My Title of Liberty

     "In Memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children." - Alma 46:12    


My Childhood

1948 - 1954

My first home was at 1346 Lee Street near Mission Street and the railroad tracks. Mom recorded in my Baby book that I was taken on a picnic near Mehama on the Santiam River when I was less than a month old and on another east of Salem two weeks later. I started crawling when I was five months old. Mom says I nearly crawled off a table and out an open upstairs window.

Me at 10 months

We soon moved to a house on Cottage Street, then to a house on 19th Street, all in Salem.

About the time I was two, my father was diagnosed as diabetic after developing behavior problems. Fortunately, doctors were finally beginning to understand how to treat it. He had to give himself shots of insulin, and I remember that he carried lemon drops or raisins with him in case he had a low blood sugar episode.

My oldest brother John was born when I was nearly three years old.

As a child, it was noticed that I had foot problems. It was variously called pigeon-toes, weak ankles, fallen arches, or flat feet. I also had very sensitive feet. I couldn't walk barefoot on gravel even though it seemed all the other kids could.

960 N 14th St, in 2004, and looks much
the same as I remember from my childhood

The first house I remember living in was on 14th Street, only about a block from the high school. It was a small brown house with green trim. It had a basement, a fireplace and a garage. There were large-leafed bushes with large red flowers (in season) on either side of the front steps. The porch was concrete with cast iron railing. I remember we had large red and black ants (body segments of different colors), which were always present during the summer. There was a birch tree in each half of the front yard, which was divided by the walk to the curb. I captured a black widow spider with a jar in the garage.

In the back yard, between the garage and the house, we had a tire swing that was painted silver. Behind the garage, we had a garden.

Once, I left a toy pistol out in the yard overnight. When I retrieved it and put it back into its holster, I soon discovered I was covered with ants. I ran into the house screaming for help.

We had a blonde Labrador dog for a short time, but had to get rid of it because it barked when we were away.

We had a party line. Our Number was EMpire 45809. One day, John was hiding behind a door and Mom shut it on his finger, severing it except for a piece of skin. I still remember the drops of his blood on the kitchen floor. Mom tried to call the doctor, but there was someone using the other line. She told them it was an emergency, but they wouldn't get off the line. So she took us next door and used the neighbor's phone. The doctor was able to sew the finger tip back on.

I and my brother John at the Oregon Coast

When I was five, my family drove to San Diego in a small car. I remember that the floor of the car was covered with food and other items covered over with blankets to the level of the seat tops where John, then two, rode in luxurious comfort. On top of the car was strapped a crib with the rest of the things that wouldn't fit into the trunk. John and I lay on the blankets and looked out the side windows and the rear window. Along the way, we stopped at Knott's Berry Farm, and at a motel where I discovered a tree covered with ants (why is it always ants?). I remember the orange lights of the Golden Gate Bridge as we crossed it at night. While visiting my Uncle Gordon and Aunt Marge in San Diego, we visited the Zoo.

Our family would alternate summers between going to the coast or camping in the mountains. Dad didn't like sand, so it was a compromise. He did love the winding roads in the mountains. Our favorite place in the mountains was Suttle Lake, just over the Cascade ridge toward Bend. I caught my first fish, a rainbow trout, in the creek there and had it for my supper. One of my favorite foods on outings was Mom's potato salad.