Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Morgan 3: Jessie Christensen Morgan, Part VI

Just before Helen was born we heard the Lyman Dam had broken and we went up to see the water. It took all the houses over in Mexican town and we could see them floating down the water. Several people were killed.

I was married about 15–16 months and I had Helen. She was born in St. Johns. I thought Helen was so cute. I came home one day from meeting carrying Helen and Charlie Wright’s wife was walking in front of me. Her baby was talking and she put her baby down and it walked. Helen wouldn’t do anything. She’d just sit like a dummy. I put Helen down. Mother and Daddy were sitting on the porch, and said, “Here’s this dumb kid. Anybody can have her. I don’t want her.” My Dad said, “Shame on you. What’s the matter?” I said, “She’s so dumb she can’t do anything. I don’t want her.” He said, “The problem is—you never teach her anything.” He said, “Let me take her.” He took Helen and stood her out and said, “Come to Grandpa.” She ran up to him and he said, “Say Daddy, Mommy…” He kept asking her words to say and she’d repeat them. Then she started to sing “Catch The Sunshine.” Daddy said, “See, all you have to do is teach her.” Oh dear, I thought she was precious then. She was smart as a whip.

Helen, Maxine, and Alta.

Grandpa came back to St. Johns when school was out and taught school in St. Johns. They had a big banquet up to Patterson’s Hotel and all the teachers had to go. I didn’t have any shoes. I didn’t have anything to wear. We had to put all of our money into Harold so he could go to the banquet.

Helen and Alta.

Alta had the thickest hair. I used to curl Helen’s hair, it wasn’t as thick, for Sunday school. I’d just cut Alta’s hair off in a dutch cut. Mother would say, “Shame on you. You always curl Helen’s hair and fix her up and that little darling Alta you never do anything for her.” I said, “Do you want to curl it?” So she started in and until she got to the first ear she’d say, “Turn your head, darling.” After she got past there she’d say, “Turn your head.” And then as she got near the back she’d say sternly, “TURN your head.” I’d say to Mother, “What’s wrong with the precious little darling?” She’d say, “Hush up.” Alta’s hair was so thick and when she’d curl it, it would stick right straight out. She looked like the devil.

Alta, Maxine, Helen, Joan, Paul, and Calvin.

When Alta was a baby we moved up on the hill to H. Udall’s house. His wife had just died and he wanted me to move up there. She had five rooms and we just took the three and I was afraid to stay up there because Ruth had just died. He rented the other side to George Brown and Amy.

I stopped working at the phone company when my children came. I had to nurse them and stay in bed for a long time. They didn’t even let me dangle my feet for two weeks. I sat up on the side of the bed one day after I had Helen and mother caught me. She thought I was going to die. It was just the law that you stayed in bed. I stayed in bed for two weeks and Mother took care of my baby.

Calvin, Paul, and Maxine.

To be continued...

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