Camping in Swan Valley

This fall, over Labor Day weekend, we went camping near Swan Valley, Idaho.  I thought I would post a few pictures from that trip.

We had to do some preparation on the trailer, like sewing up some rips in the canvas on the tent trailer.  This is Amanda’s handiwork.

Sewed Canvas Cover

We also replaced the elastic ropes in the canvas, the old ones were pretty shredded.

New Elastic Ropes

We are fortunate that the Tateoka Family is as sharing with their camp trailer as they are, otherwise we may have been sleeping in a tent again!  The Darrington Family let us trade pickups with them so we could all ride in the same pickup to Swan Valley together.  Thank you to both!

We set up at Falls Campground near the Snake River.  Enjoyed a couple of days there.

Set up at Falls Campground

Set up at Falls Campground

We really enjoyed the campground.  Some great fly fishing nearby in the Snake River, there were tons of fly fisherman everywhere we went.  We hiked over to the falls too.

View of Snake River near Swan Valley, Idaho

View of Snake River near Swan Valley, Idaho

We did take some time to drive over to Plano where the Hemsley clan had their start in Idaho.  There are multiple Richard Hemsleys buried there.

Hemsley graves in Plano, Idaho

Hemsley graves in Plano, Idaho

Here is a picture of the house Hemsley built.

Side of Hemsley House in Plano, Idaho

Side of Hemsley House in Plano, Idaho

Front of Hemsley house in Plano, Idaho

Front of Hemsley house in Plano, Idaho

We also stopped in Rexburg at the temple and in Ririe on the way back where I was coaxed out of a few dollars for some kid who was short of some cash.  I offered to pay the difference and somehow ended up paying for their entire goodie stash!

We had a great little campfire.

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We introduced Aliza to cattails.  We were regretting it later due to the mess it tracked everywhere.

Playing with cattails

Playing with cattails

We also gave them little containers to go find bugs.  Boy, they found plenty.

Inspecting bugs

Inspecting bugs

Drinking some soda

Drinking some soda

Walking down a country road back to camp

Walking down a country road back to camp


Day Reunites with Brothers

This was a newspaper clipping just sent to me a week or two ago.  I have read it before even though I do not have a copy.  I probably read it at Grandpa Ross’ home.  Either way, the occasion was just as momentous for Grandpa as it was for Hobart.

As I have mentioned before, Hobart is Grandpa’s half-brother through his father’s first marriage to Nanna May Day.  Hobart was born a Ross but at some point took his mother’s maiden name, Day.  John “Jack” William Ross married Ethel Sharp, Grandpa’s mother.  Milo James Ross and Hobart Day only met once.  Grandpa and his brother, Harold, paid for a bus ticket for Hobart to come to Utah in 1972.  Hobart was blind by that time.

Grandpa always told the story of when Hobart arrived at his home he gave him a little tour of the home.  Grandpa would walk into the room and would turn on the light.  Hobart would keep telling him, “You don’t need to turn the light on for me.”  Apparently they repeatedly got a kick out of that.

When Hobart returned to Virginia he spoke to the local newspaper about his visit.  That is where this article comes from.

Since it is hard to read (I was given a photo carbon copy of the newspaper), I will type what is says.  The scan of the article is available at the end.

“Day Reunites With Brothers

“By Cindy Conte

“‘I never saw my half brothers, but I thought of them often,’ said Hobert Day of 47 Peppers Ferry Rd, Fairlawn.  Hobert sat by the kitchen window, the rain beating against the panes as steadily…(fold in newspaper).  He continued, ‘I was sitting by the phone about eight weeks ago and decided to call them.  Milo Ross who is now 55 and his brother Harold, 52, invited my wife Edna and me to come out and visit them in Ogden, Utah.  Edna fell and was unable to go with me.  My half brothers paid for my tickets and I was on my way.  Every mile of the way I wondered if they would accept me or not, I had so many doubts.  When I arrived, my doubts were erased.’

“Hobert spent three days and nights with Milo and his wife Gladys and their children.  He visited Harold, his wife Joanne and their two children.

“‘They are carpenters and are doing real well’ said Hobert.  ‘It was a wonderful and very happy reunion.’

“Hobert was 11 months old when his parents separated.  His father traveled to California and in 1913 moved to Ogden, Utah, where he remarried a (unclear, her name was Ethel though) Sharp.  John Ross had four children by his second wife.  Milo Ross, Harold Ross and Paul Ross who died at the age of 12.  (Crossed-out, Ethel handwritten in) died in 1932 (actually 1925) giving birth to a girl (girl is crossed-out and ‘boy’ is written in).

“‘It was in 1939, I was 28 when I first saw my father.  He stood at the door and said “Hobert I’m John Ross your father.”  Then one Sunday he was gone and I never saw him again.  He died of an unknown illness in 1948.’

“Hobert is blind, but he is content with his life and he and Edna generate a lot of warmth in their home.

“Hobert smiled and said, ‘My brothers and their families are going to visit me and Edna some day.  I told them we couldn’t offer them as much as they could, but we can love them as much.’

Hobart died in 1983.  Grandpa and Harold did not make it to Virginia to visit.



Unknown Pennsylvania Photo

Dad has continued to go through the items Grandpa and Grandma Ross left behind.  Here is a photo that unfortunately is likely lost to the past.  We are not sure why Grandpa and Grandma had it in their collection.  It could be an ancestor but it might simply be a flea market find.


Frankly, I cannot even tell for certain what the top of the photo is supposed to say.  Either way, there is the lady and the child in the bottom right corner.

The back of the photograph has “L. Whittling, Photographer, Cochranton, PA.” written on the back.   It also indicates “Presented to A Sawford”  For those interested, the back of the photo is shared below.

I attempted to find an A Sawford in the Cochranton area but did not immediately turn up anything definitive.  The other thing is we do not know if this person is related to Mr. or Ms. Sawford.  There is nothing to link Sawford to Cochranton.

One thing I can say, I do not have an ancestral line that came through Pennsylvania.  I cannot even find a relative that went to live in Pennsylvania on the Ross, Sharp, Stoker, Donaldson, or Van Leeuwen lines.  Hopefully with the limited information, someone related might be able to find this relative.



Airplane Junk

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Here is another random photo I had on my telephone.  This is a picture of a piece of airplane scrap that Grandpa had in his front yard.

The story goes that at some point in the past, this plane went down near Plain City.  I want to say the early 1960’s.  Grandpa picked up this scrap and kept it in his front yard since.  Not sure if the scrap landed near his home, I want to say I heard both variations on the story.   Grandpa has a copy of the newspaper article related to the crash.  If I come across the article as I scan things in the future, I will make it available.

Little Robin Hood

Here is a little picture of Hiram.  He likes to go around with a hanger pretending he is Robin Hood.  Grandpa decided to make him a little bow and arrows from his latest tree trimmings.  Hiram of course ran with it, even finding himself a hat and feather.  I am glad I snapped this picture while he was playing.

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Milo Ross random phone photos

I went through my phone photos the other day and found a couple of pictures of Grandpa, Milo Ross, I thought I would share.

These next four photos were from June 2013.  We stopped while traveling through.  You can see Grandpa goofing off in trying to get Hiram to take a $1 from him, whether from the floor, from his mouth, and Hiram was just not buying it as long as Grandpa still had his cane in hand.  Not sure why, but I snapped the picture of Grandpa going back into his home as we were leaving.

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Jon Williams took this picture of Grandpa and provided a copy to Grandpa.  Grandpa kept it on the wall and I took a picture of it.  I need to contact Mr. Williams and get a copy of the picture.

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Lastly,  I have this picture of Grandpa and Hiram just a month before Grandpa passed away.  Grandpa had thinned quite a bit and I believe you can see it in the photo.

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Then, a photo of some of the new medals Grandpa was going to be awarded.  Since he passed, we put them in a display case for the funeral.  The medals were all new even though some of the pins were awards he already had.

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Uncle Art’s Visit

14 Sep 1998, Paul Ross, Colleen Lloyd, Paul, Idaho

14 Sep 1998, Paul Ross, Colleen Lloyd, Paul, Idaho

This photo brings all sorts of memories for me.  I don’t have many pictures in my Grandma’s yard.  But this photo conjures all sorts of memories for so many reasons.  I stopped to visit Grandma one day and Uncle Art (1921-2004) and Aunt Mary Coley (1918-2014) were visiting.

Uncle Art took a liking to my little 1955 International R-100 and asked for me to take him for a ride in it.  He tried multiple times to convince me to sell it to him.  I would just laugh and tell him he did not have enough money for me to sell it to him.  Finally, he asked for a number and I threw out $5,000.  He said, “Well, at least let me pay for the ride.”  He had me pull in to the gas station and paid to fill it up.  We probably drove for an hour, he just wanted to keep going.

Uncle Art or Aunt Mary took the photo.  I think it says quite a bit for Grandma to lose her husband 23 years earlier but still to keep regular contact with her first husband’s Uncle and Aunt.  I have later found out she was quite good at keeping in contact with most of his family even despite other marriages and the passage of time.  I visited Clara McMurdie Coley in 2008, after probably 15 years since the last time I visited her (with Grandma), she commented that it had been quite some time since she had heard from Colleen.  I then told her Colleen had died 9 years previously and her comment was, “I wondered why I stopped getting letters and visits”, yet she did not know Grandma had passed.

I still have the shirt.  I wish I still had the shoes.  I wish I still had the truck.  I wish I still had Grandma.  But this picture also points out a little joke between us regarding her height and mine.  Hence the elbow on her shoulder.

I remember we enjoyed some ice cream with Uncle Art & Aunt Mary before I left.  Uncle Art shook my hand, gave me some $$ for my mission, and wished me well.  It is really the only memory I have of Uncle Art although I know I was around him more over the years.  He had a fun laugh, a sense of humor, love of old trucks, and seemed like a good man.