Memories of My Father
Contributor: shan_gen Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
By DeLynn C. Barton
My memories of my father are a little faint and sporadic because of the distance in time and my young age. He died October 23rd 1954. At the time I was only five years old. I do however have several fond memories of my father and our family together. I remember for instance riding out to the farm with my father and Uncle Scott in our old blue Chevy 2 ton truck. It was a mid forties vintage truck with a small narrow cab and two big men and a small boy was maximum capacity in the cab. The road was dirt with no gravel and if it rained or the irrigation water ran over the ditch bank it quickly became very slick and muddy. When we got in the mud my dad was busy turning the steering wheel back and forth trying to stay on the road, punching me in the nose with his elbow the entire time. I was brave though and didn’t say much even when it hurt because I was afraid I wouldn’t get to go next time if I complained.
I remember an emergency one time on the Small Barton farm when a yearling heifer was discovered sick and down. It made an impression on me when the animal was shot to put her out of her misery. I don’t know who made the diagnosis but I can remember them saying that she had “blackleg”. I thought they were crazy because that herefords’ leg looked red and white to me? Knowing what I do now and having had experience with blackleg disease in cattle I think someone mis-diagnosed the problem. You virtually never find an animal afflicted with blackleg alive and they die fairly quickly if you do. The heifer lived several hours while we decided what to do and retrieved the rifle to finish her with. I remember the rifle was my dad's little 32-20 saddle rifle. He made a point of showing me how the lever action worked to put a bullet in the chamber and push the hammer back in a “cocked” position. We vaccinated all the young cattle on the farm after the experience of the sick heifer. I can still remember the little glass-barreled syringe that we used to give each one a shot.
One time I remember riding straddle the front hood of the Ford tractor as we were plowing with a two bottom, one-way plow in what we called the “South Field”. I remember we had plowed most of the day and had gotten quite a lot done but then we hit a wet, soft spot where the ditch had run over. The tractor spun out and before we could get out of that area we had nearly buried the tractor. I remember thinking as we walked away from the tractor that we would never get it out of that hole! We had to walk home because we didn’t have another vehicle there at the farm. We had probably driven the tractor out to the farm earlier that day.
I recall, one day my Dad was hauling manure in an old manure spreader with our team of gray horses. Their names were “Bud” and “Queen”if I remember right. Again we were at the “South Farm”. He would pitch the manure in the spreader by hand from the corrals and then the team would pull the spreader out in the farm where he would engage the mechanism and the manure would flip and spit out the back of the spreader as he drove the team around the field. I talked him into letting me ride our black mare “Snip” around as he was loading the spreader. She was a gentle horse and I got along just fine until I followed the spreader out into the field and got a little too close when the machine was kicked into gear and started spewing manure out the back. Snip was spooked and I panicked and forgot to pull on the reins so we made a wild ride around the field with me hanging on for dear life. Finally my Dad cornered the mare and got me off and I am sure he was as badly frightened as I was.
Another fond memory was chopping corn silage in the south field. The single row chopper was pulled and powered by the Ford tractor. The chopper blew the chopped silage into the back of the Chevy truck equipped with high racks. When the truck was full it was driven along the edge of a silage pit near the corrals and one side of the rack folded down and the team was hooked, via long cable, to a net wire basket in the bottom of the truck bed. The team, pulling from across the silage pit, then pulled the net wire basket with its load of silage sideways out of the truck into the pit. The remaining chopped corn then had to be shoveled out of the truck and the wire basket reloaded and reshaped so the process could start over again. While the truck was being chopped full again the team was used to “tromp” the silage into the pit. Hooked into a fresno scraper they also had shaped the growing stack of chopped corn as it filled the pit.
I remember a vacation our family took together into Idaho, Washington, and Oregon area. My dad and mom were looking at farms and ranches in that area. I believe it was during the summer of 1954 because I believe Craig was with us and he was born in May of 1934. I still remember playing on the lawns of at least one motel and staying with several friends and family members. I believe Rulon and Elsie Carroll was some of the family members.
I remember my dad bringing home a second hand bicycle when I was five and helping me learn to ride it by getting me on and pushing me out the driveway onto the street. It was a “do or die” and several times I ended up in the small irrigation ditch across from our house. I also remember some “training wheels” which must have been brought to save some hide. I apparently learned fast however because I remember riding my bike from grandma and Grandpa Barton’s house which was down the street one block west and one half block north. Dad was walking holding Kyle’s hand (he must have been three years old) and I thought it would be fun to “buzz” them on my bike. It seemed like I was going 60 miles per hour so it really surprised my when I felt Dad playfully “spanking” me with a sunflower stalk as he ran behind with Kyle under his arm. Because of the sunflower I remember it was warm it must have been late summer of the year he died.
I remember one day my dad, coming home, drove our black Dodge car into the driveway of our house. Kyle and I were playing by the ditch across the street and ran to “push” him on into the garage. We had made a game of watching for him and “pushing” on the back of the car as he drove slowly into the garage. On this day he changed his mind, and not realizing we were behind him, backed the car up to do something different. I managed to get out of the way but Kyle was knocked down and the car backed over him. I can still remember im screaming under that car with both Dad and Mother trying to get him out. Luckily he was only scraped and bruised. I remember Mom and Dad holding him on the steps of the house trying to comfort him. I am sure they were both as badly shaken and frightened, when they thought of what could have happened, as he was.
My Dad drove trucks for Garrett Freightlines and drove out of the old Garrett depot by Cox Motor in Cedar City. A strip mall and Pizza Hut are located there now. He would usually walk down to Main Street in Paragonah, about 3 blocks west of our home. Since all the traffic on Highway 91 came through the main street (there was no freeway yet) and he knew the schedule of the Garrett trucks he would catch a ride to Cedar City with the southbound trucker arriving from Salt Lake. After checking in at the Cedar City depot he would take the ruck and load onto Mesquite Nevada and sometimes as far as Las Vegas. Then he would bring a truck and load back to Cedar City that had originated in California. I am not sure if the trucks were switched to different trailers or if drivers simply traded truck/trailer units.
We always had livestock (pigs, chickens, and cows) behind our house. I remember a pig we had which got a lot of attention from us. Probably because it was close in confinement and couldn’t get away from us like the other animals, in any case it learned to like its back scratched and would lie down with pleasure when we rubbed its back with sticks and corncobs.
In the fall of 1954 my dad and his brother, Scott, went on the annual deer hunt together. A friend, Burns Sherratt and his son Lee went along and also in the group was Roger Skougard, a son of Eunice, my Dad's sister. That evening I remember all the family being in the living room, when my Dad’s brother Scott and some other men walked in the door. My mother knew instinctively what had happened. All I remember from that point was everyone was crying and trying to get telephone calls through to family members. I was puzzled as to what was going on. I don’t remember much about the funeral except that there was a viewing in our home and it seemed that there were hundreds of people. Bored with it all I remember that I showed some of my uncles, dressed for the funeral in my Sunday suit, how our pig would lie down when his back was scratched. I climbed in the pig’s pen, clean suit and all, to the absolute delight of my uncles. I’m thankful for the memories I still have of my father and I’m so thankful for my mother and the training and upbringing she has given us, even though she has been alone all these years and undoubtedly very lonely at times.
We continued to live in our home in Paragonah for several more years. Kyle and I both started school in Paragonah. I don’t believe they had kindergarten but I went to the 1st and 2nd grades with Miss Helen Stones as the teacher of both grades meeting together in the old brick elementary school in the northeast corner of town. I also attended the 3rd and 4th grade with Mrs. Dalton. Mom felt a desire to sell our home and move to Orderville to be closer to the support of her parents and family. During the spring and early summer of 1958 I remember Grandpa and Grandma Sorensen made at least two trips in their pickup truck to bring some of our household belongings to Orderville. I believe Earl Sorensen also hauled some belongings in his stock truck and there were several truckloads taken by other people. We lived with Grandpa and Grandma Sorensen for a few months until we bought the old Hoyt home just south of the church in Orderville. Not too long after we bought the home we tore off the front porch of the home and Uncle Amram Humphrey added on an entry and an addition to the living room with a fireplace. Mom still has that home and lives there at least during the summer months.