Memories of Charles Clarence Creer by sister, Clara Creer
Contributor: halicphinney Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
CHARLES CLARENCE CREER
In reminiscing about my brother Clarence, it seems I know very little about him. Florence was the oldest daughter. Clarence was next and was the oldest son. Then mother had six girls before she had another son, Harold. Then she had another girl and another son, Ronald. making 11 in all. Two of the girls, Mary and Christina, died in infancy. In a lively family of 6 girls and 3 boys, the sons didn't have a chance. We knew Clarence was our brother but we paid very little attention to him, nor he to us. He had his own friends and they remained close to each other for many years. They were Joe Marcussen, Roger Jones, Joe Evans.
These friends nicknamed him Pets. How this name relates to his legal name Clarence, Ill never know, but the name adhered and we all except Mother and Dad called him Pets.
When Florence was about 16 years old, she attended a sleeping party with some of her girl friends. There was an epidemic of small pox in town and one of the girls must have been infected because Florence came down with small pox soon after and exposed the whole family. Clarence seemed to have it the worst of all. We all had to stay out of school for about 6 weeks. Clarence's face was badly poxed and left deep scars. Because of this, he refused to attend school again, nor would he go to church. He was beginning his teen age years and was very proud and sensitive. He helped Dad on the farm a lot and after a few years the pox marks disappeared.
When automobiles became the big thing, Dad put the surrey to rest and bought a second hand, seven passenger Overland. It was the biggest car I ever saw. It was just the thing for a large family and for Clarence to take out on dates to Payson with his friends and to dances in the surrounding towns. I don't remember anyone driving the car except Dad and Clarence.
One nice Sunday afternoon, Dad decided to take us kids with a few neighbors for a ride. We went to Springville when the car suddenly stopped. Dad worked hard to get it started and couldn't. He left the car in Springville and took us all home on the Interurban which ran from Salt Lake to Payson every few hours. When we reached home, Clarence and his boy friends were sitting on the lawn under the cherry tree, frantically waiting for us to come home. They got to Springville Somehow and found the car. Nothing was wrong with it. It had run out of gas! Even to this day most cars will not run without gas. Clarence was a good mechanic and wasn't long before he found out why it stopped.
In those days "dances” were the big thing. Everyone loved to dance, especially me. On Wednesday night, there was a dance in Springville. On Friday night in Spanish Fork and on Saturday night in Payson, and an occasional dance in Nephi. I wanted to go to them all. On occasion Mother would let me go to Springville and to Payson if I had a date.
One time there was a big dance in Nephi. I had a date to go, but I knew Mother wouldn't let me go that far, so I went without telling her. Who do you suppose I saw there? Clarence with his friends! I think it was the only time he ever asked me to dance and he said, "Does Mother know you are here” I said, "No and don't you tell her."
Well from then on he practically made me his slave. If I refused to wait on him he would call "Mother,” and I would succumb and do what he wanted me to do. Finally I told her myself and was relieved when she wouldnt believe me. So Clarence lost his hold on me forever.
When the United States entered the first World War there were draftees and we knew that Clarence would have to go sometime. When he was drafted he didn't seem to be either sad or elated. Since he was helping Dad on the farm, we thought he might be exempt. Mother was especially saddened and like all mothers, didn't want her son to be a soldier. When his time came to leave for the training camp in Camp Lewis, Washington State, we all went down to the train to see him off. He had been going with a girl, Zina Trevort, from Payson. We kids were all anxious to see if he would kiss her good-bye but he took her on the other side of the train and we never knew. How long he was away I don't remember, but one afternoon Mother and I were in the kitchen fixing dinner when we noticed Clarence coming through the corral gate, We were so excited to have him home but we didn't know why. We learned it was because of his feet. When he had new shoes and wore them for awhile, the tips of his toes turned up. They said it was because he had fallen arches and the Infantry was no place for a soldier with bad feet. Later Clarence said he was discharged to help Dad on the farm.
Clarence was homesteading some land in Willow Creek and had to spend so much time living there. When he came home we knew he was dating a Spanish Fork girl named Merle Dahle. We knew she came from a nice family, but he didn't tell us much about her and we had no idea it was a state of love. It was the 4th of July 1922. Spanish Fork always held a big celebration on that date with the appropriate cannons and parade, band, and lots of fun. Our home was across the street from the City Park and the pavilion was across the street from our corral and there was a lot of activity there.
Clarence loved horses. He kept them in the corral. His favorite riding horse was Silver Bell. One of us always rode Silver Bell in the parade. His instructions were to make her dance down the street - no walk for her. We loved it. Clarence came home for the celebration. We had a shower in the wash shed. I remember him coming into the kitchen after taking a shower to put on his shoes and socks and he said to me, "I came home to get married” I said "Awh, who'd marry you ” He said "Merle Dahle.” It was such a casual announcement, none of us believed him. The next day he brought Merle home and introduced her as his wife. We were all in a complete state of shock. None of us knew her and no preparation had been made. I dont think we made her feel as welcome as we should have, but the surprise of it made us all speechless.
It was a good marriage and they raised a lovely family of 4 girls and 1 boy. Merle passed away on August 2, 1978 and Clarence died on January 30, 1981.