William Homer Fitzwater

30 Apr 1916 - 10 Mar 2000

Register

William Homer Fitzwater

30 Apr 1916 - 10 Mar 2000
edit Edit Record
photo Add Images
group_add Add Family
description Add a memory

(From a tape recording of Verda Fitzwater Moore for Michele Fitzwater Lee-1994) Ab Ross from Utahn and Bernard Liddell from Bridgeland were among the first missionaries to go into West Virginia. They didn’t baptize my parents. Someone else did (Michael A. Ross of Lehi and Benjamin Fullmer of Salt
Register to get full access to the grave site record of William Homer Fitzwater
Terms and Conditions

We want you to know exactly how our service works and why we need your registration in order to allow full access to our records.

terms and conditions

Contact Permissions

We’d like to send you special offers and deals exclusive to BillionGraves users to help your family history research. All emails ​include an unsubscribe link. You ​may opt-out at any time.

close
close
Thanks for registering with BillionGraves.com!
In order to gain full access to this record, please verify your email by opening the welcome email that we just sent to you.
close
Sign up the easy way

Use your facebook account to register with BillionGraves. It will be one less password to remember. You can always add an email and password later.

Loading

Life Information

William Homer Fitzwater

Born:
Died:

Orem Cemetery

770 Murdock Canal Trail
Orem, Utah, Utah
United States
Transcriber

Simini

June 10, 2011
Photographer

GeneologyHunter

June 9, 2011

Nearby Graves

See more nearby graves
Upgrade to BG+

Find more about William Homer...

We found more records about William Homer Fitzwater.

Family

Relationships on the headstone

add

Relationships added by users

add

Grave Site of William Homer

edit

William Homer Fitzwater is buried in the Orem Cemetery at the location displayed on the map below. This GPS information is ONLY available at BillionGraves. Our technology can help you find the gravesite and other family members buried nearby.

Download the free BillionGraves mobile app for iPhone and Android before you go to the cemetery and it will guide you right to the gravesite.
android Google play phone_iphone App Store

Memories

add

William Henry Fitzwater and Lucretia Buckalew

Contributor: Simini Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

(From a tape recording of Verda Fitzwater Moore for Michele Fitzwater Lee-1994) Ab Ross from Utahn and Bernard Liddell from Bridgeland were among the first missionaries to go into West Virginia. They didn’t baptize my parents. Someone else did (Michael A. Ross of Lehi and Benjamin Fullmer of Salt Lake). These young men were from the Uintah Basin. They came here in 1906. The government had this land up for sale—maybe 65 cents an acre—a steal. No one could turn it down. That’s why the people flocked in here from the state of Utah. Half of Payson moved into Duchesne! People came from Holden and all over the state. Land was cheap and they had lots of irrigation water. This Ab Ross had a little home close to Berniece Abplanalp’s home—right where Jeanne Wilkerson’s home is. This fellow from Bridgeland (it was called Antelope then) was a pioneer into Antelope. Those two missionaries from here are the ones who encouraged them to come and settle in this land. It was so cheap and it was a new opening. That’s the reason Grandma and Grandpa Buckalew fell for it. Then, of course, mom and dad did and they all came together. I think there were 22 of us on the train. Two or three were mom’s cousins. They didn’t like Utah and ended up going back to West Virginia. When we came from West Virginia, in April of 1908, the train stopped in Colton, Utah (Helper) and we all got off. We came in a sleigh up to Hilltop where there was a station. There was a big freight wagon there from Duchesne with six head of horses to bring us into Duchesne. This was drawn by Dave Nye who used to live in Tabiona. When we pulled into Duchesne, the only home standing was the home where Doris lives. It was made of blocks of stone from Indian Canyon. I was a baby six months old and Gladys, ten years old, was the oldest. We got out of the wagon and went into Mrs. Marsing’s. She had a big kettle of soup ready for the people who came over Hilltop. She fed us our supper. They wondered where they were going to put these pioneers coming into the valley. There was a little cabin over by Cliff Mickelson’s house. They took us over into this cabin. It had a dirt floor with a slab (dirt) roof. A big post was holding up the roof. Gladys remembered Mama crying in the middle of the night. “Papa, do you think this post’ll break and bring down dirt over our little chill’ens?” Autella Foy was over at Marsing’s when we came in. She remembered Mama calling Lonnie, Leva and Gladys who were playing outside, “You chill’ens, you get in here ‘fore you freeze your butts off!” All was sagebrush and cottonwoods. Mama was heartbroken. She was used to West Virginia. Coming into a desolate town like this—what were they getting into? Later they found an old house across the street from where Jack built your new house. (Verda has a picture of the family in front of the house shortly after they arrived in Duchesne). Grandpa did plan to come to Idaho first. He wanted to go to Idaho, but when they got to Colton (Helper), John Madsen (one of the first in Duchesne—had a home up the river) was there when we pulled in. He encouraged them to come here. Grandpa Buckalew did go on up to Idaho before they got too settled here. He didn’t have money to buy land. He couldn’t afford to get established there, so they decided to stay here. After they settled here, they all started having their families. Aunt Spicy and Uncle Walter leased Indian land in Myton. After so many years when the lease was up, he went to Delta to get work. He didn’t like the work he could get there, so he went to Idaho and got a good job. He sent for Aunt Spicy and her family. Idaho has always been more prosperous. They have those big wheat mills up there. So that’s where they settled. Aunt Spicy’s girl, Lillian, and I are about the same age. They came down here last summer. She brought her four sons and their wives. I said, “Lillian, when you get to Myton, you’re going to be heartsick. That cemetery will just turn you wrong side out.” All the Buckalews are buried there. Many of the Fitzwaters are buried there. Neither Nora nor Gladys are there. The ones that lived here are buried there. We took mom and dad there. Kimball’s down there. They’re all there. Nora is in Salt Lake. Bessie and Sammy are both down there. I said, “Lillian, when you get down there, you’re going to see some heartaches.” She said, “I expect it, Verda.” So when they came back, her children said, “How did your parents and grandparents ever survive here?” I said, “We just did survive.” Dad stayed here and got the job in the little post office and that’s how we survived. I’ll tell you the reason Grandpa went on further. He had Uncle George, Eunice, Eldridge and Jim. They were older. Myton was ahead! They had electric lights! They had sidewalks! They had two banks! They had stores galore! It was more built up than Roosevelt when we got here. The kids could get government work, so the three sons got work down there. They built this little tiny house up on the hill. It was two little huts put together—shanties out of plain boards. Oh! Their home in West Virginia was a lovely big beautiful home. Grandpa Buckalew had a big sawmill. He sold lumber down in Charleston. My dad was his bookkeeper. The missionaries came along, converted them and they all sold out and came to Utah to the headquarters of the church. They really sacrificed. They couldn’t farm down in Myton. They didn’t have any farm land. They had to carry their water from the big canal up the hill behind their home. Kimball was an invalid. Uncle Jim was the oldest, then Uncle George, Eldridge and Eunice. Eldridge and Eunice weren’t old enough to really get out and find work. Uncle George brought in enough for them to survive. Al Murdock was the mayor here. He had a little tiny post office. He was the first white man to come into Duchesne. He built a little log cabin for himself and his daughter, Dora. He could see the possibility of this being a little town, but he went on to Fort Duchesne. He built a little trading post over there. He came from Heber and went over there on the Indian reservation. His wife said this was too rough for her, so he had to take his wife and children back to Heber. When he came to Duchesne the second time, he came to stay. He built a stucco house across from where your mom and dad lived. It had a front room, kitchen, bathroom and a big back porch. He bought a big ranch up Strawberry River. He built a big log home up there. He sent his four boys up there to take care of the cattle business. This business made Al Murdock wealthy. His wife and younger children lived down here in this house. Anyway, he had this little store and post office over on Main Street. There were no buildings on Main Street then. Johnny Madsen was here then. He told Dad to go ask Al Murdock if he had something for him to do in the store. So Papa went down and said, “Mr. Murdock, I understand that you might have employment for me. I’ve just come here with my family from West Virginia.” Al said, “Mr. Fitzwater, can you keep books?” Dad said, “Well, that’s what I’ve been doing all my life.” Papa was Grandpa Buckalew’s bookkeeper in West Virginia, so he had experience. So Al said, “You’ve got a job!” He gave him the books, a little cubby hole, a typewriter and some pigeon holes for the mail. He worked there for Al Murdock for several years. In 1910, dad was commissioned as the first postmaster. The town was Theodore then. Dad was writing out all the checks for the men who built the steel bridge in about 1912. If men were there working by hand, they were paid $2 an hour, but if they had a team, they were paid $4 an hour. Al Murdock really gave dad a boost when he took him in and gave him the post office job. He worked in the post office and the little store both. Then that burned down. They had to move across the street to the gold brick building that was built by the Odekirk boys from Vernal. They came over from Vernal and made those cinder block buildings on the north side of the street. They put the post office there. It was a lovely post office. The Duchesne Bank was on the corner. When the bank closed, dad moved up there in that building. They made dad move because they couldn’t have the mail trucks come in on a main street. It had to be on a side street. Dad had to go around to these little post offices to check them out (Hanna, Boneta, Talmage, etc.). He took them stamps and money orders. He supplied all the post offices around the county. Grandma Buckalew died from tuberculosis. Aunt Sarah came there with the disease and she got it from her. TB is very contagious. Grandpa Buckalew had a massive stroke in his right side. He was paralyzed in the leg and the arm. He laid in bed for seven years. He would not try to get up. When grandma died, he had no one to wait on him. Kimball was an invalid; he had polio as a child. One of the boys came in one day and said, “Pap, the neighbor’s pigs are in your garden.” He got so mad thinking the neighbor’s pigs were destroying what little bit of garden the boys had put in. He said, “Bring me my pants!” He got up and put those pants on and, in a temper, he walked two miles from his home up to Pitts’ to chase those pigs back. He never went back to bed. Those legs weren’t as bad as he thought. His leg was stiff; he swung it when he walked. The boys got married and moved away. After grandma died, he moved down into Myton and rented a little house next to Aunt Mary and Aunt Spicy. They both lived in Myton at the time. Later on, grandpa moved to Duchesne and lived next to Mom and Dad in the little red tin house. Mama took care of him there. Finally, papa came home one day from the post office and said, “The church wants a janitor. How’d you like the job? You think you can push a broom?” Grandpa said, “I can sure try. Yea, I’ll take the job.” So he went down and told Bishop Mickelson. Mama said, “Well, let’s take your bed down there, dad, and put it in one of those little back rooms.” He took his bed down there. He was always there to dust and sweep and keep things clean. He’d come over to Marvel’s little hot dog stand and have his dinner—a hamburger and a cup of coffee. He’d go up to mama’s for a bath. Then he got the shingles. He died from shingles. Mama had both Kimball and grandpa at one time. Grandpa slept upstairs and Kimball had to stay downstairs. When Eldridge saw that Mama had them both, he said, “Well, I’ll take Kimball.” Eldridge came and took Kimball to his home. He lived there for years. Dad never gave Mama a cross word. There was never swearing in our home. My Dad or Mother didn’t use bad language. They didn’t quarrel; they respected each other. They got along well. Dad loved all of his children. He showed his love more for us when we were grown and had our own families. When canning time started in the fall, dad was always in the kitchen with mom to help her with the canning. Dad also had three large barrels in his root cellar. One was full of sauerkraut; one was full of pickled beans; one was full of pickled corn. As we grew up, all of us had high blood pressure, as we were raised on too much salty food. Dad always had pigs, chickens and a cow. As we grew up, we played over near the river and in the pasture. Mama was always watching us during the high water in June. When we heard mother’s voice, we knew it was time for us to come home for our dinner. She worried a lot about her children. When we were older, dating and going to dances, we would come home from the dances late at night. There were the three girls—Nora, Bessie and I—and Lonnie. We’d sit and eat bread and milk, laughing and talking about what happened at the dance, who we danced with and who wasn’t a good dancer. Papa would call out and say, “You girls get to bed! You know I need my sleep!” Nora had a boyfriend, Melvin Poulson. Dad couldn’t stand him. He was happy when they broke up. Papa never owned a colored shirt. He always dressed in white shirts. He was so proud and so fussy. Mother would wash the white shirts. A lady came on Saturday to help with the washing. Mama just couldn’t do all that. Everything was done on the board. We didn’t have washing machines then. She’d have a big black tub out in the back up on rocks. She’d boil the whites. He ploughed in white shirts! He’d send to Salt Lake for these big stiff collars to attach to the shirts. He didn’t wear ties. He wore high top shoes. He polished those every night. You could see your face in them. Papa was the first charter member of the first Lion’s Club organized in Duchesne. Little Dorothy was down there one night staying. Papa was shining his shoes. She said, “Does you think there’s a ‘bantwit’ tonight down to my dad’s place?” Papa told that for years about little Dorothy. He was so proud. He had to have those shoes shined. (Michele: Well, my dad inherited that. He loved to tell of when he was in the service and was one of ten men picked from 500 to be the honor guard for Mrs. MacArthur. He was at the head of the ten. He was very fussy about his uniform). One night mama said, “I want you two girls to put the little ones to bed.” There were two beds in this one little room. There was Sarah, Georgie and Homer in one bed and the other bed was where Bessie and I slept. This one night, Bessie said to ‘em, “If you don’t get into bed right now, you’re gonna be little nigger babies.” We joked and played with the little kids like this. Mother said, “Now I’m going down to the post office with dad tonight because he’s going to make out his reports.” I said, “Mama, why do you go to the post office every month with dad?” What do you do down there while daddy’s doing his reports?” She said, “Verda, I sit there and look through the National Bellas Hess catalog and the Sears-Roebuck catalog and just wish and wish! I just have to get out of here and let my brain rest.” She used to leave Bessie and I to do Doris’s diapers. She’d say, “Doris is out of diapers. I’m going up to Mrs. Pillings to visit this afternoon. I want you girls to wash out the diapers. And we had to wash ‘em out on the board! We didn’t like that dirty mess at all. But we did it. When mother would run out of homemade bread, she’d say, Verda, I’m going to teach you how to mix the white bread. I said, “Mama, but I’m not big enough to mix that big batch of bread. She said, “I’ll get the ingredients and then I want you to mix it. Now tie up that long hair. Don’t let that long hair hang down while you’re mixing.” Mama was pregnant about every two years. She’d get so sick she couldn’t get up in the morning to get dad’s breakfast ready. I remember dad saying to mom, “Verda is twelve years old. Now you teach her how to make those hot biscuits and you don’t have to get up in the morning.” I told dad to call me when he was ready to go to the office and I would get up. Bessie and I slept upstairs. Dad would come to the stairs and say, “Vertie, now it’s 6:00. I’m going to the post office. You come down and get those hot biscuits ready for me and I’ll be home within an hour. The coffee pot’s on. Don’t touch the coffee pot; I’ve got it all set.” I’d go in that old dark kitchen with the coal oil lamp sitting there while I was mixing these biscuits. I’d get ‘em in the oven and get ‘em baked. Dad would come home from the post office. I’d have his eggs fried. There were three things dad had to have with his hot biscuits—apple butter or honey, eggs and coffee. Dad and I would always go to the table alone and eat our breakfast together. Dad never touched the food until we had the blessing on the food. That was a must in our home. This one morning he said, “Now Verda, your mama’s sick, you know.” I said, “I know. What do you want me to do today?” He said, “When you come home from school, you carry in all the wood that’s cut and put it in the rooms where the stoves are. (We had three stoves). Now you help your mother the best you can.” One time I took a little trip with Mary, the sister of Fern, Lonnie’s wife. She lived with them in the little house next to us. We were friends. We were at the post office about 10:00 one day. Stewart Stott asked us if we wanted to ride with him to Fruitland to take the mail. I’d never been to Fruitland. It was a long trip with a horse and buggy. When I got home, I was tired and hungry. It was late afternoon and the dinner dishes were still on the table. I said, “Mama, am I the only one in this house with hands?” She said, “I’ve been busy sewing and we’ve had company.” She helped me with the dishes. I was the one who had my hands in dishwater. The others were too little and Bessie was off working. Mama and dad appreciated it. I didn’t ask for much (they had so many to feed and clothe) because I knew they couldn’t afford it, but they always tried to make sure I got a coat, dress or shoes if I needed them. Dad let Bessie and I order new dresses from the National Bellas Hess catalog for the 24th of July celebration. They were pretty with white embroidery. We waited and waited. Finally dad said we’d have to wear our old dresses. We received word the dresses were out of stock. I was just sick over it. Mama would sew for us. She sewed quite a lot. She’d say, “You girls do the cooking and the washing while I sew.” She’d sew all day. She would never start a project on a Saturday and she would never sew on Sunday. They were good to us. Mama had about three years of sickness. She wasn’t bedfast until the last year. We didn’t have a front porch on the house for a long time. I remember dad said, “I’m going to build a front porch for mama. She can take her rocking chair out there and watch people go up and down.” Jimmy Hatch came up and built the front porch. Lula Kohl came up one time (she was a dear friend—George Kohl’s first wife—Uncle Ern Odekirk’s sister) with a large galvanized bucket. She had a rose bush in it and it was full of dirt. She’d dug part of her rose and brought it up. She said, “Mrs. Fitzwater, where shall I plant this so you can see it? You’re getting so you can’t get out much. I’ve brought you a rose bush I want you to have.” Mama said, “Put it close to the porch and front window so when it blooms I can look out there and enjoy it.” Mama lived to see that rose bush bloom one spring. It always blooms in June. It was so beautiful. She sat in her rocking chair and admired that rose bush. After mama passed away, I asked dad if I could dig up a root off that rose bush. He said, “Verda, help yourself.” I dug up two big roots of that rose bush. It’s still blooming in my yard. Homer took a slip of it to Orem and planted it on the east side of his house. Last year on Father’s Day, the bishop asked me to talk and pay tribute to my dad. I said I’d be honored. I prepared the talk. I took some roses up to the stand and I said, “Dad, today is Father’s Day. Here is you and mama’s rose bush still blooming in my yard today.” There were a lot of people in the audience who sobbed and cried when I told that. It still is blooming. When Gladys got married, dad was so upset, he told mom, “I won’t be here. I’m going down to spend the night with Grandma and Grandpa Buckalew in Myton.” I was eight years old. He thought she was too young to marry. She was sixteen. Ern had never had a job yet. There were three brothers that were alcoholic. This upset dad, to think of Gladys marrying into this family of alcoholic people. I remember one trip to Grandma and Grandpa Buckalew’s. Nora was fourteen and when we got down there, it was just night. Nora had an appendicitis attack. We had to hurry and bring her back to Duchesne. Dad took her on into Salt Lake to the hospital taking the stagecoach out. They called it a stage coach—it was a great big Buick car that Mr. Trepay owned! Dad came home late one night. Lonnie was twelve or thirteen at the time. He had gone to bed without milking the cow. Dad got Lonnie out of bed. He whipped him three strokes with a razor strap on the legs. Bessie and I stood down at the bottom of the steps and screamed, “Oh, no, papa!” Mama said, “Now dad, that’s enough!” I believe that really taught Lonnie a lesson. From then on, he obeyed. Papa would say, “You’re gonna make a sissy out of him. He won’t amount to a hill of beans.” She really did humor Lonnie. She thought the world of him. They were really two bonded people. He wouldn’t cut the wood like he should. Papa’d say, “When you get your little sweetheart boy up—about noon—have him cut you some wood!” Lonnie joined the army. It just about broke mama’s heart. When Homer was a baby, the doctor came to check on mom. Georgie was two years old. She couldn’t talk too well as she was tongue-tied. Mama told the doctor about this. Georgie was standing by mama. Dr. Cresswell said, “Let me see your tongue.” She opened her mouth and he clipped the cord under her tongue real quick. She began to talk better then. Doris had a beautiful doll in an old trunk upstairs when she was a little girl. Dad said, “Now Jack, we’ve got to bring in the pumpkins. Take them upstairs to store for the winter.” So the kids took the pumpkins up there. Instead of laying them on the floor, Jack put the pumpkins in the old trunk on top of Doris’s beautiful doll. When Doris went up to find her doll, it was covered in pumpkins. She cried and cried. Jack said, “If you didn’t want it to be all smashed up, you shouldn’t put it up in the trunk in the first place!” I think Nora had given the doll to her for Christmas. I’m not sure. We missed Doris one day. We looked everywhere. She was just two years old. Dad’s large cabbage patch had very deep furrows. She had gotten into this deep furrow and was sound asleep when Georgie found her. I remember when Doris was about five years old. Fern and Lonnie were living in the little red house next to ours. Fern had made a big plate of hot honey candy that day and set it out on her back porch. Little Doris went over and stuck her little hands in that hot honey candy. She screamed! Mother went running out, trying to get the hot honey from her little fingers. Fern came out and said, “Well, that just teaches her a lesson. She’ll learn to stay home where she belongs!” This made mother feel bad to think Fern would talk to her like that. I remember so well when it came time for Jack to have a name. Dad said, “I want all of you girls to write a name on little pieces of paper and fold them up and put them into my hat. We all wrote down the name we wanted him to have. Leva wrote the name of her boyfriend from Helper—Jack Milton (Vanetta). Bessie picked this name out of the hat. We were so happy. That would now be Jack’s name—a lovely name. This was an incident when Jack was a little boy. He was about five years old when this happened. He played a lot with Billy Murdock. The little neighbor girl was Margie Crocker. Everywhere Jack and Billy went, little Margie was right with them. She tagged them everywhere. Jack got tired of her tagging them, so he picked up a club and struck her across the legs. He just belted her as hard as he could across the bare legs. She screamed and mom came running out of the house. I happened to be out in the dooryard. Mom said, “Oh, what’s happened?” Jack said, “I just give her a hittin’ so she won’t follow me around this yard and neighborhood anymore. She follows Billy and me wherever we go.” Mom: “Jack, you come in the house and sit on the chair and don’t you leave for the rest of the day!” When Jack was about ten years old, he had carrier pigeons. Dad was taking mom into Salt Lake to see her doctor. Dad said, “Jack, let me take one of your pigeons to Salt Lake with me. Let’s test your birds to see if they are really carrier pigeons.” So he made a little cage. When he got to Leva’s, he put a little note on the pigeon’s leg and turned it loose. That pigeon came home the next day with a message tied to its leg, so Jack knew that he had real carrier pigeons. Jack was teaching shop at Duchesne High School. He sure enjoyed that. Then his call came to serve his country. He was sent to the Philippines. I remember dad coming to let us know he had a letter from Jack letting us know he was there. For Christmas, Jack sent dad $45 to see that Dianne had a nice Christmas. Dad said, “Verda, I don’t know what little girls would like. Would you buy her something?” So I called Grandma Anderton. She said Dianne needed underwear, sweaters—I also remember buying her a cute little doll. Grandma Anderton smiled and said, “Verda, she won’t play with dolls. Danny has her playing with little toy guns.” Dad told us that Jack was walking in his footprints in the service. He served where he did. Dad’s commanding officer had been Douglas MacArthur. His son, also Douglas MacArthur, was Jack’s commanding officer. It was 1918 when dad received word from his folks in West Virginia that Grandma Fitzwater was not expected to live. She was sick with sugar diabetes. Dad went back for a couple of weeks. When he came home, we were all sick in bed with the flu. We were all sick except for Leva who was taking care of us. Jack had been born in July. He was just a small baby when the flu hit the nation. Dad was not allowed to be with us. He could not go to the post office and expose the public to the flu. He took a cot there in the post office and some bedding. He ate some of his meals in the hotel that was there in Duchesne. There were no schools open during the epidemic of the flu. Schools closed down, no church meetings were held, and everything came to a halt. It was also 1918 when dad was very ill with gall stones. He suffered so much pain that he would pass out and faint. I remember Mr. Pillings would come and sit up all night to give mother some rest and to relieve the sisters who were helping. It was in the wintertime. If mom ran out of aspirins, mother would get Bessie and me up late at night. We were just little girls. She would dress us and bundle us up and we’d put on our high top boots. Then we’d go down to the neighbors to get pain medication, especially aspirins. The old lantern lit our way. Finally, the doctor said dad had to go into Salt Lake for surgery. There was nothing he could do in Duchesne. This was when we couldn’t get through Strawberry Valley. They had a large bob sleigh. They put a mattress in the sleigh with hot rocks at his feet and a canvas over the top. As they were going up over Hilltop, the snow was deep. They hit a large rock. The bad jar caused the pain to ease up. The doctor later told Lonnie the jar was better than a morphine shot because it moved the stone some. After surgery to remove seven large stones, dad came home with them and showed them to all his friends. Dad had the first car in Duchesne. I remember it didn’t even have doors on it—you just stepped up into it and sat down. Leva and Gladys would sit and hold the little ones in the back seat. We didn’t go too far—only to Myton to see Grandma and Grandpa Buckalew. Mama asked dad, “How fast are you going, papa?” He said, “Just five miles an hour.” Once we broke down at Antelope (Bridgeland) at Mr. Beal’s farmhouse. Mrs. Beal came out and invited us to come in. She was churning butter in a big separator. She had a girl about my age, Margaret. The farmer brought us home in a wagon, pulling the car along behind. In 1929 Marvel had just bought a new model A Ford with sliding down windows. He paid $80 for it. Dad had a month vacation so he wanted to take mom back to West Virginia to see some of her relatives, his dad and brothers. We had a small café and we had Marvel’s mother and sister come out to take care of it while we were gone. When we arrived in West Virginia, we left mother in Charleston to visit her family while Marvel and I and dad and a cousin, Dama Fitzwater, drove on to Washington, D.C. Dad had it in his mind to go there. It was a hard trip for all of us. The car had no air conditioning and it was August. The road was drab all the way. We got back in September. Dad had brought Jack a little turtle Jack had asked for because dad talked about the turtles they had back there. In 1933 the doctor in Salt Lake told dad that mother had cancer and needed surgery. She was so sick. Bessie and Sam were living with dad and mom and taking good care of her. This was the summer Doug was born. I was in bed with Doug when the message came to me that mother had cancer. It upset me. She was so sick when she came home. She asked me to bring the baby down and let her see him. She said he was beautiful and I told her I was going to name him Jack Douglas. Just before mother passed away, she told dad, “Dad, I can go willingly to the other side if I know our girls will never have to suffer the pain that I have had to suffer.” Dad shared many things with me and we talked a lot. He told me this. Mama passed away. Dad had to go to Salt Lake to work. Jack and Homer stayed in the old house for a long time. I’d do their laundry and make homemade bread for them. Jack would come up every night after school and get bread and milk. I gave them homemade butter. This was after dad remarried. Dad worried about Jack, Homer and Doris. They were still small. He took them to Salt Lake, but they didn’t get along with his new wife and they were homesick. It didn’t work out. The boys came back home to finish school. Dad was so depressed and upset. He knew that little Doris wouldn’t be happy there without her brothers, so Sarah and Reed went out and brought Doris back to live with them. She graduated here in Duchesne. Jack and Homer lived in the old home, finished school and graduated. They had a hard time living there without work, going to school. I gave them potatoes and what we had available. I could see the boys needed something besides bread and milk so I wrote dad a letter. I said, “The boys are going hungry part of the time. They’ve got to have something more to eat. Can I have your permission to go to Les Maxwell’s store and let the boys have credit?” He said that was all right and he would pay the bill. He asked that the boys not go over $25 a month. I told the boys to just buy staples and I would give them bottled fruit. They lived down there and took care of themselves. They were so proud and so fussy in their little home. They wouldn’t allow any of their friends to come in who smoked or drank. They were living good clean lives, setting a good example. They were good athletes. Dad couldn’t stand being away from his children. He left his wife, returned to Duchesne and kept house for the boys until they married. When dad left the post office and Bill Case took over, dad was heartsick. He only had two more years until retirement and he would have received a pension. It was politics. When the Democrats took over, if you were a Republican, you didn’t have a job. This was before civil service. Dad worked 28 years there for the small wage of $175 a month. Not only that, he had all those rural post offices to check on once a month. When Dad left the post office, I asked him if he was going to take the clock. It was his. He bought it. He said, “No, Verda, when I walk out that door, I’m not taking anything for memory. I don’t want anything. I’m just going to leave it. Let him have it. Too many memories. I don’t want it.” He should have gone back. I used to go to Edna’s visiting teaching. I saw the clock there. She told me Bill Case sold it to her for three or four dollars. (Edna was Bill Case’s daughter). Michele: I think she spray painted it gold! Note: (2014) The clock is now the property of Kathy Odekirk Harrison. Her husband bought it from Edna Conn as a gift for her. Kathy is a great-granddaughter of William H. Fitzwater and Lucretia. She and her husband own the house that Homer Fitzwater built on the west side of the property that the Fitzwaters owned in Duchesne.

Jack Milton Fitzwater

Contributor: Simini Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

Based on a tape-recorded interview of Jack by Marsha Reynolds Sat. Nov. 30, 1985 at Taylorsville, Utah. Jack’s “voice” during that interview has been preserved, even though some of the facts are outdated. In 2013, many of Jack’s additional personal memories, obtained at various times after 1985, were added. I was born July 17, 1918 in a little town in the Uintah Basin—Duchesne, Utah. My parents were William Henry Fitzwater and Lucretia Buckalew. I was the next to the youngest of twelve children. My parents and a few other relatives joined the LDS church in West Virginia. Dad and mom moved to Duchesne, Utah in about 1908. My dad was the postmaster in Duchesne for about 29 years. My dad liked gardening, bottling. He was quite a gardener. He loved to raise a big garden and he was real proud of it. He was real active. He liked hunting and fishing and sports. He was quite a family man. He liked the kids. He was quite the handy person around home. He was a homebody. Dad used to help mother bottle fruit and things like that. He used to make sauerkraut. He was quite a Southerner and liked pickled stuff. Dad was a real proud, active man who carried himself real well. He was real dressy, always liked white shirts, nice ties and suits. He was very neat, well-groomed and clean-shaven. My dad got permission to hire an assistant in the post office. He hired Lotus Fisher in the fall of 1925. Lotus was Spicy’s son and a brother to Henry Fisher. That’s why Lotus moved down from Idaho. He married Mary Colton from Vernal. Spicy was my mother’s sister. Dad lost his job at the post office after 28 or 29 years because of politics. He would have had a pension after 30 years. The Democrats were involved in Dad’s loss of the job. They didn’t have Civil Service then. He was voted out after three men campaigned against him. They were active members of the church and it still bothers me that he was not able to get his pension. Dad always had a car, but we had to stay home more at that time because travel wasn’t as easy as it is now. It took about eight hours to come from Duchesne to Salt Lake then, especially if it was muddy and rainy and slick. We had to be careful. It was a dirt road, you always had to honk your horn or you’d run into somebody. Dad would say “Toot-toot, here we come!” Mother would make a picnic lunch and we would stop somewhere and eat. We would mostly go over to my sister’s—over to Leva’s. We liked to go to the old State Theatre and some of the others uptown there. We’d go for about a dime; adults were about fifteen or twenty cents. Leva was always tickled to see us. We were always tickled to see her and the kids. Dad used to make homemade ice cream. We always had an ice house. We put up ice out of the river, buried it in sawdust in the shed. They’d saw the ice out of the river. We had big tongs to lift the ice blocks and haul them. They were thick, like bales of hay almost. They’d weigh maybe two hundred pounds apiece. We’d put the ice in sawdust and put it in the shed called an ice house. It wouldn’t melt or very little. It stayed all summer. We’d go over there, push the sawdust back, get a chunk of ice and bury it up again. We’d close the door and it would keep. We had chickens. Dad always had a milk cow and plenty of milk—usually a Jersey cow with rich cream. Us kids would churn the churn to make butter. Mothers always liked to make homemade bread. Dad always raised a couple of pigs and butchered them. He put the pigs out in the apple orchard on the corner. We had about a half acre there. We had three or four winter apple trees, three or four yellow transparents and two big crabapple trees. Dad had the house built about 1912. It was built on a flat rock. There was no foundation. I don’t remember my mother too well. She had cancer and died at the age of 55. She was a proud lady, very devoted to her family. Her family came first. She was quite a person to stay home. (note: Her daughter, Georgia said that she stayed close to home and minded her business. Some ladies made fun of her accent). She never cared to go too much. She was real ill the last two years of her life. She was kind of a quiet person. She liked her church; liked to listen to Conference. She liked music and things like that. Dad would take us to the movie and mom would stay home and read her Relief Society magazine. Mother would put Homer and me in a metal #3 tub to bathe us. She’d scrub our ears. She’d say, “Oh, Jackie, you’ve got the prettiest round head.” We chopped wood for Marvel Moore and earned money to buy a box of bullets to go hunting cottontails. Mother hid the bullets. We earned them back, but she couldn’t find them! Mother would get upset about the fire in the cook stove. She’d say, “Oh, when can we get a chimney?” My mom was a very good runner. She could beat all the boys as a young girl. Lonnie, Homer and I were good runners, too. Mother had visitors from there in town, like Eldridge Buckalew, her brother, and his wife and family. They used to come over for Sunday dinner. Mother always liked to cook chicken. She would make noodles or dumplings—something like that. We had a real good dinner. Mother had a brother, Treavy, who disappeared. He was in the military and was discharged in August 1909 in San Francisco. The family was notified when he was killed in 1911. The rumor was that he was killed for his paycheck. Dad went to San Francisco to pick up his body. He was buried in Myton. I remember my mother sitting in the front room in a rocker. She was in a lot of pain from cancer. She would pull a face because of the pain. I asked, “What’s wrong, mama?” She’d say, “Oh, nothing, Jack.” (note: Dorothy Moore Larsen said she remembered grandpa kindly rocking grandma in the rocker.) When mom died, Nora and Mrs. Hayes came into the backyard to say “she’s gone.” I went into the old metal shed in the corner of the yard and cried. Mrs. Hayes came and got me and took me into the bedroom to kiss mom. She was still warm. Later, when she was laid out in the living room, I kissed her again, but she was cold then. I knew, on the Buckalew side, Grandpa Buckalew. In the later years, he stayed with us. He died with us there. He was quite a grouchy old character. He came out to Utah. He had money when he came, but was disappointed. He moved down to Myton and he had awful poor ground. His coming west wasn’t very successful. He was quite unhappy. He went through his money. He blamed officials of the church and was quite bitter over it. He was headed up to Brigham City. Some of the family went to Idaho later. John P. Madsen and other church officials were encouraging people to come out to the Basin. They met the train up at Colton (Hilltop, Spanish Fork Canyon) when it stopped there. Grandpa Buckalew always felt coming to the Basin was a mistake. I just barely remember his wife. Myton was bigger than Duchesne or Roosevelt at one time. It had two banks. Main Street in Myton burned down. The oldest in the family was Gladys. She’s about 87 now. Her home has always been in Duchesne. She had a big family—about 7. She’s still alive. Her husband’s dead. She’s a real active, healthy person. She was married when I was born. She had children older than me. One boy was about my age. Her husband, Ern Odekirk, loved baseball. He played first base and used a piece of leather for a glove. Gladys and her family would come over and have dinner. Sometimes dad and mom and some of the kids would go over to their place for dinner. The second one in the family was Leva. She’s about 84 or 85 now. She’s a widow and lives in Salt Lake. Leva was married to Okey Davis. He had been married to Sarah, mother’s oldest sister. He and Sarah had four boys, but three died. Ivan Davis was the only son who lived. Ivan liked café management—not cooking. When Sarah died, Okey married my sister, Leva. She was talked into the marriage. She told her girls she didn’t love him. Leva’s boyfriend was from Helper—Jack Milton. I was named after him. Leva had four girls with Okey. Next was Lonnie. He was like a father to me as he was 20 years older. He was 82 when he died a year or so ago. He was real active in sports. He loved to hunt deer, liked boxing and running—a real athletic type of guy. He worked as a mechanic. Lonnie was running a garage in Duchesne. He and Fern were bottling bootleg whiskey in the “weanin’ pen” (old tin house next to the Fitzwater house). The whiskey was made up the Strawberry River by someone. Arzy Mitchell was the sheriff. He would tip them off. Lonnie would hide the whiskey. He was selling it in the garage. Nettie Powell married Lon, but they didn’t live together. She miscarried. Later she married Earl Jensen. Lonnie married Fern. After she died, he married Louise. Lotus Fisher’s wife, Mary, was a seamstress. She liked to dress nice. When Lonnie’s wife, Fern, died, some of the family were driving from Duchesne to Tooele for the funeral. Mary insisted on stopping in Salt Lake to buy a new hat. This made them late for the funeral. Homer was crying. Lonnie had them re-open the casket. Lonnie had not been feeling well. Homer and I went to Salt Lake to see him. We arrived just after he died. I went in with Donna. Lonnie was stretched out on the bed, already gone. I cried like a baby. I hope to see him again. Then there was Nora. She was a real proud, fussy, dressy type person. She was always on the go. She could always find something to do. She worked quite a bit during her life. She died of a heart attack. Nora blamed herself for the breakup of her marriage to Lawrence Pack. She was still in love with him. Nora was picky about the house. He was a womanizer and an alcoholic. They lived in the house by Bill Case. Then they moved to the house by Ell’s Motel where the Carmens lived for years. Nora moved with her daughter, Pauline, to Salt Lake to get her away from her boyfriend. That was the real breakup. Lawrence remarried, but it didn’t last long. He left Pauline wealthy. At one time, she had interest in 42 oil wells. Lawrence was romancing a phone operator who tipped him off. Based on information from her, he got oil leases from the Indians. Then when oil was struck, he made a lot of money. Bessie was next. She died with Parkinson’s disease. She suffered quite a bit for a few years with it. She and her husband, Sammy Davis, never did have any children. Vertis Andersen, Sandra’s husband, spoke at her funeral, even though he didn’t know her. Verda had a family—5 children. She’s still alive—still lives in Duchesne and her husband is still alive. She and her husband, Marvel Moore, are real active in the Church. Marvel didn’t get religion until he got caught bootlegging. He had a still out behind his home in a cabin. He was selling whiskey out of the café. His still was found and he was fined $299. That was a lot of money back then. Sarah is still alive. Her first husband, Reed Cowan, died a few years ago. She’s in her 70’s—still active. She had two daughters and four sons. Georgie lives here in Salt Lake. She was married twice—both of her husbands are dead. She had a big family—three sons and three daughters. Homer, another brother, lives in Orem, Utah. He’s still active. Homer was caught picking apples when he was just a kid. Joe Lewis (Theodore’s first blacksmith) was going to call the sheriff. Lonnie told Joe he’d twist his head off if he didn’t let Homer go. Homer enlisted in the military during World War II. He served in Germany and France. He never saw any actual fighting, but it was still hard for him to be away from home and in those hard conditions. Homer built a house on the corner, west of dad’s place. I was on furlough with a broken arm. I sawed off part of the cast and helped start the house. Homer worked for Mr. Kohl. He drove a truck to Salt Lake to pick up supplies and hardware. He had two children and it was about 1950 when he bought his first car. He bought it from a lady who lived across the street from George Kohl’s house. It had been sitting in the garage and rarely driven. The car was about a 1938 model. Homer also helped build Altamont High School (1954-55). He and Dorothy later moved to Orem where he did carpentry work. I’m next to Homer. The only thing wrong with me is a pain in my back. Other than that, I’m in real good shape. Youngest in my family is my sister, Doris. She lives in Duchesne. She had a big family—five sons and two daughters-- and she’s in good health. Here is a rundown of my nieces and nephews. Gladys and Ern Odekirk: Cuba, Billie (note: Ernest), Kay, Mary, Bob, Stanley, Ernita. Leva and Okey Davis: Norine, Edith, Della Mae, Lucretia (Duane Sundloff). Lonnie and Fern: Gordon, Jay, Donna (Louise’s children: Pat, Nedra and Danny Gillespie). Nora and Lawrence Pack: Pauline. Bessie and Sam Davis: no children. Sarah and Reed Cowan: LaJean, Jim, Janet, Joe, Roger and Russell (twins). Georgia and Glenn Smith: Arlen, Gary, Ronnie and Connie (twins--Connie drowned in the Jordan River as a toddler—she was 2 or 3), Nancy, Pam. Homer and Dorothy: Sandra, Pat. Doris and Troy Bailey: Blaine, Brent, Billie, Bobby, Brenda, Beverly and Blake. When I was a youngster around home, I used to like to have rabbits and build rabbit pens—things like that. I used to stay home quite a bit. I’d play around home, tinkering and building little things. I was active with the other kids. We used to go skating and swimming and rabbit hunting. We’d go skiing down the hills on our sleighs in the winter. In the summer, we’d ride horses and play around town with the other kids—baseball and things like that. We had swimming holes in the river. We taught ourselves to swim. I had homing pigeons. Aner Nielsen gave me my first pair of pigeons when I was about 11 years old. I got up to 25 in my flock. I used to sit in the pen and watch them in their little compartments. They’d lay two eggs. They’d steal wheat from dad’s chickens. “Silverking” was the main male. He was silver with tan coloring and he had a black mate. My dad used to bring them into Salt Lake and different places and turn them loose and they’d fly back to Duchesne. Once dad took four of my pigeons to Salt Lake to Leva’s house on the west side. We had agreed on a time when he would let the pigeons go from her house. Silverking made it back to Duchesne in one hour and forty minutes, which is real fast for a pigeon. The three others made it back an hour later. Later one of my pigeons came up missing. There was a dishpan in the pen for water. I noticed it was turned over. I found the pigeon under there, starving. He lasted a week and died. George Jr. Kohl had a bunch of pigeons behind the store. Dad turned eight of my pigeons loose in Salt Lake once, but none came back. Dad bought me a pony for $2. He later sold it to Howard Cowan to slaughter. He never gave me any money for it. I asked him and he gave me fifty cents. He told me it would be $2. I’ve only seen a rattlesnake once. I went up Indian Canyon to the dump looking for a piece of scrap metal. I heard a rattle in the bushes, so I got a big rock or piece of cement. I dropped it on the snake and killed it. Once I was up Rock Creek fishing with Lonnie, my brother, and Sam Davis. There were lots of water snakes around. Sammy pulled back his bed roll and several snakes were in there. We decided to sleep in an old sheep camp close by. I spotted a Christmas tree up toward Blue Bench. One day I wired on my skates, took a rope and my dog and headed up toward the canal. At the canal, I skated while the dog ran along the bank with me pulling me with the rope. I looked and looked but could not find the tree. My dog was a German Shepherd. He started killing sheep up on Al Murdock’s property north of town across the river. Al talked to my dad. Dad told me we would have to get rid of the dog. We took the dog and went up the dugway to Blue Bench by the old Barlow place. Dad said to tie the dog to the fence. I turned away, tears streaming down my face. Dad shot the dog twice with a rifle from the post office (government issue to W.H. Fitzwater). During the depression, sometimes cows had to be shot because there was no feed for them. The government paid $5 for each cow that had to be shot. Dad told me to take the cow across the Strawberry River into the bushes and shoot it. I shot it with a 22 and skinned it out. George Kohl bought the hide for $1 that I got to keep. When I was a child, we had a wood kitchen stove. Homer and I slept upstairs in the attic. Each morning dad would holler at me to get a fire built. I would tiptoe down in my long handles and build a fire in the kitchen stove and in the living room. We didn’t have water in the house until Jack Odekirk built a bathroom on. I was a young kid then. Around home, dad had certain little chores for us to do. I and my two brothers would go and help haul wood in the fall. We had a trailer we hooked on the back of the car. We went up into what they called “Tabone Flat”—up in the cedars. We hauled several loads of wood. Then dad would buy a couple of ton of coal from Carbon County. Between the wood and the coal, we had plenty of fuel for the winter. We had weeding to do in the garden. Our allowance was a show ticket—about a dime. We’d go about once a week down to the Cozy Theatre. Dad would give us a show ticket for cutting weeds. We built a bird cage out of willows up by the bushes by where our new house was built. We used tunnel wheat to catch quail. They were too dumb. We caught four quail that way. Dad said he was going to call the game warden if we didn’t turn them loose. We turned them loose. When I was a kid, I used to have earaches and the flu. All of us had the flu. I was in pretty good health. We had common diseases like the other families in town—smallpox, diptheria, typhoid. We had lots of flu, especially in the winter months. As a rule, the children were all pretty healthy. Once in a while, we’d have a doctor in town. I had a few minor accidents. One time I about had one eye put out with a piece of wire—a close call. While playing in the brush by the old mill (across the river, north of Madsen’s), a piece of coiled up wire flipped up and caught me in the eye. One kid held it still until we got it out of my eye. Another time we were over there. There was an old water tank for hauling water. It had a big old lid that you could close. We were playing cops and robbers. Some older kids put me and another kid in the tank. It was black and scary. I was bawling. You could never put me in a submarine! I’ve been in a couple of automobile accidents that hurt a little, but nothing real serious. Homer threw the file at me out at the wood pile. I was carrying the wood into the house. Homer got mad. I ran and he threw the file at me and got me in the back of the leg with the pointed end. The file stuck in the back of my leg like a knife. I was laid up for two or three weeks. I was about twelve or thirteen. The girls bandaged it up. They must not have stitched it. I’ve got quite a scar there. My dad had a crock out by the water faucet one day. He was cleaning it. I picked up a rock and dropped it in the crock and broke it. I ran off screaming down the alley. Homer ran me down. Dad whipped me with a willow, but good. My dad bought Doris a bike after my mom died. One day, I took it across the bridge for a ride. I came down the dugway too fast and couldn’t make the turn. I went off into the rocks, but didn’t hurt the bike. One of my main playmates—friends, when I was a kid, was Billy Murdock. He lived right behind us. We were kids together. The old Murdock house was on the corner one block north of Main Street. (Center St. and 100 North--Jim and Terry Cowan lived there when they got Clarice). The house was originally across the river. One winter they pulled it across the river on skids on the ice to its present location. There were a lot of town kids watching. Billy Odekirk was one. Billy Murdock had a little steel bank one time. His mother had bought it. Over the years, he’d put all his money in it. It was clear full. One time, we decided we were going to open that bank, so we took it out to the wood pile and put it on a big ol’ pinon log and took a sledgehammer and ax to it. We beat it and we beat it ‘til finally it popped. The money flew all over the wood pile in the chips. We were looking for money for an hour. Billy started to bawl. He thought his mom would really give him heck. He was pretty scared over it. Anyway, we broke the bank! It was a tough one to break. It was a round barrel—stainless steel. We pounded that thing with an ax and a sledgehammer—you can’t imagine—before it finally came apart. (From the memory of Dorothy Moore Larsen): “They were a foursome—Jack, Homer, Delwyn Goff and George Jr. Kohl. They built a tree house in the crabapple tree west of grandma and grandpa’s house. They would not let me come in. One day the boys went up on Blue Bench and came home with a bottle full of black widow spiders. Grandma, who was a kind and loving woman, and grandpa, were so upset!” Jack: The spiders were in old gopher and rabbit holes. We’d put a stick in and they’d come out. Mom and Dad said we had to get rid of them, so we took the bottle over to the tennis court. We dumped them out and, as they scurried around, we smashed them! I remember when Franklin Delano Roosevelt came to Salt Lake. He gave a little speech on the back of a train. Dad drove us out to Okey and Leva’s from Duchesne. They lived on Pleasant Court Avenue. Norine and I and others went to see FDR. There was a crowd of people. First and second grade were in an old log cabin there in town on Main Street (30 East). Second grade was in a back room. Florence Madsen was my first grade teacher. I was held back in first grade. She was my teacher both years. We moved into the adobe brick elementary (started in 1908) when I was in about third or fourth grade. Pigeons used to go up in the attic of the adobe school. Hebe Goff would ring the bell at 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. In fourth grade, I had a Mrs. Bates from up on the Strawberry River. In third, I had Mrs. Bjornson, a teacher from Duchesne. Later when I was a big kid, I helped Hebe Goff, who was the janitor of the elementary school. He had me sweep two rooms upstairs and other things. The school board paid me $10 a month. In 1926, a new elementary school was built west of the old adobe school. I moved into that building in fifth grade. I had a fifth grade teacher from BYU (we had a lot of teachers from Utah County-BYU) who put very hard math problems on the board one day. He seemed mad at us. He said we had to answer all of these problems. No one could. Then he said, “Well, I guess you can’t answer these problems, so I’ll just give you your treat!” He pulled out two big bags of peanuts. The kids crowded around. My high school days, part of them, were in the old adobe brick building (it had been the elementary). At this time, it was called the “4-room high school.” It had two rooms up and two rooms down. I took shop in a lean-to in the back of the old adobe school. I built a metal stool for my dad to sit on while he adjusted the radio and listened to it in our living room. When I was about a junior or senior, they built a new high school (1936). The old adobe building was then torn down. I graduated from there in 1937. I was baptized in the cobble rocks of the Duchesne River by Al White, son of Oscar White, and Lowell Clements, who ran the old flour mill. My church activities as a young person were a disaster. Mother would bribe us kids with a new shirt or new shoes to get us to go down to Sunday School. We went a few times and then we’d sneak away. Homer and I weren’t too much to take part in Sunday School. We were hunting rabbits or fishing or somewhere else. At the time, mother wasn’t well. She had cancer and was sick all the time. How would I ever be a church-going person? I didn’t go around with those who did. I always said family was my religion. I took average classes like sociology, algebra, geometry, history. When I was about a freshman, the Church put in a seminary. I had about four years of seminary. I didn’t particularly like school. I liked the sports and activities, but I never did care much for the school. I was hardly ever prepared and I wasn’t very good at it. I had my mind on a fishing hole, my 22 and a box of bullets and hunting rabbits. I never could concentrate. A lot of it was just laziness. When I got into high school, I was good at track—I and my brother, Homer. We always went to the state meet. He ran real close at state. I went to state, but never won anything outstanding. My brother won second or third at state. I was probably ranked about 7th or 8th. Homer ran the 100 in 9.9 or ten flat—good time even today. I would run it in 10 flat and 10.1 and 10.2, which is good time. We loved to dance. We had our dates and always went to the junior proms and senior hops. We went to the local dances over to Ravola (we nicknamed it Raviola) on the Lake Fork River. It was an outdoor cement floor. There was always a good orchestra, big crowds. They had a place over to Victory Park—that was indoors. It was over past Roosevelt. There were a lot of winter dances there. We went to Ravola in the summer. We’d just cuddle up and dance. One popular dance was the “Big Apple” (it was a hoppy dance, separated from partner). We’d get out on the floor and act silly—cut up, you know. One little incident that happened that was quite a joke—when I was a freshman in high school, they were initiating us freshmen. I was to get up and read these jokes. They handed me this paper. I got up and this one joke—I thought it said ‘‘reenee” and it was Renee Mickelson’s name. Right to this day, they still call her “Reenee.” We always laughed over that and got quite a kick out of it. I dated different girls—some from Roosevelt. I had a date with Adley Roberts one time to a junior prom or senior hop. The girls in my crowd were Wanda Johnson and Owena Kohl. I started to date Blanche Anderton in later years. I always played on the high school basketball team. I wasn’t real outstanding, but I felt like I made my contribution to the team. I was in scouting. I think I made Tenderfoot rank. At that time, they had a real good scouting program in Duchesne. The place we went for our scout meetings was down in the Legion Hall. Then it wasn’t handled by the Church—just some individuals in town. One was a dentist, Doc Bishop. He was real high himself in scouting. There were two or three other fellows that helped him. We went out of Duchesne one time about 20 miles and built a scout cabin. It was up Lagoon Canyon, a canyon that ran into Indian Canyon. Our troop borrowed a handcart and used it to haul the wood. This cart was owned by a guy who had a big garden down where they built the Duchesne Ward house. We cut the trees and laid up the logs to build a cabin approximately 16 feet square. We put boards up for a roof structure. Then we put about 12 inches of dirt on top of the boards to hold it down and make it more waterproof. We’d go up there different times during the year and have outings. It was a lot of fun. There were 40 or 50 scouts. Once I took Jeff and Kelly Cowan up there. We found the cabin. The roof had caved in, but the flagpole was still attached to the corner of the building. Wayne Sexton and I were “cook shack flunkies” for Reed Cowan when he cooked at the sheep shearing corrals down in Antelope in the spring. There were about thirty men working there shearing sheep for about a month. They’d put wool in big sacks. Van Killian hauled it to Salt Lake in his truck. I arm wrestled with the men. No one could beat me. Some of the shearers weighed 200 pounds; I was about 120. Homer and I had been lifting weights in the “weanin’ pen.” That summer, Reed cooked for the CC camp in Bridgeland. The workers at the CC camp earned one dollar a day. I tried to get on there, but I couldn’t because my dad was the postmaster. Harvey Hatch’s dad had a government job, so he couldn’t get on either. Lake Boram was a CCC project for irrigation. (Angus Brown, Lily Goff’s first husband, drowned there). After mother died, dad married (1 June 1935) a widowed school teacher, Virginia Kirkham. She lived in the rental house west of Bill Case’s (100 W. 200 N.—north side of the street). She thought dad had money. She had three children—a girl and two boys. Dad had three children at home—Homer, Doris and me. We moved into Salt Lake. The only job dad could get was as a crossing guard. Homer and I started to go to West High School. Homer got discouraged because he couldn’t run track at West because, according to their rules and regulations, he was too old (19). So he moved back to Duchesne to go to school. He headed for home. When Homer moved back, I got discouraged. I wanted to go back, I was so homesick. So, I hitchhiked back, too. Wils Muir picked me up in Heber and took me as far as Current Creek where he was herding sheep. He had a Model A Ford. He said he would get me a ride on to Duchesne. He stood out in the middle of the road and waved his arms to stop traffic. I got a ride! Sarah came and got Doris and she moved in with the Cowans. Homer and I moved into the front two rooms of the old house. We “bached.” The highway patrolman lived in the back of the house. We cooked on a cook stove and showered at school. We went to school. That winter I went to school with one pair of corduroy pants and a couple of shirts. My sisters would wash them. We ate a lot of fried potatoes and oatmeal mush. We got milk from Gladys and homemade bread from Verda and Gladys. We also hunted for cottontail rabbits to eat. In my high school years, I worked at Cowan’s Café for Reed Cowan. I was a night cook, washed dishes and did janitor work. I could eat there. I’d stay there until the next morning when Marvel came on at four or five o’clock. I’d have a few truck drivers, coffee drinkers. I’d cook and serve it to them. We weren’t too busy. We worked then for about a dollar and a half a day. The waitresses made about 75 cents to a dollar a day. They got a few tips. The cook didn’t get any tips or very seldom. One time when I was in high school, Delwyn and I decided to play hooky. We were at the house making fudge. Homer told on us. Mr. Tobler, the principal, got Lonnie from the garage where he was working. They came to investigate. We grabbed the pan off the stove and ran for the attic. I stood up straight behind the stovepipe and Delwyn was in the rafters. We didn’t get caught. Lon went back to the garage and Mr. Tobler went back to the school. We put the fudge back on the stove and kept cooking! I had a music teacher in tenth grade who gave me a bad time. One day some of us boys were throwing spit wads at the drum boys in back and girls in front. The teacher made a “dunce” of me. He told me to go up in the front and sit down in the end seat. Then he changed it to the piano bench. I said, “No, you said…” The teacher smashed me in the nose. He picked on the littlest boy, but I was the meanest and toughest. The teacher was about six feet. He had painted a Santie Claus on the board. The teacher wiped it off with his body and took the Christmas tree down—pound, pound! I was beating the hell out of him. Del and others pulled me off the teacher and took me down to the principal. He said to clean me up and go back to class. The faculty or the school board decided I had to miss a basketball trip. I always had a D or F in choir. After that I had an A. We put on an operetta with a pirate theme. Del Goff had the lead. The music teacher was in charge. We were in the old hall in town. We had a gallon of wine backstage. We always had before. We were drinking in between. It was getting better and better. The wine had a lot to do with it. There was lots of clapping. The teacher was leading with a baton. (The teacher was sloppy. He’d come to class with egg yolk on his tie). It was a bang! We performed two or three nights. The occasion was the Jr. Prom at Duchesne High School. I was in the 11th or 12th grade. Melvin White thought Homer had stolen his bottle from his car in the parking lot. Melvin went onto the dance floor and punched Homer in the face. They moved the fight outside. Delwyn and I were upstairs “nipping.” The principal chewed us out. We went downstairs, saw the fight and joined in. Lonnie and Fern were at Lotus and Mary Fisher’s place with Mildred and Eddie Carmen having a drink. When they came over and saw the fight, Lonnie “cleaned house.” He had been in the military and was a good fighter. I tried to shake hands, but Melvin said, “This isn’t over.” He wouldn’t shake hands, but there was no more fighting. Melvin was off school for two week because he was beat up. What had actually happened was that Bud Bell and Melvin had gone in on the bottle. They went out to the car with Homer for a drink. Bud took the bottle and moved it. Melvin couldn’t find it when he went out, so he blamed Homer. One night, while I was in high school, some of my friends and I were on our way to Altera (Altera High School was located east of Roosevelt in Uintah County 2 ½ miles north of Hwy 40 on the Whiterocks Rd). Carrol (male) Stott was driving. There were eight people in the car; four in front and four in back. We were going a little fast—maybe 45 or 50. It was snowing and we hit a horse. I was thrown from the car and knocked out. I was cut on the face, but it healed up. The car went on and rolled over on its side. The horse was killed. I never went out of Duchesne on any kind of trip other than to Salt Lake, Roosevelt, Vernal or Price until 1937, the year I graduated from high school. A cousin of mine came up from California—Ivan Davis. He was older than me and had a new car. We had dates to a dance in Duchesne. Ivan had a date with Maureen Billings and I had a date with Owena Young. After the dance, Ivan said he wanted me to go back to West Virginia where our roots—our relation came from. I told him I didn’t have any money or the right clothes. Ivan said, “That’s OK.” At 3:00 a.m. we went down to Okey and Leva’s to tell them. Okey was cooking for Reed Cowan in the café. So Ivan and I went back to West Virginia that summer. To save money, we slept on the ground. Ivan had a blanket in the car. We stayed there for about a month or six weeks with friends of the family. We stayed with Martha and DeWitt Witheroe, close friends of the Fitzwaters. They lived in Charleston in a nice three-level home. He ran a big SO service station. They had no children. We stayed upstairs and had our own bathroom. We weren’t that close with the relation. During the day, Mrs. Witheroe drove us all around to see Fitzwater and Buckalew relatives. We also met some of the Davis family. We went to visit one of Dad’s brothers. She tried to prepare us: “He’s quite a hillbilly.” The wife and kids were very shy. They peeked around at us. They had a garden with nice vegetables. One of Dad’s brothers lived in Huntington. He was very wealthy, but we didn’t meet him. Mr. Witheroe got Ivan a job selling cigarettes in a pool hall. On the way back to Utah, Ivan wanted to go through Chicago. We ran out of money there and Ivan had to get a job washing dishes so we would have gas money. We ran out again in Steamboat, Colorado. Ivan pawned his watch for a tank of gas. We made it back to Duchesne in September with no gas and no money. I got my thumb smashed while working for the State Road down by Myton spreading sand. A rock stuck and I reached in to get it. The driver pulled the lever. Eddie Carmen put me in a car and took me to Roosevelt where my hand was cleaned and bandaged. I got $60 from that. Billy Murdock was going to college in Logan. The coach told Homer and me that he’d get us a job if we’d run track. In Logan, we rented a room from a school teacher in her upstairs. We ran out of money. We didn’t have jobs. We had paid rent, but we were running out of food. We called dad to come and get us. When I got out of high school, my first job was for W.W. Clyde on a road construction job. I was a “flunkie” in the cook shack one summer. That fall and winter, they had another job up Red Creek on part of highway 40 by Fruitland. I was a cook shack “flunkie” there for two or three months. We had a good cook from Vernal. Gene Davis and I were working with him as “cook shack flunkies.” One night the cook went to Duchesne with Gene and got drunk. They didn’t get back in time for breakfast. That morning, the timekeeper came for coffee and asked where the cook was. I told him he hadn’t come back from Duchesne. I said if the timekeeper would help me, I thought I could get breakfast on. I cooked eggs, bacon, etc. for thirty men. The cook returned later with a blanket wrapped around him. He was drunk, but he came for his check. The timekeeper told him he wasn’t canned—to sober up! I got the day off! Homer was driving a truck for W.W.Clyde. On January 17, 1938, I was working at Cowan's Cafe. Reed had given me the night off to go to a dance. He had closed up and gone home. That night a couple of guys tried to steal some slot machines. Harold White was the City Marshall. He used to sit in the hotel lobby and keep an eye on things (the old hotel was next to Kohl’s Market where Moore’s Café was later built). This particular night a car pulled up in front of Cowan’s Café. There were no lights on in the café. Three guys pried the door open. Two of them went to the back door of the café. They were after the slot machines. Harold fought with the other guy and they worked their way west down the street until they were in front of the Shell service station. Harold got his revolver out of his pocket and shot the guy in the head. Henry Fisher was working night shift at the station. He was asleep by the stove, but the gunshot woke him up. The guy was dead. The next morning the Wonder Bread truck driver said he saw two guys warming themselves by a fire outside of town. Arzy Mitchell, the sheriff, went after them. The two were hitchhiking. Arzy pulled over and pointed his gun right in the face of one of them and said, “Yea, we’ll give you a ride!” He took the two men back to town and marched them into the mortuary that was in the back of the furniture store. (Roy Schonian owned the store/mortuary. The news was printed there. The Duchesne record office was there too). The sheriff said, “Here’s your buddy!” Of course, they were put in jail. Harold was so shook up, he quit being the marshall. He bought a farm in Roosevelt. The next summer I went up to Moon Lake. They were building Moon Lake dam. A bunch of us kids were cutting brush around the lake. Harvey Hatch and I rode horses to the head of Rock Creek and back to Duchesne. Harvey named Lake Frances after his future wife, Frances Case. It was later on the map that way. Dad and his second wife got a “friendly divorce” (20 September 1938). Dad moved back to Duchesne, into the old house and started housekeeping again. He worked at the Commercial Club for a number of years. He kept books and tended bar. I got married (6 July 1939) a couple of years out of high school to Blanche Anderton. I was 21 and Blanche was 20. We lived with the Andertons when Dianne was born (22 January 1940). Later, we moved to Hart’s Cabins. Blanche was gone for a few days and I didn’t know where she was. I was taking care of Dianne. I looked out the window and saw Blanche get out of Dr. Murray’s car. He was the doctor in town. Blanche was seeing him. He had taken care of her when she was expecting. The doctor went over to Cowan’s Café. I was so mad that I went over there, punched him out and got him in a choke hold. The only thing that kept me from killing him was that I had a child to take care of. I told him to stay away from my wife and that the next time I’d kill him. The doctor left town after that. Our marriage lasted for about seven years. It was never much of a success. Dianne was our only child. Blanche and I lived up in Bingham one winter. I worked in a service station. We lived in Salt Lake and in Duchesne—in motels and Helen Odekirk’s apartments. Things were tough—hardly any money, no work. We just grubbed and tried to make the best of it. I started doing a lot of odd and end carpentry jobs around Duchesne for a lot of different people. I started getting carpentry experience—a year or so. When World War II broke out, I went up to Hill Field. Lawrence Pack told me about work there. First, I joined the union out in Ogden. They sent me to Hill Field where I worked as a journeyman carpenter for one summer. I was staying with my Aunt Mary Brown, mother’s sister in Ogden. Ross Fietkau was living in North Ogden and working at Hill. He offered to give me a ride to work. So I walked to the corner and Ross picked me up. I worked with Rube Larsen on some cabinets at Hill. We were complimented on the Hill Field cabinets by the man in charge. I learned by doing. The foreman on the job knew Jack Odekirk in Duchesne. He thought a lot of Jack Odekirk, so he offered me a job in Salt Lake when I got laid off at Hill Field. I called him and he put me to work that fall. We built a theatre for the army at the Salt Lake International Airport. They had an army base out there—an in-and-out type of base. At this time, I got an apartment on about Third or Fourth East and Fifth South. Blanche and Dianne came from Duchesne to Salt Lake. I started to do various jobs around Salt Lake for different contractors—Glen and Delwyn Goff among them. That was a couple of years during the war. I learned carpentry by working with the best carpenters around. I received word that dad had married again (22 August 1942). Dad’s third wife was Ida Bell Thompson, another widow. She was a relative of Ed Hart who owned Hart’s Cabins in back of Killian’s station. They moved to Salt Lake for a while, then back to Duchesne and lived in the old house. One winter I went down around Vallejo, California and worked at Fairfield Army Base on an airplane hangar with Glen Goff. We were hired at 50 cents an hour more than regular pay if we would go up into the trusses (roof supports). Our job was to put cross members from one truss to another. We had to place a bolt and lock ring. It was 90 feet down to the concrete floor and we did not have a safety harness. One day I dropped a nail bar and it broke in half when it hit the cement. When I came back to Salt Lake in the spring, I went to work at the fairgrounds turning exhibition buildings into military barracks. This was temporary housing for men who were being reassigned. One day I was in the attic carrying a pole. The pole hit something and I spun around. I fell through the floor joists and sheet rock. I caught myself with my underarms on the floor joist. That hurt! They brought a ladder over to me. I didn’t go all the way to the concrete floor. I worked around Salt Lake for two or three years. When work got slow, we moved back to Duchesne and lived with Blanche’s parents, the Andertons. I had work for Don Bench remodeling Kohl’s Market. I was asked to teach shop and coach at the high school by my former principal who was the superintendent by then—Mr. Bond. He asked me to help them out for about three months. I only had a high school education, but he knew I could handle the job, so there was no problem there. The school was so needy that Don let me go to teach shop. There was no rush on the store job. I went up to the high school and saw that the shop was in a sad state. There were no tools. The boys made a table. I also coached baseball. We took a busload of kids up to Altamont to play their team. The principal and a female teacher went along to chaperone. Duchesne won the game. The kids were so excited they sang and laughed all the way back to Duchesne. It was a real party on the bus. I worked at Duchesne High School for about three months. My father-in-law was on the draft board. He told me my number was coming up. Something interesting: Cynthie Blackburn lived over across the river. We used to play with the Blackburn kids. One day she came out and said, “Jack, I want to tell your fortune.” She looked at my palm and said there was to be a great war. I would cross the water and come back. When I left Camp Roberts, those guys wanted to hang onto my shirttails because I was coming back! One time I was very sick with the flu. Cynthie Blackburn wanted to come over and bless me. My mom said “no.” I was drafted into the army in December of 1944. I went to Camp Roberts, California for 17 weeks of basic training. Then I came home on a furlough for a week or so before being sent overseas. We went back to California to Fort Ord to get our overseas equipment first. One day my CO called me into his office. He needed to tell me that Blanche had filed for divorce. My reaction was “Goody, goody,” and I clapped my hands. It had not been a good marriage. Blanche had met the brother of a couple who lived across the hall from us when we lived in Salt Lake. They knew that we weren’t getting along. He was visiting them from California. While I was in the service, Blanche went to California to be with him and left Dianne with her parents in Duchesne. Dianne started school in Duchesne. Blanche married Norm Asmus. We shipped out of San Francisco headed for the Philippine Islands. There were 2,500 men on board—about 500 colored. It took 17-18 days between San Francisco and the Philippines. We sailed past Corregidor into Manila Bay and landed in Manila. We were first stationed at a replacement station. It was a mustering off place where we were assigned to permanent type divisions. While there in the replacement depot, I and some of my buddies (some from Duchesne and some from Salt Lake and around Utah that I took basic training with) built a PX out of lumber and corrugated, galvanized tin. I was assigned to the First Cavalry Division, which was really a good outfit. In early summer, we were stationed about 60-70 miles outside of Manila. My dad, William H. Fitzwater, was in the Spanish-American War outside Manila in the Philippines. We talked about the places we’d been. We were in the same towns. I walked in his footsteps. (note: WH was in the Philippines when the 1900 census was taken). That fall, when they dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the war ended. My outfit pulled out immediately and went up to Tokyo, Japan as part of the Army of Occupation. I was left behind with about 50 rear echelon troops to tear down and bring up the rear. They kept me on carpentry, crating up frigidaires and a few things like that. We stayed back for about three weeks to a month before we got to go up to Tokyo to join our outfit. We caught a ride on an old French banana boat. It took us about two weeks before we got up to Tokyo. We joined our outfits up there. I was with my regiment in a two-story brick building with modern conveniences. We could look right out the window to the west and see Mt. Fujiyama. Almost every morning we would have earth tremors—the building would just shake. We got used to them and didn’t pay any attention. I was in charge of utilities in our regiment. I was put over carpentry, plumbing, electrical and painting around the camp. That was my main duty. Along in the summer, they started a baseball team. They wanted people to try out for the baseball team. I made the team—center field and pitching. Then I didn’t have to do my job in the utilities, but I did, to have something to do. When I was put on the team, I was put on special assignment. That relieved me of any other duties, but I kept my job because I enjoyed it and liked to do it. I used a lot of Japanese carpenters and painters and plumbers. They were paid by the Japanese government and reimbursed by our government. They were real good workers. We didn’t have any trouble with them. They had an interpreter out at the front gate if there was anything technical. I communicated with them a lot of time with sign language and they understood. Sometimes I’d go get the interpreter. My shop was in the back, right on the shore. One time we built some cabinets for the men to hang their clothes in. I had quite a few Japanese workers in my shop. I always locked the door when I went to “chow.” One day when I came back, one of the Japanese workers had cut himself on a saw. He and his buddies crawled out the window to go to the medics. When they came back, they wouldn’t work. The interpreter told me they wanted to sprinkle salt on the saw. It was something to do with their religion. I said, “Fine.” After they sprinkled some salt around, they went back to work. While in Tokyo, I was an early riser. I was up and ready at 5 or 6 a.m. The other guys would say, “Oh, Fitzwater—why are you up? Go back to bed!” I could get away with it because I had more stripes than any of them. I had three stripes and was a TV technician. The highest pay I made in the army was $110 per month. I made more playing poker than my regular pay. I sent the money home to Dad to save for me. I sent four rifles home from Tokyo and a saber. I made wooden boxes for them in my shop. I gave one rifle to Delwyn Goff. It was an odd size—made by Remington Arms. The rifles were given to me. They were Japanese weapons. I went with the lieutenant to pick out the rifles. It was easy for me to ship them home. While in Tokyo, a colonel came to my carpenter shop. He asked, “Jack, what do you suggest? We’ve got a problem with some of the guys wanting to stay up drinking and playing cards at night. This interferes with the sleep of some of the other men in the barracks.” I suggested that we make a club out of a lean-to in the back. The colonel thought that was “a hell of a good idea!” The next day, he had a crew out there cleaning out the lean-to. When the area was ready, some of the men took a truck into town and helped themselves to furniture in various hotel lobbies. The First Sergeant came to me one day and said, “Jack, I see you’re a cook.” I said, “Oh, not really, I just helped out in a hamburger place.” I knew he was looking for a mess sergeant. No way! I was made a sergeant later anyway. I became a “saddle maker” and was promoted to sergeant. My division had the same designation as the one that had fought in Custer’s last stand. I have seen the first cavalry insignia on uniforms of men in the Gulf War. I had a pleasure, an honor, while in my outfit in Tokyo. They picked about ten or twelve of us out of five hundred guys to be an honorary guard for Mrs. Douglas MacArthur. We’d built a real nice Red Cross club on a training boat (USS Gary Owens) that they had anchored there in the bay. We’d converted it into a club. It had a dance floor in it, a bar and booze. You could get coffee and doughnuts. You could play games and listen to the radio. It was an entertainment place with tropical, undersea scenery—real clever. They invited Mrs. Douglas MacArthur to come and christen this club for us. They lined us up and I was picked for one of her honorary guard. I and one other fellow were to help her down into a small boat to take her around to the front of the big ship to hit it with a bottle of saki. After the ceremony, she took a small boat back to shore. I was out first and then turned and helped her out. She said, “Why, thank you, Sergeant.” There was a big picture of Mrs. MacArthur and me in the Tokyo paper. I sent the picture home to my Dad. It got lost in the shuffle. That was quite an honor, quite an experience. She was a real nice little gal. I never did get to see General MacArthur himself. He was hard to see. He was up in Tokyo, in the business part. Along in July, I and my buddy got a turn to go down to a rest camp 100 miles from our base. It was close to Hiroshima. We were in this rest camp for about a week. We got ready to come home and they quarantined us for something. Then we got to stay for another week. The food was real good and we could do just about anything we wanted to do. We’d fool around, play ball and pitch horseshoes or go row boating out in the bay. There was a bridge that went out to an island. We could be lazy. They waited on us and fed us. It was real nice. When we got back to our camp, there was a baseball game the next day. I was to pitch. I hadn’t been throwing and my arm was a little stiff. I pitched the eight innings. In the eighth inning, I threw a curve and my arm broke in two. So they took me up to 42nd General Hospital there in Tokyo. When I went to the hospital, the other patients said, “Here comes another one.” Another boy had broken his leg running from first to second base. These breaks were due to poor nutrition. We had no milk or fresh vegetables. We were not allowed to eat Japanese food. My buddy and the First Sergeant came to see me in the hospital. They said, “We won the game!” I was there for about three weeks. The doctor told me I was going to go home. I shipped out of Tokyo at the end of August on a hospital ship, the USS Comfort. It was real nice with good food, good beds, nurses and everything. We were about two weeks coming home, landing back in San Francisco. I was there for a couple of days. They flew me up to Tacoma, Washington to Madigan General Hospital (closest to Utah). They changed my cast and I was there for two or three weeks and they let me go home on a furlough. I still had my arm in a cast. I stayed home for a couple of weeks and they let me have an extension for another couple of weeks. Mildred Carmen, who was on the draft board, said “matrimonial troubles” were the reason I needed an extra week of furlough. I got to go hunting deer and helped Homer get started on his home. Then I went back up to Tacoma, Washington and they took the old cast off. I started taking treatments to limber up my arm so I could use it. It had healed, but was real skinny and weak from being in a cast. I got to come home. It seemed so good to be back and to have the war over. I went back to Duchesne and stayed with my sister, Verda, and her husband, Marvel. Along in December, they mustered me out of the army. My daughter and my ex-wife were living in Salt Lake. My life really started all over, I’d say. I worked as a cook for my brother-in-law, Marvel, at Moore’s Cafe across the street from Cowan’s Café. Marvel Moore made some of the best pies ever. My sister, Verda, waited on customers. One day she had me make a cake. She put it out on the counter. Mrs. Schonian came from the business next door for a treat. She saw the cake and asked for a piece. She complimented Verda on the cake. Verda said, “Why, I didn’t make that cake—Jack did!” I was quite proud of myself. I played a little baseball on the town team when I came home, but I had to give it up. I went to work in Duchesne remodeling Kohl’s store, a job I’d started before I went in the service. I met Ruby that winter. I and a friend went up to Alta Loma to a dance (Alta Loma was located west of Altamont at 3750 No Highway 87 on the west side of the Lake Fork River). I really went up there to see another gal, Reva Killian. She used to write to me while I was overseas. Anyway, I danced with her. She was there, acting quite important. That kind of stuff never went over with Jack Fitzwater. She was playing hard to get. I danced with her and then I went out to the car alone at intermission. When I went out to the car, Ruby was in the car with my sister and brother-in-law and this fellow I’d ridden to the dance with and another couple. Sarah, my sister, asked me if I remembered Ruby Fietkau. Ruby said, “Jack, you should remember me, I danced with you one time down in Duchesne.” I remembered. I danced with her and she was just right—just what I was looking for. She just kinda turned me on, you know. In other words, I had my antennaes out and she had hers out a lot further (other versions say “antlers”). I told her I was going to marry her and build her the biggest house in Duchesne. We danced the rest of the night and I asked to take her home. She lived in Salt Lake and she was out there to see her mother and her daughter, Shirley. She had been married before. Grandma Snow had her daughter living in Mt. Emmons. It was funny, that night I met her at Alta Loma. Harry Davis had already asked Ruby if he could take her home after the dance. He was looking for somebody too. She turned him down. She didn’t want to go home with him. This gal that I had gone up there to see, she sat on the sidelines pulling faces all night. Ruby had stolen me away. When I asked Ruby if I could take her home, neither of us thought about Harry until we got out to the car. She turned Harry down and he had to drive her home! He razzed us all the way over there. We had to go to Mt. Emmons. Alta Loma is down on the river. We had to go ten miles to take Ruby home and then come back. He razzed me about beating his time and kidded Ruby all the way home. “That’s pretty good, you turn me down and I have to drive you home!” Our first date was for New Year’s. We went to Delwyn and Dorothy Goff’s in Salt Lake and then to the Chi-Chi Club. We started going together. I’d come out to Salt Lake quite often. There was a club up Emigration Canyon where we’d go quite a bit. They had a live band and we loved to dance. I had a Buick—a nice little car—and money in the bank (about $2,000). I went over to Bob Sathers’ in Roosevelt and bought her a keepsake diamond—60 points, a little better than half a carat. She’s still got it to this day. We got engaged that summer. While dating, Ruby and I went on a campout to Yellow Pine Flat in the Uintahs. We went with two other couples—Doris and Troy Bailey and Venla and Harvey Gee. We were all sleeping out on a tarp by the river. We had a bonfire burning. During the night, Ruby got up to go “pottie.” She was dressed in dark pants and a plaid shirt. When she came to get in her sleeping bag, she woke me up. I let out a blood-curdling scream and woke everyone up. I thought Ruby was a bear! We got married in the latter part of October in Salt Lake. Delwyn and Dorothy’s bishop married us in his home one evening. The best man, Delwyn, and his wife, Dorothy, were there. I don’t remember the bishop’s name. My sister, Nora, gave Ruby a shower in Salt Lake—mostly family, just the women. We first lived in a motel in Salt Lake. I was working up at University Gardens Apartments for Ben Davis, a contractor. We lived there for about a month and we moved down on Walker Lane—Highland Drive and 50th South. We lived there during that winter until the next spring. I moved back to Duchesne to lease Reed’s Club from my brother-in-law, Reed Cowan. Ruby was working at the State Capitol at the time. I went out to Duchesne alone and got the beer parlor opened. I found a home to rent on Main Street (about 125 E.) and Ruby moved out. We set up housekeeping. After about a week, we went up to Mt. Emmons and got little Shirley. She had been living with Grandpa and Grandma Snow (Elmira Mower). She came to live with us. The first time Ruby met Dianne, my daughter, they went shopping in Salt Lake. One summer we decided to raise some chickens. I fixed a run in the back yard of the rental. The little irrigation ditch ran through the corner of the yard, giving them clean, fresh water. We left them plenty of food and went up to Rock Creek for a camping weekend. They were pullet size by this time. When we got back, we found a bunch of them dead. The water in the ditch had been cut off. The chicks had crowded up into the corner trying to get some water and smothered each other. I think it was a mistake going back to Duchesne. I would have made more in Salt Lake. We did pretty good in the beer parlor. We got ahead a little bit and bought some furniture. A bunch of us got together and wanted to do something nice for the children in town for Christmas. We called Dave Smith in Salt Lake to ask if we could cut Christmas trees on his property. We cut about 35 trees. We had Kohl’s truck to carry the trees. We sold them and used the money to buy candy and nuts. We put these in sacks. Smoky Payne, an auto mechanic in town, was Santa. He rode into town on the fire truck. He passed out the sacks of candy to the kids. We parked the truck right in front of the beer parlor. We sacked the candy up at the Legion Hall one night. Ruby was pregnant with Michele. Michele was born in January. That spring my lease was up on the beer parlor. I went back to doing carpentry work. I went down to build some kitchen cabinets for Grant and Babs Murdock. Then I went on from there doing different jobs around town. That fall we moved down in the old Billings home (500 E. about 125 S.), an old cement brick home belonging to Van Killian. Victor Billings was a leader in the LDS Church. I remember him presiding at a funeral. The home was cold that winter. There was Michele and Shirley and Mom and I when we moved down there. After Fern died, Jay was having a hard time. He had a girlfriend and Lonnie was afraid he was getting too serious. He asked me and Ruby if Jay could come and live with us in Duchesne. Michele was a baby. Jay was going to high school. Times were tough. Jay wanted to go to a dance at the church one night. He didn’t have the proper clothes, but he went anyway. When he saw how the other guys were dressed, he walked back home. We were living in the Billings house, across from the Hayes family, southeast of the main part of town. Ruby had been talking to Mrs. Hayes and was starting back across the road when she saw Jay coming. She and Jay put their arms around each other and sobbed. We didn’t have any money to give Jay, but we did the best we could. Jay asked Ruby once if his dad ever gave them any money to help out. Ruby said she wouldn’t have taken it if he had tried. Lonnie didn’t have any money either. I had a pretty good job that next summer (1950). I built three homes for the Fabrizios over there on the edge of Duchesne across the steel bridge. We got ahead a little bit. That summer we bought dad’s old place (50 W. 200 N) and I started remodeling it. He wanted to sell it to us, so we bought it. He practically gave it to us. We paid $2,300 for it at $30 a month. Dad set the price. We sold it for $9,000 in 1962. When we bought the old house, it was quite run down. I went up there in my spare time weekends and evenings and worked on it. We fixed it all up so it was livable. We moved up there that summer or fall. Marsha was born a year later in 1951. My Dad died in 1952. The night he died, he and Ida Bell had gone to a banquet and had a big dinner. When they got home, he had a piece of watermelon. The next morning, when he bent over to tie his shoes, the main artery to his heart ruptured. He was taken to the VA Hospital where he died that night. Ida Bell had a comfortable, cute home. When Dad died, she didn’t seem to want a nice funeral. She said he could be buried in a Vet’s pine box. The Fitzwaters got together and went to the funeral home. We picked a different casket. They seemed happy together, but she had burned all of his family pictures. Ruby went through probate court with Ida Bell all alone. She said it was one of her worst days. Ida Bell wanted the money. We still owed money on the home. Ida Bell was upset because we took the balance and paid for funeral expenses and a better casket. She questioned everything. There was nothing left. He had worked and fixed up her home. Dad got a pension from the Spanish-American War. She continued to receive his pension after he died. She had grown children, but we never met them. I tore up the wood floor in Moore’s Café and built a concrete floor. I used the wood to build the fence in front of the old house. We raised a big garden to the side of the house. Hebe Goff used to come down the road and give mom (Ruby) advice on the garden. We had a nice lot. We put up a lot of stuff. We did a lot of work on the place. We tore out some big old trees there on the property—eight big poplar trees that dad had planted years ago. We cut those down and planted some smaller trees—some elms and a pine tree that’s still there. Jeff and Cammie were born while we lived there. Before Jeffrey was born, mother lost twin boys. They were premature. We buried them up to Boneta Cemetery by relatives of hers. (note: Jack and Ruby had the twins moved June 2003 to Redwood Memorial Estates where they are buried). One was called Bryce and the other, Bryan. They were born in Roosevelt Hospital. Shortly after, she got pregnant with Jeff, our only boy. They were just kind of typical American kids, all of them. We lived there thirteen or fourteen years. The Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (DUP) asked me to help build a monument to honor the pioneers. Allen Bond (neighbor and friend), Weston Bates and I donated our labor and the DUP paid for the materials. The bell on the monument was supposed to be the bell from the old adobe elementary in Duchesne. It was the bell that Hebe Goff used to ring at 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. Unfortunately, Allen had sold it for scrap metal. He knew of a similar bell that had been used in a school in Mt. Home, north of Duchesne. He picked up the bell and the DUP approved it. My sister, Verda, and a Holdaway girl had asked for a brick to be saved when the adobe school was torn down. They had carved their names in the brick. We incorporated that brick (behind glass) into the back of the monument that still stands east of the new Duchesne High School on Main Street (2013). The Andertons, Blanche’s family, were always very friendly to me. Levi, her dad, was a bishop. Blanche and a couple of her brothers, Rulon and Neil, felt they were “black sheep.” Ruby saw Rulon in Duchesne one day. He lived in Roosevelt. She invited him up for supper. He came and we had a nice visit. Neil and his wife, Mert, moved to Duchesne in about 1964 for a couple of years. He had a barber shop next to Ruby’s dress shop. They were living in his parents’ home. They sold it and moved back to Salt Lake City. When he died, he had given instructions to his son that I was to be called right away and I was. We took milk from the Anderton’s for years. I’d drive the kids over there in the pickup and they would take the empty gallon jars to trade for the fresh milk. Our kids knew them as “Grandma and Grandpa Anderton.” The “weanin’ pen” was just west of the old house. It was a little house with two rooms--a front room and kitchen. It was a house that young couples used when they were getting started. Grandpa Buckalew was sleeping over there when he died. My dad would go over there and sleep with him when it was real cold to keep him warm. George Kohl bought this house from dad. Herb Mecham drug it over to Glen Stephenson’s and he made it into a garage. George Kohl bought the lot and I built a house on the property between Homer’s house and ours. Arzy Adams, a butcher at Kohl’s Market from Vernal, and his wife, Clytie, lived there. They were a nice couple. Ruby really liked Mrs. Adams. She told Ruby of her daughter being strangled on their clothesline in Vernal. I had a horse for about four or five years when the kids were little. I bought it from someone in Fruitland for $150. I had it in a pasture across the river. One time the horse got porcupine quills in his nose. I called Arch Hayes because he knew a lot about horses. He threw the horse down in the garden and pulled out the quills. We took the horse deer hunting so he could haul our deer into camp. I built a trailer for him, but he hated it. It was too narrow. We had a riding club—the Duchesne Riding Club—that rode in the Duchesne County Fair parade. We did maneuvers in the park with lights on the field. When we had the riding club, I was in Kohl’s Market asking Don Bench about a flag. George Kohl heard me and said we could use George Jr.’s flag. I told him I’d take real good care of it. I made blue and white flags that were three feet high for the club members to hold. Some of the members didn’t have saddles. They rode bareback. Mont Poulson rode with the U.S. flag in the center. Someone else rode on the left side with a 30-30 rifle. I rode on the right side with a 30-30 also. Everyone else, including the kids, rode behind us. I sold the horse to Orvin Moon, who lived by the church. I was building something onto his house and offered to sell him the horse. I also sold him a skill saw—I had two. One of his men cut his leg with the saw. The horse got tangled up in wire and had to be shot. George Jr. Kohl was a friend of Homer and me. George Kohl sent Jr. to Tulane University in New Orleans to study business. He was drafted and trained as a bombardier during World War II. While in training, he flew close to the west of Duchesne. He talked the pilot into flying the plane down low along Main Street to Bridgeland and back. George Jr. had three successful missions, but was shot down. His plane was found in the jungle five or six years later. He had written to Homer. George Jr.’s dog tags and a flag were sent to George Kohl. One fun trip Ruby and I took was to Finney Lake, elevation 11,000 feet, in the Uintahs. It was in the summer, but there was snow by the lake. We were the first on the trail that year. We packed in from Rock Creek Lodge on horses. There was snow up to the bellies of the horses in the meadow. Barbara and Duane Meriwether took us in. Those who went were Deon and Pauline Brown, Jim and Terry Cowan, Max and Melva Allred, Norma and Jr. Wilson and Ruby and me. Deon did most of the fishing. Pauline had to go down because of heart problems. Ruby said she never laughed so much in her life. Max always had a joke. We decided we wanted a new home. The summer that I built Ell’s Motel, we bought half a block up north of us in the best part of Duchesne, really. I sold some of the lots to Jimmy Cowan and I built him a new home. I sold to Neil Jensen next to me. I kept two and a half lots 125’ by 150’ for our home. That summer we got our basement in. The next summer, we started framing it up. We decided to go ahead with what money we had and I got it framed up. We had a chance to sell the old home on a GI loan to Buddy Bird and Verna, Acel Muse’s sister. Then we had that $10,000 to put toward the new home. We had to hurry and get the basement finished so we could move that fall. It was getting late and we had to get in. We had to get out of the other home. So we moved up and lived in the basement. That winter I went up and built the same home. I took my plan to Altamont and built Ted and Naomi Fisher a home so I had good work all winter. I burned a lot of midnight oil on ours. I’d stay up ‘til one or two o’clock every night working upstairs laying rocks and building cabinets, etc. We went as far as we could with our money. It was easy to get money because we had as much advancement on our home, so we borrowed a little money from the bank to finish the upstairs. We moved up there for Thanksgiving the following fall of 1961. Jeff and Marsha kept the basement bedrooms. Michele, Camille and mom and I moved upstairs. Mom and I liked to picnic, fish, hunt deer and camp out. We took the kids on a lot of good trips and cookouts. We really liked the outdoors. The kids always had a little dog of some kind. One little dog named Sandy was with us for a number of years. I think the poor little dog died of a broken heart because we wouldn’t let her come upstairs. (Dad admitted in 2011 that he had to take Sandy up Indian Canyon and shoot her. She was pooping all over the house). We had another dog, a bird dog, named “Lady” that I took pheasant hunting. She had about eight pups. Jeff kept one of the pups and named him “Duke.” We had a group of friends in Duchesne that made up the 500 club. We’d get together about once a month. We took turns entertaining. We’d play 500—similar to bridge. We had a booby prize and a high prize. That was real nice. We’d have about four tables—sixteen people. We always went to the Junior Prom. It was a big thing for us. We always looked forward to the high school basketball games. While Michele and Marsha were in the Debutantes marching unit, the girls went to Idaho one time. They marched at a basketball game at BYU during the intermission of a BYU-New Mexico game. That was a privilege. We went out and watched that. We really enjoyed the high school activities with the kids. Marsha was real outstanding in the oratorical contest and won several trophies. Michele was the Sweetheart Queen and then crowned Marsha. We were real proud of them. I built several homes in Duchesne and the post office. I built a home for Ray and Donna Hansen across the street and west of our new home. When my sister, Verda, died, Ruby and I rode to Duchesne with Jay Fitzwater for the funeral. Donna Hansen approached me. She had to tell me who she was. I said, “I built a home for you.” She said, “Yes, you did and I’m still living in that house. My husband passed away, but I am still enjoying that home.” In Duchesne I belonged to the American Legion. We had a lot of fun with the American Legion. It was real active in Duchesne. We had a lot of nice banquets and programs. We had Legion and Auxiliary parties. We took part in several burials. We had a firing squad to salute the dead veterans. We went around all over the Uintah Basin. We went to Price. Our post was 180. I was on the City Council for a couple of years. We had a real good group then. We accomplished a lot. We were all young. We were out to do something and we did. We helped with new waterworks and improved the sidewalks—better than they are today with all their oil money and we didn’t have any money! One of my responsibilities was the airport—to see the runway was kept cleared and the restrooms in the building were kept up. There was only one private plane up there. We had city cleanups and kept the alleys free of trash. I added onto the Duchesne County Jail. George Marett, the sheriff at the time, showed me how he wanted it. I used my own forms. I practically wore them out. Levi Anderton told me to turn in a bill, which I did. Porter Merrill made a negative remark about how he could hire a cat all day for that amount. This was at a County Commissioner meeting. They paid me half. Later on, the city asked me to make some concrete bridge abutments up the river. There was an old wooden bridge that had washed out. I made it clear I would not be furnishing any of my own materials. When I said that, Porter Merrill ducked his head. The bridge is still in use. I was asked to be the inspector for the new Duchesne Elementary. I was hired by the architect, Roe Smith, and paid by him. Roe was very well-respected. He was Tom Abplanalp’s nephew. (Tom graduated from Duchesne High School in 1938. His family lived in Utahn by Bernice [Fietkau] and Gene Abplanalp. His mother was ornery. She smoked a corncob pipe. Tom was the favorite son. He was the only one to become educated). Roe Smith’s family lived in Bridgeland. His father was Almy Smith. Before starting the elementary, Tom, the school superintendent, asked me to look over the plans. I said, “There’s something wrong right now! There will be rain water draining right down by the front door. You should build an entry first.” Tom told Roe Smith to solve the problem, which he did. When the foundation was started on the elementary by Turner Construction, I didn’t like the looks of the concrete. I called a young inspector in Roosevelt who was on a small job over there. I asked him to go to the batch plant and check on the concrete. I asked him to see if they were using the right grade, etc. I said, “If you see a problem, call Tom Abplanalp, the school superintendent.” Awhile later, Tom came to me and said, “C’mon Jack. Let’s go to Roosevelt.” The job superintendent from Turner Construction, Tom and I went in Tom’s car to the plant. We looked in the hopper and saw chunks from bags left in the rain and the wrong grade of concrete. Tom broke the contract on the spot. Turner Construction got a mixer and brought gravel from the Point of the Mountain. They mixed their own concrete on the site. The project manager was “green”—he was a former heavy equipment operator. He hadn’t had much or any experience reading blueprints. He relied heavily on one of his carpenters to help him in this way. One day, while inspecting, I noticed that the floor hadn’t been recessed in the multi-purpose room and the bathrooms. They needed to allow for tile. I pointed this out to the project manager. He said, “Oh, I didn’t know.” I said, “Look here at the plan.” The project manager asked what he should do. I said, “It’s still green concrete and is not set. Knock it off.” When the elementary was dedicated, Ruby was there. I was not. Roe Smith, the architect, said “You should be proud of one in your own community. That’s Jack Fitzwater. He was an outstanding inspector!” The builder praised me for saving them thousands of dollars and giving the community a quality building. Roe Smith told Tom Abplanalp that “Jack Fitzwater was one of the best inspectors I ever had on a job.” Later, Ned Mitchell was working on an addition to the school. I went to look at it. I told Ned, “You’re pouring six inches high. Look, you’re pouring above the brick line.” Lloyd Shiner was a worker. He said, “What should we do?” I said, “Stop. Dig it out of there!” They did and it turned out OK. I’ve been on a lot of good rabbit hunts. When we were living in the old home, Allen Bond and Homer and I went out to Periot Mines, south of Myton. We brought home 70-75 cottontails. Elden Wilkins came over and took a picture of them and sent it into Don Brooks, sportswriter for the Salt Lake Tribune. It really stirred up a stink. Don Brooks knew Homer because he’d gone lion hunting with him. He called Homer in Duchesne. Don said, “Oh, Homer, I’m in trouble. I’ve got all these sportsmen calling up here to the editor and me. They want to know where you guys got all those rabbits. They think you’re wasting these rabbits, they’re edible and you’re killing all these cottontails and wasting them.” Homer said, “We’re not wasting them. We divided up them rabbits. We’ve all got deep freezes and big families. We eat those rabbits. What are you talking about?” Don Brooks’ column was “Smoke Signals.” So, he writes this article in the next paper. He told all about calling Homer and the boys. He said, “They do not waste those rabbits. Those rabbits were all put in their deep freezes and eaten. They have families. They need the meat, in other words.” That didn’t satisfy them. Do you know why? We didn’t tell them where we got the rabbits. So Don calls back. He says, “Homer, you’ve just got to tell me where you got those rabbits.” Homer says, “We just got them out on the desert south of Myton.” You know, the next weekend, we got invaded. No kidding! You’d have thought they were going to the World’s Fair. They came with shotguns and 22s. They went out there chasing those rabbits. That year there were a lot of rabbits on this desert. They came out there and they cleaned it out. It never was the same after that, in other words. After that, we went up one time on the Blue Bench out of Duchesne—a bunch of us brothers and friends from Salt Lake. We killed about a hundred rabbits in two days. We’ve got films of that. They were healthy and fat—good eating. (They used a plumbing auger to coax the rabbits out—then killed them). Over the years, we had several good deer hunts—all during the 50s after World War II. My brothers and I would deer hunt every fall. We really looked forward to that. One morning when we got up, the tent had collapsed. The deer were coming. We were standing out there in our long handles and bare feet, shooting deer. Once I took Ruby deer hunting up the Strawberry River. She said, “I’ll just read here in the pickup.” A two-point went right by her. I waited and then shot. Later on, a bunch in Duchesne was going to the Book Cliffs, south of Vernal, bow and arrow hunting. I really wanted to go, so I bought myself a used bow in Roosevelt and started hunting. It was three or four years before I ever got one. Finally, I got one of the biggest ones that any of them had ever killed. It was the bull of the woods—eight points on one side and five on the other. It had better than a thirty inch spread of horns, one of the biggest ones that had ever come out of there. I was quite thrilled. A bird dog of mine came in one night and chewed the horns and ruined them. The horns were velvet at that time of year and soft. One year we went on a lion hunt. Brent Lee, my son-in-law, was with us and a friend of mine from Duchesne, Gary Rowley, a government trapper. There was a dentist from Grand Junction and there was another government trapper from Vernal. We went out south of Duchesne. They had a report that this lion had been killing sheep. The government trappers are hired to control predators. The trapper in Duchesne said, “I want you to go.” I called Brent. He wanted to go too. I took my movie camera. The dentist from Grand Junction had a small boy—14 or 15. We went out to the herd that morning and saw the sheep. Several sheep had been killed. The first day, we didn’t get the right tracks. We went in a circle—a goose chase. The next day, we spotted the mother track and two kittens. The five dogs started on the tracks and away they went. Then they split up. The two kittens went one way and the cat went the other. Three dogs and Brent and I went after the mother and the dentist and the other trapper from Vernal stayed with the two horses. The dogs had the mother lion up a tree. I took some movie camera pictures. They chased her up another tree. We had to kill her with a 22 rifle and dress her out and take the fur to turn in. About that time, here came the dentist. He never did catch the kittens, so he gave up and came back. The next day, they went back out and got on the kitten tracks and finally got them. We moved to Salt Lake in 1969. By then Michele was married. She married Brent Lee and moved up to Tabiona. Marsha was going to BYU. Mom and I decided to move to Salt Lake. That was June 1969. Mother went out ahead of me. I was working on a high school job and Jeff was still in school in Duchesne. Ruby took Cammie with her. I had to wait until school was out. In June, when Jeff got out of school, we started moving stuff to Salt Lake. At first, we lived in a duplex over on 7th East (3760 S.). What a nightmare that street was. We decided to sell the home in Duchesne. At the time, that was a mistake. I had the home rented at the time. A short time after we sold the home, there was a big oil boom in Duchesne. If we had kept it for another year, we could really have made some money. We sold the home at a loss. We bought a home down in Midvale that was closer to my work. I went to work for Boise Cascade in Salt Lake. They built pre-fab homes. They hired me to run a crew and start a night shift. I started a night shift with about thirty men doing framing. I worked night shift for 5 ½ years. Then they put me on day shift for a few years. The plant manager seemed to turn against me. He was going to write me up because I wouldn’t fire a guy, one of my best workers. I quit and walked out. I worked for Boise Cascade for 9 ½ years. They closed the plant down. After that, I worked for Interstate Homes in Salt Lake as a quality control inspector over framing. I worked there for about a year and got a little discouraged with that. I decided to go back to work and use my own tools to make more money. I was hired by Hogan & Tingey Construction from Centerville. I told them I had worked for them in Duchesne. They wanted me right away. I worked on a school in Layton. The last project I worked on for them was the south wing of the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake. One summer while I was working for Hogan & Tingey, I went fly fishing for a week. When I got back to Salt Lake, I was to check on Curtis, the son of the owner. He was in charge of building an elementary school on 93rd South. I went down there and looked at the blueprints. Right away I saw there was a big problem—the school was facing the wrong direction. The school was supposed to face “a proposed road,” not the existing oil road. When I told Curtis, he responded in a panic, “What am I going to do?” I said, “You better get your men out there, tear out those batter boards and lay it out right! No one will ever know.” Curtis said, “Oh, Jack, you saved my life!” I worked for Hogan & Tingey for about seven years. I retired when I reached the age of 65. I decided to get out of it. Eddie Brown said I wasn’t retired until I built him a home in Duchesne. So I did. In the meantime, the last few years, Ruby’s been into real estate which really helped us an awful lot. With her “umph” and her boost in the financial end of things, we made a few investments. It set us up pretty good and helped toward our retirement. She started her Social Security at 62 and I started mine at 65. With a few investments we have, we are really quite comfortable. Ruby found our home in Taylorsville, where we moved in August of 1976. We really liked the floor plan of the home. I finished off the basement. We lived there for 33 years. We had wonderful neighbors and Ruby was active in the ward. We had some good home teachers come to our home. Our son, Jeff, passed away due to a construction accident while working on the Delta Center in Salt Lake in January 1991. A forklift backed over him when he did not hear the warning signal. Larry Miller came to the house and cried with us. He also spoke at the funeral. The Jazz organization took care of a lot of the funeral expenses. Larry and Gail came to the house again with autographed basketballs for Jeff’s kids. There is a bronze plaque in the Delta Center in honor of Jeff. Our family was invited to the Open House when the building was completed. I have had a few health problems in my later years. I developed a tumor on my eye. Dr. Ungritch removed it. I also had cataracts. I had a mole on my forehead that started into cancer. At the VA Hospital, I had an area of my forehead operated on to remove this. Vertigo sent me to the Cottonwood Hospital once and to the VA Hospital another time. I was mowing the lawn one day in 1990 and was a little short of breath. The next morning, I drove myself up to the VA. They kept me and I had open heart surgery. The doctors did a triple bypass. MOH surgery at the University of Utah Hospital behind my left ear for a suspicious area landed me at the VA again when the stitches didn’t hold. Then I had a minor stroke in 2008. I gave up driving after my stroke. Ruby and I were big Jazz fans. After my triple bypass, Camille and Shirley called “Hot Rod” Hundley, the announcer for the Utah Jazz basketball games. While announcing the next Jazz game, he said, “Get well, Sergeant Fitzwater!” When the doctor came in to see me the next day, he said, “I didn’t know you were a celebrity!” I felt so good after I recovered from my heart surgery that I got busy painting. I painted the entire upstairs and put up some new wallpaper in the living room and the kitchen. We had some dark paneling in the entryway and down the stairs. I painted it white along with the doors in the hallway and the bedroom closet doors. The VA provided home care after my stroke. That meant a doctor and some other people came to check on me. I think one was a social worker. He asked me all kinds of questions. Before he left, he said he would like to hear one of my fly fishing stories. I started right in with the question, “Ever hear of a Fisherman’s Dream?” I told him about a fishing trip five of us went on in the High Uintahs. There were my two brothers, Lonnie and Homer, Art, my niece Norine’s husband (Norine was Leva’s daughter) from Oakland, California and Dick Horrocks, Della Mae’s husband (Della Mae was another one of my sister, Leva’s, daughters). We were about ½ mile from camp, off the trail about 100 yards, at a place called Lost Lake. I decided to try fishing without a fly on. I used a Colorado Spinner—one side was gold and the other was silver. It was about 12:00 noon and there were a few clouds in the sky. I cast out and caught a trout about a foot long. With every cast, the fish hit the spinner—three claws pulling in as fast as I could. I just threw them in the grass. There were 60 fish—the limit was 20! It was a Fisherman’s Dream! I looked around and said, “Where’s the game warden?” I stopped and cleaned a basketful and a willow full. I was separated from the other guys. When we got back to camp and they saw my catch, they wanted me to hurry and eat supper and go back. We caught five or six more and they quit biting. They were Rainbow Cutthroat. While we lived in Taylorsville, Ruby and I had a small garden—mostly tomato plants. We raised rhubarb and had an apricot tree and a cherry tree. Even when mom’s eyesight was bad, we would can tomatoes together. And, of course, we had to have mom’s homemade jam! We liked to watch the quail out in our front yard. They liked our big pine tree and the one next door. For many years, there were some ducks that would come to our back yard every summer. We had a little dog, Rusty, that was a real good dog. One day, toward the end of the time we lived in our Taylorsville home, I noticed a flash of bright yellow on the back lawn. I went out there and found an injured cockatiel. We took him in and got a cage. We named him “Dandy” because he was as yellow as a dandelion. We really enjoyed watching him, but he didn’t last very many weeks before he died. One day I brought a “surprise” into the house for mom. I told her, “I didn’t give you any flowers on our wedding day…so here’s a surprise for you!” It was a nice big tomato! I learned to make Ruby’s favorite sandwich—one slice of bread with cheese—broil it and add sliced tomato. She wanted that every day while we had fresh tomatoes. We also had lots of rose bushes. I made lots of bouquets for mom and brought them in the house. She loved roses. Ruby had macular degeneration. I helped her dress, put on her makeup for church and straightened her hair. I took her to get her hair done every week. It was important to both of us. One day she said, “Oh, dad, I’m so sorry you have to do all this.” I said, “I just love taking care of you.” Mom said, “I couldn’t ask for better.” I also did the laundry, paid the bills and cooked. I kept busy making fires in the basement in the winter and splitting wood when the weather was nice. People all over the neighborhood would bring me tree limbs. I had quite a wood pile enclosed at the side of the garage. In the fall of 2009, Ruby had to have emergency surgery. At first the doctors thought she had appendicitis, but the problem was her colon. She went downhill fast after the surgery. The girls took turns coming to take care of her, but she needed more care, so we moved her to Orem Nursing and Rehab. Marsha told me to pack my suitcase like I was going on a little trip. I stayed with her and Don for about five or six weeks. We went to see mom every day. At first, Medicare thought she was not a candidate for rehab, but they approved her for it week to week. She regained her strength and we were able to move into Summerfield Assisted Living in Orem just before Thanksgiving. We had a nice two-room apartment of our own with an accessible bathroom. The staff could provide the help mom needed. It was very hard to leave our home, but Ruby was afraid she could not get proper care at home. So we went home to Summerfield together. We did not like the food, but the helpers were nice. I liked to play Bingo twice a week with three cards. I won little candy bars and M & Ms which I saved for the kids at Halloween or when any of the grandkids came to visit. The girls spent three months in 2010 clearing out the house, painting and fixing things up so we could rent the house. We took just the furniture and clothing we needed to Summerfield along with some pictures, albums, and a few kitchen and personal items. The girls divided up everything else. Mom and I went back once to inspect their work. We quit claimed the house to them. We’ve had the same renters since May of 2010. The neighbors have told us they are really nice people. Mom passed away at Summerfield one week after her 90th birthday, in March 2011. We had a little party for her, but she was not able to get out of bed. The grandkids came in, a family at a time, to wish her “Happy Birthday.” I want to be buried in a stainless steel casket. When the Statue of Liberty was refurbished, it was taken apart and replaced with stainless steel. They’ve found it outlasts everything. Mom and I paid for our burial plots and planned our funerals several years ago. I’d like to give my children a little advice. The most important person in the world is yourself. You should come number one first. You should tell yourself that. Then your loved ones and so on. That is the way I feel about it. Your self-image makes a lot of difference to your family and friends. You need to have a good image of yourself. I think a person that has a poor image of himself--it’s a handicap to him. Be a leader, not a loser. I’m not much for being a follower. Don’t let other people lead you into problems. Think! You’ve got a mind. Think first. Don’t let other people influence your life and get you into things that you shouldn’t be into. Remember Jonestown. To me, that is not religion. It is the work of the devil. They were hypnotized and committed suicide. Some people are led in the wrong direction that way. It’s sad what some people get into. I’ve always said that family is my religion. I love my family! JACK MILTON FITZWATER Based on a tape-recorded interview of Jack by Marsha Reynolds Sat. Nov. 30, 1985 at Taylorsville, Utah. Jack’s “voice” during that interview has been preserved, even though some of the facts are outdated. In 2013, many of Jack’s additional personal memories, obtained at various times after 1985, were added. I was born July 17, 1918 in a little town in the Uintah Basin—Duchesne, Utah. My parents were William Henry Fitzwater and Lucretia Buckalew. I was the next to the youngest of twelve children. My parents and a few other relatives joined the LDS church in West Virginia. Dad and mom moved to Duchesne, Utah in about 1908. My dad was the postmaster in Duchesne for about 29 years. My dad liked gardening, bottling. He was quite a gardener. He loved to raise a big garden and he was real proud of it. He was real active. He liked hunting and fishing and sports. He was quite a family man. He liked the kids. He was quite the handy person around home. He was a homebody. Dad used to help mother bottle fruit and things like that. He used to make sauerkraut. He was quite a Southerner and liked pickled stuff. Dad was a real proud, active man who carried himself real well. He was real dressy, always liked white shirts, nice ties and suits. He was very neat, well-groomed and clean-shaven. My dad got permission to hire an assistant in the post office. He hired Lotus Fisher in the fall of 1925. Lotus was Spicy’s son and a brother to Henry Fisher. That’s why Lotus moved down from Idaho. He married Mary Colton from Vernal. Spicy was my mother’s sister. Dad lost his job at the post office after 28 or 29 years because of politics. He would have had a pension after 30 years. The Democrats were involved in Dad’s loss of the job. They didn’t have Civil Service then. He was voted out after three men campaigned against him. They were active members of the church and it still bothers me that he was not able to get his pension. Dad always had a car, but we had to stay home more at that time because travel wasn’t as easy as it is now. It took about eight hours to come from Duchesne to Salt Lake then, especially if it was muddy and rainy and slick. We had to be careful. It was a dirt road, you always had to honk your horn or you’d run into somebody. Dad would say “Toot-toot, here we come!” Mother would make a picnic lunch and we would stop somewhere and eat. We would mostly go over to my sister’s—over to Leva’s. We liked to go to the old State Theatre and some of the others uptown there. We’d go for about a dime; adults were about fifteen or twenty cents. Leva was always tickled to see us. We were always tickled to see her and the kids. Dad used to make homemade ice cream. We always had an ice house. We put up ice out of the river, buried it in sawdust in the shed. They’d saw the ice out of the river. We had big tongs to lift the ice blocks and haul them. They were thick, like bales of hay almost. They’d weigh maybe two hundred pounds apiece. We’d put the ice in sawdust and put it in the shed called an ice house. It wouldn’t melt or very little. It stayed all summer. We’d go over there, push the sawdust back, get a chunk of ice and bury it up again. We’d close the door and it would keep. We had chickens. Dad always had a milk cow and plenty of milk—usually a Jersey cow with rich cream. Us kids would churn the churn to make butter. Mothers always liked to make homemade bread. Dad always raised a couple of pigs and butchered them. He put the pigs out in the apple orchard on the corner. We had about a half acre there. We had three or four winter apple trees, three or four yellow transparents and two big crabapple trees. Dad had the house built about 1912. It was built on a flat rock. There was no foundation. I don’t remember my mother too well. She had cancer and died at the age of 55. She was a proud lady, very devoted to her family. Her family came first. She was quite a person to stay home. (note: Her daughter, Georgia said that she stayed close to home and minded her business. Some ladies made fun of her accent). She never cared to go too much. She was real ill the last two years of her life. She was kind of a quiet person. She liked her church; liked to listen to Conference. She liked music and things like that. Dad would take us to the movie and mom would stay home and read her Relief Society magazine. Mother would put Homer and me in a metal #3 tub to bathe us. She’d scrub our ears. She’d say, “Oh, Jackie, you’ve got the prettiest round head.” We chopped wood for Marvel Moore and earned money to buy a box of bullets to go hunting cottontails. Mother hid the bullets. We earned them back, but she couldn’t find them! Mother would get upset about the fire in the cook stove. She’d say, “Oh, when can we get a chimney?” My mom was a very good runner. She could beat all the boys as a young girl. Lonnie, Homer and I were good runners, too. Mother had visitors from there in town, like Eldridge Buckalew, her brother, and his wife and family. They used to come over for Sunday dinner. Mother always liked to cook chicken. She would make noodles or dumplings—something like that. We had a real good dinner. Mother had a brother, Treavy, who disappeared. He was in the military and was discharged in August 1909 in San Francisco. The family was notified when he was killed in 1911. The rumor was that he was killed for his paycheck. Dad went to San Francisco to pick up his body. He was buried in Myton. I remember my mother sitting in the front room in a rocker. She was in a lot of pain from cancer. She would pull a face because of the pain. I asked, “What’s wrong, mama?” She’d say, “Oh, nothing, Jack.” (note: Dorothy Moore Larsen said she remembered grandpa kindly rocking grandma in the rocker.) When mom died, Nora and Mrs. Hayes came into the backyard to say “she’s gone.” I went into the old metal shed in the corner of the yard and cried. Mrs. Hayes came and got me and took me into the bedroom to kiss mom. She was still warm. Later, when she was laid out in the living room, I kissed her again, but she was cold then. I knew, on the Buckalew side, Grandpa Buckalew. In the later years, he stayed with us. He died with us there. He was quite a grouchy old character. He came out to Utah. He had money when he came, but was disappointed. He moved down to Myton and he had awful poor ground. His coming west wasn’t very successful. He was quite unhappy. He went through his money. He blamed officials of the church and was quite bitter over it. He was headed up to Brigham City. Some of the family went to Idaho later. John P. Madsen and other church officials were encouraging people to come out to the Basin. They met the train up at Colton (Hilltop, Spanish Fork Canyon) when it stopped there. Grandpa Buckalew always felt coming to the Basin was a mistake. I just barely remember his wife. Myton was bigger than Duchesne or Roosevelt at one time. It had two banks. Main Street in Myton burned down. The oldest in the family was Gladys. She’s about 87 now. Her home has always been in Duchesne. She had a big family—about 7. She’s still alive. Her husband’s dead. She’s a real active, healthy person. She was married when I was born. She had children older than me. One boy was about my age. Her husband, Ern Odekirk, loved baseball. He played first base and used a piece of leather for a glove. Gladys and her family would come over and have dinner. Sometimes dad and mom and some of the kids would go over to their place for dinner. The second one in the family was Leva. She’s about 84 or 85 now. She’s a widow and lives in Salt Lake. Leva was married to Okey Davis. He had been married to Sarah, mother’s oldest sister. He and Sarah had four boys, but three died. Ivan Davis was the only son who lived. Ivan liked café management—not cooking. When Sarah died, Okey married my sister, Leva. She was talked into the marriage. She told her girls she didn’t love him. Leva’s boyfriend was from Helper—Jack Milton. I was named after him. Leva had four girls with Okey. Next was Lonnie. He was like a father to me as he was 20 years older. He was 82 when he died a year or so ago. He was real active in sports. He loved to hunt deer, liked boxing and running—a real athletic type of guy. He worked as a mechanic. Lonnie was running a garage in Duchesne. He and Fern were bottling bootleg whiskey in the “weanin’ pen” (old tin house next to the Fitzwater house). The whiskey was made up the Strawberry River by someone. Arza Mitchell was the sheriff. He would tip them off. Lonnie would hide the whiskey. He was selling it in the garage. Nettie Powell married Lon, but they didn’t live together. She miscarried. Later she married Earl Jensen. Lonnie married Fern. After she died, he married Louise. Lotus Fisher’s wife, Mary, was a seamstress. She liked to dress nice. When Lonnie’s wife, Fern, died, some of the family were driving from Duchesne to Tooele for the funeral. Mary insisted on stopping in Salt Lake to buy a new hat. This made them late for the funeral. Homer was crying. Lonnie had them re-open the casket. Lonnie had not been feeling well. Homer and I went to Salt Lake to see him. We arrived just after he died. I went in with Donna. Lonnie was stretched out on the bed, already gone. I cried like a baby. I hope to see him again. Then there was Nora. She was a real proud, fussy, dressy type person. She was always on the go. She could always find something to do. She worked quite a bit during her life. She died of a heart attack. Nora blamed herself for the breakup of her marriage to Lawrence Pack. She was still in love with him. Nora was picky about the house. He was a womanizer and an alcoholic. They lived in the house by Bill Case. Then they moved to the house by Ell’s Motel where the Carmens lived for years. Nora moved with her daughter, Pauline, to Salt Lake to get her away from her boyfriend. That was the real breakup. Lawrence remarried, but it didn’t last long. He left Pauline wealthy. At one time, she had interest in 42 oil wells. Lawrence was romancing a phone operator who tipped him off. Based on information from her, he got oil leases from the Indians. Then when oil was struck, he made a lot of money. Bessie was next. She died with Parkinson’s disease. She suffered quite a bit for a few years with it. She and her husband, Sammy Davis, never did have any children. Vertis Andersen, Sandra’s husband, spoke at her funeral, even though he didn’t know her. Verda had a family—5 children. She’s still alive—still lives in Duchesne and her husband is still alive. She and her husband, Marvel Moore, are real active in the Church. Marvel didn’t get religion until he got caught bootlegging. He had a still out behind his home in a cabin. He was selling whiskey out of the café. His still was found and he was fined $299. That was a lot of money back then. Sarah is still alive. Her first husband, Reed Cowan, died a few years ago. She’s in her 70’s—still active. She had two daughters and four sons. Georgie lives here in Salt Lake. She was married twice—both of her husbands are dead. She had a big family—three sons and three daughters. Homer, another brother, lives in Orem, Utah. He’s still active. Homer was caught picking apples when he was just a kid. Joe Lewis (Theodore’s first blacksmith) was going to call the sheriff. Lonnie told Joe he’d twist his head off if he didn’t let Homer go. Homer enlisted in the military during World War II. He served in Germany and France. He never saw any actual fighting, but it was still hard for him to be away from home and in those hard conditions. Homer built a house on the corner, west of dad’s place. I was on furlough with a broken arm. I sawed off part of the cast and helped start the house. Homer worked for Mr. Kohl. He drove a truck to Salt Lake to pick up supplies and hardware. He had two children and it was about 1950 when he bought his first car. He bought it from a lady who lived across the street from George Kohl’s house. It had been sitting in the garage and rarely driven. The car was about a 1938 model. Homer also helped build Altamont High School (1954-55). He and Dorothy later moved to Orem where he did carpentry work. I’m next to Homer. The only thing wrong with me is a pain in my back. Other than that, I’m in real good shape. Youngest in my family is my sister, Doris. She lives in Duchesne. She had a big family—five sons and two daughters-- and she’s in good health. Here is a rundown of my nieces and nephews. Gladys and Ern Odekirk: Cuba, Billie (note: Ernest), Kay, Mary, Bob, Stanley, Ernita. Leva and Okey Davis: Norine, Edith, Della Mae, Lucretia (Duane Sundloff). Lonnie and Fern: Gordon, Jay, Donna (Louise’s children: Pat, Nedra and Danny Gillespie). Nora and Lawrence Pack: Pauline. Bessie and Sam Davis: no children. Sarah and Reed Cowan: LaJean, Jim, Janet, Joe, Roger and Russell (twins). Georgia and Glenn Smith: Arlen, Gary, Ronnie and Connie (twins--Connie drowned in the Jordan River as a toddler—she was 2 or 3), Nancy, Pam. Homer and Dorothy: Sandra, Pat. Doris and Troy Bailey: Blaine, Brent, Billie, Bobby, Brenda, Beverly and Blake. When I was a youngster around home, I used to like to have rabbits and build rabbit pens—things like that. I used to stay home quite a bit. I’d play around home, tinkering and building little things. I was active with the other kids. We used to go skating and swimming and rabbit hunting. We’d go skiing down the hills on our sleighs in the winter. In the summer, we’d ride horses and play around town with the other kids—baseball and things like that. We had swimming holes in the river. We taught ourselves to swim. I had homing pigeons. Aner Nielsen gave me my first pair of pigeons when I was about 11 years old. I got up to 25 in my flock. I used to sit in the pen and watch them in their little compartments. They’d lay two eggs. They’d steal wheat from dad’s chickens. “Silverking” was the main male. He was silver with tan coloring and he had a black mate. My dad used to bring them into Salt Lake and different places and turn them loose and they’d fly back to Duchesne. Once dad took four of my pigeons to Salt Lake to Leva’s house on the west side. We had agreed on a time when he would let the pigeons go from her house. Silverking made it back to Duchesne in one hour and forty minutes, which is real fast for a pigeon. The three others made it back an hour later. Later one of my pigeons came up missing. There was a dishpan in the pen for water. I noticed it was turned over. I found the pigeon under there, starving. He lasted a week and died. George Jr. Kohl had a bunch of pigeons behind the store. Dad turned eight of my pigeons loose in Salt Lake once, but none came back. Dad bought me a pony for $2. He later sold it to Howard Cowan to slaughter. He never gave me any money for it. I asked him and he gave me fifty cents. He told me it would be $2. I’ve only seen a rattlesnake once. I went up Indian Canyon to the dump looking for a piece of scrap metal. I heard a rattle in the bushes, so I got a big rock or piece of cement. I dropped it on the snake and killed it. Once I was up Rock Creek fishing with Lonnie, my brother, and Sam Davis. There were lots of water snakes around. Sammy pulled back his bed roll and several snakes were in there. We decided to sleep in an old sheep camp close by. I spotted a Christmas tree up toward Blue Bench. One day I wired on my skates, took a rope and my dog and headed up toward the canal. At the canal, I skated while the dog ran along the bank with me pulling me with the rope. I looked and looked but could not find the tree. My dog was a German Shepherd. He started killing sheep up on Al Murdock’s property north of town across the river. Al talked to my dad. Dad told me we would have to get rid of the dog. We took the dog and went up the dugway to Blue Bench by the old Barlow place. Dad said to tie the dog to the fence. I turned away, tears streaming down my face. Dad shot the dog twice with a rifle from the post office (government issue to W.H. Fitzwater). During the depression, sometimes cows had to be shot because there was no feed for them. The government paid $5 for each cow that had to be shot. Dad told me to take the cow across the Strawberry River into the bushes and shoot it. I shot it with a 22 and skinned it out. George Kohl bought the hide for $1 that I got to keep. When I was a child, we had a wood kitchen stove. Homer and I slept upstairs in the attic. Each morning dad would holler at me to get a fire built. I would tiptoe down in my long handles and build a fire in the kitchen stove and in the living room. We didn’t have water in the house until Jack Odekirk built a bathroom on. I was a young kid then. Around home, dad had certain little chores for us to do. I and my two brothers would go and help haul wood in the fall. We had a trailer we hooked on the back of the car. We went up into what they called “Tabone Flat”—up in the cedars. We hauled several loads of wood. Then dad would buy a couple of ton of coal from Carbon County. Between the wood and the coal, we had plenty of fuel for the winter. We had weeding to do in the garden. Our allowance was a show ticket—about a dime. We’d go about once a week down to the Cozy Theatre. Dad would give us a show ticket for cutting weeds. We built a bird cage out of willows up by the bushes by where our new house was built. We used tunnel wheat to catch quail. They were too dumb. We caught four quail that way. Dad said he was going to call the game warden if we didn’t turn them loose. We turned them loose. When I was a kid, I used to have earaches and the flu. All of us had the flu. I was in pretty good health. We had common diseases like the other families in town—smallpox, diptheria, typhoid. We had lots of flu, especially in the winter months. As a rule, the children were all pretty healthy. Once in a while, we’d have a doctor in town. I had a few minor accidents. One time I about had one eye put out with a piece of wire—a close call. While playing in the brush by the old mill (across the river, north of Madsen’s), a piece of coiled up wire flipped up and caught me in the eye. One kid held it still until we got it out of my eye. Another time we were over there. There was an old water tank for hauling water. It had a big old lid that you could close. We were playing cops and robbers. Some older kids put me and another kid in the tank. It was black and scary. I was bawling. You could never put me in a submarine! I’ve been in a couple of automobile accidents that hurt a little, but nothing real serious. Homer threw the file at me out at the wood pile. I was carrying the wood into the house. Homer got mad. I ran and he threw the file at me and got me in the back of the leg with the pointed end. The file stuck in the back of my leg like a knife. I was laid up for two or three weeks. I was about twelve or thirteen. The girls bandaged it up. They must not have stitched it. I’ve got quite a scar there. My dad had a crock out by the water faucet one day. He was cleaning it. I picked up a rock and dropped it in the crock and broke it. I ran off screaming down the alley. Homer ran me down. Dad whipped me with a willow, but good. My dad bought Doris a bike after my mom died. One day, I took it across the bridge for a ride. I came down the dugway too fast and couldn’t make the turn. I went off into the rocks, but didn’t hurt the bike. One of my main playmates—friends, when I was a kid, was Billy Murdock. He lived right behind us. We were kids together. The old Murdock house was on the corner one block north of Main Street. (Center St. and 100 North--Jim and Terry Cowan lived there when they got Clarice). The house was originally across the river. One winter they pulled it across the river on skids on the ice to its present location. There were a lot of town kids watching. Billy Odekirk was one. Billy Murdock had a little steel bank one time. His mother had bought it. Over the years, he’d put all his money in it. It was clear full. One time, we decided we were going to open that bank, so we took it out to the wood pile and put it on a big ol’ pinon log and took a sledgehammer and ax to it. We beat it and we beat it ‘til finally it popped. The money flew all over the wood pile in the chips. We were looking for money for an hour. Billy started to bawl. He thought his mom would really give him heck. He was pretty scared over it. Anyway, we broke the bank! It was a tough one to break. It was a round barrel—stainless steel. We pounded that thing with an ax and a sledgehammer—you can’t imagine—before it finally came apart. (From the memory of Dorothy Moore Larsen): “They were a foursome—Jack, Homer, Delwyn Goff and George Jr. Kohl. They built a tree house in the crabapple tree west of grandma and grandpa’s house. They would not let me come in. One day the boys went up on Blue Bench and came home with a bottle full of black widow spiders. Grandma, who was a kind and loving woman, and grandpa, were so upset!” Jack: The spiders were in old gopher and rabbit holes. We’d put a stick in and they’d come out. Mom and Dad said we had to get rid of them, so we took the bottle over to the tennis court. We dumped them out and, as they scurried around, we smashed them! I remember when Franklin Delano Roosevelt came to Salt Lake. He gave a little speech on the back of a train. Dad drove us out to Okey and Leva’s from Duchesne. They lived on Pleasant Court Avenue. Norine and I and others went to see FDR. There was a crowd of people. First and second grade were in an old log cabin there in town on Main Street (30 East). Second grade was in a back room. Florence Madsen was my first grade teacher. I was held back in first grade. She was my teacher both years. We moved into the adobe brick elementary (started in 1908) when I was in about third or fourth grade. Pigeons used to go up in the attic of the adobe school. Hebe Goff would ring the bell at 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. In fourth grade, I had a Mrs. Bates from up on the Strawberry River. In third, I had Mrs. Bjornson, a teacher from Duchesne. Later when I was a big kid, I helped Hebe Goff, who was the janitor of the elementary school. He had me sweep two rooms upstairs and other things. The school board paid me $10 a month. In 1926, a new elementary school was built west of the old adobe school. I moved into that building in fifth grade. I had a fifth grade teacher from BYU (we had a lot of teachers from Utah County-BYU) who put very hard math problems on the board one day. He seemed mad at us. He said we had to answer all of these problems. No one could. Then he said, “Well, I guess you can’t answer these problems, so I’ll just give you your treat!” He pulled out two big bags of peanuts. The kids crowded around. My high school days, part of them, were in the old adobe brick building (it had been the elementary). At this time, it was called the “4-room high school.” It had two rooms up and two rooms down. I took shop in a lean-to in the back of the old adobe school. I built a metal stool for my dad to sit on while he adjusted the radio and listened to it in our living room. When I was about a junior or senior, they built a new high school (1936). The old adobe building was then torn down. I graduated from there in 1937. I was baptized in the cobble rocks of the Duchesne River by Al White, son of Oscar White, and Lowell Clements, who ran the old flour mill. My church activities as a young person were a disaster. Mother would bribe us kids with a new shirt or new shoes to get us to go down to Sunday School. We went a few times and then we’d sneak away. Homer and I weren’t too much to take part in Sunday School. We were hunting rabbits or fishing or somewhere else. At the time, mother wasn’t well. She had cancer and was sick all the time. How would I ever be a church-going person? I didn’t go around with those who did. I always said family was my religion. I took average classes like sociology, algebra, geometry, history. When I was about a freshman, the Church put in a seminary. I had about four years of seminary. I didn’t particularly like school. I liked the sports and activities, but I never did care much for the school. I was hardly ever prepared and I wasn’t very good at it. I had my mind on a fishing hole, my 22 and a box of bullets and hunting rabbits. I never could concentrate. A lot of it was just laziness. When I got into high school, I was good at track—I and my brother, Homer. We always went to the state meet. He ran real close at state. I went to state, but never won anything outstanding. My brother won second or third at state. I was probably ranked about 7th or 8th. Homer ran the 100 in 9.9 or ten flat—good time even today. I would run it in 10 flat and 10.1 and 10.2, which is good time. We loved to dance. We had our dates and always went to the junior proms and senior hops. We went to the local dances over to Ravola (we nicknamed it Raviola) on the Lake Fork River. It was an outdoor cement floor. There was always a good orchestra, big crowds. They had a place over to Victory Park—that was indoors. It was over past Roosevelt. There were a lot of winter dances there. We went to Ravola in the summer. We’d just cuddle up and dance. One popular dance was the “Big Apple” (it was a hoppy dance, separated from partner). We’d get out on the floor and act silly—cut up, you know. One little incident that happened that was quite a joke—when I was a freshman in high school, they were initiating us freshmen. I was to get up and read these jokes. They handed me this paper. I got up and this one joke—I thought it said ‘‘reenee” and it was Renee Mickelson’s name. Right to this day, they still call her “Reenee.” We always laughed over that and got quite a kick out of it. I dated different girls—some from Roosevelt. I had a date with Adley Roberts one time to a junior prom or senior hop. The girls in my crowd were Wanda Johnson and Owena Kohl. I started to date Blanche Anderton in later years. I always played on the high school basketball team. I wasn’t real outstanding, but I felt like I made my contribution to the team. I was in scouting. I think I made Tenderfoot rank. At that time, they had a real good scouting program in Duchesne. The place we went for our scout meetings was down in the Legion Hall. Then it wasn’t handled by the Church—just some individuals in town. One was a dentist, Doc Bishop. He was real high himself in scouting. There were two or three other fellows that helped him. We went out of Duchesne one time about 20 miles and built a scout cabin. It was up Lagoon Canyon, a canyon that ran into Indian Canyon. Our troop borrowed a handcart and used it to haul the wood. This cart was owned by a guy who had a big garden down where they built the Duchesne Ward house. We cut the trees and laid up the logs to build a cabin approximately 16 feet square. We put boards up for a roof structure. Then we put about 12 inches of dirt on top of the boards to hold it down and make it more waterproof. We’d go up there different times during the year and have outings. It was a lot of fun. There were 40 or 50 scouts. Once I took Jeff and Kelly Cowan up there. We found the cabin. The roof had caved in, but the flagpole was still attached to the corner of the building. Wayne Sexton and I were “cook shack flunkies” for Reed Cowan when he cooked at the sheep shearing corrals down in Antelope in the spring. There were about thirty men working there shearing sheep for about a month. They’d put wool in big sacks. Van Killian hauled it to Salt Lake in his truck. I arm wrestled with the men. No one could beat me. Some of the shearers weighed 200 pounds; I was about 120. Homer and I had been lifting weights in the “weanin’ pen.” After that summer, Reed cooked for the CC camp in Bridgeland. The workers at the CC camp earned one dollar a day. I tried to get on there, but I couldn’t because my dad was the postmaster. Harvey Hatch’s dad had a government job, so he couldn’t get on either. Lake Boram was a CCC project for irrigation. (Angus Brown, Lily Goff’s first husband, drowned there). After mother died, dad married (1 June 1935) a widowed school teacher, Virginia Kirkham. She lived in the rental house west of Bill Case’s (100 W. 200 N.—north side of the street). She thought dad had money. She had three children—a girl and two boys. Dad had three children at home—Homer, Doris and me. We moved into Salt Lake. The only job dad could get was as a crossing guard. Homer and I started to go to West High School. Homer got discouraged because he couldn’t run track at West because, according to their rules and regulations, he was too old (19). So he moved back to Duchesne to go to school. He headed for home. When Homer moved back, I got discouraged. I wanted to go back, I was so homesick. So, I hitchhiked back, too. Wils Muir picked me up in Heber and took me as far as Current Creek where he was herding sheep. He had a Model A Ford. He said he would get me a ride on to Duchesne. He stood out in the middle of the road and waved his arms to stop traffic. I got a ride! Sarah came and got Doris and she moved in with the Cowans. Homer and I moved into the front two rooms of the old house. We “bached.” The highway patrolman lived in the back of the house. We cooked on a cook stove and showered at school. We went to school. That winter I went to school with one pair of corduroy pants and a couple of shirts. My sisters would wash them. We ate a lot of fried potatoes and oatmeal mush. We got milk from Gladys and homemade bread from Verda and Gladys. We also hunted for cottontail rabbits to eat. In my high school years, I worked at Cowan’s Café for Reed Cowan. I was a night cook, washed dishes and did janitor work. I could eat there. I’d stay there until the next morning when Marvel came on at four or five o’clock. I’d have a few truck drivers, coffee drinkers. I’d cook and serve it to them. We weren’t too busy. We worked then for about a dollar and a half a day. The waitresses made about 75 cents to a dollar a day. They got a few tips. The cook didn’t get any tips or very seldom. One night when I was off duty, Reed closed up. He let me have the night off to go to the dance. That night a couple of guys tried to steal some slot machines. Harold White was the City Marshall. He used to sit in the hotel lobby and keep an eye on things (the old hotel was next to Kohl’s Market where Moore’s Café was later built). This particular night a car pulled up in front of Cowan’s Café. There were no lights on in the café. Three guys pried the door open. Two of them went to the back door of the café. They were after the slot machines. Harold fought with the other guy and they worked their way west down the street until they were in front of the Shell service station. Harold got his revolver out of his pocket and shot the guy in the head. Henry Fisher was working night shift at the station. He was asleep by the stove, but the gunshot woke him up. The guy was dead. The next morning the Wonder Bread truck driver said he saw two guys warming themselves by a fire outside of town. Arza Mitchell, the sheriff, went after them. The two were hitchhiking. Arza pulled over and pointed his gun right in the face of one of them and said, “Yea, we’ll give you a ride!” He took the two men back to town and marched them into the mortuary that was in the back of the furniture store. (Roy Shonian owned the store/mortuary. The news was printed there. The Duchesne record office was there too). The sheriff said, “Here’s your buddy!” Of course, they were put in jail. Harold was so shook up, he quit being the marshall. He bought a farm in Roosevelt. One time when I was in high school, Delwyn and I decided to play hooky. We were at the house making fudge. Homer told on us. Mr. Tobler, the principal, got Lonnie from the garage where he was working. They came to investigate. We grabbed the pan off the stove and ran for the attic. I stood up straight behind the stovepipe and Delwyn was in the rafters. We didn’t get caught. Lon went back to the garage and Mr. Tobler went back to the school. We put the fudge back on the stove and kept cooking! I had a music teacher in tenth grade who gave me a bad time. One day some of us boys were throwing spit wads at the drum boys in back and girls in front. The teacher made a “dunce” of me. He told me to go up in the front and sit down in the end seat. Then he changed it to the piano bench. I said, “No, you said…” The teacher smashed me in the nose. He picked on the littlest boy, but I was the meanest and toughest. The teacher was about six feet. He had painted a Santie Claus on the board. The teacher wiped it off with his body and took the Christmas tree down—pound, pound! I was beating the hell out of him. Del and others pulled me off the teacher and took me down to the principal. He said to clean me up and go back to class. The faculty or the school board decided I had to miss a basketball trip. I always had a D or F in choir. After that I had an A. We put on an operetta with a pirate theme. Del Goff had the lead. The music teacher was in charge. We were in the old hall in town. We had a gallon of wine backstage. We always had before. We were drinking in between. It was getting better and better. The wine had a lot to do with it. There was lots of clapping. The teacher was leading with a baton. (The teacher was sloppy. He’d come to class with egg yolk on his tie). It was a bang! We performed two or three nights. The occasion was the Jr. Prom at Duchesne High School. I was in the 11th or 12th grade. Melvin White thought Homer had stolen his bottle from his car in the parking lot. Melvin went onto the dance floor and punched Homer in the face. They moved the fight outside. Delwyn and I were upstairs “nipping.” The principal chewed us out. We went downstairs, saw the fight and joined in. Lonnie and Fern were at Lotus and Mary Fisher’s place with Mildred and Eddie Carmen having a drink. When they came over and saw the fight, Lonnie “cleaned house.” He had been in the military and was a good fighter. I tried to shake hands, but Melvin said, “This isn’t over.” He wouldn’t shake hands, but there was no more fighting. Melvin was off school for two week because he was beat up. What had actually happened was that Bud Bell and Melvin had gone in on the bottle. They went out to the car with Homer for a drink. Bud took the bottle and moved it. Melvin couldn’t find it when he went out, so he blamed Homer. One night, while I was in high school, some of my friends and I were on our way to Altera (Altera High School was located east of Roosevelt in Uintah County 2 ½ miles north of Hwy 40 on the Whiterocks Rd). Carroll (male) Stott was driving. There were eight people in the car; four in front and four in back. We were going a little fast—maybe 45 or 50. It was snowing and we hit a horse. I was thrown from the car and knocked out. I was cut on the face, but it healed up. The car went on and rolled over on its side. The horse was killed. I never went out of Duchesne on any kind of trip other than to Salt Lake, Roosevelt, Vernal or Price until 1937, the year I graduated from high school. A cousin of mine came up from California—Ivan Davis. He was older than me and had a new car. We had dates to a dance in Duchesne. Ivan had a date with Maureen Billings and I had a date with Owena Young. After the dance, Ivan said he wanted me to go back to West Virginia where our roots—our relation came from. I told him I didn’t have any money or the right clothes. Ivan said, “That’s OK.” At 3:00 a.m. we went down to Okey and Leva’s to tell them. Okey was cooking for Reed Cowan in the café. So Ivan and I went back to West Virginia that summer. To save money, we slept on the ground. Ivan had a blanket in the car. We stayed there for about a month or six weeks with friends of the family. We stayed with Martha and DeWitt Witheroe, close friends of the Fitzwaters. They lived in Charleston in a nice three-level home. He ran a big SO service station. They had no children. We stayed upstairs and had our own bathroom. We weren’t that close with the relation. During the day, Mrs. Witheroe drove us all around to see Fitzwater and Buckalew relatives. We also met some of the Davis family. We went to visit one of Dad’s brothers. She tried to prepare us: “He’s quite a hillbilly.” The wife and kids were very shy. They peeked around at us. They had a garden with nice vegetables. One of Dad’s brothers lived in Huntington. He was very wealthy, but we didn’t meet him. Mr. Witheroe got Ivan a job selling cigarettes in a pool hall. On the way back to Utah, Ivan wanted to go through Chicago. We ran out of money there and Ivan had to get a job washing dishes so we would have gas money. We ran out again in Steamboat, Colorado. Ivan pawned his watch for a tank of gas. We made it back to Duchesne in September with no gas and no money. I got my thumb smashed while working for the State Road down by Myton spreading sand. A rock stuck and I reached in to get it. The driver pulled the lever. Eddie Carmen put me in a car and took me to Roosevelt where my hand was cleaned and bandaged. I got $60 from that. Billy Murdock was going to college in Logan. The coach told Homer and me that he’d get us a job if we’d run track. In Logan, we rented a room from a school teacher in her upstairs. We ran out of money. We didn’t have jobs. We had paid rent, but we were running out of food. We called dad to come and get us. When I got out of high school, my first job was for W.W. Clyde on a road construction job. I was a “flunkie” in the cook shack one summer. That fall and winter, they had another job up Red Creek on part of highway 40 by Fruitland. I was a cook shack “flunkie” there for two or three months. We had a good cook from Vernal. Gene Davis and I were working with him as “cook shack flunkies.” One night the cook went to Duchesne with Gene and got drunk. They didn’t get back in time for breakfast. That morning, the timekeeper came for coffee and asked where the cook was. I told him he hadn’t come back from Duchesne. I said if the timekeeper would help me, I thought I could get breakfast on. I cooked eggs, bacon, etc. for thirty men. The cook returned later with a blanket wrapped around him. He was drunk, but he came for his check. The timekeeper told him he wasn’t canned—to sober up! I got the day off! Homer was driving a truck for W.W.Clyde. The next summer I went up to Moon Lake. They were building Moon Lake dam. A bunch of us kids were cutting brush around the lake. Harvey Hatch and I rode horses to the head of Rock Creek and back to Duchesne. Harvey named Lake Frances after his future wife, Frances Case. It was later on the map that way. Dad and his second wife got a “friendly divorce” (20 September 1938). Dad moved back to Duchesne, into the old house and started housekeeping again. He worked at the Commercial Club for a number of years. He kept books and tended bar. I got married (6 July 1939) a couple of years out of high school to Blanche Anderton. I was 21 and Blanche was 20. We lived with the Andertons when Dianne was born (22 January 1940). Later, we moved to Hart’s Cabins. Blanche was gone for a few days and I didn’t know where she was. I was taking care of Dianne. I looked out the window and saw Blanche get out of Dr. Murray’s car. He was the doctor in town. Blanche was seeing him. He had taken care of her when she was expecting. The doctor went over to Cowan’s Café. I was so mad that I went over there, punched him out and got him in a choke hold. The only thing that kept me from killing him was that I had a child to take care of. I told him to stay away from my wife and that the next time I’d kill him. The doctor left town after that. Our marriage lasted for about seven years. It was never much of a success. Dianne was our only child. Blanche and I lived up in Bingham one winter. I worked in a service station. We lived in Salt Lake and in Duchesne—in motels and Helen Odekirk’s apartments. Things were tough—hardly any money, no work. We just grubbed and tried to make the best of it. I started doing a lot of odd and end carpentry jobs around Duchesne for a lot of different people. I started getting carpentry experience—a year or so. When World War II broke out, I went up to Hill Field. Lawrence Pack told me about work there. First, I joined the union out in Ogden. They sent me to Hill Field where I worked as a journeyman carpenter for one summer. I was staying with my Aunt Mary Brown, mother’s sister in Ogden. Ross Fietkau was living in North Ogden and working at Hill. He offered to give me a ride to work. So I walked to the corner and Ross picked me up. I worked with Rube Larsen on some cabinets at Hill. We were complimented on the Hill Field cabinets by the man in charge. I learned by doing. The foreman on the job knew Jack Odekirk in Duchesne. He thought a lot of Jack Odekirk, so he offered me a job in Salt Lake when I got laid off at Hill Field. I called him and he put me to work that fall. We built a theatre for the army at the Salt Lake International Airport. They had an army base out there—an in-and-out type of base. At this time, I got an apartment on about Third or Fourth East and Fifth South. Blanche and Dianne came from Duchesne to Salt Lake. I started to do various jobs around Salt Lake for different contractors—Glen and Delwyn Goff among them. That was a couple of years during the war. I learned carpentry by working with the best carpenters around. I received word that dad had married again (22 August 1942). Dad’s third wife was Ida Bell Thompson, another widow. She was a relative of Ed Hart who owned Hart’s Cabins in back of Killian’s station. They moved to Salt Lake for a while, then back to Duchesne and lived in the old house. One winter I went down around Vallejo, California and worked at Fairfield Army Base on an airplane hangar with Glen Goff. We were hired at 50 cents an hour more than regular pay if we would go up into the trusses (roof supports). Our job was to put cross members from one truss to another. We had to place a bolt and lock ring. It was 90 feet down to the concrete floor and we did not have a safety harness. One day I dropped a nail bar and it broke in half when it hit the cement. When I came back to Salt Lake in the spring, I went to work at the fairgrounds turning exhibition buildings into military barracks. This was temporary housing for men who were being reassigned. One day I was in the attic carrying a pole. The pole hit something and I spun around. I fell through the floor joists and sheet rock. I caught myself with my underarms on the floor joist. That hurt! They brought a ladder over to me. I didn’t go all the way to the concrete floor. I worked around Salt Lake for two or three years. When work got slow, we moved back to Duchesne and lived with Blanche’s parents, the Andertons. I had work for Don Bench remodeling Kohl’s Market. I was asked to teach shop and coach at the high school by my former principal who was the superintendent by then—Mr. Bond. He asked me to help them out for about three months. I only had a high school education, but he knew I could handle the job, so there was no problem there. The school was so needy that Don let me go to teach shop. There was no rush on the store job. I went up to the high school and saw that the shop was in a sad state. There were no tools. The boys made a table. I also coached baseball. We took a busload of kids up to Altamont to play their team. The principal and a female teacher went along to chaperone. Duchesne won the game. The kids were so excited they sang and laughed all the way back to Duchesne. It was a real party on the bus. I worked at Duchesne High School for about three months. My father-in-law was on the draft board. He told me my number was coming up. Something interesting: Cynthie Blackburn lived over across the river. We used to play with the Blackburn kids. One day she came out and said, “Jack, I want to tell your fortune.” She looked at my palm and said there was to be a great war. I would cross the water and come back. When I left Camp Roberts, those guys wanted to hang onto my shirttails because I was coming back! One time I was very sick with the flu. Cynthie Blackburn wanted to come over and bless me. My mom said “no.” I was drafted into the army in December of 1944. I went to Camp Roberts, California for 17 weeks of basic training. Then I came home on a furlough for a week or so before being sent overseas. We went back to California to Fort Ord to get our overseas equipment first. One day my CO called me into his office. He needed to tell me that Blanche had filed for divorce. My reaction was “Goody, goody,” and I clapped my hands. It had not been a good marriage. Blanche had met the brother of a couple who lived across the hall from us when we lived in Salt Lake. They knew that we weren’t getting along. He was visiting them from California. While I was in the service, Blanche went to California to be with him and left Dianne with her parents in Duchesne. Dianne started school in Duchesne. Blanche married Norm Asmus. We shipped out of San Francisco headed for the Philippine Islands. There were 2,500 men on board—about 500 colored. It took 17-18 days between San Francisco and the Philippines. We sailed past Corregidor into Manila Bay and landed in Manila. We were first stationed at a replacement station. It was a mustering off place where we were assigned to permanent type divisions. While there in the replacement depot, I and some of my buddies (some from Duchesne and some from Salt Lake and around Utah that I took basic training with) built a PX out of lumber and corrugated, galvanized tin. I was assigned to the First Cavalry Division, which was really a good outfit. In early summer, we were stationed about 60-70 miles outside of Manila. My dad, William H. Fitzwater, was in the Spanish-American War outside Manila in the Philippines. We talked about the places we’d been. We were in the same towns. I walked in his footsteps. (note: WH was in the Philippines when the 1900 census was taken). That fall, when they dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the war ended. My outfit pulled out immediately and went up to Tokyo, Japan as part of the Army of Occupation. I was left behind with about 50 rear echelon troops to tear down and bring up the rear. They kept me on carpentry, crating up frigidaires and a few things like that. We stayed back for about three weeks to a month before we got to go up to Tokyo to join our outfit. We caught a ride on an old French banana boat. It took us about two weeks before we got up to Tokyo. We joined our outfits up there. I was with my regiment in a two-story brick building with modern conveniences. We could look right out the window to the west and see Mt. Fujiyama. Almost every morning we would have earth tremors—the building would just shake. We got used to them and didn’t pay any attention. I was in charge of utilities in our regiment. I was put over carpentry, plumbing, electrical and painting around the camp. That was my main duty. Along in the summer, they started a baseball team. They wanted people to try out for the baseball team. I made the team—center field and pitching. Then I didn’t have to do my job in the utilities, but I did, to have something to do. When I was put on the team, I was put on special assignment. That relieved me of any other duties, but I kept my job because I enjoyed it and liked to do it. I used a lot of Japanese carpenters and painters and plumbers. They were paid by the Japanese government and reimbursed by our government. They were real good workers. We didn’t have any trouble with them. They had an interpreter out at the front gate if there was anything technical. I communicated with them a lot of time with sign language and they understood. Sometimes I’d go get the interpreter. My shop was in the back, right on the shore. One time we built some cabinets for the men to hang their clothes in. I had quite a few Japanese workers in my shop. I always locked the door when I went to “chow.” One day when I came back, one of the Japanese workers had cut himself on a saw. He and his buddies crawled out the window to go to the medics. When they came back, they wouldn’t work. The interpreter told me they wanted to sprinkle salt on the saw. It was something to do with their religion. I said, “Fine.” After they sprinkled some salt around, they went back to work. While in Tokyo, I was an early riser. I was up and ready at 5 or 6 a.m. The other guys would say, “Oh, Fitzwater—why are you up? Go back to bed!” I could get away with it because I had more stripes than any of them. I had three stripes and was a TV technician. The highest pay I made in the army was $110 per month. I made more playing poker than my regular pay. I sent the money home to Dad to save for me. I sent four rifles home from Tokyo and a saber. I made wooden boxes for them in my shop. I gave one rifle to Delwyn Goff. It was an odd size—made by Remington Arms. The rifles were given to me. They were Japanese weapons. I went with the lieutenant to pick out the rifles. It was easy for me to ship them home. While in Tokyo, a colonel came to my carpenter shop. He asked, “Jack, what do you suggest? We’ve got a problem with some of the guys wanting to stay up drinking and playing cards at night. This interferes with the sleep of some of the other men in the barracks.” I suggested that we make a club out of a lean-to in the back. The colonel thought that was “a hell of a good idea!” The next day, he had a crew out there cleaning out the lean-to. When the area was ready, some of the men took a truck into town and helped themselves to furniture in various hotel lobbies. The First Sergeant came to me one day and said, “Jack, I see you’re a cook.” I said, “Oh, not really, I just helped out in a hamburger place.” I knew he was looking for a mess sergeant. No way! I was made a sergeant later anyway. I became a “saddle maker” and was promoted to sergeant. My division had the same designation as the one that had fought in Custer’s last stand. I have seen the first cavalry insignia on uniforms of men in the Gulf War. I had a pleasure, an honor, while in my outfit in Tokyo. They picked about ten or twelve of us out of five hundred guys to be an honorary guard for Mrs. Douglas MacArthur. We’d built a real nice Red Cross club on a training boat (USS Gary Owens) that they had anchored there in the bay. We’d converted it into a club. It had a dance floor in it, a bar and booze. You could get coffee and doughnuts. You could play games and listen to the radio. It was an entertainment place with tropical, undersea scenery—real clever. They invited Mrs. Douglas MacArthur to come and christen this club for us. They lined us up and I was picked for one of her honorary guard. I and one other fellow were to help her down into a small boat to take her around to the front of the big ship to hit it with a bottle of saki. After the ceremony, she took a small boat back to shore. I was out first and then turned and helped her out. She said, “Why, thank you, Sergeant.” There was a big picture of Mrs. MacArthur and me in the Tokyo paper. I sent the picture home to my Dad. It got lost in the shuffle. That was quite an honor, quite an experience. She was a real nice little gal. I never did get to see General MacArthur himself. He was hard to see. He was up in Tokyo, in the business part. Along in July, I and my buddy got a turn to go down to a rest camp 100 miles from our base. It was close to Hiroshima. We were in this rest camp for about a week. We got ready to come home and they quarantined us for something. Then we got to stay for another week. The food was real good and we could do just about anything we wanted to do. We’d fool around, play ball and pitch horseshoes or go row boating out in the bay. There was a bridge that went out to an island. We could be lazy. They waited on us and fed us. It was real nice. When we got back to our camp, there was a baseball game the next day. I was to pitch. I hadn’t been throwing and my arm was a little stiff. I pitched the eight innings. In the eighth inning, I threw a curve and my arm broke in two. So they took me up to 42nd General Hospital there in Tokyo. When I went to the hospital, the other patients said, “Here comes another one.” Another boy had broken his leg running from first to second base. These breaks were due to poor nutrition. We had no milk or fresh vegetables. We were not allowed to eat Japanese food. My buddy and the First Sergeant came to see me in the hospital. They said, “We won the game!” I was there for about three weeks. The doctor told me I was going to go home. I shipped out of Tokyo at the end of August on a hospital ship, the USS Comfort. It was real nice with good food, good beds, nurses and everything. We were about two weeks coming home, landing back in San Francisco. I was there for a couple of days. They flew me up to Tacoma, Washington to Madigan General Hospital (closest to Utah). They changed my cast and I was there for two or three weeks and they let me go home on a furlough. I still had my arm in a cast. I stayed home for a couple of weeks and they let me have an extension for another couple of weeks. Mildred Carmen, who was on the draft board, said “matrimonial troubles” were the reason I needed an extra week of furlough. I got to go hunting deer and helped Homer get started on his home. Then I went back up to Tacoma, Washington and they took the old cast off. I started taking treatments to limber up my arm so I could use it. It had healed, but was real skinny and weak from being in a cast. I got to come home. It seemed so good to be back and to have the war over. I went back to Duchesne and stayed with my sister, Verda, and her husband, Marvel. Along in December, they mustered me out of the army. My daughter and my ex-wife were living in Salt Lake. My life really started all over, I’d say. I worked as a cook for my brother-in-law, Marvel, at Moore’s Cafe across the street from Cowan’s Café. Marvel Moore made some of the best pies ever. My sister, Verda, waited on customers. One day she had me make a cake. She put it out on the counter. Mrs. Schonian came from the business next door for a treat. She saw the cake and asked for a piece. She complimented Verda on the cake. Verda said, “Why, I didn’t make that cake—Jack did!” I was quite proud of myself. I played a little baseball on the town team when I came home, but I had to give it up. I went to work in Duchesne remodeling Kohl’s store, a job I’d started before I went in the service. I met Ruby that winter. I and a friend went up to Alta Loma to a dance (Alta Loma was located west of Altamont at 3750 No Highway 87 on the west side of the Lake Fork River). I really went up there to see another gal, Reva Killian. She used to write to me while I was overseas. Anyway, I danced with her. She was there, acting quite important. That kind of stuff never went over with Jack Fitzwater. She was playing hard to get. I danced with her and then I went out to the car alone at intermission. When I went out to the car, Ruby was in the car with my sister and brother-in-law and this fellow I’d ridden to the dance with and another couple. Sarah, my sister, asked me if I remembered Ruby Fietkau. Ruby said, “Jack, you should remember me, I danced with you one time down in Duchesne.” I remembered. I danced with her and she was just right—just what I was looking for. She just kinda turned me on, you know. In other words, I had my antennaes out and she had hers out a lot further (other versions say “antlers”). I told her I was going to marry her and build her the biggest house in Duchesne. We danced the rest of the night and I asked to take her home. She lived in Salt Lake and she was out there to see her mother and her daughter, Shirley. She had been married before. Grandma Snow had her daughter living in Mt. Emmons. It was funny, that night I met her at Alta Loma. Harry Davis had already asked Ruby if he could take her home after the dance. He was looking for somebody too. She turned him down. She didn’t want to go home with him. This gal that I had gone up there to see, she sat on the sidelines pulling faces all night. Ruby had stolen me away. When I asked Ruby if I could take her home, neither of us thought about Harry until we got out to the car. She turned Harry down and he had to drive her home! He razzed us all the way over there. We had to go to Mt. Emmons. Alta Loma is down on the river. We had to go ten miles to take Ruby home and then come back. He razzed me about beating his time and kidded Ruby all the way home. “That’s pretty good, you turn me down and I have to drive you home!” Our first date was for New Year’s. We went to Delwyn and Dorothy Goff’s in Salt Lake and then to the Chi-Chi Club. We started going together. I’d come out to Salt Lake quite often. There was a club up Emigration Canyon where we’d go quite a bit. They had a live band and we loved to dance. I had a Buick—a nice little car—and money in the bank (about $2,000). I went over to Bob Sathers’ in Roosevelt and bought her a keepsake diamond—60 points, a little better than half a carat. She’s still got it to this day. We got engaged that summer. While dating, Ruby and I went on a campout to Yellow Pine Flat in the Uintahs. We went with two other couples—Doris and Troy Bailey and Venla and Harvey Gee. We were all sleeping out on a tarp by the river. We had a bonfire burning. During the night, Ruby got up to go “pottie.” She was dressed in dark pants and a plaid shirt. When she came to get in her sleeping bag, she woke me up. I let out a blood-curdling scream and woke everyone up. I thought Ruby was a bear! We got married in the latter part of October in Salt Lake. Delwyn and Dorothy’s bishop married us in his home one evening. The best man, Delwyn, and his wife, Dorothy, were there. I don’t remember the bishop’s name. My sister, Nora, gave Ruby a shower in Salt Lake—mostly family, just the women. We first lived in a motel in Salt Lake. I was working up at University Gardens Apartments for Ben Davis, a contractor. We lived there for about a month and we moved down on Walker Lane—Highland Drive and 50th South. We lived there during that winter until the next spring. I moved back to Duchesne to lease Reed’s Club from my brother-in-law, Reed Cowan. Ruby was working at the State Capitol at the time. I went out to Duchesne alone and got the beer parlor opened. I found a home to rent on Main Street (about 125 E.) and Ruby moved out. We set up housekeeping. After about a week, we went up to Mt. Emmons and got little Shirley. She had been living with Grandpa and Grandma Snow (Elmira Mower). She came to live with us. The first time Ruby met Dianne, my daughter, they went shopping in Salt Lake. One summer we decided to raise some chickens. I fixed a run in the back yard of the rental. The little irrigation ditch ran through the corner of the yard, giving them clean, fresh water. We left them plenty of food and went up to Rock Creek for a camping weekend. They were pullet size by this time. When we got back, we found a bunch of them dead. The water in the ditch had been cut off. The chicks had crowded up into the corner trying to get some water and smothered each other. I think it was a mistake going back to Duchesne. I would have made more in Salt Lake. We did pretty good in the beer parlor. We got ahead a little bit and bought some furniture. A bunch of us got together and wanted to do something nice for the children in town for Christmas. We called Dave Smith in Salt Lake to ask if we could cut Christmas trees on his property. We cut about 35 trees. We had Kohl’s truck to carry the trees. We sold them and used the money to buy candy and nuts. We put these in sacks. Smoky Payne, an auto mechanic in town, was Santa. He rode into town on the fire truck. He passed out the sacks of candy to the kids. We parked the truck right in front of the beer parlor. We sacked the candy up at the Legion Hall one night. Ruby was pregnant with Michele. Michele was born in January. That spring my lease was up on the beer parlor. I went back to doing carpentry work. I went down to build some kitchen cabinets for Grant and Babs Murdock. Then I went on from there doing different jobs around town. That fall we moved down in the old Billings home (500 E. about 125 S.), an old cement brick home belonging to Van Killian. Victor Billings was a leader in the LDS Church. I remember him presiding at a funeral. The home was cold that winter. There was Michele and Shirley and Mom and I when we moved down there. After Fern died, Jay was having a hard time. He had a girlfriend and Lonnie was afraid he was getting too serious. He asked me and Ruby if Jay could come and live with us in Duchesne. Michele was a baby. Jay was going to high school. Times were tough. Jay wanted to go to a dance at the church one night. He didn’t have the proper clothes, but he went anyway. When he saw how the other guys were dressed, he walked back home. We were living in the Billings house, across from the Hayes family, southeast of the main part of town. Ruby had been talking to Mrs. Hayes and was starting back across the road when she saw Jay coming. She and Jay put their arms around each other and sobbed. We didn’t have any money to give Jay, but we did the best we could. Jay asked Ruby once if his dad ever gave them any money to help out. Ruby said she wouldn’t have taken it if he had tried. Lonnie didn’t have any money either. I had a pretty good job that next summer (1950). I built three homes for the Fabrizios over there on the edge of Duchesne across the steel bridge. We got ahead a little bit. That summer we bought dad’s old place (50 W. 200 N) and I started remodeling it. He wanted to sell it to us, so we bought it. He practically gave it to us. We paid $2,300 for it at $30 a month. Dad set the price. We sold it for $9,000 in 1962. When we bought the old house, it was quite run down. I went up there in my spare time weekends and evenings and worked on it. We fixed it all up so it was livable. We moved up there that summer or fall. Marsha was born a year later in 1951. My Dad died in 1952. The night he died, he and Ida Bell had gone to a banquet and had a big dinner. When they got home, he had a piece of watermelon. The next morning, when he bent over to tie his shoes, the main artery to his heart ruptured. He was taken to the VA Hospital where he died that night. Ida Bell had a comfortable, cute home. When Dad died, she didn’t seem to want a nice funeral. She said he could be buried in a Vet’s pine box. The Fitzwaters got together and went to the funeral home. We picked a different casket. They seemed happy together, but she had burned all of his family pictures. Ruby went through probate court with Ida Bell all alone. She said it was one of her worst days. Ida Bell wanted the money. We still owed money on the home. Ida Bell was upset because we took the balance and paid for funeral expenses and a better casket. She questioned everything. There was nothing left. He had worked and fixed up her home. Dad got a pension from the Spanish-American War. She continued to receive his pension after he died. She had grown children, but we never met them. I tore up the wood floor in Moore’s Café and built a concrete floor. I used the wood to build the fence in front of the old house. We raised a big garden to the side of the house. Hebe Goff used to come down the road and give mom (Ruby) advice on the garden. We had a nice lot. We put up a lot of stuff. We did a lot of work on the place. We tore out some big old trees there on the property—eight big poplar trees that dad had planted years ago. We cut those down and planted some smaller trees—some elms and a pine tree that’s still there. Jeff and Cammie were born while we lived there. Before Jeffrey was born, mother lost twin boys. They were premature. We buried them up to Boneta Cemetery by relatives of hers. (note: Jack and Ruby had the twins moved June 2003 to Redwood Memorial Estates where they are buried). One was called Bryce and the other, Bryan. They were born in Roosevelt Hospital. Shortly after, she got pregnant with Jeff, our only boy. They were just kind of typical American kids, all of them. We lived there thirteen or fourteen years. The Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (DUP) asked me to help build a monument to honor the pioneers. Allen Bond (neighbor and friend), Weston Bates and I donated our labor and the DUP paid for the materials. The bell on the monument was supposed to be the bell from the old adobe elementary in Duchesne. It was the bell that Hebe Goff used to ring at 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. Unfortunately, Allen had sold it for scrap metal. He knew of a similar bell that had been used in a school in Mt. Home, north of Duchesne. He picked up the bell and the DUP approved it. My sister, Verda, and a Holdaway girl had asked for a brick to be saved when the adobe school was torn down. They had carved their names in the brick. We incorporated that brick (behind glass) into the back of the monument that still stands east of the new Duchesne High School on Main Street (2013). The Andertons, Blanche’s family, were always very friendly to me. Levi, her dad, was a bishop. Blanche and a couple of her brothers, Rulon and Neil, felt they were “black sheep.” Ruby saw Rulon in Duchesne one day. He lived in Roosevelt. She invited him up for supper. He came and we had a nice visit. Neil and his wife, Mert, moved to Duchesne in about 1964 for a couple of years. He had a barber shop next to Ruby’s dress shop. They were living in his parents’ home. They sold it and moved back to Salt Lake City. When he died, he had given instructions to his son that I was to be called right away and I was. We took milk from the Anderton’s for years. I’d drive the kids over there in the pickup and they would take the empty gallon jars to trade for the fresh milk. Our kids knew them as “Grandma and Grandpa Anderton.” The “weanin’ pen” was just west of the old house. It was a little house with two rooms--a front room and kitchen. It was a house that young couples used when they were getting started. Grandpa Buckalew was sleeping over there when he died. My dad would go over there and sleep with him when it was real cold to keep him warm. George Kohl bought this house from dad. Herb Mecham drug it over to Glen Stephenson’s and he made it into a garage. George Kohl bought the lot and I built a house on the property between Homer’s house and ours. Arza Adams, a butcher at Kohl’s Market from Vernal, and his wife, Clytie, lived there. They were a nice couple. Ruby really liked Mrs. Adams. She told Ruby of her daughter being strangled on their clothesline in Vernal. I had a horse for about four or five years when the kids were little. I bought it from someone in Fruitland for $150. I had it in a pasture across the river. One time the horse got porcupine quills in his nose. I called Arch Hayes because he knew a lot about horses. He threw the horse down in the garden and pulled out the quills. We took the horse deer hunting so he could haul our deer into camp. I built a trailer for him, but he hated it. It was too narrow. We had a riding club—the Duchesne Riding Club—that rode in the Duchesne County Fair parade. We did maneuvers in the park with lights on the field. When we had the riding club, I was in Kohl’s Market asking Don Bench about a flag. George Kohl heard me and said we could use George Jr.’s flag. I told him I’d take real good care of it. I made blue and white flags that were three feet high for the club members to hold. Some of the members didn’t have saddles. They rode bareback. Mont Poulson rode with the U.S. flag in the center. Someone else rode on the left side with a 30-30 rifle. I rode on the right side with a 30-30 also. Everyone else, including the kids, rode behind us. I sold the horse to Orvin Moon, who lived by the church. I was building something onto his house and offered to sell him the horse. I also sold him a skill saw—I had two. One of his men cut his leg with the saw. The horse got tangled up in wire and had to be shot. George Jr. Kohl was a friend of Homer and me. George Kohl sent Jr. to Tulane University in New Orleans to study business. He was drafted and trained as a bombardier during World War II. While in training, he flew close to the west of Duchesne. He talked the pilot into flying the plane down low along Main Street to Bridgeland and back. George Jr. had three successful missions, but was shot down. His plane was found in the jungle five or six years later. He had written to Homer. George Jr.’s dog tags and a flag were sent to George Kohl. One fun trip Ruby and I took was to Finney Lake, elevation 11,000 feet, in the Uintahs. It was in the summer, but there was snow by the lake. We were the first on the trail that year. We packed in from Rock Creek Lodge on horses. There was snow up to the bellies of the horses in the meadow. Barbara and Duane Meriwether took us in. Those who went were Deon and Pauline Brown, Jim and Terry Cowan, Max and Melva Allred, Norma and Jr. Wilson and Ruby and me. Deon did most of the fishing. Pauline had to go down because of heart problems. Ruby said she never laughed so much in her life. Max always had a joke. We decided we wanted a new home. The summer that I built Ell’s Motel, we bought half a block up north of us in the best part of Duchesne, really. I sold some of the lots to Jimmy Cowan and I built him a new home. I sold to Neil Jensen next to me. I kept two and a half lots 125’ by 150’ for our home. That summer we got our basement in. The next summer, we started framing it up. We decided to go ahead with what money we had and I got it framed up. We had a chance to sell the old home on a GI loan to Buddy Bird and Verna, Acel Muse’s sister. Then we had that $10,000 to put toward the new home. We had to hurry and get the basement finished so we could move that fall. It was getting late and we had to get in. We had to get out of the other home. So we moved up and lived in the basement. That winter I went up and built the same home. I took my plan to Altamont and built Ted and Naomi Fisher a home so I had good work all winter. I burned a lot of midnight oil on ours. I’d stay up ‘til one or two o’clock every night working upstairs laying rocks and building cabinets, etc. We went as far as we could with our money. It was easy to get money because we had as much advancement on our home, so we borrowed a little money from the bank to finish the upstairs. We moved up there for Thanksgiving the following fall of 1961. Jeff and Marsha kept the basement bedrooms. Michele, Camille and mom and I moved upstairs. Mom and I liked to picnic, fish, hunt deer and camp out. We took the kids on a lot of good trips and cookouts. We really liked the outdoors. The kids always had a little dog of some kind. One little dog named Sandy was with us for a number of years. I think the poor little dog died of a broken heart because we wouldn’t let her come upstairs. (Dad admitted in 2011 that he had to take Sandy up Indian Canyon and shoot her. She was pooping all over the house). We had another dog, a bird dog, named “Lady” that I took pheasant hunting. She had about eight pups. Jeff kept one of the pups and named him “Duke.” We had a group of friends in Duchesne that made up the 500 club. We’d get together about once a month. We took turns entertaining. We’d play 500—similar to bridge. We had a booby prize and a high prize. That was real nice. We’d have about four tables—sixteen people. We always went to the Junior Prom. It was a big thing for us. We always looked forward to the high school basketball games. While Michele and Marsha were in the Debutantes marching unit, the girls went to Idaho one time. They marched at a basketball game at BYU during the intermission of a BYU-New Mexico game. That was a privilege. We went out and watched that. We really enjoyed the high school activities with the kids. Marsha was real outstanding in the oratorical contest and won several trophies. Michele was the Sweetheart Queen and then crowned Marsha. We were real proud of them. I built several homes in Duchesne and the post office. I built a home for Ray and Donna Hansen across the street and west of our new home. When my sister, Verda, died, Ruby and I rode to Duchesne with Jay Fitzwater for the funeral. Donna Hansen approached me. She had to tell me who she was. I said, “I built a home for you.” She said, “Yes, you did and I’m still living in that house. My husband passed away, but I am still enjoying that home.” In Duchesne I belonged to the American Legion. We had a lot of fun with the American Legion. It was real active in Duchesne. We had a lot of nice banquets and programs. We had Legion and Auxiliary parties. We took part in several burials. We had a firing squad to salute the dead veterans. We went around all over the Uintah Basin. We went to Price. Our post was 180. I was on the City Council for a couple of years. We had a real good group then. We accomplished a lot. We were all young. We were out to do something and we did. We helped with new waterworks and improved the sidewalks—better than they are today with all their oil money and we didn’t have any money! One of my responsibilities was the airport—to see the runway was kept cleared and the restrooms in the building were kept up. There was only one private plane up there. We had city cleanups and kept the alleys free of trash. I added onto the Duchesne County Jail. George Marett, the sheriff at the time, showed me how he wanted it. I used my own forms. I practically wore them out. Levi Anderton told me to turn in a bill, which I did. Porter Merrill made a negative remark about how he could hire a cat all day for that amount. This was at a County Commissioner meeting. They paid me half. Later on, the city asked me to make some concrete bridge abutments up the river. There was an old wooden bridge that had washed out. I made it clear I would not be furnishing any of my own materials. When I said that, Porter Merrill ducked his head. The bridge is still in use. I was asked to be the inspector for the new Duchesne Elementary. I was hired by the architect, Roe Smith, and paid by him. Roe was very well-respected. He was Tom Abplanalp’s nephew. (Tom graduated from Duchesne High School in 1938. His family lived in Utahn by Bernice [Fietkau] and Gene Abplanalp. His mother was ornery. She smoked a corncob pipe. Tom was the favorite son. He was the only one to become educated). Roe Smith’s family lived in Bridgeland. His father was Almy Smith. Before starting the elementary, Tom, the school superintendent, asked me to look over the plans. I said, “There’s something wrong right now! There will be rain water draining right down by the front door. You should build an entry first.” Tom told Roe Smith to solve the problem, which he did. When the foundation was started on the elementary by Turner Construction, I didn’t like the looks of the concrete. I called a young inspector in Roosevelt who was on a small job over there. I asked him to go to the batch plant and check on the concrete. I asked him to see if they were using the right grade, etc. I said, “If you see a problem, call Tom Abplanalp, the school superintendent.” Awhile later, Tom came to me and said, “C’mon Jack. Let’s go to Roosevelt.” The job superintendent from Turner Construction, Tom and I went in Tom’s car to the plant. We looked in the hopper and saw chunks from bags left in the rain and the wrong grade of concrete. Tom broke the contract on the spot. Turner Construction got a mixer and brought gravel from the Point of the Mountain. They mixed their own concrete on the site. The project manager was “green”—he was a former heavy equipment operator. He hadn’t had much or any experience reading blueprints. He relied heavily on one of his carpenters to help him in this way. One day, while inspecting, I noticed that the floor hadn’t been recessed in the multi-purpose room and the bathrooms. They needed to allow for tile. I pointed this out to the project manager. He said, “Oh, I didn’t know.” I said, “Look here at the plan.” The project manager asked what he should do. I said, “It’s still green concrete and is not set. Knock it off.” When the elementary was dedicated, Ruby was there. I was not. Roe Smith, the architect, said “You should be proud of one in your own community. That’s Jack Fitzwater. He was an outstanding inspector!” The builder praised me for saving them thousands of dollars and giving the community a quality building. Roe Smith told Tom Abplanalp that “Jack Fitzwater was one of the best inspectors I ever had on a job.” Later, Ned Mitchell was working on an addition to the school. I went to look at it. I told Ned, “You’re pouring six inches high. Look, you’re pouring above the brick line.” Lloyd Shiner was a worker. He said, “What should we do?” I said, “Stop. Dig it out of there!” They did and it turned out OK. I’ve been on a lot of good rabbit hunts. When we were living in the old home, Allen Bond and Homer and I went out to Periot Mines, south of Myton. We brought home 70-75 cottontails. Elden Wilkins came over and took a picture of them and sent it into Don Brooks, sportswriter for the Salt Lake Tribune. It really stirred up a stink. Don Brooks knew Homer because he’d gone lion hunting with him. He called Homer in Duchesne. Don said, “Oh, Homer, I’m in trouble. I’ve got all these sportsmen calling up here to the editor and me. They want to know where you guys got all those rabbits. They think you’re wasting these rabbits, they’re edible and you’re killing all these cottontails and wasting them.” Homer said, “We’re not wasting them. We divided up them rabbits. We’ve all got deep freezes and big families. We eat those rabbits. What are you talking about?” Don Brooks’ column was “Smoke Signals.” So, he writes this article in the next paper. He told all about calling Homer and the boys. He said, “They do not waste those rabbits. Those rabbits were all put in their deep freezes and eaten. They have families. They need the meat, in other words.” That didn’t satisfy them. Do you know why? We didn’t tell them where we got the rabbits. So Don calls back. He says, “Homer, you’ve just got to tell me where you got those rabbits.” Homer says, “We just got them out on the desert south of Myton.” You know, the next weekend, we got invaded. No kidding! You’d have thought they were going to the World’s Fair. They came with shotguns and 22s. They went out there chasing those rabbits. That year there were a lot of rabbits on this desert. They came out there and they cleaned it out. It never was the same after that, in other words. After that, we went up one time on the Blue Bench out of Duchesne—a bunch of us brothers and friends from Salt Lake. We killed about a hundred rabbits in two days. We’ve got films of that. They were healthy and fat—good eating. (They used a plumbing auger to coax the rabbits out—then killed them). Over the years, we had several good deer hunts—all during the 50s after World War II. My brothers and I would deer hunt every fall. We really looked forward to that. One morning when we got up, the tent had collapsed. The deer were coming. We were standing out there in our long handles and bare feet, shooting deer. Once I took Ruby deer hunting up the Strawberry River. She said, “I’ll just read here in the pickup.” A two-point went right by her. I waited and then shot. Later on, a bunch in Duchesne was going to the Book Cliffs, south of Vernal, bow and arrow hunting. I really wanted to go, so I bought myself a used bow in Roosevelt and started hunting. It was three or four years before I ever got one. Finally, I got one of the biggest ones that any of them had ever killed. It was the bull of the woods—eight points on one side and five on the other. It had better than a thirty inch spread of horns, one of the biggest ones that had ever come out of there. I was quite thrilled. A bird dog of mine came in one night and chewed the horns and ruined them. The horns were velvet at that time of year and soft. One year we went on a lion hunt. Brent Lee, my son-in-law, was with us and a friend of mine from Duchesne, Gary Rowley, a government trapper. There was a dentist from Grand Junction and there was another government trapper from Vernal. We went out south of Duchesne. They had a report that this lion had been killing sheep. The government trappers are hired to control predators. The trapper in Duchesne said, “I want you to go.” I called Brent. He wanted to go too. I took my movie camera. The dentist from Grand Junction had a small boy—14 or 15. We went out to the herd that morning and saw the sheep. Several sheep had been killed. The first day, we didn’t get the right tracks. We went in a circle—a goose chase. The next day, we spotted the mother track and two kittens. The five dogs started on the tracks and away they went. Then they split up. The two kittens went one way and the cat went the other. Three dogs and Brent and I went after the mother and the dentist and the other trapper from Vernal stayed with the two horses. The dogs had the mother lion up a tree. I took some movie camera pictures. They chased her up another tree. We had to kill her with a 22 rifle and dress her out and take the fur to turn in. About that time, here came the dentist. He never did catch the kittens, so he gave up and came back. The next day, they went back out and got on the kitten tracks and finally got them. We moved to Salt Lake in 1969. By then Michele was married. She married Brent Lee and moved up to Tabiona. Marsha was going to BYU. Mom and I decided to move to Salt Lake. That was June 1969. Mother went out ahead of me. I was working on a high school job and Jeff was still in school in Duchesne. Ruby took Cammie with her. I had to wait until school was out. In June, when Jeff got out of school, we started moving stuff to Salt Lake. At first, we lived in a duplex over on 7th East (3760 S.). What a nightmare that street was. We decided to sell the home in Duchesne. At the time, that was a mistake. I had the home rented at the time. A short time after we sold the home, there was a big oil boom in Duchesne. If we had kept it for another year, we could really have made some money. We sold the home at a loss. We bought a home down in Midvale that was closer to my work. I went to work for Boise Cascade in Salt Lake. They built pre-fab homes. They hired me to run a crew and start a night shift. I started a night shift with about thirty men doing framing. I worked night shift for 5 ½ years. Then they put me on day shift for a few years. The plant manager seemed to turn against me. He was going to write me up because I wouldn’t fire a guy, one of my best workers. I quit and walked out. I worked for Boise Cascade for 9 ½ years. They closed the plant down. After that, I worked for Interstate Homes in Salt Lake as a quality control inspector over framing. I worked there for about a year and got a little discouraged with that. I decided to go back to work and use my own tools to make more money. I was hired by Hogan & Tingey Construction from Centerville. I told them I had worked for them in Duchesne. They wanted me right away. I worked on a school in Layton. The last project I worked on for them was the south wing of the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake. One summer while I was working for Hogan & Tingey, I went fly fishing for a week. When I got back to Salt Lake, I was to check on Curtis, the son of the owner. He was in charge of building an elementary school on 93rd South. I went down there and looked at the blueprints. Right away I saw there was a big problem—the school was facing the wrong direction. The school was supposed to face “a proposed road,” not the existing oil road. When I told Curtis, he responded in a panic, “What am I going to do?” I said, “You better get your men out there, tear out those batter boards and lay it out right! No one will ever know.” Curtis said, “Oh, Jack, you saved my life!” I worked for Hogan & Tingey for about seven years. I retired when I reached the age of 65. I decided to get out of it. Eddie Brown said I wasn’t retired until I built him a home in Duchesne. So I did. In the meantime, the last few years, Ruby’s been into real estate which really helped us an awful lot. With her “umph” and her boost in the financial end of things, we made a few investments. It set us up pretty good and helped toward our retirement. She started her Social Security at 62 and I started mine at 65. With a few investments we have, we are really quite comfortable. Ruby found our home in Taylorsville, where we moved in August of 1976. We really liked the floor plan of the home. I finished off the basement. We lived there for 33 years. We had wonderful neighbors and Ruby was active in the ward. We had some good home teachers come to our home. Our son, Jeff, passed away due to a construction accident while working on the Delta Center in Salt Lake in January 1991. A forklift backed over him when he did not hear the warning signal. Larry Miller came to the house and cried with us. He also spoke at the funeral. The Jazz organization took care of a lot of the funeral expenses. Larry and Gail came to the house again with autographed basketballs for Jeff’s kids. There is a bronze plaque in the Delta Center in honor of Jeff. Our family was invited to the Open House when the building was completed. I have had a few health problems in my later years. I developed a tumor on my eye. Dr. Ungritch removed it. I also had cataracts. I had a mole on my forehead that started into cancer. At the VA Hospital, I had an area of my forehead operated on to remove this. Vertigo sent me to the Cottonwood Hospital once and to the VA Hospital another time. I was mowing the lawn one day in 1990 and was a little short of breath. The next morning, I drove myself up to the VA. They kept me and I had open heart surgery. The doctors did a triple bypass. MOH surgery at the University of Utah Hospital behind my left ear for a suspicious area landed me at the VA again when the stitches didn’t hold. Then I had a minor stroke in 2008. I gave up driving after my stroke. Ruby and I were big Jazz fans. After my triple bypass, Camille and Shirley called “Hot Rod” Hundley, the announcer for the Utah Jazz basketball games. While announcing the next Jazz game, he said, “Get well, Sergeant Fitzwater!” When the doctor came in to see me the next day, he said, “I didn’t know you were a celebrity!” I felt so good after I recovered from my heart surgery that I got busy painting. I painted the entire upstairs and put up some new wallpaper in the living room and the kitchen. We had some dark paneling in the entryway and down the stairs. I painted it white along with the doors in the hallway and the bedroom closet doors. The VA provided home care after my stroke. That meant a doctor and some other people came to check on me. I think one was a social worker. He asked me all kinds of questions. Before he left, he said he would like to hear one of my fly fishing stories. I started right in with the question, “Ever hear of a Fisherman’s Dream?” I told him about a fishing trip five of us went on in the High Uintahs. There were my two brothers, Lonnie and Homer, Art, my niece Norine’s husband (Norine was Leva’s daughter) from Oakland, California and Dick Horrocks, Della Mae’s husband (Della Mae was another one of my sister, Leva’s, daughters). We were about ½ mile from camp, off the trail about 100 yards, at a place called Lost Lake. I decided to try fishing without a fly on. I used a Colorado Spinner—one side was gold and the other was silver. It was about 12:00 noon and there were a few clouds in the sky. I cast out and caught a trout about a foot long. With every cast, the fish hit the spinner—three claws pulling in as fast as I could. I just threw them in the grass. There were 60 fish—the limit was 20! It was a Fisherman’s Dream! I looked around and said, “Where’s the game warden?” I stopped and cleaned a basketful and a willow full. I was separated from the other guys. When we got back to camp and they saw my catch, they wanted me to hurry and eat supper and go back. We caught five or six more and they quit biting. They were Rainbow Cutthroat. While we lived in Taylorsville, Ruby and I had a small garden—mostly tomato plants. We raised rhubarb and had an apricot tree and a cherry tree. Even when mom’s eyesight was bad, we would can tomatoes together. And, of course, we had to have mom’s homemade jam! We liked to watch the quail out in our front yard. They liked our big pine tree and the one next door. For many years, there were some ducks that would come to our back yard every summer. We had a little dog, Rusty, that was a real good dog. One day, toward the end of the time we lived in our Taylorsville home, I noticed a flash of bright yellow on the back lawn. I went out there and found an injured cockatiel. We took him in and got a cage. We named him “Dandy” because he was as yellow as a dandelion. We really enjoyed watching him, but he didn’t last very many weeks before he died. One day I brought a “surprise” into the house for mom. I told her, “I didn’t give you any flowers on our wedding day…so here’s a surprise for you!” It was a nice big tomato! I learned to make Ruby’s favorite sandwich—one slice of bread with cheese—broil it and add sliced tomato. She wanted that every day while we had fresh tomatoes. We also had lots of rose bushes. I made lots of bouquets for mom and brought them in the house. She loved roses. Ruby had macular degeneration. I helped her dress, put on her makeup for church and straightened her hair. I took her to get her hair done every week. It was important to both of us. One day she said, “Oh, dad, I’m so sorry you have to do all this.” I said, “I just love taking care of you.” Mom said, “I couldn’t ask for better.” I also did the laundry, paid the bills and cooked. I kept busy making fires in the basement in the winter and splitting wood when the weather was nice. People all over the neighborhood would bring me tree limbs. I had quite a wood pile enclosed at the side of the garage. In the fall of 2009, Ruby had to have emergency surgery. At first the doctors thought she had appendicitis, but the problem was her colon. She went downhill fast after the surgery. The girls took turns coming to take care of her, but she needed more care, so we moved her to Orem Nursing and Rehab. Marsha told me to pack my suitcase like I was going on a little trip. I stayed with her and Don for about five or six weeks. We went to see mom every day. At first, Medicare thought she was not a candidate for rehab, but they approved her for it week to week. She regained her strength and we were able to move into Summerfield Assisted Living in Orem just before Thanksgiving. We had a nice two-room apartment of our own with an accessible bathroom. The staff could provide the help mom needed. It was very hard to leave our home, but Ruby was afraid she could not get proper care at home. So we went home to Summerfield together. We did not like the food, but the helpers were nice. I liked to play Bingo twice a week with three cards. I won little candy bars and M & Ms which I saved for the kids at Halloween or when any of the grandkids came to visit. The girls spent three months in 2010 clearing out the house, painting and fixing things up so we could rent the house. We took just the furniture and clothing we needed to Summerfield along with some pictures, albums, and a few kitchen and personal items. The girls divided up everything else. Mom and I went back once to inspect their work. We quit claimed the house to them. We’ve had the same renters since May of 2010. The neighbors have told us they are really nice people. Mom passed away at Summerfield one week after her 90th birthday, in March 2011. We had a little party for her, but she was not able to get out of bed. The grandkids came in, a family at a time, to wish her “Happy Birthday.” I want to be buried in a stainless steel casket. When the Statue of Liberty was refurbished, it was taken apart and replaced with stainless steel. They’ve found it outlasts everything. Mom and I paid for our burial plots and planned our funerals several years ago. I’d like to give my children a little advice. The most important person in the world is yourself. You should come number one first. You should tell yourself that. Then your loved ones and so on. That is the way I feel about it. Your self-image makes a lot of difference to your family and friends. You need to have a good image of yourself. I think a person that has a poor image of himself--it’s a handicap to him. Be a leader, not a loser. I’m not much for being a follower. Don’t let other people lead you into problems. Think! You’ve got a mind. Think first. Don’t let other people influence your life and get you into things that you shouldn’t be into. Remember Jonestown. To me, that is not religion. It is the work of the devil. They were hypnotized and committed suicide. Some people are led in the wrong direction that way. It’s sad what some people get into. I’ve always said that family is my religion. I love my family! Based on a tape-recorded interview of Jack by Marsha Reynolds Sat. Nov. 30, 1985 at Taylorsville, Utah. Jack’s “voice” during that interview has been preserved, even though some of the facts are outdated. In 2013, many of Jack’s additional personal memories, obtained at various times after 1985, were added. I was born July 17, 1918 in a little town in the Uintah Basin—Duchesne, Utah. My parents were William Henry Fitzwater and Lucretia Buckalew. I was the next to the youngest of twelve children. My parents and a few other relatives joined the LDS church in West Virginia. Dad and mom moved to Duchesne, Utah in about 1908. My dad was the postmaster in Duchesne for about 29 years. My dad liked gardening, bottling. He was quite a gardener. He loved to raise a big garden and he was real proud of it. He was real active. He liked hunting and fishing and sports. He was quite a family man. He liked the kids. He was quite the handy person around home. He was a homebody. Dad used to help mother bottle fruit and things like that. He used to make sauerkraut. He was quite a Southerner and liked pickled stuff. Dad was a real proud, active man who carried himself real well. He was real dressy, always liked white shirts, nice ties and suits. He was very neat, well-groomed and clean-shaven. My dad got permission to hire an assistant in the post office. He hired Lotus Fisher in the fall of 1925. Lotus was Spicy’s son and a brother to Henry Fisher. That’s why Lotus moved down from Idaho. He married Mary Colton from Vernal. Spicy was my mother’s sister. Dad lost his job at the post office after 28 or 29 years because of politics. He would have had a pension after 30 years. The Democrats were involved in Dad’s loss of the job. They didn’t have Civil Service then. He was voted out after three men campaigned against him. They were active members of the church and it still bothers me that he was not able to get his pension. Dad always had a car, but we had to stay home more at that time because travel wasn’t as easy as it is now. It took about eight hours to come from Duchesne to Salt Lake then, especially if it was muddy and rainy and slick. We had to be careful. It was a dirt road, you always had to honk your horn or you’d run into somebody. Dad would say “Toot-toot, here we come!” Mother would make a picnic lunch and we would stop somewhere and eat. We would mostly go over to my sister’s—over to Leva’s. We liked to go to the old State Theatre and some of the others uptown there. We’d go for about a dime; adults were about fifteen or twenty cents. Leva was always tickled to see us. We were always tickled to see her and the kids. Dad used to make homemade ice cream. We always had an ice house. We put up ice out of the river, buried it in sawdust in the shed. They’d saw the ice out of the river. We had big tongs to lift the ice blocks and haul them. They were thick, like bales of hay almost. They’d weigh maybe two hundred pounds apiece. We’d put the ice in sawdust and put it in the shed called an ice house. It wouldn’t melt or very little. It stayed all summer. We’d go over there, push the sawdust back, get a chunk of ice and bury it up again. We’d close the door and it would keep. We had chickens. Dad always had a milk cow and plenty of milk—usually a Jersey cow with rich cream. Us kids would churn the churn to make butter. Mothers always liked to make homemade bread. Dad always raised a couple of pigs and butchered them. He put the pigs out in the apple orchard on the corner. We had about a half acre there. We had three or four winter apple trees, three or four yellow transparents and two big crabapple trees. Dad had the house built about 1912. It was built on a flat rock. There was no foundation. I don’t remember my mother too well. She had cancer and died at the age of 55. She was a proud lady, very devoted to her family. Her family came first. She was quite a person to stay home. (note: Her daughter, Georgia said that she stayed close to home and minded her business. Some ladies made fun of her accent). She never cared to go too much. She was real ill the last two years of her life. She was kind of a quiet person. She liked her church; liked to listen to Conference. She liked music and things like that. Dad would take us to the movie and mom would stay home and read her Relief Society magazine. Mother would put Homer and me in a metal #3 tub to bathe us. She’d scrub our ears. She’d say, “Oh, Jackie, you’ve got the prettiest round head.” We chopped wood for Marvel Moore and earned money to buy a box of bullets to go hunting cottontails. Mother hid the bullets. We earned them back, but she couldn’t find them! Mother would get upset about the fire in the cook stove. She’d say, “Oh, when can we get a chimney?” My mom was a very good runner. She could beat all the boys as a young girl. Lonnie, Homer and I were good runners, too. Mother had visitors from there in town, like Eldridge Buckalew, her brother, and his wife and family. They used to come over for Sunday dinner. Mother always liked to cook chicken. She would make noodles or dumplings—something like that. We had a real good dinner. Mother had a brother, Treavy, who disappeared. He was in the military and was discharged in August 1909 in San Francisco. The family was notified when he was killed in 1911. The rumor was that he was killed for his paycheck. Dad went to San Francisco to pick up his body. He was buried in Myton. I remember my mother sitting in the front room in a rocker. She was in a lot of pain from cancer. She would pull a face because of the pain. I asked, “What’s wrong, mama?” She’d say, “Oh, nothing, Jack.” (note: Dorothy Moore Larsen said she remembered grandpa kindly rocking grandma in the rocker.) When mom died, Nora and Mrs. Hayes came into the backyard to say “she’s gone.” I went into the old metal shed in the corner of the yard and cried. Mrs. Hayes came and got me and took me into the bedroom to kiss mom. She was still warm. Later, when she was laid out in the living room, I kissed her again, but she was cold then. I knew, on the Buckalew side, Grandpa Buckalew. In the later years, he stayed with us. He died with us there. He was quite a grouchy old character. He came out to Utah. He had money when he came, but was disappointed. He moved down to Myton and he had awful poor ground. His coming west wasn’t very successful. He was quite unhappy. He went through his money. He blamed officials of the church and was quite bitter over it. He was headed up to Brigham City. Some of the family went to Idaho later. John P. Madsen and other church officials were encouraging people to come out to the Basin. They met the train up at Colton (Hilltop, Spanish Fork Canyon) when it stopped there. Grandpa Buckalew always felt coming to the Basin was a mistake. I just barely remember his wife. Myton was bigger than Duchesne or Roosevelt at one time. It had two banks. Main Street in Myton burned down. The oldest in the family was Gladys. She’s about 87 now. Her home has always been in Duchesne. She had a big family—about 7. She’s still alive. Her husband’s dead. She’s a real active, healthy person. She was married when I was born. She had children older than me. One boy was about my age. Her husband, Ern Odekirk, loved baseball. He played first base and used a piece of leather for a glove. Gladys and her family would come over and have dinner. Sometimes dad and mom and some of the kids would go over to their place for dinner. The second one in the family was Leva. She’s about 84 or 85 now. She’s a widow and lives in Salt Lake. Leva was married to Okey Davis. He had been married to Sarah, mother’s oldest sister. He and Sarah had four boys, but three died. Ivan Davis was the only son who lived. Ivan liked café management—not cooking. When Sarah died, Okey married my sister, Leva. She was talked into the marriage. She told her girls she didn’t love him. Leva’s boyfriend was from Helper—Jack Milton. I was named after him. Leva had four girls with Okey. Next was Lonnie. He was like a father to me as he was 20 years older. He was 82 when he died a year or so ago. He was real active in sports. He loved to hunt deer, liked boxing and running—a real athletic type of guy. He worked as a mechanic. Lonnie was running a garage in Duchesne. He and Fern were bottling bootleg whiskey in the “weanin’ pen” (old tin house next to the Fitzwater house). The whiskey was made up the Strawberry River by someone. Arza Mitchell was the sheriff. He would tip them off. Lonnie would hide the whiskey. He was selling it in the garage. Nettie Powell married Lon, but they didn’t live together. She miscarried. Later she married Earl Jensen. Lonnie married Fern. After she died, he married Louise. Lotus Fisher’s wife, Mary, was a seamstress. She liked to dress nice. When Lonnie’s wife, Fern, died, some of the family were driving from Duchesne to Tooele for the funeral. Mary insisted on stopping in Salt Lake to buy a new hat. This made them late for the funeral. Homer was crying. Lonnie had them re-open the casket. Lonnie had not been feeling well. Homer and I went to Salt Lake to see him. We arrived just after he died. I went in with Donna. Lonnie was stretched out on the bed, already gone. I cried like a baby. I hope to see him again. Then there was Nora. She was a real proud, fussy, dressy type person. She was always on the go. She could always find something to do. She worked quite a bit during her life. She died of a heart attack. Nora blamed herself for the breakup of her marriage to Lawrence Pack. She was still in love with him. Nora was picky about the house. He was a womanizer and an alcoholic. They lived in the house by Bill Case. Then they moved to the house by Ell’s Motel where the Carmens lived for years. Nora moved with her daughter, Pauline, to Salt Lake to get her away from her boyfriend. That was the real breakup. Lawrence remarried, but it didn’t last long. He left Pauline wealthy. At one time, she had interest in 42 oil wells. Lawrence was romancing a phone operator who tipped him off. Based on information from her, he got oil leases from the Indians. Then when oil was struck, he made a lot of money. Bessie was next. She died with Parkinson’s disease. She suffered quite a bit for a few years with it. She and her husband, Sammy Davis, never did have any children. Vertis Andersen, Sandra’s husband, spoke at her funeral, even though he didn’t know her. Verda had a family—5 children. She’s still alive—still lives in Duchesne and her husband is still alive. She and her husband, Marvel Moore, are real active in the Church. Marvel didn’t get religion until he got caught bootlegging. He had a still out behind his home in a cabin. He was selling whiskey out of the café. His still was found and he was fined $299. That was a lot of money back then. Sarah is still alive. Her first husband, Reed Cowan, died a few years ago. She’s in her 70’s—still active. She had two daughters and four sons. Georgie lives here in Salt Lake. She was married twice—both of her husbands are dead. She had a big family—three sons and three daughters. Homer, another brother, lives in Orem, Utah. He’s still active. Homer was caught picking apples when he was just a kid. Joe Lewis (Theodore’s first blacksmith) was going to call the sheriff. Lonnie told Joe he’d twist his head off if he didn’t let Homer go. Homer enlisted in the military during World War II. He served in Germany and France. He never saw any actual fighting, but it was still hard for him to be away from home and in those hard conditions. Homer built a house on the corner, west of dad’s place. I was on furlough with a broken arm. I sawed off part of the cast and helped start the house. Homer worked for Mr. Kohl. He drove a truck to Salt Lake to pick up supplies and hardware. He had two children and it was about 1950 when he bought his first car. He bought it from a lady who lived across the street from George Kohl’s house. It had been sitting in the garage and rarely driven. The car was about a 1938 model. Homer also helped build Altamont High School (1954-55). He and Dorothy later moved to Orem where he did carpentry work. I’m next to Homer. The only thing wrong with me is a pain in my back. Other than that, I’m in real good shape. Youngest in my family is my sister, Doris. She lives in Duchesne. She had a big family—five sons and two daughters-- and she’s in good health. Here is a rundown of my nieces and nephews. Gladys and Ern Odekirk: Cuba, Billie (note: Ernest), Kay, Mary, Bob, Stanley, Ernita. Leva and Okey Davis: Norine, Edith, Della Mae, Lucretia (Duane Sundloff). Lonnie and Fern: Gordon, Jay, Donna (Louise’s children: Pat, Nedra and Danny Gillespie). Nora and Lawrence Pack: Pauline. Bessie and Sam Davis: no children. Sarah and Reed Cowan: LaJean, Jim, Janet, Joe, Roger and Russell (twins). Georgia and Glenn Smith: Arlen, Gary, Ronnie and Connie (twins--Connie drowned in the Jordan River as a toddler—she was 2 or 3), Nancy, Pam. Homer and Dorothy: Sandra, Pat. Doris and Troy Bailey: Blaine, Brent, Billie, Bobby, Brenda, Beverly and Blake. When I was a youngster around home, I used to like to have rabbits and build rabbit pens—things like that. I used to stay home quite a bit. I’d play around home, tinkering and building little things. I was active with the other kids. We used to go skating and swimming and rabbit hunting. We’d go skiing down the hills on our sleighs in the winter. In the summer, we’d ride horses and play around town with the other kids—baseball and things like that. We had swimming holes in the river. We taught ourselves to swim. I had homing pigeons. Aner Nielsen gave me my first pair of pigeons when I was about 11 years old. I got up to 25 in my flock. I used to sit in the pen and watch them in their little compartments. They’d lay two eggs. They’d steal wheat from dad’s chickens. “Silverking” was the main male. He was silver with tan coloring and he had a black mate. My dad used to bring them into Salt Lake and different places and turn them loose and they’d fly back to Duchesne. Once dad took four of my pigeons to Salt Lake to Leva’s house on the west side. We had agreed on a time when he would let the pigeons go from her house. Silverking made it back to Duchesne in one hour and forty minutes, which is real fast for a pigeon. The three others made it back an hour later. Later one of my pigeons came up missing. There was a dishpan in the pen for water. I noticed it was turned over. I found the pigeon under there, starving. He lasted a week and died. George Jr. Kohl had a bunch of pigeons behind the store. Dad turned eight of my pigeons loose in Salt Lake once, but none came back. Dad bought me a pony for $2. He later sold it to Howard Cowan to slaughter. He never gave me any money for it. I asked him and he gave me fifty cents. He told me it would be $2. I’ve only seen a rattlesnake once. I went up Indian Canyon to the dump looking for a piece of scrap metal. I heard a rattle in the bushes, so I got a big rock or piece of cement. I dropped it on the snake and killed it. Once I was up Rock Creek fishing with Lonnie, my brother, and Sam Davis. There were lots of water snakes around. Sammy pulled back his bed roll and several snakes were in there. We decided to sleep in an old sheep camp close by. I spotted a Christmas tree up toward Blue Bench. One day I wired on my skates, took a rope and my dog and headed up toward the canal. At the canal, I skated while the dog ran along the bank with me pulling me with the rope. I looked and looked but could not find the tree. My dog was a German Shepherd. He started killing sheep up on Al Murdock’s property north of town across the river. Al talked to my dad. Dad told me we would have to get rid of the dog. We took the dog and went up the dugway to Blue Bench by the old Barlow place. Dad said to tie the dog to the fence. I turned away, tears streaming down my face. Dad shot the dog twice with a rifle from the post office (government issue to W.H. Fitzwater). During the depression, sometimes cows had to be shot because there was no feed for them. The government paid $5 for each cow that had to be shot. Dad told me to take the cow across the Strawberry River into the bushes and shoot it. I shot it with a 22 and skinned it out. George Kohl bought the hide for $1 that I got to keep. When I was a child, we had a wood kitchen stove. Homer and I slept upstairs in the attic. Each morning dad would holler at me to get a fire built. I would tiptoe down in my long handles and build a fire in the kitchen stove and in the living room. We didn’t have water in the house until Jack Odekirk built a bathroom on. I was a young kid then. Around home, dad had certain little chores for us to do. I and my two brothers would go and help haul wood in the fall. We had a trailer we hooked on the back of the car. We went up into what they called “Tabone Flat”—up in the cedars. We hauled several loads of wood. Then dad would buy a couple of ton of coal from Carbon County. Between the wood and the coal, we had plenty of fuel for the winter. We had weeding to do in the garden. Our allowance was a show ticket—about a dime. We’d go about once a week down to the Cozy Theatre. Dad would give us a show ticket for cutting weeds. We built a bird cage out of willows up by the bushes by where our new house was built. We used tunnel wheat to catch quail. They were too dumb. We caught four quail that way. Dad said he was going to call the game warden if we didn’t turn them loose. We turned them loose. When I was a kid, I used to have earaches and the flu. All of us had the flu. I was in pretty good health. We had common diseases like the other families in town—smallpox, diptheria, typhoid. We had lots of flu, especially in the winter months. As a rule, the children were all pretty healthy. Once in a while, we’d have a doctor in town. I had a few minor accidents. One time I about had one eye put out with a piece of wire—a close call. While playing in the brush by the old mill (across the river, north of Madsen’s), a piece of coiled up wire flipped up and caught me in the eye. One kid held it still until we got it out of my eye. Another time we were over there. There was an old water tank for hauling water. It had a big old lid that you could close. We were playing cops and robbers. Some older kids put me and another kid in the tank. It was black and scary. I was bawling. You could never put me in a submarine! I’ve been in a couple of automobile accidents that hurt a little, but nothing real serious. Homer threw the file at me out at the wood pile. I was carrying the wood into the house. Homer got mad. I ran and he threw the file at me and got me in the back of the leg with the pointed end. The file stuck in the back of my leg like a knife. I was laid up for two or three weeks. I was about twelve or thirteen. The girls bandaged it up. They must not have stitched it. I’ve got quite a scar there. My dad had a crock out by the water faucet one day. He was cleaning it. I picked up a rock and dropped it in the crock and broke it. I ran off screaming down the alley. Homer ran me down. Dad whipped me with a willow, but good. My dad bought Doris a bike after my mom died. One day, I took it across the bridge for a ride. I came down the dugway too fast and couldn’t make the turn. I went off into the rocks, but didn’t hurt the bike. One of my main playmates—friends, when I was a kid, was Billy Murdock. He lived right behind us. We were kids together. The old Murdock house was on the corner one block north of Main Street. (Center St. and 100 North--Jim and Terry Cowan lived there when they got Clarice). The house was originally across the river. One winter they pulled it across the river on skids on the ice to its present location. There were a lot of town kids watching. Billy Odekirk was one. Billy Murdock had a little steel bank one time. His mother had bought it. Over the years, he’d put all his money in it. It was clear full. One time, we decided we were going to open that bank, so we took it out to the wood pile and put it on a big ol’ pinon log and took a sledgehammer and ax to it. We beat it and we beat it ‘til finally it popped. The money flew all over the wood pile in the chips. We were looking for money for an hour. Billy started to bawl. He thought his mom would really give him heck. He was pretty scared over it. Anyway, we broke the bank! It was a tough one to break. It was a round barrel—stainless steel. We pounded that thing with an ax and a sledgehammer—you can’t imagine—before it finally came apart. (From the memory of Dorothy Moore Larsen): “They were a foursome—Jack, Homer, Delwyn Goff and George Jr. Kohl. They built a tree house in the crabapple tree west of grandma and grandpa’s house. They would not let me come in. One day the boys went up on Blue Bench and came home with a bottle full of black widow spiders. Grandma, who was a kind and loving woman, and grandpa, were so upset!” Jack: The spiders were in old gopher and rabbit holes. We’d put a stick in and they’d come out. Mom and Dad said we had to get rid of them, so we took the bottle over to the tennis court. We dumped them out and, as they scurried around, we smashed them! I remember when Franklin Delano Roosevelt came to Salt Lake. He gave a little speech on the back of a train. Dad drove us out to Okey and Leva’s from Duchesne. They lived on Pleasant Court Avenue. Norine and I and others went to see FDR. There was a crowd of people. First and second grade were in an old log cabin there in town on Main Street (30 East). Second grade was in a back room. Florence Madsen was my first grade teacher. I was held back in first grade. She was my teacher both years. We moved into the adobe brick elementary (started in 1908) when I was in about third or fourth grade. Pigeons used to go up in the attic of the adobe school. Hebe Goff would ring the bell at 9:00 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. In fourth grade, I had a Mrs. Bates from up on the Strawberry River. In third, I had Mrs. Bjornson, a teacher from Duchesne. Later when I was a big kid, I helped Hebe Goff, who was the janitor of the elementary school. He had me sweep two rooms upstairs and other things. The school board paid me $10 a month. In 1926, a new elementary school was built west of the old adobe school. I moved into that building in fifth grade. I had a fifth grade teacher from BYU (we had a lot of teachers from Utah County-BYU) who put very hard math problems on the board one day. He seemed mad at us. He said we had to answer all of these problems. No one could. Then he said, “Well, I guess you can’t answer these problems, so I’ll just give you your treat!” He pulled out two big bags of peanuts. The kids crowded around. My high school days, part of them, were in the old adobe brick building (it had been the elementary). At this time, it was called the “4-room high school.” It had two rooms up and two rooms down. I took shop in a lean-to in the back of the old adobe school. I built a metal stool for my dad to sit on while he adjusted the radio and listened to it in our living room. When I was about a junior or senior, they built a new high school (1936). The old adobe building was then torn down. I graduated from there in 1937. I was baptized in the cobble rocks of the Duchesne River by Al White, son of Oscar White, and Lowell Clements, who ran the old flour mill. My church activities as a young person were a disaster. Mother would bribe us kids with a new shirt or new shoes to get us to go down to Sunday School. We went a few times and then we’d sneak away. Homer and I weren’t too much to take part in Sunday School. We were hunting rabbits or fishing or somewhere else. At the time, mother wasn’t well. She had cancer and was sick all the time. How would I ever be a church-going person? I didn’t go around with those who did. I always said family was my religion. I took average classes like sociology, algebra, geometry, history. When I was about a freshman, the Church put in a seminary. I had about four years of seminary. I didn’t particularly like school. I liked the sports and activities, but I never did care much for the school. I was hardly ever prepared and I wasn’t very good at it. I had my mind on a fishing hole, my 22 and a box of bullets and hunting rabbits. I never could concentrate. A lot of it was just laziness. When I got into high school, I was good at track—I and my brother, Homer. We always went to the state meet. He ran real close at state. I went to state, but never won anything outstanding. My brother won second or third at state. I was probably ranked about 7th or 8th. Homer ran the 100 in 9.9 or ten flat—good time even today. I would run it in 10 flat and 10.1 and 10.2, which is good time. We loved to dance. We had our dates and always went to the junior proms and senior hops. We went to the local dances over to Ravola (we nicknamed it Raviola) on the Lake Fork River. It was an outdoor cement floor. There was always a good orchestra, big crowds. They had a place over to Victory Park—that was indoors. It was over past Roosevelt. There were a lot of winter dances there. We went to Ravola in the summer. We’d just cuddle up and dance. One popular dance was the “Big Apple” (it was a hoppy dance, separated from partner). We’d get out on the floor and act silly—cut up, you know. One little incident that happened that was quite a joke—when I was a freshman in high school, they were initiating us freshmen. I was to get up and read these jokes. They handed me this paper. I got up and this one joke—I thought it said ‘‘reenee” and it was Renee Mickelson’s name. Right to this day, they still call her “Reenee.” We always laughed over that and got quite a kick out of it. I dated different girls—some from Roosevelt. I had a date with Adley Roberts one time to a junior prom or senior hop. The girls in my crowd were Wanda Johnson and Owena Kohl. I started to date Blanche Anderton in later years. I always played on the high school basketball team. I wasn’t real outstanding, but I felt like I made my contribution to the team. I was in scouting. I think I made Tenderfoot rank. At that time, they had a real good scouting program in Duchesne. The place we went for our scout meetings was down in the Legion Hall. Then it wasn’t handled by the Church—just some individuals in town. One was a dentist, Doc Bishop. He was real high himself in scouting. There were two or three other fellows that helped him. We went out of Duchesne one time about 20 miles and built a scout cabin. It was up Lagoon Canyon, a canyon that ran into Indian Canyon. Our troop borrowed a handcart and used it to haul the wood. This cart was owned by a guy who had a big garden down where they built the Duchesne Ward house. We cut the trees and laid up the logs to build a cabin approximately 16 feet square. We put boards up for a roof structure. Then we put about 12 inches of dirt on top of the boards to hold it down and make it more waterproof. We’d go up there different times during the year and have outings. It was a lot of fun. There were 40 or 50 scouts. Once I took Jeff and Kelly Cowan up there. We found the cabin. The roof had caved in, but the flagpole was still attached to the corner of the building. Wayne Sexton and I were “cook shack flunkies” for Reed Cowan when he cooked at the sheep shearing corrals down in Antelope in the spring. There were about thirty men working there shearing sheep for about a month. They’d put wool in big sacks. Van Killian hauled it to Salt Lake in his truck. I arm wrestled with the men. No one could beat me. Some of the shearers weighed 200 pounds; I was about 120. Homer and I had been lifting weights in the “weanin’ pen.” After that summer, Reed cooked for the CC camp in Bridgeland. The workers at the CC camp earned one dollar a day. I tried to get on there, but I couldn’t because my dad was the postmaster. Harvey Hatch’s dad had a government job, so he couldn’t get on either. Lake Boram was a CCC project for irrigation. (Angus Brown, Lily Goff’s first husband, drowned there). After mother died, dad married (1 June 1935) a widowed school teacher, Virginia Kirkham. She lived in the rental house west of Bill Case’s (100 W. 200 N.—north side of the street). She thought dad had money. She had three children—a girl and two boys. Dad had three children at home—Homer, Doris and me. We moved into Salt Lake. The only job dad could get was as a crossing guard. Homer and I started to go to West High School. Homer got discouraged because he couldn’t run track at West because, according to their rules and regulations, he was too old (19). So he moved back to Duchesne to go to school. He headed for home. When Homer moved back, I got discouraged. I wanted to go back, I was so homesick. So, I hitchhiked back, too. Wils Muir picked me up in Heber and took me as far as Current Creek where he was herding sheep. He had a Model A Ford. He said he would get me a ride on to Duchesne. He stood out in the middle of the road and waved his arms to stop traffic. I got a ride! Sarah came and got Doris and she moved in with the Cowans. Homer and I moved into the front two rooms of the old house. We “bached.” The highway patrolman lived in the back of the house. We cooked on a cook stove and showered at school. We went to school. That winter I went to school with one pair of corduroy pants and a couple of shirts. My sisters would wash them. We ate a lot of fried potatoes and oatmeal mush. We got milk from Gladys and homemade bread from Verda and Gladys. We also hunted for cottontail rabbits to eat. In my high school years, I worked at Cowan’s Café for Reed Cowan. I was a night cook, washed dishes and did janitor work. I could eat there. I’d stay there until the next morning when Marvel came on at four or five o’clock. I’d have a few truck drivers, coffee drinkers. I’d cook and serve it to them. We weren’t too busy. We worked then for about a dollar and a half a day. The waitresses made about 75 cents to a dollar a day. They got a few tips. The cook didn’t get any tips or very seldom. One night when I was off duty, Reed closed up. He let me have the night off to go to the dance. That night a couple of guys tried to steal some slot machines. Harold White was the City Marshall. He used to sit in the hotel lobby and keep an eye on things (the old hotel was next to Kohl’s Market where Moore’s Café was later built). This particular night a car pulled up in front of Cowan’s Café. There were no lights on in the café. Three guys pried the door open. Two of them went to the back door of the café. They were after the slot machines. Harold fought with the other guy and they worked their way west down the street until they were in front of the Shell service station. Harold got his revolver out of his pocket and shot the guy in the head. Henry Fisher was working night shift at the station. He was asleep by the stove, but the gunshot woke him up. The guy was dead. The next morning the Wonder Bread truck driver said he saw two guys warming themselves by a fire outside of town. Arza Mitchell, the sheriff, went after them. The two were hitchhiking. Arza pulled over and pointed his gun right in the face of one of them and said, “Yea, we’ll give you a ride!” He took the two men back to town and marched them into the mortuary that was in the back of the furniture store. (Roy Shonian owned the store/mortuary. The news was printed there. The Duchesne record office was there too). The sheriff said, “Here’s your buddy!” Of course, they were put in jail. Harold was so shook up, he quit being the marshall. He bought a farm in Roosevelt. One time when I was in high school, Delwyn and I decided to play hooky. We were at the house making fudge. Homer told on us. Mr. Tobler, the principal, got Lonnie from the garage where he was working. They came to investigate. We grabbed the pan off the stove and ran for the attic. I stood up straight behind the stovepipe and Delwyn was in the rafters. We didn’t get caught. Lon went back to the garage and Mr. Tobler went back to the school. We put the fudge back on the stove and kept cooking! I had a music teacher in tenth grade who gave me a bad time. One day some of us boys were throwing spit wads at the drum boys in back and girls in front. The teacher made a “dunce” of me. He told me to go up in the front and sit down in the end seat. Then he changed it to the piano bench. I said, “No, you said…” The teacher smashed me in the nose. He picked on the littlest boy, but I was the meanest and toughest. The teacher was about six feet. He had painted a Santie Claus on the board. The teacher wiped it off with his body and took the Christmas tree down—pound, pound! I was beating the hell out of him. Del and others pulled me off the teacher and took me down to the principal. He said to clean me up and go back to class. The faculty or the school board decided I had to miss a basketball trip. I always had a D or F in choir. After that I had an A. We put on an operetta with a pirate theme. Del Goff had the lead. The music teacher was in charge. We were in the old hall in town. We had a gallon of wine backstage. We always had before. We were drinking in between. It was getting better and better. The wine had a lot to do with it. There was lots of clapping. The teacher was leading with a baton. (The teacher was sloppy. He’d come to class with egg yolk on his tie). It was a bang! We performed two or three nights. The occasion was the Jr. Prom at Duchesne High School. I was in the 11th or 12th grade. Melvin White thought Homer had stolen his bottle from his car in the parking lot. Melvin went onto the dance floor and punched Homer in the face. They moved the fight outside. Delwyn and I were upstairs “nipping.” The principal chewed us out. We went downstairs, saw the fight and joined in. Lonnie and Fern were at Lotus and Mary Fisher’s place with Mildred and Eddie Carmen having a drink. When they came over and saw the fight, Lonnie “cleaned house.” He had been in the military and was a good fighter. I tried to shake hands, but Melvin said, “This isn’t over.” He wouldn’t shake hands, but there was no more fighting. Melvin was off school for two week because he was beat up. What had actually happened was that Bud Bell and Melvin had gone in on the bottle. They went out to the car with Homer for a drink. Bud took the bottle and moved it. Melvin couldn’t find it when he went out, so he blamed Homer. One night, while I was in high school, some of my friends and I were on our way to Altera (Altera High School was located east of Roosevelt in Uintah County 2 ½ miles north of Hwy 40 on the Whiterocks Rd). Carroll (male) Stott was driving. There were eight people in the car; four in front and four in back. We were going a little fast—maybe 45 or 50. It was snowing and we hit a horse. I was thrown from the car and knocked out. I was cut on the face, but it healed up. The car went on and rolled over on its side. The horse was killed. I never went out of Duchesne on any kind of trip other than to Salt Lake, Roosevelt, Vernal or Price until 1937, the year I graduated from high school. A cousin of mine came up from California—Ivan Davis. He was older than me and had a new car. We had dates to a dance in Duchesne. Ivan had a date with Maureen Billings and I had a date with Owena Young. After the dance, Ivan said he wanted me to go back to West Virginia where our roots—our relation came from. I told him I didn’t have any money or the right clothes. Ivan said, “That’s OK.” At 3:00 a.m. we went down to Okey and Leva’s to tell them. Okey was cooking for Reed Cowan in the café. So Ivan and I went back to West Virginia that summer. To save money, we slept on the ground. Ivan had a blanket in the car. We stayed there for about a month or six weeks with friends of the family. We stayed with Martha and DeWitt Witheroe, close friends of the Fitzwaters. They lived in Charleston in a nice three-level home. He ran a big SO service station. They had no children. We stayed upstairs and had our own bathroom. We weren’t that close with the relation. During the day, Mrs. Witheroe drove us all around to see Fitzwater and Buckalew relatives. We also met some of the Davis family. We went to visit one of Dad’s brothers. She tried to prepare us: “He’s quite a hillbilly.” The wife and kids were very shy. They peeked around at us. They had a garden with nice vegetables. One of Dad’s brothers lived in Huntington. He was very wealthy, but we didn’t meet him. Mr. Witheroe got Ivan a job selling cigarettes in a pool hall. On the way back to Utah, Ivan wanted to go through Chicago. We ran out of money there and Ivan had to get a job washing dishes so we would have gas money. We ran out again in Steamboat, Colorado. Ivan pawned his watch for a tank of gas. We made it back to Duchesne in September with no gas and no money. I got my thumb smashed while working for the State Road down by Myton spreading sand. A rock stuck and I reached in to get it. The driver pulled the lever. Eddie Carmen put me in a car and took me to Roosevelt where my hand was cleaned and bandaged. I got $60 from that. Billy Murdock was going to college in Logan. The coach told Homer and me that he’d get us a job if we’d run track. In Logan, we rented a room from a school teacher in her upstairs. We ran out of money. We didn’t have jobs. We had paid rent, but we were running out of food. We called dad to come and get us. When I got out of high school, my first job was for W.W. Clyde on a road construction job. I was a “flunkie” in the cook shack one summer. That fall and winter, they had another job up Red Creek on part of highway 40 by Fruitland. I was a cook shack “flunkie” there for two or three months. We had a good cook from Vernal. Gene Davis and I were working with him as “cook shack flunkies.” One night the cook went to Duchesne with Gene and got drunk. They didn’t get back in time for breakfast. That morning, the timekeeper came for coffee and asked where the cook was. I told him he hadn’t come back from Duchesne. I said if the timekeeper would help me, I thought I could get breakfast on. I cooked eggs, bacon, etc. for thirty men. The cook returned later with a blanket wrapped around him. He was drunk, but he came for his check. The timekeeper told him he wasn’t canned—to sober up! I got the day off! Homer was driving a truck for W.W.Clyde. The next summer I went up to Moon Lake. They were building Moon Lake dam. A bunch of us kids were cutting brush around the lake. Harvey Hatch and I rode horses to the head of Rock Creek and back to Duchesne. Harvey named Lake Frances after his future wife, Frances Case. It was later on the map that way. Dad and his second wife got a “friendly divorce” (20 September 1938). Dad moved back to Duchesne, into the old house and started housekeeping again. He worked at the Commercial Club for a number of years. He kept books and tended bar. I got married (6 July 1939) a couple of years out of high school to Blanche Anderton. I was 21 and Blanche was 20. We lived with the Andertons when Dianne was born (22 January 1940). Later, we moved to Hart’s Cabins. Blanche was gone for a few days and I didn’t know where she was. I was taking care of Dianne. I looked out the window and saw Blanche get out of Dr. Murray’s car. He was the doctor in town. Blanche was seeing him. He had taken care of her when she was expecting. The doctor went over to Cowan’s Café. I was so mad that I went over there, punched him out and got him in a choke hold. The only thing that kept me from killing him was that I had a child to take care of. I told him to stay away from my wife and that the next time I’d kill him. The doctor left town after that. Our marriage lasted for about seven years. It was never much of a success. Dianne was our only child. Blanche and I lived up in Bingham one winter. I worked in a service station. We lived in Salt Lake and in Duchesne—in motels and Helen Odekirk’s apartments. Things were tough—hardly any money, no work. We just grubbed and tried to make the best of it. I started doing a lot of odd and end carpentry jobs around Duchesne for a lot of different people. I started getting carpentry experience—a year or so. When World War II broke out, I went up to Hill Field. Lawrence Pack told me about work there. First, I joined the union out in Ogden. They sent me to Hill Field where I worked as a journeyman carpenter for one summer. I was staying with my Aunt Mary Brown, mother’s sister in Ogden. Ross Fietkau was living in North Ogden and working at Hill. He offered to give me a ride to work. So I walked to the corner and Ross picked me up. I worked with Rube Larsen on some cabinets at Hill. We were complimented on the Hill Field cabinets by the man in charge. I learned by doing. The foreman on the job knew Jack Odekirk in Duchesne. He thought a lot of Jack Odekirk, so he offered me a job in Salt Lake when I got laid off at Hill Field. I called him and he put me to work that fall. We built a theatre for the army at the Salt Lake International Airport. They had an army base out there—an in-and-out type of base. At this time, I got an apartment on about Third or Fourth East and Fifth South. Blanche and Dianne came from Duchesne to Salt Lake. I started to do various jobs around Salt Lake for different contractors—Glen and Delwyn Goff among them. That was a couple of years during the war. I learned carpentry by working with the best carpenters around. I received word that dad had married again (22 August 1942). Dad’s third wife was Ida Bell Thompson, another widow. She was a relative of Ed Hart who owned Hart’s Cabins in back of Killian’s station. They moved to Salt Lake for a while, then back to Duchesne and lived in the old house. One winter I went down around Vallejo, California and worked at Fairfield Army Base on an airplane hangar with Glen Goff. We were hired at 50 cents an hour more than regular pay if we would go up into the trusses (roof supports). Our job was to put cross members from one truss to another. We had to place a bolt and lock ring. It was 90 feet down to the concrete floor and we did not have a safety harness. One day I dropped a nail bar and it broke in half when it hit the cement. When I came back to Salt Lake in the spring, I went to work at the fairgrounds turning exhibition buildings into military barracks. This was temporary housing for men who were being reassigned. One day I was in the attic carrying a pole. The pole hit something and I spun around. I fell through the floor joists and sheet rock. I caught myself with my underarms on the floor joist. That hurt! They brought a ladder over to me. I didn’t go all the way to the concrete floor. I worked around Salt Lake for two or three years. When work got slow, we moved back to Duchesne and lived with Blanche’s parents, the Andertons. I had work for Don Bench remodeling Kohl’s Market. I was asked to teach shop and coach at the high school by my former principal who was the superintendent by then—Mr. Bond. He asked me to help them out for about three months. I only had a high school education, but he knew I could handle the job, so there was no problem there. The school was so needy that Don let me go to teach shop. There was no rush on the store job. I went up to the high school and saw that the shop was in a sad state. There were no tools. The boys made a table. I also coached baseball. We took a busload of kids up to Altamont to play their team. The principal and a female teacher went along to chaperone. Duchesne won the game. The kids were so excited they sang and laughed all the way back to Duchesne. It was a real party on the bus. I worked at Duchesne High School for about three months. My father-in-law was on the draft board. He told me my number was coming up. Something interesting: Cynthie Blackburn lived over across the river. We used to play with the Blackburn kids. One day she came out and said, “Jack, I want to tell your fortune.” She looked at my palm and said there was to be a great war. I would cross the water and come back. When I left Camp Roberts, those guys wanted to hang onto my shirttails because I was coming back! One time I was very sick with the flu. Cynthie Blackburn wanted to come over and bless me. My mom said “no.” I was drafted into the army in December of 1944. I went to Camp Roberts, California for 17 weeks of basic training. Then I came home on a furlough for a week or so before being sent overseas. We went back to California to Fort Ord to get our overseas equipment first. One day my CO called me into his office. He needed to tell me that Blanche had filed for divorce. My reaction was “Goody, goody,” and I clapped my hands. It had not been a good marriage. Blanche had met the brother of a couple who lived across the hall from us when we lived in Salt Lake. They knew that we weren’t getting along. He was visiting them from California. While I was in the service, Blanche went to California to be with him and left Dianne with her parents in Duchesne. Dianne started school in Duchesne. Blanche married Norm Asmus. We shipped out of San Francisco headed for the Philippine Islands. There were 2,500 men on board—about 500 colored. It took 17-18 days between San Francisco and the Philippines. We sailed past Corregidor into Manila Bay and landed in Manila. We were first stationed at a replacement station. It was a mustering off place where we were assigned to permanent type divisions. While there in the replacement depot, I and some of my buddies (some from Duchesne and some from Salt Lake and around Utah that I took basic training with) built a PX out of lumber and corrugated, galvanized tin. I was assigned to the First Cavalry Division, which was really a good outfit. In early summer, we were stationed about 60-70 miles outside of Manila. My dad, William H. Fitzwater, was in the Spanish-American War outside Manila in the Philippines. We talked about the places we’d been. We were in the same towns. I walked in his footsteps. (note: WH was in the Philippines when the 1900 census was taken). That fall, when they dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the war ended. My outfit pulled out immediately and went up to Tokyo, Japan as part of the Army of Occupation. I was left behind with about 50 rear echelon troops to tear down and bring up the rear. They kept me on carpentry, crating up frigidaires and a few things like that. We stayed back for about three weeks to a month before we got to go up to Tokyo to join our outfit. We caught a ride on an old French banana boat. It took us about two weeks before we got up to Tokyo. We joined our outfits up there. I was with my regiment in a two-story brick building with modern conveniences. We could look right out the window to the west and see Mt. Fujiyama. Almost every morning we would have earth tremors—the building would just shake. We got used to them and didn’t pay any attention. I was in charge of utilities in our regiment. I was put over carpentry, plumbing, electrical and painting around the camp. That was my main duty. Along in the summer, they started a baseball team. They wanted people to try out for the baseball team. I made the team—center field and pitching. Then I didn’t have to do my job in the utilities, but I did, to have something to do. When I was put on the team, I was put on special assignment. That relieved me of any other duties, but I kept my job because I enjoyed it and liked to do it. I used a lot of Japanese carpenters and painters and plumbers. They were paid by the Japanese government and reimbursed by our government. They were real good workers. We didn’t have any trouble with them. They had an interpreter out at the front gate if there was anything technical. I communicated with them a lot of time with sign language and they understood. Sometimes I’d go get the interpreter. My shop was in the back, right on the shore. One time we built some cabinets for the men to hang their clothes in. I had quite a few Japanese workers in my shop. I always locked the door when I went to “chow.” One day when I came back, one of the Japanese workers had cut himself on a saw. He and his buddies crawled out the window to go to the medics. When they came back, they wouldn’t work. The interpreter told me they wanted to sprinkle salt on the saw. It was something to do with their religion. I said, “Fine.” After they sprinkled some salt around, they went back to work. While in Tokyo, I was an early riser. I was up and ready at 5 or 6 a.m. The other guys would say, “Oh, Fitzwater—why are you up? Go back to bed!” I could get away with it because I had more stripes than any of them. I had three stripes and was a TV technician. The highest pay I made in the army was $110 per month. I made more playing poker than my regular pay. I sent the money home to Dad to save for me. I sent four rifles home from Tokyo and a saber. I made wooden boxes for them in my shop. I gave one rifle to Delwyn Goff. It was an odd size—made by Remington Arms. The rifles were given to me. They were Japanese weapons. I went with the lieutenant to pick out the rifles. It was easy for me to ship them home. While in Tokyo, a colonel came to my carpenter shop. He asked, “Jack, what do you suggest? We’ve got a problem with some of the guys wanting to stay up drinking and playing cards at night. This interferes with the sleep of some of the other men in the barracks.” I suggested that we make a club out of a lean-to in the back. The colonel thought that was “a hell of a good idea!” The next day, he had a crew out there cleaning out the lean-to. When the area was ready, some of the men took a truck into town and helped themselves to furniture in various hotel lobbies. The First Sergeant came to me one day and said, “Jack, I see you’re a cook.” I said, “Oh, not really, I just helped out in a hamburger place.” I knew he was looking for a mess sergeant. No way! I was made a sergeant later anyway. I became a “saddle maker” and was promoted to sergeant. My division had the same designation as the one that had fought in Custer’s last stand. I have seen the first cavalry insignia on uniforms of men in the Gulf War. I had a pleasure, an honor, while in my outfit in Tokyo. They picked about ten or twelve of us out of five hundred guys to be an honorary guard for Mrs. Douglas MacArthur. We’d built a real nice Red Cross club on a training boat (USS Gary Owens) that they had anchored there in the bay. We’d converted it into a club. It had a dance floor in it, a bar and booze. You could get coffee and doughnuts. You could play games and listen to the radio. It was an entertainment place with tropical, undersea scenery—real clever. They invited Mrs. Douglas MacArthur to come and christen this club for us. They lined us up and I was picked for one of her honorary guard. I and one other fellow were to help her down into a small boat to take her around to the front of the big ship to hit it with a bottle of saki. After the ceremony, she took a small boat back to shore. I was out first and then turned and helped her out. She said, “Why, thank you, Sergeant.” There was a big picture of Mrs. MacArthur and me in the Tokyo paper. I sent the picture home to my Dad. It got lost in the shuffle. That was quite an honor, quite an experience. She was a real nice little gal. I never did get to see General MacArthur himself. He was hard to see. He was up in Tokyo, in the business part. Along in July, I and my buddy got a turn to go down to a rest camp 100 miles from our base. It was close to Hiroshima. We were in this rest camp for about a week. We got ready to come home and they quarantined us for something. Then we got to stay for another week. The food was real good and we could do just about anything we wanted to do. We’d fool around, play ball and pitch horseshoes or go row boating out in the bay. There was a bridge that went out to an island. We could be lazy. They waited on us and fed us. It was real nice. When we got back to our camp, there was a baseball game the next day. I was to pitch. I hadn’t been throwing and my arm was a little stiff. I pitched the eight innings. In the eighth inning, I threw a curve and my arm broke in two. So they took me up to 42nd General Hospital there in Tokyo. When I went to the hospital, the other patients said, “Here comes another one.” Another boy had broken his leg running from first to second base. These breaks were due to poor nutrition. We had no milk or fresh vegetables. We were not allowed to eat Japanese food. My buddy and the First Sergeant came to see me in the hospital. They said, “We won the game!” I was there for about three weeks. The doctor told me I was going to go home. I shipped out of Tokyo at the end of August on a hospital ship, the USS Comfort. It was real nice with good food, good beds, nurses and everything. We were about two weeks coming home, landing back in San Francisco. I was there for a couple of days. They flew me up to Tacoma, Washington to Madigan General Hospital (closest to Utah). They changed my cast and I was there for two or three weeks and they let me go home on a furlough. I still had my arm in a cast. I stayed home for a couple of weeks and they let me have an extension for another couple of weeks. Mildred Carmen, who was on the draft board, said “matrimonial troubles” were the reason I needed an extra week of furlough. I got to go hunting deer and helped Homer get started on his home. Then I went back up to Tacoma, Washington and they took the old cast off. I started taking treatments to limber up my arm so I could use it. It had healed, but was real skinny and weak from being in a cast. I got to come home. It seemed so good to be back and to have the war over. I went back to Duchesne and stayed with my sister, Verda, and her husband, Marvel. Along in December, they mustered me out of the army. My daughter and my ex-wife were living in Salt Lake. My life really started all over, I’d say. I worked as a cook for my brother-in-law, Marvel, at Moore’s Cafe across the street from Cowan’s Café. Marvel Moore made some of the best pies ever. My sister, Verda, waited on customers. One day she had me make a cake. She put it out on the counter. Mrs. Schonian came from the business next door for a treat. She saw the cake and asked for a piece. She complimented Verda on the cake. Verda said, “Why, I didn’t make that cake—Jack did!” I was quite proud of myself. I played a little baseball on the town team when I came home, but I had to give it up. I went to work in Duchesne remodeling Kohl’s store, a job I’d started before I went in the service. I met Ruby that winter. I and a friend went up to Alta Loma to a dance (Alta Loma was located west of Altamont at 3750 No Highway 87 on the west side of the Lake Fork River). I really went up there to see another gal, Reva Killian. She used to write to me while I was overseas. Anyway, I danced with her. She was there, acting quite important. That kind of stuff never went over with Jack Fitzwater. She was playing hard to get. I danced with her and then I went out to the car alone at intermission. When I went out to the car, Ruby was in the car with my sister and brother-in-law and this fellow I’d ridden to the dance with and another couple. Sarah, my sister, asked me if I remembered Ruby Fietkau. Ruby said, “Jack, you should remember me, I danced with you one time down in Duchesne.” I remembered. I danced with her and she was just right—just what I was looking for. She just kinda turned me on, you know. In other words, I had my antennaes out and she had hers out a lot further (other versions say “antlers”). I told her I was going to marry her and build her the biggest house in Duchesne. We danced the rest of the night and I asked to take her home. She lived in Salt Lake and she was out there to see her mother and her daughter, Shirley. She had been married before. Grandma Snow had her daughter living in Mt. Emmons. It was funny, that night I met her at Alta Loma. Harry Davis had already asked Ruby if he could take her home after the dance. He was looking for somebody too. She turned him down. She didn’t want to go home with him. This gal that I had gone up there to see, she sat on the sidelines pulling faces all night. Ruby had stolen me away. When I asked Ruby if I could take her home, neither of us thought about Harry until we got out to the car. She turned Harry down and he had to drive her home! He razzed us all the way over there. We had to go to Mt. Emmons. Alta Loma is down on the river. We had to go ten miles to take Ruby home and then come back. He razzed me about beating his time and kidded Ruby all the way home. “That’s pretty good, you turn me down and I have to drive you home!” Our first date was for New Year’s. We went to Delwyn and Dorothy Goff’s in Salt Lake and then to the Chi-Chi Club. We started going together. I’d come out to Salt Lake quite often. There was a club up Emigration Canyon where we’d go quite a bit. They had a live band and we loved to dance. I had a Buick—a nice little car—and money in the bank (about $2,000). I went over to Bob Sathers’ in Roosevelt and bought her a keepsake diamond—60 points, a little better than half a carat. She’s still got it to this day. We got engaged that summer. While dating, Ruby and I went on a campout to Yellow Pine Flat in the Uintahs. We went with two other couples—Doris and Troy Bailey and Venla and Harvey Gee. We were all sleeping out on a tarp by the river. We had a bonfire burning. During the night, Ruby got up to go “pottie.” She was dressed in dark pants and a plaid shirt. When she came to get in her sleeping bag, she woke me up. I let out a blood-curdling scream and woke everyone up. I thought Ruby was a bear! We got married in the latter part of October in Salt Lake. Delwyn and Dorothy’s bishop married us in his home one evening. The best man, Delwyn, and his wife, Dorothy, were there. I don’t remember the bishop’s name. My sister, Nora, gave Ruby a shower in Salt Lake—mostly family, just the women. We first lived in a motel in Salt Lake. I was working up at University Gardens Apartments for Ben Davis, a contractor. We lived there for about a month and we moved down on Walker Lane—Highland Drive and 50th South. We lived there during that winter until the next spring. I moved back to Duchesne to lease Reed’s Club from my brother-in-law, Reed Cowan. Ruby was working at the State Capitol at the time. I went out to Duchesne alone and got the beer parlor opened. I found a home to rent on Main Street (about 125 E.) and Ruby moved out. We set up housekeeping. After about a week, we went up to Mt. Emmons and got little Shirley. She had been living with Grandpa and Grandma Snow (Elmira Mower). She came to live with us. The first time Ruby met Dianne, my daughter, they went shopping in Salt Lake. One summer we decided to raise some chickens. I fixed a run in the back yard of the rental. The little irrigation ditch ran through the corner of the yard, giving them clean, fresh water. We left them plenty of food and went up to Rock Creek for a camping weekend. They were pullet size by this time. When we got back, we found a bunch of them dead. The water in the ditch had been cut off. The chicks had crowded up into the corner trying to get some water and smothered each other. I think it was a mistake going back to Duchesne. I would have made more in Salt Lake. We did pretty good in the beer parlor. We got ahead a little bit and bought some furniture. A bunch of us got together and wanted to do something nice for the children in town for Christmas. We called Dave Smith in Salt Lake to ask if we could cut Christmas trees on his property. We cut about 35 trees. We had Kohl’s truck to carry the trees. We sold them and used the money to buy candy and nuts. We put these in sacks. Smoky Payne, an auto mechanic in town, was Santa. He rode into town on the fire truck. He passed out the sacks of candy to the kids. We parked the truck right in front of the beer parlor. We sacked the candy up at the Legion Hall one night. Ruby was pregnant with Michele. Michele was born in January. That spring my lease was up on the beer parlor. I went back to doing carpentry work. I went down to build some kitchen cabinets for Grant and Babs Murdock. Then I went on from there doing different jobs around town. That fall we moved down in the old Billings home (500 E. about 125 S.), an old cement brick home belonging to Van Killian. Victor Billings was a leader in the LDS Church. I remember him presiding at a funeral. The home was cold that winter. There was Michele and Shirley and Mom and I when we moved down there. After Fern died, Jay was having a hard time. He had a girlfriend and Lonnie was afraid he was getting too serious. He asked me and Ruby if Jay could come and live with us in Duchesne. Michele was a baby. Jay was going to high school. Times were tough. Jay wanted to go to a dance at the church one night. He didn’t have the proper clothes, but he went anyway. When he saw how the other guys were dressed, he walked back home. We were living in the Billings house, across from the Hayes family, southeast of the main part of town. Ruby had been talking to Mrs. Hayes and was starting back across the road when she saw Jay coming. She and Jay put their arms around each other and sobbed. We didn’t have any money to give Jay, but we did the best we could. Jay asked Ruby once if his dad ever gave them any money to help out. Ruby said she wouldn’t have taken it if he had tried. Lonnie didn’t have any money either. I had a pretty good job that next summer (1950). I built three homes for the Fabrizios over there on the edge of Duchesne across the steel bridge. We got ahead a little bit. That summer we bought dad’s old place (50 W. 200 N) and I started remodeling it. He wanted to sell it to us, so we bought it. He practically gave it to us. We paid $2,300 for it at $30 a month. Dad set the price. We sold it for $9,000 in 1962. When we bought the old house, it was quite run down. I went up there in my spare time weekends and evenings and worked on it. We fixed it all up so it was livable. We moved up there that summer or fall. Marsha was born a year later in 1951. My Dad died in 1952. The night he died, he and Ida Bell had gone to a banquet and had a big dinner. When they got home, he had a piece of watermelon. The next morning, when he bent over to tie his shoes, the main artery to his heart ruptured. He was taken to the VA Hospital where he died that night. Ida Bell had a comfortable, cute home. When Dad died, she didn’t seem to want a nice funeral. She said he could be buried in a Vet’s pine box. The Fitzwaters got together and went to the funeral home. We picked a different casket. They seemed happy together, but she had burned all of his family pictures. Ruby went through probate court with Ida Bell all alone. She said it was one of her worst days. Ida Bell wanted the money. We still owed money on the home. Ida Bell was upset because we took the balance and paid for funeral expenses and a better casket. She questioned everything. There was nothing left. He had worked and fixed up her home. Dad got a pension from the Spanish-American War. She continued to receive his pension after he died. She had grown children, but we never met them. I tore up the wood floor in Moore’s Café and built a concrete floor. I used the wood to build the fence in front of the old house. We raised a big garden to the side of the house. Hebe Goff used to come down the road and give mom (Ruby) advice on the garden. We had a nice lot. We put up a lot of stuff. We did a lot of work on the place. We tore out some big old trees there on the property—eight big poplar trees that dad had planted years ago. We cut those down and planted some smaller trees—some elms and a pine tree that’s still there. Jeff and Cammie were born while we lived there. Before Jeffrey was born, mother lost twin boys. They were premature. We buried them up to Boneta Cemetery by relatives of hers. (note: Jack and Ruby had the twins moved June 2003 to Redwood Memorial Estates where they are buried). One was called Bryce and the other, Bryan. They were born in Roosevelt Hospital. Shortly after, she got pregnant with Jeff, our only boy. They were just kind of typical American kids, all of them. We lived there thirteen or fourteen years. The Daughters of the Utah Pioneers (DUP) asked me to help build a monument to honor the pioneers. Allen Bond (neighbor and friend), Weston Bates and I donated our labor and the DUP paid for the materials. The bell on the monument was supposed to be the bell from the old adobe elementary in Duchesne. It was the bell that Hebe Goff used to ring at 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. Unfortunately, Allen had sold it for scrap metal. He knew of a similar bell that had been used in a school in Mt. Home, north of Duchesne. He picked up the bell and the DUP approved it. My sister, Verda, and a Holdaway girl had asked for a brick to be saved when the adobe school was torn down. They had carved their names in the brick. We incorporated that brick (behind glass) into the back of the monument that still stands east of the new Duchesne High School on Main Street (2013). The Andertons, Blanche’s family, were always very friendly to me. Levi, her dad, was a bishop. Blanche and a couple of her brothers, Rulon and Neil, felt they were “black sheep.” Ruby saw Rulon in Duchesne one day. He lived in Roosevelt. She invited him up for supper. He came and we had a nice visit. Neil and his wife, Mert, moved to Duchesne in about 1964 for a couple of years. He had a barber shop next to Ruby’s dress shop. They were living in his parents’ home. They sold it and moved back to Salt Lake City. When he died, he had given instructions to his son that I was to be called right away and I was. We took milk from the Anderton’s for years. I’d drive the kids over there in the pickup and they would take the empty gallon jars to trade for the fresh milk. Our kids knew them as “Grandma and Grandpa Anderton.” The “weanin’ pen” was just west of the old house. It was a little house with two rooms--a front room and kitchen. It was a house that young couples used when they were getting started. Grandpa Buckalew was sleeping over there when he died. My dad would go over there and sleep with him when it was real cold to keep him warm. George Kohl bought this house from dad. Herb Mecham drug it over to Glen Stephenson’s and he made it into a garage. George Kohl bought the lot and I built a house on the property between Homer’s house and ours. Arza Adams, a butcher at Kohl’s Market from Vernal, and his wife, Clytie, lived there. They were a nice couple. Ruby really liked Mrs. Adams. She told Ruby of her daughter being strangled on their clothesline in Vernal. I had a horse for about four or five years when the kids were little. I bought it from someone in Fruitland for $150. I had it in a pasture across the river. One time the horse got porcupine quills in his nose. I called Arch Hayes because he knew a lot about horses. He threw the horse down in the garden and pulled out the quills. We took the horse deer hunting so he could haul our deer into camp. I built a trailer for him, but he hated it. It was too narrow. We had a riding club—the Duchesne Riding Club—that rode in the Duchesne County Fair parade. We did maneuvers in the park with lights on the field. When we had the riding club, I was in Kohl’s Market asking Don Bench about a flag. George Kohl heard me and said we could use George Jr.’s flag. I told him I’d take real good care of it. I made blue and white flags that were three feet high for the club members to hold. Some of the members didn’t have saddles. They rode bareback. Mont Poulson rode with the U.S. flag in the center. Someone else rode on the left side with a 30-30 rifle. I rode on the right side with a 30-30 also. Everyone else, including the kids, rode behind us. I sold the horse to Orvin Moon, who lived by the church. I was building something onto his house and offered to sell him the horse. I also sold him a skill saw—I had two. One of his men cut his leg with the saw. The horse got tangled up in wire and had to be shot. George Jr. Kohl was a friend of Homer and me. George Kohl sent Jr. to Tulane University in New Orleans to study business. He was drafted and trained as a bombardier during World War II. While in training, he flew close to the west of Duchesne. He talked the pilot into flying the plane down low along Main Street to Bridgeland and back. George Jr. had three successful missions, but was shot down. His plane was found in the jungle five or six years later. He had written to Homer. George Jr.’s dog tags and a flag were sent to George Kohl. One fun trip Ruby and I took was to Finney Lake, elevation 11,000 feet, in the Uintahs. It was in the summer, but there was snow by the lake. We were the first on the trail that year. We packed in from Rock Creek Lodge on horses. There was snow up to the bellies of the horses in the meadow. Barbara and Duane Meriwether took us in. Those who went were Deon and Pauline Brown, Jim and Terry Cowan, Max and Melva Allred, Norma and Jr. Wilson and Ruby and me. Deon did most of the fishing. Pauline had to go down because of heart problems. Ruby said she never laughed so much in her life. Max always had a joke. We decided we wanted a new home. The summer that I built Ell’s Motel, we bought half a block up north of us in the best part of Duchesne, really. I sold some of the lots to Jimmy Cowan and I built him a new home. I sold to Neil Jensen next to me. I kept two and a half lots 125’ by 150’ for our home. That summer we got our basement in. The next summer, we started framing it up. We decided to go ahead with what money we had and I got it framed up. We had a chance to sell the old home on a GI loan to Buddy Bird and Verna, Acel Muse’s sister. Then we had that $10,000 to put toward the new home. We had to hurry and get the basement finished so we could move that fall. It was getting late and we had to get in. We had to get out of the other home. So we moved up and lived in the basement. That winter I went up and built the same home. I took my plan to Altamont and built Ted and Naomi Fisher a home so I had good work all winter. I burned a lot of midnight oil on ours. I’d stay up ‘til one or two o’clock every night working upstairs laying rocks and building cabinets, etc. We went as far as we could with our money. It was easy to get money because we had as much advancement on our home, so we borrowed a little money from the bank to finish the upstairs. We moved up there for Thanksgiving the following fall of 1961. Jeff and Marsha kept the basement bedrooms. Michele, Camille and mom and I moved upstairs. Mom and I liked to picnic, fish, hunt deer and camp out. We took the kids on a lot of good trips and cookouts. We really liked the outdoors. The kids always had a little dog of some kind. One little dog named Sandy was with us for a number of years. I think the poor little dog died of a broken heart because we wouldn’t let her come upstairs. (Dad admitted in 2011 that he had to take Sandy up Indian Canyon and shoot her. She was pooping all over the house). We had another dog, a bird dog, named “Lady” that I took pheasant hunting. She had about eight pups. Jeff kept one of the pups and named him “Duke.” We had a group of friends in Duchesne that made up the 500 club. We’d get together about once a month. We took turns entertaining. We’d play 500—similar to bridge. We had a booby prize and a high prize. That was real nice. We’d have about four tables—sixteen people. We always went to the Junior Prom. It was a big thing for us. We always looked forward to the high school basketball games. While Michele and Marsha were in the Debutantes marching unit, the girls went to Idaho one time. They marched at a basketball game at BYU during the intermission of a BYU-New Mexico game. That was a privilege. We went out and watched that. We really enjoyed the high school activities with the kids. Marsha was real outstanding in the oratorical contest and won several trophies. Michele was the Sweetheart Queen and then crowned Marsha. We were real proud of them. I built several homes in Duchesne and the post office. I built a home for Ray and Donna Hansen across the street and west of our new home. When my sister, Verda, died, Ruby and I rode to Duchesne with Jay Fitzwater for the funeral. Donna Hansen approached me. She had to tell me who she was. I said, “I built a home for you.” She said, “Yes, you did and I’m still living in that house. My husband passed away, but I am still enjoying that home.” In Duchesne I belonged to the American Legion. We had a lot of fun with the American Legion. It was real active in Duchesne. We had a lot of nice banquets and programs. We had Legion and Auxiliary parties. We took part in several burials. We had a firing squad to salute the dead veterans. We went around all over the Uintah Basin. We went to Price. Our post was 180. I was on the City Council for a couple of years. We had a real good group then. We accomplished a lot. We were all young. We were out to do something and we did. We helped with new waterworks and improved the sidewalks—better than they are today with all their oil money and we didn’t have any money! One of my responsibilities was the airport—to see the runway was kept cleared and the restrooms in the building were kept up. There was only one private plane up there. We had city cleanups and kept the alleys free of trash. I added onto the Duchesne County Jail. George Marett, the sheriff at the time, showed me how he wanted it. I used my own forms. I practically wore them out. Levi Anderton told me to turn in a bill, which I did. Porter Merrill made a negative remark about how he could hire a cat all day for that amount. This was at a County Commissioner meeting. They paid me half. Later on, the city asked me to make some concrete bridge abutments up the river. There was an old wooden bridge that had washed out. I made it clear I would not be furnishing any of my own materials. When I said that, Porter Merrill ducked his head. The bridge is still in use. I was asked to be the inspector for the new Duchesne Elementary. I was hired by the architect, Roe Smith, and paid by him. Roe was very well-respected. He was Tom Abplanalp’s nephew. (Tom graduated from Duchesne High School in 1938. His family lived in Utahn by Bernice [Fietkau] and Gene Abplanalp. His mother was ornery. She smoked a corncob pipe. Tom was the favorite son. He was the only one to become educated). Roe Smith’s family lived in Bridgeland. His father was Almy Smith. Before starting the elementary, Tom, the school superintendent, asked me to look over the plans. I said, “There’s something wrong right now! There will be rain water draining right down by the front door. You should build an entry first.” Tom told Roe Smith to solve the problem, which he did. When the foundation was started on the elementary by Turner Construction, I didn’t like the looks of the concrete. I called a young inspector in Roosevelt who was on a small job over there. I asked him to go to the batch plant and check on the concrete. I asked him to see if they were using the right grade, etc. I said, “If you see a problem, call Tom Abplanalp, the school superintendent.” Awhile later, Tom came to me and said, “C’mon Jack. Let’s go to Roosevelt.” The job superintendent from Turner Construction, Tom and I went in Tom’s car to the plant. We looked in the hopper and saw chunks from bags left in the rain and the wrong grade of concrete. Tom broke the contract on the spot. Turner Construction got a mixer and brought gravel from the Point of the Mountain. They mixed their own concrete on the site. The project manager was “green”—he was a former heavy equipment operator. He hadn’t had much or any experience reading blueprints. He relied heavily on one of his carpenters to help him in this way. One day, while inspecting, I noticed that the floor hadn’t been recessed in the multi-purpose room and the bathrooms. They needed to allow for tile. I pointed this out to the project manager. He said, “Oh, I didn’t know.” I said, “Look here at the plan.” The project manager asked what he should do. I said, “It’s still green concrete and is not set. Knock it off.” When the elementary was dedicated, Ruby was there. I was not. Roe Smith, the architect, said “You should be proud of one in your own community. That’s Jack Fitzwater. He was an outstanding inspector!” The builder praised me for saving them thousands of dollars and giving the community a quality building. Roe Smith told Tom Abplanalp that “Jack Fitzwater was one of the best inspectors I ever had on a job.” Later, Ned Mitchell was working on an addition to the school. I went to look at it. I told Ned, “You’re pouring six inches high. Look, you’re pouring above the brick line.” Lloyd Shiner was a worker. He said, “What should we do?” I said, “Stop. Dig it out of there!” They did and it turned out OK. I’ve been on a lot of good rabbit hunts. When we were living in the old home, Allen Bond and Homer and I went out to Periot Mines, south of Myton. We brought home 70-75 cottontails. Elden Wilkins came over and took a picture of them and sent it into Don Brooks, sportswriter for the Salt Lake Tribune. It really stirred up a stink. Don Brooks knew Homer because he’d gone lion hunting with him. He called Homer in Duchesne. Don said, “Oh, Homer, I’m in trouble. I’ve got all these sportsmen calling up here to the editor and me. They want to know where you guys got all those rabbits. They think you’re wasting these rabbits, they’re edible and you’re killing all these cottontails and wasting them.” Homer said, “We’re not wasting them. We divided up them rabbits. We’ve all got deep freezes and big families. We eat those rabbits. What are you talking about?” Don Brooks’ column was “Smoke Signals.” So, he writes this article in the next paper. He told all about calling Homer and the boys. He said, “They do not waste those rabbits. Those rabbits were all put in their deep freezes and eaten. They have families. They need the meat, in other words.” That didn’t satisfy them. Do you know why? We didn’t tell them where we got the rabbits. So Don calls back. He says, “Homer, you’ve just got to tell me where you got those rabbits.” Homer says, “We just got them out on the desert south of Myton.” You know, the next weekend, we got invaded. No kidding! You’d have thought they were going to the World’s Fair. They came with shotguns and 22s. They went out there chasing those rabbits. That year there were a lot of rabbits on this desert. They came out there and they cleaned it out. It never was the same after that, in other words. After that, we went up one time on the Blue Bench out of Duchesne—a bunch of us brothers and friends from Salt Lake. We killed about a hundred rabbits in two days. We’ve got films of that. They were healthy and fat—good eating. (They used a plumbing auger to coax the rabbits out—then killed them). Over the years, we had several good deer hunts—all during the 50s after World War II. My brothers and I would deer hunt every fall. We really looked forward to that. One morning when we got up, the tent had collapsed. The deer were coming. We were standing out there in our long handles and bare feet, shooting deer. Once I took Ruby deer hunting up the Strawberry River. She said, “I’ll just read here in the pickup.” A two-point went right by her. I waited and then shot. Later on, a bunch in Duchesne was going to the Book Cliffs, south of Vernal, bow and arrow hunting. I really wanted to go, so I bought myself a used bow in Roosevelt and started hunting. It was three or four years before I ever got one. Finally, I got one of the biggest ones that any of them had ever killed. It was the bull of the woods—eight points on one side and five on the other. It had better than a thirty inch spread of horns, one of the biggest ones that had ever come out of there. I was quite thrilled. A bird dog of mine came in one night and chewed the horns and ruined them. The horns were velvet at that time of year and soft. One year we went on a lion hunt. Brent Lee, my son-in-law, was with us and a friend of mine from Duchesne, Gary Rowley, a government trapper. There was a dentist from Grand Junction and there was another government trapper from Vernal. We went out south of Duchesne. They had a report that this lion had been killing sheep. The government trappers are hired to control predators. The trapper in Duchesne said, “I want you to go.” I called Brent. He wanted to go too. I took my movie camera. The dentist from Grand Junction had a small boy—14 or 15. We went out to the herd that morning and saw the sheep. Several sheep had been killed. The first day, we didn’t get the right tracks. We went in a circle—a goose chase. The next day, we spotted the mother track and two kittens. The five dogs started on the tracks and away they went. Then they split up. The two kittens went one way and the cat went the other. Three dogs and Brent and I went after the mother and the dentist and the other trapper from Vernal stayed with the two horses. The dogs had the mother lion up a tree. I took some movie camera pictures. They chased her up another tree. We had to kill her with a 22 rifle and dress her out and take the fur to turn in. About that time, here came the dentist. He never did catch the kittens, so he gave up and came back. The next day, they went back out and got on the kitten tracks and finally got them. We moved to Salt Lake in 1969. By then Michele was married. She married Brent Lee and moved up to Tabiona. Marsha was going to BYU. Mom and I decided to move to Salt Lake. That was June 1969. Mother went out ahead of me. I was working on a high school job and Jeff was still in school in Duchesne. Ruby took Cammie with her. I had to wait until school was out. In June, when Jeff got out of school, we started moving stuff to Salt Lake. At first, we lived in a duplex over on 7th East (3760 S.). What a nightmare that street was. We decided to sell the home in Duchesne. At the time, that was a mistake. I had the home rented at the time. A short time after we sold the home, there was a big oil boom in Duchesne. If we had kept it for another year, we could really have made some money. We sold the home at a loss. We bought a home down in Midvale that was closer to my work. I went to work for Boise Cascade in Salt Lake. They built pre-fab homes. They hired me to run a crew and start a night shift. I started a night shift with about thirty men doing framing. I worked night shift for 5 ½ years. Then they put me on day shift for a few years. The plant manager seemed to turn against me. He was going to write me up because I wouldn’t fire a guy, one of my best workers. I quit and walked out. I worked for Boise Cascade for 9 ½ years. They closed the plant down. After that, I worked for Interstate Homes in Salt Lake as a quality control inspector over framing. I worked there for about a year and got a little discouraged with that. I decided to go back to work and use my own tools to make more money. I was hired by Hogan & Tingey Construction from Centerville. I told them I had worked for them in Duchesne. They wanted me right away. I worked on a school in Layton. The last project I worked on for them was the south wing of the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake. One summer while I was working for Hogan & Tingey, I went fly fishing for a week. When I got back to Salt Lake, I was to check on Curtis, the son of the owner. He was in charge of building an elementary school on 93rd South. I went down there and looked at the blueprints. Right away I saw there was a big problem—the school was facing the wrong direction. The school was supposed to face “a proposed road,” not the existing oil road. When I told Curtis, he responded in a panic, “What am I going to do?” I said, “You better get your men out there, tear out those batter boards and lay it out right! No one will ever know.” Curtis said, “Oh, Jack, you saved my life!” I worked for Hogan & Tingey for about seven years. I retired when I reached the age of 65. I decided to get out of it. Eddie Brown said I wasn’t retired until I built him a home in Duchesne. So I did. In the meantime, the last few years, Ruby’s been into real estate which really helped us an awful lot. With her “umph” and her boost in the financial end of things, we made a few investments. It set us up pretty good and helped toward our retirement. She started her Social Security at 62 and I started mine at 65. With a few investments we have, we are really quite comfortable. Ruby found our home in Taylorsville, where we moved in August of 1976. We really liked the floor plan of the home. I finished off the basement. We lived there for 33 years. We had wonderful neighbors and Ruby was active in the ward. We had some good home teachers come to our home. Our son, Jeff, passed away due to a construction accident while working on the Delta Center in Salt Lake in January 1991. A forklift backed over him when he did not hear the warning signal. Larry Miller came to the house and cried with us. He also spoke at the funeral. The Jazz organization took care of a lot of the funeral expenses. Larry and Gail came to the house again with autographed basketballs for Jeff’s kids. There is a bronze plaque in the Delta Center in honor of Jeff. Our family was invited to the Open House when the building was completed. I have had a few health problems in my later years. I developed a tumor on my eye. Dr. Ungritch removed it. I also had cataracts. I had a mole on my forehead that started into cancer. At the VA Hospital, I had an area of my forehead operated on to remove this. Vertigo sent me to the Cottonwood Hospital once and to the VA Hospital another time. I was mowing the lawn one day in 1990 and was a little short of breath. The next morning, I drove myself up to the VA. They kept me and I had open heart surgery. The doctors did a triple bypass. MOH surgery at the University of Utah Hospital behind my left ear for a suspicious area landed me at the VA again when the stitches didn’t hold. Then I had a minor stroke in 2008. I gave up driving after my stroke. Ruby and I were big Jazz fans. After my triple bypass, Camille and Shirley called “Hot Rod” Hundley, the announcer for the Utah Jazz basketball games. While announcing the next Jazz game, he said, “Get well, Sergeant Fitzwater!” When the doctor came in to see me the next day, he said, “I didn’t know you were a celebrity!” I felt so good after I recovered from my heart surgery that I got busy painting. I painted the entire upstairs and put up some new wallpaper in the living room and the kitchen. We had some dark paneling in the entryway and down the stairs. I painted it white along with the doors in the hallway and the bedroom closet doors. The VA provided home care after my stroke. That meant a doctor and some other people came to check on me. I think one was a social worker. He asked me all kinds of questions. Before he left, he said he would like to hear one of my fly fishing stories. I started right in with the question, “Ever hear of a Fisherman’s Dream?” I told him about a fishing trip five of us went on in the High Uintahs. There were my two brothers, Lonnie and Homer, Art, my niece Norine’s husband (Norine was Leva’s daughter) from Oakland, California and Dick Horrocks, Della Mae’s husband (Della Mae was another one of my sister, Leva’s, daughters). We were about ½ mile from camp, off the trail about 100 yards, at a place called Lost Lake. I decided to try fishing without a fly on. I used a Colorado Spinner—one side was gold and the other was silver. It was about 12:00 noon and there were a few clouds in the sky. I cast out and caught a trout about a foot long. With every cast, the fish hit the spinner—three claws pulling in as fast as I could. I just threw them in the grass. There were 60 fish—the limit was 20! It was a Fisherman’s Dream! I looked around and said, “Where’s the game warden?” I stopped and cleaned a basketful and a willow full. I was separated from the other guys. When we got back to camp and they saw my catch, they wanted me to hurry and eat supper and go back. We caught five or six more and they quit biting. They were Rainbow Cutthroat. While we lived in Taylorsville, Ruby and I had a small garden—mostly tomato plants. We raised rhubarb and had an apricot tree and a cherry tree. Even when mom’s eyesight was bad, we would can tomatoes together. And, of course, we had to have mom’s homemade jam! We liked to watch the quail out in our front yard. They liked our big pine tree and the one next door. For many years, there were some ducks that would come to our back yard every summer. We had a little dog, Rusty, that was a real good dog. One day, toward the end of the time we lived in our Taylorsville home, I noticed a flash of bright yellow on the back lawn. I went out there and found an injured cockatiel. We took him in and got a cage. We named him “Dandy” because he was as yellow as a dandelion. We really enjoyed watching him, but he didn’t last very many weeks before he died. One day I brought a “surprise” into the house for mom. I told her, “I didn’t give you any flowers on our wedding day…so here’s a surprise for you!” It was a nice big tomato! I learned to make Ruby’s favorite sandwich—one slice of bread with cheese—broil it and add sliced tomato. She wanted that every day while we had fresh tomatoes. We also had lots of rose bushes. I made lots of bouquets for mom and brought them in the house. She loved roses. Ruby had macular degeneration. I helped her dress, put on her makeup for church and straightened her hair. I took her to get her hair done every week. It was important to both of us. One day she said, “Oh, dad, I’m so sorry you have to do all this.” I said, “I just love taking care of you.” Mom said, “I couldn’t ask for better.” I also did the laundry, paid the bills and cooked. I kept busy making fires in the basement in the winter and splitting wood when the weather was nice. People all over the neighborhood would bring me tree limbs. I had quite a wood pile enclosed at the side of the garage. In the fall of 2009, Ruby had to have emergency surgery. At first the doctors thought she had appendicitis, but the problem was her colon. She went downhill fast after the surgery. The girls took turns coming to take care of her, but she needed more care, so we moved her to Orem Nursing and Rehab. Marsha told me to pack my suitcase like I was going on a little trip. I stayed with her and Don for about five or six weeks. We went to see mom every day. At first, Medicare thought she was not a candidate for rehab, but they approved her for it week to week. She regained her strength and we were able to move into Summerfield Assisted Living in Orem just before Thanksgiving. We had a nice two-room apartment of our own with an accessible bathroom. The staff could provide the help mom needed. It was very hard to leave our home, but Ruby was afraid she could not get proper care at home. So we went home to Summerfield together. We did not like the food, but the helpers were nice. I liked to play Bingo twice a week with three cards. I won little candy bars and M & Ms which I saved for the kids at Halloween or when any of the grandkids came to visit. The girls spent three months in 2010 clearing out the house, painting and fixing things up so we could rent the house. We took just the furniture and clothing we needed to Summerfield along with some pictures, albums, and a few kitchen and personal items. The girls divided up everything else. Mom and I went back once to inspect their work. We quit claimed the house to them. We’ve had the same renters since May of 2010. The neighbors have told us they are really nice people. Mom passed away at Summerfield one week after her 90th birthday, in March 2011. We had a little party for her, but she was not able to get out of bed. The grandkids came in, a family at a time, to wish her “Happy Birthday.” I want to be buried in a stainless steel casket. When the Statue of Liberty was refurbished, it was taken apart and replaced with stainless steel. They’ve found it outlasts everything. Mom and I paid for our burial plots and planned our funerals several years ago. I’d like to give my children a little advice. The most important person in the world is yourself. You should come number one first. You should tell yourself that. Then your loved ones and so on. That is the way I feel about it. Your self-image makes a lot of difference to your family and friends. You need to have a good image of yourself. I think a person that has a poor image of himself--it’s a handicap to him. Be a leader, not a loser. I’m not much for being a follower. Don’t let other people lead you into problems. Think! You’ve got a mind. Think first. Don’t let other people influence your life and get you into things that you shouldn’t be into. Remember Jonestown. To me, that is not religion. It is the work of the devil. They were hypnotized and committed suicide. Some people are led in the wrong direction that way. It’s sad what some people get into. I’ve always said that family is my religion. I love my family!

Autobiography of Alonzo Cecil Fitzwater

Contributor: Simini Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

Written—February 1973 The Mormon missionaries were in Liberty, West Virginia during the early nineteen hundreds. They stayed at Grandfather Buckalew’s home as he was about the only one around there who would accept them. They made his home their headquarters. They were instrumental in converting my parents, William Henry and Lucretia Buckalew Fitzwater to the gospel. Grandfather Jonathan and Alice Buckalew and their family were also baptized. Grandfather made a trip to Idaho and Utah in about 1908 to look the territory over before deciding to move his family out West. He sold his home and all his belongings and put his family on the train heading for Utah. My father and mother and their six children were in the group leaving for the West. I was six years old at that time, having been born 20 February 1902 in Liberty, Putnam County, West Virginia. We first stopped at the train station in Colton, Utah where we were met by Church authorities. We stayed at Colton several days. Eventually, the Mormon Elders got teams and wagons for us and informed us that the Uintah Basin was open for colonizers and settlers. We headed out over the Indian Canyon pass, traveling approximately four days and covering fifty miles. We stopped at a little settlement called Theodore, which was later named Duchesne. There were about ten families there at that time, with more people coming in all the time to settle and build homes. We first stayed in a little one-room log cabin. Father bought a tent which he boarded up. He put a big potbellied stove in it and this is where we slept. We cooked and ate in the log cabin. We lived there about one year. Then we moved to a frame house over by the Duchesne River where we lived for a time while father was having a house built for us. He bought some land from Al Murdock. The brush and squaw berries, currant and bullberry bushes had to be cleared from the land before the house could be started. Father went up to the Petty Sawmill on the Yellowstone River and got some lumber. The foundation was made of big logs laid on the ground and the house was framed up from there. It had three rooms and a kitchen downstairs and an attic with room for two beds. When we moved into this house, it seemed like a castle. Father obtained work in Al Murdock’s store, keeping books and records for him. He worked at this job three or four years. Murdocks were the first family to settle in Duchesne. Mr. Murdock’s daughter worked at the post office. When she quit, dad got the job. A little post office building was built next to Murdock’s store. Dad was Postmaster in Duchesne for twenty-nine years. We were more fortunate than most families in that area as we had money coming in from his government salary. We always had a garden, a cow, pigs and chickens. Father was a great one to put things away in fifty gallon barrels—pickled corn, sauerkraut, salt pork, salt pickles and salted fish. After the fish were set up, they were smoked in the smokehouse. In the fall we picked the wild currants, gooseberries, bullberries, and chokecherries and made delicious jams and jellies. In the spring we picked wild asparagus from the river banks and pulled dandelion greens. The greens tasted so good after the long winter months. We also had rhubarb plants. Father bought some more property from Uncle Joe Lewis which had two big crabapple trees on it and some black currant bushes. Everyone around came to get apples and currants to make jelly. We had long hard winters with temperatures twenty below zero. The rivers would freeze over. The water would back up and flood the main streets. We kids would put on our skates and skate to school and back. In fact, in the winter months we skated from morning ‘till night. We’d have skating parties—build big bonfires around the edge of the pond. We’d take ladders and use them for sleds. We’d go up to the point of West Bench and come sliding down. Our mothers would make us sandwiches and lunches and we’d go up there and stay all day. The roads would get snow-blocked in the winter and supplies couldn’t get through. People would all have to share what food they had. Mother would always share flour, sugar, coffee and salt with neighbors. Most families had their own meat as there was plenty of game available—elk, deer, ducks, geese and rabbits. Everyone had a 22 or a rifle. Sometimes it would take ten days to make a round-trip over the mountains to Helper to get supplies. Men would take their teams and sleighs over the snow, sometimes fifteen feet deep over the pass. The elevation was 10, 000 feet up there. The men would use as many as six head of horses on one sleigh. There was no way to remove snow in those days; they would just have to go over the top of it. In the spring, the heavy snow would melt and flood the town. The men would haul trees and rocks and put them on the river banks to hold back the water. Men, women and children would work day and night to try to keep back the flood waters. The women would make sandwiches and hot drinks for the men to keep them going. Big families in those days seemed to be the rule rather than the exception. My father and mother had eleven children, four boys and seven girls. One little boy, George Albert, died when he was but two weeks old. I had five sisters before I ever had a brother. My sisters fought my battles for me, especially my sister Leva. She was always looking out for her little brother. Our family consisted of the following children: Gladys, Leva, Alonzo Cecil, Nora, Verda, George Albert, Bessie, Sarah, Georgia, Wm. Homer, Jack and Doris. One of the neighbors was the Abplanalp family. Mr. Abplanalp was one of the freighters who brought our supplies to us. They lived in a log cabin with a lean-to. They had an attic which could be reached by climbing a ladder on the outside. This family had fourteen children. Their boy, Bill, was always beating me up. One day the table was turned and I got the best of him. From then on, we were the best of friends and we grew up and joined the army together. During the summer months, kids went barefoot the whole time. We wore bib overalls. We’d play baseball and then head for the river. By the time we hit the banks, our overalls were shed and we’d dive in. We enjoyed a lot of sports. I was pitcher for the town baseball team by the time I was fifteen. We ran a lot of foot races. We always looked forward to the 4th and 24th of July so the Fitzwater kids could run races and win a quarter. We’d ride horses and fish the streams. We brought home so many fish mother told us to stop bringing anymore. One day when I got home from school, I found a little wild pinto pony tied to the fence outside our house. His mane and tail dragged the ground. I asked my mother whose pony it was and she said “I guess it’s yours.” Chief Red Cap of the Ute Tribe had brought him up and tied him to the fence. Dad used to do all Red Cap’s legal work for him and they got to be real good friends. A week later, Chief Red Cap brought us a load of hay to feed the pony. Bill Abplanalp and I broke the pony and trained it. He got to be the fastest pony in Duchesne; outran all the kid ponies. Ray Odekirk was the first boy in Duchesne to own a bicycle. We kids would follow him all over town and would trade our pocket knives, marbles or anything we had just for a ride on his bike. When I was seven or eight years old, the outlaws would come through Duchesne and stop at the saloon for drinks. When they were in town the mothers gathered up their families and kept the children in the house. These outlaws headed for their hideout—Robbers’ Roost in Bookcliff country, down on the Green River. Perry Grant and I got to be real good buddies. I used to go up to his ranch and stay with him in the summer. We’d ride all over the hills together, chasing coyotes and shooting rabbits with our 22s. We’d herd sheep and take the cows to pasture. There were swinging bridges over the river for people to cross over on. Perry’s brother, Reilson, was chopping drift wood loose from the swinging bridge one day when he slipped and fell in the swirling waters and drowned. His big black dog swam out to him, but couldn’t save him. Reilson was swept downstream and his body wasn’t found until the next spring. Ralph Murdock and I were also good friends. I used to spend a lot of time with him up at the Murdock’s Bar Ranch. One day his dad sent us after the cows in the pasture up north of Duchesne, over the river. The only way we could get to the pasture was over the swinging bridge. We were late getting back and when we arrived at the swinging bridge, mother and all the townspeople were there waiting for us. The water was high and nearly touching the bridge. Mother had feared for our safety and had everyone out looking for us. As we were growing up, I had my chores to do. Father assigned me a number of rows to weed in the vegetable garden. I’d get my pals to help me with this task. I also had to keep the wood box full. Since wood burning stoves were our only source of heat, wood was a most important necessity. Men hauled wood from the mountains in wagons or sleighs after which it had to be chopped by hand. I spent many hours every day chopping wood. I milked the cow and fed the pigs and chickens; all in the day’s routine. Indians from the Ute Tribe would come into town. They would stop by our house and, if we happened to be eating, they would come in, sit down and start to eat. When they finished their meal, they would get up and leave with only an “ugh.” I became good friends with an Indian by the name of Louis Apparatus. He owned some horses and one special race horse. He got me to race this horse for him and we won many races. The Indians took part in all of our celebrations. They had their ball teams and squaw wrestlers, usually winning out over the white kids. The Indians would make camps over by the Strawberry River, under the cottonwood trees. They’d make fires, catch prairie dogs, roll them in mud and throw them in the fire. When they were roasted, they’d break the mud and skin off and would eat the clean meat. In the evenings they’d sit in a circle around the campfire, wrapped in their blankets. There would be a big cast iron pot on the fire, filled with tripe. They’d eat the tripe, chew on peyote herbs and chant. This religious intoxication ceremony from the peyote herbs lasted many hours. We kids liked to go over and watch them, but we stayed our distance and never got too close. All our social activities were held down at the church house. We used this building for everything—basketball games, dances and meetings. All the carpenters in town worked together to build this church. One day some boys were playing in a barn and they built a fire next to it. The fire caught onto the haystack. A light wind was blowing, causing the fire to go from the haystack to the barn, burning a big pile of lumber as it went. Three pigs were burned, but we got the horses out. Then the fire caught on some wood piles back of the buildings on Main Street. It burned down the hotel, the old saloon and several small buildings. Everything on the south side of Main Street burned to the ground except the Post Office. Several years later a fire got started in one of the buildings on the north side of Main Street. This spread to other buildings along the street. Our only means of fighting fire was by a hand-operated pump. The hose of the pump caught in a door upstairs in one of the buildings and burned up. The only way we could fight the fire now was by buckets. A hand brigade was formed with a man dipping water in buckets from the ditch and passing it on up the line of men, but to no avail—the buildings all burned to the ground. Perry Grant’s father, Jim Grant, started a brickyard at the mouth of Indian Canyon. The floods had washed down clay, which was perfect material from which to make bricks. When the Main Street buildings were rebuilt, they were made of bricks. I started hunting with my father when I was twelve years old. He was an expert marksman, having learned this skill when he was in the Spanish-American War. We’d go rabbit hunting, father killing the rabbits and me carrying them. We’d only kill those we needed—six or eight at a time. We never wasted any meat. On these hunting trips we’d kill sage hens. They’d fly up in big flocks, hundreds of them. We’d bring a few of them home too. There were also willow grouse, ducks and geese on the rivers, ponds and fields. I killed my first deer when I was fifteen. I started taking my brothers, Homer and Jack, with me when they were sixteen or seventeen years old. Their friend, Delwyn Goff, was like one of the family and always hunted with us. We still look forward to these annual deer hunts and reunions, which we have had for the past forty years. We’ve hunted the Currant Creek, Red Creek, Sandwash territory, west slope of the Duchesne River, Lake Canyon and Indian Canyon, in the Uintah Mountains. There were two different trips when we were snowed in but everyone in the party pitched in and helped, never leaving anyone stranded. We set up camp and stay until everyone gets his deer. We used to have two large tents, one to cook in and one as our sleeping quarters, but, in the last few years, we just use one tent to cook in. Most of us have campers on our trucks now which we sleep in. Time for a story of how I got my first car. I worked two months for a neighbor, Mr. Bower, cleaning his yard and chicken coops, and in payment he gave me the body of an old Model T Ford. It was minus tires and many vital parts. Bill Abplanalp and I borrowed his father’s horse and pulled the old hulk over to my place. I worked in a garage after school every night at 25 cents for three or four hours work and earned enough money to buy the parts needed to get the car in shape. We found some old tires at the garbage dump and around the garage. Bill and I finally got the Model T in running order. She sputtered, but we rode down Main Street with all the kids in the neighborhood hanging on. This experience started me on the road to being a mechanic. I worked at Duchesne Motors for one dollar a day and became a pretty good mechanic. Bill and I joined the U.S. Army 10 September 1920. While in the service, I was active in sports and excelled in boxing. Upon my return home, I married Fern Gordon and spent my early married life in Duchesne. During this time I was a member of the Voluntary Fire Department and was on the town baseball team. I spent two years playing professional baseball as a pitcher. I also belonged to the Lion’s Club. I later moved my family to Salt Lake City where I obtained employment with the local garages there as a mechanic. In the year 1927, Sanford Stevens and I were working together in a garage in Salt Lake. Sanford had a commercial pilot’s license. There was an airplane which had been wrecked out at the airport. The two of us bought this plane, which was an old Eagle Rock, three-passenger, open cockpit, bi-plane, made in Colorado. We worked together for about three months to repair the plane. When we got it fixed up, Sanford flew it back to Colorado to get it inspected and re-licensed. He then taught me to fly, and after fifty hours flight time, I got my private pilot’s license. We barnstormed around the country. We’d go to rodeos and give people rides, two at a time, charging them two dollars apiece. Other times we’d charge them by weight. If a man weighed one hundred and fifty pounds, the ride would him $1.50. We gave everybody in Duchesne County a ride. We kept that old plane for two years; then traded it off for a Waco F which had a radio type engine and more horsepower. We barnstormed for a while with this plane; then Sanford took it up to Twin Falls, Idaho, where he ran a flight training school. While in Salt Lake, I was also a swimming instructor at the Municipal Swimming Pool. We now had two children, Donna Nell, born 27 March 1925 and Jay Gordon, born 23 August 1931. In 1943, we moved to Tooele where I worked at my same trade. I was active in the Scout Program as a leader and took the boys on many camping trips. My wife, Fern, died 13 August 1948 and was buried in Tooele, Utah. In 1949 I met Louise C. Gillespie while attending MIA. We later were appointed dance directors in the Mutual. On 3 September we were married and I became father to her three children and accepted them as my own. Patricia was seventeen, Nedra thirteen, and Dan seven years old. We were happy together as a family and enjoyed outings and camping trips and had a congenial home life. I became active in the Elders Quorum and served as a counselor to Roger Nielson in the First Quorum of Elders in the Tooele First Ward. I went to work at Tooele Army Depot August 1950 as a Combat Vehicle Mechanic Foreman. After twenty years in the field of government work, I retired from the depot on 31 July 1970. Activities which give me the greatest pleasure are hunting, fishing, and horseback riding. I have always loved animals and have owned horses until this year. I also enjoy working the soil and have had gardens which produced enough vegetables for my family and all the neighbors. My hobby is photography. We enjoy many home movies, taken over the years. I love children and especially my grandchildren—nine direct descendant grandchildren and six grandchildren through marriage. Many incidents and bits of history of the early days remain fresh in my memory. I have admiration for my ancestors as they were seekers after truth and were true pioneers in coming to Utah.

Some memories of Jay Fitzwater

Contributor: Simini Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

20 December 2002 When I was a very small boy, we lived in a small tin house just west of Grandpa (William H.) Fitzwater. The house was very small, but we were comfortable with just four of us to accommodate. I remember many things about the place even though I had to be very small. The two things I remember were...#1 I remember Grandmother (Lucretia) Fitzwater! I remember where she slept and how she looked. They told me I couldn't possibly remember her, as she died when I was three. #2 I remember the little tin house again because of Uncle Reed Cowan who got into a bottle and a Santa Claus suit and came bursting through the door saying "Ho Ho Ho Merry Christmas." I guess it about frightened me to death!! My mother was so mad...I guess she Ho Ho Hoed Uncle reed back out of the door! By the time World War II came and Uncle Homer and Jack were called away, I was some older and we had moved from the little place down to the Spanish house by the Strawberry River where Arnold Robbins lived later. We moved to Salt Lake City to support the war effort, then by the time the war was over and I again got back to Duchesne for summer visits, Uncle Homer was home and had a new bride--Dorothy. I remember being a little afraid of Aunt Dorothy. She was a little more straightforward and outspoken than I was used to. Somewhere along the line, the little tin house which had figured prominently in my youth, was removed and Homer and Dorothy built their new home in its place! My dad, Lonnie, told me that Grandpa had purchased that lot from Uncle Joe Lewis--whoever he might have been, I still don't know. On the property were all kinds of berry bushes and some crab apple trees. We used the berries and apples for jams and jellies. We little kids were always climbing in the big old trees. I believe that the Fitzwaters as a group were late coming down from the trees and walking upright. I still like to climb trees. One story about the trees. we little boys would climb the trees and hide, and Ann Rae Wilkins, who lived to the west would come out on the front porch and do a strip tease. We thought that was pretty great!

Mrs. Wm. H. Fitzwater Laid to Rest After Prolonged Illness

Contributor: Simini Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

UINTAH BASIN RECORD, Friday, 19 October 1934 "Mrs. Lucretia B. Fitzwater, wife of Wm. H. Fitzwater, postmaster at Duchesne for the past 24 years, was laid to rest under a beautiful covering of flowers in the Myton cemetery Wednesday afternoon, following services held in the Duchesne ward hall. Principal speaker at the services, which were conducted by Bishop Rulon J. Larsen, with Roy A. Schonian, mortician, was John A. Fortie of Heber City, a onetime resident of Duchesne and old family friend of the Fitzwaters. Other speakers were Elder Leland Hair of Duchesne, John P. Madsen and Bishop Larsen. Vocal selections were rendered by a ladies quartet, consisting of Mrs. Fern Moffitt, Mrs. Ruth Dastrup, Miss Corinne Moffitt and Miss Vale White. Duets were rendered by the Misses Marion Liddell and Renee Mickelson, and Mrs. Fern and Miss Corrine Moffitt. Mr. O.J. Smith sang a solo. The benediction was pronounced by Mr. John Moulton and Elder Marvel Moore, a son-in-law, dedicated the grave. Previous to the funeral services, which were called at 1:00 p.m., the body had lain in state at the home all of Wednesday morning, the casket banked against a wall in a profusion of flowers, from relatives, organizations, neighbors and friends. A large part of Duchesne's citizens, all of whom mourned deeply the loss of their neighbor and friend, had viewed the body the previous day, as it lay in state in the Schonian Mortuary. Mrs. Fitzwater died at her home in Duchesne Sunday morning, following a long illness, from which she suffered greatly during the past several months. At her bedside at the time of her death, were all of her eleven surviving children and her husband. She was born in Liberty, West Virginia, February 6, 1878, a daughter of Jonathan A. and Alice C. Buckalew. She came to Duchesne with her husband and family in the spring of 1908, where she has resided ever since. She was, until her confinement to her bed, an active worker in the L.D.S. church. Surviving are her husband, 8 daughters, Mrs. E. E. Odekirk, Mrs. L. L. Pack, Mrs. Sam Davis, Mrs. M. L. Moore, Mrs. Reed Cowan, Mrs. Glen Smith and Doris Fitzwater of Duchesne and Mrs. O. K. Davis of Salt Lake City, three sons, Alonzo C., Homer and Jack of Duchesne, and the following brothers and sisters: J. M. Buckalew, Garfield; Eldridge and Kimball Buckalew, Duchesne, Geo. Buckalew, address unknown; Mrs. Walter Fisher, Buhl, Idaho; Mrs. Mike McGuire and Mrs. Tom Brown of Salt Lake City. She was buried in the family plot in the Myton Cemetery, beside the graves of her parents and other members of her family."

County Track Meet Slated For Duchesne

Contributor: Simini Created: 1 year ago Updated: 1 year ago

Uintah Basin Record, 29 March 1935 "Track Outlook Bright for Duchesne High" "The annual county track meet held each year with the three county high schools, Roosevelt, Central and Duchesne, competing will be held in Duchesne, Friday, April 19th. This important athletic event, which has been held in Roosevelt for the past several years, will be held in Duchesne for the first time this year. The boys and girls from Duchesne have been in strenuous training all year and are confident that they will make a good showing for their school. The girl athletes from the three schools will compete and their scores will be added to those of the boys to determine the winner. Each boy will be allowed to enter three events and the relays, and each girl will have the privilege of entering two events and the relays. The Duchesne Eagles are seen daily out on the local track, preparing to give strong competition to the other schools. Led by the fleet Homer Fitzwater, a consistent point winner, the locals have a strong team in most every department, Ellsworth Curran is expected to do well in the weights with Bill Murdock in close support. On the distance races, Doug Smith, a fine half-miler, and Bob Kent, miler, are expected to shine. The pole vault and high jump will be well taken care by Harvey Hatch and Carl Wilkinson. The strongest contenders for sprints, broad jump, discus and 440 will he Homer Fitzwater, Eldon Potter, Bill Murdock, Jack Fitzwater, Carol Stott and Howard Mitchell, all certain point winners. Although the Eagles lost two stars, Ike Iverson and Ken Morrell, this year, a much stronger team than last year will represent the Blue and White at the coming meet."

Life timeline of William Homer Fitzwater

1916
William Homer Fitzwater was born on 30 Apr 1916
William Homer Fitzwater was 4 years old when The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified, guaranteeing women's suffrage in America. The Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the states and the federal government from denying the right to vote to citizens of the United States on the basis of sex. It was adopted on August 18, 1920.
William Homer Fitzwater was 23 years old when Adolf Hitler signs an order to begin the systematic euthanasia of mentally ill and disabled people. Adolf Hitler was a German politician, demagogue, and Pan-German revolutionary, who was the leader of the Nazi Party, Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945 and Führer ("Leader") of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945. As dictator, Hitler initiated World War II in Europe with the invasion of Poland in September 1939, and was central to the Holocaust.
William Homer Fitzwater was 29 years old when World War II: Hiroshima, Japan is devastated when the atomic bomb "Little Boy" is dropped by the United States B-29 Enola Gay. Around 70,000 people are killed instantly, and some tens of thousands die in subsequent years from burns and radiation poisoning. World War II, also known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although conflicts reflecting the ideological clash between what would become the Allied and Axis blocs began earlier. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all of the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. It was the most global war in history; it directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. In a state of total war, the major participants threw their entire economic, industrial, and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China. It included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.
William Homer Fitzwater was 39 years old when Disneyland Hotel opens to the public in Anaheim, California. The Disneyland Hotel is a resort hotel located at the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, owned by the Walt Disney Company and operated through its Parks, Experiences and Consumer Products division. Opened on October 5, 1955, as a motor inn owned and operated by Jack Wrather under an agreement with Walt Disney, the hotel was the first to officially bear the Disney name. Under Wrather's ownership, the hotel underwent several expansions and renovations over the years before being acquired by Disney in 1988. The hotel was downsized to its present capacity in 1999 as part of the Disneyland Resort expansion.
William Homer Fitzwater was 48 years old when John F. Kennedy was assassinated by Lee Harvey Oswald in Dallas, Texas; hours later, Lyndon B. Johnson was sworn in aboard Air Force One as the 36th President of the United States. John Fitzgerald Kennedy, commonly referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35th President of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963. He served at the height of the Cold War, and the majority of his presidency dealt with managing relations with the Soviet Union. As a member of the Democratic Party, Kennedy represented the state of Massachusetts in the United States House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate prior to becoming president.
William Homer Fitzwater was 57 years old when Vietnam War: The last United States combat soldiers leave South Vietnam. The Vietnam War, also known as the Second Indochina War, and in Vietnam as the Resistance War Against America or simply the American War, was a conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. It was the second of the Indochina Wars and was officially fought between North Vietnam and the government of South Vietnam. The North Vietnamese army was supported by the Soviet Union, China, and other communist allies; the South Vietnamese army was supported by the United States, South Korea, Australia, Thailand and other anti-communist allies. The war is considered a Cold War-era proxy war by some US perspectives. The majority of Americans believe the war was unjustified. The war would last roughly 19 years and would also form the Laotian Civil War as well as the Cambodian Civil War, which also saw all three countries become communist states in 1975.
William Homer Fitzwater was 73 years old when The tanker Exxon Valdez spilled 10.8 million US gallons (260,000 bbl; 41,000 m3) of oil into Prince William Sound, Alaska, causing one of the most devastating man-made maritime environmental disasters. A tanker is a ship designed to transport or store liquids or gases in bulk. Major types of tankship include the oil tanker, the chemical tanker, and gas carrier. Tankers also carry commodities such as vegetable oils, molasses and wine. In the United States Navy and Military Sealift Command, a tanker used to refuel other ships is called an oiler but many other navies use the terms tanker and replenishment tanker.
William Homer Fitzwater was 74 years old when Nelson Mandela is released from Victor Verster Prison outside Cape Town, South Africa after 27 years as a political prisoner. Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid revolutionary, political leader, and philanthropist who served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999. He was the country's first black head of state and the first elected in a fully representative democratic election. His government focused on dismantling the legacy of apartheid by tackling institutionalised racism and fostering racial reconciliation. Ideologically an African nationalist and socialist, he served as President of the African National Congress (ANC) party from 1991 to 1997.
William Homer Fitzwater died on 10 Mar 2000 at the age of 83
BillionGraves.com
Grave record for William Homer Fitzwater (30 Apr 1916 - 10 Mar 2000), BillionGraves Record 14155 Orem, Utah, Utah, United States

Loading