Saturday, February 28, 2015

Bobby my Brother

This is one of my favorite pictures of my brother Bobby and me.  The top one is one of the many times Bobby came to visit us in Overton.  I had a close relationship with Bobby because he lived with us and finished his high school during this time.  Bobby was such a character, and there was always laughter when he was around.

I want to start with a trip to Salt Lake City.  Larry and I visited Bobby in Jail, it broke my heart to see him there.  We talked to some one in authority, and was told if we took Bobby to Nevada to live with us, they would release him.  So that is how Bobby ended up with us that year of 1966 and 67.  Bobby and Larry became really close and had many conversations about life, religion, goals etc.

I had a good friend who was a teacher and counselor at the Moapa Valley High School where Bobby was attending.  His name was Lynn Bowler, and he took Bobby under his wing.  He helped Bobby with his school work and Bobby was really studying and doing well in school.

I guess old habits catch up with us sometimes.  Bobby seemed to be interested in some flowers I had planted in the back yard.  I found out why later, he was growing pot in my flower garden.  I think he told me at a much later date.  I don't know if it produced anything?

One of the crazy things he did was to go over to the high school and catch a whole box of toads, and then bring them home and let them loose in my living room.  I never did know if we captured all of them.  I had a small organ and he loved to sit down and play it.  He would play a song for the kids, and I would hear them singing "Mr. Bee, Buzz, Buzz."  One day he told Sherry, my oldest daughter how to catch a bird.  You had to pour salt on it's tail and then you could catch it.  Sherry went outside and tried to do this.  She ended up frustrated and I think cried.  She remembers this to this day.

I will never forget the day of the bank robbery and Larry being killed.  Bobby was in my bedroom studying, when my friends came to my home to break the bad news.  August 29, 1967 will forever be etched in my memory.  I was ironing Larry's work shirts, and I told my friends to have a seat, that Larry would be coming home soon.  They told me to sit down, they had some bad news for me.  When they told me that Larry had been killed in a bank robbery, I went into shock and was rolling back and forth on our sectional.  Bobby came out with a look of horror on his face. I can still see that look on his face.  When he found out why I was screaming and rolling all over the sectional, he immediately ran out the door and ran all the way to the bank.  Of course it was taped off as a crime scene and Bobby could not get inside.  He had to see for himself if what he had heard was true.  After this Bobby returned to Salt Lake and not too long after he, he joined the Army.

I eventually moved back to Grantsville, and Bobby would come to see me.  Later he told me about his training.  He would be given a gun and he would hand it right back to whoever gave it to him. After a while, it was decided he should be a Medic, and this was his first introduction to the medical field, which led him to eventually becoming a nurse.  Mom died while he was in the service and Bobby was given some kind of a family emergency discharge.  The purpose was for him to be there to help Dad with the care of Kenny and Allen.

The day of Mom's funeral, Bobby,  Patty, Kenny, Allen, and I were sitting on the stairs of the Rose Park home.  Patty started on a rant and rave, and was yelling at me saying "I was the cause of Mom's death,"  Of course everyone was drinking including Patty.  I still to this day don't know why she would ever blame me for Mom's death?  Any way Bobby was very protective of me, and he poured his can of beer all over the top of Patty's head.  I decided I had enough of this family mess, and ended up flying home early.  Bobby took me to the airport.  I had moved 400 miles away, and I really didn't visit my family very much as I didn't want my kids around this kind of a mess.  Booze was the destroyer of my family, and I hated it with a passion.

The bottom picture is when Bobby took me to my 20th high school reunion.  Frank had to work, and couldn't go with me.  The dress I am wearing is one that Aunt Kay loaned me, and she helped me get ready for the occasion, makeup and all.  The reunion was held at some fancy hotel downtown Salt Lake and there came a time when a mike was passed around and everyone introduced themselves.  When it came to Bobby, he did his usual funny antics and had everyone in stitches. It was a fun night with my brother.

Some more funny memories of Bobby are:  On a visit to Overton, we went swimming and had the pool to ourselves as Sherry was a lifeguard.  Some how Bobby had a bike and he rode it off from the high diving board.  Another time involved shaving cream, all over all of our faces. Of course every time he came to see us, I can still see him sitting at my dining room table drawing his cartoon character pictures of all of us. When Bobby was a young boy, and I was a teenager, I would take my friends to drag State Street to meet boys and just have fun.  One time I was on my way to pick up my friends and up popped Bobby in the back seat of our 1951 Chevy. I can remember that he always had some kind of a job.  He would get up at the crack of dawn to fold newspapers on our living room floor, and then deliver them.  When I was working at the State Road Shops, he rode his bike  a long distance with a basket full of doughnuts to sell to me and co-workers.  He was an ambitious kid.  So many more memories, but too many to write.

On my last visit with Bobby in Salt Lake, he was living by Liberty Park and he was having a lot of pain in his ear, and jaw.  He apologized for calling me a hypochondriac. I never knew he had labeled me with this and it hurt.  I have had a lot of health issues over the years, and later after being diagnosed with Diabetes, a doctor told me I more than likely had a metabolic problem all of my life.  Any way we went for a ride during this visit to a place high on a mountain where we could over look the whole Sale Lake Valley.  I sensed something in Bobby I had never sensed before, depression.  I told him "Please don't do anything stupid like Chris, I couldn't stand losing you.!  Not too long after that Bobby took his life. I miss my brother and think of him often.  Some day I will get to see him again.

Friday, February 27, 2015

More Family Memories - Pictures

The above picture is a  younger picture of my Mom and Dad taken around the late 1940's
Lenna Aileen Scoggins Luker and Edward Brazil Luker

Bobby, Mom, Dad, Allen and Kenny I was married and living in Nevada when
this was taken.  I bought the dress that Mom is wearing and the necklace
and sent it to her for Mother's Day probably around 1965

I took this picture of my Mom and Dad with my Brownie Camera
taken on the back patio of our Rose Park home sometime in the 1950's I think
I was around 11 or 12 so maybe 1953 
I can remember when we moved into our new Rose Park home.  I loved it because it was so big compared to the duplex we had lived in.  I always wanted a home with an upstairs bedroom.  The top floor was unfinished so Patty and I slept in a bedroom on the main floor. I can't remember where Bobby slept.  He was still a baby, so maybe he slept in a crib in Mom and Dad's bedroom.

One 4th of July Patty and I were playing with sparklers and there was a garbage can burning, where we lite our sparklers.  Patty was lighting her sparkler and some how caught her dress on fire.  It was horrible, as she did the worse thing you can do and that is run.  Finally Mom caught her and put the fire out.  Patty was burned pretty bad and I am sure still has the scar from the burn.  I couldn't understand why Mom and Dad didn't take her to the doctor.  I guess in those days we weren't taken to the doctor like now.  I remember going into the bedroom where my sister was and  I felt so bad for her.  She had to be in a lot of pain as the burn on her stomach looked really bad. Patty's birthday is on the 5th of July and this had to be the worst birthday ever for her.

Finally, Dad had our upstairs finished, and Uncle Mike Luker was the one who did it.  Some kind of a big disagreement happened between Dad and Uncle Mike and they didn't speak for a long time.  I think my cousin Jimmy Provost finished the project.  Not sure about this but I seem to remember Jimmy being there and doing the work.  Patty and I had a huge bedroom, and then there was a smaller one, and a bathroom on the other end. At first Patty and I shared a bed.  I hated this as Patty had some kind of a kidney or bladder problem and would wet the bed.  It never failed, she would be on my side of the bed when this happened and I would be the one to get up and have to change, my PJ's etc.  After this happened way too many times, I remember one time, I started to hit her and woke her up.  I was just tired of the whole mess.  Finally Dad bought another bed and Patty and I had our own beds.  This was so much better for me to have my own space.

Allen, and Kenny were born while living in this home.  I would get up in the night and go downstairs to Mom's bedroom and help her take care of them.  I loved my baby brothers and I didn't realize it but  I became like a second Mom to them.  I will never forget when Larry and I got Married, my brothers cried as they thought they would never see me again.  I remember telling them that I would be close by as we rented Aunt Mary's little home a few blocks away.  We had the upstairs and Jean, Aunt Mary's daughter, had a basement apartment.

When I was going to West High, I had to leave the house earlier than Patty.  So she would wait until I was gone and then raid my closet and wear my clothes.  I had bought most of my clothes with my baby sitting money.  The clothes back then had to ironed and Mom had me do the ironing of my own clothes.  One morning I went to my closet to chose my favorite a black dress that I knew I had ironed and was ready to wear.  Much to my disappointment, it was wrinkled, and had been torn in one of the seam lines.  Needless to say, I knew what had happened, and I am sure I got into it with Patty.  Even though I was the oldest, I was the smallest.  Patty was a lot taller, had bigger boobs, etc.  So my clothes really didn't fit her.  I was around 5'5" and Patty was around 5'8" or 9" not sure.  Mom was taller than me too.  I guess I was the runt of the family.  Every time Patty calls me, she brings up the black dress episode and apologizes.

Another bad memory is that I was a late bloomer, and I had one of my first dates when I was a Jr. or Sr.  I think his name was Glen and when he came to pick me up, I was upstairs getting ready.  Patty was downstairs in the living room where he was waiting for me.  She blurted out to Glen that I had to take laxatives and I don't know what else she said.  I wanted to bury myself someplace, and was never so embarrassed.  I overheard this as I was coming down the stairs.  I somehow hoped he hadn't heard the remark. We went on our date and he never asked me out again.  I blamed Patty for this.  It is good that Glen was there when this happened as I would have beat the crap out of her. You have to realize that I was so shy to the point of being painful.  I was told by one of my close friends that when I was around boys, If  I would just act like I did around them, I would have all kinds of dates. I was a crack up and would always make my friends laugh.

I used to love to roller skate and my friends and I would go once a week to the roller skating ring on State Street.  It was a good place to meet boys.  I met this really good looking boy, and we ended up going on a date.  I found out he was much younger than me.  So he ended up dating Patty, and I was introduced to his brother, who was in the service.  I ended up meeting Larry around this time, and that is who I ended up marrying.  I don't know what happened between Patty and the good looking guy, but I do know he was very upset with me for hurting his brother who was wanting to marry me and have me go to North Carolina where he was stationed. He was saving money for this. Sometimes I think things work out the way they are supposed to.

I will never forget one time when my Dad was mad at Patty for something, and he said to her "Why can't you be more like your sister Donna and have some common sense."  I overheard this, and I hated it that Dad was comparing Patty and me, I feel it caused a big problem between us.  Patty always says that she was Dad's favorite, but I don't think that was the case.  Maybe it is good that she felt that way.  After this happened Patty came upstairs to our bedroom and I hugged her and said.  "Don't feel bad, Dad didn't mean it."  I don't know what else I said, but I did try to console her.  There is three and a half years difference in Patty's and my age so we weren't really close, and we had a lot of conflict because we were so different.  Even the West High teachers who knew me, couldn't believe Patty was my sister because we had such opposite personalities.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Family Memories

I have decided to post some old pictures of my family and tell some stories of the past.  I have been doing this on facebook, but decided to do it on my blog instead.  Some of my family members were enjoying the pictures and stories as most of my nieces and nephews didn't get to meet my Mom and want to know more about her.

These are some really old photos of Mom and Aunt Kay taken in front of our duplex in Salt Lake City, UT. I think it was on 5th North.  The duplex is no longer there and there is an overpass on that street now.  The top photo is of Mom holding Bobby, and Aunt Kay holding Chris.  The sad story about Bobby and Chris is, that as adults, they both took their own lives.  Chris several years before Bobby.  Uncle Gene would bring Aunt Kay in from Knowls, UT, where he was running a garage.  I loved those times when Aunt Kay would come and stay for several days.

The Bottom picture is all of us kids.  Penny, me, Patty, and Bobby and Chris. The picture has to be in the early 1950's.  I remember the duplex well, (they called it a shot gun cabin, as it was a straight shot from front to back.) it had a living room in the front, then a bedroom, a hallway with a bathroom, and then the kitchen.  There was a closet in the bedroom and there was a roll away bed in it for us kids, I imagine there was a a crib for Bobby.  We all slept in the same room.  My favorite memory is on the nights my Dad was on his over night runs on the U.P. Railroad, I would get to sleep with Mom and we would listen to the radio programs.  "The Shadow Knows" and the "Creepy Door," and others. No TV in those days.

I can also remember begging my Mom to go to Wasatch Springs a natural hot springs swimming pool not too far from our home.  She finally caved in and let me go.  Then I got really sick with a bad earache. I thought I was being punished for begging my Mom. I was so afraid my Dad would get mad at me for begging my Mom to go swimming, So I tried to fake not being sick.  He noticed immediately when he came home the next day.  To my surprise, he was very sympathetic. I just remember being really sick.  Probably had an ear infection.

I also remember having Measles and there was a quarantine sign on our front door.  Mom had to have our groceries delivered.  I remember the shades be drawn closed and being in a dark bedroom, because Mom was afraid of me going blind as that was one of the side effects.  I do remember being afraid and being really sick.

Another fun memory is playing hide and seek in the house and I decided to hide in a flour bin.  It was a pull out bin, a part of the cupboards.  I got flour all over the place.  Needless to say, I got in big trouble with Mom.  This is the home where Mom played hopscotch, and  jump rope with me.  Mom helped me learn how to roller skate, which I about gave up on because I fell so many times.  Once I got the hang of it, I remember skating around the big city block several times. I remember walking to the drug store several blocks away and buying comic books.

Back in those days we played outside most of the day, and I can remember Mom calling me in to eat dinner. Or just to check on me. One day, I got in trouble and Mom made me go out and pick out my own switch so she could spank me.  Maybe a good old Southern way of discipline. On my way to elementary school, I would see the West High School kids walking to school, and I wished  that I could be that age.  Back then time seemed to go by slowly.  That time came and I remembered the day I made that wish.

One more memory, is when Patty disappeared and we frantically looked all over the area for her. It was a pretty dramatic experience for all of us.  I don't know who found her, but I think it was me.  She was sound asleep behind our couch.
During the years that we lived in the Duplex, My Aunt Linda and Uncle Dick moved into a home not too far from us and we would visit back and forth.  Michael, my cousin was a year or so younger than me, and we would play together quite often.  Their home was close to Wasatch Springs.  Eventually, Dad bought our new home in Rose Park. I think he rented out the duplex, and then sold them.  Not really sure about this. So our adventure in Rose Park began.