Memories of Great-Grandma
Contributor: Chynna67 Created: 11 months ago Updated: 11 months ago
Veda Alene Kofford was born on July 6, 1914 in Orem, Utah. She graduated from two years early from Lincoln High School at the age of 15. After she graduated, she worked at the store/ gas station that her father owned, located on State Street in Orem. She was very good at clerical work and bookkeeping, but spending so much time in the shop often made her feel lonely. She was not yet a member of the church and was no longer in school, so she had a limited social circle. Later she started working at Telluride Motor and then Geneva Steel Plant doing office work. On December 27, 1941, she married Paul Hector Taylor, also a Lincoln High graduate. Initially, Paul had delayed marriage because he wanted Alene to join the church before they got married, but they ended up getting married first, and then great-grandma was baptized and confirmed a member of the church a few months later, on February 22, 1942. They were then sealed together in the Salt Lake Temple.
After they got married, Alene and Paul lived on Cherry Hill Farm. They had five children, Janet, Paula, Bryce, Jill and Byron. Great-grandma showed her devotion to her family through her hard work. Although she didn’t necessarily love farm life, she did love my great-grandpa, and she was a very hard worker. She would get up around the same time that Great-grandpa got up to milk the cows (about 4:30 or 5 am). She spent the early morning hours preparing a hearty breakfast, sometimes muffins, or biscuits or hot cereal. She made breakfast for Great-grandpa, his breakfast was usually three hard-boiled eggs. She frequently made a big lunch too, bigger than what we usually eat for lunch today. If the hired hands were there, she would feed them too.
Great-grandma was a wonderful cook, and she was known for her skill at baking. Some of her most memorable treats were angel thumbprints and congo bars. For a simpler dessert, sometimes she would make tapioca pudding with homemade strawberry or raspberry jam. Another one of her talents was making candy. She didn’t even need to use a thermometer to check on the candy; to test if the candy was ready she would just drop a little bit into a cold glass of water and check the consistency.
One testament of her hard work and love of cooking is the lengths great-grandma went to to prepare chicken dinners. She only made it every few weeks, but what an ordeal it was. The process began with taking one of the chickens out of the pen in the back and cutting its head off. Then she had to let it hang up so that the blood would all drip out. To make the big feathers easy to remove, she would scald the bird in hot water. Then she had to singe the chicken to get out the pin feathers (the smaller feathers). From there, she washed the chicken to get all the smoke and soot out, and then she gutted the chicken. After all this work, Great-grandma could start to cook dinner, preparing the chicken and making potatoes and gravy to go along with it.
Great-grandma had many other talents. She was a skilled seamstress. She often sewed dresses for her daughters. One time she even designed her own pattern for an apron. After she designed and sewed the apron, she gave it to a neighbor to use. She was a perfectionist in her sewing; if she or one of her daughters didn’t sew a seam just right they would have to get the seam ripper and take it out. There was a lot of seam ripping. Another one of her talents was writing. She helped her children and her husband write reports and talks, and find just the right wording. She liked finding a unique way of wording things. For a while, she wrote the editorial in the ward newsletter under the alias “Aunt Ekalweiv”. The alias was “Lakeview” (the name of the ward) backwards.
Another story illustrates her devotion and love as a mother. When one of her sons was a young teenager, he really liked hunting. One day he caught a badger. He decided he wanted to learn more about taxidermy and the badger presented the perfect opportunity to do so. He signed up for a correspondence course in taxidermy and received all the materials he needed. However, one thing remained: the badger had to be skinned. Not only that, but every last bit of fat had to be removed from the skin. This was a messy, stinky, nasty job, but Great-grandma took it in stride. The time she spent working on cleaning the badger skin was no doubt a testament of her devotion to her son.
Great-grandma passed away on March 24, 1999. She left a legacy of devotion, hard work, and service for her posterity.