Early Life Sketch of Oren W Flinders by his Mother, Reta Herrick Flinders on his 35th Birthday
Contributor: scuddsl Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago
A very happy an important event for father Percy and myself was the birth of Oren, a 7 lb. 7oz. bundle of joy, along with the other bundle called responsibility of seeing him fed, clothed and taught the principles of the Gospel. He was delivered to us in the Thomas Dee Hospital in Ogden, Utah on the 19th day of March 1939. Our home was in the Magna, Utah area west of Salt Lake City at that time, with Percy working for the Utah Copper Company at $3.40 per day. The reason for us being in Magna was Percy's playing baseball for the Utah Industrial League. He played short stop.
As I remember Oren about three years old and playing outside always wanted to get on the bus with Neil. This was a busy highway with workers going to and from Salt Lake City to the Copper Company to work. So, we the ingenious parents bought a little dog harness and contrived it up for Oren which was then snapped onto the clothes line so he could play up and down the length of the clothes line. This not only kept him off the highway, but happy to be outside and able to see what little eyes can reach.
We moved from the Magna area and built our first home in Hunter, Utah. It was a small white frame, two bedroom house costing $3,500.00. We worried about being in debt. Within two years we sold the house and was able to buy an acre of land in the Granger area, now known as West Valley, and then had the funds to start another home and pay for things as we went along. Percy worked with a Mr. Ray Warr, a carpenter, after hours at the Copper Company. We started the house in the Spring and by Fall we were able to move into it free from debt. We lived in a rented house in Baccuhus, Utah while we were building. This was in the outskirts of Magna. We had few neighbors. Neil walked about a mile to school and the teacher said if Oren would like to come one-half day in the mornings he could. This was before pre-school children classes. Now, I had promised Oren a birthday party and told Neil to bring Oren's boy friends home with him for the party at 4 o'clock in the afternoon because Oren came home at noon. I had the refreshments and Oren all ready for the party. As we anxiously looked out the window, we saw coming down the hill, Neil, bringing all his own boy friends to Oren's birthday party. Oren joined in as was just as happy and had fun with them as if they had been his own age. They gave Oren a pocket-knife from all of them and this pleased him.
When we moved into the new Granger home in the Fall of the year, Oren had a play-mate his own age. His name was Gary, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Ray Warr, the same who was helping Percy with building. They lived just across the road from us. That winter Oren and Gary were together nearly every day. Then a most terrifying thing happened and I have repeatedly thanked the Lord and the Warrs for their little son's help in the rescue of our boy. A large ditch of swiftly running water ran along in front of the house. It was January and the snow nearly all melted. Gary and Oren, dressed in thick heavy coats and leggings, were playing by the ditch. Oren, playing too close slipped into the fast moving stream, clinging desperately to the long dry grass of the last Fall's vintage. When five-year old Gary realized the situation he ran down the road to his Aunt's and said, "Come help Oren, he's in the ditch." The Aunt came running and grabbed him out by his hands as he was about to let go of the grass. She brought him in to me dripping wet, with all those clothes he seemed to weigh 200 lbs. Needless to say I was so happy he was saved by a small play-mate that nothing else mattered.
Soon after the incident World War II ended and employees were not frozen to their jobs because of the copper need for shells for the war effort, and we decided to sell our home and move back to West Weber. On a plot of ground we had purchased from my father, we started to build another home. Percy had hired a contractor before we moved. This was a small cinder block house. We didn't want to go into debt. We came in time for Oren to start school in First Grade in the Fall when he was six years old. He made many friends in school and liked sports. Oren helped with chores around the house and taking his grandfather Herrick's cows to the pasture as he walked to the West Weber school. He went on fishing and hiking trips with the scouts, but most of all he had a great love for the sport of baseball - like his dad.
When Oren was about 14 to 16 years old his father would take him along in his plumbing work. Percy had a young man working for him, whom Oren learned to enjoy working, talking and kidding with. He also, in the process, learned to like plumbing, and mastered the trade without any tedious effort from his father. To the present day Oren has made a great contribution of Flinders Plumbing and is a conscientious, untiring and fast worker.
I tried to get Oren interested in taking some vocal lessons his first year at Weber High School from a Mr. Cragun, but his mind seemed to be on sports. I would go to get him after school in the midst of their athletic training but to take him away from ball practice was bout all he could take and me too. So music was abandoned and I'm sure the decision paid off in other ways, because we could always see him practicing and playing on the ball diamond and didn't have to worry about him chasing girls, driving cars or being in undesirable places.
Lastly, as father and mother to Oren, we are very happy and proud for that 'right' girl, Doris, who charmed Oren's heart, accepted him, cared for him and with high ideals for a temple marriage, is a loving and devoted wife and mother of four - and yet another. We bless them for the wonderful family that they are today.
Reta Flinders - 19 March 1974