According to this book, Dad was a little boy, too: Memoirs of Marvin Lewis Taylor
Contributor: timothygcross Created: 8 months ago Updated: 8 months ago
Questions by: Meredith Ryan Taylor
Answers by: Marvin Lewis Taylor
Transcription by: Michael Evan Taylor
Marvin Lewis Taylor began writing his responses 1988.
What was the worst practical joke you ever played on anybody?
When I was about nine years old I did some work at a small carnival in Springville. I was paid 50 cents for my work. Naturally, I couldn't resist spending some of the money. I bought a small radio type device that had a button on it. The words printed on the cover were “push this button and hear a load speaker.” In the center of the button was a pin and when the button was pushed it pricked your finger.
I showed the device to my Grandmother Taylor who was about 78 at the time. She pushed the button and yelled a load, “ouch” when the pin pricked her thumb. At the time I thought it was funny and began to laugh. She then said, “You little devil.” I guess I was, with this practical joke. As I grew older I realized what an unkind trick it was.
What are some things you would like to do (1988)?
I plan to buy an Apple II GS computer and learn to use it to update my genealogy and then be baptized or do the endowment work for any names which have not had their work done for them.
I would like to tour church historical sites, the Holy Land and the important places of musical history in Europe.
I would like to organize and conduct a symphony orchestra for the Latter-day Saints in Orange County and sing in the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.
What was your favorite adventure when you were a little boy?
We didn’t get to go many places. One summer my parents allowed me to with my first cousin, Boyd Smith and his parents to the Uinta Mountains. We went to Vernal, Utah and Mirror Lake in the Uintas. I visited an Indian Reservation and saw lots of wild life. I remember being especially impressed with seeing live deer, particularly a large buck with big antlers. I saw the Green River from a bridge.
It was a real adventure just to travel so many miles from Springville to Salt Lake City. My parents took us one time to Liberty Park, This Is the Place Monument and Hoagle Zoo. I can remember when I was only four or five years old also visiting the zoo and seeing a baby elephant, Princess Alice who later died and a monument was erected in her memory. Another trip later on was made when I was ten and we visited the Salt Lake Temple grounds and the state capitol building. It was a wonderful experience to visit so many things in such a big city and to even ride on escalators at Z.C.M.I.
What are your favorite animals?
I grew up with lots of dogs and cats. My favorite dog would have to be a golden cocker spaniel. The last dog I ever owned was called Ginger. She lived from the time I was nine years old till shortly after I was married to Marilynn. We were married about two years when Ginger passed away. I would have been about 25. So Ginger lived to be 16 years old. She was half Golden Cocker, and half Brittany Spaniel.
What were you scared of when you were a little boy?
I was afraid of places that were dark. We had a big dirt cellar underneath our house where my parents stored bottled fruit, vegetables and coal. I use to have to go down some cement steps with a little coal bucket and coal shovel to get coal for a coal stove. There was no light, only the daylight above. Later my dad installed a light. I use to have nightmares that I had to go down through a series of caves underneath the house and there was a witch who was waiting to trap me.
I was always scarred of heights, particularly in the mountains. I was always afraid our car would go over some of the narrow roads.
What are some things you like to think about?
I always have loved pictures of nature with beautiful mountains, lakes, streams and waterfalls. I love to think about my family and their accomplishments. I like to think about great heroes of the Bible & Book of Mormon, but I especially like to think of the Savior and his ministry. I think about these things when I listen to beautiful relaxing music. All of the above is summed up in this poem:
There is peace in the security of loved ones, in the serenity of nature and in the sound of beautiful music, but this peace can pass away, while the peace which He gives abides forever.
What are some things you did this year?
This summer I went with Myron to Ontario, Oregon to see my father who is in a nursing home in the town where my brother Ron lives. Our car broke down in Bishop, California and we had a 24 hour delay. On our way back we took Highway #395 through Oregon & California and saw many beautiful lakes and scenery.
I painted the trim on the house. We had a cement drive-way poured. I helped Myron install a sprinkler system. I attended a band directors marching clinic for three days in Riverside. I went on two scout trips with Matthew, one in San Diego to see the Mormon Battalion Monument and also to Lost Valley Scout Camp. I taught the High Priest Group in the Huntington Beach Third Ward. With Myron, Marc, and Meredith, I sang in a male quartet for Sacrament meeting the tune “Nearer My God to Thee.”
What are your talents?
I have always been blessed with a memory that would recall facts, names, numbers, scripture and poetry.
The Lord has blessed me with the ability to teach. I have always been able to prepare lessons, especially in the church that inspire others. However I have always tried to teach by the Spirit.
My teaching ability has also carried over into music, especially working with private students. As of 1988 I have taught privately for 30 years.
I have been blessed with the ability to touch the hearts and souls of others through the expression of music as a performer on clarinet, saxophone, flute, oboe & bassoon, all the woodwinds. I have also been blessed with the ability as a conductor to inspire or bring out the best in both instrumental and vocal groups. As a boy I had a beautiful solo soprano voice. I am now a bass and have a good voice for group singing but not an exceptional solo voice.
What is your favorite pastime?
I like to play the piano or classical guitar, read the scriptures and church books.
I like reading novels if I take the time. I am not a fast reader, but retain all that I read. I love going to the library.
I like to listen to music: tapes, records, or radio and also listen to talk tapes that are uplifting.
I like to talk with family and friends especially when we share a fun activity together.
I used to love fishing when in Utah. I still love going for drives or walking out in nature such as Huntington Beach Central Park.
What is your favorite food?
There are many; I guess I like to eat! Roast beef with mashed potatoes and gravy, and sweet corn on the cob. I love to eat and make pizza. Salads are not only good for you, but I like all different types of salad. I love fresh tomatoes from the garden. I have always loved fruit especially freshly picked: grapes, peaches, nectarines, navel oranges, pears, apples, bananas.
Ice cream has always been one of my passions. One of my favorite things to do with my Dad was to share a chocolate malt or other types of shake.
German Chocolate Cake and Pecan Pie are some of my favorite deserts as are Banana Cream or Coconut Cream Pie, especially Marie Calendars. I’ve learned to like things with a taste of lemon from my mother, but at Thanksgiving you can’t beat a homemade pumpkin pie with whipped cream.
What did you give your dad for Fathers’ Day when you were little?
We generally made projects in primary. I can remember making him a foot scraper out of bottle caps nailed to a board. Dad used it a lot as we had about 500 chickens and you had to scrape your feet every time you came out of the chicken coop. When I was a paperboy I earned a Remington electric shaver by getting over fifty starts from the Provo Daily Herald. This was a real sacrifice to show my father that I loved him. Dad used it a number of times, but preferred to shave with a safety razor with blades. I got this for Dad when I was about 14 to 15 years. Eventually I ended up using it. Dad said all I needed was a cat to lick my whiskers off with it’s rough tongue.
What did you send in for box-tops when you were little?
Everything under the sun:
• A Captain Midnight Decoder that allowed you used it to decode secret messages from the radio show sponsored by Ovaltine.
• A Sky King Ring. The ring glowed in the dark and had a magnifying glass, ball-point pen, a mirror that allowed you to see behind you and a secret compartment.
• A “Kirk” Atomic Bomb Ring which had a secret compartment and a spinthariscope which allowed you to see atomic energy flashes being released through radiation.
• I also had a glow-in-the dark arrowhead with a built in compass from Tom Mix.
Who were your pals?
One of the first real friends I had was Gary Milton. He was a little older and always stopped other kids from picking on me or teasing me. He moved Oregon and sent me letter which I treasured as a child.
My first cousin, Cal Taylor was also a good playmate whenever I visited my Uncle Frank’s. He gave me a stalactite, stalagmite and a fossil and some petrified sea weed. He was very small for his age. His mother, Aunt Eliza, who was a sweet kind women died when he was nine, and I was always felt sorry for him as he was worked so hard like Cinderella.
Lyle Maynard was another good pal. He was always a foot taller than I, but we had a lot of the same interests; magic tricks, music, science experiments, just playing kids games and also indoor games together. His parents were friends of my parents and we grew up as friends when we were little and graduated from high school as friends. Lyle’s father Cecil, “Ceese” was quite a bragger and Lyle’s only fault was he followed after his father in this regard when it came to bragging.
I really had lots of friends growing up as I tried to be a friend to everyone. Richard or ‘Dick’ Gardner was involved in both the church and school band. He was a trombonist and played in my dance band. His father was my science and English teacher in 7th grade and also played trombone. We were pals through both junior high & high school. At Brigham Young University he got into a fraternity and he got a swelled head for awhile. Twice however, after he got married, he told me that he always had a high regard and respect for me and that I had influenced his life. One time was just a year ago when we had to see my dad’s home. Dick was in charge of our 30 year high school re-union. He is an architect and the father of ten children.
Jimmy Irvine was another friend who played piano and we shared a lot of time together, especially picking cherries. He had hay fever so bad that his eyes would swell shut.
Gary Carlin was a year older than I was, but he was a great friend in all church activities. I always admired his father who got his Eagle Award the same time as Gary and his younger brothers Lynn, who was a year younger than I. Mr. and Mrs. Carlin were always like a second set of parents to the teenagers in the Springville Fifth Ward. We had many get-togethers there & they always had a smile and something good to snack on anytime we would drop by.
Brent Packard was a year younger and from a wealthy family; his dad was the president of the Springville City Bank. He was a great trumpet player and was my lead trumpet player in my dance or jazz band. He was like Marilynn’s friend Carol Crockett. The fact that his parents were well-to-do and he lived in a big fancy house never went to his head. He had a funny laugh, which made you want to laugh. He was great to have around and could always bring you up in spirits.
What were your favorite winter games?
I loved my sled. We had a large hill next to the Third Ward chapel in Springville. It was on the corner of Main and Center Streets. Today it has been filled in. The hill at the bottom was next to “Hobble Creek” so we had to be careful and steer clear of the stream. Sometimes we were pulled behind a car with ropes, but this was dangerous and later was against the law. We sometimes grabbed onto a bumper and hitched a ride, but I only did that a couple of times. We built forts and had snow ball fights.
At elementary school every one loved to play fox and geese. Building snowmen was always lots of fun. We would break icicles off the side of the roof or chicken coop and use them for pretend daggers or swords (some were three feet long or more).
*Hobble Creek was the first name given to Springville. Some explorer sent out by Brigham Young had one of their horses loose its hobbles in the creek.
What was your favorite holiday?
Christmas was always a magical time of year, especially when it snowed. We always picked a live fresh cut Christmas tree. I was especially fond of blue spruce, even though the needles were sharp. Mother always made Christmas special. She decorated with special ornaments, decorations that she bought with money she had made. She always would swirl the angel hair over the bulbs on the Christmas tree to give it a fairy or lace like effect. Santa Claus and the story of the Christ Child’s birth were of equal importance. I have always loved to read Christmas stories, real or legend, and especially am always moved with the beauty of Christmas carols and popular Christmas music.
Next to Christmas, the second best holiday was Independence Day, with patriotic ceremonies, parades in Provo and Springville, activities on the park and of course, carnivals and fireworks.
What were your favorite summer games?
As a child we played cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians and Robin Hood. We saw lots of black and white cowboy movies so they were some of our heroes, including Roy Rogers and Trigger (his horse), Gene Autry, The Durango Kid, Red Ryder, and Little Beaver who was an Indian Boy. From the comics we pretended to be Superman or Batman and Robin. Tarzan was also one of my favorite hero’s.
I love to go swimming at Park-Ro-She (pronounced shay) and hiking in the mountains. I especially loved fishing in streams. These were some of the most memorable times spent with my father was in fishing in the canyons at Hobble Creek or Diamond Fork at Berstone’s Pond which was a small lake near Nephi. I caught a 3 ½ pound trout here. I can remember freezing though at 5:00 am in the morning. We loved catching sun perch at Deer Creek or Schofield Reservoirs. There was no limit on perch. Sometimes we would bring home 50 or 60 and freeze them.
What were your favorite card games?
We generally used face cards for games, but I never gambled. I played childhood games such as Fish, Old Maid, War, Concentration and Rummy. I was a master at Canasta which was a real craze in the later 40’s. I played a little poker with poker chips but never really liked the game. I loved crazy eights, and also learned to enjoy Rook, Pit and RackO.
What did your mom do were a bad little boy?
Mom was pretty lenient compared to Dad. Sometimes I would receive a tongue lashing or be sent to stand in a corner when I was very little. Sometimes I was assigned a job or wasn’t allowed to go out and play. My dad generally administered the punishment. One time I didn’t come when he called and he switched me all the way home with a willow. At other times he would give me a good licking with his hand on my rear. I was afraid of my father and tried not to cross him as he had a violent temper. I was always close to my mother, but found it difficult to feel warmth and love from my Dad.
Tell what your car accident was like?
My first accident was a minor one. I was making a left turn onto a street from 4th East about two blocks from home. I was blinded by the sun and couldn’t see the car coming from the other direction. Fortunately he honked and I slammed on the brakes. I knocked out his front light and dented the front fender a little bit, but I was shook up.
When I was 17, I attended the BYU Summer Music Camp. Our final concert was in Salt Lake City and I was the first chair clarinetist. They asked for volunteers to take participants to Salt Lake and back. My parents only told me that I could take the car only to Provo and back. Trying to impress my friends from Springville and a girlfriend, Julie Gardner, a clarinetist from Richfield I drove Brent Packard, Naomi Boyer, Julie Gardner and her friend Tibbie Peterson who was also from Richfield and interested in Brent.
While coming back from the concert near the Utah State Penitentiary, the prison at the point of the mountain, I could see a car in the distance and thought it was moving. I turned and glanced at Julie for a split second and Brent called watched out.
A truck tire had come off and hit a car which was standing still in the middle of the divided highway. We impacted the rear-end and were all shaken up quite badly. I got out and asked the man who was standing in the middle of the road if everything was alright. He said he thought so. I got back in the car and got about a hundred yards beyond and the car stopped as it had damaged our radiator. The Police came by and because I was a teenager I got blamed, and was chewed out royally by the officer.
Fortunately, a friend of my mother Ruth Webber and mother of one of my friends, Diane Webber, was traveling by with her husband. She was impressed by the Holy Ghost to have her husband turn around and they gave us a ride home. I thought my Dad would be furious and really light into me, but instead he was kind and forgiving and to this day I will always be grateful for his understanding.
I had to appear before a juvenile judge. They were going to revoke my license, but I’m sure with the help of the Lord he was also kind and understanding and allowed me to continue to drive.
Why did everybody think you were a little angel?
I was a very pretty child. Often my mother was told that I was good looking enough to be a girl. Mother had wanted a girl. In fact she was going to name me after a poem about an Indian Princess called Leonahee. I was always glad I turned out to be a boy. Mother had my hair permed when I was little, but when I got older I refused to have it done as you were known as a sissy if you had your hair waved with permanent. My mother always dressed me in adorable kids outfits. Because I was happy and good natured, friendly people always made a fuss over me. Well, as I got older I went through a trying time of being overweight. In fact the neighborhood kids called me fatso and waddle-duck. From 3rd to 8th grade I had weight problems and overeating didn’t help. In 8th grade I was five foot one inch and weighed 160 pounds. The doctor put me on thyroid pills, a very strict diet for a year, and I exercised at home and went to a body building gym. I lost 30 pounds. My waist went from 33” to 27” my chest went from 30” to 36” and I developed a good physique and self-image. That coupled with my music in high school helped me to become popular again and feel good about myself.
I maintained a good figure for the next 20 years, but after 35 I began to gradually add pounds again. I went on a diet Cambridge diet of 800 calories per day and lost 30 pounds and went down to 180 but I’ve regained it all back and maybe a few pounds more. When I came back from my mission I weighed 149 pounds at age 23. I sure wish I could turn back the clock or perhaps I should say pounds.
What kind of trouble did you get into when you were little?
We had a neighborhood gang and would warn people by leaving a note saying “tonight we strike.” I only went with them once and we let some air out of a trailer’s tires. I felt so guilty I never went with them again.
Fireworks and firecrackers were illegal, but somehow I had bought a pack from one of the neighborhood kids. I set them all off the night before the 4th of July, but I saved two. When I was 12 I went to the Halloween midnight Horror movie (by today’s standards they were not too horrible, Dracula, Frankenstein, Wolf-Man, etc.). On the way home I tried to impress the other kids and lit the firecrackers off at the city park which was right across the street from the police station. Dumb, huh? We were stopped and questioned by an officer and I told the truth when I said I didn’t have anymore, but I was afraid that they would give me a fine, but instead I got off with a lecture.
What’s this I hear about pop bottles under your bed?
Yes, when I would go to bed at night and my parents would occasionally buy a six pack of 7-up I would open a bottle and smuggle it to bed. I would secretly enjoy it in the dark and then drop the pop bottle under the bed.
My Uncle Vaughn and Aunt Alta bought four or five six packs at a time. They always had about ten or twelve bottles in the refrigerator. When we would visit as a family I would sneak a pop and drink it. You see I just couldn’t kick the habit, I was popaholic!
Why were you called the most famous snichteroo?
Between grades three and eight I was a foodaholic and would sneak all sorts of goodies on the sly. We didn’t have candies or goodies only on occasions, but I was a real snooperoo and would raid marshmallows, cookies, peanut-butter and honey or any other sweets I could find. I loved to munch on ginger-snaps, cookies and milk. My parents would occasionally hide candy bars in a large pantry type cupboard. When I was about six or seven I climbed up on the cupboard and was attempting to get to the top shelf. I slipped and fell and hit my teeth on the cupboard’s edge as I came down. It gave my upper teeth a real jar and scarred me half-to-death. I never tried that again.
Tell us about what you did on Halloween?
Most costumes were improvised with materials you could find around the house. I had an authentic pirate cap pistol. So I made a sword to go with it and dressed up as a swashbuckler.
Some kids waxed windows. I never did, but I did put some soap on windows which washed off. We often had to do something before we were given a treat. They would make us sing a song, tell a story, poem or joke. We received lots of apples, oranges, cookies, popcorn balls, stick of gum and some candies. If we received a candy bar we thought we were in seventh heaven.
My mom always wanted me to dress up as a girl, as she always wanted a cute little girl, but I would not relent and refused.
What was your favorite birthday present?
Tell about your costumes when you were a little boy?
I loved to play Superman, but we used a bathroom towel as cape. During World War II my mother dressed me in a Navy outfit and an Air Force outfit. I loved to pretend I was a soldier, and I loved to sing the song “Solider Boy.”
My Mother bought me a Roy Rogers cowboy outfit which I loved to wear when I was about six years old. Our neighbor Mr. Howtz gave me a tenor ukulele which I used for a cowboy guitar. One year for Halloween I dressed up as a tramp. Probably the fanciest outfit I had was when I was dressed up as Old King Cole with a real violin. I had a gold painted crown, and a fancy vest which was my grandfather Jabez Taylor’s.
Tell about the horse stepping on your toes?
I always wanted a horse of my own as a little boy, but we never had any place to put one. My father always said they would cost too much to feed.
My first cousin Cal Taylor had a race horse owned by my Uncle Frank. I went for a ride with Cal. The horse got on a dead run and then threw us into a canal along the side of the main highway.
When I was about twelve my father rented a big work horse to plow the land for an excessively large garden where our new home was to be built. I had to lead the horse for the plowing. He weighed 2,000 pounds and had iron shoes. When we got out on the cement side-walk the horse stepped on my foot. He wouldn’t move so I had to throw myself to get free. My Dad thought it was funny, but it smashed my toes. They bled and the nails were crushed. Eventually my toes healed but I always had a large flat square toe on my right foot.
What was your favorite swimming hole like?
We generally went swimming at Park-Ro-She (shay) an indoor swimming pool. They had two pools; one was not as deep as the other. Down in the fields near the drive-in theatre where I worked was a clear beautiful stream in a marshy area called the Mill Pond as there had once been a flour mill there. I went there with a group of neighborhood kids and we went swimming. The water was cold, but crystal clear. There were also fish swimming in the stream.
Tell about your Boy Scout camping trip?
I was in a terrific scout troop when I turned twelve. We didn’t have any Cub Scout program. My senior patrol leader was Jim Whitney & my scoutmaster was Fred Smith. We had enough scouts to have two patrols. I belonged to the Wolf Patrol. Within less than a year I was almost a first class and then we moved. I was in another ward that had a troop that did nothing but play football and mess around. If I only had known we went to the same building, and I could have just continued going to MIA on another night. My first trip was to camp Maple Dell in Payson Canyon. It was an official Boy Scout camp. I had a small pup tent, big enough for two. It rained and so my friend Lyle Maynard left to sleep in a larger tent for more room & comfort, some friend, huh!
On another trip we camped in the snow above Third Springs just below Camel Back Mountain in Springville and made it. I closed my eyes and jumped. Luckily Lyle was a true friend this time as I hit I started to roll toward the edge & he grabbed me. We walked along this ledge until we came to a broad area where we could continue down to the foothills. We also had someone up on some of the upper ledges throwing rocks down when we are on the shale. We had an exciting adventure to tell when we got home.
After we moved into out new house we were in the 5th Ward and attended the new stake center. I was an explorer then, but we all went with the scouts on trips. We had a trip n the Uinta Mountains to go hiking and fishing.
The scoutmaster was a Latter-Day Saint but he smoked cigars. We rode in the back of his camper and the smoke from the cigar made me and several other boys quite sick as we went over the bumpy rocky roads. At one point they were working on the roads. It had been raining and our truck got stuck in mud about 3 feet deep. We all had to get out and help push in the mud.
We didn’t have the fancy back packing gear they have now. Most of our camping gear was bought from the army surplus. I did have an official Scout mess kit, and a Scout flashlight. Boys Life was one of my favorite magazines. I would read it from cover to cover.
Not knowing that we shouldn’t, we packed big cans. My army pack was loaded with heavy items, and I packed my sleeping bag by hand. I had a hard time hiking up the steep terrain up the side of this mountain. I was exhausted when we reached camp. I remember mixing Borden’s powdered milk. It tasted as bad as milk glue. I was unable to drink it.
We pitched camped but were rained out for three days. My sleeping bag got wet. It wasn’t very warm to begin with, but I bitterly froze to death at night. Although we were rained out everyone enjoyed all the adventure we had had, and were anxious to go again when we got back.
What was your favorite Christmas?
All the Christmases were exciting. My parents didn’t have a lot of money, but somehow they managed to always get that one special item. One year I asked for a shooting gallery. The gun shot suction darts at ducks going by. It was made of metal and the ducks moved by a chain that was wound up.
Another Christmas I asked for a race car set. The little cars were wound up by springs. One car would stop in a pit stop house and the other car would come around back and it would stop in the enclosure and push the other car out to go around the back.
Probably the gift I will always remember the most was an electric train. It was shared by my brother and me. I had a spring windup train when I was about five or six, but this was the real thing. It wasn’t a Lionel, but we didn’t care. It was a New York Central made by Marx. The engine had a lighted head light and we would turn off the lights and seen it in the dark. My dad joined us and it was great fun having him share some good times with us. We made an oval layout and a figure eight. Later my father mounted the track on a board. My parents added on a whistling station made by Lionel and an automatic crossing gate for following Christmases.
How did you were your hair when you were ten?
Mohawks came in about then, but I never had one. We had our hair cut short in the summer. We called them bulldogs. Today they refer to them as butch cuts.
Crew Cut’s were very popular. The top was flat and the sides were combed back. When I was in high school suck tail backs were popular. I used to comb my hair with a big wave coming across the front to the left. When I had picture taken as a sophomore I was taken back by how out of place it looked and I immediately changed my style. I always wanted a style without a part, something like Ricky Nelsons, but it didn’t work on long hair.
Describe your first bike.
I got my first bike when I was eight years old for Christmas. I was so excited about all the other presents under the tree that my parents had to get my attention to notice I had a new bike. The bike was very big for my size and my father had to remove the seat so I would reach the pedals. I can remember him running after me holding on the bike so I could learn to balance. The bike was so big for my size that I fell so often one of the pedals bent in and rubbed on the metal and Dad would have to bend it back out. The bike was a Hawthorne. Later, when I was a paper boy I got another bike when I was about fourteen years old at Christmas. It was an Excelsior built by Schwinn. It was a great bike and served me well. Our bikes were only one speed; only rich kids got ten-speeds. I can only remember seeing about two ten speed bikes when I was growing up. Ron got a three-speed in his teens.
What did you do for Saturday work?
I had the lawn to cut once each week. On Saturday I vacuumed all the rooms and shook the rugs, dusted the entire house or cleaned the sinks and bathroom. We (Mom, Dad, Ron and I) all did something early Saturday morning and then had the rest of the day free. Sometimes we also washed windows. We had a lot of glass in our new house, particularly the extremely large front picture window and carved front window. We always did the dishes by hand after every meal and dried them by hand. Later we bought a drainer in my late teens. We never had an electric dish washer as I was growing up.
Did you do outdoor work?
My Dad not only had many flowers, but he always raised a very large garden and would often take our neighbors full back lot. I helped with plowing, planting, watering and weeding. My Dad was very, very fussy about how the grass was cut and trimmed.
I cut lawns to earn money, picked corn, cherries, peaches, pears, tomatoes and other produce. I weeded and thinned beets. I stacked hay with a pitch fork and hailed and stacked bailed hay using hand forks on hooks. I worked construction by digging post holes for fences, and digging with picks & shovels for construction of bridge pylons.
Most of the jobs open to teens in the summers were outdoors. I was also a paperboy for about 3 ½ years. My first paper route had 40 papers and was five miles long. It was spread over a large country area. It was extremely difficult in the winter. One time the snow was up to my waist. My mother sent my dad out in the car to give me a hand. I was about two-thirds finish, but never was he a more welcome sight at the top of a hill waiting in a car, as I was soaked and freezing.
One time I only wore a pair of galoshes with socks on the inside. It was cold and raining and when I got home my feet were frost bitten. I never had felt such pain as my feet began to unthaw. I was hardworking and a good salesman at getting new starts for the paper. My manager, B. Davis Evans moved me to the best route in town at Brookside. It was shaped in a big circle and was easy to deliver. I began with 60 papers and made $45 per month, real good money for a high-school boy. During the summer I often had three jobs. Picking fruit, my paper route, and working at the drive-in theatre. Sometimes I would start at 5:00 in the morning and not finish till midnight. I still had my obligations also at home. I felt duty bound to help my parents being that they were providing me with food, clothes & shelter.
With the money I earned I bought my instruments, paid for private lessons, bought school supplies and also clothes for school.
My senior year I earned money by playing for dances with the band I organized called the Skyliners. We had our own stands and vests which my mother sewed up for us. I also taught private lessons and had about ten private students at $1.50 for a 45-minute lesson. I am presently charging $12 for a half-hour lesson, a wide variance after 30 years of private teaching.