"We had One Cow, Four Horses, no Fences or Ditches,
and no Well Water"
by Joan Bleazard Thomas, 2002
Mark Walker and Evelyn Dorothy (Pete) Jenson Bleazard lived the years
1937 to 1962 in Talmage, Duchesne County, Utah
Mark and Pete and their little girls, Barbara age 5, Joan age 3, and Marlene age 1, moved to Talmage, Utah in May 1937. Talmage is located in Duchesne County and is about twelve miles directly north of Duchesne. During the twenty-five years they lived in Talmage, Verl was born in 1941 and the girls were all married, and a few of their grandchildren were born. These are some of the memories of life in Talmage for this family. The family lived in Talmage until the spring of 1962 and then Mark and Pete moved to Arcadia Utah.
In 1911, the small town was called Winn, and in 1914 the name was changed to Talmage. The small rural town was named after James E. Talmage an apostle of the LDS Church.
In January of 1937, the year Mark and Pete moved from Mountain Home to Talmage, Franklin Delano Roosevelt was sworn in as President for his second term. Roosevelt said, "I see one-third of our nation ill-housed ill-clad and ill-nourished." The Supreme Court had declared New Deal programs including the NRA (National Recovery Act) and (AAA) Agricultural Adjustment Act unconstitutional, and in February of this year, FDR moved to name up to six additional SC justices. Pablo Picasso painted "Guernica," a disturbing depiction of the horrors of war and the destructiveness of fascism in Europe.
About the same time Mark and Pete and their three little girls moved to Talmage the giant hydrogen-filled airship the Hindenburg exploded. Margaret Mitchell won the Pulitzer for "Gone With the Wind," Jean Harlow died, and Joe Lewis battered Jim Braddock and became the world heavyweight-boxing champion. Amelia Earhart was lost at sea while on an around the earth flight. In Germany the Nazis were taking children away from parents who were not teaching correct Nazi principles, and in the U.S. thirty six million citizens were on Social Security and eight million were unemployed.
Mark said, "In the great Depression of the 1930s the banks went broke and they took in seventy percent of Duchesne County for taxes. In 1937 I went to Duchesne and met with the Commissioners. There was a little over 320 acres available and Farrell Mowers was bidding against me. I knew the Commissioners pretty well and one was Lyle Young from Mt Emmons. Me and Farrell decided how we were going to split the place and part of it I didn't want. Farrell agreed not to bid against me if I'd give him that lower 80 acres and deed him another 5 acres with the house on it. It runs in my mind that we got the 240 acres for $235.00 or about $1.00 an acre. Bert Mecham owned the place in Talmage before we got it and he'd just pulled off and left it. It was Bert Mecham who built the slant roof cabin we lived in for so many years.
"A man named Jolly, a relative of Dave Jolley in Vernal, had owned the place where Farrell lived and it just got to where Mecham and Jolly couldn't make it on this land because of the lack of water. Times were so tough and they just pulled off and left it. Negotiations went on for years and I finally got a county deed on it and went into court and got a title to the land.
"We lived in that small log cabin with the one big room to the east and a very small room on the West for about ten years. The cabin did not have a pitched roof, it had a slant roof (high on the South and low on the North) and the roof was covered with dirt. The cabin door was on the south, and there was a window to the east and another one to the south."
Virgil Clifford (Jim) Stevenson, Rayda and Cliff's son, was about ten years old when his Aunt Pete and Uncle Mark moved to Talmage. Jim remembers how happy everyone was for them. When Jim came to visit, however, he remembers wondering how they could be happy with such a place and remembers the floor of the cabin was dirt when he first visited there.
During the second year after the move to Talmage (1938), the Nazis invaded Austria, and Italy placed curbs on books written by Jews. England's Chamberlain met with Hitler, and France and England called for partial mobilization. Orson Welles, who was the voice of "The Shadow" radio program created panic while reading H.G. Well's "War of the World." Kate Smith sang Irving Berlin's song "God Bless America" for the first time. The minimum wage in the U.S. was 40 cents an hour. On November 18th young Nazis went on an anti-Semitic rampage in Germany killing Jews and destroying stores owned by them. They set on fire or ransacked hundreds of homes and Jewish places of worship. The night is known as "Crystal Night."
Barbara began school in the fall of 1938. She remembers playing with Joyce and Rhea McDonald during the summer and they were the only children she knew in Talmage when she started school. Adaline Anderson was her teacher for the six years she attended school at Talmage Elementary. Talmage Elementary School had two large rooms with a hallway in the middle for coats, hats and boots, and back of the School were two outhouses, one for the boys, and one for the girls. Three grades were in each room.
In 1938 Rayda and Cliff Stevenson's little two-year-old daughter, Dorothy Dee, contracted polio (infantile paralysis) and was a very sick little girl for a long time. Hers was one of the few cases of polio in the county at this time. After several visits to doctors in Vernal, Price and Salt Lake City she was admitted to the Shriners Crippled Children's Hospital in Salt Lake City. She was isolated for over three months in a polio ward and when she was finally allowed to return home she had to wear braces and do exercises to strengthen her legs. Dorothy recalled that she did not like to do the exercises or wear the leg braces and that her family had to bribe her to wear them. She remembers crying and crying for her mom. Dorothy said, "I was very lucky. I remember kids in iron lungs in the hospital. When kids died they never told us, they just said they had been moved."
President Franklin D. Roosevelt was also a victim of polio and confined to a wheelchair. In the book, "A History of Duchesne County" 1998, the author, John D. Barton, quotes from an interview with Dorothy Stevenson (Hicken) on June 9, 1997. The following is recorded on pages 284-285, "Between 1948 and 1953 a serious health crisis - poliomyelitis, or infantile paralysis swept the nation crippling and killing young and old alike. In 1951 there were more than 455 cases reported in the state, most victims living in the counties along the Wasatch front..."
Rayda and Cliff constructed a wonderful little playhouse for Dorothy Dee at the south of their home. Joan thought her Aunt and Uncle were wealthy, not only because of the real little playhouse that all the cousins loved and played in, but because they lived in the nice, big Abe Lyon home. In addition, her Aunt Rayda and Uncle Cliff had a Three Holer Outhouse! It had a big hole, a middle-sized hole, and a very small hole. There was even was a little step-up for the tiny hole. Joan's dad and mom had a one size fits all outhouse!
ODE TO THE OUTHOUSE
Its old and twisted out of shape,
and the broken doorway stands agape.
It sits in back of our schoolhouse yard,
like a soldier standing guard.
It's watched the children run and prance,
And heard the sounds at the country-dance.
It's seen Old Santa come in his sleigh,
To treat the kids at the Christmas play.
It's served its tenure of worthy deeds,
And its fulfilled many a child's needs.
In the spring of the next year, 1939, Barbara, Joan and Marlene had whooping cough.
It was during this year while Mark and Pete were struggling to make the cabin a home and clearing the land of rocks, that 22,000 Nazis held a rally in New York, and Franco became leader in Spain. This was the year FDR placed William O. Douglas on the Supreme Court. The Nazis entered Prague and its public buildings and banks were taken over by the Germans and the Gestapo searched the city looking for Jews. Hitler (Germany) and Mussolini (Italy) congratulated Franco (Spain) as his troops seized control of Madrid marking an end to the bitter 32-month-old Spanish Civil War. The New York World's Fair opened and Joe Lewis KOd Jack Roper in the 1st round. Hungary enacted an anti-Jewish law authorizing the expulsion of 300,000 Jews, and Jews in exile were denied admission to Cuba. "The Wizard of Oz" starring Judy Garland premiered. Stock investments soared as a war boom was anticipated. In the U.S. a purge of communists holding government positions was begun. The Nazis invaded Poland, and on September 30, 1939, Britain (England) and France declared war on Germany, and President Roosevelt declared U.S. neutrality in the war in Europe. Sigmund Freud and Zane Grey both died this year, and Hitler said that he was just reclaiming land lost by Germany in 1918. The Soviets attacked Finland, and Hitler escaped a plot against his life. Steinbeck wrote "The Grapes of Wrath" and Henry Fonda starred in the film version the next year. The film "Gone With the Wind" opened to cheers. On the radio people were listening to "Our Gal Sunday" "The Romance of Helen Trent" and "Amos and Andy."
On April 23, 1939 in the Talmage LDS Ward, Adaline Anderson was sustained as President of the LDS Primary, Evelyn Bleazard was sustained First Counselor with Donna Ottosen as Second Counselor. They were released from their assignments on August 29, 1943.
Joan remembers the land in Talmage being covered with rocks and watching as her parents cleared the land of rocks and stacked them in large piles. One memory is of her Dad and Mother using a team of horses to pull a large flat piece of metal as they and the little girls threw rocks on it. She remembers that, although it was hard work, everyone worked together and was happy.
A root cellar was north of the cabin when Mark and Pete moved in. It was unstable and dangerous and Mark leveled it. There was also a pond to the south of the cabin and near it was a very deep uncovered well and Joan remembers throwing rocks into it and hearing the water splash. Some time later, Mark filled the well with rocks and dirt.
Mark said, "When we moved to Talmage we had one cow and four horses and there were no fences, no irrigation ditches, no grass and no well water. We also had two or three calves. They were outstanding calves and would have made great Fair calves. Out of 250 head of calves you don't often see even two or three that are that good.
"About the first animals we got when we moved to Talmage were pigs and we got about 150 little pigs. The sonsobitches would eat around the haystack and tip it over on them! We didn't have a thing to feed them. We decided we'd keep one pig and fatten it on dishwater, cause that was all we had. I don't know what we did with the rest of the pigs. Our pig got up about a year and a half old and we thought, it's big enough and it'll be good to eat, so we killed it. That SOB had no fat on it and it wasn't good! I always remembered after that that there must be a little fat on them to be good to eat.
"Shortly after we moved to Talmage, we borrowed $1140 from the (FHA) Farmers Home Administration and bought 100 sheep from Paul Hansen. I would lay awake at night worrying about how I was going to pay the money back.
"We hauled water at first, usually from Mountain Home. I finally dug a four foot well just east of the cabin and soon hit hard-pan but continued to dig and at about seven feet we hit water - and it was very good water."
Barbara remembers she and her mother pumping lots of buckets of water and carrying them to the house for drinking, washing, cleaning and bathing.
Saturday night in the home was bath night. The water was heated on the wood stove. The large tub which was secured to the outside of the cabin on the east side, would be brought into the cabin, filled with water and the girls took turns bathing and shampooing. Joan remembers when she was tiny she always preferred taking her bath last so her play wouldn't be interrupted. When she became older and when she really looked at the water, she decided it might be better to take the bath first!
Mrs. Bates, their caseworker, cut Mark and Pete off the WPA (Work Projects Administration). The reason she gave was that when she drove by their place she saw what she thought was a lot of hay in the field. What she really saw were tumbleweeds that had been mowed and pushed into piles.
During 1940 Hitler warned of total war and Auschwitz opened. The little five-year-old Dalai Lama was enthroned. Ronald Reagan was cast as Notre Dame's George Gipp in "Knute Rockne-All American." Joe Lewis KOd Johnny Paychek in the 2nd round, and the population of the U.S. was 131 million. The Nazis entered Scandinavia and an anti-war coalition was organized in the U.S., Churchill became Britain's Prime Minister and said, "I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, sweat and tears." He spoke against British appeasement of Hitler. Holland, and Belgium surrendered to the Nazis. 1100 bombs from 200 Reich planes hit Paris, France, and German troops paraded through Paris. Italy's Mussolini aligned with Germany in the war. Batista became the Cuban President. An aerial blitz lighted the skies above the English Channel and London. Trotsky died and Stalin was suspected of ordering his assassination. The Italian fascists pushed into Egypt and Somaliland. On September 16th the Selective Service Bill was signed and became law in the U.S. and all males between age 21 and 25 had to register for the draft. Italian fascists invaded Greece. Charlie Chaplin was Der Phooey, Adolf Hynkle, in the war satire film, "The Great Dictator." In November of year 1940 FDR was elected for his third term as President of the U.S., and citizens was singing, "You Are My Sunshine".
Joan remembers the day she arrived home from school and the power, the electricity, was activated. She turned the lights on and was totally frightened and amazed, but when she tried to turn the radio on she couldn't make it work and was terrified that she had ruined something. Prior to this day heat and light in the cabin were from the fire in the kitchen stove, or from coal oil lamps or candles.
In 1940 Mark and Pete were both about thirty years old, Barbara was eight years old, Joan six, and Marlene was four. On February 21, 1940, Lynn Cook was born. He was Verl's second husband. Mark and Pete's electric bill averaged about $3.25 a month in 1940. In December of that year a check was written for $9.49 for dresses, coat and gloves, $6.89 for toys from Montgomery Ward, $3.25 for overalls and overshoes; $4.65 for candy, nuts and toys for Xmas. In a 1940 farm income and expense record it notes that they sold cream and received an average of about $1.75 each week for the cream. They bought gold fish in September and paid 60 cents for them. They had a disc (est. $65.00), S.P. harrow (est. $10.00), gong plow (est. $50.00), H plow (est. $20.00), mower (est. $25.00), rake (est. $10.00), wagon (est. $25.00), harnesses (est. $60.00) 6 horses (est. $300.00), 2 colts (est. $75.00), 10 dairy cows (est. $350.00), 12 calves (est. $150.00), 1/3 bull (est. $25.00), they sold 30 turkeys in December (est. $53.00), 4 lambs (est. $10.00), 3 bucks (est. $30.00), 13 chickens (est. I $10.00), 1 steer (est. $40.00), 4 sows (est. $60.00), 1 fall pig (est. $4.00) and 130 ewes @6.00 ea = ($780.00). Mark and Pete had 300# of clover seed and they were raising oats, barley and wheat. In the home there was 1 double bed, 2 double springs, 1 double mattress, 9 quilts, 4 pillows, a davenport and chest of drawers. There were also five chairs, a table, rocking chair, cupboard, radio, two lamps, stove, heater, two tubs and one churn.
Christmas in this Talmage home was always exciting. Mark would select a tree from nearby, cut it down and put the stand on it. Pete and the girls decorated the cabin with red and green streamers placed all around the inside of the house. The tree had garlands of paper circles glued together by the girls, and threaded popcorn and decorations. Joan remembers a favorite little bird decoration that she loved to place on the tree each year.
The family always attended the Christmas Eve program at the Talmage Ward House. Joan remembers her Dad cranking the truck to get it going -and its running boards. The family rode in the truck to the Ward for the Christmas Program. Barbara would sit between Mark and Pete. Pete would hold Marlene, and Joan would stand in front of the others and look out the front windshield. Joan remembers the excitement of watching snow separating in front of the windshield and looking for Santa and his reindeer and sleigh because her Dad could always see them. It was a magic time for little girls.
The Christmas Eve program was the one occasion each year when Mark went with Pete and the girls to the Church. One year Joan was Mary in the program, and Lon Farnsworth was Joseph. Santa was always great with his bells, his HoHoHo and candy. Everyone knew that Santa was sometimes the school teacher, Adaline Anderson.
Pete and Mark hid the Christmas candy and presents under grain in the granary to the east of the cabin. The girls snooped and found the Santa toys hid in the grain and they played with them and checked them every night after school. Barbara remembers the large can of candy that was sampled each time the toys were checked. Joan remembers the sink that really worked and the stove and refrigerator that Barbara and Marlene got. She does not remember her parents commenting about the missing candy or the played-with-toys when Christmas morning arrived. Joan remembers loving the little doll she received, and remembers always feeling sorry for last years doll when it got replaced, and putting the new doll clothes on the old doll to make it feel better.
One Christmas was particularly memorable. The old Highway 87 from Duchesne was not paved. There was a terrible snowstorm and many people who were coming home for Christmas got stranded. Joan remembers her dad harnessing his team of horses and rescuing travelers all night. The travelers who could not continue to their destination came to the home where Pete made them welcome and served lots of homemade bread and jam and hot chocolate.
For some time Joan and Barbara rode horses two miles to Betty Potter's home to take piano lessons each Saturday. The lessons cost 50 cents for two hours for both lessons. Joan remembers that she would ride her horse to the Church as often as possible to practice her piano lessons. Marlene also took piano lessons. Mark and Pete eventually purchased a used, upright, player piano for less than a hundred dollars. The player piano was a hit with the whole community and many young people in the town enjoyed it. Mark and Pete brought the piano to Joan in July of 1959, the year Blaine was born. At that time Joan's home was at 746 East 4255 South in Salt Lake City. Joan and Ken later had the piano completely restored and it was used and loved in their home at 5771 Beaumont Drive, Salt Lake City, Utah. (Note: Joan gave the player piano to her son, Blaine, who gave it to his daughter. In 2009 it is in the home of Koloa & Jody Thomas Niko.)
A note referring to a 1940 green Ford, 4 Dr-SDN, 8 cyls was found.
In 1941, the year that Verl was born, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the 40 hr work week was constitutional. The War in Europe, Africa and Asia continued and was spreading. Massive Nazi attacks were made on Russia and the lovely city of Leningrad was surrounded as the Germans attempted to starve its population to death. In Germany the Jews were required to wear the Star of David at all times. Joe Lewis won his 17th title defense, and Chinese troops stopped a Japanese offensive. "Dumbo", a Disney movie opened in the U.S., and a Japanese carrier force left its base in Japan and was moving east. A determined Russian counterattack stopped German forces advancing on Moscow. The movie "How Green Was My Valley" won the Academy Award. On December 7th of this year, 360 Japanese war planes devastated Pearl Harbor a U.S. base in Hawaii, and on December 8th President Roosevelt announced a declaration of war against Japan, and on the 11th he announced a declaration of war against Italy and Germany. Herbert Brown Maw, Democrat, was elected Governor of Utah and served until 1949. He reorganized state government, retired the state's debt and helped secure military and defense facilities for the state during World War II.
It was during the year 1941 that Barbara and Joan had scarlet fever. Joan remembers that when they had scarlet fever and were quarantined, the girls could not go to school until all of them were over the illness. She remembers her mother, Pete, holding a whiskbroom and a pan and scooping up all the scales from the bed.
In January of 1941, Mark paid 50 cents for a 'Rabbit Hunt.' The center of town was considered the road running north and south by the store, school and church house. This road was the dividing line for the Rabbit Hunt. Rabbits were so numerous that crops and hay were being destroyed. The western part of the boundary of the town competed with the eastern part of the town to see who could kill the most rabbits. The losing side gave a party for the winning side. The east side won and the Mark and Pete family was among other families on the east that were treated to a party. The tails of the rabbits that were killed were counted.
A check was written on January 11th in the amount of $1.00 for "Joan's shoes sewed and shells".
Joan remembers that her Dad would always buy a five-cent package of gum with five sticks of gum in it. Mark teased about the new baby that was coming and asked who would give their stick of gum to the baby.
Pete birthed their fourth daughter, Verl, in a nursing home in Roosevelt, Utah. Verl was born on December 2, 1941. The Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor five days after Verl was born (December 7, 1941) and on the 7th Pete and the baby girl were still in the nursing home. Verl became profoundly deaf when quite young. She could hear as a child and learned to speak. She could always lip read and speak so well that at times one would forget she was unable to hear. It was amazing to know that she could say words that she had never heard. Verl graduated from high school with a good GPA. At one time Pete and Verl went on the train from Salt Lake to California to consult with a hearing specialist. While in California they stayed with Mark's sister, Rhoda Bleazard (Orton). They also went swimming in the ocean while on this trip.
Some have thought that the cause of Verl's hearing loss may have been the many childhood diseases she had when very young but the exact cause of her hearing loss was never determined. Her son, Kevin, is hearing impaired, and Kevin's son, Randy, is hearing impaired, so there may be a genetic component.
In 1942 Richard Eugene Lister was born on September 20th in Burley Idaho. Richard was Verl's first husband and the father of Tamara Sue Lister (Farnsworth), Grant Eugene Lister and Kevin Richard Lister.
In 1942 the Nazis devised the Final Solution for Jews in occupied territories and the extermination of the Jews occurred under the assumption that death was deserved by the "Untermenschen" or "sub-humans." Japanese forces moved into Manila in the Philippines, and FDR proposed several tax increases and a budget of $59 billion, with $53 billion earmarked for the war effort. FDRs executive order authorized the removal of approximately 100,000 Japanese Americans living on the West Coast and they were placed in inland interment camps. FDR asked that the speed limit be 40mph to conserve rubber tires. For the first time, "Negro" recruits were allowed in the U. S. Navy, and Eisenhower took charge in Europe. Germany's Desert Fox, Rommel, and his troops plunged sixty miles into Egypt. On the home front in the U.S. there was rationing and sacrifice, jitterbugging, saddle shoes and zoot suits with pleats. Meat, coffee, butter, shoes and gas were scarce, and citizens were holding scrap metal, rubber and cooking fat drives and investing billions in war bonds. The government fixed wages and rents, settled labor management disputes, tried to limit racial discrimination, imposed censorship, opened overseas mail and controlled war news reports. Civil defense precautions were taken on both coasts. Women in droves entered the work force and Rosie the Riveter was a national symbol. Victory gardens were in backyards and vacant lots, and the US built 488 ships during this year.
Young men all over the U.S. were being drafted or enlisting to serve in the war. Among the young men were Mark's brothers, William (Bill), Ralph and Grant Bleazard and Pete's brothers, Andrew and Hal Jenson. They all served our country in World War II. Jim Stevenson, Rayda's son, also served in WWII as did Pete's brother-in-law, Jerry Rosenberger, Ona's husband. Joan remembers the sugar rationing and other rationing during the war and remembers gathering wool from the barbed wire fences and looking for old tires, glass, iron and many other things to donate to the war effort. She remembers that after she got home from school and on weekends for a long time, she would ride her horse down the hills toward Duchesne to find pine trees and collect pine nuts. After the pine nuts were collected, she washed and dried the pine nuts and put them in cloth salt sacks. The sacks of pine nuts were mailed to her Uncle Bill who was in the army in the Pacific, but he never received the pine nuts. She remembers when women would draw black lines down the back of their legs to give the appearance of wearing nylons. Nylons at that time had seams down the back! American forces lead by Eisenhower landed in North Africa. The British removed Rommel from Egypt. Irving Berlin's "White Christmas", Disney's "Bambi" and "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition" were being watched and/or sung. It was this year that Enrico Fermi achieved the first controlled nuclear chain reaction, opening the way to the atomic bomb and nuclear energy.
William Walker "Bill" Bleazard
Mark's brother, Bill, spoke about his time in the service: "I was working in Jensen, Utah on December 7, 1941 (Pearl Harbor) and I tried to volunteer but the doctor said 'You've got a bad heart and you won't be going in.' Later my brother, Grant, and Ross Snyder and I went up to Vancouver and I got a good job as an electrician and was paid good money. At that time I was working on a housing project and the boss, Ernie Galdheim, was bidding on what was called Row Houses. He told me and the guy I had been working with that if we would run a crew of men on the housing project he would guarantee us $25,000, and nobody made that kind of money. Just a few days later I got greetings from Uncle Sam again and I went into the service... I joined about six months after the war started.
"About two or three years later when I was in the Pacific there was concern about a phosgene chemical that the enemy might use on us. A few people from each outfit on those islands were sent to check on what could be done in case we did get hit with the chemical. I saw a guy with a big blister on his arm that I thought might be a chemical burn and when I looked up into his face, there was Ernie Galdheim! I said, 'Ernie, what in the hell happened to you?' Ernie said, 'Oh, I didn't get that bid on the Row Houses so here I am in the Seabees.'
"I was inducted in Fort Lewis, Washington and a short time later I was sent to Camp Callen, California. I wasn't there long before they found out I was an electrician and they needed radar repairmen and well anyway, right after basic training in six weeks or so, I was headed overseas. The outfit I joined was a 250/350 First California National Guard. In those days they didn't have welfare and so if you were a bum you joined the National Guard. Some of those guys couldn't even count cadence, couldn't tell their left foot from their right foot, and they had little education. Yes, this was the group I was with all through the war.
"First place I went was to New Caledonia not too far from Australia. My record as an electrician went with me and soon I was fixin' things for them, projectors and other things. I did so good on one project that this ole Colonel told me that if I wanted to stay on this island all during the war I could stay! I said 'I've been with these guys for about a year and I want to stay with them.' I guess I don't regret that decision now, but I saw a lot of things and went a lot of places. I was on Guadalcanal, the Solomons, Bougainvillea, Philippines, New Hebrides, a lot of them, and Fiji.
"I'll tell you one thing that bothered me. We'd been on Bougainvillea that first time, and the ground was a swamp a jungle with perhaps the most rainfall in the world. The Major didn't think we could get the movie projector wired to work but I got it to work, and I made a lot of points by doing that.
"One of the first pictures they showed was a cartoon and it showed how the war was being fought, I guess. They showed Hitler, he was a Fox. Mussolini, Tojo, Roosevelt, Haile Selassi and about fifteen characters in it, the leaders, were all different animals. The cartoon showed them all fighting during the day and it reminded me of Guadalcanal with the trees you would hide behind and they would be all teamed up and shooting at each other They were fighting like that! Then at the end of the day the leaders went to something kinda like a PX where they all got together and partied and were dancin' with each other. All the leaders partying and dancin' and I put two and two together and thought that maybe that's really the way war is.
"I was a pretty conscientious soldier at that time and was, in fact, cited as being a good soldier. I claim that if everybody in the world had fifteen minutes of front line duty there'd never be another war."
In the spring of 1942, Barbara, Joan, Marlene and Verl had chicken pox, and in December of that year the four girls had red measles.
In 1943 the German army was defeated at Stalingrad; and the Nazis mobilized women for military service. Canned food and shoes were rationed in the U.S., In Warsaw, Poland the 60,000 Jews still living there (the previous year there were 500,000 Jews in Warsaw) fought to the death knowing that if they did not die in their homes or in the sewers beneath the ghetto that they would be gassed to death in a concentration camp. The resistance was fierce and the SS German General, Jurgen Stroop, said his troops killed 56,065 Jews. Many, however, died by suicide, as they remained in their burning homes or jumped from roofs. It took four weeks to crush the Warsaw ghetto. Heinrich Himmler ordered the liquidation of all Jewish ghettos! Goebbels officially announced that Berlin was free of Jews. Gary Cooper stared in Hemingway's "For Whom the Bell Tolls. " Mussolini was deposed and American troops were on the offensive in Italy. "Marzi Doats" "Oh What a Beautiful Morning" and "Comin in on a Wing and a Prayer" were songs being sung this year, and Jane Russell starred in "The Outlaw."
In Talmage, a check dated December 1943 to Duchesne County indicates that Mark and Pete paid $96.36 in taxes. A Farnsworth Canal assessment for 1943 was $150.00. In April of this year, Barbara, Joan, Marlene and Verl had german measles. It was also in 1943 when Leo and Hazel Farnsworth bought a farm from Mark Bleazard southeast of Talmage.
All of Mark's daughters can remember their Dad sleeping and snoring on the couch through all the family noise and activity, but when the kids went outside to play and it was quiet, Mark would soon be awake and checking to see what was happening. They all also remember the big sacks of peanuts and the family sitting around the table shelling and eating them while stories were told. The girls remember their Dad teasing them into shelling either peanuts or pine nuts for him to eat!
Joan remembers when a large beaver made it down the ditch. It was the only beaver she remembers seeing in Talmage. She also doesn't remember seeing deer or elk but there were birds, the killdeer, red winged blackbirds, magpies, bluebirds, blackbirds, pheasants and sage hens.
Mark was on the Board of the Moon Lake Water Users from 1952 to 1962. In a conversation Mark and Pete both expressed regret at not having had more formal education. Mark said that, "Old Doc Jenkins nominated me for President of the Moon Lake Water Users Board and I almost fell through the floor. I know a lot of things that I did on those Boards but I didn't get credit for much. I learned how things work but I couldn't put it over right." Pete said, "If you don't have an education what you think doesn't seem to count for much. With a degree it would be much easier." Mark continued, "Oh, man, all my life I've thought If I'd just had an education! Debate is one thing I think all kids ought to take up - and also a year or so of Law, because then you would know how things work and could talk well. Without an education they just laugh at you. When we built that ditch to Blue Bench we learned how to build a ditch that a second foot would run all the way through. People said. 'You cant do it,' but we did do it!
"When the ditch was built above Altonah, Louie Gadon was the engineer, and that ditch leaked and always did leak cause there were holes they never could fix. Some of the men from Altonah ran a crow bar down in there and turned a good stream of water right out of the bottom of the ditch. They were lining it with creosote and tarpaper and everything else just to stop it from leaking. I told them they didn't have to do that to just take their Cat and build it right. You can build it with a Cat so it won't leak. Louie Gadon and they just laughed at me. I said, "Let me fix one.' I went up there and took the Cat and fixed it just right dug a hole pushed the dirt back. They had spent thousands of dollars on tar and stuff but they quit all that when they saw how my thing worked and sealed the cracks.
"On the Farnsworth ditch, when I was President, there was a cut through a hill when the Little Reservoir broke and it washed the ditch out. Reed Lyons was on that ASC Committee and he said you sign that project up and I'll see that we get money to make that wide enough and to slope the banks. I had to get most everybody to sign all the stock owners. The money got appropriated and we fixed it and they've never been back to work on it since. I don't get credit for it though. I've always had trouble with that.
"When we built those reservoirs on Blue Bench, we just laid a little longer pipe up the bank. Me and Jack put them in and proved to them it would work. Old Galloway was an engineer and there were things he said wouldn't work cause the pipe would rust and other things. It worked."
In May l945 a very strange thing happened to the Farnsworth Canal. The Canal brought water to Mountain Home and Talmage and the water was running straight into the ground and about 65 feet of water a second disappeared down a sink-hole in the bottom of the ditch. Before the water was shut out a cone-shaped hole was washed that measured 150 feet long, 60 feet wide and 75 feet deep. An effort was made to repair the ditch as soon as possible and a diversion ditch was quickly constructed, but the bottom fell out of it also. A new ditch about one mile long was dug 1/4 mile north of the hole and it cost about $3,000 and took 30 days to complete. Much damage was done to crops that could not be watered. Joan remembers being at the Canal and seeing the cone-shaped hole with all the water running into it and disappearing.
Farrell Mowers was the ditch rider in Talmage. He was raised in Fairview and came from a big family. Joan remembers that Farrell would often go to Duchesne. He came to the house one night and obviously had been drinking while in Duchesne and got in a fight. Both of his ears had been chewed on and the top of one ear was almost gone. There was blood all down his face and shirt. He always used twine for a belt, and he had no laces in his shoes. Joan remembers that Farrell would lift his calves over the fence to graze on other people's property or he would let them wander the roads. Verl remembers being frightened of Farrell and hiding behind her Dad when he and Farrell were talking.
There are papers that indicate Mark and his neighbors, Claude McDonald and Farrell Mowers, often assisted one another with work on their farms. Mark says, "Farrell was always in a little trouble and was a little overbearing. He run a bluff on some of them around Talmage. Some people didn't dare drive his cows out of their fields. He'd tell them that if they drove the cows out he'd just wipe the earth with them! He never got around to tacklin' me though and I don't know why. Mont (Farrell's son, Monte) walked on his hands and feet at one time. He'd had his arms broke and they did not set straight. Nothin' else was wrong with him as far as I know or could see. Bobby, Mont and Johnny were the kid's names. Farrell's wife, Vera, married Hap Birch after Farrell died and then she married a guy named Muir. She sold the property at Talmage and moved to Duchesne and built a home where Blue Haven Motel was just east of Duchesne. She's probably a wealthy woman now. She had several oil wells and property that Farrell had and then she got all of Hap's property."
Joan remembers being in the home west of where Claude McDonald lived in another McDonald's home and seeing a little boy playing with the flies in the window, catching them and eating them. She can't remember the little boy's name or what his problem was. The home was about a half mile directly west of the cabin and west of the Claude McDonald home that Guy Lindsay bought.
Mark purchased a bull from his father, John William "Will" Bleazard on February 5, 1944 for $50.00.
In 1944, Martin Bormann, Hitler's personal secretary devised a plan to purify the German race by taxing unmarried Germans and childless couples, and by encouraging unmarried women to bear children of the Nordic elite, and requiring the children to be placed at birth in one of twenty-two state homes to be raised by Germans. Two hundred thousand other children with Aryan characteristics had been taken from parents in Norway, Poland and Czechoslovakia and were to be raised as Germans. Also during this year the Americans captured by Japanese in the Philippines during the fall of Corregidor and Bataan were beaten, starved and shot during a long death march to Japanese prison camps. General Douglas MacArthur began his drive through the Pacific Islands. U.S. planes bombed Berlin, and the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that negroes could not be barred from voting in Texas, and Senator James Eastland of Mississippi, responded that the decision would destroy state sovereignty. Hitler gave permission for full German withdrawal from the USSR. Roosevelt signed the G.I. Bill of Rights. In 1944, Rome, The Eternal City, was the first European capital to be liberated from the Nazis, and Allied forces landed in great strength in Normandy on June 6th. General George Patton launched his drive on Paris. Reporters viewed Maidanek, a 650 acre concentration camp in Poland where officials estimate nearly 1.5 million people were killed. At Maidanek about 1900 bodies were burned each day and their ashes were sold to German farmers for fertilizer. In Germany teenagers and old men were called for war service. MacArthur returned to Leyte in the Philippines fulfilling his 1942 promise of, "I shall return". In November of 1944, Roosevelt was elected President to serve a fourth term, and everyone was singing, "Swinging on a Star".
Pete's brother, Andrew Jenson, entered the service on February 14, 1944 at Fort Douglas, Utah. Andrew went to Sioux Falls, South Dakota for about seven months and was then sent to Yuma, Arizona for gunnery and flight training. He received an honorable discharge at Fort Douglas, Utah on July 23, 1945. Her brother, Hal Jenson, entered the service in November 25, 1944. He took basic training in Memphis, Tennessee. He received an honorable discharge on September 20, 1946.
Mark became a member of a non-profit agriculture cooperative association, Producers Livestock Marketing Association, on December 31, 1944, and in the fall of this year, Joan fell while playing on and around the root cellar of her grandparents, Will and Wease Bleazard. She was playing tag with her cousins.
Joan had her right leg amputated in 1945 and that event and many other family and world actions made 1945 a very eventful year!
In 1945 George Albert Smith became President of the Mormon Church and served from 1945 to 1951. It was this year that Hitler broke a five-month silence and told the German people that war would not end until the Reich was victorious. The Russian Red army invaded Germany in the east and west, and Grand Rapids, Michigan became the first community in the U.S. to fluoridate water. On January 27th of this year the concentration camp, Auschwitz, in Poland was liberated by Soviet troops. At Auschwitz 5,000 dazed and starving prisoners were found, and most of them were Jews. The gas for the ovens had been turned off in November of last year and when the Nazis knew the Russians could not be stopped. They had lined up 60,000 prisoners and forced them to march in the direction of Germany and most were killed or died on this march. Allied forces dropped 3,000 tons of bombs on Berlin, and the U.S. Marines stormed ashore on Iwo Jima. The minimum hourly wage in the U.S. was 55 cents an hour. Eisenhower opened a wide offensive in the Rhineland, and Allied bombs blasted Germany's beautiful historic and residential city of Dresden for two days. As many as 550 RAF Lancaster bombers and 450 U.S. B17s pounded Dresden and at least 130,000 people were killed. Priceless art, museums, churches and architecture from the 17th and 18th centuries were destroyed. The Big Three (Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin) met at Yalta in February, and during that same month, the stars and stripes were raised over Mount Surabachi in Iwo Jima. American B-29s ravaged Tokyo on February 25th dropping 2,000 tons of bombs on its industrial sections, and in March, 300 U.S. B29s again bombed Tokyo killing 100,000. Japan closed schools and ordered all citizens over six years old to war service. Also in March, Anne Frank died in the Bergen-Belsen Nazi concentration camp, and Hitler ordered a total scorched earth policy. On April 5th, the Soviet Union renounced its neutrality pact with Japan. In April, President Roosevelt died, and Harry S. Truman (D) became the 33rd President of the US. In late April, the concentration camp, Dachau, was liberated and twenty thousand living dead were found within the camp. Buchenwald was liberated. The incinerators ran out of coal in March and 1800 corpses were stacked like firewood around the camp. A detail of prisoner laborers had been forced to place as many bodies as possible into trucks and then to climb on the bodies as the trucks went to nearby woods. The laborers were then forced to dig large burial pits and place the bodies in the pits and then refill the pits with earth leaving one end of the trench open. When the burial was complete the prisoners were forced to stand at the trench where the SS guards shot every one of them and they fell into the pit. The father of Italian Fascism, Benito Mussolini, was shot April 28th, and two days later Adolf Hitler, the maniacal force behind the European war, committed suicide! Also in April, forty seven representatives from many nations met in San Francisco to organize what President Truman said would be, a world body which would enforce justice and make another war impossible. In June the United Nations was formed. Soviet soldiers raised the hammer and sickle flag on the Reichstag in Berlin on April 30th. The Reich Propaganda Minister, Joseph Goebbels, committed suicide on May lst, and Churchill resigned. The Germans surrendered unconditionally on May 7th, 1945. Albert Speer, Minister of Economics and Production was arrested and declared, "It is a good thing it is over. It was just an opera anyway." Heinrich Himmler, the evil mind behind the concentration camps, swallowed a suicide pill shortly after his arrest. In June the bloodiest land battle thus far in the Pacific war occurred in the battle for Okinawa, a large, strategic island 300 miles south of Japan. In Salina, Utah on July 8th an army soldier, Bertucci, opened fire on German prisoners of war, killing eight and wounding twenty. Marlene Dietrich returned from an eleven month USO tour. On July 16th the atomic bomb was tested in the Los Alamos, New Mexico desert. Japan turned down an Allied surrender ultimatum. Wartime partners divided up the Reich, east to Russia, north to Britain, south to the U.S., and the west to France.
At 9:15am on Monday August 6, 1945, a U.S. plane, The Enola Gay, with Pilot Colonel Paul Tibbets, released an atomic bomb over the city of Hiroshima killing over 60,000 people. The U.S.S.R. declared war on Japan on August 8, 1945, and the next day a second atomic bomb was released over the city of Nagasaki killing 10,000. It was estimated that as a result of the bombings, at least 120,000 persons were wounded. Truman warned Japan to "Quit or be destroyed!" On this day the Soviets invaded Korea. On the August 10th, Japan offered to surrender. On the 13th, the U.S. resumed a bombing assault on Japan. The rationing of gas and fuel oil ended in the U.S., and 100,000 U.S. jobs were lost as war contracts ended. The speed limit of 35 mph ended. Japan surrendered unconditionally on August 15, 1945. The official documents were signed in a brief ceremony on the American battleship Missouri on September 2nd. MacArthur assumed control over post-war Japan. Ho Chi Minh proclaimed the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and French troops landed in Indochina. Japan surrendered Hong Kong to British rule, and Britain decided to refer the issue of Palestine to the United Nations. On Sept 8th, Tokyo Rose was arrested. In October, Jackie Robinson became the first Negro player hired by a team in organized baseball. The Arab League was formed by Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon and its founders warned that a Jewish state in Palestine would mean war. Shoe, meat and butter rationing ended in the U.S. The Nuremberg war crimes trials of twenty-one top Nazis opened on November 20th. Eighty-eight German scientists holding Nazi secrets arrived in the U.S... DeGaulle was elected President of France, and General George S. Patton, master of tank warfare, died in December.
What a year it was! While all this was happening in our country and world, the following was occurring in the lives of Mark, Pete and their daughters. Joan loved to listen to the soap operas and other entertainment radio, but when her father entered the house, the dial on the radio was always immediately tuned to news about politics and the war! Mark and Pete were both very interested in and concerned about what was going on in politics and the world. In Utah, the Mormon President, Heber J. Grant, died this year. He had been President of the church for twenty-six years. During this time the membership of the church doubled and the temples in Hawaii, Cardston Canada and Mesa Arizona were dedicated. George Albert Smith became the 8th Mormon President. Mark and Pete were always proud Democrats.
In 1944 Mark, Pete and the girls were visiting at the Bleazard homestead of Mark's parents, (William "Will" and Louisa "Wease" Bleazard) and all the cousins were playing on their Grandma's root cellar. Joan fell and twisted her leg and screamed and she was in excruciating pain. About a year later when she was eleven years old and on July 5, 1945, she had her right leg amputated at the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake. She had osteogenic sarcoma, a particularly deadly form of bone cancer. Her doctor was Dr. Okelberry. Prior to the amputation, Pete made many trips to Roosevelt, Heber and Salt Lake with Joan to see doctors. Dr. Miles in Roosevelt wanted to put her leg in a cast. A correct diagnosis of the problem was not made for many months. Pete was with Joan in Salt Lake for most of June and July 1945 and Joan was getting strong x-ray/radiation treatments at the hospital, Pete and Joan stayed at the home of Bertha (Bird) Bleazard Miles, Mark's Aunt, at 2862 South 700 East.
The week before Joan's surgery, Mark drove with his other daughters, Barbara, Marlene and Verl, to Salt Lake to see Pete and Joan. At this time pictures were taken. In Talmage, the store owned by Glen and Alice Sorenson had a gas pump and it had the only phone in town. It also served as the town post office. Barbara remembers her Dad going to the Sorenson Store and getting the phone call from her Mother telling him that the doctors were going to remove Joan's leg. She remembers when her Dad got back home he cried and had trouble telling the girls what was happening. She remembers her Dad taking the girls to Salt Lake to see Pete and Joan, just before Joan's leg was to be amputated. After the surgery Pete stayed with Joan, and Mark took the other girls home to care for them and to do the work on the farm. Barbara remembers tending Verl most of the summer. Marlene was nine years old in 1945 and she wrote in a letter to her mother and Joan dated June 8, 1945, "We are getting along just fine. We thought we would go to Sunday School but we didn't go, we are sitting at home. How is Joan's leg now? I bet it sure does hurt." In 1999 Marlene sent Joan an email and wrote that this was a sad time for everyone. She said, "Both you and Mom were gone for so long and you were so frail and sick when you did come home. That was also the summer that I had those terrible ring worms on my leg and it took all summer for things to begin to return to some degree of normal". Marlene wrote on July 3, 1945 just two days before Joan was operated on, "Joan, how are you getting along out there? We are just fine. Joan, your colt sure is cute now. I guess you know that Blackie has a calf. Do you listen to Chick Carter out there? It sure is good. I guess we will stay with Grandma and Grandpa Bleazard while Daddy is out there." Marlene remembers Aunt Anna Dee combing her hair, and Barbara remembers that Anna Dee spent some days helping Mark take care of his home and girls. Joan wrote in her diary on July 3, 1947, "It was two years ago today since I went to the hospital. I remember Grandpa Bleazard and Mama took me up there." Mark wrote the following to Pete and Joan on July 12, 1945 after having returned to Talmage with Barbara and Marlene. He said, "Dear Pete and Joan. I hope you are still getting along OK. We look forward to getting a letter from you each day and I try to have the girls write each day. Barbara and Marlene went to the show last night. They said it wasn't very good. The weather is cloudy but no rain just dry and hot. We are getting along just fine. Let us know what the Doctor says about Joan coming home. Shelby and Elma were here yesterday. Austin Mayhew died and they came out to the funeral. Lots of the field is sure burning. Love Daddy."
In 1945, the year Joan had her leg amputated; Mark and Pete had 100 sheep, 25 cows and 5 horses. Mark once said that he raised sheep to support his cow and horse habits. It was also in 1945 when he wintered cows along the Strawberry River.
Pete always worked hard keeping the cabin tidy and the front lawn green and mowed. She planted several trees. There were long rows of beautiful yellow Iris (flags) by the fence and near the road. In the fall of 1945, Mark and Pete dug the basement for their new home. Joan remembers her astonishment when the school bus stopped and she saw the beautiful lawn and many of the flags gone and a large hole and huge mounds of dirt. Mark and Pete were building a new home for their family. Verl remembers fixing tea and taking it to the new house where her Dad was working. She had a little tea set and remembers this 'tea party' as being a very special time with her Dad. Joan remembers a day when Rayda and Cliff and their family came to visit and all the kids were playing on the hills of dirt surrounding the basement site. The cousins were laughing, shouting and running and chasing one another with buckets of water. Barbara and Jack were involved and Joan remembers the two of them were soaking wet. Joan also remembers a day when Max locked the keys to his parent's car in the car, and then he hid from them. It took a long time to find Max and everyone was very worried.
In January of 1946, Ho Chi Minh was elected President of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam, and the United Nations General Assembly held its first session. Churchill warned about The Iron Curtain and said that Western capitalism and Eastern communism seem irreconcilable and that the Soviet Union desired "indefinite expansion" of its power and doctrines. Farm prices in the U.S. were at the highest level since 1920. This year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that segregation in public transportation is unconstitutional. Nine Nazi war criminals were hanged in a prison in Nuremberg, Germany. The French government proclaimed martial law in Vietnam on Dec. 8th and full-scale war appeared inevitable.
Barbara writes that in the summer of 1946, a Bleazard family reunion/surprise birthday party for Grandma Bleazard was held. She notes that all of the children of Will and Wease and their families were in attendance, with the exception of Ralph and his family. Grandma Bleazard was given a platform rocker for her birthday gift.
In October of 1946 Mark and his brother, Ralph Bleazard, poured the basement steps of the new home. They took a few days off work this month to go deer hunting.
Mark and Pete moved into the new pink cinderblock home on December 23, 1946, just in time for Christmas! Barbara was 14 years old, Joan was 12, Marlene was 10, and Verl was 5. This home was the first brick home in Talmage and the first home with indoor plumbing. It had a half basement with a furnace in it. The front of the house faced west. At the north of the house were three bedrooms, the master bedroom on the west, Verl and Joan's little room in the middle, and Marlene and Barbara's room on the east. The very eventful year must have ended on a very happy note with this family moved into its new home in time for Christmas.
In January of 1947 the first year the family lived in the new home many interesting things were happening in the world. Al Capone, Chicago gangster, died. Truman watched Congress on television in the first broadcast of a Session, and he asked for mandatory military training in the US. Stanford University isolated the polio virus. In Vietnam the French opened an assault on Hue, and the US signed a 99 year lease on Naval bases in Philippines. Congress proposed limiting the Presidency to two terms. Henry Ford, Willa Cather and Carrie Chapman Catt died. Rockefeller donated land for the United Nations center, Ho Chi Minh called France to the negotiation table, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar was born. Babe Didrickson became the first US woman to win the British Open. The Taft Hartley Labor Bill, curbing union power, became law over Truman objections. Truman became the 1st US President to pay a state visit to Canada. Sugar rationing ended. The Marshall Plan designed to assist economic recovery in Europe was approved. 4,530 Jews aboard the ship Exodus tried to land in Palestine and were turned away by the British at Haifa. O.J. Simpson and Johnny Bench were born. Britain granted independence to India and Pakistan. In October the NY Yankees beat the Brooklyn Dodgers 5-2 and won the World Series. Ronald Reagan, Cooper and Montgomery insisted that Reds did not control the Actors Guild, and the Hollywood Ten were blacklisted by the Motion Picture Association. In November, Princess Elizabeth married her cousin, Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburg. The UN Assembly voted Palestine partition into Arab and Jewish states and Arabs reacted violently. Tennessee Williams play "Streetcar Named Desire" was a hit. Pablo Casals refused to play publicly in Franco's Spain. On television, Gorgeous George shook his peroxide blonde hair and performed for wrestling fans. A Bedouin shepherd boy found the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Joan wrote in her diary on March 19, 1947, "When will I ever go back to school? Im still staying home. The Bishops from different towns came to look at our place." On the next day she wrote, "I went to school at last! Mr. Evans even said he had missed me. We are going to the Ward Reunion tonight and Mother made 160 sandwiches."
On April 6, 1947 Bert and Dorothy Jenson, Pete's parents, drove from their home in Montana to Talmage/Mountain Home. Lula Jenson (Mortenson), their daughter and Pete's sister, was with them and so was Lula's son, Bert, age seven. Bert and Dorothy only stayed a couple of days and then returned to Montana. Lula and "Little Bert" stayed with Mark/Pete in Talmage and Cliff/Rayda in Mountain Home for quite awhile. Little Bert was named after his Grandpa Bert Jenson. Joan wrote in her diary on April 19, 1947, "The water came from Moon Lake. I took Bert for his first horseback ride. Val McDonald came to play with him". Lula and Clint Mortenson had three sons and divorced. Lula was afflicted with severe rheumatoid arthritis and other health problems. Joan remembers combing Lula's hair, and also remembers Lula reading the book "The Yearling" to her and her sisters. In July 1947, Lula's oldest son, Clinton Morley, came to Talmage to visit. Joan doesn't remember Lula's son, Danny Errol, ever coming to Talmage. Little Bert had been born with a genetic problem that severely deformed his body. Joan remembers he always appeared to be sitting with his knees under his chin. He couldn't put his legs out straight. Little Bert's teeth touched in the back of his mouth but could not touch in the front -he had difficulty eating and closing his lips. Little Bert, however, had a great sense of humor, and he and Verl became great pals. Verl would put her arms under his arms and around him and would drag him where he wanted to go -in the house or in the yard! They were always laughing and playing.
Barbara writes, "On Mother's birthday (April 10, 1947) we had a chicken supper and we made her a cake and decorated it. It really was pretty.
"On May 5, 1947 Aunt Rayda took Aunt Lula to Roosevelt to the doctor and they kept her down there. She will be able to come home about May 13th. Little Bert is staying with us.
"Mother was sick with the flu on May 10, 1947, and Dad just about got the old house torn down on this day. It sure looks different".
On the day the old slant/roofed cabin was burned, Barbara and Joan were riding their horses to attend a party. They were near the Talmage store when they looked back toward their home and saw the fire burning the old log cabin.
Mark would lift Little Bert onto a horse and hold him there while Marlene would lead the horse around the yard, and sometimes Verl was on the horse with Bert.
Joan wrote that on June 6, 1947, "We went to Salt Lake with Uncle Cliff. I went to three doctors, Dr. Heater, Dr. Kirby and the man who fixed my leg. Mom and I stayed at Aunt Elma and Shelby Mayhews home. We went all over the city.
On June 7, 1947, Joan wrote, "We took Dorothy to her doctor and found out about Bert. He can go to the Shriner's Hospital in July where they will teach him and try to help him. We came home on this day."
On June 8, 1947, "We went to church. All of the men are growing beards, even Daddy. When we came home from Salt Lake, we brought strawberries with us." On June 17, 1947, Joan writes, 'Marlene is still in Price with Uncle Ralph.'
The family went to Duchesne to a County Fair and Little Bert went on the merry-go-round and the ferris wheel with the rest of the kids. He had a great time! In July the family and Lula and Little Bert went to Duchesne to see Jack's Wild Animal Show.
Barbara writes, "Joan, Mother and I went to Salt Lake to take Joan to get x-rays. I went to the Intermountain Clinic where Dr. Maw took out my tonsils on Monday, July 15, 1947. We stayed at Aunt Bird's home, and we were in Salt Lake for eight days. Joan came home Wednesday with Walt Kennison. We went to the Centre Theater to see, The Unfaithful with Ann Sheridan and Lew Ayres the night we got in town. Rhoda, Rulon and Steve Orton came to Aunt Bird's house on Sunday. We went to the Centennial Fair Grounds and saw all we could see and had some rides and went through the fun house. On Sunday we went to Temple Square and went on a tour. We went to the Lyric Theater and saw Belitas Rhapsody on Ice. Floyd and Anna Dee Rowley took us to see his folks, and Anna Dee took us to the Doctor the next day. On Friday, Anna Dee, Mom and I went to see Joan Fontaine in IVY. On Saturday we came home."
Rhoda and Rulon Orton and their son, Steve, visited for about two weeks in the summer of 1947.
Little Bert was baptized a member of the LDS Church on August 1, 1947. He was baptized in a pond north of Talmage. On August 21st Lula, Morley and Little Bert went to Escalante, Utah to see their son and brother, Danny. They returned to Talmage for a while and then went back to Montana. In 2001 Andrew Jenson wrote: "We called him little Bert and he never walked at all and his legs were never straight. He had cerebral palsy. He was very smart and liked to tease and he traveled around the house on his bottom. Mother said that his back and his body might have been injured by the Doctor during a difficult delivery. One day he told his Grandmother that he thought he would just die, and a couple of days later he died." Little Bert died in Montana on July 10, 1948. Pete and Verl went to the funeral.
Joan wrote in her diary, "On July 4, 1947 we celebrated at Mountain Home. We had dinner with Aunt Rayda. They had a ball game, races (Dad raced) horse races, etc. Uncle Grant and Ben Lyons got in a fight." On July 13, 1947, Joan was back in Salt Lake and wrote, "I went to the Wandamere Sunday School and later to the temple grounds".
Barbara writes, "On August 22, 1947. I went to Salt Lake to the doctor, and on September 2, 1947 I was operated on for my sinus. A passage was made into my lower sinus on one side. I stayed with Anna Dee and Floyd Rowley. Their baby was born on August 18, 1947 and they named him Floyd Dee. Grandma Bleazard was there also. Mother came out to be with me when I was operated on. I came home on the Wolf Creek bus.
"I went back to the doctor on the 27th of September and was in Salt Lake for a week. Uncle Bill and Aunt Bev have a new baby girl. She has more hair than any baby I ever saw. I saw, The Bachelor & the Bobbysoxer with Shirley Temple & Cary Grant, and The Unfinished Dance' with Margaret OBrien. I saw Louise Wilde (Bearden) while I was in Salt Lake. I came home with Clyde Rowley on Saturday October J, 1947.
On September 14, 1947 Lygia F. Rust was sustained as Relief Society President, with Loretta Burton as First Counselor, and Evelyn Bleazard as Second Counselor. They were released from their assignments on September 26, 1948.
Mark posted a Farm Listing September 27, 1947 noting all of the "240 acres were cultivated and that there was no dry land. Taxes $140; 750 shares of Farnsworth Canal water ($15 a share); hay and grain approx 200 tons; glazed new cinder home with five rooms; water, sewer, toilet, furnace and 1/2 basement. Some other buildings. One team and equipment to operate place. Mortgage contract "clear." Price $22,000 in cash. Remarks "exempt LDS Church from paying commission."
After moving into the new house, Pete had a terrible reaction to a smallpox vaccination and she was really sick for quite a long time. Barbara remembers waking up and hearing her mother calling for help. She went into the bathroom and found Pete on the floor where she had passed out and been unable to get up. Barbara ran to wake her Dad and they helped her up and carried her to her bed. Barbara said she had to leave the bedroom because it frightened her so much and felt that she might also pass out. Joan remembers Pete's arm being huge and black.
Barbara writes that on November 8, 1947, Pete's sister, Alta and her husband, Roy Stott and their son, Stanley Stott, came for a visit. She also writes, "During the fall and winter of 1946-47 Grandpa and Grandma Jenson, Hal Jenson, Pat and Parley Schenk and their children Glenn, Jan, Bruce and Virginia Lynn visited in Talmage and Mountain Home".
Joan remembers when she and her Dad went to lower Blue Bench near Duchesne to get a load of fence posts. The horses named Bess and Sis pulled the wagon. It was a very long and hot day, but Joan remembers enjoying the day very much.
When Joan would have to go to Salt Lake for check-ups, x-rays or for prosthesis fittings, she and others would almost always stay at the Wasatch Hotel or the Mills Hotel which were both on about Third South and West Temple. The Fitwell Artificial Limb Company was across 3rd south directly south of the Wasatch Hotel.
Barbara and Joan both remember when their Dad or Mother would ride to Salt Lake with Cliff Stevenson. He would often be hired to use his truck to transport cattle to Ogden. They both remember that on these trips, fresh fruit or other produce would often be purchased, and brought home. Barbara remembers grapefruit and oranges, and Joan remembers riding in the back of Cliffs truck and sneaking and eating about a half crate of strawberries before they got home!
On March 3,1947, Mark and his brother, Jack Bleazard, and Albert and Walt Kennison , went to Vale, Oregon to look at some land they were considering buying.
Joan remembers a big tub of little pigs in the kitchen of the new home being warmed and fed and cared for by her mother. Barbara remembers little calves and lambs also being cared for in the cabin and/or the house.
Joan remembers a little bummer lamb that had both of its back legs broken. Pete put little braces on both legs and a brace between the legs to keep them from moving. The little lamb would walk around on its front knees. The legs healed and the lamb grew and, even though its legs were crooked, it walked and was a fine, big ewe.
When living in the Cabin, Joan remembers her mother hauling water from the ditch, heating it on the wood stove, carrying the water to tubs in the yard and washing clothes on a scrubbing board and the entire yard smelling of her homemade lye soap. The clothes were placed on the clothesline to dry, and those that were ironed were ironed with an iron heated on the cast iron stove. Joan can't remember how clothes were washed and dried in the winter, although she can remember the sheets being stiff and frozen. Her mother always had red geraniums in the windows and during the winter they had to be placed on the table and away from the windows at night.
Joan wrote in her diary, "Tomorrow, July 23, 1947 is Rodeo day. Dad is a pick up Man. I can't hardly wait to see how good he is." Also on that day Joan wrote, "Marlene and I rode Dad's horses to the Rodeo. Dad did very good. Uncle Grant almost got drug to death. The next day Joan wrote, "We went to Altamont to the Rodeo again today. Dad did pick-upping again. Aunt Lois was queen".
Barbara writes, "On July 23-24, 1947 we attended the rodeo and celebration at Altamont Park. Daddy was a hazer. Verl, Steve, Joan and Marlene were in the Parade. This year is the Utah Centennial. On July 27th we had a Bleazard Family Reunion and birthday party for Gma Bleazard at the river. All the Bleazards were there but Bill, Bev, Boyd, Louise and Grandpa."
Pete designed and hand stitched a beautiful red, white and blue Centennial Patriotic Quilt in 1947. After her death, it was given to Verl and in year 2002 it is in Verl's home in Roosevelt.
In January of 1948 Mahatma Gandhi was assassinated, and cities in India were swept by riots. Truman proposed free two-year community colleges for all who want education, and he banned flying over atomic energy plants. In Jackson, Mississippi 4,000 white Jeffersonian Democrats met to oppose Trumans civil rights program, and he called for an end to Jim Crow laws. The US Supreme Court ruled that religious instruction in public schools is unconstitutional. Humphrey Bogart searched for the "Treasure of the Sierra Madre." The Nation of Israel came into existence, and Egypt invaded Israel and bombs fell on Tel Aviv. Chiang Kai-shek became President of China. The NY subway fare was doubled to ten cents. Joe Lewis scored an 11th round knockout of Jersey Joe Walcott. Chuck Yeager exceeded the speed of sound in Bell XS-l plane. President Truman ended army segregation on July 26th. Communist spy mania gripped Americans attention, and President Truman criticized the House on un-American Activities (HUAC) as being more un-American than those it investigated. Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, was born. Axis Sally was indicted for treason, and North Korea was made a Republic. Confounding pundits and prophets, Truman was elected to a full term as President, defeating Thomas Dewey in a major upset. T. S. Eliot won the Nobel Prize for Literature, and the Kinsey Report on sex startled Americans, The UN adopted a Human Rights Declaration. Tojo and six collaborators were hanged for war crimes. "All I Want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth" was sung, and Andrew Wyeth painted Christinas World.
Barbara wrote on January 7, 1948 that her Grandpa, Will Bleazard, "...has been awfully sick He was operated on for gall stones in Salt Lake and is still out there and is much better. Grandpa Bert Jenson was operated on about the same time as Grandpa Bleazard was operated on. He had a growth in his bladder."
In her journal Barbara wrote that on Father's Day, June 20, 1948 her Uncle Ralph Bleazard, "...brought our car back from Price where he had been working on it. He had painted it blue. We took him to the Duchesne Airport. Howard Campbell came out after him in an airplane. He took Daddy up over our place and over all Talmage. He took Lois Bleazard, a cousin, and Joan and I over Duchesne. It was really a grand experience."
During the summer of 1948, Mark took the family to Duchesne to see "Green Grass of Wyoming" and Barbara wrote, "When Mother came home from Montana on June 23, 1948, Afton Stott, Alta's daughter, came back with her. Afton stayed until July 9th.
"On July 5, 1948 our family went to Neola to celebrate. Uncle Ralph, Uncle Jack, Uncle Bill, Uncle Grant and Uncle Rulon Orton, Junior Bleazard, Von Anderson and Daddy went on a fishing trip from July 22nd to July 25th. We had the car so we went to Alta Loma to celebrate on July 23 and 24. Rhoda, Rulon and Steve came out on July 20th, Bill, Bev and family on the 21st and Anna Dee and Floyd on the 24th. They all left on July 29th. Joan went back with them to get her new leg.
"Joan and I had a lawn party on August 31, 1948. It wasn't too much fun!"
In September, Mark purchased a Ford Tractor from Snow Machinery in Roosevelt, Utah. On its owner registration is noted that the size of his farm was 280 acres with 100 acres tillable, the type of soil is listed as rocky, and the land is rolling. It notes that on the land there are 9 acres of corn, 10 acres of wheat, 30 acres of barley and 140 acres of hay. Mark estimated that he would work 300 hours hauling on his new tractor and 15 hours custom work. The tractor replaced horses for farm power. He stated he chose the Ford tractor because of its control and equipment.
Joan can also remember the beautiful designs in the ice on the inside of the cabin window and she remembers sleeping in a bed with her two sisters, Barbara and Marlene.
Pete made the most wonderful homemade bread and she spent the entire summer working in her garden and canning fruits and vegetables. She had a large garden each summer and she planted blackberry and gooseberry bushes. She made super cottage cheese. Joan remembers enjoying shelling peas and snapping beans with her mother.
Joan said at her parents 50th wedding anniversary, "We can see our Dad walking behind a horse, reins around his neck and sweat running down his face. His hands holding the handles of a plow blade as he prepared a garden spot for Mom. Marlene or I would ride on and guide the horse as he walked and worked."
Pete would raise chickens and kill and pluck them. The chickens were well fed and had lots of room to roam and good, natural stuff to eat. The chicken tasted wonderful whether baked or fried, and the broth was always filled with her homemade noodles. The family ate mutton stew with the grease as thick as it could get! Mark always said the fat was his favorite part of any meat. He would bring home sage hens and occasionally a pheasant.
Each fall the men of the community would participate in the Deer Hunt. Mark and his brothers and uncles looked forward each year to the Deer Hunt. The deer were always taken care of and the hides were used or sold, and since there was no refrigeration, the meat was cured, bottled and eaten by families or animals. The antlers were measured and displayed and the stories were exaggerated and continuous.
Joan remembers the pig pen and her mother carrying big buckets of slop to the pigs. Once Joan and the other girls were ordered to the house. They heard gunshots and loud squeals. Peeking out a window, Joan saw dead pigs on double trees being lowered into boiling water.
When Joan was very small, the post office in Talmage was in the home of Mrs. McDonald and was a bit south and east of the school. Joan would ride a horse the mile and a half to get the mail when she was four or five years old. Some say she was younger than that. Joan would yell until Mrs. McDonald would bring the mail out to her because she couldn't get off and on the horse.
Mark's livestock brand was Bar AY. A line (bar) was at the top and beneath it were the letters AY.
On September 26, 1948 Evelyn Bleazard was sustained as President of the Young Womens Mutual Improvement Association (YWMIA). Zella Barrett was sustained First Counselor, Anna Kennison, Second Counselor and Rhea McDonald, Secretary. They were all released from their assignments on June 4, 1950.
In November 1948 Alta and Roy Stott spent Thanksgiving Day with Pete and Mark. Roy's father had died and they brought him to Meadow, Utah to be buried. Immediately after eating dinner they left because they had word that Stanley had been called on his mission. The family went to Aunt Rayda's home later in the day.
Barbara wrote a note, "Grandpa Bert Jenson has cancer of the throat."
In December 1948, Barbara went with her Aunt Rayda to Roosevelt when she took Max to the doctor about his foot.
On Christmas Day of this year, Mark, Pete and daughters went to Alice and Ray Oman's home for dinner. It was this Christmas that the family got the player piano. Barbara notes that, "Daddy, Mom, Verl and all of us went to Altamont and watched Altamont beat Tabiona by one point in a game of basketball."
During the year 1949 the Chinese Communists occupied Peking, and later in the year the Communist forces swept through China. Congress raised the presidential salary to $100,000 with $50,000 expense allowance. Ingrid Bergman went to Italy to make a film with Roberto Rossellini, and RCA introduced a 45 rpm record. The Yankees gave Joe DiMaggio $90,000 for one year, the highest salary ever in baseball. The AMA proposed voluntary health insurance plan to oppose Truman's federal plan, and a jet bomber crossed the US in under four hours. A B-50 flew non-stop around the earth. Joe Lewis gave up his gloves after his lighting punches had won him 25 title defenses with only one loss. Mao organized headquarters in Peking, and the Allies organized NATO. Rita Hayworth married Aly Khan a Muslim play-boy. Truman declared that the US was hysterical over the Reds, and Jackie Robinson refuted Paul Robeson and declared that the Negroes would fight communism. Rome announced that Communists would be excommunicated from the Catholic Church.
Margaret Mitchell, author of Gone with the Wind died, and Tokyo Rose was given ten years and a fine of $10,000. Harvard Law School began admitting women. Truman raised the minimum wage from 40 cents to 74 cents per hour. Young Frank Sinatra was popular among the bobby-sox crowd. In China the People's Republic was established and the Communists ruled. Louis Armstrong Satchmo took New Orleans jazz to Europe. George Orwell's "Nineteen Eighty-Four" arrived. Truman banned federal housing aid where racial or religious bias existed. Joseph Bracken Lee, Republican, became Governor of Utah and he served as Governor until 1957. He battled against the federal income tax and increased appropriations for state building and highway construction. He later served as Mayor of Salt Lake City during 1959-71.
Barbara wrote, "Grandma & Grandpa Bleazard are in Salt Lake after spending all summer and winter in Hailey, Idaho. Uncle Jack and Aunt Viola have a baby boy named Michael and he was born at Roosevelt on February 5, 1949. This winter there has been lots of snow. The snow along the fences is over the fences in places. We missed two days of school last week because of snow.
"Grandpa Bert Jenson and Afton Stott came down for a few days when Marianne Schenk was born. Mom and Aunt Rayda went back with them on April 14, 1949 for a few days."
Joan remembers a cow named 'Brock' with only one horn. She also remembers the day she found the cow's head in a field.
Joan remembers when people in Talmage got together and made mattresses.
Mark served as President of the Pigeon Water Cattle and Horse Association for several years. Mark said, "I was the last one to receive water through the Farnsworth Canal Company ditch system and was actively involved with and held every office in the Company while we lived at Talmage. I was the last one on my ditch in Talmage. Farrell was the last on his ditch and Leo Farnsworth was the last on his ditch."
"After Claude and Vera McDonald moved into a small home directly across the street from our cabin, I would sometimes lose water. Every night I wouldn't get nothing watered, so I went checking up the ditch. There were boards in the ditch and I had trouble getting through the willows to get to the ditch to jerk the boards out. He had the whole stream. His story was that a board accidentally got caught in the stream. Fred Birch used to say, 'If you don't want them to steal the water, don't put none in the ditch!' Birch also said 'You could throw $5 bills on the floor clear up to their knees and it would be OK, but if you put a drop of water in the ditch, they'll take at least half of it.' "
Joan was always advising and telling other people what they should do or not do. Her father gave her some good advice that she remembers but has not always taken. The advice was to Take care of yourself and you will have a full time job without trying to take care of everyone else.
Joan remembers that her job often was to find kindling and wood for the cast iron stove. Easy access to wood became impossible especially in mid winter. Claude had a huge pile of cut wood across the street and Joan remembers being tempted to 'borrow' some of the cut wood but can't remember that she ever did borrow the wood.
Claude and Vera McDonald moved away and sold their home and land to Guy and Dolly (Iris Lou McConkie) Lindsey. They remodeled and built additional rooms on the home. Dolly and Pete became very good friends and quilted together and often visited and helped one another. Guy and Dolly's children were Burke, George, Charles, Gary, Terry, Rosie, Cindy and Kim. Joan remembers one spring when George fell in the ditch and was about to go in the culvert or pipe under the road. The water was very high and fast. Dolly was pregnant with Charlie but she made it over the fence and to the ditch, grabbed him and saved his life. He never would have made it through the culvert.
Joan remembers a time when her Dad couldn't get her to go to the house and she saw two little lambs born.
Joan remembers that during World War II, Pete, Dolly and the girls gathered wool from barbed wire fences and elsewhere and sent the wool back east where a company processed, colored and weaved it into a beautiful pattern and made floor carpet for both homes. Some of the carpet was taken from the Talmage home and placed in Mark and Pete's bedroom and hall in the Arcadia home. When the Arcadia home and property was sold, Marlene removed the carpet and placed pieces of the carpet in beautiful frames for her children and for others.
The fields were planted in the fall or in the spring and when harvest time came the threshers arrived! The threshers were a group of men, neighbors and relatives who all assisted one another in harvesting the crops. The men and women rotated and were always helping one another with the harvest. There were no tractors or other mechanized machines to do the work. It was men, horses, wagons and pitchforks. The work was very difficult and the hours worked were long. There was, however, a sense of community, laughter, cussing and lots of stories and experiences were shared.
While the men were in the fields, the kids played and the women cooked huge, wonderful meals comprised of potatoes, pies, homemade biscuits/bread, meat, vegetables and homemade ice cream. Joan thinks she also remembers the women quilting on these days.
Pete was an accomplished and talented quilter. She designed, stitched and assisted others as they quilted hundreds of quilts. All of Pete's children and grandchildren were given quilts, Pete's art work. The quilting bees when Rayda, Viola, Dolly Lindsay and many other women gathered around the quilts placing teeny tiny stitches and laughing and enjoying one another were days of happiness. Again, the kids were running around and playing.
Verl remembers when a sheep tick was stuck in her arm and Pete used a lighted match on the tick to force it to withdraw from her arm.
Joan remembers crawling through a culvert under the road between the house and Lily Hill and coming out of it with wood ticks all over her. Pete had her undress outside of the house and then she checked Joan's hair, under her arms and everywhere for the miserable little ticks.
Joan remembers when Verl was small, maybe six or seven years old, and had long, blonde hair. One day Verl took scissors and cut the back of her hair to her neck! Looking at her from the front she looked fine with her long, pretty hair, but when she turned around her hair was gone! Her father was not happy with her new look.
Grandpa Will Bleazard brought Brownie, the wild horse Mark and Jack had caught, to Talmage for the girls to ride to school. Brownie was a horse that was loved by many people. He had a wonderful, gentle nature. Joan remembers the day that she and Barbara were riding Brownie to school . Barbara was facing the horses's head and holding the reins, and Joan was sitting backwards and holding her movie star picture collection for Hobby Day at school.
Mark had two beautiful Percheron horses, Gilda and Mona Lou. They were huge and strong and made a great team. Smoky (Blue) may have been the best horse that Mark ever owned. Smoky was a large, spirited, strong and beautiful horse. Mark also had a beautiful appaloosa horse and many shetland horses, and just horses.
Mark's team of horses, Bess (black) and Sis (reddish/brown), were a great team sired by the stallion, Frank. Joan remembers when they, or it may have been his team, Golda and Mona Lou, were in a horse pulling contest at Talmage on the 4th of July. The teams pulled a big truck with its brakes locked. Some 4th of July celebrations were at the Talmage School, where there were tubs of ice containing bottles of red soda pop and other drinks, and the men played baseball.
Joan remembers Paint. Paint was a spunky, sorrel mare with several white spots. Once Joan was riding Paint and holding the reins but the horse was definitely in control! Paint wouldn't leave the corral or the yard and was kicking up, ears back and being generally ornery. Mark tried to give Joan a willow to help gain control but Joan didn't want to hit the horse. Mark told her to take the whip and whip the horse or he would whip her! Joan bawled as she took the whip and she was soon making the horse mind.
Mark said, "Dad never was to our place at Talmage very much. When he got old and was sick he came to our place and Pete took care of him for awhile."
Joan remembers the Friday night 'shows' at the Talmage Ward. There were lots of Gene Autry and Roy Roger films, and every week there was an adventure serial segment. There were newsreels keeping the community aware of the War action.
Joan remembers the shearing of the sheep and the fat, awful ticks. The fluffy wool sheared from the sheep was put into very large burlap bags. She remembers the fluffy sheep going into the barn and the naked and somewhat confused sheep coming out of the barn. Verl remembers wanting to help stomp the wool in the sacks but her Dad thought she was too small to help. She jumped in anyway and had to be 'fished' out.
Joan remembers that each spring she would help catch the little lambs so her Dad could dock them. The tails of the female lambs were cut very short, and the tails of the male lambs were left a bit longer. Joan loved the little bummer (orphan) lambs and feeding them with bottles.
Barbara remembers the family picnics to Moon Lake and her mothers wonderful fried chicken and potato salad.
Pete had trouble with her teeth and they were extracted. Barbara went with Mark and Pete to Roosevelt that day to tend Verl, who was "...just a little thing." Barbara played with her at the doctor's office (hospital) for a long time and then her Dad came out and gave them a little money and said they could walk to town and back. Barbara remembers it being a very hot, long day. She remembers that after walking to and from town, she went into the room where her mother was and saw her still under anesthetic and looking very miserable. Barbara says she thought at that time that her day might not have been so bad.
Joan and Marlene stayed at home the day Pete had her teeth extracted and Joan remembers her Dad carrying her mother into the house and how sad she felt seeing her mother without her teeth and in so much pain.
Verl remembers, "My long blonde hair and Dad cussin' about it. It took Mother so long to comb and untangle it from the weeds and to shampoo it. Then she had to braid it."
Joan wrote in her diary that on July 21, 1949, "I went to piano lessons. Marlene started taking them today.. Later Dorothy, Karen and Andrew came over to visit."
In 1949, Mark, Jack and Grant formed Bleazard Brothers, Inc. They purchased land on Blue Bench and water rights that would take water from Big Hollow through Talmage and to the Bench. Big Hollow is about midway between Mountain Home and Talmage. They built fifteen miles of canal to transfer the water to Blue Bench. Many people said that water could not be made to run uphill from Big Hollow to get it to Blue Bench, but they made it happen, the water ran uphill. After they built the canal the water allowed them to grow crops of corn, alfalfa and grain on Blue Bench. The Bureau of Reclamation filed suit against them and stopped them from transferring water from the Lake Fork drainage to the Duchesne drainage.
In 1950, George Pritner was born. It was this year that Alger Hiss was sentenced to five years in prison, and Mao recognized the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The U.S. Senate approved the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) by a vote of 63-19. Truman ordered development of a hydrogen bomb. McCarthy launched an anti-Red crusade in the US and was denounced by Truman as a saboteur of US foreign policy. The new Cadillac four-door sedan offered a curved, one-piece windshield. Four Vietnam battalions attacked the French. Truman asked for statehood for Alaska and Hawaii to strengthen national security. The US offered military aid to France for its action in Vietnam. In East Berlin 500,000 persons marched carrying Lenin flags and the Supreme Court barred segregation at two colleges. Ben Hogan won the US Golf Open, and North Korean Reds invaded South Korea. The UN and US agreed to send troops to aid Korea and McArthur arrived as Seoul fell to the North. Truman declared the US was not at war. The Soviets protested UN intervention as it prepared to fight in Korea, and Truman extended the draft until 1951. The Census Bureau counted 150 million US citizens, and the U.S. army called up 100,000 troops and included reservists and Natl Guard. US troops began fighting and dying in Korea. Britain, Australia and New Zealand sent troops to Korea under UN command. Althea Gibson became the first black woman allowed to compete in US tennis. Florence Chadwick swam the English Channel in 13 hrs. 23 minutes. Truman added ten million to the Social Security rolls. In September, Seoul Korea was retaken by UN forces, and China's Chou En-lai threatened to intervene if North Korea was invaded, and when the invasion occurred the Chinese Reds entered the Korean War. The Yankees took the World Series in four straight over the Phillies, and the FCC authorized CBS to begin commercial color TV broadcasts. The Roman Catholic Church protested teaching sex education in the public schools. Truman threatened the use of atomic bombs in Korea. George Bernard Shaw died, and drive-in theatres were the rage in the US. Truman threatened to beat up the critic who criticized his daughter's (Margaret) singing. "Mona Lisa" and "You Belong to Me" were hit songs.
The Bouncing Pen is a cedar tree and sagebrush fenced area of about 40 acres. It is located about twelve miles north of Duchesne. The Bleazards purchased this land in the 1950s. It was about 1956 when Mark and his brothers fenced and gated the acres. It was always used by the Bleazards as a place to confine sheep and cattle at various times each year. It is called the Bouncing Pen because the sheep and/or cattle would be held within it and then bounced to the upper country in the spring, and bounced to their winter location in the fall. At a Duchesne County Commission meeting held in 1998, information was given regarding the land. Commissioner Larry Ross said,
it was patented land in 1918 in the name of Collecta S. Dixon. It was later transferred to the Dixon Ranch and was subsequently sold to the County in 1932 for delinquent taxes. In 1936 an auditor's tax deed deeded the property to the County, and in 1956 the county deeded the property to Mark and Jack Bleazard and the properties have remained in the name of the Bleazard family since that time. In 1998 Mark and Pete had left the 20 acres to the east to their four daughters, and the 20 acres to the west were owned by Jack and Viola Bleazard. Joan bought the acres belonging to her sisters and Jack's acres with the intent to put water and a septic tank on it and eventually to build a cabin on the 40 acres. Mark and Pete deeded acres on Blue Bench to grandchildren. (2015 -The Bouncing Pen has a water line and a septic tank on it but a cabin has not been built on it. The 40 acres are now in the Thomas Family Trust. joan bleazard thomas)
Mark said, "I purchased a forest permit for 22 head of cattle from Linwood Kennison in 1950. I also used my Dad's permit for 22 head to pasture cattle on Pigeon Water. When the Forest Service wanted to cut the permit, I talked them into cutting the time rather than the number of cattle. As a result I could run 61 head for a shorter period of time. This same formula is still in effect today."
On June 4, 1950 Evelyn Bleazard was again sustained as President of the YWMIA, with Alta Beckstead as First Counselor, Anna Kennison as Second Counselor and Zella A Barrett as Secretary. They were released from their assignments on August 22, 1951.
Barbara graduated from Altamont High School in the spring of 1950 and remembers her father and mother being sad when she left for Salt Lake. Barbara lived with other friends from the Basin and worked at the Central Supply Company.
The first oil well in the Basin was the Brinkerhoff Rig #17 which was drilled in the Altamont field and on land belonging to Rue Miles. Oil discovery created changes in the Basin as schools became over crowded and housing hard to find. Isolated communities were turned into boom towns over night and the boom continued for many years and somewhat changed the character of the Basin.
On February 16, 1950 a Snow Mark Truck was purchased for $750.00, a wool check was deposited on 5/19/50 for $320.52. A check was written to Art Instruction on 3/16/50 for $10.00. On 3/28/50 a check for $21.40 was written to American National Insurance.
In the spring of 1950, the family of Bert and Dorothy Jenson met for two days at the home of Pat and Parley Schenk in Bancroft, Idaho. There were about forty-five persons present. Lula and her son, Danny, were present. Mark, Pete, Barbara, Ralph, Marlene and Verl were at the reunion. They stopped in Hailey, Idaho on the way home and visited with Mark's parents, Will and Wease Bleazard.
On June 24, 1951 Barbara and Ralph Franklin Freeman married. In January of 1951, David 0. McKay became President of the Mormon Church and served from 1951 to 1970. UN forces stopped the Red drive in Korea. In April, Truman fired MacArthur, and McArthur received a hero's welcome when he arrived in San Francisco. In November, a truce was reached and lines drawn in Korea. Open-air atomic tests in Nevada rattled the Southwest US. The US Presidency was limited to two terms. Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were found guilty of wartime espionage in the nations first atomic bomb spy trial and they received the death penalty. "The Caine Mutiny" by Herman Wouk was published. The UN estimated that Communist casualties in Korea were 890,000, and UN deaths were 248,000. Outfielder Willie Mays, age 20, joined the NY Giants. The hydrogen bomb was tested in May, and Truman extended the draft to the year 1955, and increased the length of service to two years and lowered the age to 18.5. Twenty-one communists were indicted by a federal jury in NY for conspiracy to teach and advocate the overthrow of the US government by force and violence. William Randolph Hearst died. "A Place in the Sun" starring Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor filled theatres. Sgt 1st Class John R. Rice age 37, a Winnebago Indian who died on a Korean battlefield, was denied interment in a Sioux City cemetery because of a Caucasian only policy. Truman interceded and a hero's burial was conducted for John at Arlington National Cemetery. The average income for each man, woman and child in 1950 was $1,436 according to Commerce Department reports. The Swiss Parliament killed a woman suffrage bill. "A Streetcar Named Desire" with Marlon Brando and Vivian Leigh was a hit. Picasso, deeply affected by the horrors of war, painted Massacre in Korea.
On October 27th Rocky Marciano stopped Joe Lewis bid to become the first man to regain a heavyweight title. The Giants won the pennant on Bobby Thompsons 9th inning homer called a shot heard around the world. Joe DiMaggio retired from baseball. In 1951 the Mormon President, George Albert Smith died. During his Presidency the Idaho Falls Temple was dedicated. David O. McKay became the 9th President of the Mormon Church. His primary emphasis was on education and he encouraged strong family commitment.
On January 16, 1951, Bert and Dorothy Jenson celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary at the LDS hall in Bynum, Montana. Son-in-law, LeRoy Stott, officiated as they renewed their wedding vows of fifty years ago. There was an open house from two until eight in the evening and at nine in the evening, dancing began. The Montana Ranch Boy's Band provided the music for about 250 persons who were present, and at midnight homemade cookies and fruit punch were served.
Joan graduated from Altamont High School on Wednesday, May 16, 1951 and she left for Salt Lake the following Monday. She lived with Barbara and her friends when she first came to Salt Lake to work. That fall Joan attended BYU and remembers going to Mountain Home for her Grandma Bleazard's funeral. Mark's mother, Louisa May Walker Bleazard, died on October 18, 1951 in Hailey, Idaho.
Barbara had met Ralph Freeman while working in Salt Lake and they were married in the Talmage home on June 24, 1951. Ralph's parents, Oscar and Elizabeth Freeman, his sister, Elizabeth, and his brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Matha were there. Bishop Leon Burton presided over the ceremony. Pete later arranged for a bridal shower for Barbara at the Talmage Ward.
On the day that Barbara and Ralph married, Pete's sister, Lula Annie Mortenson, died. Andrew Jenson wrote in 2001, "My sister died of rheumatoid arthritis, kidney failure and a broken heart." Barbara and Ralph went with Pete to Montana to attend Lula's funeral.
Ralph and Barbara got Mark and Pete their first refrigerator. Ralph was so good to Mark and Pete and was always helping them with home and appliance repairs and in other ways.
Marlene says, "When we were driving the cattle up over Towanta Flats in the spring it seemed like we never would get there. It was always hot and there were the little calves to watch. Dad and the other guys would go on to build a fence after we got up on the flat. As a child it seemed to take all day to go up over the Flat seemed like twenty miles at least." Mark said, "It was a straight flat piece of road that looks like a long way but it is 2 l/2 miles from the telephone line up into Pigeon Water. When I rode for the Association I rode up that side of Rock Creek."
Joan remembers the cattle drives and that it would take a day to get the cattle and calves to the Bleazard homestead in Mountain Home where they would stay for the night, and another day to get the stock to Pigeon Water/Gooseberry Flat. She remembers the dust, the smell of the horses and cattle, the sounds and the fun! Nothing was more fun and she loved the cattle drive. Several of Mark and Pete's grandchildren later loved the cattle drives.
Verl wrote the following in a letter to Joan, Barbara and Ralph in about 1952, "I got Dolly to do my ears today. I need some earrings for my pierced ears very bad. I had to use a pair of Dolly's earrings today. After Dolly did Ann McDonald's ears, Mom had her do mine. It really hurt when she was making the holes, but my ears are OK now. Marlene was there to help Dolly, and she passed out on us!"
Pete wrote the following to Joan in July 1952, "If you get a chance to come out for the weekend bring all your dirty clothes and we can wash them in the washer for you. Marlene I went to 4-H today and they had a picnic and went swimming. I guess we will stay home tomorrow because the closest celebration is in Bluebell. Talmage is full of whooping cough. Blaine Brotherson, Roy Sorenson, Betty Potter, and all her little kids, have whooping cough. When are you coming out?
"We stayed home all day on the 4th, what did you do? Fred, Jennie and kids came here while we were eating breakfast and they stayed until nearly noon. Guy and Dolly and kids and Verl went with them up to Rock Creek and had lunch and fished for a little while. We've all been fighting fire today. Johnny Mowers set their straw stack on fire with firecrackers. It burned a lot of things. Be careful and come out when you can. Love, Mom."
In January of 1952 guerrilla actions continued against the French in Indochina. In England, George VI died and his daughter, Elizabeth II, age 25, became Queen. Three-colored traffic lights are adopted in NY, and Elizabeth Taylor married Michael Wilding. Bogart and Hepburn were stars in "African Queen." Truman withdrew from the Presidential race, and Batista seized power in Cuba. Truman signed the Japanese peace treaty on April 15th officially ending World War II in the Pacific region. Allied fighter bombers staged the largest air strike of the Korean War on May 8th. Truman ordered railroads handed back to owners after 21 months of army control. Greece granted the vote to women, and the famous educator John Dewey died. Groton, an exclusive boy's prep school, admitted its first Negro. "The Diary of Anne Frank" is published in the US. "The Winning Team" opened starring Ronald Reagan. General Motors began air conditioning its cars, and Puerto Rico became the first US commonwealth. Eva Peron died at age 33 and Argentina mourned. Weizmann, Israel's Washington, died. The US Supreme Court stopped segregation on interstate railways. In India, the lst international organization supporting birth control was founded. John F. Kennedy was elected to the US Senate. Albert Schweitzer received the Nobel Peace Prize, and Walter Reuther was elected President of the AFL-CIO. Ralph Ellison wrote "The Invisible Man." Christine Jorgenson, formerly male, became female. Nine Jewish doctors were arrested in the Kremlin. The US budget deficit was about $10 billion, and Hank Williams died.
In 1953 Dwight David Eisenhower became the 34th President of the US, and he served two terms. Mary Hochstetler (Coyle) was born on June 20th. Joseph Stalin and Jim Thorpe died. Ike gave France $60 million in aid for its war in Vietnam. Salk polio vaccine was approved for use, and after 63 years, the bones of Sitting Bull were moved from North to South Dakota. Senator Wayne Morse ended the longest speech in Senate history, as he spoke for 22 hours, 26 minutes on an Offshore Oil Bill. Churchill became a Knight of the Garter. A bill prohibiting birth control for married or unmarried women was debated in the Connecticut State Senate, and Pilot Jacqueline Cochran became the first woman to fly faster than the speed of sound. The Rosenberg death verdicts were upheld for the 3rd time, and on June 19th they were executed. In June, Soviet tanks crushed a surprise East Berlin uprising. For the first time in three years the shooting stopped in Korea on July 27th. In a stark setting at Panmunjom, the war came to an end with the signing of the Korean armistice. At this time nearly 25,000 American soldiers were dead and more than 100,000 injured, more than a million South Koreans and more than a million Communists lost their lives. Marilyn Monroe and Jane Russell were stars in "Gentlemen Prefer Blondes." Liberace was a hit playing the piano, and many citizens began moving to the suburbs. On September 12th John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Lee Bouvier married. Earl Warren was chosen as a US Supreme Court Justice, and the Yankees won the fifth World Series in a row. Ozzie and Harriet were Americas favorite family. Truman refused to testify before HUAC and Joe McCarthy accused him of aiding communists. Israel devastated a Jordanian village. Dylan Thomas died. French troops organized a last defense in Vietnam at Dien Bien Phu. Gary Cooper was the box office king for 1953, and citizens were singing "How much is that Doggie in the Wndow" and reading "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller.
Ralph remembers a deer hunt when Ern Mitchell was present. There was plenty of fire water and lots of drinking during the hunt. One day, Ern stayed at camp all day and while there he made mutton stew for the rest of the group and sipped wine. There is probably much more to this story!
Grandpa Bert Jenson wrote to his daughter, Pete, from his home in Bynum, Montana on April 18, 1953 and he writes, "Good morning folks. Received your card telling about your trip home and I'm glad you got along so well. We have sure missed you up here. Alta is sure good and she comes here two times every day. She sure works hard to get mom's arm well and I think mom is doing quite well. She still has me to worry about. Pete, the night after you left, I mean Thursday night, I had an awful bad time and almost passed out. They got busy and got all the Priesthood from Bynum and Choteau, and I am sure it was by the power of that Priesthood that I was permitted to stay here a little longer. I was quite bad again last night, but I am feeling quite well again this morning. Thanks Mark and girls for getting along by yourselves and letting your Mom come up and try to take care of us. Afton didn't come home and Alta was very disappointed. Hope you are all well. With love and thanks, Pete, for your kindness to us. Love from Dad and Mom."
Albert Swen (Bert) Jenson, Pete's father, died July 7, 1953 in Bynum, Montana. He was 78 years of age and he died from cancer that started in his throat and spread. His funeral was on July 11, 1953, and he is buried in the Bynum cemetery.
Max Stevenson, Cliff and Rayda's son, was drafted into the army and he married Minnie Lou Jessen just prior to leaving for Korea. He was killed in Korea July 16, 1953 and he was not brought home for many months. His wife brought their little daughter, Maxie Bee, who was about two months old, to her father's funeral in Mountain Home. This was a very sad time for our family as well as for Cliff and Rayda's family and the community. Max was a very special and favorite nephew and cousin. Joan remembers her mother being gone from home for many hours and days as she stayed with and tried to help Rayda and her family during this terrible time.
Ralph remembers being on a deer hunt when word came that the remains of Max was arriving in Mountain Home. The hunters immediately packed their gear, got on their horses and returned home.
In about 1953 the Mark and Pete Bleazard family went on The Fishing Trip. Pete remembers the Family Fishing Trip to the High Uintas as "...the best vacation I ever had was the one when we all went to the mountains together and we were all happy." The Trip took about fifteen days and began at the top of Rock Creek, went north over Dead Horse Pass and past the lakes of the Uintas until they could see into Wyoming, and then back to Moon Lake. Verl was eight years old and Ralph and Barbara were married. Joan remembers her Dad and Marlene shoeing and getting all the horses ready for the trip. Mark said, "Nobody knows how much work that was and few appreciated it. Now they come and want horses with shoes on and saddles and get aggravated as hell." Pete got all the food, clothing, bedding and packs ready for the trip. Joan remembers riding Blue (Smoky) and getting charly-horses in her arms from trying to hold him back, and she remembers Ralph getting charly-horses in his legs trying to get his damn horse to move. Joan remembers the porcupine that visited the camp one night and feasted on the saddles and scared everyone. Her Dad took care of that porcupine.
On The Trip, there were no clear and used trails in many areas and the trail was found by locating the hatchet marks on trees. Pete says, "Mark had to go ahead and throw rocks and things out of our way and sometimes the trail would almost go straight down, and back and forth. At night hobbles were put on the horses so they could wander about and eat, but not get away. Sometimes it was hard to find and catch the horses in the morning." Mark said, "... on one hill the slide rock came down on the trail and we thought we were going to lose all the horses. Joan remembers the driving rain and the terrible thunder and lightning storm as they went over Dead Horse Point, and Verl remembers she was on the third horse following Joan on Smoky/Blue, and she remembers sometimes being 'scared to death."'
Mark and Pete and Jack and Viola Bleazard and family members rode horses into the High Uintas on at least two other fishing trips. The one Joan went on was a Family trip with Mark, Pete, Barbara, Ralph, Joan, Marlene and Verl only. When Joan graduated from Altamont and moved to Salt Lake, she lived with Barbara and Ralph for a while and then moved to Douglas Ave where she lived with Phyllis Armstrong Webster (Minch) and Marion Winterbottom. When Marlene graduated from high school and moved to Salt Lake she also lived at this home for a while. Mark and Pete went on trips with Barbara and Ralph. One time they went through Las Vegas to San Diego, up the pacific coast and then to Montana. Barbara remembers that her Dad was worried every minute about the farm and animals. At another time they went to Missouri.
On January 5, 1953 a check was written for $5.00 for Joan's birthday, and on January 8, 1953 one was written for $15.00 for Marlene's Pep Club clothes.
On November 1, 1953 Mary L. Tew was sustained President of the Relief Society, I with Louise Thompson as First Counselor, Evelyn Bleazard as Second Counselor and Sarah Taylor as Secretary. They were released from their assignments on November 9, 1956.
In 1954 Joe DiMaggio and Marilyn Monroe married. and the first US atomic submarine, Nautilus, was launched. Ted Mack's Amateur Hour was broadcast in color. Elvis Presley, age 19, paid $4 to record "Casual Love" and "I'll Never Stand in Your Way". The US Senate voted $214,000 for McCarthy's inquiry, with only Sen. Fulbright dissenting. McCarthy's commie hunt had focused on the State Department, but in 1954 he turned his sights on the Army. Edward R. Murrow, CBS commentator, challenged McCarthy and his committee, and eventually the Congressional hearings drew a standing room crowd every day. Scientific reports linked lung cancer to cigarette smoking, and Frank Sinatra won the Oscar for "From Here to Eternity." In April, the US began flying French paratroopers to Vietnam and the sporty Kaiser-Darrin arrived. Westinghouse cut the retail price of its 12.5 inch color TV set from $1295 to $1110. On May 9th Dien Bien Phu fell to the Communists, and the French were kicked out of Vietnam. In Italy Pius X became the 70th pope to be canonized, and on May 17th the U.S. Supreme Court ordered school integration. Babe Didrikson won her third US women's open golf championship, and Ike proposed an interstate highway system. The Pope allowed US clergy to deliver sacraments in English. Packard and Studebaker approved a merger. A bill to destroy the Communist Party as a political and legal entity in the US was signed into law by President Eisenhower on August 24th. India outlawed bigamy, and Mao was re-elected as Chinese Chairman. With encouragement from Cardinal Spellman and Tom Dooley, Catholics and other Christians in North Vietnam were urged to flee the godless communists in the North and resettle in the South under US approved Catholic leader, Diem, and thousands left for the south. Ike approved plans for intensive training of the South Vietnam army, and the US approved $216 million in aid to South Vietnam. Democrats gained control of both the House and Senate. Ed Sullivan signed a 20 year contract with CBS, and Alger Hiss was freed after 44 months in prison. GM produced its 50 millionth car, and the US Senate on a 67 to 22 vote condemned Joseph R. McCarthy for conduct unbecoming a Senator,
Verl wrote on January 5, 1954, "Dear Jo: Glory, sakes alive! Is it true what I have been hearing about you and Ken? I hope so! Marlene was at school today and told everybody and everybody says congratulations.
"I took my puppy, Honeybee, to the show Monday night and everybody sure thought the puppy was cute. Grandma Jenson has been here about a week and we don't know when she is going back over to Aunt Raydas.
"Dolly and Guy are going on a trip tomorrow and we get to keep the Baby (Gary) while they are gone. School is wonderful most days but not today. I have a big arithmetic assignment and a bunch of 9th grade boys took my math book away. I don't know what's going to happen tomorrow.
"Karen Stevenson and I have our summer vacation planned we are coming out on the 4th of July weekend so be ready! That's what we want to do, unless I end up in a school out there for the summer again. I sure hope I don't, a week or two is OK but six weeks is awful.
"Dad has been working on the wrench all week or rather all the time. Ralph, June and kids were out here New Year's weekend See ya soon, lots and lots of love, Verl."
Verl mentions Ken Davis, Dick, Larry Hansen, Lila Gomm and Sherrie Hartman as her friends. Marlene graduated from Altamont High School in 1954 in a graduating class of 57 students, the largest number in the history of the school. In the fall of that year she went to Salt Lake and her first job was as a maid for a Mr. and Mrs. Brown at 3900 So Highland Drive. Later she worked for Strevelle Patterson Finance as a lithographer. She lived for a time with Joan, Phyllis Armstrong and Marion Winterbottom.
A meeting of the BASK TOOL COMPANY (Bleazard, Allred, Sorenson, and Kennison) was held on October 11, 1954. Hugh Colton was the company attorney.
Joan Bleazard and Arthur Kenneth (Ken) Thomas married September 2, 1955. In the year they married the median family income in the United States was $4,418 and the Dow Jones average was a low 388.20 and a high 488.40. A gallon of gas cost 29 cents, a loaf of bread 18 cents and postage stamps were three cents. The minimum wage in the US was .75 cents and Tootsie Roll candy cost 5 cents. The best movie was "Marley" with Ernest Borgnine and other movies being watched were "Rebel Without a Cause", "Mister Roberts" and "The Seven Year Itch". Wilt Chamberlain was recruited by the University of Kansas, and the NBA champs were the Syracuse Nationals. James Dean at age 24 was killed in a car crash. A large-scale vaccination program of Salk polio vaccine began, and Disneyland opened in Anaheim, California. The President of the United States was Dwight D. Eisenhower and the Vice President was Richard M. Nixon. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus, and flying saucer sightings were rampant across America. A patent was granted for Velcro and Coca. Cola used the name Coke for the first time. The first successful kidney transplant was announced. Ford introduced the Thunderbird, and Chevrolet introduced the V8 engine. TV favorites were "Gunsmoke" and "The Mickey Mouse Club". Albert Einstein, Dale Carnegie and Theda Bara died, and Bill Gates and Kevin Costner were born. The Hit Parade featured "Rock Around The Clock", "Only You" and "16 Tons". Churchill retired as British Prime Minister, The Presbyterian Church voted to accept women as ministers. The US Supreme Court ruled that states must end racial segregation with all deliberate speed. Johnny Carson began hosting the Tonight Show. Scientists and specialists developed guided missiles for the US at the Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville, Alabama. The US Congress authorized building 45,000 public housing units, Ike increased the minimum wage from 75 cents to $1 an hour, and the Brooklyn Dodgers won its first World Series. Debbie Reynolds married Eddie Fisher. David Ben Gurion returned as Premier of Israel.
In 1955 Mark began purchasing property in Arcadia. Arcadia is located about midway between Talmage and Roosevelt. The transactions continued until the spring of 1962 when they moved to Bridgeland/Arcadia. In December of 1955, Verl had the mumps.
Joan married Arthur Kenneth (Ken) Thomas on September 2, 1955 in the Salt Lake Temple. Apostle LeGrande Richards performed the ceremony. They had a wedding reception in the Harvard Ward in Salt Lake City that night. Mark's father, John William "Will" Bleazard, attended the wedding reception in Salt Lake. Grandpa Bleazard (Will) died three months later.
Mark and Pete arranged for a wedding reception for Joan and Ken at the Talmage Ward on September 3, 1955.
Joan remembers that after her Grandma Bleazard (Wease) died, and when her Grandpa Bleazard (Will) was sick, Pete took care of him in the Talmage home for awhile. Joan and her sisters were giggling and running around the house and he screamed at them to shut up and stop that running around. He later lived with his daughter, Anna Dee, in Magna, Utah, where he died on December 15, 1955. Mark's parents are both buried in the Mountain Home cemetery.
Dennis Bleazard, Ralph's son, often visited with and worked on the farms of his Aunt Pete and Uncle Mark in Talmage and Arcadia. Marlene remembers when Dee Rowley, Anna Dee's son, and Dennis would visit the farm and when they would ride her horse, Rusty.
When sitting around the dinner table, Mark would always tease his girls and any children who visited at the farm. He would point to something outside the house and ask them to look -and then he would take their dinner plate and hide it. This never failed to get a surprised look from the kids, and a laugh from everyone. Mark would also give some of the kids a salt shaker and tell them they could catch a rabbit by sprinkling its tail with salt.
Dennis flew a plane for a predator control agency, and at one time landed his craft on the highway near Mark's house. He often buzzed them when he flew over the farm. At least on one occasion Dennis took Mark in his plane and flew all over the Basin. Mark talked about being able to locate everything on the ground and he really enjoyed the flight.
Stephen Ernest Thomas, Mark and Pete's first grandchild, was born on May 21, 1956 and Steve's future wife, Kathy Lynn Kimball was born the same year on December 13, 1956. In 1956 the median family income in the US was $4,780, the Dow Jones high was 1520.77, a gallon of gas was 29 cents, postage stamps cost 3 cents and the minimum wage was $1.00 an hour. A Plymouth Fury 2-door hardtop sold for $2,866, and Ingrid Bergman was Best Actress for her role in "Anastasia". Elvis was singing "Heartbreak Hotel", "Love me Tender" and "Don't Be Cruel". The NY Yankees won the World Series and Don Larson pitched a perfect game. Eisenhower was President and Nixon was Vice President. Grace Kelly married Prince Rainier II of Monaco, and the American Cancer Society announced that smoking causes lung cancer. Autherine Lucy, a young Negro woman, had eggs and rocks thrown at her as angry crowds protested her admission to the University of Alabama and Negroes were boycotting buses in the south. The U of Alabama suspended its first black student citing safety reasons. In Montgomery, Alabama a grand jury indicted 115 Negroes who were involved in a bus boycott. Virginia sanctioned state funding of private schools enabling segregation. Connie Mack died and so did Fred Allen. Heavyweight boxer, Rocky Marciano, retired undefeated. "My Fair Lady", a Lerner and Loewe musical opened on Broadway and was an immediate hit. In Birmingham whites attacked Nat King Cole as he was singing to a white audience. Ike signed the Colorado River Bill. On April 24h the Supreme Court declared that bus companies in the South could no longer force Negroes to sit at the back of the bus. Prince Rainier II married actress Grace Kelly in Monaco. The US tested a powerful A-bomb over Bikini Atoll on the island of Namu. Ike signed a farm bill which allowed the government to store agricultural surpluses. Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller married. In Alabama, a state court ordered the NAACP to cease operating. Golda Meir replaced Moshe Sharett as foreign minister in Israel, and Nasser was elected Egyptian President. In the US. 650,000 steel workers went out on strike. Guatemala imposed a state of siege due to alleged Communist plot. Khruschev denounced Stalin. The British gave up its 72-year occupation of the Suez Canal Zone, and Nasser took over the Canal. In Johannesburg, South Africa, 100,000 non-whites were removed from the city. In Tennessee and Kentucky, the National Guard was activated to stop riots over the admission of Negro children to public schools. Don Larsen, NY Yankee, pitched a no-hitter in the World Series. Tommy Dorsey died. John F. Kennedy wrote, Profiles in Courage. "Around the World in 80 Days" won the Academy Award for best motion picture of the year.
Mark and Pete's first grandchild was Stephen Ernest Thomas born May 21,1956 in Salt Lake City, Utah. Ken was working in Dugway, Utah and was looking for a home for his family when Steve was born. Pete stayed with Joan and baby Steve in the Bateman basement home for a week after the baby was born. She helped with the baby, and helped Joan get ready for the move to Dugway. Joan and Ken moved to Dugway, Utah in June 1956.
Mark applied for a grazing permit for 22 head of cattle from 6/1 to 10/15 on Rock Creek on January 17, 1956. On the application it states they had 70 head of cattle, 3 horses and 250 sheep. They had 160 acres cultivated and 200 acres improved pasture, 340 acres of winter range and 220 acres spring and fall range. It states that last season on the cultivated lands they had 50 tons of hay, purchased an additional 50 tons of hay and 10 tons of supplemental feeds.
In the summer of 1956 Pete wrote, "'Dear Joan, Ken, Verl and Stevie: Sure glad you like your house and hope you have it cleaned and everything in place. We can't hardly stand not seeing Stevie often. We gave Barbara money to give Verl to come home on the bus this weekend but if we can arrange it, we will come to S.L. and get Verl so we can see you all for a little while anyway. We found out what Honeybee is good for. A mouse got in the house the other night and she simply went wild until we had killed it. She ran and barked and scratched under everything to let us know where the mouse was. Now we know she's part Cat. Bye Now. Love, Mom and Dad."
On November 9, 1956 Louise Thompson was sustained as Relief Society President, with Maude Anderson as First Counselor, Evelyn Bleazard as Second Counselor and Kathryn McDonald as Secretary. They were released from their assignments on May 12, 1957.
Mark, Pete, Barbara, Ralph, Joan, Ken, Stevie, Marlene and Verl all attended the 1956 Christmas Eve program at the Talmage, Ward.
Mark Kevin Thomas was born on October 19, 1957. Marlene married Francis Patrick Coyle on April 11, 1957. He was Marlene's first husband and is the father of Rachel Evelyn Coyle (Bryson), Francis Patrick II Coyle, Margaret Lorraine Coyle (Pritner) and John Mark and Mark Bleazard Coyle. Marianne's first husband, David Wayne Tuttle, was born on 23 September 1957. In 1957 President Eisenhower was sworn in as President for a second term, with Nixon again as his vice president. Ike defeated Adlai E. Stevenson. In Utah, George Dewey Clyde ® became Governor of Utah and he served as Governor until 1965. He increased state funding for schools, highway construction and the construction of state buildings. He also initiated the state library and the state park system. The median family income in 1957 was $4,966 and the Dow Jones high was 520.77. A gallon of gas was 29 cents and postage stamps were 3 cents and the minimum wage was $1.00. A Pontiac Bonneville sold for $5,782. The Milwaukee Braves won the World Series. Dr. Seuss published "The Cat in the Hat" and Dick Clark became host of American Bandstand. Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1957 which provided penalties for violation of voting rights, and Eisenhower sent troops to integrate Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas. The USSR launched Sputnik, the first earth satellite, Humphrey Bogart and Joseph McCarthy died. Fidel Castro was fighting Batistas' troops from a secret jungle outpost. Sugar Ray Robinson regained the middleweight boxing title by defeating Utah's Gene Fullmer. Ike and Vietnamese Pres. Ngo Dinh Diem met and pledged to work together to resist communism in Vietnam. The Brooklyn Dodgers and the NY Giants got permission to move to LA and San Francisco. After three years and $250 million of research, Ford presented its Edsel. Senator Strom Thurmond talked for 24 hours against a bill designed to assure voting rights for Negroes. Approval of the first major civil rights bill since Reconstruction was a major victory for Senator Lyndon Johnson. Throughout the south, Dr. Martin Luther King was leading a non-violent revolution against discrimination and segregation. Kings efforts were met with violence and resistance by southern whites. In Nashville, Tennessee bombs ripped through schools that admitted Negroes. Arkansas Governor Orval Faubus defied federal law and ordered state militia troops to Little Rock to stop Negro students from entering a white school. Violent and angry whites surrounded schools, and on September 25th federal troops converged on Little Rock and with bayonets saw to it that Negro children were admitted to Central High School. Gov. Faubus promised to appeal the federal intervention in Arkansas. In Saigon Vietnam, a bomb explosion injured thirteen US servicemen and five civilians. In London England, women were allowed to sit in the House of Lords for the first time in history. In the Soviet Union the first man made satellite, Sputnik, was launched into orbit around the earth. Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" arrived in bookstores, and "The Bridge on the River Kwai" won the Academy Award.
Joan wrote to Mark and Pete on January 5, 1957 and asked, "How is Grandma Jenson and is she over her cold? How long is Grandma going to be with you? There is an epidemic of measles in Dugway and we hope Steve doesn't get them. Thanks for the meat you brought to us because we really needed it. Thanks, also, for the drapes and the rug. Hope we can see you soon, Lots of love, Joan."
While in Salt Lake, Marlene met Francis Patrick Coyle and they were married in Evanston, Wyoming on April 11, 1957. Pete arranged for a lovely bridal shower for Marlene at the Talmage home. Marlene and Frank "Pat" moved to Pennsylvania in August 1957.
On May 12, 1957, Eva Christensen was sustained as President of the Relief Society, with Evelyn Bleazard as First Counselor, Hazel Farnsworth as Second Counselor and Kathryn McDonald as Secretary. They were released from their assignments on September 22, 1957.
In June 1957 a Bert and Dorothy Jenson Family Reunion was held at Bynum, Montana, with about 56 people in attendance. One day was spent in Bynum, one at Browning, and one at the river on John and Glenna Peebles ranch. Five members of Pete's family were in attendance. Pete, Barbara, Ralph, Verl, Joan and Steve were present.
On September 22, 1957, Lorna Jensen was sustained as President of the Relief Society, with Evelyn Bleazard as First Counselor, Loretta Burton as Second Counselor and Kathryn McDonald as Secretary. They were released from their assignments on November, 10, 1957.
Mark and Pete's second grandson, Mark Kevin Thomas, was born in Dugway, Utah on October 19, 1957. Mark and Pete's first granddaughter, Rachel Evelyn Coyle, was born November 11, 1957 at Sayre, Pennsylvania, and Rachel's husband, Joseph Bryson was also born in 1957.
Mark and Pete spent Christmas 1957 with Joan, Ken and their sons, Steve and Mark, in Dugway, Utah. Joan wrote in her journal, "Our thoughts were much about Marlene and her tiny baby. It was Marlene's first Christmas away from home."