: Dad was a great friend of Ed’s.
Milo: Every – – they were the closest buddies in the world.
Milo: And Joe Singleton.
Milo: You dad and Ed Sharp and Joe Singleton was probably the first appraisers and supervisors of the home loan administration or something like that, weren’t they?
Wayne: Dad as a – – worked for the assessor’s office.
Wayne: In Weber County.
Milo: That’s why they got Ed Sharp and Joe Singleton to work with him then.
Wayne: Oh, I guess, yeah.
Milo: But they went around and appraised property and one thin another, when these guys was trying to get home loans for farms and stuff.
Milo: Now, when they got the loans and stuff like that, they got them on a loan, real low interest rate. And then when they settled my grandmother Sharp’s estate and one thing another, my estate money from my mother’s side, us kids being young, they decided instead of giving us kids the money, the one that was taking care of us would get the money and they could put – – apply it on their home loan – –
Milo: – – To keep their farms because a lot of people was losing their farms because a lot of people was losing their farms at that time.
Milo: Mr. England and some of them had lost their farms, you know, and the Maws and some of them, they’d – – that’s when the banks went broke.
Milo: And so when they settled the estate and one thing anther, my share went to Ed Sharp. And Harold’s share of his when the split it up amongst us kids went to Dal Sharp. And Fred Hunt took Paul’s share, see?
Milo: And they applied that to their home loans. To keep them from losing their farms. Then after Ed Sharp, these guys die, Vic settled the Sharp Estate on their side, Ed Sharp’s Estate, and Ed Sharp’s girls and boys, they didn’t wanna pay me back the loan that they had taken from me as a youngster. They said I wasn’t entitled to it because I hadn’t applied for it. You know, they go back to the legal deal.
Wayne: Yeah, yeah.
Milo: So I says, well. I’m not gonna fight nobody. But I said,tell you what I’d like you to do. Why don’t you just pay me four or five percent interest on it all those years.
Wayne: Just give you the interest.
Milo: Yeah, but it was kind of a sore thumb.
Milo: I told them I don’t care.
Wayne: It was a loan that you had made without knowing it.
Milo: I – – I didn’t know anything about it.
Wayne: Right. That’s an odd way of handling that, you know, anyway – –
Milo: Well – –
Wayne: – – If it should have been put in a trust of some sort and the – – so you would be sure to get it.
Milo: I didn’t really want it because I helped my uncle Ed save his farm that raised me, you understand?
Milo: So I – – I said, oh, he was good enough to give me a home, I don’t care.
Wayne: Just to – p for the tape and to jog my memory, who were Ed’s kids? I remember liking – – there was Ruby.
Milo: Louise, start with Louise.
Wayne: Okay. She the oldest.
Milo: She married Ralph Blanch.
Wayne: Oh, okay.
Milo: Florence, married Nielson.
Wayne: From Taylor?
Milo: West Weber, Taylor.
Milo: Leonard Nielson.
Wayne: Did he used to pitch.
Wayne: Yeah, stiff-armed and – –
Milo: Yeah. And then there was Marjorie, she married Ferrel Clontz, big tall guy, went to Idaho.
Milo: Then there was Ethel Sharp.
Wayne: I remember Ethel.
Milo: She married Garth Hunter. Then there was Ruby Sharp. She married Norton Salberg. There was Milo Sharp. You remember Milo Sharp.
Milo: Mutt Sharp.
Milo: That’s Milo.
Milo: And then there was Dean Sharp – – no, there was Josephine.
Milo: Josephine Sharp, she married Darwin Costley, Paul Costley’s brother.
Milo: Then Dean Sharp, the baby.
Milo: Dean Sharp. And Louise took care of Dean when Ed’s wife passed away.
Wayne: Oh, who was Ed’s wife.
Milo: She was Lilly East.
Wayne: Right, okay. From Warren.
Milo: From Warren.
Wayne: So there were two Milos in your house.
Milo: Both Milo, Milo Ross and Milo Sharp.
Milo: I was older. Now, they had another son, Elmer Sharp, that died young with scarlet fever or something, around 12 or 13 years old, but I don’t remember him. When we were kids at that – – living with Ed Sharp’s at that time, they had diphtheria, they had different things that they used to have this doctor that used to come out, Dr. Brown or somebody, and they’d always give us a shot and medicines and stuff, you know.
Wayne: Yeah. So how – – you were – – you were five when you went to live with Ed?
Milo: I was five when they brought me back down here to live with Ed Sharp, five.
Wayne: So those kids were your brothers and sisters in effect.
Milo: Not that close.
Wayne: Weren’t you?
Milo: Un-unh. They always – – I don’t know, they – – they felt like Ed Sharp showed me a little more prejudice or something. When he got his truck, I got to jump in the truck and go with him once in a while to feed the cattle and stuff, do you understand that?
Milo: Then had he his truck and he’d – – he’d get the neighbors they’d all get in the truck and go for rides and camp overnight up in the canyons. And they used to go down to Warren, pick up the Easts and Caulders. And they used to get in this truck and they’d go up to Pineview Dam, up to the wells – –
Milo: And they’d stay overnight.
Wayne: The old artesian wells.
Wayne: Yeah, before the dam.
Milo: And Jack Singleton, do you remember him?
Milo: Now, Ed Sharp, he had a salt mine out at Promontory. And he used to – – he used to run that through the winter and harvest salt. And I was with Ed Sharp – – you got a couple minutes: I was with Ed Sharp once when we was coming back with a load of salt from Promontory up on the hill, and there was a place there we always stop and get a drink. And there was a note there. And Uncle Ed read it and this Charlie Carter, and old hermit out there, that used to prospect, mine, and one thing another, decided to end his life so he jumped down in the well and killed himself. So Ed Sharp and I went down the railroad to Promontory, and Uncle Ed had them – – done something on teletype or wherever you call it, code, and they sent a message back to Brigham City to Sheriff Hyde, and he came out and told us to stay there until he came back out. But they – – they took ropes and everything and lowered lanterns down in this here well. When they’d get down so far where uncle Ed was down there trying to tie the rope around Charlie Carter, these lamps would go out. No oxygen, I guess – –
Milo: So – –
Wayne: But body was there, huh?
Milo: It was down in there.
Milo: But Uncle Ed Sharp, after he went down in there and tried it a few times, the lights would keep going out, they said, well, we – – there’s no use putting down anymore because they’re gonna go out all the time. But Charlie Carter, he came out there, the Sheriff, and he had somebody with him. But Ed Sharp, he went down – –
Wayne: Not Charlie Carter, he’s the body. Hyde.
Milo: But he went down, Ed Sharp went down in the bottom to get Charlie out, Tie a rope on him, get him our if he could. And we let the ropes down and then when Ed Sharp pulled on the rope or this or that, they could holler down and talk to him. It was a deep well. And they tied these ropes together three or four times, lowered him down in there and – – and finally they signaled, and they said, help us pull. So, I was a little tot, maybe 14, 15. I really don’t remember, but I remember helping pull on this here rope, and they worked a long time to get him up out of the well. Then when we get him right just up here to the top of the well to get him up of there, we couldn’t get him out over the well. And somebody jumped up on that wooden platform there and took a hold of him and helped pull him out and over. And Ed Sharp was underneath him, helped pushed him up out, dead Carter. They pushed him out on the ground and he just kind of flopped out there on the ground where we were at. And these – – Hyde and his friend took a hold of Ed Sharp and helped him out of the well, they untied the ropes from around his body because they – – If anything went wrong, we could pull him back up. And soon as he got out on the ground, he went into a cold shock because he’d been down in that cold water. And when he – – he started to shake and tremble and just – – he couldn’t control the nerves in his body. And they made Ed Sharp lay down on the ground and they took his clothes off and they took blankets and gunny sacks and stuff and rubbed him and rubbed him and rubbed him and tried to circulate his blood or something. I don’t know I’d – – hardly what was the matter. I remember I was crying. But remember I was so scared and – – And when he got out, they laid him down like that, I got down and I give him a big love, you know, and I told him, I said, I’m sure glad you’re out of there, you know, I – I was scared and I – –
Milo: – – I’m sure glad – –
Wayne: How old were you?
Milo: I don’t know. I must have been about 12, 14, I don’t remember.
Milo: But I was just thinking about it, and Mr. Hyde and that guy, they rubbed him and rubbed him and rubbed him. And they got him so he wasn’t trembling so much. And then they – – they changed clothes around from one to another so he could have some dry clothes on. But little things like that in life, you never forget it.
Wayne: No. Lord.
Milo: But see, nobody knows about Ed Sharp going down in the well and sav – –
Milo: – – Saving a dead man’s life and give him a burial.
Milo: Now he wasn’t a Mormon.
Wayne: Well, he was dead.
Milo: He was dead.
Wayne: Didn’t safe his life. Saved the body.
Milo: Saved the body, but he give him – – he give him life, he give him burial.
Milo: But you see now, he wasn’t Mormon.
Milo: But see, he went down in there – –
Wayne: What did Ed – – what did they do with the body.
Milo: Sheriff Hyde, they – – Sheriff Hyde had that – – looked kind of like a square – – like an old square Hudson or something, Graham or something, I don’t remember. An old square car. And we had to help them put him on – – put his Charlie Carter on the back seat. And they rolled him up in canvases, put him on the back seat and took him to Brigham.
Not long ago there was a piece in the paper about Mr. Hyde, they – – somebody wanted to get a little history about Sheriff Hyde, and I was just thinking, well, maybe I should let them people know that – –
Milo: – – I was – –
Wayne: He was Sheriff up there for a long time.
Milo: And then his boy took over after that, they tell me.
Wayne: Oh, did he?
Milo: They tell me.
Wayne: Maybe that’s why – – wasn’t it Warren Hyde or – –
Milo: Warren, something like that.
Wayne: Yeah. I didn’t know about Ed’s salt operation.
Milo: That was one of the biggest in the state.
Milo: Yeah. Then they opened that one up down towards Wendover. And see, they – –
Wayne: Ed did?
Milo: No. Morton Salt or somebody – –
Wayne: Oh, yeah, yeah.
Milo: – – opened up a big one down there. But we – – in the winter, they used to load boxcars, salt out – – out at promontory.
Wayne: Now, did Ed own this operation.
Milo: Ed Sharp and Ray Sharp. They took – –
Wayne: Who’s Ray.
Milo: A brother. Ed Sharp’s brother, Ray Sharp.
Wayne: He never lived in Plain City?
Milo: They lived in Clinton, Sunset. But they run that salt pond and they – – but they had this salt pond out there and they – – they’d harvest the salt. They took the horses out there to use the horses to plow the salt loose so they could harvest it. It used to come in layers after water would evaporate. They take the horses out there, but the horses hoofs would get coated up with salt so bad the horses got so sore they had to bring the horses back out.
Milo: So they rigged up the trucks and tractors and made little tractors and ski-doos to maybe haul maybe a half a ton out at a time – –
Wayne: uh – huh.
Milo: – – without using horses.
Wayne: Did they – – they just sold it in gross weight or did they bag it?
Milo: We bagged a lot of it.
Wayne: Did you?
Milo: 100-pound bags.
Wayne: And you worked out there.
Milo: Oh, I had to work out there.
Milo: They had a pond – –
Wayne: Did all the other kids?
Milo: The girls never did. Let’s see, Eddie Sharp, Milo’s brother, Eddie Sharp, walked from Promontory across the cutoff to West Weber out here to back to Plain City. He got homesick. He wouldn’t stay out there.
Wayne: He went over on the Lucin cutoff?
Wayne: How far is that”
Milo: That would be about 75 miles – –
Milo: – – Going down to Brigham, down around there. But he cut across the railroad track this way. What is it, about 12 miles? Maybe four – – oh, it’d be 12 miles to Little Mountain – –
Milo: – – Then the cutoff’s be about ten miles.
Wayne: Little Eddie, huh?
Milo: After that – – that’s be Ed Sharp’s young boy.
Milo: But he got homesick and we were working in the salt and Ed Sharp and them guys, see, they was trucking salt over to Brigham and over to Corrine, they was stockpiling it.
Milo: See, they’d truck pile it in, then they’d go get rations and stuff and come back.
Wayne: Did you stay out – –
Milo: We stated out there.
Wayne: – – overnight:
Milo: They had a big cave back in there. Charlie Carter and them guys had dug their caves. And the Indians had had caves back in that area, Indian caves and stuff back in there, and lived back in these caves for a long time at Promontory. Then they had big tents and stuff that they had out in there. They had the kitchens and stuff out there for the laborers.
Milo: In the wintertime, they had probably ten, 15 guys – –
Milo: That’s come out with their trucks. They all – – they all bought small trucks and – – they weren’t big trucks, you know, they – – young kids get these trucks and they’d come out there and try to make a dollar.
Wayne: And he loaded them all with this scoop shovel.
Milo: Scooped, everything was scooped.
Milo: No tractor.
Milo: It was all shovel. We done a lot of work at nighttime. Nighttime, lot of wok at nighttime.
Wayne: Why? Why nighttime?
Wayne: Oh, yeah. Did that go on the year-round?
Milo: Just in the winter.
Wayne: Just in the winter.
Milo: Uh-huh. Through the winter months.
Milo: The summertime, see, the – – you could fill your ponds up and then keep – keep your ponds full through the summer.
Wayne: That’s when they make the salt?
Milo: That’s when the evaporation (unintelligible) to salt there.
Wayne: So the winter’s the harvest.
Milo: The harvest.
Milo: But in Promontory, when they put that track across to Promontory, they went across and left a part of the lake with salt and everything in it, deep salt, and Ed Sharp and them harvested a lot of that slat right in there.
Milo: And one time we was there and it was – – they had this pond of salt and they piled it up to dry, make it white. And the pelicans used to come around. They used to feed them. And they put the dynamite in to blast this salt, and uncle Ed Sharp says, oh, he says, there’s the pelicans. Shoo them away, shoo them away. And they all flew away but one. And he says oh, John, he says, I gotta get you out of there. He ways, gonna blow you up. So Ed Sharp he run back to where the dynamite was and he grabbed this pelican. And he grabbed the pelican and he run, I don’t know how far, not very far when this blast went off, the salt blowing it up. But the – – he fell, fell down on the salt and the bird went away. The birds couldn’t fly because they had salt on their wings. So they’d take these pelicans up and they’d wash them so the pelicans could fly again. But he saved that pelican’s life. But he could have got killed himself.
Wayne: Yeah, I’ll say.
Milo: But I – I’ve often thought about Ed Sharp doing things like that. But he raised me to be a good – –
Milo: – – Boy.
Wayne: Dad used to love to talk to Ed. We’d sometimes leave here, Grandpa’s place, headed for Warren. But we’d sometimes end up at a – –
Wayne: – – Ed’s and I would set there on the hay rack waiting for those two people to stop talking.
Wayne: They really, genuinely liked each other, I think.
Milo: But see, Ed Sharp, he – – he rented ground off of Bill Freestone down in Warren.
Milo: Where Milton Brown lives, there used to be a house out in the back.
Wayne: Oh, okay.
Milo: And Bill Freestone lived out in the back of there and Ed – –
Wayne: I remember that.
Milo: – – Ed Sharp – – see, I was a kid, we used to go down there and he planted – –
Wayne: Just across the creek from uncle Earl – –
Milo: – – Potatoes and stuff.
Wayne: – – Hadley’s.
Milo: Yeah, down by uncle – – now, where your uncle Earl Hadley and his wife lives, me and Howard Hunt seen that twister that come through the country and tore down the creamery. The old pea vinery.
Wayne: Down on the salt flat or on the – – in the pasture.
Milo: Yeah. Me and Howard Hunt seen that cyclone pick that building up. We was in Howard’s dad’s car. We seen that twister come through the country. And we was kind of watching it, riding through the dirt roads, and we rode over here by the dump road going down to Hadley’s, and that picked that building right up and it twisted it around tight up in the are and twisted it around and then it just set it down and then it crumbled.
Wayne: I remember that.
Milo: And it went right – –
Milo: And it went right down, this twister went down across the road and then it come back towards your uncle Earl Hadley’s and it come – – missed his house. But it went – – his barn was kind of front and north of the house, and it went right through there and it picked up part of that barn on the west side, it picked that sloping part up. Mr. Hadley and his wife had just come in to have dinner, and they put the horses in there with the harness, hames and that all on – –
Milo: – – And that picked that shed up and set it back down on them horses. And me and Howard run in there to help Mr. Hadley, we pried that up. Mr. Hadley reached in and talking to them horses and his wife, Liz, I think is her name – –
Milo: – – But each one of them talked to them horses so they didn’t jump around. And me and Howard helped pry that roof up, and he took them horses right our of there. And them horses – – I often thought about that. If nobody was around, see, the horses would have probably died.
Wayne: Yeah. And you were down there working on Ed – –
Milo: No – –
Milo: Me and Howard was in the car. He’d borrowed his dad’s car. We was – – we had the water our there by uncle Ed Sharp’s, and Howard said, come and ride down to the store with me. So we go down to buy the ham – – the baloney to make a sandwich.
Wayne: Just down to Olsen’s or Maw’s?
Milo: Maw’s Store.
Milo: And we seen that twister coming.
Wayne: Oh, you – – oh.
Milo: You could hear it.
Milo: You could hear it. And we was startled. We was dumb. We wanted to drive in it.
Wayne: Yeah, you bet.
Milo: If we’d a drove in it, see, it’d a probably picked us up.
Wayne: Yeah. That’s how you got such a good view of it though. You were chasing – – out there chasing it.
Milo: Well, we was watching it.
Milo: But we got to see the creamery – – the vinery go down.
Milo: And we got to see the barn pick up, the lean-to on the west side and then we seen it set – –
Wayne: That’s right.
Milo: We could see the horses.
Milo: And then it set that right back down. And them horses, I guess the rafters and that probably wedged just so that it didn’t kill them, you know.
Milo: Then you see, right after – – right after that, see, we had to go into the war.
Milo: World War Two.
Wayne: I wanna cut back. Taking much more time – – of your time that I meant to. But can you tell me briefly what you know about how Howard got killed in the war?
Milo: Howard – – Howard Hunt, they tell me, got killed by our own ammunition.
Wayne: They were in Italy?
Milo: In Italy.
Wayne: And he was with the Gibson kid and Arnold Rose?
Milo: Also Folkman. I think Folkman was in the – –
Wayne: Oh, I thought he was in Navy.
Milo: I don’t know.
Milo: They were all close together at that time.
Milo: Whether they was on the move or what, I don’t know. But Archie Hunt could tell you.
Wayne: Probably – – Archie’s Vic’s son.
Milo: Yeah, grandson.
Milo: But he could tell you.
Wayne: Gee, I maybe oughta go see him. Who did he marry?
Milo: He’s remarried Ez Hadley’s wife. Now, you know Harold Hunt?
Milo: Harold Hunt might be able to tell you about Howard.
Wayne: Yeah, I’m not gonna be able to see Howard. I’m going home tomorrow.
Milo: Are you? I can run you down to Archie Hunt’s. But see I went into the war. Howard went into the war.
Milo: Out of all of us guys from Plain City that went in on the first draft, they sent us down to Fort Douglas, Utah.
Wayne: When did you go in?
Milo: In what was it, ’41? Took us all in town the first draft.
Wayne: Howard went with you?
Milo: No. No, they come in later.
Milo: But the first draft, they sent us all out, we went out of the Bamberger tracks.
Wayne: Who was with you, remember?
Milo: Ellis Lund.
Milo: Yeah, Ellis Lund and – – now I’ve lost it. But we all went down to Fort Douglas. We got down to Fort Douglas. They examined us, shoot us, and everything else like that. Put us in barracks. And they called my name our after they examined and tested us on everything, they called my name out to come up the office. I go up to the office. I was supposed to go get my duffel bag, be ready to move out so – – so many minutes. I run back to the barracks, got my bags and everything, and come back up where I was at. They put me in a jeep with four, five other guys. They took us right down to the railroad station in Salt Lake. They shipped us out to Fort Lewis, Washington, the same day, night we got down to Fort Douglas, they shipped us to Fort Lewis, Washington. And I was the only one out of the whole group that was sent out. And the rest of them guys all stayed here a week or two down here to Fort Douglas, Utah and they sent me up to Fort Lewis.
Wayne: You were just at Douglas long enough to get a – –
Wayne: – – Uniform and – –
Milo: Yeah, they hurried me right through.
Milo: I don’t know whether they had a call they wanted so many to go on this troop, Illinois outfit, National Guard outfit coming through, I don’t know.
Wayne: What, so you did basic training at Fort Lewis?
Wayne: That’s where Norm and Paul – –
Milo: They came there, yeah.
Wayne: uh-huh. For the 41st division.
Milo: Yeah. But they come up a little later.
Wayne: If we’re on your war career, we might as well stay with it, then we can cut back. What else did you do in the war besides go in early and – –
Milo: Well – –
Wayne: – – Get hijacked in Salt Lake?
Milo: Well, here’s the deal. What I was gonna tell you about. They asked us these questions about putting these pins together. If you open a window, how many panes would you have if you opened – – as a window over there, if you open that there window over there halfway, how many panes would you have? You understand it? Like a sliding window?
Milo: If you opened that there window, how many panes would you have if you opened it halfway? How would the four – – would you have it if you opened it halfway? You understand it?
Wayne: Has that army general intelligence (unintelligible)
Milo: Intelligence stuff.
Milo: And I didn’t care. I was mad. You understand it? I – – I really didn’t care anything about that. And they – – they says, do you like to shoot a gun? And I says I’m – – I’m an expert rifleman. And maybe that there’s why they throwed me out, you know? They didn’t like me down there.
Wayne: This is at Fort Douglas?
Milo: Fort Douglas. And they put me on a train and I went from here right on the – – tight up to Fort Douglas, Utah, and done all my basic training there.
Wayne: Fort Lewis, Washington.
Milo: Fort Lewis, Washington.
Milo: And I spent my time there, and then after we done our time at Fort Lewis, we went down to Needles, California, Barstow, and opened up a big army training camp down there. We dug great big latrines and trenches and they brought wooden boxes in for toilets and stuff like that.
Wayne: What kind of outfit were you in?
Milo: That was with the 33rd division.
Wayne: In an infantry – –
Milo: National Guard. Illinois National Guard.
Wayne: Oh, okay.
Milo: 33rd, Golden Cross.
Wayne: Okay. Is that you?
Milo: Yeah. I’m a highly-decorated soldier.
Wayne: Yeah, you are.
Wayne: Well, tell – – let’s stay with that.
Wayne: tell me about your war.
Milo: We was – –
Gladys: Before he leaves, I’d like you to show him the plaques that you made (unintelligible).
Milo: Okay. He can hear you. At Fort Douglas, Utah, they had an air base there also. They had the B-51’s and P-38’s and they were training the pilots and everybody. And we were training there. And they put me in the infantry. And I done a lot of – – lot of latrine duty. We was in barracks.
Milo: Fort Douglas – – Fort Lewis.
Milo: And didn’t matter what I done, the company commander, whoever it was, he liked me. If we go out on maneuvers, rifle shooting, anything like that, they liked me because I could hit the targets. They could pull a target up and I could shoot it.
Wayne: Like Plain City kids, you’d grown up – –
Milo: I done it.
Milo: If we run infiltration course or anything, get down on your guts and crawl.
Milo: Go under the barbed wire and this and that – –
Milo: – – I done it. And they liked me. And they – – they come along with the 60- millimeter mortar. Told me all about that, an one thing another. And they said, do you know how far that is down to that tree down there? And I says, yeah, I say, it’s probably about 150 yards. And didn’t matter what they done, they’d fire this mortar, 150 yards, they’d be on their target. You know, I wasn’t doing it. But they was asking me these things.
Milo: And they’d say, how far away is that tree over there. I’d say, well, it’s close to a thousand yards. But I was good on – –
Milo: – – Distance.
Milo: And it didn’t matter what I done. And as soon I was there, I was the soldier of the month the first month.
Milo: I got a pass out of it, you know, and then they made me a private first class and then a corporal and then a buck sergeant, you know.
Milo: Then when I got down to Barstow, they made me a Tech Sergeant. Give me a weapons platoon. And that was your 30 machine guns and your 60-millimeter mortars, see? But they give me a platoon down there. And then when they give me the platoon, they put us on guard duty one night. And they took me way out in the desert and left me. Now, you’re gonna stay here until certain hours and then you’ll be relieved. Well, I was gone through the night. The next morning at about noon, here they come to get me. And they said, well, why didn’t you walk in? I said, walk in? Why walk in? I was told to stay here. Was you scared? I had an order. I done it. I get back to camp, they give me a five-day pass for being a soldier of the month down there. You see?
Milo: So they give me a platoon sergeant. They made me a two-striper. One stripe under at that time.
Wayne: Oh, a staff – –
Milo: Yeah, a staff sergeant.
Milo: Then. And then they made us a two star later on. Two stripe after.
Wayne: And that’s the tech.
Milo: Tech, yeah. After that. But they was changing at that time. But they give me a five-day pass. And I come back to Utah.
Milo: They give me a five-day pass, but I could only have three because we were shipping out. So I hurried home see my wife, Gladys. She’d come back from Washington so she could be with me just that – – say hello.
Milo: And I come home to see my wife and I had to go right back the next morning so I’d be able to ship out.
Wayne: You went back to Barstow?
Wayne: Your outfit was – –
Wayne: – – Still there.
Milo: We was ready to ship out. But I’d received this five-day pass that had – – soldier of the month award.
Milo: So that’s why I got to come home and to go back. So then they – –
Wayne: When had you got married?
Milo: Well, we got married in ’41. See, then – –
Wayne: Just before you went in?
Milo: Just before we went in. And see, I never seen my boy, Milo, he was born while I was overseas. I didn’t see Milo until he was three years old.
Wayne: Uh-huh. Who did you marry?
Milo: Gladys Donaldson.
Wayne: From Ogden?
Milo: Ogden, yeah. Dave Donaldson’s daughter. Dave Donaldson. They lived on – well, Norm, he used to go up there. They used to pick Gladys up. And Frank Hadley, they used to go pick Gladys and their sisters all up. They used to go up there. But they – – they shipped us out of Barstow and they was gonna send us – – they was gonna send us in to Alaska. They give us all this here heavy equipment and everything, go to Alaska. Then when we get on the ships, the first thing the do is give us new clothing and everything, and we’re going to the southwest pacific. So we went into the Hawaiian Islands. So that’s where – – where we started out at, Hawaiian Islands.
Milo: Then we went from Hawaiian Islands down through – – down Past Kanton Island, Christmas Island, Fiji Islands. We was gonna go into Australia, then they decided instead of going into Australia, they had kept the Japs from going into Australia, so they sent us back up into the Coral Sea, back up into New Guinea.
Milo: And so we went up into Finch and Lae and Hollandia. And while we were in there, we unloaded ships and stuff for the ship guys and everything like that. And then while we were in there, I got the soldier of the month award because I got the guys to help dig trenches to get water down out of the – – the fields so that it wasn’t swampy all the way through. And we dug these trenches and they gave me soldiers of the month down there.
We went down to the ocean front in these trucks and we brought coral rock and gravel stuff and made us sidewalks and stuff in our camps. And then the next thing you know, the whole outfits’s done it. And then we put poles and that up and so we didn’t have to have tents, we put a canvas over the top, more like a roof, so everybody done that.
Wayne: And this was in New Guinea.
Milo: In New Guinea. But you see, we went down to Finch Haven, down to Lae, then over to Hollandia, see, and helped unload ships. Then over – – when we was unloading ships, we – – I was in charge of unloading the ships. We unloaded at nighttime so the Navy could sleep and then get their rest, we worked through the nights for them. And we was unloading different things, and one of the guys down below, one of the buck sergeants, I heard him say, hey, this casket here, I put old Sergeant Ross’s name on it, he says make sure this son of a bitch gets it. You see, you could hear them talking.
Milo: And I knew who it was. So when we got through off the ship, we have about 50 guys I was in charge of, and another shift come on to relieve us, we go on for four hours, so when we go to load up, I says, say, Sergeant so and so, you gotta come over here a minute, I got a detail for you. Yes, Sergeant Ross. I said, bring three buddies with you. So he brought three buddies over with him. And I says, I got a detail for you. I says, you ride back down to camp with us. I says, it’s only a mile and a half. But I says, I heard you guys talking down – – down in the ship down there, and I says, I got this casket with my name on it and I wanna be sure and keep it. I want you to carry this back to my tent. Maybe I’ll sleep in it a night or two. And he says, oh, Sergeant Ross, I didn’t mean that. You know, but he was mad, you know, he’s irritated to think that the Sergeant would have to go down there and work.
Milo: But little things like this happens.
Milo: But we unloaded tires, 50-gallon drums of oil, gas, out in trucks and they took it out into the bamboos, you know, out in the – – out in the mud swamps.
Wayne: What port were you at?
Milo: Finch Haven.
Wayne: Finschhafen. Now Port Moresby’s on the other side.
Milo: That’s on the upper – – back down farther.
Milo: But when you go up into Coral Sea, you go up kind of towards Borneo, the Big Island. Now, Borneo from where we were at, Finschhafen, you could see Borneo Volcano eruption 24 hours a day.
Milo: Borneo. And then after we – – after we stayed in there, they said there was no Japs in there. But me and Palke, my friend, army buddy, we was down to the ocean and this native guy come and asked us if we’d shoot two Japs. That these two Japs had taken these native girls prisoners. And we thought he was just kidding we says, yeah we will. So we go with this native. They call them fuzzy tops, New Guinea. We go back, back over here where he’s at and he’s pointing to us. He says, right here, right here. See, this native. And I says, well, thems Japanese. They’re not supposed to be any Japs here. And he says, two of them. I says, Palke, you take the left one, I’ll take the right one. So we shot them. You understand me?
Milo: And then we got – – we got a Japanese flag apiece. My buddy Palke and my – – myself – –
Milo: And Then – –
Wayne: They had captured two native girls?
Milo: Yeah. They were shacking up with the native girls, these Japs.
Milo: And this here native fuzzy top, he didn’t want these Japanese there.
Milo: So he asked us to shoot them.
Wayne: You just sneaked up on them in their – –
Milo: Well, we – – we thought he was kidding us.
Milo: So I says to Palke, I says, you take the left one, I’ll take the right one. And we never did tell nobody. You understand me? We didn’t dare. We was scared. We was chicken. We was afraid we’d get in prison. You understand it?
Milo: But see – –
Wayne: You probably broke an article of war.
Milo: We broke an article of war – –
Milo: – – Because we didn’t talk to the commander in the first place.
Wayne: Right. And it was not a combat situation.
Milo: We were in combat.
Wayne: Were you?
Milo: We were loaded with ammunition at all times ready to fire you see, the Japs come across with their airplanes and strafe us and bomb us and they said – – they said the planes and that wasn’t in there, but – –
Wayne: It’s a combat zone.
Milo: It’s a combat zone.
Milo: But we – – wherever we went, we had to have a gun and two of us had to be together.
Milo: You understand? At all times.
Milo: If we went down to the ships to unload everything like that, we ha a patrol, guard duty. You had five men, guard duty besides you’re unloading guys stuff like that. But see, after we left Finschhafen, Lae, we went to Dutch East Indies, Morotai, and that used to be a Leper Colony, British Colony. Used it be a Leper Colony. And we went to Morotai, Dutch East Indies, and we had big airstrip there we had to guard.
Wayne: All this time you were in the 33rd – –
Milo: 33rd Division.
Wayne: – – Division National Guard from Illinois.
Milo: Illinois. 130th Infantry. But everything that I’ve done, I got the solder of the month award. I even got a soldier of the month award for fixing up the drain ditches and fixing the gravel sidewalks and stuff like that.
Milo: And then the Latrines and stuff, we fixed them back farther away. Then I took the drums and we took – – cut the drums in half and put them by our tents to save the water that came off the tents.
Wayne: Oh, the oil drums.
Milo: We saved all these drums and stuff.
Milo: And we got our own water to wash our clothes and stuff with. And I got a soldier of the month award for that, and I had a chance to go to Australia for five-day pass, but what can you do? You don’t have no money. You – – no way to go. I could have went down with the Australian boy to fly down and back – –
Milo: But, you know, I didn’t go.
Wayne: You weren’t getting paid?
Milo: Oh, yeah, they paid.
Wayne: Fifty-two – – well, you were – – you were a staff sergeant.
Milo: But we send money home. We was taking out insurance and sending most of it home. We was maybe getting $20 a month, you know, not much.
Milo: But we went from – – from New Guinea we went up into Dutch East Indies, Morotai, and we guarded the airstrip. And the Australian boys, when the would take off the with their airplanes, they would always do a barrel roll. They’d roll their plane over and – – plane over and – – and we had this guard duty to guard this airstrip. And then when the Japs started to giving the airstrip a bad time, we had to make a drive back up through the airstrip and up through the country in towards – – I don’t remember the town now. Morotai. But we made a drive back up through there to locate the Japanese and get them our of there. And they killed quite a few of the Japanese did, the leading forces. We always brought up the rear, the weapons platoon. But we always had to be on the guard duty.
And then when we got back in farther, they had more Japanese farther back up into Morotai in Village, so they put us in ducks and took is out in the water in the lake, in the ocean, and put us in P.T. Boats. And there was I think about 12 of us. We had a lieutenant Early that went with us. And I volunteered to go as a weapon platoon tech Sergeant. They put us in there p.t. boats and they too us up to this city – –
Wayne: There were 12 of you in the – –
Milo: About 12 of us. About 12 of us, if I remember right that volunteered to go up.
Wayne: In one p.t. boat?
Milo: No. They had the two p.t. boats.
Milo: They brought the two p.t. boat in.
(Tape I-B ends. Tape II-A Begins.)
Wayne: . . . two side one of a conversation with Milo Ross at his home in Plain City.
Milo: Number three.
Milo: One, two, three.
Wayne: One, two – – third side.
Milo: third side.
Wayne: Tape two.
Milo: Yeah. But they took us up in these p.t. boats out of the ducks, then we get out, starting out towards to where we was supposed to go, up to the city, this kid, he pushes a handle down on that p.t. boat and that thing just sat back on its tail, you know, and we – – we though it was gonna tip over backwards. You know I mean?
Milo: Because we’d never been in a p.t. boat. And he rammed us right up in on the beach. And we got up in there and we – – we make a beach landing, war-type landing for the Japs, we go in there Bayonets and rifle ready to go, and nobody was there. We run through the – – around the buildings. Run down through the streets like we was trained to do. Run our – – right on down along the side the beach, clear down where the boats and everything was at. And when we got down where the – – they’d tied their boats and all that all up, there was a great big open well, and it was lined with rock and everything, beautiful, beautiful picture. If you ever seen anything in the – – a picture of a open well water, and that’s where they got their drinking water out of, out of buckets and ropes. And then no Japs, no people around at all. So one the follow – –
Wayne: This is – – this is a native village then.
Milo: Native village on Morotai.
Milo: Dutch East Indies.
Milo: They have Gilden money, Gilden and different type. But one of the fellows hollered and says, come quick. O the five or six of us that was looking at this water and well and stuff broke and run to where he was at with our rifles, we figured he had some Japs pinned down. But he got to the bank. So we go over to the bank and they had a great big standing vault. And he says, look it here, all the money in the world. So without thinking, we took our ammunition, we put armor-piercing ammunition in our clips. And we cut a hole in this vault to take the money out. You understand me?
Wayne: Yeah. Was it Japanese money?
Milo: It was New Guinea – – not New Guinea, but – –
Milo: Dutch East Indies.
Wayne: Paper money.
Milo: Paper money.
Milo: So we – – we loaded this all up in our coats and, you know, your fatigues and stuff like that, we loaded ourselves all up. And the lieutenant Early, he says, well, I gotta have some, too. See, he’s – – he’s in charge. And I’m the platoon sergeant. We even put it in our pants down to our leggings, we had these leggings on. So we – – we robbed the bank. But we did accomplish our mission, no Japs, nobody around. We go back and get into the p.t. boats, go back down, he kicks us off into these ducks. And then the ducks take us back and puts us on the beach down there on Morotai. And as soon as we get down there, we’re under arrest. They strip us off completely. Nude. We’re ready to be court martialed.
Milo: And here’s Lieutenant Early stripped off just like we are. Somebody had went down the ground from the bank, down to where we come back in at. It probably wasn’t very far. They came back down and told them that we’d robbed the bank. So when Lieutenant told them what it was, we give them the money and everything like that, they was all satisfied and contented. Lieutenant Early kind of shut it up some way. I don’t know how they done it. But we was – – were under army arrest. Then they tell us, go ahead and get dressed back up in uniform. No charges will be pressed. You’ve returned the money. So they release us.
And about that time, another ship, barge, came in, and it was artillery guys coming in to observe for artillery. Sergeant Ross, go with them. Set up. Yes, sir. I tell the guys, must have been about six of them, I said, just head straight out through here, and I said we’ll go out about 40, 50 yards and stop. Then I says, we’ll call in one shell and find out how close you are with us. So they called in the one shell.
Wayne: What are they gonna fire on if there were no Japanese?
Milo: Well, we have to have artillery wherever we go. For our own protection. They know there’s Japs in Morotai.
Wayne: But you didn’t find any.
Milo: We didn’t find them, but we wanted artillery.
Wayne: You wanted (unintelligible).
Milo: Around us.
Milo: And they have a shell that they throw in there that’s a smoked shell.
Wayne: Right, you’re just spotting target.
Milo: Just spot – – spot target.
Wayne: Yeah, okay.
Milo: And they – – the one – – the observation man says, I’m gonna run over here to the side and he says, I’ll – – I’ll be right back. I gotta go to the bathroom a minute. So he left us and he just started to walking maybe 20, 25 feet, and boom. We thought the artillery shell had come in and got us. But where – – we looked back to see where it was at, and there was booby trap that this observer had booby trapped, and it had jumped up out of the ground and it had exploded just about his waist height. And it looked like it blew him all to hell. We ran over there to see if we could help him, and his hands and his legs – – the one leg was almost completely off, you know, and his hands was just strung out, you know, you could see the bones and all that in there. And he – – he was conscious, and he says, oh, what did I do wrong? And then he passed out. And then we hollered for the medics and the medics come up, and they decided they’d have to finish amputating his leg because the – – these cords and everything was bothering, hindering, and everything, so they bandaged him all up and tourniqueted him up and fixed him all up. And while we were there, I says, listen, you better get that shell in here on us pretty soon now because, I says, the Japs will know we’re here. So the observation guy from the artillery guy, he called in for this shell and they brought one in and it was close enough to us to where we are at, we knew where it was at, and I says, don’t bring it in any closer, that’s fine.
But all the time we’re talking on the radio back to the company commander, our company commander Kelly, and told him what had happened. With probably booby traps all the way around, watch your area back there, too, because there is booby traps. So the artillery guys, they back out, we go back down to where the company’s dug in, and they call in for two or three shells, artillery shells. They fired way back from the distance off another island back to you, and you can hear them old guns go boom, boom. Then pretty soon you can hear them coming in, shoo, shoo, shoo. And then they boom, you know. And I flag them off and say, that’s enough, that’s – – that’s right where we need it so we know we got some protection and the Japs’ll know we got some protection. And I told the company commander on the radio, I says, we’re zeroed in, sir, right about where we need to be. Good go, sergeant Ross, he says, have the men dig in for the night.
So we stay in this here area for two or three days, then we go back down to Morotai, the airport. And we’re still down there until after Christmas. Christmans eve, they used to have a wash machine Charlie bomber come across, Jap bomber, he’d drop bombs on Morotai. And then after he got so far across and about so high up, they’d turn these search lights on him. They had these great big search lights. They’d turn about six, six to 12 of them if they had all fired up ready to light, and they’d turn these lights up on there and then when the lights would get on the Jap plane, then our planes would be able to spot the bomber and then the P.51’s and 38’s, P.38’s would shoot them down. But that was in the best side in the world if I ever seen in my life was to see a Jap bomber shot down in Morotai. To see – – to see the light on him, to see him explode, and then see a flash, the black – – black explosion then a flash, then hear the motors revving up and going down into the ocean. Then you see your airplanes do their tip of their wings and everybody turns their lights off, follows this airline right on down to the ocean, you know. But it was quite a thrill, something different for us to be able to see how the air corps and everybody worked as a unit.
Milo: And we stayed – –
Wayne: What Christmas would this be?
Milo: Oh – –
Wayne: ’42, ’43?
Milo: Let’s see, ’43, ’44.
Milo: Then we went from – – they told us – – they told us we’d be loading out – – we stayed there and guarded the airstrip (Pause in tape. Unintelligible) we killed all them Japs up the side there. Those Japanese let us go through them in that cocoon grass.
Milo: They let that first group go right on past them, about the first squad. And after we got about the first squad past, we always have a signal, we stop. We talk to them on the radio. You have your walkie-talkie and you have everybody stop. And when you stop, one faces one way and one faces the opposite way. Back to back. Combat. And one of the fellows radioed on and he says, I just seen movement in the grass. Japanese to our left front.
The orders were hang by, on signal, everybody fire to our left, mover forward. So when the signal come, every – – everybody starts to shooting and they stand up and they go, walk through the cocoon grass. But they took the Japanese by surprise right on the ground. We never lost a man at Morotai. Them riflemen, them riflemen really protected us, I’ll tell that you. They – – they just done a good job. But the Japanese let them go right through. But if us guys in the back hadn’t seen it, them guys would have been cut off.
Milo: From Morotai we went – – they was gonna take us up into different islands and they kept us on the ships for quite a while. We’d go from one island to another to make landings, and they’d hold us out. And then after so many days, they told us they told us we would be going up to – – into Luzon.
Milo: So then they went up into Luzon, and Harold’s Bunch, 32nd, and probably Norm’s bunch from the 41st and that bunch that Norm and Paul Knight’s and them, they went down into Manila.
Wayne: I’m not sure – –
Milo: Down by Clark Air Base, Subic Bay, they probably come in down there. But we went up above and come back in Lingayen Gulf where MacArthur came back in.
Milo: And they sent us back up in Lingayen Gulf as guard duty, so when MacArthur comes back in on his, I shall return – –
Milo: – – That, that is the 33rd division where he comes back in there, if you know the history of it. That is your golden cross assignment, the return of MacArthur, right in there. That’s where MacArthur comes back in the 33rd division.
Wayne: Did you have to fight your way in there?
Milo: Never. Not there. We could hear the Japs’ artillery fire coming back out of the hills out of Baguio City down into the valleys. But see, Harold and them guys, they come through clear down into Subic Bay, down in Manila, and they worked their way back up through the island. And Milo Sharp and them guys, they went back to Kibachiwan, the prison camp. Milo Sharp, his bunch went over to Kibachiwan and relieved all the prisoners of war over in that area.
Wayne: Oh. You know what outfit Mutt was in?
Milo: I don’t remember. But Harold was with the 32nd division. And Harold and them went over to Galiano Valley, wasn’t it?
Wayne: I don’t know.
Milo: Galiano Vallley. They went – – they went past Kibachiwan, the concentration camp, and they went back into Kibachiwan and we went over into Baguio City. So we were all close together. And I – – that’s – – that’s when I – – I met Harold down in Luzon.
Wayne: Oh, did you?
Milo: Up in – – but up in Lingayen Gulf. He come up through there. And I was in charge of distributing the trucks and stuff as they come off the ships, and I was in charge of having them relay the companies, to companies into certain areas and – – but I seen Harold and these guys come through, his buddy.
Wayne: Was that just by chance?
Milo: By chance.
Wayne: No kidding?
Milo: But he knew we was coming in.
Milo: See, he had a radio. And on the radio you communicate with each other.
Milo: And he picked up our code and he was so many miles away and they came through the field.
Milo: Instead of going around the road, they come through the field to us. And I throwed my glasses up and I says to Lieutenant Early, I says, there’s a couple soldiers coming down through there and they’re not Japs, you know. And I was bringing these trucks in, keeping them going where they was supposed to go, and hollering the different guys where to put them. And pretty soon, these two soldiers got up close enough and I throw my glasses on there and I thought, hell, hell, oh mighty. And then I say to Lieutenant Early, I says, what’s going on here? He says, aw, don’t pay no attention to them, they’re all right. So pretty soon, Harold and them guys, they got, oh, probably here to the road, and I heard Harold say, God, big brother, don’t you even know me? See, he had his glasses.
Milo: And he’d come down to a dentist probably.
Milo: And see, I was just coming in off the ships, but – –
Wayne: So he had an idea you were in the area.
Milo: Well, we have radios.
Milo: See, they knew, they knew we were coming in there.
Wayne: Did you ever run into any other guys from Plain City.
Milo: I didn’t know – – Raymond Bitton from West Weber. He married Beth Skeen.
Milo: Now, he was in the 33rd division also.
Milo: He got a bronze star, yeah. And see, we went – – we – – after we left Luzon, they sent us up into Aringay. We stayed at Aringay and prepared to drop to – –
Wayne: Milo, I gotta use your – –
(Pause in tape)
Milo: They sent us from Luzon after – – after MacArthur and them came in, they relieved us out of there as guard duty and they sent us over into Aringay. They sent us over into Aringay to go through the homes and villages through there, house by house, and searching for the Japanese.
Milo: Outside of Aringay. And outside of Aringay, we trained to go from one house to another, and we had to take – – go in in twos. One of you walk into a house. These are only one – or two-room building shacks. One would go one way and one go the other way, and you had your rifle and bayonet and go right on in, ready to pull trigger any time. And that was the hardest thing in the world for me is to go in a house ready to shoot in case you see a Japanese or somebody in there. And it was pretty hard, but we – – we searched these villages, we searched the houses, we searched the outside and everything around Aringay.
And then around Aringay, we dug in. And after we’d dug in for one day, the Japanese threw artillery shells in on us, and one of the shells exploded down by the – – a trail, being and it left something burning. And the fellows went down to see what it was, and it was money. The had hit a cache of money that the Japanese had buried, and the paper money and that had caught on fire and the silver coins and that was scattered all over. And I’ve got clippings on that where they found over half a million dollars in coin the Japanese had buried.
But in this artillery barrage that they throwed around us, they throwed the 90’s artillery and whatever it was in on us. And that was on February the 14th in the morning about 8:00 or 9:00 o’clock, February the 14th. That’s when the one shell knocked me down and about four other guys got – –
Wayne: This is 1945?
Milo: knocked us down, and – – February the 14th. And then I realized I was down on the ground and wanted to get up to help, and then my one leg, I couldn’t get it up. I was paralyzed in the one leg. I’d been wounded. So I go get up, and I go crawl over to help my buddy because he was bleeding on the side quite a bit on his neck. And I put this compress on there as tight as I could, and told him to hold it. And I says, I’ll have to help Fred, my buddy Palke over here – – not Palke, but one of the other fellows, said to come and help him. I crawled over to help him and I thought, well, I’m stand up. And when I went to stand up again, then another shell come in and hit us again. So I got hit once, and then I got hit again, see. So I got hit from the front and I got hit from the back (unintelligible) over that side.
Wayne: Where was the second hit?
Milo: From the back side on the artillery, see, caught me in the back.
Wayne: In the back.
Milo: It was shrapnel, but they – – I think they knocked about 11 of us down. And Palke, he come running over, that’s my buddy here, and I says, Palke, I says, get my pictures of my wife and Gladys and my wallet out of my pack over there, will you? I’d just come back off of guard duty through the night. I went out on a suicide post, and I’d just come back. And I hadn’t had any sleep, and I got wounded as I come, and I was just having a sip of drink with the guys, and I says, you guys, I says, we better split this up. I says, we’re gonna get artillery up here, too. And I no sooner said it than these two shells come in about the same time and got us.
But they shipped me down to 144 station hospital, and I was down there for about a month. And I said, I gotta get out of here. So I volunteered to go back to the company. And then when we got back in the company, they sent us out – – out to San Fernando Valley where the Japanese were out over in that concentration there. We was supposed to make a road block in that area to keep them there. And we waded the Aringay river through the night. And that’s after we’d been wounded. I come back to camp that day, I come back to camp about 3:00 o’clock, and they was preparing to go out. And I was just coming out of the hospital. And they says, what are you gonna do, Sergeant Ross? And I says, well, I’ll go with you. Oh, why don’t you stay with the company? And I said, no, I’ll go with you. So I went and got my ammunition and everything, full pack and everything, and went with them. We waded the Aringay river about 3:00 o’clock in the morning just below the bridge because they knew it was dynamited. Japs was gonna blow it up. We waded the Aringay river and went over into San Fernando Valley and waited until daybreak there to go back up into – – up towards Baguio City where we done most of our fighting. But we done a lot of – –
Wayne: So a day after you come out of the hospital, you’re engaged in a fire fight with – –
Milo: Well, the day I come back out, I was loading up my pack that night to go with my company back into combat.
Milo: And I was kind of chicken when I waded that river. I had a little fear in me.
Wayne: Yeah. The wounds were – – didn’t – –
Milo: Just shrapnel wounds.
Wayne: didn’t break any bone; they were flesh?
Milo: Flesh wounds.
Wayne: Didn’t shatter any bones or – –
Milo: Just – – just poke holes through you – –
Milo: – – you know, just – –
Milo: – – poke, poke holes through your body, you know. And my legs was the same way. But I – – they wasn’t gonna release me out of the 144 station hospital, and I said, I’ve gotta get out of here, I’m gonna go nuts. But I went back in and the next, that – – the same night I got out, we waded the Aringay River. We went right over to San Fernando Valley and then we worked our way back up on the ridges, back up through there, and starred to crawling down, down ridges, trying to wipe the Japanese out.
Then we got – – We got – – we had to take Hill X. And Bilbil Mountain. My Company got the Presidential Unit Citation. But I got – – I got the Purple Heart, the Silver Star, and the Good Conduct Medal, and the Presidential Unit Citation.
Wayne: You know, I had no idea you’d got a Silver Star.
Wayne: That’s – – that’s impressive, Milo.
Milo: I got the Presidential Unit Citation with the company.
Milo: We had about a 40 – – they tried to take Hill X. About seven or eight times before, and then they called upon Company C to take it. We tried to take that, we got fired on and pinned down. And we had to dig in for the night. We lost quite a few men. And then we stayed and worked our way up the ridge, but we got up on top and on Hill X, we made our mission. We dug in, we built pill boxes and stayed in. We stayed there for seven, seven or eight days. And they dropped ammunition and stuff from the airplanes, the C-47, they dropped ammunition and stuff our to us. And then they had Filipino people bring rations and stuff up on their heads.
Wayne: The Japanese are above you on the hill?
Milo: They was on the – –
Wayne: Dug in?
Milo: – – Hill X. And also on Bilbil Mountain. And that’s where we was getting most of our fire from is Bilbil Mountain. And Hill X, we had to work our way up that. And when we got to our point up here, we dug in, then we built pill boxes with a roof over them. We’d put logs and stuff over them.
Milo: And then the night when they was gonna release us, they told us that high officials would be up. Make room in the foxholes for them after dark. So all the colonels and majors and everybody come up to see what they’re gonna do, so they get in our foxholes with and bunkers with us, and they stay through the night with us, and then the next morning they see what they gotta do, and decide they’re gonna relieve, take us off of this hill, Hill X. So they relieve us off of Hill X. And they bring another company up to take our position. And we go on back, back out of here, back down to rest area. And when we get down to rest area, they feed us and let us drink and have clean up. And about dark, they told us that we’d be combat ready again, with no sleep, after supper we would go back up on Bilbil Mountain where the other company was pinned down.
Milo: After we ate, loaded up, went back toward Bilbil Mountain, we had to walk back up where they let us off. Through the night, we walked up on top towards Bilbil Mountain, made contact with the company that was pinned down. On radio, you’re always on radio, you understand me?
Milo: And they have their patrol back and forth. We make patrol with them right on back up to where their company’s at, pinned down. And they tell us that in morning we would – – all bayonets would be fixed bayonets. Ready to fire and move forward. If anybody goes down, you move on past them, you do not stop, you move right through the company that’s pinned down, our own troops. And the rifleman at daybreak – – you could see movement of the Japanese. And you could see our troops down in the foxholes where we had to go down through. And as soon as they give the signal, our troops went right on down through the first platoon, second platoon, third platoon, and I was the last platoon, fourth platoon. We seen what was going on. Our first squad of men that went down, that – – all that firing was from the hip. They – – they went through there. You know, they caught the Japanese by surprise. They took them right in their foxholes, right through the other company. The other company was told stay in their foxholes.
Wayne: (Unintelligible )
Milo: They had to stay down, let us through them. And C Company went right through them. And when we come through, there was not a soldier of our company that got wounded. We went right through the company that was pinned down and right off of Bilbil Mountain, right on across the ridge, went right down to hill X,that we had been on the day before.
Wayne: Good grief.
Milo: And went right on down.
Wayne : Yeah.
Milo: Back down to camp. I never did know what the company got for that. I’ve – – you know, I – – I come back out of the service right after that because we was up in Luzon fighting on them hills and stuff like that.
Milo: But I – – I did have a chance to stand and – – with Captain Kelly when we received his – –
Wayne: He was your company commander?
Milo: Company commander. He got his Silver Star. I got one.
Wayne: And you got one.
Milo: And I got to stand down with him on the platform they fixed for us. P.W. Clarkston, sixth corps commander, pinned that Silver Star on me star. He says, sergeant Ross, come and go to – – with us in Japan, and he says, I’ll give you a platoon – – a company of your own. I’ll make you a lieutenant. I says, sir, let me go home. I got enough points. 65 points.
Wayne: Is the war over by now?
Milo: It’s just about over. I says, the Japs are whipped, they’re coming in. I says they’re coming in. I says, I took a prisoner of war, and I says, 25, 30 others, I had them come up the next morning and I says, they’re coming in, they’re coming in.
And he says, Sergeant Ross, we need more just like you. I says, please let me go home.
But I had the chance to stand on a platform with Captain Kelly and have a division pass by in review.
Milo: You know, that’s quite an honor.
Milo: Each company come by, and you hear then holler, Company C, eyes right.
Milo: Right on down through, you know – –
Wayne: Not many tech sergeants get that privilege.
Milo: That’s really a privilege.
Wayne : Yeah.
Milo: I was honored. I felt proud. I am a huge-decorated soldier.
Wayne: Can I look at those pictures?
Milo: You bet.
(Pause in tape)
Milo: Sorry I took so much of your time.
(Pause in tape)
Milo: Some people’s got them, but I’ve never got them.
Wayne: I’m gonna ask Milo to run over these decorations again on the tape. I had it off. So we’re standing in front of a framed kind of collage of photographs and medals from his war – – there’s the – – you have the Good Conduct Medal.
Milo: Good Conduct Medal.
Wayne: The Silver Star.
Milo: Silver Star for gallantry in action.
Wayne: Right. And now that’s just the step below the – –
Milo: Medal of Honor.
Wayne: The Medal of Honor.
Wayne: Right. And the Purple Heart.
Milo: Purple Heart.
Wayne: And the good – –
Milo: World War II.
Wayne: World War II. Okay. And then there’s a ribbon for a Presidential Unit Citation. And the – –
Milo: Combat Infantry.
Wayne: Combat Infantry badge.
Milo: The picture of P.W. Clarkston, sixth corps commander.
Wayne: And up there’s his hash marks for – –
Milo: Service points.
Wayne: Right. Is that – – I’ve forgotten – –
Milo: I don’t remember.
Wayne: Six months.
Milo: Yes. That’s the old golden cross, 3rd division, and that’s our – – that’s our battle stars.
Wayne: Two battle stars.
Milo: See the one over here in the southwest pacific.
Wayne : Uh-huh.
Milo: Down into New Guinea. Morotai. And then the Philippine Islands over here.
Wayne: The two battle stars are for the Philippines.
Wayne: And the one to the left of the cross is the New Guinea.
Milo: New Guinea.
Wayne: Right. What is this?
Milo: That’s the expert.
Milo: I’m an expert in everything that I used.
Milo: I have citations, written citations, I have M-1 rifles, carbine, hand grenades.
Milo: I have certificates of everything. I have a plaque made up that I’ll show you in my bedroom. I’ll bring out and show you. But it’s P.W. Clarkston pinning the silver star on me. That’s captain Kelly standing by me. And after he pinned these on me, we had the division, 33rd division pass by in review.
Wayne: Yeah J.
Milo: Honored me and Captain Kelly.
Wayne: And that was essentially the end of your army career?
Milo: I wanted to get out at that time.
Wayne: Yeah. While you were still whole.
Milo: I’ll show you the plaque.
(Pause in tape)
Milo: His name’s Milo Paul Ross. And he’s an Eagle Scout. And he has a son here named Paul after his – –
Milo: – – After his dad.
Wayne: Yeah. Is that his Eagle Scout?
Milo: He’s an Eagle Scout.
Milo: And he’s – – he’s a high-decorated Eagle Scout also Milo’s and Eagle Scout and his son’s an Eagle Scout.
Wayne: Where does Milo live?
Milo: Paul, Idaho.
Milo: Paul, Idaho. He – – this here bit here received a – – an award out of Minico. This school in Rupert give almost a million dollars scholarship out in high school graduation, and my grandson, Paul Ross – –
Wayne: Paul Ross.
Milo: – – right here received from there clear on down to there.
Milo: About $52,000 scholarships, that the young buck, Paul Ross, received.
Wayne: To USU
Milo: Yeah, up to Logan.
Wayne: Right. What did he do?
Milo: He’s in drafting, engineering, and computers. But you can – – can you read them here? That’s a presidential.
Wayne: For $24,828.
Wayne: USU Drafting and Music.
Wayne: USU Academic honors, $250.
Wayne: James Dixon Honorary, $1,000. Harry S. Truman Library Institute, $2,000. Colorado School of Mines Achievement, $6,000. Freshman, $2,000. Performing arts, $800. John and Doris Jensen, $750. Conoco, $1,000. Delano F. Scott, $1,500.
Wayne: That’s quite a list.
Milo: Well – –
Wayne: Now, is this when he graduated from high school?
Milo: From high school.
Wayne: Then he gets these for the college or – –
Milo: yeah he’s going up to Logan. He has a scholarship here now to go to Logan, tuition paid. But he has to pay $3,000 for his board and room I think up there.
Milo: But other than that – –
Wayne: Is he up there now?
Milo: He’s going this fall.
Wayne: He’ll be a freshman?
Milo: (unintelligible )
Wayne: Oh, this has just happened then?
Milo: Just happened.
Wayne: Oh, yeah, this is June 4th.
Milo: He’s a brilliant boy.
Wayne: Minidoka County.
Milo: Yeah, he’s been – –
Wayne: Rupert, Idaho.
Milo: He’s been back to Kansas City twice. He went back later year on a scholarship fund. This year he went back to Kansas City with his dad. They spent ten days going back, come back again, and he placed 16th last year and he placed 16th this year national.
Milo: Scholarships. He got to go back to Harry S. Truman scholarship school back there that they have for scholarships. And he placed 16th each time. And that’s Milo’s boy. Now, he wants – – what he wants to do now, when he’s going to Logan, if Logan will let him go this fall when he’s a in school to California on a scholarship for Stanford, I think it is – –
Milo: – – If they’ll let him go to Stanford on a scholarship, oh, like a scholarship deal, he wants to go down there if Logan will let him go long enough out of college to go down there to – – on that time limit for that scholarship down there. He’s gonna try to get it. I don’t know whether he’ll been able to get it or not.
Milo: But he picked up about $52,000 scholarships.
Wayne: Yeah. Where did your son, Milo, go to school.
Milo: He went to Plain City. See, he had his schooling here.
Wayne: But he – – did he go to college?
Milo: He didn’t go to college.
Wayne: He went to Weber High?
Milo: See, I bought him that ’59 Chevrolet Impala convertible, that red one. Do you remember him driving that around? I bought him that – –
Wayne : No, I haven’t been around.
Milo: I bought him a ’59 Impala convertible to keep him in school. And then I tried to get him to go on a mission. He wouldn’t go on a mission. And I says, son, here’s $5,000, I’ll give it to you now, or I’ll put it in the bank in your checking account if you’ll go to – – go on a mission. He says, dad, I’m old enough to know where I wanna go. So he just went to work for Circle A Trucking outfit, and he’s been with them ever since. He’s the – – he’s their supervisor up at Paul, Idaho, for the big trucking outfit up there. That’s one of the biggest outfits there is in the states is Circle A Trucking.
I’ve got a plaque here that I’ve just kind of put a little junk together.
Wayne: Oh, boy.
Milo: And it really isn’t put together very nice. But come over here.
Wayne: Now Milo’s showing me a mock-up he’s got of some material on a kind if a – –
Wayne: – – two-part clipboard here. There’s his Chevron.
Milo: I even got a – – I got a clipping of Plain City School play night, see.
Wayne: Oh, my heavens.
Milo: Here’s – – here’s your sister, Ruth, in here.
Milo: She was my leading girl.
Wayne: Right, I remember that play.
Milo: She was – – she was my girlfriend. And you know what? I tease her. I always say, when I was supposed to kiss you, you always used to put a handkerchief up so our lips never touched. She gets a kick out of that. But that was in the school.
Milo: Can you read what day that was? I don’t remember.
Wayne: Plain City Junior High School – –
Wayne: – – Will present “The Girl who Forgot” in the ward recreation hall tonight. That is something the 3rd, 1936.
Milo: 1936, Yeah. But I kept that.
Wayne: Rex McEntire.
Wayne: Keith Hodson.
Wayne: Ray Charlton.
Milo: Yeah. Van Elliott Heninger, he’s in there.
Wayne: Ray Richard – – Ray – – Ray Richardson.
Wayne: Oh, Ray Charlton.
Milo: Ray Charlton.
Wayne: Middle row Dorothy Richardson.
Milo: Dorothy Richardson.
Wayne: Right. June Wayment.
Milo: June Wayment.
Wayne: Larne Thompson.
Wayne: Margarite Maw.
Wayne: Ruth Carver. Back row, principal J.M. Rhees. Eugene Maw. Director, Van Elliott Heninger. He was our baseball coach.
Wayne: Milo Ross
Wayne: And teacher, Ernst Rauzi.
Wayne: Who taught us shop, didn’t he?
Wayne: Oh, that’s something.
Milo: Isn’t that?
Milo: I – – I had some of these pictures made up and give the kids all some.
Milo: Then this here one picture here that – –
Wayne: Plain City Clubbers Show ability.
Milo: That’s baseball.
Milo: I don’t remember what year that was either. That probably won’t even tell you.
Wayne: No. Are you in there?
Milo: Yes, sir. Yeah.
Wayne: Yeah, there’s Elmer.
Wayne: That Freddy?
Milo: Yeah, that’s old Fred.
Wayne: My brother.
Milo: Frankie Skeen.
Wayne: Oh, is it? Yeah. Claire Folkman.
Milo: Claire Folkman. Dick – –
Wayne: Dick Skeen, Albert Sharp – –
Milo: Albert Sharp.
Wayne: Abe Maw.
Milo: Yeah. Milo Ross.
Wayne: Is that you?
Milo: Yeah, that’s Milo.
Milo: Hang onto that there.
Wayne: And on the front row there is Frankie Skeen, Walt Moyes, Arnold Taylor, Lynn Stewart, (unintelligible).
Yeah, the rest of this caption reads, Plain City’s Hustling Ball Club has many of the bleacherites at the 1938 Utah Farm Bureau Baseball Championship picking it to walk off with the slate – – the state title. Before the joust closes. Yeah, we recognize the Al Warden prose there.
Wayne: Yeah. I don’t think they won it. I don’t think we ever won that. Played those games up at Brigham City, didn’t we?
Milo: We got placed second.
Milo: Denver and Rio Grand got first.
Milo: Yeah. And thus is a picture here of – –
Wayne: Oh, of Luzon.
Milo: Now, here’s one of New Guinea. Picture of New Guinea. Here’s a picture – –
Wayne: Now, I can’t pick you out there. Where are you?
Milo: Well, I won’t be in that picture.
Wayne: Oh you’re taking the picture.
Milo: I’m taking the picture. Here’s my brother, Harold Ross, and Milo Ross. We got a little write-up against – –
Wayne: For heaven’s sake. You was all so lean. Yeah. You did.
Milo: Then I got a picture here of me in the hospital, 44 station hospital. And that’s McFarland, Delmar White, and Milo Ross and Lyman Skeen.
Wayne: This was all in the Pacific – – or in the Philippines?
Milo: Yeah. That’s the Philippine Islands right there. 144 Station Hospital.
Wayne: Were they all – – were they in the hospital?
Milo: They came to see me.
Wayne: Oh, they came to see you.
Milo: They – – they – on these radios, you have communication back and forth.
Milo: In the war. And here’s our Japanese flag we took.
Milo: I that have there. Here’s – – I have a Silver Star, a citation. Here’s Captain Kelly and Milo Ross here.
Milo: Here’s Presidential Unit Citation. I – –
Wayne: Company C., 18th infantry regiment – –
Milo: one hundred thirty – –
Wayne: – – of the 33rd – –
Wayne: – – Division.
Milo: This here’s the 33rd division. Here’s the copy of it, that over there. Now, I have a – – oh, here’s a picture where we were at in New Guinea and different places like this. But everything that I – – the ships and that I was on, I kept a record of everything that I rode on.
Wayne: Well, yeah.
Milo: Can you see it?
Milo: I even have the dates and everything that I kept them on. I kept – – I kept it in my helmet so it wouldn’t get destroyed. Isn’t that amazing?
Milo: But I got more time on the shop than a lot of Navy boys have got. And then I got the battles that you was in here, see? Different places here. Here’s the 33rd division strikes gold, see, recovers a half million dollars plot – –
Milo: – – Uncovered.
Wayne: This is a – –
Milo: That’s what – –
Wayne: – – Newspaper, your division newspaper.
Milo: Yeah. See I was telling you about this one here. But see, I have the certificates, the mortars, and machine guns, and everything.
Milo: These are all nice. But I – – I kind of kept a record of all of it. These here are little clippings like these here. Sergeant Ross leads an attack and all that, you know, and – –
Milo: I have them all together.
Wayne: Is it – – what paper is this from?
Milo: That’s standard.
Wayne: Oh, Uh-huh.
Milo: But I got a – – I got lot of copies of it. I’m trying to put a bunch of them together.
Milo: I was wondering if I could find that one down to – – here’s Morotai right here. That was September the 16th, ’42. I told you ’44.
Wayne: Was when you were in Morotai?
Milo: Uh-huh. Let’s see, let’s see what I wrote on here.
Milo: This is ’44, in December 1944 in Morotai, that – – I was right when I told you before.
Wayne: Oh, this is from the time – –
Wayne: – – this was when you went in the service.
Wayne: September 16, 1942.
Wayne: And you were discharged September 30th, 1945.
Wayne: Almost three full years.
Milo: Three years. And then December ’44, see, we was in a battle down in Dutch East Indies, Morotai, our first combat, see, out here. That’s Christmas Eve, see, right here? Under combat fire, February the 14th. First enemy fire in Rosario, Luzon. The last of February, 202. See, we was on a lot of hills.
Wayne: Hill 18 – –
Milo: – – Yeah.
Wayne: – – 02.
Milo: 1802, near Rosario. Near Arringay, Luzon. And then middle of March, Ballang City. Last of March through April, May, Hill X, with seven unsuccessful attempts, they had tried taking that hill before us – –
Milo: – – the army, our army, they asked company C., our company , to take it, after what did I say, seven?
Milo: So they tried to take that hill seven times. We went up and we took it ourselves with the company. We had a high casualty rate, about 44 percent if I remember, it’s on one of these here clippings here that says it. This Presidential Unit Citation probably tells me. And we was on Hill X. And then we went back up on top.
Wayne: But you took Hill X. By going up – –
Milo: Walking right up after them.
Wayne: Well, I thought – – weren’t you brought down from Hill X. Then you regrouped and came up where the artillery – –
Milo: We go up to Hill X first. We take Hill X and hold it and dug in. And then after we dug in, they took us out, back to camp area, they take us back up over here and come up on Bilbil Mountain.
Wayne: Okay. I had.
Milo: Right next to it.
Wayne: Okay. You – – so you took Hill X. Before Bilbil Island.
Milo: I’ll give you some clippings, if you’ll give me your name and address, I’ll send you copies of them.
Wayne: I will. I’ll be glad to have them.
Milo: Look, here’s the Presidential Unit Citation. They’re just clipped on kind of easy. These are cute. This is my wife here. Here’s one right here. His platoon received the mission to protect from the left flank along this – – also to push forward and capture a section of the hill.
(Tape II-A. Ends. Tape II-B begins.)
Wayne: His platoon received the mission of protecting the left Flank of the company’s assaults, and was also to push forward and capture a section of the hill. The Japs’ positions were peppered with heavy barrages of artillery and mortar fire before the attack. The unit started the attack with Sergeant Ross leading his platoon. After reaching half of the – – just half the distance, the infantrymen were stopped by Japan fire consisting of knee mortars, rifles, and machine guns. During rest of the day, the two groups slugged back and forth at each other with their arms. During the night, the Japs launched an attack against the 130th perimeter, but were driven off. Sergeant Ross’s machine guns and mortars played an important role in stopping the enemies attack. The following date the Doughboys slowly started – –
Milo: To gain.
Wayne: Oh, to gain yards until by late afternoon they had pushed to the top and captured the positions, killing a large number of Japs. Sergeant Ross’s platoon captured it’s objective before any other of the other units were able to secure theirs. Sergeant Ross has been in the services for nearly three years – –
Wayne: – – Two of which have been spent in the Pacific area. Prior to participating in the Philippines liberation campaign, he battled the Japs in Netherland East Indies in the second battle of – –
Wayne: – – Morotai. Who wrote this?
Milo: These come from – #
Wayne: You don’t know what that’s from?
Milo: I don’t know, but I’ll give you a copy.
Wayne: That apparently is a news account.
Milo: Yeah. Here’s a Presidential Unit Citation. Can you read this one right here? Do you wanna read that?
Wayne: I would like it on the tape, yeah.
Wayne: Is that the same as this?
Milo: Same as that. Turn it over by your light there.
Milo: Turn it over by your light. Maybe you see it better, can you?
Wayne: Unit Citation, 5 July, 1945, Headquarters 33rd Infantry Division, A.P.O. 33, General Orders Number 159. Under the provisions of Section 4, Circular Number 333, War Department, 22 December, 1943, the following unit is cited by the Commanding General of the 33rd infantry division: Company C., 130th Infantry Regiment, is cited for outstanding performance of duty in armed conflict with the enemy. Bilbil Mountain of Province Luzon – –
Milo: Come in.
Wayne: – – Philippine Islands – –
Milo: Come in.
Wayne: – – An extremely rugged forest covered – -, key defensive positions was occupied by a company of Japs reinforced with heavy machine guns, section – – 90-millimeter mortar section and two sections, two guns of 75-millimeter howitzers. This commanding ground afforded excellent observation and enable the enemy to maneuver it’s forces and supporting- – weapons to advantageous positions, to successfully – – to success – -I can’t read – –
Milo: To seize.
Wayne: To success – –
Milo: Oh – –
Wayne: To success – –
Milo: Important – -oh, two previous unsuccessful – –
Wayne: To successfully repel seven previous attempts – –
Milo: They’d been tried taking it seven times before.
Wayne: All right. To seize Hill X.
Milo: But we took it in the first time up.
Wayne: The strategically important know on the southeastern slope of Bilbil Mountain. Hill X. Was honeycombed with prepared positions from which the enemy observed and harassed our movements along the Galiano-Baguio road. That’s B-a-g-u-i-o.
Wayne: Baguio, the Galiano – Baguio – –
Wayne: Galiano-Baguio road.
Milo: Baguio road.
Wayne: On Ap- – on 12 April 1945, company C. Under the sweltering sun laboriously climbed steep mountain trail which followed the crest of an extremely narrow hogback ridge, which except for shot – –
Milo: Cogon Grass.
Wayne: – -Cogon Grass and sparse bamboo growth was devoid of cover, and pushed to within 400 yards of the crest of Hill X. When they were met by heavy barrage of 90-mortimer – -millimeter mortar fire which enveloped the entire ridge. From the simultaneously intense enemy machine gun and rifle fire emanating from the many camouflaged spiders holes and caves astride the trail, evac- – inflicted many casualties forcing the company to dig in. A reconnaissance revealed no other route to the objective, so the company evacuated it’s casualties and aggressively pressed against this seemingly impenetrable fortress throughout the day making the enemy – –
Wayne: – – Disclose its strong points. On 13 April 1945, despite the fact that the constant watchfulness against the night infiltration – –
Milo: You lost a line – –
Wayne: No, I skipped a line, didn’t I?
Milo: On April first – –
Wayne: It’s my glasses. On 13 April 1945, despite the fact that the men weary from the strenuous climb, the fierce fighting and constant watchfulness against night infiltration, the company launched a dawn attack. Undaunted by the intense fire which inflicted five casualties to the leading elements, the gallant fighting men of company C. Imbued with an indomitable fighting spirit swiftly worked their way up, up – – way up the knife – like ridge, and in the fiercest kind of close-in fighting wiped out six Jap machine gun nests in succession, killing the defending Japs in their hole. The enemy fanatically contested with intense fire every foot of the way to the summit, but undismayed, company C. Seized Hill X. And dug in tenaciously holding on despite continuous harassing fire delivered from the dominating positions on the Bilbil Mountain.
That night the Japs counter-attacked another company sent to assist in the attack on Bilbil Mountain, on 14 April 1945, succeeded in reaching the summit only to be driven off by the fierce Jap counter-attack. The full fury and power of the Japs was again turned on company C. Which alone held its, position, successfully repulsion gallery the severe and determined counter-attacks. The tired fighting men of company C. Exhibiting unwavering fighting spirit despite nearly 50 percent casualties, tenaciously held Hill X. For five days until reinforcements were available to continue the attack and annihilate the enemy.
Milo: That’s right, but I’ll give you a copy of these.
Wayne: Yeah, that would be great.
Milo: I’ll fix you up something.
Wayne: Yeah, they’re kind of hard to take off the tape and – –
Wayne: – – Get accurate.
Milo: But I’ll – – I’ll give you a copy of it.
A Voice: Hello, how are you?
Milo: This is Dick Skeen’s boy.
A Voice: (unintelligible)
Wayne: How did you do?
A Voice: Cody (Unintelligible)
Wayne: Cody – –
A Voice: (unintelligible)
Wayne: Across the street?
A Voice: Uh-huh.
Wayne: Trying to do an audio on visual stuff. We should have a video.
Milo: They told about the Philippine Islands people would give you a ribbon, liberation ribbon.
Milo: So I wrote to the Philippine people, that I really appreciated them, one thing and another, see.
Milo: Then I thought, well, I’ll just tell something about the people. So I told about the people carrying the water and the stuff up on their heads and that.
Milo: And I said, I don’t know whether the Army’s ever told you this or not, but I wanna thank you personally. I never had guts enough to get out of my foxhole, do you understand it?
Milo: To help you carry that stuff up the hill. But the women and the men and the girls that carried the ammunition and water up to us, I’d like at this time to thank you people from the Philippine Islands for helping us while we were in the war to save your country.
Wayne: That was mighty – – mighty thoughtful of you Milo.
Milo: Well, I wrote a letter and I sent it to the Philippine people and I kept this copy.
Wayne: Right, did you get any response?
Milo: Not yet. You don’t get much back.
Wayne: Probably not. I’m sure it was delivered.
Milo: Now, is there anything else? But I will, while you’re still on your tape, I will give you a copy of my Presidential Unit Citation. I’ll give you a picture of myself.
Wayne: Right. And if you’re gonna make, you know, I could go into Kinko’s and get copies made in a hurry.
Milo: Well – –
Wayne: If you wanted to trust me with any of this stuff.
Milo: I’d – –
Wayne: But you – –
Milo: Let me get them all together for you.
Wayne: – – Maybe rather have them – – I’d like a copy of that, if you wouldn’t mind my having one.
Milo: Well, it’s not too good a writing.
Wayne: Well, wasn’t gonna grade it.
Milo: Well, professor – –
Wayne: It’s not a theme. But there’s nor many soldiers that wrote letters like that – –
Milo: See I – –
Wayne: – – 40 years after the fact.
Milo: But the idea of it is, the idea of it is, see, I did write to the people.
Milo: And thank them for it.
Milo: And I – – I – – where is Gladys? But I did write to the Filipino people, look, I wrote this here April 7, 1994. Can you see it?
Milo: Dear Philippine people and the government, do you understand it?
Milo: Thanks for not forgetting and out the war, do you understand that?
Milo: Then I put down Milo Ross and my number and everything like that. Filipino. But it’s your country, not my country.
Wayne: Yeah. Have you ever been back?
Wayne: Yeah, that’s a very, very thoughtful letter, indeed.
Milo: Well, I wanted to write to the people.
Wayne: That’s – –
Milo: That’s my little Milo. This is Mr with the horses. You remember that?
Wayne: This is the guy I knew.
Milo: That’s many years ago, Wayne.
Wayne: You haven’t got one of you in your baseball uniform?
Milo: Yes, sir, that’s the only one down here.
Wayne: I was probably the score keeper for that team.
Milo: You was the scorekeeper – –
Milo: – – Wayne, you was the scorekeeper. They called you the bat boy.
Wayne: Right. In English.
Wayne: I called Ted Christensen and I said I – – it’s a long time ago, and he said, I remember you, English.
Milo: But I – –
Wayne: – – I’ll never live it down.
Milo: If you will get – – give me your name and address and that and I – – I will get you – – I’ll put you a bunch of stuff together.
Wayne: Good, I’d like that. Yeah. Are you gonna have to stop for dinner?
Milo: Beg pardon?
Wayne: Are you gonna have to stop for dinner?
Milo: No. You just tell me what you wanna do and I’ll – –
Wayne: Okay,. Well, I’d like to cut back from Army. You came home in – – from the Army in – –
Wayne: In ’45. In what, July – – what did it say?
Milo: I came home in September.
Wayne: September of ’45?
Milo: Yeah, August.
Wayne: Right. Let’s go back a little bit to – – we’ll have to be a little – –
Milo: He’s on time because he’s gotta fly out.
(Conversation in background.)
Milo: Here, you go here. Do you want that (unintelligible)
Wayne: Well, it might be a little better.
Milo: Why don’t you sit over here?
A Voice: Nice to meet you.
Wayne: Nice to meet you
A Voice: See you later. (Unintelligible)
Milo: Wayne and them used to live where the homes and that’s in here.
A Voice: Over here?
Wayne: We lived in the house where Lorin – –
A Voice: Oh, okay .
Wayne: – – And Carolyn lived. That’s the old – –
Milo: He’s a professor back in Minnesota.
Milo: He’s taking, putting a little stuff together.
Wayne: I’m interviewing all the old people.
A Voice: All the old people, huh? Well, this guy sure is interesting, so I’m sure – –
Wayne: Yeah, he is.
A Voice: – – (unintelligible) lot of information.
Wayne: Fascinating, yeah.
A Voice: Well, I’ll let you go.
Milo: Gladys, it’s 6:00 o’clock. Are you gonna feed Judy?
Gladys: She’s been fed (unintelligible).
Milo: Okay. We got a little bit more.
Gladys: Did you get my dishes done?
Milo: Did you get them dishes done, she says? Did you want (unintelligible)
Milo: I’m gonna tell you – – can you hear me now?
Wayne: I can hear you. I’ll stop in a minute to see if we’re – –
Milo: See if you pick it up.
Milo: Then I’ll wanna tell you you two things more.
Milo: Tell me when you’re ready.
Wayne: Go ahead.
Milo: I wrote to the Philippine people in ’94 and thanked them for the help that they give us on Hill X. The time we were there, we could not leave. You understand me?
Milo: We were pinned down. And when you’re pinned down, the only place you go is crawling. And these natives would bring that water, ammunition up to us, get to a certain place, they’d drop it off and run back. I never seen an Army man jump up to help any of them bring it up, you understand me?
Milo: I didn’t either. But maybe we all should have went and helped them, I don’t know.
Wayne: You’d have got shot.
Milo: You understand what I’m trying to say?
Milo: But I thought, wonder if anybody ever thanked those people for doing it for us. Because we couldn’t have stood there. We wouldn’t have – – we wouldn’t have stayed there. So I wrote that letter to them and thanked those people, to let the people know that their help to carry that ammunition up.
Milo: Sunday we was up to church services up to the Dee Hospital. I’ve been going up there for six years. I go up there and I help them pass the Sacrament, bless people, or anything like that in the hospital that wants to be blessed or have Sacrament or anything like that for six years. This two Sundays ago a Japanese girl came from Tokyo. Sister Sparrow introduced her to me. And while I was sitting there, I got thinking, I wonder if that young girl would be a relative of – – to the soldier, Japanese, that I took prisoner of war outside of Baguio. So it all run through my mind and finally I think, oh, gee, I’ll write a little letter to her. I made an appointment to meet them next Sunday at the hospital, so they came back next Sunday to the hospital, and I wrote this here little letter there and I told her, I says, you don’t know me, I don’t know you, but I said, during the war, outside of Baguio City, I give a Japanese a soldier to live his life. I took him a prisoner of war. I did not get his name, didn’t get his address, didn’t do anything like that. But I said, I took him prisoner of war late in the afternoon, dark, and I says, I told him to tell his buddies to come up the next morning out of the cave. There’s 25 or 30 more of them in there. Come up with a white flag in the morning, up the trail with their white flag and surrender, because you’re done. You’re gonna be blowed up if you don’t come out. So he took back with me up the hill, and I never bothered me a bit taking him back as a prison of war. I was down there alone.
I get back up to our foxholes and I told, I was on radio, I had my radio, I told them what we was doing, they was, watching me. I get back up on the hill where we were at, dug in, one thing and another, and they have somebody there to take this man prisoner of war. So before they take him prisoners of war, I shared a candy bar with him. I give him a candy bar and shook his hand. And says, good luck, I’m glad you came up the way you did. And I says, your friends will probably meet you tomorrow someplace else.
I never thought anything more about it until I was to church after all these years.
Milo: Fifty-two, three years. You understand it?
Milo: And I see this Japanese girl, and I think, wonder if she could have a grandpa that I saved his life. Wouldn’t that be something if that young girl goes, back to Tokyo and maybe it’s her grandpa or somebody in her family that I took a prisoner of war. And I give her my name and address and I told her about what had happened. I says, when you go back home, you see in your family or relatives, and around if they know some man that was taken prisoner of war outside of Baguio City, and if he did, I’m Milo Ross. And I’d sure like to write to him. And if he’s still alive, I’d even pay his way over here. You know what I mean?
Milo: I would.
Milo: I – – But you get attached to this.
Milo: And it’s in your heart. Now, lot of guys say, how – – how can you do things like this and do that? You don’t do it. You’re a trained. Day in day out, day in and day out. The guys that trained and stayed trained is the guys that come back home. The guys that was lazy, they didn’t make it too good. It was hard for them. But the guys that stayed alert physical – – there was five tech sergeants, first sergeant, second, third, fourth sergeant, and the master sergeant, the company. Five of us. Trained together. Five of us sergeants came home on the same bus ticket – – boat together.
Milo: Isn’t that amazing?
Wayne: Yeah, it is.
Milo: Five of us. And it just shows you, you can do ‘er. And see then, I didn’t get to see my son until he was three years old.
Milo: I was gone for three years old. But I have a wonderful wife that sent me letters, encouraged me.
Wayne: It’s amazing, you know, how much the war has stayed with you, though.
Milo: Nobody knows, though. If you told somebody you used your helmet to mess in, do you think they’d believe you?
Wayne: Well, I would.
Milo: See, you have to.
Wayne: Yeah, because I did.
Milo: You had to.
Milo: You had to.
Milo: And people don’t realize.
Wayne: But there are a lot of guys from world war two, you know, I think they – – were able to cut it right off.
Milo: Forget it.
Wayne: And forget it. You haven’t. Or you wouldn’t feel that way about that Japanese girl.
Milo: It touched my heart.
Wayne: Yeah, yeah.
Milo: I thought, here’s a young girl. Maybe I saved her daddy to give her a life.
Wayne: Yeah, indeed.
Milo: See, I’m – –
Milo: – – I’m kind of a Mormon, you know.
Wayne: When did you become a Mormon?
Milo: Oh, what was it, back in ’36, ’37, when I was going into seminary, you know.
But, you know, little things like this in life, if I hadn’t of had a wonderful wife, I would have never come back home.
Milo: Never. I’d have never come back home. I’d have went into Japan – –
Wayne: You mean you’d have – –
Milo: I’d have stayed.
Wayne: You’d have pulled away somewhere.
Milo: I would have stayed in the war. Because I – – I’d have been – – I’d have been up, you know. They – – they wanted me to take over platoons, they wanted me to do this, do that.
Milo: They even sent me over to headquarters, you know. And helped me over there. You know, and helped me, helped me, helped me.
Milo: They liked me.
Milo: But if it hadn’t have been for – –
Wayne: That’s interesting. It didn’t surprise me when Harold became a career soldier. Always thought Harold would like that. But I didn’t – – I wouldn’t have suspected that of you, you know.
Milo: See, Harold got a Bronze Star.
Milo: Did he – – you talked to him?
Milo: He got a Bronze Star.
Wayne: Yeah, over at Dad’s place right after Dad died. Paul Knight got a Bronze Star.
Wayne: Did he?
Milo: He did.
Wayne: Uh-huh, in the Philippines.
Milo: Dale Moyes – – Dale East was there, too.
Milo: Yeah, Dale East was there.
Milo: Blair Simpson was there.
Wayne: In the Philippines?
Wayne: Did you run into all the guys.
Milo: Never met a one of them. Harold, my brother Harold – –
Milo: I went to Kibachiwan to see Milo Sharp, and the night I got to Kibachiwan, about 2:00 o’clock in the morning, those guys were in trucks going out. And how are you gonna find him?
Milo: See, they’d relieved all the prisoners of war out of Kibachiwan. Them guys, are the ones that caught the devil right there. They – – they had a dirty setup taking prisoners of war there.
Wayne: I didn’t see a soul from Plain City in the three years I was in the service.
Wayne: Until I got back home. I was in Europe course.
Wayne: And I think the Philippines, they cluster together more. We were spread all over, you know. Or I the – –
Can we cut back for a little bit to your life in Plain City – –
Wayne: – – you went to Plain City school, you went to Weber High school. Any big adventures there?
Milo: In school?
Milo: Oh, Mr. Bates, do you remember him?
Wayne: Parley – – Parley Bates?
Milo: Year, I remember Parley Bates.
Wayne: Yeah. Was he a big adventure? I must have missed that part of him.
Milo: He was – – oh, he was kind of like a prophet.
Milo: Yeah understand me? You can do it.
Wayne: Well, we tried to teach me mathematics. And he thought he could. He was no prophet there.
Milo: Well, what I mean is, he – – he tried.
Wayne: Oh, yeah, he tried.
Milo: He tried, tried, tried, tried. Do you understand? Now, in algebra and geometry, I was easy.
Milo: Spelling? I couldn’t even spell mother.
Milo: They asked me to – – in school once to draw a Robin. So I tried to draw a Robin, you know, Charcoal, whatever we had. And when I got through drawing this little robin, the lady, sister Stewart, Norma Stewart, she says, Milo, what is this? Is this an elephant. And I said, no, that’s a Robin.
But you know, spelling and English, things like that, I couldn’t go for it, you know. .
Milo: But when it come to building homes and stuff like that, I could take a set of blueprints and I could tell you every board that went into it.?
Wayne: Right. Now, did you – – did you just learn that on your own?
Milo: It’s – –
Wayne: All your building skills and – –
Milo: It’s probably like in your brain, you know, you take school and you take math and one thing another, and you – – you pick it up here and you pick it up there. And Harold Hunt taught me a lot.
Milo: Harold Hunt, Del Sharp.
Milo: Harold Hunt’s probably one of smartest men there is in the world on a square
Milo: Big framing square.
Wayne: One of the quietest men in the world.
Milo: Quietest men in the world.
Milo: Wonderful. They’ve done a lot of good for Plain City. If you want to ask me questions, go right ahead. I’m just talking.
Wayne: No, that’s fine. I – – I’ve wanted to go talk to Harold, you know, but I’ve been scared a little bit.
Milo: I’ll go with you.
Wayne: Well, I’m not sure we will because I’m out here tomorrow.
Milo: Oh, But he’d be tickled to death for you to come over.
Milo : Yes, sir.
Wayne: Yeah, I always feel like I’m butting in on people.
Gladys: You ought to go see him a minute before you leave.
Milo: He’d be glad to talk to you. And you could ask him about Howard.
Wayne: Yeah that’s true.
Gladys: Jump in the car and go over and see him before you go home.
Milo: You got a minute?
Wayne: Oh, boy, I gotta go see Frank Hadley pretty quick. Maybe I could catch a minute tomorrow.
Wayne: I can call you? Or I’ll just go over and – – will he mind if I call him?
Milo: He’d be glad to see you.
Wayne: His wife’s Ina.
Wayne: Who was she.
Milo: She was an Etherington from West Weber.
Wayne: Adele’s – – Ladell’s brother – –
Wayne: – – Right. Tell me, you made your life after the war as a builder, right?
Milo: I worked for the American Pack for many years.
Wayne: Oh, did you?
Milo: I was assistant foreman on the killing floor for many years.
Wayne: Oh, that became Swift.
Milo: Used to be the American Pack, then Swift took over. Then when Swift come over, they came in with the union. And I could see what was happening. They put them on piecework. And when they put them on piecework, I could see what was happening and I decided to get out of there. So I got out of there and I went into – – to the carpenter business and I went to work – – second day I quit, I went to work on the 24th street Viaduct as a carpenter.
Milo: So, I helped on the 24th street viaduct I built some scaffolding horses for them on them a-frames, on them I-beams and stuff like that, to put the plank and that on – –
Wayne: Is that the – – Are you talking about the new – –
Milo: 24th street viaduct.
Wayne: When they pulled the old – –
Milo: West side down.
Milo: They took that all down right after the war. But I went to work over there for Wheelright’s Toughy Wheelright.
Milo: And they sent me from – – they sent me up on Kaysville up there with another guy and we went up there and we laid out a great big water tank hole. He was a surveyor, and he took me up there and he taught me how to survey, how to use an instrument, you know, and how to lay it out.
Milo: And everybody seemed to like they kind of liked me when I got on a job with something like that, and it just seemed like everything fell together. And then I went to work for Westingskow and Clay. And I was a purchaser for them.
Wayne: I’m sorry, who?
Milo: Westingskow and Clay.
Wayne: Westing- –
Milo: Yeah. And Ben Clay. They were builders.
Milo: We built down in Roy, Clearfield, and right in that area there. They- – one of the biggest builders right after the war.
Wayne: Work on all those homes that have filled up – –
Wayne : – – The country?
Milo: Yeah. And then I – – I went – – I built 1q units, four-plexes for C.R. England in Roy.
Milo: You remember that?
Wayne: Well, I remember Chester.
Milo: Chester England, he had the lumber yard.
Wayne: I wasn’t around when he was in the lumber business no.
Milo: But I- – I went down into Roy right above the old folks’ home there and built 11 four-plexes for him. That’s the first – – first million dollars he made.
Milo: Yeah. He was offered a million dollars for them after we got completed.
Wayne: Well, he just built them on speculation?
Milo: Well, he had me build them and he furnished all the material and everything out of his lumber yard. And he had me as a foreman and I overseen them. And I helped them survey their sewer in for Roy sewer and we run the water and everything. It was kind of new to all of them at that time- –
Milo: – – to have that many units. And they were kind of glad to have somebody help them, you know, to get their right measurements from the road and everything. And it kind of work out nice. But I worked for Chester England for all those years. And then I work with Chester England in Plain City. See, we built about 15 homes in Plain City for C.R. England. But he financed each one of the homes we built for those people.
Wayne : We’re these just individual lots?
Milo: Individual lots.
Wayne: They’re not side-by-side.
Milo: No, just individuals.
Milo: Down by the cemetery.
Milo: See, he built them down through there. And then after we got through with C.R. England, see, I went into business on myself and I had five guys working for me. And we started to remodeling like Milton Brown’s house and built Dale Moyes’ house and Ike Moyes’ house. We went right on through, Claire Folkman’s house, you know.
Wayne: Where – – did Milton Brown live in Plain City.
Milo: He lived in Warren, down by the creek.
Wayne: That’s what I thought. By third creek.
Milo: By Earl’s.
Wayne: Yeah, that’s right, yeah.
Milo: See we remodeled his house. And but I- – I built Plain City Church with Lee Carver. I built 38, 39th ward chapel on – – in South Ogden with Lee Carver. He was the supervisor there.
Wayne: He kind of worked for the church, didn’t he?
Milo: He did work for the church.
Milo: Worked for the church (unintelligible). I wrote Lee Carver a letter too.
Wayne: I understand he’s in a rest home now.
Milo: He’s in a rest home on 9th Street with his boy, Brent.
Wayne: Yeah. I’m glad the two of them can be together.
Wayne: I tried to call his daughter, Karen, but I can’t get them. I think they’re out – –
Milo: If you wanna get a hold Lee Carver, I’ll go with you. On 9th Street. Take you right to his room.
Gladys: Lee would be thrilled – –
Milo: He’d be glad – –
Gladys: – – to see you.
Milo: You’d be- – you’d do you good to get some tapes of that.
Wayne: I’ve got – – I’ve got about ten tapes from Lee about ten years ago when he was still working out in his shop.
Milo: They never give Lee Carver credit for building the Plain City church. They didn’t even mention his name, dedication, you know that?
Milo: They didn’t even mention Milo Ross name a builder on it when they dedicated our church.
Milo: It’s sad. The guy that does the work and everything, he don’t get – – when we built Plain City Bowery up there, Junior Taylor and I done all the cement work. They didn’t even mention that. They mentioned the other guys that was in Lions’ club and this and that.
Milo: Do you understand?
Milo: But us guys, Junior Taylor and Milo Ross, they never give us credit for nothing.
Wayne: Was Junior a builder?
Milo: He helped cement, yeah, he helped us. You see Clark Taylor run a housing building outfit up 2nd Street. They called it Vitt’s Constitution.
Milo: Clark Taylor was the strawman of it.
Milo: He was the driver.
Milo: That was up 2nd Street. And Junior Taylor and Hugh Taylor and all then guys and Wilmette Taylor and all them come in, and he give us all work. And that’s – – it helped each one of us progress. But it’s really special.
Wayne: Yeah. Well, I’m gonna have to go and I’ve kept you long enough. Can you make a – – you’ve lived here all your life except for those four years you were in service.
Milo: Three years.
Wayne : Three years. What do you make of it all?
Milo: I’ve seen – – I’ve even got a picture of Milo, myself, in a buggy, four, five of us in a buggy, one-horse-drawn buggy.
Milo : I’m back that far. And I remember we only had one light in a house, ceiling.
Wayne: hanging from the – –
Milo: Hanging down. You had to turn that on.
Milo: I remember Merle England gathering up milk after a while, he started gathering up the milk. They used to have to take their milk to the creamery there they separated it, cream and milk.
Milo: I’ve got a cream separator out here I’ll show you before you go.
Wayne: Have you?
Milo: And I remember Ed Sharp getting one – – probably one – – not the first truck in here, but one of the first trucks. Winer Maw, remember that great big truck they brought in here that had hard wheel rubber tires.
Milo: And – –
Wayne: A motorized truck?
Milo: Yes, sir.
Wayne: Not on pneumatic tires?
Milo: It didn’t have on the – – it didn’t have on the air tires. It had on – –
Wayne: Good heavens.
Milo: It had hard pressed rubber, like hard rubber on it.
Milo: And the young boy, George Maw, was probably the one that drove it from Ogden out to here. I’m not sure.
Milo: Because we used to be able to go down to Maw’s and work a little bit to get a – – some lunch meat, baloney, and black Nigger Babies, and stuff like that, you know.
Milo: Used to go help them unload coal and stuff like that to pick up a dollar. We didn’t have money. That’s what makes it bad. But I – – remember the one light and milking the cows by hand. Everybody had cows.
Milo: Everybody had chickens. They had animals. Ducks and geese. They traded eggs. They traded wheat and grain. I can remember when they used to grind their grain through that grinder.
Milo: Grind it, you know, and make their own bread. And they’d – – you didn’t have butter and stuff like that. You couldn’t buy it. You make your own butter.
Wayne: Do you remember the old creamery out there.
Milo: Yes, sir. Right across – –
Wayne: That was ruins when we were kids.
Milo: Yeah. That was right where Timmy Folkman lives there now on the north side by Fred Hunt’s house.
Wayne: That’s just about across from Fred.
Wayne: Down by the barn. Whose creamery was that?
Milo: I don’t know.
Wayne: Do you know who started it or – –
Milo: I don’t know. Lee Carver tore that down for the materials.
Wayne: Did he?
Wayne: I remember that.
Milo: Yeah. Lee Carver –
Wayne: Used to go down there and play in the ruins.
Milo: Yeah. He used to go there. And on Saturdays and Sundays, they used to come there, and we used to box. Harold Hunt had boxing gloves and he’d get us to use the gloves and box each other, you know.
Wayne: Yeah, Ted was telling me about that. I hadn’t realized that.
Milo: Yeah, but we was having fun.
Milo: And then Harold Hunt and Bert Hunt and Lloyd Robbins and a bunch of them guys had their horses they used to ride. And they’d also play Wyatt Earp and all that and go underneath the horses belly and all this and that.
Milo: And Lloyd Robbins – – Lynn Robbins, he went underneath the horse up by uncle Ed Sharp’s, and when he went underneath the horse and came back up, the horse was running, and there’s a guy – wire that comes from the poles down into the ground? And he caught that guy-wire on the side of his face and tore his face open that’s why he had a scar there.
Wayne: I remember that.
Wayne: He was a tall skinny kid.
Milo: Tall skinny boy.
Wayne: Was he Dob and Blaine’s – –
Milo: Yeah, brother.
Wayne: Or, no, who was Dob?
Wayne: Blaine. And it was Blaine and Lloyd.
Milo: And Lynn.
Wayne: And Lynn.
Milo: And Lois.
Wayne: We’re they Ire’s – –
Milo: Ire’s kids.
Milo: But everybody had cows. Everybody drove their cows from Plain City out to pastures.
Milo: Carvers done the same thing.
Milo: And – –
Wayne: Some came east, some went west.
Milo: Did I tell you about the log cabin, the Carvers – –
Milo: Okay. I’ll tell you about the log cabin in Plain City. The kids got into the old log cabin they had a roof over it to protect it. And the kids got in there after the war and they – – they play up on the roof of the old cabin house, between that and the roof that they put over it to protect it. And they got to using it for a latrine. Instead of getting down, they’d urinate. And in summer, you go down there to help fix up the old log cabin house, it smelled so bad, you couldn’t hardly stand the odor. So the daughters of pioneers – – who had it at that time, Gladys? Aunt Vic Hunt?
Gladys: Aunt Vic Hunt was one of the leaders.
Milo: Who was the other one?
Wayne: In Moyes?
Milo: Oh, the Carver girl. Bud Carver’s daughter.
Wayne: Oh, okay.
Milo: She had me come down and see what to do with the log cabin house, the Carver log cabin house. They wanted to kind of restore it and keep it because it was going down to nothing.
Wayne : Yeah.
Milo: The plaster and everything was falling out of the walls.
Wayne: That’s when it was down here by Walt’s
Milo: But the plaster and everything was falling out of the walls and the roof and the ceiling and all the thing was going down . The windows were broke out and everything like that. So I went down and I told them, I says, I’ll fix it up, but I’m not gonna leave that roof on top because that’s where the kids are doing your damage. I’m gonna take it all down, and make the log cabin, the Carver log cabin, so everybody can admire it. So I – – over years, I’ve kept the log cabin up. And Rosella Maw, Arlo Maw’s wife has a key to it now. Where I used to have a key, now they won’t let me have a key to it anymore. Since Rosella Maw took over, I don’t have a key.
Gladys: Rosella wants it.
Milo: Rosella Maw.
Wayne: We were in it just Saturday because there was a Carver reunion and Joanne went over to Rosella and got the key.
Milo: You have to get the key.
Wayne: We went in.
Milo: I used to have a key.
Wayne: That’s a shame
Milo: I took care of it all my life, you understand?
Wayne : Yeah.
Milo: Since the war and- –
Milo: And I fixed it all up and I put them big heavy shakes shingles on it and everything and I’ve put the mud back in the walls and fixed it up. And I’ve put the steel gate and that on there. And the windows. I’ve fixed it all up. And I’ve put great big long spikes through some of the logs, drove them spikes in through there so they cannot pull them out.
Milo: See, I’ve cut the heads off the spikes and drove them – –
Milo: – -right in so kids – – and the kids use to tear them apart. They’d take a log out and go through. And that’s why them spikes are in there, put all them in there. But over the years, Harold Carver- – Harold Carver donated money to president Calvert to shingle it and fix it up, some money one time.
Milo: So president Calvert said he had this, money and that for it. And I says, well, let me tear the roof and that all off and, let me fix it so it’s nice. So that’s why theses thick but shingles are on there, them big slate shingles, and that.
Milo: But otherwise, you wouldn’t have a Carver building.
Wayne: I hadn’t known that, you know, Milo.
Wayne: I’m really proud that that’s the Carver thing up there.
Milo: I am too.
Milo: Because the Carvers meant a lot to me.
Milo: Yeah. Your dad, your mother was – – they were gold to us. They shared their garden with us. She’d pick beans and stuff and say, Gladys, would you like a mess of beans? Gladys says, yes, I’ll be over to pick them. She’d go over to pick them, they were already picked.
Gladys: I had to take care of my handicapped daughter and that before I could go pick.
Milo: But you see – –
Gladys: Already had them picked.
Milo: The Carvers- – the Carvers had really been a dad and mother to a lot of us.
Wayne: I remember – – I’ve got a letter, you wrote dad a letter – –
Milo: In the war.
Wayne: – – in the war. A very tender letter, yeah.
Milo: But it come from my heart.
Milo: Do you know why I wrote him a letter? Sent me a card. Joe Hunt sent me a card. Do you understand it?
Milo: You never forget that.
Wayne: No. Yeah.
Milo: But I – – I am a high-decorated soldier. I was turned in for Congressional Medal of Honor and one of the lieutenants wouldn’t sign it.
Milo: You have to have two signatures. But I did get a Silver Star.
Milo: Do you understand me?
Wayne: Yeah. Did you ever meet George Whalen that got the Congressional medal?
Wayne: The Slater Villegas kid?
Milo: He was – –
Wayne: He was in the navy- –
Milo: – – Paramedics.
Wayne: Yeah, he was in – – oh, well, ever sorry you came back to Plain City?
Milo: Well, I’ve lived in Plain City all my life.
Wayne: I know.
Milo: Plain City’s been our home all of our lives. Its, like I was telling you about my dad, everybody told me not to go see him, I went and seen him. And I’m glad I went and seen him.
Milo : You understand me? And this Japanese girl I was telling you about, if she is a daughter or relative to that guy that I took prisoner of war, my heart will be full of joy to think that I saved another generation of families.
Wayne: Right, but – – that will be one of the great miracles of all time- –
Milo: It can happen.
Wayne: – – If – -if she finds someone out of that – –
Milo: It’s could be.
Wayne: Oh, it could be. I don’t doubt that it could be.
Milo: It could be.
Wayne: But it’s called a miracle.
Milo: But it does happen every day.
Wayne: Yeah? So I know Harold lives over in West Weber.
Milo: West Weber.
Wayne: Paul was killed, you say?
Milo: My brother Paul? He died in a barn at Ed Sharp’s.
Wayne: Your brother.
Milo: My brother. See, they were playing in the barn up at Ed Sharp’s and he fell out of the barn and broke his arm and concussion of the head, broke his head open.
Wayne: How old was he then?
Milo: Paul would have to be about nine or 11, somewhere in there.
Wayne: So that happened not long after you came back to Plain City.
Milo: We came back home down here.
Wayne: And your sister – –
Wayne: – – June.
Milo: She’s still alive and living in California. In Anaheim, I think she lived down around Anaheim, (unintelligible) district area. But tell him – – tell him about the letters aunt Vic Hunt was gonna give me, then she didn’t give me the cigar box.
Gladys: I’ve got some letters. And they’re Milo’s, they were sent to Milo’s, and I’ve kept them all these years and I wanna give them to him. Se me and Milo went over this night. And she says, well, they’re upstairs. I’ll have to go upstairs and get them. So she opened that door to go upstairs, then she come back and says, no, Milo, I don’t think I’m gonna give you these letters yet. So Milo never got those letters.
Milo: She’s handed me the cigar box.
Gladys: She handed them to him, then took them back.
Milo: I says, Aunt Vic, if that means that much to you, you take this box back. I never got the box.
Wayne: And you said you think you know who has that?
Milo: I think Archie Hunt’s family got it.
Milo: But I’m not never gonna say anything to Archie Hunt.
Wayne: Now, who – – yeah.
Milo: It’s Bert. That would be Fred Hunt’s- –
Wayne: Did Archie marry Carol?
Milo: Yeah. Ralph Taylor.
Wayne: Ralph and Elma’s, yeah.
Milo: What’s in that box, little bit of money and that was in that box, do you understand? Were the gifts that they’d sent me.
Milo: Gold pieces and stuff like that. I really don’t care. Silver certificate notes, gold notes. You know, they had silver and gold certificates then, you know.
Wayne: I’ve heard of them. I don’t remember seeing them.
Milo: Well, I got some.
Milo: But I got – -but I will – – I’ll – – I’ll fix you up a copy of my citations.
Wayne: I’d appreciate that a lot. And I’m not gonna have time to see – –
Milo: Now, Frank – – Frank Hadley has got a lot of history about the baseball playing. And he’s got a lot about Milo Ross pitching the ball game, 13 strikeouts, 12 strikeouts, 11 strikeouts, you know what I mean? No hitters.
Milo: And Frank Hadley has all of that. But I’ve never been able to get him- –
Wayne: has he got the score books?
Wayne: Has he?
Wayne: I’ve gotta go over and talk to him.
Gladys: He’d love to see you.
Milo: You know where he lives.
Milo: Down there.
Wayne: Yeah. I see him in the winter at st. George.
Milo: Do you go down there?
Wayne: We’ve been renting a place, so we go whenever we can find a place to live.
Milo: Archie Hunt has a home in – – ground in St. George, Archie Hunt. And they rent that out.
Milo: So maybe you ought to get a hold Archie Hunt and put a trailer on there once in a while.
Milo: Are you still teaching?
Wayne: No. I retired.
Milo: You’ve retired
Wayne: Yeah. I taught until was 70 and decided that was enough.
Milo: Dr. Burst has a son that he’s – – Nicholas. Just put him in Stanford, California for $31,000 for one year, schooling. Thirty, thirty-one thousand.
Wayne: Yeah, I can believe it. My school is about 28.
Wayne: Yeah. And there are families that have got two or three kids – –
Wayne: – – that – – I couldn’t afford Weber College.
Milo: Well, that’s the way – –
Wayne: Which was 56 a year.
Milo: But I have that grandson there that picks up close to $52,000 on paper – –
Milo: – – Besides what other he gets. When they went back to these here scholarship meetings and stuff like this, they give them tapes, they give them the recordings, they gave them pamphlets for the computers.
Milo: They pick up like- – what did he tell us – – $7,000 in these pamphlets and stuff for the computers, disk and stuff like that.
Milo: They’re gifts to these kids. If you had to buy them, it’s amazing.
Gladys : He’s just a very smart boy and he isn’t a smart alec
He’s just as nice as can be.
Milo: He’s nice like his father and his grandfather.
Milo: But you take – – you take the Carver family, probably respected more than any family in Plain City that I’ve ever known, the Carver family.
Wayne: Yeah, well, I’m real pleased to hear that. I’m, you know, it’s been so long since I’ve lived here, I – -and it almost breaks my heart when I see the that the old town has disappeared, you know, bears no relationship.
Milo: You see, I remodeled your dad’s place.
Wayne: Oh, I thought that’s all you did. I didn’t know you worked for contractors.
Milo: Well, I worked for contract- –
Wayne: You built mom’s kitchen that she was so proud of.
Milo: I got underneath the floor, put the floor back together. There wasn’t even any floor under it.
Wayne: I don’t know what’s in there now.
Milo: Your family’s in there.
Wayne: Well, it breaks Joan heart the way Lorin and Carolyn have just let it – –
Milo: They let it go.
Wayne: Yeah. Well- –
This year on 14 November 2019 marked the 20 year passing of my Grandmother, Colleen Andra Jonas.
I thought about that experience repeatedly on Thursday. She would have turned 91 earlier this year. She was falling apart then, so 91 probably would not have treated her well. She passed away from a botched back surgery that had taken place several days before. 14 November 1999 was a Sunday.
Her passing is important for me for several reasons. She was probably the person I most loved in my whole universe. In many ways she had helped raise me and I always felt a very keen affinity and close relationship with her. We knew each others thoughts, feelings, and how to connect. I attribute many of my characteristics, humor, ability to communicate and get along with others, and much more to her. She was a remarkable woman. She had her faults, we all do, but that innate goodness outshines everything to me. Her passing I can safely say completely rocked my world.
On the other side of the coin though, her passing marked my first spiritual experience inside of a Temple. I was serving as missionary in the England Manchester Mission (EMM). I was then serving in the Eccles Ward, living in Patricroft. Our preparation day was on Mondays. On 15 November 1999, I went with a family and our missionary district to the Preston England Temple. We did a number of baptisms that day. We intended to take at least one name through baptism, confirmation, initiatory, and endowment.
Somehow I found myself sitting alone outside initiatory. I have no clue where the other missionaries were, it must have been a shift change or the workers had to go to the veil. I sat on a padded bench outside initiatory, I suppose the other elders were sitting waiting in the initiatory booths.
As I sat there, the smell of Hai Karate came to me. That was a distinct smell of my grandmother, she wore that. I knew she had surgery the previous week so I thought of her and prayed for her well-being. Knowing she had a pretty major surgery coming up, we visited on the telephone the week before. We talked about our love for each other. We spent several minutes discussing Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk just the month before at General Conference, “An High Priest of Good Things to Come.” We were both very moved by that talk and felt it directly related to both of us in our circumstances, especially in light of my mother’s actions the year before. There was very much to look forward to and be positive about. We closed that phone call expressing our love, looking forward to reuniting, and knowing Christ as our “High Priest of Good Things to Come.”
It was then in my mind’s eye I was transported to her surgery in Sun Valley, Idaho. I saw the surgery, the actions of the surgeon, the extent of the invasive nature of the work. It was during this that I saw the mistake that occurred and that was left. Then I saw her coalescing in the hospital and the problem being created by the nicked bowel. I saw the nurses get her up on Sunday morning, I saw the dislodging of the clot that occurred, I saw and felt the panic in her and the nurses. I saw her slump to the floor in unconsciousness. I knew she had passed at that moment.
I then saw my Mom, my Uncle, my Sister, my Aunt, and Bud (her husband) and their finding out the news. My Mom didn’t know yet, but she would find out. I saw the sadness, desperation, and frustration that came with it.
It was then I came back to myself in Preston, England. I had just experienced the past week of my grandmother and immediate family in what seemed to me to be a couple of hours, but must have been less than 10 minutes in the Preston England Temple. I saw there in a sort of out-of-body experience looking at myself sitting there in the 1999 initiatory clothing sitting on a bench outside an initiatory booth.
Then at that moment, in my mind’s eye, my grandmother was there. I could smell her. She talked to me, I could hear and feel her talking into my ear as I watched myself sitting there on the bench. I couldn’t see her. She told me that she had passed away. She told me a number of other things I don’t feel to share here. I am telling you, I was standing there, out of my body, listening to her. She then went to leave, and the person of me standing there looking at me sitting there, started to cry. She told me not to. She hugged me. Then she departed.
Suddenly, I was back sitting on the bench. I could still smell her. I didn’t want it to leave. I looked up wondering what had happened. In typical mortal fashion, I just thought to myself I had fallen asleep and dreamed it. It was a dream to me. I was overwhelmed by the experience but I didn’t believe it.
I must have been pretty somber throughout the rest of the day. I didn’t really talk after the temple, at dinner that night, I was overwhelmed by the vision/dream.
Tuesday dawned and we went to work. The day went along but the experience would not leave me. We got home that night to 24 Lewis Street, Patricroft, England and were getting ready for the night. It was then a knock came to the door.
I opened the door and there stood President Philip Wightman. He said he was there to visit with me and I immediately knew why. That dream/vision I had experienced and did not believe was now true. I completely broke down sobbing. He came in and we visited, I cried so hard I couldn’t breathe. He just held and hugged me. Finally sitting facing each other on folding chairs I told him of my experience. Initially he said something like, “Knowing you and your history and that your Grandmother had passed, I came to visit you personally.” After I shared with him my insight, his comment was along the lines of, “Glad I could confirm what you already knew. I guess I didn’t need to come personally visit.” I was very glad he did. It was funny, a year later he indicated, “That was the night the lights came on in Elder Ross.” I guess I wasn’t wholly in the work just yet, or along for the ride. Not sure, I wasn’t a bad missionary, but the gospel became that much more real for me through this experience.
While writing this at this time, I can only think of two other experience I have had with my sweet grandmother since her passing. One was while I lived in Branson, Missouri and she came bearing an answer to a prayer. I was actually sleeping at that time and after her departure I awoke. In the middle of the night I then went to see if my good friend Terry McCombs, who was staying at the same home, was awake. Sure enough he was. I shared the experience, the one in the Preston England Temple, and some others I have had. He shared with me many of his own. We talked for hours in the middle of the night and the spirit burned in my heart. I love and miss Terry. The other experience actually happened during a Priesthood Blessing that was being given to me in Logan, Utah by Dustin McClellan. I recognized my grandmother’s presence come into the room. He then announced he was acting voice for her in which he blessed me as if he were her. Wow, if one wanted to hear a voice from the dead, that is the way to do it! Even though Dustin spoke, I heard her voice in my ears.
This week marked the 20 year anniversary of one of the most emotional weeks I have ever had in my life. Both on the emotional from a death, but on the spiritual of an everlasting burning of a memory on my soul. Even recounting it in writing tonight I felt myself reliving some of it.
It is experiences like this that come to mind when people tell me that nobody can know for sure that God exists, or that his Son did anything for us. It is moments like this when the spirit world is very real and I view people’s arguments against God as rationalization to make themselves feel better for not knowing. Those arguments are a whistling in the dark. For I have no doubt from the experiences recounted above and numerous others that the spirit world is not far away. These are experiences with my grandmother, but there are others.
I know God lives, just as surely as my grandmother still lives spiritually. I am not aware of her being resurrected at this time, but it will come if it hasn’t already. Death is not the end, that is my personal experience. I don’t care for aging and death much, but neither are the end. We have a work to do and not much time to do it in.
Oh how I miss my grandmother. I haven’t had an experience with her directly since 2005, 6 years after her death, at least that I can recall now. How I look forward to seeing her again. It will be a blessed day. 20 years seems so long, yet so short in how vivid the love and tenderness is. Years have caused me to forget some of her mannerisms and characteristics, but the connection is as strong as it was ever at any point. It extends through time and space between us. But this anniversary shocked me at how long it has been, and yet how fresh it still seems.
Here is a picture of the last day I saw her physically. The day I met with the Stake President again and to finally go into the Missionary Training Center after many weeks of delay due to my mother’s actions.
On a trip to Preston, Idaho, I stopped with Aliza and Hiram (the only two with me) at Red Rock Pass. Stopping at Red Rock Pass was a stop that was regular when I was a child. I dare say every time we drove past Red Rock Pass, no matter who was driving, we stopped. I remember the long walk up those stairs, I remember trying not to take the stairs. If Grandma was with me, we would always walk around to the little cemetery around the back.
I remember Grandma telling me that when they would drive to Downata or up to Lava Hot Springs as a kid, they would also stop at Red Rock Pass. At least a third generation now does the same. Every time I drive past, even if alone, I like to stop. I hike to the top and look around. Even when I had difficult times at Utah State University and needed a drive, sometimes in the night, I would drive to Red Rock Pass and gaze at the valley around me. It connected me to the past, nature, and perspective of the world I live.
Grandma taught me early on Red Rock Pass was the leak, the drain, the overflow spot of massive Lake Bonneville. It was here that erosion eventually drained the lake and completely changed landscape of the Snake River Plain. It was here that northern Utah completely altered as well. This one place changed the face of the earth. Even in geography I learned that Lake Bonneville was so large that it actually indented the face of the planet and the release of this lake also changed the mountains and valleys as the load of the water displaced to elsewhere on the planet. Part of the basin and range moved not just by plate tectonics, but also by redistribution of weight. There I would sit imagining the Bonneville Flood.
It is at the cemetery behind this large rock left in the middle of the valley that Jefferson Hunt and many of his family are buried. An early pioneer of the church he was at Far West, Missouri. He lived in Nauvoo, Illinois, and served in the Mormon Battalion. He helped found many communities (San Bernardino, California; Huntsville, Utah). He lived in Oxford, Idaho, just to the south at the time of his passing.
It was later in life that I learned I had a missionary companion who descended from Jefferson Hunt (he was adopted). As if that wasn’t enough of a direct influence on my life, Garrett Smith also affected me in his death.
Red Rock Pass is a place of reverence for my history, the history of the world, and the ongoing effect we have on each other’s life in the future. It would help me overcome vain imaginations and the self-doubt that come to us all. I plan to continue stopping at this little reminder of our little place in this very big and ancient world and the long-lasting influence we can leave upon it.
Last weekend was Amanda’s sister’s wedding in Manti, Sanpete, Utah. We went down to attend the wedding for Zachary & Alyssa Smart. It was a wonderful trip, time to get away, celebrate the wedding and reception, and enjoy ourselves.
I have done enough family history that I knew my 4th Great Grandmother is buried in Spring City. Like other locations, if I am in Sanpete County, I make an effort to stop and visit her grave. I think the last time I was able to stop was about 2003, so it had been about 15 years.
Here is how we are related.
My mother’s name is Sandra Jonas.
Her father was Wilburn Norwood Jonas (1924 – 1975).
His father was Joseph Nelson Jonas (1893 – 1932).
His mother was Annetta Josephine Nelson (she went by Annie) (1864 – 1907).
Her mother was Agnetta Benson (she went by Annie) (anglicized from Bengtsson) (1832 – 1873).
Her mother was Johanna Johansdotter (which shows up on the tombstone as Johansson) (1813 – 1897), who was married to Nils Benson (anglicized from Bengtsson).
I really don’t know tons about Johanna. Nels August Nelson makes only passing reference to his grandmother. I have been unable to find when she immigrated to the United States.
Johanna Johansdotter was born 15 February 1813 in Öringe, Veinge, Halland, Sweden. She met and married Nils Bengtsson on 4 July 1830 in Veinge, Halland, Sweden. Nils was born 1 August 1802 in Brunskog, Tönnersjö, Halland, Sweden. Together they had 8 children together.
Agnetta Nilsdotter born 9 Dec 1832.
Lars Nilsson born 11 May 1835.
Ingjard Nilsdotter born 17 February 1839.
Christina Nilsdotter born 21 June 1841.
Bengta Nilsdotter born 19 March 1843.
Nils (Nels) Nilsson born 23 August 1846.
Borta Nilsdotter born 6 April 1849.
Johan Petter Nilsson born 31 August 1855.
Nils passed away 12 March 1859.
Johanna was baptized a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on 11 May 1861. Agnetta was baptized 10 November 1863, Lars 5 May 1860, Ingjard 5 May 1861, Christina 4 February 1866, and Nils Jr 5 May 1860. Johann joined 7 September 1893 after immigration to Utah. The other two were after their deaths. Bengta and Borta did not join or immigrate to Utah.
Johanna’s daughter Agnetta (Annie) traveled with her husband Johan Nilsson from Halmstadt, Sweden through Liverpool, England docking in New York City, New York on 3 June 1864. I cannot tell that Johanna traveled with Johan and Agnetta.
Most of the children upon traveling to the United States were given the last name of Benson instead of Nilsson.
The children spread. Agnetta went with her husband to Logan, Utah. Lars went with his family to what is now Sandy, Utah. Ingjard to what is now Sandy. Christina to Vernon, Utah. Nils to Spring City, Utah. John also to Sandy. For whatever reason Johanna went with Nils to Spring City and remained there the rest of her days. She passed away May 1897, we do not have an exact date. Nils served a mission from 1892 to 1894 back to the Scandinavia mission.
An interesting tidbit about our trip to Manti. We stayed in a restored home of James Marks Works. He was the brother-in-law to Brigham Young. It was an early home with various additions, modifications, and ultimate restoration. James Marks Works and Phebe Jones had a daughter named Mary Ann Angel Works. Mary Ann is the second wife to Nils Benson and they had 9 children together. The home in Manti we stayed may very well have been visited by my 3rd Great Grand Uncle and his 9 children, all of which were grandchildren of James Marks Works. James Marks Works died in 1889 and the first of the 9 children were born in 1892, but James’ son James Marks Works (Jr) kept the home and continued working the sawmill behind the home.
Here is a picture of the Manti Temple from James Marks Works’ home.
Another interesting side note that I remembered from the last time I walked around the Spring City Cemetery. Orson Hyde is also buried there. I walked the kids over to Elder Hyde’s grave and we snapped a picture there as well. I explained his role as an Apostle, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Dedication of Palestine for the return of the Jews, clerk to Joseph Smith, lawyer, Justice on Utah Supreme Court. The kids didn’t seem to care much…
Here is Orson’s short biography from the Joseph Smith papers.
8 Jan. 1805 – 28 Nov. 1878. Laborer, clerk, storekeeper, teacher, editor, businessman, lawyer, judge. Born at Oxford, New Haven Co., Connecticut. Son of Nathan Hyde and Sally Thorpe. Moved to Derby, New Haven Co., 1812. Moved to Kirtland, Geauga Co., Ohio, 1819. Joined Methodist church, ca. 1827. Later affiliated with reformed Baptists (later Disciples of Christ or Campbellites). Baptized into LDS church by Sidney Rigdon and ordained an elder by JS and Sidney Rigdon, Oct. 1831, at Kirtland. Ordained a high priest by Oliver Cowdery, 26 Oct. 1831. Appointed to serve mission to Ohio, Nov. 1831, in Orange, Cuyahoga Co., Ohio. Baptized many during proselytizing mission with Samuel H. Smith to eastern U.S., 1832. Attended organizational meeting of School of the Prophets, 22–23 Jan. 1833, in Kirtland. Appointed clerk to church presidency, 1833. Appointed to serve mission to Jackson Co., Missouri, summer 1833. Served mission to Pennsylvania and New York, winter and spring 1834. Member of Kirtland high council, 1834. Participated in Camp of Israel expedition to Missouri, 1834. Married to Marinda Nancy Johnson by Sidney Rigdon, 4 Sept. 1834, at Kirtland. Ordained member of Quorum of the Twelve by Oliver Cowdery, David Whitmer, and Martin Harris, 15 Feb. 1835, in Kirtland. Served mission to western New York and Upper Canada, 1836. Served mission to England with Heber C. Kimball, 1837–1838. Moved to Far West, Caldwell Co., Missouri, summer 1838. Sided with dissenters against JS, 1838. Lived in Missouri, winter 1838–1839. Removed from Quorum of the Twelve, 4 May 1839. Restored to Quorum of the Twelve, 27 June 1839, at Commerce (later Nauvoo), Hancock Co., Illinois. Served mission to Palestine to dedicate land for gathering of the Jews, 1840–1842. Member of Nauvoo Masonic Lodge, 1842. Member of Nauvoo City Council, 1843–1845. Admitted to Council of Fifty, 13 Mar. 1844. Presented petition from JS to U.S. Congress, 1844. Participated in plural marriage during JS’s lifetime. Departed Nauvoo during exodus to the West, mid-May 1846. Served mission to Great Britain, 1846–1847. Presided over Latter-day Saints in Iowa before migrating to Utah Territory. Appointed president of Quorum of the Twelve, 1847. Published Frontier Guardian at Kanesville (later Council Bluffs), Pottawattamie Co., Iowa, 1849–1852. Appointed to preside over church east of Rocky Mountains, 20 Apr. 1851, at Kanesville. Migrated to Utah Territory, 1852. Appointed associate judge of U.S. Supreme Court for Utah Territory, 1852. Elected to Utah territorial legislature, 27 Nov. 1852, 1858. Presided over church in Carson Co., Utah Territory (later the Nevada Territory), 1855–1856. Served colonizing mission to Sanpete Co., Utah Territory, by 1860; presided as ecclesiastical authority there, beginning 1860. Died at Spring City, Sanpete Co.
I came upon this history and thought I would share it. Elizabeth Cartwright Sharp is the mother of my William Sharp. She was also the mother of Isabella Sharp Carlisle, Elizabeth Sharp Quayle, and James Sharp. I don’t know where she got all of her information, hopefully from being passed down. I will enter some updates in brackets.
LIFE HISTORY: Elizabeth Cartwright Sharp, written by Annie Thompson, (August 27, 1957).
“Elizabeth Cartwright Sharp was the daughter and only child, of George and Ann (Matthews) Cartwright, and was christened at Misson, Nottinghamshire, England, 20 December 1803. She died in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, probably late in the year 1850 [17 February 1851].
Elizabeth grew up a tall young lady, reared in an atmosphere of wealth and refinement. At the age of 17 her father died (burial 27 February 1820, age 46) and three years later, on 4 June 1823, her mother remarried to a widower named George Beighton. Little is known of this marriage except that George Beighton is purported to have gambled away at the races at Doncaster, the money belonging to Elizabeth’s mother.
On 29 December 1823, Elizabeth Cartwright was married at Mission to Thomas Sharp, and they became parents of eight children, four of whom died young in England; the other four, William, Isabella, Elizabeth and James emigrated to this country with their mother:
George Sharp, chr. 11 Nov 1824, Misson, Nottinghamshire, England
Mary Sharp, chr. 27 Nov 1825, “,”,”
William Sharp, born 10 Dec 1826, “,”,”
George Sharp, chr. 13 May 1826, “,”,”
Isabella Sharp, born 22 Dec 1831, “,”,”
Elizabeth Sharp, chr. 11 June 1834, “,”,”
Ann Sharp, chr. 29 July 1838, “,”,”
James Sharp, Born 7 Jan 1840, “,”,”
(Extract from the history of Isabella Sharp Carlisle)
Misson is a little town in the northern part of Nottinghamshire, in what used to be the Sherwood Forest, (made famous by the stories of Robin Hood). As well as having a historical setting, the place, at the time of Elizabeth Cartwright’s birth, was one of beauty, with its green pastures a bloom with cowslips.
Thomas Sharp died in 1841 at the age of 45 (buried 15 Jul 1841, Mission), leaving Elizabeth to care for the children.
Sometime about 1848, the LDS missionaries were preaching in the vicinity of Mission, and Elizabeth Sharp joined the LDS church, together with her eldest son, William, who was baptized 20 Jun 1848.
Elizabeth’s home was opened to the missionaries, and among the elders who stayed there was Elder George Emery.
Elizabeth Sharp decided to emigrate with her family to Utah, but her folks tried hard to discourage her from taking the hazardous trip; they told her if you leave for the west, “A red Indian will eat ye.” But Elizabeth’s determination prevailed, and in 1850 the family, consisting of the mother and her four children, booked passage for America. (The price of the ticket being twenty-five pounds sterling). They set sail from Liverpool, England, bound for New Orléans, Louisiana, USA, on 2 October 1850, on the sailing vessel “James Pennell”, commanded by Captain Fullerton. The voyage was a rough one and it took six weeks to reach their destination.
From New Orléans, they traveled by boat up the Mississippi River to St. Louis, Missouri, a trip that was not a healthy one.
Shortly after the family reached St. Louis, the mother took sick and died, and was buried there. This left the children on their own. They found employment and Elizabeth and James married and stayed in Missouri.
William Sharp married Mrs. Mary Ann Bailey Padley, a young widow who had joined the church in England.
Isabella Sharp was baptized into the church while in St. Louis, and Joseph Carlisle. Elizabeth Sharp married John Quayle, and settled around St. Louis, and had a family of three children.
James, who was about twelve years old when his mother died, made arrangements to come to Salt Lake City, but the company he was to travel with finally turned back. He then found employment with a meat-packing concern in St. Louis (in which he later became a partner), and married Eudora Mann and had a family of five children.
Elizabeth Sharp Quayle and James Sharp never joined the church.
Both William Sharp and Joseph Carlisle were good athletes, and while in St. Louis, they challenged anyone to a wrestling match that cared to accept. They became well-known in this respect and they had few who accepted their challenge.
In 1853, both William Sharp and his family, which now consisted of his wife Mary Ann, his step-son Lorenzo Padley, and daughter Annie. Elizabeth who was born in St. Louis, and Joseph Carlisle and his wife Isabella Sharp Carlisle, started their journey across the plains. They drove a wagon for Williams Jennings, a Salt Lake merchant and freighter, (whether they drove one wagon or two is not known). They came in the Moses Clawson Co., arriving in Salt Lake City about September 15, 1853. (Journal History, Aug 18, 1853, pg. 5-7; Church Emigrations Vol. 2, 2, 1851 to 1863).
Joseph and Isabella Sharp Carlisle settled in Mill Creek, Salt Lake County, Utah; and William and Mary Ann Sharp settled in Plain City, Weber County, Utah.
August 27, 1957
My relationship: Elizabeth Cartwright- Thomas Sharp
Milo Riley Sharp
Edward William Sharp
Edward Junior Sharp
This past week Issiah and Jennifer Andra stopped by and visited our family with theirs. We had a pleasant lunch, opportunity to talk, and rekindling of distant family relationships. During that conversation, Issiah mentioned that he really did not have much information on his grandparents William and Edith Andra. I told him I would give him some more information. I wrote a short pictorial history of his grandmother Edith Maude Gudmundson Andra last year after her passing. I thought I would do the same for his grandfather, William Fredrick Andra Jr.
I tried to somewhat organized the photos in order, but some of them I just cannot tell. But generally they should be close.
William and Edith married 13 June 1947 in the Logan, Utah LDS Temple.
William served a mission to Mexico, learned the language there, and converted many people.
You can read more on Edith’s page. William died 22 August 1992 in Weaubleau, Hickory, Missouri. He was buried 23 August 1992 in the Mormon Cemetery, Arnica, Cedar, Missouri.
Edith Maude Gudmundson Andra, 91, passed away on Monday, 18 July 2016 at her home in Stockton, Missouri, from natural causes related to age. She was born the first of two children on 21 September 1924 in Logan, Utah, to Melvin Peter and Maude Victoria Wollaston Gudmundson. She married William Fredrick Andra Jr 13 June 1947 in the Logan Utah LDS Temple. Together they had six children. William passed away in 1992. Edith married Leland Fred Williams 10 March 1999 in Arnica, Missouri. He predeceased her in 2011.
Edith grew up in Logan at 253 East 3rd South. She had one sister, Shirley, born in 1928, with who she grew up.
Her mother passed away in 1931 and the family had to work through those difficult years with just the three of them. She attended Wilson School and Logan Junior and Senior Schools where she graduated. She played the violin.
She enlisted in the Navy in Salt Lake City, Utah, 21 September 1944 and served until discharge in San Francisco, California, 1 May 1946. She trained and served as a switchboard operator for the majority of the time of her service.
After her military service, she attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah.
During this time she met William Andra, who discharged from the Marines 20 June 1946. I am not aware that he attended Brigham Young University, but I know he was living in Orem and it was likely there that William and Edith met culminating in their marriage in 1947.
Greg William was born in Preston, Idaho in 1948. Chad Fredrick was born in Preston in 1949.
By 1950, the family was living in Boise for a short time.
The family then moved back to Logan where Kent Melvin was born in 1954.
The family was living in Midvale by 1955 where Marc David was born. Then to Salt Lake City in 1956. Troy Norman was born in Providence in 1960.
A few years later the family moved to Smithfield. Todd Nathan was born in Smithfield in 1968.
It is in Smithfield that my mother came to know the family, since she was living in Richmond. Kent and my Mom were close in age and played together.
Larry and Mom both told me stories about William and Edith being very particular about being healthy eaters. Larry remembers Edith washing every leaf of a head of lettuce before it could be eaten. William tried to convince Larry of the unhealthy nature of bacon and milk. Nobody else seemed to care, but it would really get William and Edith upset when people would not come to their way of thinking. William was also particular about when you ate, not mixing the various parts of your food with other parts. Larry found much of this amusing.
The Andra family was a fairly tight knit family and held reunions together yearly. Relationships started to strain in 1965 when William and Edith learned and accepted polygamy leading to their excommunication from the LDS church. The Andra family relationships started to strain further after attempts to convert William’s parents and some of the siblings to polygamy. Even while William’s parents were in a nursing home late in life, there were attempts to convert them to polygamy which led to final severing ties.
I don’t know when, but the family after converting to polygamy moved to Santa Clara. Nobody in the immediate family knows when due to the severance. After many years in Santa Clara, they then moved to Cedar County, Missouri.
My first visit to Edith was in 2001. I was moving to Branson, Missouri for work and before I left Uncle Ross Andra told me Edith lived in Missouri somewhere. I do not have any memories with William and Edith and did not even know she was still alive. Ross told me I should stop and visit. I knew nothing of the divide that had come into the family.
When I stayed the night before entering Missouri in Florence, Kansas, I looked to see what I could find in the phone book. With a last name like Andra, it wasn’t hard to find who I thought was the right name in Stockton, Missouri. I called the number and it was Mary Andra, wife of Kent Andra who answered. She told me I was welcome to stop by and since their shop was a bit off the beaten path, gave me directions.
I arrived later that day and found a long lost number of cousins I never knew existed. I saw the shop, I met a number of Kent’s children, and then I was taken down to the home to meet more of the family. When I was introduced to his wife, Tammy, I thought I had already met his wife, Mary, but I assumed I must have misunderstood. I met more and more children.
Kent sent one of his daughters with me to help me find Edith’s home. I sat with Edith meeting her for the first time in my memory and chatted for quite a while. She showed me some family history, told me some sweet stories of my Grandmother Colleen, and various conversations. Edith did not know Colleen had passed away. She told me of her new marriage to Leland Williams. We parted on great terms and went back to Kent’s home, enjoyed some carrot juice, and visited.
In a funny situation, I was enjoying my carrot juice trying to keep the children’s names straight when Mary came into the house. I sat there talking with Kent, Tammy, and Mary having a good laugh. I kept wondering how I misunderstood and was unclear on who was Kent’s wife, so I asked. They stated that both were. I sat there not comprehending. I must have looked confused because they just looked at me. It then dawned on me and I made some comment like, “Well, we are family right?” I laughed, they laughed, and I think any tension or misunderstanding that may have been there melted away. That was not something I was expecting that day!
We said our goodbyes knowing that we were still family. I quite enjoyed my visit.
It was later that week I got a phone call from Edith asking me to not share names, circumstances, or anything else regarding the family because it had caused so much trouble with the rest of the family. I told her that we were family and it did not bother me and I really did not think it bothered anyone else.
I visited again in 2002. When Kent passed away in 2003, I thought they were very kind to let me know.
Amanda and I stopped in 2006 on our move from Utah to Virginia. As we drove to the boonies where they lived, she joked with me that I was going to drop her off out in the middle of nowhere. We again had a very pleasant visit with Mary, Tammy, and Edith. Amanda was prepped with the information and quickly found out nobody had multiple heads or horns. I think it was the boonies that gave her more concern than the polygamy.
I visited again in 2008 driving from Virginia through to Washington for work. That time Edith had moved to a home nearer to her son Marc. I stopped to visit Marc and Cheryl and met them for the first time. Edith also came over to the house and we visited with her. Here is a photo from that visit.
I tried to call Edith every other year or so. Sometimes it was hard to track her down, but I typically found her and was able to call. The last time I visited with her was when Donald was sick and dying with cancer in the spring of 2016. I asked Donald if I could let some of the extended family know. He said yes. With that, I called Edith and visited with her about Sergene’s passing and Donald’s cancer. She talked about how the family was distant and she appreciated the updates. She also indicated that life continues to pass and we all end up dealing with death at some point. She reminded me of her age and she did not know where she would be next week either.
Now she is gone.
While I know there was quite a bit of angst in the family over the beliefs and separation, but despite all that I am glad I did not know of the polygamy issues and got to know the family as just that, family. Their position, beliefs, and practices at no point directly affected me in any way. I am glad I know them!
Aunt Edith, until we meet again.