Life Story of Harry Gale Washburn
Contributor: amrsith Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
By Elma Washburn and Velma Boothe Revised and submitted to https://www.familysearch.org/ by Karen Ziegelbauer Boothe.
Harry Gale Washburn was born on 27 May, 1924 in the Fremstead Hospital in Burley, Cassia County, Idaho to Harry and Catherine Miller Washburn. He was their second child and son. Harry and Catherine’s first child, Billie, was born on 7 September, 1918. Billie died of pneumonia on 28 July, 1920 in Meeker, Colorado. Gale was a happy, laughing baby and his parents enjoyed him very much. The family moved to Oakley, Idaho for a short time and then they moved to Fruita, Colorado. In Fruita on 5 March, 1927, Harry’s younger brother Robert Junior was born. Kate loved her two little boys. One of her favorite times of the day was when she rocked and sang to her sons. Around 1930 the family returned to Oakley. It was there in Oakley that Gale and Bob started elementary school.
Harry worked at nights at his father in law’s pool hall. In their free time the family would go to some hills nearby for picnics and to fish. The Washburn home was the Miller family gathering place on holidays and to celebrate birthdays. The family made homemade ice cream and would spend hours talking and singing. Kate was an enthusiastic pianist who wanted her boys to learn to play the piano as well. So Harry bought her a piano. Gale took lessons until his mother died, at which time he lost interest.
Harry and Kate and Bud and Alice (Kate’s younger sister) were close companions and their children had lots of fun playing together. Young Gale learned to play pool at a young age and enjoyed that game throughout his life. He most likely had lots of opportunities to play since his father worked at a pool hall. Some of Gale’s fondest memories are of the family when they lived in the old brick home. The boys played the usual childhood games of marbles, cops and robbers, and cowboys and Indians. Most of their toys were mostly homemade. These toys included flippers, wooden clothespin guns, and stick horses. They also played baseball and rode horses.
In the early 1930s Kate became very ill with cancer which spread rapidly. Harry took over caring for the boys. Sometimes Kate would prepare a picnic lunch and go with the family to the hills. She did this even though she was not feeling well. It was important for Kate to see that her family had fun. During the last few months of Kate’s life, the family moved into a little log house which was located on their property so that Kate’s parents could move into her home in order to take care of young Gale and Bob.
In the fall of 1937 Harry and the boys went to California to live with his brother Gene and his wife Nora. While there the boys attended school. Aunt Nora was their teacher. The school was one where all the grades met in one classroom. Gale and Bob loved it. “Puppy love” hit Gale twice while he was in California. His two loves were a blue eyed blonde named Audrey Sheeran and a brunette named Beverly Scott. Harry and the boys took trips to Los Angeles and Boulder Dam. Harry and the boys were in California for two school winters before returning to Oakley for the 1939 school year. In 1939 Bud and Alice had moved to the Collister place which was about a quarter of a mile away from Harry’s home. The boys had fun running back and forth between the homes. Alice helped a lot with cooking and washing clothes for Harry and the boys. When Harry went back to California in 1939, Gale and Bob stayed with Uncle Bud and Aunt Alice so they could attend school in Oakley. When Harry eventually got a job as a ditch rider for the canal company in Oakley, the family was able to settle down permanently. Gale and Bob were able to attend school in Oakley during the rest of their growing up years.
Gale always loved dogs and horses. Once when he was out riding with his friend Swede Anderson and his brother Bob, Gale reached back with his hand and put it under the horse’s tail. This made the horse buck. Gale grabbed hold of the saddle strings. But the saddle strings broke and Gale fell off, breaking his arm. Gale went home not acting like he was hurt at all. He gave Aunt Alice a kiss. She was ironing in the kitchen. Then he walked into the bathroom. He kicked a bathroom wall, hollered, and went back out to tell his Aunt Alice that he had fallen in the bathroom and hurt his arm. He said that it felt like it might even be broken. Gale staged the whole scenario because he was afraid that he wouldn’t be allowed to ride again if the family found out what really happened.
When Harry was still working in the tavern, Gale would help his father clean the building.
When living with Uncle Bud and Aunt Alice, Gale and Bob helped out doing small chores. As Gale grew older he was able to help feeding pigs and milking cows. He helped in the hay fields and in the fall, he picked potatoes. As a teenager, Gale herded cows for neighbors. In the mornings he would go on horseback herding the cows and taking them up above the canal where they could graze. In the evenings he would herd the cows again taking them back to their owners to be milked.
Gale said that he enjoyed the years spent with Bud and Alice. Many evenings were spent with everyone gathered around the piano. Aunt Alice played the piano, Uncle Bud played the banjo or guitar, and everyone sang. They played pinochle, pulled taffy, and ate homemade ice cream and cake. Family and friends joined these parties. Gale learned to play the guitar. His favorite music was played on the guitar and his favorite songs were the ones he sang with his Dad. He wrote the words down to most of the songs he sang with his Dad. Gale’s most favorite song was “There’s a Long, Long Trail A-Winding.” Gale also loved “Happy Days are Here Again,” “Side by Side,” “Silver Haired Daddy of Mine,” and “White Christmas.” Gale’s favorite sacred song was “Silent Night.”
Gale enjoyed being with the Anderson and Poulton families while he was growing up. His closest friends were Boyd Poulton, Swede Anderson, Glenn McMurray, and Wilford Harris. His favorite activities were riding horses, hunting, and fishing. He spent a lot of time fishing with his Dad, his brother Bob, and friends Glenn McMurray and Wilford Harris. One of the biggest thrills of his life happened when he was a boy. He was hunting with his Dad and Bob when he shot a big buck. He was eleven or twelve years old at the time. When he got older Gale enjoyed reading. He enjoyed reading western novels. Zane Gray was his favorite author. His favorite Zane Gray novel was Thirty Thousand on the Roof. Two of his favorite movies were Paint Your Wagon and Gone with the Wind. Gale loved to eat. He especially loved rib steak, shrimp, bread pudding and apple pie.
Throughout his life Gale enjoyed learning from his Dad, Uncle Bud, Osmer Lowe, and John Clark. In high school, his outgoing and fun loving personality became apparent. His favorite sport was basketball. He was an excellent student excelling in spelling and in welding. Gale showed great leadership when he was president of his junior class.
Gale fell in love with Elma Port in his sophomore year. Elma was the daughter of Garnet and Juanita Port. She is the only girl Gale dated in high school. They started dating in February, 1941. His greatest joy was marrying Elma. Throughout the years Gale became good friends with Ariel Hardy, Jay and Theo Elison, Jerry Stanger, Bill Wells, Glenn McMurray, Russell and Gene Port, Bill and Doris Port and Stack Buenrostron. Stack was a Mexican who worked with Gale in Montana and who later moved to Oakley. The personal trait that Gale admired most in people was honesty. His advice on how to live successfully he said in one word which was “work.” That was a lesson he felt he had learned. He did a good day’s work each day and he treated every man fairly. When asked if he had any regrets, he replied, “Yeah, I regret that I wasn’t a millionaire.” The counsel Gale wanted to leave his descendants was to tell them to look 50 years down the road, prepare for the worst, and to save for the best. This would prepare them for whatever happened. He wanted his family to be honest in all their dealings and to treat all men fairly.
Gales Life Sketch by his wife Elma Port Washburn, February, 1982
Contributor: amrsith Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
Revised and submitted to https://www.familysearch.org/ by Karen Ziegelbauer Boothe.
“When I was asked to write this life sketch I wondered what I could say that would leave a lifetime impression on our children of their father. Our fathers are so very special to us, and Gale made his own impression on his family. A kinder, more loving, tender hearted man never lived.”
We were only 16 years old when I first met Gale in high school. We walked to school at that time. Later, the school buses started to run down my way. Gale would run to the corner by Lewis Elison’s and ride the bus because I was on it. Gale refused to take “No,” for an answer when he first started asking me for dates. After two months I finally gave in and said, “Yes.” He gave me a small box of chocolates and a Valentine card in February, 1941. We were out on the lawn of the high school when he had asked me to go to the dance. I was very shy and didn’t know what to say. But I did say, “Yes.” I thought he was a smart aleck, but I soon learned different. He wrote many love notes to me in high school. He also gave me a wink and a smile between classes. I still have some of the letters and poems he wrote to me. We dated all through high school. He never dated anyone else. Gale and I always had fun wherever we went. He was always so attentive to me.
Gale never did ask me to marry him. He just told me that I was going to. He said. “You’re mine and nobody else’s” Gale said that if he didn’t ask me to marry him, then I would never be able to say “No.” We were married on 24 December, 1942 in Burley, Idaho by Judge Tucker. We stayed with Aunt Alice and Uncle Bud the week we were married and on until sometime in January. We went to the Christmas dance in the old Rainbow Hall. Glenn McMurray had the orchestra stop playing and without us knowing beforehand, he announced our marriage. Then he had the orchestra play the all popular song introduced by Bing Crosby that very month, “White Christmas.” It became our favorite song. We were honored and were asked to waltz alone on the dance floor. We were both surprised and afraid as we were both kind of shy. My folks and Aunt Alice and Uncle Bud gave us a wedding shower in February at the Third Ward Church house. I still have pieces of crystal, lace doilies, scarves, and pillowcases that were given to us at the shower.
Gale then went up Goose Creek and stayed until New Year’s Day. He froze his nose and ears while riding about 20 miles on horseback. He came down at the end of January then went out to the George Poulton Ranch at Warm Creek to feed cattle with Kelly Poulton. After the shower in February, I moved out with Gale. I cooked, kept house, and helped the men feed the cattle. When feeding, Gale drove two teams and wagons four and a half miles once a day. We led one wagon behind the other. Gale enjoyed this job that he had with Kelly. Sometime in March we moved back into Dad Washburn’s house and set up housekeeping with Dad and Gale’s brother Bob. My Dad and Gale’s Uncle Bud worked on the Work Projects Administration or W.P.A. during the winter we were married.
Gale has always treated me and his family with the greatest love and respect. He has always been so good to us and so thoughtful of his father with whom we lived. Later his father lived with us for many years. Gale was attentive and helpful when our children came along. He was always very loving and affectionate. My sisters would ask me how lucky I was to get a husband who loved me so much. Gale never believed in acting one way at home and another way when out in public. I always respected him for that. His family has always been first in his life. As more children came along, we needed more room and time. Making a living was hard. The economy had still not recovered from the Great Depression. After 14 years in Dad Washburn’s house, Gale and I bought the home from Grandpa Fred Miller which we remodeled. The only part that we remodeled ourselves was tearing part of the old house off. I helped more than Gale because he was farming in Kenyon at the time. I helped hold up wall board, put in insulation, and I nailed floor boards. The children all helped with the plastering, sanding, and painting. Jack and Nip Erickson, Denver Altom Ray Sagers, a man from Burley, and my brother Bill all worked on the house. My brother Jerry built the wishing well out in the front yard. Our children needed room and more children kept coming. And we welcomed them with love and open arms. In 1954 we moved into a larger home which we bought a year later. Making a living became even harder, demanding more of Gale’s time. He worked at a variety of jobs including cattle feeding, bartending, sheepherding, farming, and working in construction. He sometimes drove truck even though his main job was farming. Gale dug ditches with a shovel and put in dirt dams whenever they washed out. He put up hay by hand with the help of his team and wagon. He topped and loaded beets by hand and he also picked potatoes by hand. Gale was working from four in the morning until ten at night. He would sleep out on the ditch bank and change the water every three hours so that he could conserve the water. The demanding schedule started to show on him. It got so hard that he decided to sell all of our milk cows. He also got rid of all of our animals. Even though Gale was exhausted at night, he always played with the kids. He strummed his guitar and sang all the old songs his father had taught him. Our younger children never knew the long hard hours of farming and other work that their father did before they came along.
During his life Gale had chicken pox, pneumonia, a broken nose and a broken arm. He also got Q fever and was ill for a month. Gale’s Aunt Alice also contracted the disease at the same time as Gale. The treatment for Q fever in those days was to take a strychnine prescription. Even though Q fever is a disease usually contracted from cow’s milk or being around cows, Gale and Alice had no such exposure. Fortunately, they were the only two people in Idaho to contract the disease. Gale was hurt when a mule kicked him in his right arm. This caused a lot of pain when the fat, muscle, and ligaments were pushed up to his elbow. Gale’s arm was sore for a long time. He decided to get rid of the mule! In 1965 Gale had a carcinoma removed from his lower lip. Late in 1966 during an examination the doctor found a white piece of flesh that Gale kept biting on the inside of his lower lip again. Gale had a wedge shape of flesh removed from the lower lip. Within a year Gale found a lump on the left side under his jaw. A biopsy was taken and it was found to be cancer. The family took him to Salt Lake City where a Dr. John Clark and his partner took out all of Gale’s lymph glands on the left side. Although it was an extensive surgery, Gale did not have to have chemotherapy. He did have checkups every two weeks, then once a month, and then once every three months for the next five years. With the help of God, skilled doctors, and a lot of faith and prayers, Gale licked that battle and put it behind him.
Sometimes in the middle of life a man has to make a decision about what he is going to do for the rest of his life. This was so with Gale. He gave up farming the 15,000 acres that he, Ariel Hardy and Jay Elison had in and around Kenyon. Large corporations had almost ruined the country’s little farmer of which Gale was one. He had to find something else to do. For a while, Gale took many trips to California to the Corona Dairy Farms where 9,000 Holsetin cows were milked each day. However, he spent most of his time driving truck. He started truck driving for W. B. Whiteley. Gale ended up spending about 25 years as a truck driver. Over the years he hauled cows, sheep, horses, gravel, stone, lumber, hay pellets, machinery, wheel lines, sprinkler systems, salt, potatoes, and frozen and fresh onions. Gale traveled millions of miles often taking some of the children with him. I went with Gale on some of the trips as well. Those were cherished times spent with Gale. The family did not spend a lot of money on food or motels but we always seemed to have fun. Gale would sometimes drive 20 hours before stopping to rest. Sometimes he would sleep for two hours before he would start driving again. When he got home, he would shower, eat, sleep, and get back on the road. His family did not know how he kept that schedule. Gale said that driving across the Nevada desert at night was tiring. One time he and I drove to New Mexico, back to Nevada and Utah, and into California all in one trip. They had three very close calls on that long trip but were kept safe with the hand of the Lord. Gale would save his lunch money and buy the children watermelon, cantaloupe, or something else he knew they loved. He wouldn’t eat until he got home at ten or eleven so that he could eat with his me. He always sang in the truck as he drove. He taught all of the children the songs that his Dad had taught him. Gale knew that I loved big rocks and brought some home from about ten different states. He brought me a beautiful rock from the bottom of the Green River in Wyoming. Some of the rocks were so big that Gale was hardly able to lift them. He hauled stone to almost all of those nine states. We have seen some of the stone that Gale hauled used in the building of banks, motels, hotels, and retail stores. Gale and I brought the very first wheel line into the Oakley Valley from Nebraska which Winslow Whiteley put on the Mitton place. Gale and I worked on the Mitton farm from when the ditches were dirt until the time that they were cemented. The wheel line brought progress to Oakley! On one of his trips, Gale was leaving Seattle on a very busy day when two ton pallets of stone slid off the truck. The pallets splattered all over, sending stone and wood everywhere. Gale had to keep driving because of the traffic. He thanked God that no one was right behind him to get hurt. This was one of several close calls where no one was hurt. Even though truck driving was sometimes scary, and involved long, tiring hours, Gale said that it was one of his favorite jobs because it allowed him to be his own boss which gave him a sense of freedom.
Gale enjoyed social and community events. He participated in several of Oakley’s July 24th celebrations. He was in the posse, he was a rodeo gate watcher, and he was even the chief cook at the rodeo stand one year. For about five or six years he took care of the calf roping chutes. It was a job that he enjoyed. Gale had a variety of interests. He won a trophy in bowling. He was an exceptional potato grower and he produced 26 ½ ton of beets per acre which was better than average. One year Gale even had his picture in the sugar beet book.
Gale and I have had so many wonderful experiences with our children through the years. We had seven children, four girls and three boys. The eldest three were born in Oakley. Connie was born 1 December, 1943. Kate was born 3 June, 1946. Harry James or Rusty was born 30 November, 1948. The last four children were born in Burley, Idaho. Clifton was born 12 June, 1953. Bobby was born 19 May, 1955. Lorrie was born 9 September, 1956 and Terrell was born 4 January, 1959. One special trip the family took was to Meeker, Colorado to visit Gale’s older brother’s gravesite. Gale’s father went also. While there we put a headstone on little Billie’s grave. Another time, our family drove the station wagon to Yellowstone Park and up to Montana. The station wagon was pretty full with nine people, the cooler, bedding and suitcases! All the motels were full so we spent the night in the lovely home of an older couple. The couple had planned a vacation as well but postponed it a day so that we could have a place to stay. It was something that this couple often did as motels were scarce in that area. We drove to Salmon, Idaho where we fished and camped along the Snake River. Then we drove to Stanley where we got two motel rooms. Breakfast was at a cafe every morning. Lunch and dinner was always prepared around a campfire. We drove to Red Fish Lake where we fished once again. Then we drove to Sun Valley where the children could swim and play. Young Terrell and Lorrie kept the family busy as they were about two and four years old at the time. We were gone for a week. The children played well and had lots of fun together. They also were well behaved while eating out, making their parents very proud.
Gale went deer hunting every fall with his sons, his father, and his father in law Garnett Port. It was a time the men looked forward to. The families joined in celebrating Christmas together and also for family reunions. Gale usually helped at Thanksgiving by making the dressing. He loved choke cherry jelly and pumpkin pie for Thanksgiving dinner.
When Gale was younger, he went to the L.D.S. Church with his friend Glenn McMurray. One Sunday the boys asked Gale to help them pass the sacrament forgetting that he was not a baptized member of the L.D.S. Church. As he passed the sacrament a man told him that he was not allowed to pass the sacrament as he was not a baptized member of the Church. This embarrassed Gale and turned him away from the Mormons for many years. However, he was later baptized the year his son Cliff was born. His brother in law Llewellyn Port baptized him in the old L.D.S. Stake Tabernacle on the hill on 31 March, 1951. Gale was 27 years old. Gale held several church positions. He taught baseball for two years to the young men in Mutual. He taught in the ward, he worked in scouts, and he served as second counselor to Bill Whittle in the Elder’s Quorum. Gale and I have had several experiences that have given us the assurance that Heavenly Father watches over us and answers our prayers. The family’s choicest experience was going to the Idaho Falls Temple 4 March, 1964 and being sealed together. Only one child was missing from the sealing. The family stayed the night before at a motel by the river where we could enjoy the beautiful view of the temple. That day, a group of 35 people, the largest group ever, participated in doing ordinances. The family went to the temple at four in the morning and didn’t get done until 4 in the afternoon. The younger children were starved because we hadn’t left them any money to go to the temple’s cafeteria. Gale said to them on the way home, “It’s been a long hard day, but I know we have all done the right thing.” I said, “All we pray for now is that our other child to join us someday. We love our family very much and want to be with them eternally.”
All of our children married and moved into their own homes. Connie married Ray Barnes. They had a farm in Ephrata, Washington. Their oldest child was a daughter whom they named Tully Rae. Kate married Marcus Williams and they lived in Burley. Marcus was a mail carrier. Kate worked occasionally in real estate. Kate and Marcus had two children. Troy was the eldest and his sister was Heather. Rusty started serving an L.D.S. mission in 1968 in Michigan and Indiana. After his mission, Rusty married Connie Hinton. Rusty and Connie lived in Bellevue, Idaho where Rusty worked in the glass business. Their two oldest children were Stefanie and Seth. Cliff married LaReen Schofield. They had a son whom they named Aaron Coleder. Cliff and LaReen later divorced. Cliff later remarried. His new wife was Lyn Butler. During their marriage Cliff was a farmer in Oakley. He became a ditch rider like his father. Cliff and Lyn had three children. They were Bree, Meagan, and Anna. Bobby married Hollie Parish. Their oldest child was named Clinton Gale. Bobby and Hollie lived in Oakley where Bobby also farmed. He also had a job spreading phosphorus ammonia. While they lived in Oakley Bobby and Hollie lived in the old Garnett Port home. Lorrie married Larry Busby to whom she had two sons before getting divorced. The boys were named Joshua and Lukus. Later Lorrie moved to Los Angeles where she worked as a secretary in a law office which represented clients in the film industry. Terrell married Bryon Gorringe. They lived in Oakley. Bryon was also a ditch rider. He was also a jack of all trades. Their oldest children were Hailey and Sonne.
As Gale got older, he had a few years of poor health but he eventually got better. It seemed that he always looked forward to spring and the work it would bring. If there was enough water in the canal in the spring, Gale would farm their land. When the children got older and left home, Gale started working less and less. He continued to cut and haul wood with help from me and two of our grandsons, Joshua and Aaron. Gale said that it was in the peaceful quiet mountains where he felt closest to God. He also continued to raise and feed his sheep, turkeys, geese, chickens, Guinea hens and dogs. He kept playing his guitar and always seemed to be humming a tune. Gale also loved to read Westerns and books from the “Book of the Month” club. He did the dishes once a day and he even finished a quilt.
Gale’s philosophies on life were to always look ahead and to prepare for the worst, love with all your heart and always be faithful, be honest in your dealings, give a full day’s work for a full day’s pay, and always help those in need, especially the very poor. It was not unusual for Gale to hire and help men who would not otherwise be hired. Every Christmas Gale would ask me if I was going to bake something for him. He always took my baked goodies to the poor lonely bachelors in our town, even to those that did not belong to our church. It was something Gale loved to do.
Gale always gave of himself with patience, love, a smile, and a song in his heart. He often stood quietly by willing to help and hoped that his children would consider his help and advice.
His loving, charming ways, and winning smile had helped his family through their hard times.
Gale had good parents who are sure to be very proud of him. He has honored their name and has magnified his calling as a husband, father, and grandfather.
Contributor: amrsith Created: 3 years ago Updated: 3 years ago
From Gale Washburn’s children, Alice Miller Hobdey, Bob Washburn, Velma Jean Wells, William Wells, and LuDean Wells Compiled by Velma Boothe Revised and submitted to https://www.familysearch.org/ by Karen Ziegelbauer Boothe.
March, 1982 Connie Washburn Barnes
I’m so thrilled to be honoring Dad this year. There’s so much I’d like to say about him but I don’t know where to begin. The very first thought that comes to my mind is my love for my father. My heart could burst at times when I recall the very special memories of him when we were growing up. I guess the thing I appreciate most about Dad is his undying love for Mom and his kids. He has never been afraid to tell us how much he loved us and he did this all the time. He showed it in uncounted ways. Dad’s honesty stands out vividly in my mind. When we were to be punished, we would rather have had a “licking” than to have what us kids called “Dad’s chastising.” This is how it went. We were taken outside or into another room where we would not be heard and the slow deliberate talk would begin. Dad would ask: 1. Do you know what you did wrong? 2. Why did you do it? 3. Do you understand the effect it had on others? 4. Do you know how you disappointed your parents? 5. You are no better than your word. If your word is no good, then you are not trusted, respected, etc. Be proud of who you are, be honest and you’ll never lack for respect and love from others. Then he would tell us that he loved us and hoped the matter would never come up again. We always got a big hug and a kiss which usually brought us in tears. Believe me. I got those talks a lot! Dad would never bring up our indiscretion again. But at the dinner table I could never look at him knowing how disappointed he was in me. How powerful his chastising was if you had a conscience!
Another memory along the same line was “eating all the food on our plate.” As the rest of the family would leave the table, whoever had any food left, would sit at the table with his or her plate in front of him. Dad would go and get his favorite book. He would make himself comfortable at the head of the table and say, “We have all night. I’ve got a good book and your food is still warm, so I’d eat it now if I were you.” He would look up once in a while and say, “I see, it’s still there, is it cold yet? You know it won’t get better if it’s cold. Your Mom went to a lot of trouble preparing the dinner. Let’s show our appreciation by eating it, O.K?” Well, because of that, there’s nothing I don’t like to eat except OATMEAL! Dad’s got soft though. When they were up in Washington with us, I left my daughter to clean up her plate. As soon as I turned my back, Dad drank her milk and cleaned her plate. Then they both sat there with the same silly grins on their faces. Speaking of grins, Dad’s is the BEST! He is always so happy. He was always whistling or humming as he worked. You could even hear his singing above the sound of tractor motor. He always blew us a big kiss whether he was leaving by horse, tractor, car or pick up. He blew us a kiss even if he was only walking out to change water.
Another cherished memory I have is when I went deer hunting with Dad and Grandpa Washburn. The very thought that me, a girl, could go hunting, was overpowering. While Dad was cutting up the deer, he told me how mountain men would clean out a deer or elk and then climb inside so the carcass would shield them from blizzards and keep them warm. I helped Dad carry out part of the deer. I loved that trip. Although the hunt was exciting to me, it didn’t measure up to the campfire stories the men told.
I also have fond memories of going up to the creek, fishing, camping, sitting around the campfire singing, gathering wood, gathering pine nuts, having picnics, and getting Christmas trees. These memories are special to my husband as well. He loves my Dad dearly.
I’ll tell one more experience. Mom and Dad had worked for days in our old house, putting in a new green and white tile floor in the kitchen and living room. Mom waxed it until it gleamed. You could see your reflection in it. Then Mom went to Burley leaving Dad to watch us. He sat in the living room in the rocking chair and read. My siblings and I put on our roller skates and skated from the kitchen to the living room and back to where Dad was sitting. We did this all afternoon. When Mom came home and opened the door with groceries in her arms, she screamed, “Gale why weren’t you watching the kids?” Dad jumped up and said, “I was! They were as good as gold while you were gone.” Then he saw the terrible marks on the new floor. I felt so sorry for Mom. But the kids weren’t the only ones on their knees with S.O.S. pads wiping the black marks off the floor; the baby sitter also joined in the clean-up.
My Dad’s strength and help to others as well as his children is very much a great lesson I learned from him. He would help anyone at any time. How I miss not being able to hear him sing and yodel. “Here’s to you, Dad. I’m so thankful to my Heavenly Father for sending me to the most wonderful parents on earth. I love you!” Connie
March, 1982 Tully Barnes, a granddaughter
I remember the time when I was sitting at the table with Grandpa and I didn’t want to drink my milk. So Grandpa drank all my milk for me. He would also eat my food that I didn’t want. He would let me drive when Mom said not to. And he would sing songs to me. He would let me take a rest when I mowed the lawn. He also helped me with my horse a lot. I really love my Grandpa. He’s the greatest grandpa any could ever have. “I love you, Grandpa!”
July, 1982 Kate Washburn Williams
How can I put in written words what my Dad is to me? My Dad is and always has been the moon and stars and all things GOOD to me. I remember being with him looking over his beautiful crops and straight rows. I remember the fun we had on camping and fishing trips where Dad showed so much love and patience to us. I dearly remember our trips to the Alfresco Drive-In. On hot summer nights we would always stop at the A&W Drive-In for cold root beers and hamburgers. We’d take a blanket so all of us kids could sit on the hood and watch the show, but I don’t remember how our parents saw it?
Dad gave me appreciation for the beautiful, God given blessings in life. He used to sing to us by the hour and now I find myself singing my kids to sleep. He helped me with my drawing assignments for school and I returned home with A’s.
There are so many times when I remember why I love my Dad and I thank God for giving him to me for this life and for letting us be sealed together for all eternity.
“I love you the mostest, Dad!.....Kate.”
July, 1982 Harry James “Rusty” Washburn
My father has always been very young at heart and fun to be around. I remember from my earliest years waiting very impatiently for Dad to return from work. Dad has always been my best friend. He has never been critical of my failings. He has tried to encourage me in any worthy attempts I have gone after.
When I was eight, I started working for Dad and his farming partner. Dad always gave me hard work to do knowing I could do it if I would only try. I have always been grateful to Dad for this. I have always been very proud of my father for the hard worker he is. Dad is very proud and secure in his talents and abilities. I think the respect and high regard that other men have for Dad is one of the greatest tributes a person can enjoy during his life.
One humorous event happened when I was ten or eleven years old. Dad dropped me off at a beet field where I was to shovel corrugates and irrigate all day. Later in the afternoon, I started looking for Dad and was getting a little nervous about changing the water alone. After what seemed hours, here came Dad. I had started changing the water and was having trouble. Dad jumped out of the truck and then he jumped the cement ditch losing his balance. After recovering, he jumped back. This time he slipped sideways and fell over hitting his head on the cement. I ran over to help Dad who was able to drag himself out of the ditch. He cussed. Then told me that he’d tell Mom how it all happened. He sure drank too much of that artesian water that day! I bet he saw a few artesians instead of stars for a while after that.
I praise my Dad for the sacrifice he made in behalf of his family. If Dad had only wanted to have two or three children, he would have ended up a wealthy man. Fishing and hunting trips have always been a highlight of my youth. With the many fond memories I have of my father, I could go on much longer. I do want you those of you who know me or my Dad, to know and understand that he is a prince among men. He has always been the inspiration for me to strive to improve myself that I might be like him. I admire and seek his character traits that have given him the success he’s enjoyed as a loving and abundantly loved father. My Dad’s personal pride and quest to be better has been a banner and blessing throughout my life. The many lessons Dad taught me when I was young, I remember and use often. I think my biggest regret is that I haven’t found a way to get the ranch that Dad and I would have jointly longed to work and enjoy. I don’t want this to become drawn out, so I’ll end by saying that I pray my children will and enjoy me as I do my father.
June, 1982 Clifton “Derf” Washburn
The things I remember most about my Father are the happiest times of my youth. I can remember just about every time I went with my Dad. He brought good times for me and my brothers when he was farming. He made working and growing up very interesting. I remember the many neat trips we went on as a family as well as all the trips I made with Dad when he was driving truck. I can remember just about every opening day for the fishing and hunting season. He taught us (I think), nearly everything there is to know about hunting and fishing. He also taught many things to my sisters. I admire, respect, and love my Father for this. There’s so much to say about my Dad but most of it can’t be said on paper. “I love you, Dad!!”
July, 1982 Robert W. Washburn
Some of my fondest memories with Dad would have to start when I was very young. We often went cottontail hunting with our black dog “Nig.” This was one of my favorite activities. I remember when we all went to Yellowstone as a family. I never thought my Dad could be scared until a bear tried to shake hands with him through the car window. I loved the hunting and fishing trips more than anything. Dad is an excellent shot with a rifle. I always loved Dad’s cooking when we were on those trips. He was especially good at making Budweiser pancakes. I also loved eating the fresh deer steaks that he cooked.
Another favorite experience was when I got to go with Dad in the truck. I not only learned how to drive the truck but I learned from the best there is! My father was an excellent truck driver. I think I enjoyed trucking with my Dad because I could skip school and Dad didn’t seem to mind the company. It never failed, just as I’d start to doze off, Dad would start singing and yodeling. You would have thought that we were sitting in the front row in the Grand Old Opry.
Christmas time was a very special time for me. Dad would sing and play the guitar. This would get us in the Christmas mood. There were so many good times with Dad that I can’t mention them all. “I love my father and mother more than anything and want to thank my father for all that he taught me and some that he shouldn’t have. (Ha.) Dad, I’m looking forward to many more good times and fond memories in the years to come. Love, Your son Bob.”
May, 1982 Lorrie Washburn Busby
“This is to the most wonderful father a girl could ever have. Dad, I am so grateful that I have this opportunity to tell you how much I do love you. I’m not sure if I will be able to be with you when you read this, but my heart will be there. ”
When I was a young girl I felt my Dad was my best friend because he always understood me and now that I am 25, I still feel the same way. My Dad is a great person who had stood beside me, no matter what I’ve done. He has always been there when I needed him. No matter what I’ve wanted to do in life and what mistakes I have made, he has always believed in me and has understood everything. Anyone can tell you that my Dad is a rare person. Unlike so many people, he as always managed to see the good in others. I remember him telling me that no matter what someone has done to hurt you, you should always strive to see the good in them and not the bad, because there is good in everyone. I know that this is why my Dad is loved by so many people.
I have always wanted to tell my Dad so many things. I know that life is too short to keep telling yourself that you will do it tomorrow. I think that what is most important today is that I let my Dad know that I do love and respect him for the man that he is. Dad, I hope you will always remember the love that I have for you and I want to tell you today that I am very proud and grateful that I am Gale Washburn’s daughter. Also, Dad, my sons have a grandfather that they will always remember and love for the many days you have spent with them. You have taught my sons the many things that I have never found the time to teach them. Dad, I wish we could be with you every day. But just remember that our love will be with you every day of our lives. We love you so much…you and Mom both. Lorrie, Josh and Luke
June, 1982 Terrell Gorringe
I remember my father for his quiet and gentle way of disciplining. He gave his constant assurance that let me know that he had confidence in my every move. He had a peaceful happy spirit which he brought with him whenever he came home.
A child at heart, a man of might
A father of the rarest sort
Not many can compare, some might have more hair
But otherwise fall short.
Dad always had an abundance of patience with his children and his animals, no matter what kind of day he might have had.
Dad’s gentle ways and patience were never ending,
His helping hand was always lending.
I used to feel so proud when I would sit quietly beside Dad on the bank of a creek waiting for a fish to bite. What made me happiest was knowing that Dad really enjoyed having me, or any of us beside him.
I used to sit beside my Dad
On the bank of a creek,
Just waiting for a fish to bite
So I could go and get a drink
Or on the road to California
Miles away from home
Just stopping for a bite to eat
And I forgot my comb.
But it didn’t matter to me
What anyone might think,
As long as I was with my Dad
I didn’t care if my hair was pink.
I know Dad enjoyed taking me
When he traveled in the truck
His only regret was my appetite
On his return home, he never had a buck.
No matter what kind of day he had
He always came home whistling
Met with good news or bad
He would just go on whistling.
That’s my Dad
A smile on his face
Love in his heart…
And ever, ever caring.
My Dad is a true example of living, loving, and sharing. I love you, Dad, Terrell
10 February, 1982 Bob Washburn (Gale’s brother)
Gale, Swede Anderson, and I had a lot of fun together riding horses when we were young.
I remember the first horse Dad bought for us. The very first day we came running down the road from the canal bridge towards Lewis Elison’s house on horseback when we fell off. The fall broke Gale’s arm. We didn’t want Dad to sell the horse so we made up a story. We said that we were playing cowboys and Indians at our house when Gale slipped on the bathroom floor and broke his arm. It was several hours before Dad came home and took Gale to see old Doc Sutton. But Gale never let on like it hurt him much until Dad got home. We never told Dad the truth until several years later. He thought it was funny then.
We got a full sized pool table out of the tavern somehow and set it up in the front room of our home. Almost every kid for miles around came to our house to play.
Gale went to Hawthorne, Nevada and worked at an Army Depot in 1941. When he came home he brought a 1929 Model A car which he gave to me. I figured he was about the neatest brother a guy ever had.
Going to school in California was a real blast. Aunt Nora Washburn taught all twelve grades in the same room. The big kids helped the little ones and we had a really good time. Gale fell in love around age thirteen or fourteen. The girl was Audrey Sheeran. Gale took me along on their dates because he was so shy. There wasn’t a girl my age (I was eleven then) so sometime Audrey’s older sister Marjorie went along as a companion for me. She was seventeen.
After Gale was married, I went into the U.S. Coast Guard. We were never around each other enough to be what you would call “close” and for that I feel really bad. “I would like to tell Gale that I really love him and that I hope we can be better brothers to each other for the rest of eternity.” Love…Bob
February, 1982 Alice Wells Hobdey (Aunt)
Gale and Bob were both good students in school. They were too young to do many of the chores when they first came to stay with us, but they were always good to help around the house. Gale loved to hunt and fish. When his Mom was alive, the family used to take a picnic lunch and go fishing nearly every Sunday. Gale played pool from the time he was big enough to reach the pool table as his Dad managed the pool hall. Gale would play pool while his father Harry cleaned the pool room. One time Bob, Gale, and Delano Anderson made a huge flipper. They took an inner tube and fixed it in the crotch of a tree. Somehow it didn’t work like they thought it would and Bob got hurt. I can’t remember Gale getting any serious childhood diseases. When the boys lived with us, our family did get the chicken pox. Each one of us took turns coming down with it which made it seem like we had the chicken pox all winter.
Gale herded cows for people in town. He would go take the cows out every day and then take them back every night. His horse bucked and threw him off, breaking his wrist. He was afraid we wouldn’t let him ride the horse anymore. Once when the kids were still very young, I heard them all laughing out by the road. I went out to see what they were doing and they each had a straw and were blowing tadpoles up until they would pop open. We ended that in a hurry! We always had our holiday dinners at the Washburn family until my Sis died. After that, I took over. One spring around April when the water had just been turned back into the canals and it was still extremely cold, the boys went swimming. I just happened to go outside when I saw them standing on the canal bank. They were stark naked and cold as the dickens! I just knew that they would get pneumonia. Of course I tattled to Uncle Harry and he got after the boys. Luckily, they never even caught a cold. When Gale went to Seminary, the Callahan boy would always snitch the sack of candy out of Gale’s back pocket as they walked into the classroom. To solve this problem, Gale and I fixed up a special “candy” concoction and covered it with Hershey chocolate. The following day Gale took it to school leaving the top of the sack sticking out of his pocket. Just as the boys went in through the classroom door, the Callahan boy grabbed the sack. Then he took a hand full and put it in his mouth. He soon headed for the door. He never bothered Gale’s candy ever again!
Gale has always liked to play the guitar, sing country songs, and yodel. He was always good to mind and respect us. He was always a loving affectionate boy. As he got older, my love grew for him. I received many hugs and kisses from him when he lived with us. Even now when he comes to visit, I still get my hugs and kisses. He has been a good father and provider. We dearly love him and wish we could see his family more often. Love……Aunty Alice
May, 1982 Velma Wells Boothe (cousin)
I remember playing cowboys, Indians, and outlaws with Gale, Bob, my brother Bill, and the neighbor kids. We would ride daringly and bravely on our stick horses. Dad and Uncle Harry whittled out wooden clothespin guns for each of us. We would hide behind the couches and chairs and shoot at each other. We did this for hours.
Gale loved good food and my Mom always set our biggest platter at Gale’s place at our Thanksgiving and Christmas table. Gale received a lot of good natured kidding about it but it didn’t hurt his appetite one bit. We all helped with the dishes after these meals. When the dishtowel got good and wet, Gale would flip us kids and even Mom with it. He could really make it pop and sting! Gale would also tie Mom’s apron strings in knots when she wasn’t looking.
Both Gale and Bob were very protective of me when we walked to and from school and while we were at school. The boys named me “Femmy.” I was very shy and backward about joining in the games at school. One day some kids teased me because I didn’t know how to jump rope. I came home crying. Gale and Bob spent that entire evening and several evenings after, teaching me how to jump rope. This included me learning how to run in and back out while they turned the rope for me. They also practiced jacks with me and helped me learn to ride a bicycle. When Bill and I were young, about five and seven years old, Gale taught us how to smoke using a straw. We got straws from the straw stack and lit them. The flames came up through the straws and into our mouths. Thankfully, we only tried this once. The rest of that day we spent chasing Gale around the farm. He had fun laughing at us.
I remember that Gale from childhood up to the present has had a cheerful zest for living and has had a contagious happy laugh. Gale gets a “kick out of life” and his joy spreads to those around him. His ever ready smile and laughter brings gladness to my heart. Gale loves music. Even today, I can picture seeing him strumming his guitar, throwing his head back with his famous grin, and bursting into song. “I love him like a brother.” Love ya, Gale…Velma
March, 1982 William (Bill) Wells (cousin)
I remember when Gale used to let me ride on his shoulders when we’d go out to “drown out” gophers or to catch chipmunks as there wasn’t room for any more than three on the horse and Bob and Elmo Elison used to go too. Gale was always my protector while I was in grade school.
When Gale broke his arm, he came into the house singing as always. Then he headed straight for the bathroom. When he came out he said that he fell on the tub and broke his arm. His horse had bucked him off and he was afraid that Uncle Harry would sell the horse if he learned the truth.
I’ve walked lots of miles from the head of Wilson Gulch to little Birch Creek following Gale deer hunting. Gale likes to hunt and fish. We’ve hunted lots of deer together and we even went out looking for mustangs once. I worked for Gale before I went into the army and a lot after I got out. He was real good to get along with and lots of fun. He was always singing when driving to work.
It would take me a week to write all the experiences we’ve had together. Gale has always been an honest and hardworking man. He has raised a good family and I love and respect him.
“He’s always been a big brother to me.” Bill Wells
March, 1982 LuDean Wells Prentice (cousin)
Gale was married and gone before I was old enough to remember much. I hardly even remember him living with us. I do remember when the team of horses ran away with him and how scared we all were. I also remember a time when Gale got so sunburned that he got sick.
I don’t remember him ever being mean or cross. He always was happy and full of fun. I remember when they would go swimming in the canal. Mom never wanted me to go because I couldn’t swim. One day Gale talked Mom into letting me go. I wrapped my arms around his neck and hung on like a leech. He swam all over with me hanging on his back. I remember the knife and fork fights we used to have at the supper table. Those fights didn’t please Mom too much. I wonder why?!! When Gale and Elma were married, they used to come to the school dances. Gale was a fantastic dancer. He would get a girl on the dance floor and twirl and twirl. At one dance, Gale came and asked me to dance. I told him that I couldn’t dance like that. I was a lousy dancer. He laughed and said, “Sure you can. Just climb up on my feet.” So I did and away we went, round and round all over the dance floor. I don’t know how I ever stayed on his feet or how his feet felt by the time the dance was over. I’m surprised it didn’t cripple him for life. I love to hear him sing and to hear him laugh. His laugh is very special to me.