I watch, listen, remember and write it down.
Published May 5, 2012
A person has to have something to do to fill their days and so I write. Of course, I wrote for the Green Sheet newspapers for many long years, both as Women’s Editor and also a column called From Out My Window, and in doing so, I practically told my life-story, personal, inner philosophy, Gram’s best recipes, and truthfully, if anything exciting or interesting came to me, no matter how off-beat, I told.
Those were wonderful times for me and so, when the paper’s stopped publishing, the habit held and I just kept on writing. Only then, my mind turned to the stories of old Pioneer Days that I’d heard about this neighborhood and soon I had so many that my son, Bill, mentioned the possibility of putting them into a book and that’s exactly what happened. And continues so, and again, for me, it’s been great.
My first book was in collaboration with Beverly Wheeler Mastrim, who was born and grew up on the spacious Wheeler Farm and Dairy, and who developed into a very masterful artist with oil, water color and sculpturing. Not a bad combination at all.
We both had seen the valley’s broad farms, pastures and orchards broken up into subdivisions, and, inasmuch as she had painted so many of those rural scenes while they existed, the two of us got together and put my tales of that great change, and her pictures of barns, fields and animals together in a colorful, appealing book.
That book is called “The Sunset of the Farmer”, and is, pardon me, simply beautiful. Lots of others have thought so, too, and I say ‘Thank you. Thank you’.
By then, however, you couldn’t stop me and I (no, it was my son Bill) put all my old Pioneer family tales, both happy and not-so-happy, together into a book I called “Our Road” and subtitled it, Not a history, but stories of the people who made our history. It’s a nice fat little book and lots of people have found their ancestors in its pages, and others have told me, “Just change the names and it’s a history of my family, too.”
Now, those are the kind of words that send a writer right back to the keyboard and the next not-so-fat book is a story of two, entirely different, groups of people. Mormon farmers and dairymen made up one group, while Smelter workers from Southern Europe, made the other. Different heritages, both living happily and prosperously, but separately, yet in the same area. The area which, in 1904 united and became, Murray City, Utah, USA.
I called that small book “A Tale of Two Cities”, and explained, “A classic tale of when Industry and Agriculture collided but finally combined. It is a story of how those two ‘cities’ joined to become our City of Murray, Utah.” Like all tales of the early days of any area, it is filled with both rejoicing and tears. But the rejoicing won and that’s where we are today.
I’ve written a small booklet I’ve called “Life’s Extra Innings” and relate how the final years of anyone’s life can be different . . . but just as rewarding . . . than the earlier years. Yeah, if done according to my way of thinking, (which doesn’t always agree with what some others might consider best), but, for me they’ve worked. Good Extra Innings and I’ve seen a lot of them, too
And, because my mind doesn’t follow the usual pathway, there is another small booklet I’ve named, “A Machine Called Ethel”, and I like it, but as with all writers, if I ever take time to edit and re-issue this one, I’d have some ‘real good thoughts’ to add. But again, that‘s me. Not always agreeing with others, and sometimes not even with myself. Oh me.
Murray City remade Our Road again this past summer and so it’s not hard to know what I’m doing now, and I think I’ll call this book, “Our Road—Re-visited”, Why not?
It was fun watching them tear Our Road up (or down) and in doing so, unearth pipes our great-great-great-grandparents, as well as the ‘between’ generations put underground beneath the road. And at the same time, I’ve gossiped back and forth with a childhood friend, Wayne Bodine, who had been an Inspector of re-made roads in his town in Arizona. Fun. Both in watching and comparing.
See, a writer never runs out of people, places and things to write about, and that’s how my days are spent. And for me, it’s good.
For Ethel’s books, go to www.BradfordDesigns.com