Grant Dee Mc Ewan written by his sister, Mary Margret Mc Ewan
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Grant Dee Mc Ewan
Written by his sister, Mary Margret Mc Ewan, July 2004
Grant was eighth child to be born in the Kenneth Eugene and Mary Coltrin Mc Ewan family. He was the last of six sons. His name was chosen to be Grant Zebedee Mc Ewan. Well, when his dad got up to bless him in church, he blessed him Grant Dee. It may appear his father did not want him to be nicknamed Zeb. His dad may have not liked the name Zebedee. Zebedee was the name of Grant’s mother’s father.
When Grant was born his Mother had three children in hospital beds in the living room of our small farmhouse. Sister Norma our oldest sibling told that Grant was often not receiving attention since mother had her hands full caring for the three ill children. Floyd one of the twins and Raymond seventh member of our family both had Rheumatic Fever. Raymond died at age twelve. A drunk driver in a bad snowstorm killed Dean the oldest son. Joann, the third to be in bed, had a disease called St. Vitis Dance, whatever that is. It was later though she may have had a version of Rheumatic Fever.
Grant was the Ring Leader for three little sisters, Mary Margret (Midge), Carolyn and Thelma. He was a very fun loving brother and a leader in having a good time. We were the only kids that we knew in our little hometown that did not have to go to evening church. When we four decide to stay home Grant would make his version of candy called “Cow Brittle.” It was sugar and butter stirred in the frying pan until it caramelized and at that point he added vanilla. He then removed the pan from the stove and poured the brittle into a butter plate to cool. When the four of us were home without our Mother and Dad, our leader Grant would conduct another party with a taffy pull. We all had a good time laughing and joking.
Grant was an organizer and leader to make fun happen. He rounded up the neighbors for “hide and seek”, “kick the can” and also cut our hair. He gave us some good haircuts. Later we all three became hairstylists our older sister Norma, also became a hairstylist. Grant initiated a spook alley for Halloween with electricity to shock up with the help of the twins. He also was very popular in our school especially junior high. He had about six of his friends over for hair cut “Mohawks”, and I mean shaved head with a strip of hair three high down the middle of their head. Then he dyed them all black. It was so creative to have all six look so perfect. My mom got a lot of calls from the five or six mothers, who did not appreciate those wild cuts with shocking black top fan styles on their sons.
One of the inventions of Grant’s was a homemade parachute made from an old silk dress. He wanted Margret to try it out by jumping off the roof of our garage. Well, he made a crash pad out of an old mattress and two layers of trailer house cushions. Well, he jumped first and then it was my turn. Now she took a breath and jumped. Well, she hit a bit off center of the cushions and landed on the ground. It cracked her ankle bone and that ended parachuting. Grant may not have tried it again, but surely they were told to not continue the free fall with an old silk dress or whatever he made the parachute out of.
During the summers Grant and Margret always wanted to earn money. They were hired to pick cherries. Grant had a plan. He would climb the cherry trees bend the limb to a low level so Margret could strip them. They were fired the first day. Rolley Cherry Farms in Payson are still in business. Mr. Rolley was our home teacher from church.
Grant was so popular Margret said she did not have a name for the first year in Junior High. She was Grant’s sister and she felt that was so good to be his sister. He was so popular and some of the most popular girls had their eye on him. Some were from the best neighborhood where the rich kids lived. They came to our farmhouse one day to see the Mc Ewans. Even though they probably came to see Grant… Margret was flattered. They certainly had their eye on Grant.
One student Margret was friends with in Junior High was very popular and attractive. She dated a handsome young man from Mexico. Grant told her to not be a friend of hers because she and her boyfriend smoked pot. It was shocking in those days. Grant was caring and concerned for his sister’s well being.
As a very disciplined boxer, Grant trained faithfully. It was very impressive to watch his dedication to be the best. He worked out at Gene Fullmer Gym and was a state and national Champion. His punching bag hung in the basement just right under the first TV set we had upstairs. It seemed that it caused a problem with sound or picture while he beat on the bag. He was the “Rocky” of the little town in Orem. The Mc Ewan family was all so proud when he won in the national finals that lead to him representing the USA in Mexico City for The Black Diamond finals. However if a group circled around a school fight it was Grant or his good friend another amateur boxer Gary Brown.
At the Junior High dances since Margret was shy and a wallflower, Grant would dance with his favorite and on the second dance with Margret. He would trade a dance with whomever she had her eye one. If it were not for Grant she would not have gone to a second dance.
Grant and Margret studied ballroom dancing for a year Margret was in eighth grade when Grant was in ninth. Their dance instructor was an expert and left the next year to dance in Las Vegas Shows. They learned the Tango, Waltz, Samba, Mambo, and Cha Cha to name a few. It was fun for them to be invited to join a semi private class. Tuesday night dancing was a very specially memories. Margret’s friends all had boyfriend for dance partner, Margret had a very good brother.
Floyd and Lloyd had a private detective agency. The Dover Protection Agency. They dress in blue gray uniforms and had black patrol car they flew to Detroit to buy. They were 26 years old when they began this first of its kind business in Utah County. It was most impressive to see them. Grant had possession of a smoke bomb, where he got it no one knows. He set it off at the big rival football game at Lincoln High in Orem. He was living with Lloyd at the time. The detectives hired to investigate the crime were Dover Protection Agency, Floyd and Lloyd. Your imagination can decide the rest of this story.
Grant was always certainly a ringleader and had many friends and in looking back he was creative. He could draw cartoons. He had the talent to be a good Artist. He played the drums for about a year. Then boxing became his sole interest.
Other stories of Grant were when his pigeon flock annoyed our father. We were at church and our father decides to get rid of the white blotches on his car. The flock of Pigeons that rousted in the big garage was Grant’s pets. He enjoyed them and hoped to have a trained messenger flock. His dad was not very happy when they splattered car with gray and white droppings. One Sunday as the family returned home from church the pigeons had been shot and father Mc Ewan wanted Grant’s mother to fix pigeon pie for Sunday dinner. It was a sad day but as all crises on the family farm everyone lived and went on to other tasks and activities.
We all loved our brother Grant.