Memories of Maxine Bailey Allred
Written by her daughter, Kaye Allred Nielson
Contributor: kevsha Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Monticello, San Juan County, Utah. August 18, 1914. A beautiful blue eyed baby girl, Maxine, was born to Alberta Perkins and Elmer Bailey.
The oldest child, just two years older than brother Jed, four years older than sister, Mernice, and six years older than little brother Kirk.
Mother was always beautiful. A tall, slim, five foot six inches and weighing about 125 lbs. Beautiful clear blue eyes with light brown hair. Her hands were graceful and ring size only a 5 ½.
Just eleven years old when the first of many trials and challenges would face Mother on her life’s journey. Her dear mother passed away in Cortez, Colorado of pneumonia. The little grieving family left to learn the lessons of life without their mother. Maxine down to little Kirk, just four years old. Grandpa Elmer Bailey, small fragile Englishman, would be away from his family much of the time as he went wherever he could to find work for means to care for his little family. This left Maxine to fill the overwhelming role of “Mother”.
Their humble little home was without inside plumbing and only meager necessities. Mother told of times that a pot of beans was put on the wood burning kitchen stove before she left for school. When she returned home she would find the fire out and the beans only half cooked. Their little house was cold and empty as four little children came home each night without a mother and many times without a father.
Grandmother Annie Bailey and Grandmother Sarah Perkins lived in Monticello during these sad trying years. Mother told me often of the love and support that was given to them by their dear pioneer grandmothers. Each had a large extended family that often stayed in their home for various lengths of time. Mother and her siblings also were able to accept the love and warmth felt there at many times during their early years.
Alberta Perkins Bailey was able to teach beautiful lessons to her children even thought her time with them was short. She taught them about our dear Heavenly Father, showed them how much she loved and cared for them and she spent many, many hours singing and teaching songs and poems that were a salvation for young Maxine. My mother was my first and greatest teacher. My mother felt the lessons to be learned from these words and music were very important. These are some of my favorite memories of my mother. She sand each day and taught her children the melodies and words that were so dear to her She loved to give readings and perform in plays at church and school.
Mother was a very good student. She loved school and was always prepared. In 4th grade Elder Bruce R. McConkie was one of her classmates. His father was an educator and the family lived in Monticello. Elder McConkie’s mother was a Monticello girl whose maiden name was Redd. The family lived there for a few years and then moved to Moab.
Girls basketball was an activity in High School that mother enjoyed very much. She played center on the team, being one of the tallest girls on her team. Music was an important part of my mother’s life. She sang with ladies groups and in the ward choir. She also led the music in just about all of the organizations.
Christmas was always a family time. Mother wanted her home clean and neat before any decorations or tree could appear. Walls were washed, curtains washed and floors scrubbed all finished by Christmas Eve afternoon, just in time to decorate the tree. It was always a pinion pine. Mother always let us kids put on all the decorations. She had the most perfect, precious little set of lights. They were all the nursery rhyme characters. Old King Cole, Humpty Dumpty, Little Boy Blue and all the rest shone brightly through the green branches. Weeks before my mother made home made candy. Fudge, pinoche, and divinity were made from rich cream that was readily available with ours and Grandma Allred’s cows. The smell of this candy is still in the bank of memories. Homemade mince pies were my favorite. The real mince meat, made from venison, apples and lots of spices. Each Christmas the gift my mother gave to my Grandmother Allred was a big wrap around home sewed apron. Grandma Allred loved it and mother always knew what to make for her.
Mernice and I always received a beautiful Christmas dress. About the last one I remember mother sewing for us was made of taffeta. Mernice had a pretty green on and mine was a royal blue. These dresses and all the many other lovely clothes, pajamas, gown, curtains and so many other necessary items were sewn for us by our mother. Her little Singer treadle sewing machine once belonged to her Grandmother Perkins, who herself, had sewn for her family.
Mother taught Mernice and I and the “Fuller” girls to talk pig Latin. It was so much fun. We would talk our new found language all day and loved to tease our dad because he couldn’t understand and never wanted to learn. My mother could really dance the Charleston. She taught Mernice and I as much as she could and we dance many times in school assemblies and programs. Mernice was a better dancer than I. I guess my calling was to play basketball and volleyball.
Pretty flowers were something my mother loved. She always had flowers growing all around our home. The ones I remember the most and always smelled the best were her sweet peas. They grew four feet tall and were always planted very early in the spring. Sometimes mother would dig down under the snow to get her wonderful flower seeds in the ground in time for the glorious reward of the blossoms all summer long. Many special memories of Monticello are found in my own yard. I brought over “Monticello” lilacs; many have grown to be ten or twelve feet high. Also some wild cucumber vines that reseed themselves every year. These were some that mother took to her home from her Grandmother Baileys home. This is quite a roundabout story as these plants originally came to Monticello from Cedar City when Grandma Bailey moved to Monticello and now they are back in Cedar City growing as hearty as ever.
A high school friend of mine told me, not so many years ago, of her remembering the support my dear mother always gave to me. She never missed a school play, a basketball game, a church program or anything that I was participating in. She said that mother always looked so beautiful and was there for me. What a compliment to my mother and also to me. It is true!