History of Leslie Ann Wigington Blauer
Contributor: finnsh Created: 4 years ago Updated: 4 years ago
Leslie was a cute baby, but very determined from the start. Some nights she would not be able to sleep so Mom would have to stay up with her. Her older brother Mike liked to get up early and hear the birds sing, and her younger brother Kelly liked to stay up late and play. That meant Mom didn't get much sleep.
Leslie liked to be pretty and from the time she was tiny she was so good to sit and let me put curlers in her hair. At first she would sit in the high chair and let me put in just one or two on top, then as she got more hair we would make ringlets. She would let me do it every morning. We had some old fashioned metal curlers that she would leave in her hair for as long as it took to dry.
Having three little kids under three was a pretty busy job, but there was so much fun with the little ones playing together. There used to be a brand of shirts called Buster Brown and mom liked to buy matching shirts and Levis for the kids and dress them alike. This went fine until Mike decided he didn't like the twin effect.
The Christmas of 1964 we took a trip to California to see Grandpa Lester (Bud) and Grandma Norma Wigington. Grandma had moved down there for health reasons and we wanted to see her. Leslie had been wanting a Barbie Doll for Christmas but Mom and Dad talked her into a Skipper doll who wasn't quite so feminine. However when Leslie got to California Grandma Wigington had bought her a Barbie and Leslie loved her the most. Leslie played with her for four or five years and then one day she heard an advertisement on the television that said if you take your old Barbie doll in to one of the stores that sells Barbies they will trade you for a brand new doll. Leslie was determined to trade her doll even though mom wanted her to keep it. One day Mom gave in and took her to Kings toy store. Mom was dragging her feet thinking she could discourage her on the trade but even though she was only five or six years old she found a clerk and asked about trading in her old Barbie. Before mom knew it the trade was done and she had a new doll.
While we were on our trip to California we took the kids to Disneyland, Knott's Berry Farm, Mexico, and Marineland. Leslie saw a little comb and mirror set at Marineland that was so dainty and cute. When she saw it she wanted it and was afraid we wouldn't let her have it. She kept after us until the purchase was made, and she kept it on her dresser for years. That trip was fun and we didn't get back to California again until she was about 17 years old. On that trip she had her drivers license and after we left the busy streets of California she started to drive. Dean, Kelly, and I fell asleep and when we woke up she had driven nearly across the whole state of Nevada while the rest of us were sleeping. Bam was visiting with her and all went well.
March 24, 1967 she had her appendix out. She had been having a stomach ache and the doctor thought maybe that was her problem. Kelly had had his out just a few months earlier. She went through her surgery great and was bustling around in a couple of days.
When Leslie was 7 years old she wanted an easy bake oven. That was a child’s small toy that they could pretend to cook with. Dad said if she was going to cook she could use the real stove so for Christmas she got a little hand mixer and some easy to fix mixes. Leslie began cooking and soon was into fixing food with recipes. She cooked for her brothers and for their friends. The house was always smelling of cookies, cakes, muffins, or other goodies to tempt the friends.
About a year later she wanted to learn to sew and she joined a 4-H club. As usual, she threw her heart and soul into it and when she was asked to do a demonstration she worked hard on it. She got a blue ribbon on her demonstration at the fair and had a chance to take it to the Blackfoot fair where she got another blue ribbon. Her demonstration was on how to operate a sewing machine. After her 4-H experience she wanted to make her own clothes and little by little she made things she could wear until she was making long dresses and even made one to wear to the prom.
She loved to baby-sit and tending kids was her passion. There was a family with three little kids and she loved to stay with them. She’d leave early in the morning and tend way into the night, fixing all of their meals, reading to them, playing games and running the house. The family she worked for loved her and she wasn't much more than ten or eleven years old.
When she was fourteen years old she would help my sister, Cathy Lewis Pope, who owned a motel. At first she just tended the kids when Cathy was busy, but eventually she learned to tend the office, wash the linen, scrub walls and bathrooms, and just take care of things when Cathy was going to be away.
She loved to have things clean and when she was home she could clean mom’s kitchen in a flash. Any time she cooked she would clean up her mess and leave the kitchen better than she found it.
Since Leslie didn't have a sister she always wanted to be where the girls were. She played with Bonnie Burgoyne, Marion Rowland, and Cathy Candland. They didn't always get along, but they usually could work out their problems.
Kelly and Leslie were born only thirteen months apart and they always had fun together. They dated each other’s friends and ran around together quite a bit. One Halloween Kelly and Leslie begged to take the car to Paris and spend it with one of Leslie’s friends, Terri Atkinson. Dean told them they couldn't take it because it had just been painted and he didn't want anything to happen to it. After much coaxing and promises of not running around they got the car and went to Paris. Later that evening we got a phone call. Kelly said someone had put a big rock in the road and he didn't see it and ran over it and now the gear wouldn't shift. The story was okay with Mom and Dad until about a month later when the mother of Leslie’s friend mentioned that it was too bad to ruin our car by running over a tombstone. Then the case was reopened and Kelly and Leslie had some repenting to do. The 'tombstone' was in actuality a large rock placed at the corner of the road in the cemetery.
Another time her boyfriend let her take his car while he was at work. He hadn't renewed the plates yet and told Leslie not to go far with it. She thought it would be nice to give it a wash job. She was driving around waiting for it to dry off when she saw the cops had set up a road block west of town. She immediately turned around and headed home and the cops followed right behind her. She didn't get a ticket but the cop was our neighbor and he sure gave her a bad time for the rest of her life.
At seventeen she applied for a part time job at Kings and ended up working full time. She worked all the summer of her Junior year except for a trip our family took to California. During the winter she continued to work there after school. Because one of the schools in the area was condemned the school had switched to a split session. Leslie would go to school at 6 a. m. and then when school was out at noon she would go to work at Kings and work six hours. Mom was working too and would pick her up at six and they would come home together and fix supper. Leslie could fix a meal out of nothing and in no time she would have it ready to eat. When she left home she took her recipe collection and left Mom with very few recipes. Besides working at Kings she taught a 4-H class one summer and would have the girls come to class on her day off. The classes were fun because she always had games, treats, and instructions.
She had a big thrill one day when she and Kelly went to the tabernacle in Montpelier and picked up President Ezra Taft Benson to come to our house for dinner. He came to dedicate our new meeting house in Montpelier and while Dean was in meetings and Mom was busy putting the finishing touches on dinner Leslie and Kelly took care of President Benson who was president of the Quorum of the twelve at the time.
After working at Kings for a year and a half she had saved up enough money to pay for her first year tuition and her housing at Ricks College (now BYU-Idaho) in Rexburg. She called one day from school and said, "Mom, I've only been at college 2 days and I have spent all most all of my money on books, housing, and tuition. She did manage to have money left over by the end of the school year and bought herself a sewing machine to take to her new home when she got married.
At school she lived at Old Pine View Apartments and roomed with five girls she didn't know. These girls had all gone to school together in Logan and were close friends but it didn't take long for Leslie to become friends with them and they all had a good time cooking for the boys who were looking for a free meal at school. The girls were Kerrie Kartcher, Julene Cooper, Gail Grunig, Cindy ?, and Sandy ?. They stayed friends for the rest of her short life and kept in touch as often as they could.
After Leslie’s marriage she worked hard at being a good wife and mother. Her house was always clean and decorated with memorabilia. She would make curtains or hang plaques on the wall. When she got a brand new home of her own she took the greatest care to hang antiques and pictures on the wall. She had a special place for each of her kids accomplishments and special things that each one did. Her children were her greatest joy and she cared for them first, last, and always. She took a job cooking at the school so she could be home when the kids got home from school in the afternoon. She taught them how to work and then worked right along with them so they all had fun. The only time she ever left them was at her untimely death at age 41. After a routine heart valve replacement surgery, she unexpectedly went into cardiac arrest in the recovery room and never regained consciousness. Nevertheless, she stayed alive long enough for her two sons to get to the hospital to be at her side before she passed away.