1986 Gordon Newell Deakin journal entry
Contributor: SouthPawPhilly Created: 2 years ago Updated: 2 years ago
Yesterday, January 12, 1986 Marie and I gave a talk in Sacrament meeting - she on testimony and I on the history of Elijah Fordham. When I awoke this morning I felt it was about time I start to put down on paper something pertaining to my life.
I was born Dec 24, 1917 in Bingham Canyon, Utah to Robert Price Deakin and Agnes Maud Householder. My mother would tell the stories of when I was a small child I would take the plate I had been eating on and turn it up side down on my head with food on it. I don’t know of course how often and how I would pull the ashes out of the stove on to the floor and on to my lap. She said she would put me in one piece coveralls in the morning and then in the afternoon when she got me down for a nap another clean pair.
Our house was built on the side of the hill in Bingham Hegland Avenue with the bottom part having enough room for Dad to stand up in and to put his powder boxes, and other wood in, which he would bring from work at the Utah Copper.
He was a powder monkey which they would call the men who worked in the powder department. They would drill holes in the solid rock and put dynamite in the holes to break up the rock so it could be put in rail road cars and hauled away.
We didn’t have newspaper to start the fire in the morning so Dad would take his pocket knife (the night before) and make shavings out of wood from these powder boxes, leaving enough wood at the end so when the shavings were burnt the wood would take hold and get the fire going.
There was not room enough between our houses to park our car between so our garage was out in back and down the hill from the house, also our outside privy.
I remember we had a bath tub and a big water tank that stood in back of the bedroom door, the water was heated from the water jacket inside the fire pot in the stove.
There was a family who lived below the hill from us whose wife’s name was Mrs. George Christopherson. She was kind to me, and Mother would tell the stories of when I would slide down the hill on the path that men covered with ashes and she would call to mother and tell her to send down some clean cloths because she was giving me a bath.
One day she threw some old corsets out in the garbage and the boys put them on and played in them. Mrs. Christopherson was a person who would like to dress fancy with her fur collars, etc. This same day she was going to Salt Lake on the Bingham stage, and all the kids dressed in these old corsets run down to see her off and howler “bring us some candy”.
Also I remember this women who bought me a cute checkered suit, and I recall us going to see her in the hospital when she had cancer. They had a boy by the name of Louie who was about the same age of my older brother Norris.
Mother also would tell the story of the time when we went down to the railroad depot and made some smokes out of some cedar bark and I came home and told my mother “Gordie had a moke”, telling on my brothers and of what we had done.
There was a laundry (Royal Laundry) down on the main road from us and how us kids would walk across the plank over the soapy water coming from the laundry. (I can smell soapy water yet) My sister LoRee and her girl friend Cellin Tobison worked in this laundry, and when the whistle would blow at noon the old dog laying on front porch would howl.
We would buy our milk from some people whose name were Chandler. They had a rock wall with a wood fence on top of it to keep dogs, people, etc. from coming in their yard. We would have to hang the empty lard pail on the gate and then go back later and get the milk. Also if we knocked a ball over the fence we would have to go to the house, which was a large one, and get permission to get the ball back.
One day us kids heard that one of the horses had broken its leg and we all ran down to watch them shoot the horse.
We had a neighbor who lived close to us in the alley by the name of Ross Merritt. He had a Black Smith shop down on the main road below Charleys store, we kids would like to watch him shoe horses and make different things in the shop and at his forge.
Dad had all of his children nick named. LoRee was “Nags”, Bob was “Dutch”, Norris was “Tuff”, Max was “Mick“, Lola was “Dode”, I was “Moke”, Irene was “Dollie”, and Don was “Kid”.
Mother did not seem to have time to do fancy crocheting but I remember her sewing new souls in our socks when they would wear out.
Dad sold our home in Bingham to Forrest Adams for $1,000 dollars when we moved to Berg’s ranch about ten miles from Heber, Utah on the Provo River. This was 1923 or ’24. His brother-in-law, Jack Berg, owned the ranch which was very run down when we moved there. This was a new experience for all of us moving from a mining camp onto a farm where we had plenty to do and a lot of room to do it in.
Dad worked hard trying to make the ranch go, digging ditches, repairing fences, clearing the ground for hay crops, etc. When we were living there LoRee and Guy Beckstrom came to live with us. Guy had been working in the mines and had got sick. The doctor told him to get in the fresh air. He would take cod liver oil which came in bottles shaped like a cod fish, and brown in color. While he was living there he and Dad built a grainary to store the grain. It was made out of green lumber and some of the nails Guy and Dad found in a barrel and when they brought them home and opened the barrel they were bent and rusty but they used them anyway.
I had a hard time keeping my feet dry so they bought me a pair of rubber boots that came up to my knees and had a red band around the tops - there was springs of water around the place and you know how hard it is to keep children from wading in water.
We had a man come and stay with us, he would help cut wood and work around the place. I don’t know what his name was, but we called him Scottie.
Oh so many tales we could tell about, I better get along with the rest of my life, but this experience of living on the ranch was really one of the highlights in my life.
We moved to American Fork, Utah in 1927 and Mother was sick with what they called the Milk Leg. She was expecting my youngest brother Don. He was born Oct 17, 1927 in American Fork.
Dad went to work for Utah Copper Mines in Bingham and drove back and forth from American Fork. When they bought the new Dodge Car, Mother was not in favor of it, because it had glass windows in the doors. She said if we ever got in a wreck with the car, we would all be cut to pieces and she had a habit of hanging onto the door by the window.
We moved to Bingham Canyon, up Freeman Gulch where we lived in a house that seemed to be damp and the walls had moisture on them and the family had a lot of sickness. The outside privy set over a muddy creek and was awful drafty. Dad worked in small mines that the Utah Copper owned.
One day he came home from work and told us they had a new home in Copperton, Utah so we moved down there. This was about 1929-30.
I would like to tell of the one outstanding experience while living there. The men worked seven days a week so there wasn’t any men to take care of the Sunday School. Austin Loveless and myself were assistants to Ray Larson, who was the superintendent of the Sunday School, and this kept the three of us very busy taking care of the Sunday School. We were Priests in the Aaronic Priesthood at the time. I remember I paid my tithing to William Sparks who was the clerk of the Bingham Canyon Ward. This was in 1931. This was before we met in the Copperton Grade School for our Sunday School.
It seems I was always busy cutting lawns, taking Van Christian’s Greyhound dogs for exercise for ten cents a hound, or selling candy and ice cream at the ball games. And I had a paper route that got me up early in the morning. The papers had to be put behind the screen door and the door, no throwing them like now days.
Dad begun to get sick so they sent him down to work in the Copperton park and he got sicker and sicker. He was given the job of taking care of the furnace that heated the water for the Green house for the flowers that they planted in the park and around the Superintendents house etc.
Dad could not lay down in bed and sleep. He would sit in a reclining chair that had arms on it and put his head on the arms trying to get some sleep.
He worked in the mines for years and years and in those days they would drill the holes to put their dynamite in to blast. This would cause a lot of dust and breathing this caused him to get silicosis and he died in April 1937. They about killed him taking him to the hospital because he could not lay on his back. The ambulance had little clearance between the stretcher and the ceiling so he could not sit up.
Mother had a struggle trying to make a go of it after Dad died until she died.
She was a wonderful Mother and if I owe any one for how I was taught it is her, and the example she set. She was a great person. The best yet.
I got a job working for Utah Copper and started to work on June 1, 1937 on the track gang and in the precipating plant and was working there when I was placed on the paint gang in 1939.
I met Marie Clements in August 1939 through a blind date my sister Irene arranged. We had a good courtship from 1939 to 1941, when we were married, such as trying to teach Marie how to drive - running over mail boxes along the side of the road. And going ice skating on Utah Lake and going off the side of the road and getting a farmer with a team to drag us back on the muddy road, and the fun times going to shows and roller skating at Park-Ro-Shay.
One night Marie’s aunt (Aunt Lil) needed a ride to Gunnison, Utah. It was late when we started but later when we got back to American Fork and 4:00 a.m. when I got home and got chewed out by Mother for being so late and having to be at work at 7:00 a.m. that morning.
After Dad died Max was still home but got married. Then I started to pay the rent on the home in Copperton.
One year they a had work shortage and I was laid off, but by having to pay the rent I was called back to work for ten days unloading railroad ties from box cars. When I got my pay check it was very small because they had taken a months rent out of it.
When Dad was alive he never took the family back to Wellsville, Utah to show us where he lived. He was born there on April 19, 1877 but ran away from home when around fifteen years old. This has seemed strange to me.
Marie has kept a beautiful record of our lives and children since we were married, if you want to know more, read what Marie has written. Just write “Me Too” at the bottom.