An Interview with my Grandparents – April 1, 1996 for my Health Class at Utah Valley State College by Heidi Witney Murray
Contributor: kcrossno Created: 4 months ago Updated: 4 months ago
One Sunday I spent the afternoon talking with my grandparents. I asked them questions regarding their past and they were more than happy to answer. We had talked for more than two hours and we had a wonderful time. I found out a lot of things that I never knew about my grandparents.
My grandpa Frank was born and raised in Springville, Utah, and was the only boy of five children. He is 76-years-old. His father was a janitor and he had helped him throughout his early childhood sweeping and cleaning school buildings. He lived on a farm with milk cows and chickens. He would deliver the milk throughout the town. He did this until he was enlisted into the army at age 19. He had joined the National Guard to help pay for his lunches while attending B.Y.U. He was paid $1.00 a week.
He never really had childhood diseases while he was younger. He had mumps, and measles, but he has always felt fine. He was very athletic. He ran on the track team, played football, which later got his a scholarship to B.Y.U., basketball, and wrestling. He actually started the wrestling program at Provo High School, while he taught Biology, Geology, and Latin American History for thirty years. My grandpa also worked at the Pipe Plant for thirty years to bring in some extra money to pay for doctor bills when my father became sick, and to provide for the family. He was taught by his father that you must eat everything that was on your plate or it would go into the fridge for the next meal and you couldn’t eat until it was finished. And he believes that is a good idea. He says that now people throw away a lot of food. When he was growing up, they didn’t have very much. He said that he knew when things to tough, his family had onion soup.
My grandpa enjoys hunting, fishing, camping, rabbit hunting, farming, traveling and just keeping himself busy. He likes to fix things, and keep himself active. He walks to his farm, gripping his hands, and tries to walk all the way up to his house without stopping. He feels like he is in good shape or better than those of his same age. Every morning my grandpa goes down to Chevron gas station with four of his buddies to get their daily Pepsi.
What my grandpa sees as the key to a long and good life is to have good work habits. “You have got to want do to something.” A good mental attitude. If he could live his live over again my grandpa says that he would change his vocabulary for church speaking. He believes that it is truly a community weakness. Another thing that he might change if he could, is that he was asked to go on a church mission. He didn’t know if he wanted to go to the National Guard of go on a mission. He believes that by not going on a mission that it added to his lack of vocabulary. If he was given another chance, he might go on a mission. He would like to go to New Zealand, because that is where his family is from.
My grandparents both discussed of the times when they would go dancing. All summer long Utah County had dancing on Wednesday and Saturday nights. Dancing was their main recreation. They would go in groups and dance with many different people the entire night. They said it was how they got acquainted with others. My grandpa stressed how children don’t know how to have fun today. They spend too much time in front of the television and they don’t know how to dance. They said that the television has taken over the family life.
My grandma Ramona grew up in Pleasant Grove, Utah. She had a large family of eleven children, but they were very close. They would all sleep upstairs where their house didn’t have any insulation. You could even see your breath because it was so cold. Their mother would take a two-quart bottle and fill it with boiling water, wrap it in a blanket and put it in the end of the bed to warm it up. They had their own farm with chickens, cows, and pigs. They had their own wheat, and they would make their own butter. They had 106 acre farm where they spent most of the day picking fruits and vegetables, and would bottle them for the winter. They would use the money they got from selling the produce to pay for tuition, books and clothing. They raised their own sheep and used their wool to make blankets for their beds. He father was a Super Intendant and enforced educational studies at home.
Grandma mentioned how they didn’t have a lot of the medicines as we do today. Ever since she was young, she has had many health concerns. She has had an extreme case of rheumatoid arthritis, which she feels lucky that she was able to take care of her four boys. They made their own recreation in their family. Her mother would play the piano, her father played the guitar, and her brothers played the harmonica as they sat on the porch singing and dancing. They would ride horses in the summertime and play games such as hide-and-go-seek, and run-sheepie-run. In the winter they would go sledding, and ice-skating. When it was time to bathe, her mother would put a big round tub in the kitchen and they would all take their turns. They would have one bath a week, on Saturday nights.
My grandpa sees that they key to a long and good life is living the gospel and keeping the Word of Wisdom, eating the proper foods and getting plenty of sleep. She said that if she could liver her life over again she wouldn’t change a thing.
My grandparents have a wonderful marriage where they were able to raise four healthy and happy boys. They have had a wonderful life together with many experiences to share. My grandma and grandpa are two wonderful people who I love and admire very much. They have taught me so much throughout my life. Through their experiences I have learned much more about them and the way life was when they were younger.