The fair was right out in that waterway on an island out there, where that bridge (Golden Gate) goes across, from San Francisco. ( Sausilito?) It was on that island and we went over to the fair for awhile. And then we got in the car and came to Seattle.
WHY DID YOU PICK SEATTLE? (Lots of Laughter)
Oh, why did I pick Seattle? Well, we came up here and there was a job up here and of course I had this other job (in San Francisco). I told them down there that I was not going to work until you clear the air there, because I don’t want any hurt feelings. I gave him my address. At first he said he was going to go through Ogden, he had something to do through part of that upper country and he’d be going through Ogden. “Ill stop in Ogden and I’ll get a hold of your Salt Lake office
there.” He evidently did that, because when I got back to Provo, after I’d been up to Seattle with the other job up there. In Seattle I went to the job interview and they immediately walked me through the warehouse and through the office and said, “Well, your hired, if you want to take it.” So when I got back to Provo I had two jobs. I had to make up my mind .
But …. Seattle had family up here. My wife had three sisters living up there. When you get
three, four women working on a plan… well, their going to work things out for you. (Lots more laughter) Isn’t that right? I took the job here with Westinghouse Electric Supply. And all these jobs I was taking outside were underpaid because we were still in the depression. We’d gone through the depression in the 30’s …. we never got out of the depression. So my wages at Westinghouse and even Utah Power and Light in Provo were not that good. (Bare minimum) But I had jobs. When I was at Utah Power and Light in Provo and the depression hit, we all took a 5% cut a month and then it went on for awhile and then we took another 5%. The management were taking 10%, where we were taking 5%, so we figured that was kind of ...but we had work.
So when we got out of there and it was still depression when I went into Westinghouse and almost immediately the wages were frozen because of the war (2nd world war) was on. It came almost immediately. So I was stuck in there and really never got out of it. I tried my best. Well, I tried, but I didn’t try my best…. when I threatened to leave, I should have left. Two or three times I should have left…. quit them. Cause they kept bragging about the retirement deal and what that would do.
I worked for Westinghouse for 29 years. on August 11, 1969 I was worthless to them…. because I had reached the age of 65 and everybody that was 65 was let out. Whether they wanted to or not.
And then I was home working with my wife (and bothering her) and making quilt patterns. Getting in the road with her work. We traveled a little ….. we’d go to Salt Lake conference. By that time I’d joined the church.
YOU JOINED IT BEFORE THEN.
I’d been out of it for 10 years …. before I moved to Seattle.
THEN AFTER AWHILE WHAT DID YOU DO? BECAUSE I REMEMBER MOM SAID….. “HE NEEDED TO BE WITH THE BOYS.”
What did she mean by that…. she was tired of me being around, huh? A fellow I knew… I’d seen him two or three times and he wanted to talk to me and I called him back right quick. When he got me on the phone, he said he wanted to talk to me cause he wanted to have me work for him. And his name was Bill Sanborn. I talked it over with him and said, “Well, I’m on Social Security.” And he said, “We can fix that.” He and another guy were kind of partners and they wanted me to come work and I could work the kind of work they wanted done. The were fixture manufacture representative… lighting fixtures. I knew the fixtures and I knew the architects around too and engineers around town and could help them out a little bit. I think the change over that way so that you could work full time, if you wanted to after you retired and that would be age 70 or 72. I don’t remember now. Anyway, they hired me that way and wrote up a contract. So much a month, which would keep me under the amount allowed by Social Security receivers, and the other would be generated into an insurance plan. The insurance plan would then pay off in two ways. 1. They would pay so much a month to pay it back to me and /or 2. The insurance policy would be mine total, with no if’s or and’s or but’s.
And at that point when I reached that age, I told them, “Well, its up to you. Take it easy on yourselves. You’ve been awful nice to me because you’ve let me come and go as I need to with my wife
in the convalescent center and so forth. You’ve been very nice about things. It’s up to you. Which ever way you want to go…. either the monthly plan or the total.” He said, “Well, the policy is yours.” I also had some other little extra things handed to me over time. I got a microwave and I got several other things.
COURTSHIP AND MARRIAGE:
I palled around with a bunch of guys, Otto and Raymond Baker and some others and they went out on a party and they invited me to go with them and they picked up some girls. Some of them had dates. For some reason we ended up at the McIntosh house where there was one of the girls that was living in that house along with the Walker family. For some reason we were in one little room that way pretty much, when all of a sudden we heard a commotion in the house off the other room which was the other families… the Walker family. And everybody crowded in to look and to see what had happened. There was one young lady standing with her back to the fireplace and wouldn’t move …. very, very sedate and so on like that, but she wouldn’t move there. Somebody asked what was going on? And this young lady had gotten too close to the fireplace and her clothes caught on fire. The back of her dress was burned and she dared not move because she would be showing herself.
At one point we all kind of made fun and so on like that. Soon after that I met her personally. We seemed to get along very well. They moved from that place to another and we’d go to a picture show or something. I had a bicycle and we’d go to the picture show and she’d ride on the handle bar and after the show we’d come out and ride on home. Things just seemed to keep going like that. So when I got ready to leave in the spring, she and her girlfriend, Rula Mitchie, had plans to go to Colorado. I went on down to Beaver and they went to Colorado. I wrote notes to her from down there … cause I was out to the sulpher beds and I’d get a letter once in awhile from her and we’d write back and forth. She was gone when we got ready for school the next year. I went back up to Provo and she had taken a teaching job out in Duchesne, Utah.
So I saw her for a minute and then she was gone. Then I corresponded with her quite regularly during that first year. When school was out, then she was back in Provo and well, we kind of got together every once in awhile. Lottie B., her mother, would have me over for dinner and when they wanted to go to movies they’d always call me to go with them. I was getting into more movies than I’d ever seen in my life. Cause I’d really never been to shows before that point. So that’s the way that thing kind of started. I’d been with some other girls once in awhile when the fellows would have some girl out and they’d have an extra girl and they’d kind of fleece me into the date too. But, that was just something to do.
I’d laid off school one year, because of Eldred’s leg operation and had given my parent’s the money I’d earned during the summer to help pay for the operation. I went back up to Provo and was working around there. But then, when I started school that next fall, I was there alone and Ethel was away in Duchesne teaching school. One young fellow that I knew was from Vernal, said to me, “I’m going home to Vernal for Thanksgiving, why don’t you ride over with me?”
I said, “I have nothing to do with Vernal.” He says, “Well, I’d be gong through Myton… you’ve got a girlfriend over there haven't’ you?” I said, “Well, I know a young lady over there teaching.” He says, “Why don’t you go over for a visit?” This all happened before Thanksgiving was coming up, so I had time enough to write to Ethel to find out if it would be all right for me to come visit. I got a letter “Yes”, so I rode over to Myton. She was boarding at Myton and teaching out at a school that was nearby. She was taking the bus from Myton out to the school and back.* So I went to Myton and we went to shows and we had a pretty good time going that way. She was very courteous and I tried to keep my self in place. I enjoyed the trip. After we had visited and Thanksgiving was over, my ride came and picked me up. The road through Strawberry Reservoir country was clogged up. We came up over the hill and came back into Price, Utah to get home that time. Which meant we were kind of way out of line that way and we landed in this little town outside of Price and
how we did I don’t know. Because it seemed to me like we were pushing the car more than the car was carrying us. All the way over top of the mountain. I’ve never seen that road that we went over on any map before or since.
Anyway, that was quite a trip. Then we were corresponding regularly. Then she went back to teaching school again the next year and she went back the next year. I was still going to school. She came back to Provo after she had taught for three years and I was preparing to graduate. That summer when I got out of school, then I was working, not at the school like I’d been working before, but I was working down at the Pipe Plant (Pacific Cast Iron Pipe Company). Jasper had his own car and every once in awhile I had that car out and I’d slip up to the Walker’s with a little”jippy”, whatever I could afford. We’d sit there in that car for awhile nights and so on like that. That’s about as far as it had gone. There was no discussion about anything, we just was getting acquainted. Of course during the times when she was around, before this, she and I’d hiked up to the letter on the mountain once….one night they had a clean up deal going on, so we all hiked up. We had a lot of contact in a sense. When I graduated there…. at my graduation I was surprised because my mother had had a new baby, but she took the bus up to Provo and we hid her in our room that way. I made her acquainted with the walker family at the same time she was there. Nothing had been said , anything about us being any more than just friendly. But it was a surprise to have mother up, and they were pleased to have her show up and become acquainted with her and the baby.
*Mom taught at Boneta School in 1925, at Highland, just north of Myton in 1926 and Neola in 1927
After graduation, I scouted around Provo for a job and I didn’t find anything. I went to Utah Power and Light Co. there in Provo, but they didn’t have anything. They said, “Well, if you were in Salt Lake I think there would be more possibilities if you wanted to work with us.” So I went to Salk Lake and browsed around, not only at Utah Power and Light, but something else. Ethel went with me one time and we took a couple of rooms in a little old hotel over on West Temple Street.
She had a little room off to one side and I had a room off to one side. Then when I got this chance to go to work for Utah Power and Light Company, all I said to her was, “Well, I’m going to be moving to Salt Lake because I’ve got this temporary job to go to.” And she said, “I’m going with you.” And that’s the only time anything was ever stated that we were going to be together all the time. I never did ask her.
(Mom once told me that she went home to Provo, and started packing some things and her mother asked her where she was going and she said, “Well, Elmer and I are going to go to Salt Lake and get married.” And her mother said, “O.K..” ) ESH
Oh , is that right” Well, I know she was ready. When I said I was going to go, that next morning she was ready. Another thing is that was surprising a lot of people, I guess, was that….. see, Nellie was still down there and once in awhile when the Sister Walker wanted to go to the movies and Nellie was there, but well, Nellie was indifferent about things. We’d coax Nellie to go along too.
Well, it looked like Nellie was kind of being pushed on to me and I was holding back a little bit because I didn’t know Nellie. Nellie was my age. And Ethel was her old sister. Two years older practically. And I always thought she was younger than I was.
(Aunt Nellie always said that mom was the baby of the family…. the true baby of the family, because she was so sick for so many years, when she was young.)
That’s what came up later on. She’d tell the tales around outside…. she never would say anything to me about this, but she says “Well, I’ve been living on borrowed time for a long time.” That’s what she kept saying to people outside. That news would come back to me, but she never ever told me that. She must have been feeling pretty bad that ways some times, but she sure was a brick to stay on top.
I didn’t say anything to my folks at all….I just told them we were getting married. We went up to Salt Lake and I got an apartment and we walked over to the County Clerk down there, in his office that way and he married us. There was another couple getting married also and so they acted as witness’. So we were married in a civil marriage, July 11, 1928. (Dad had always bragged about how he always put H. for Holroyd in his signature…. Elmer H. Smith. Imagine my surprise when I sent for a copy of his marriage license and it was signed Elmer Smith. Dad admitted he was a little nervous that day.)
After we were married and living in Salt Lake for a time, Lottie B. came to me and says….
Smith, what priesthood do you hold.?” I says, “Well, I am a Seventy.” She says, “Do you think you could get a temple recommend?” I said, “Well, I hadn’t thought about it, but I think I could.”
She said, “Why don’t you get a temple recommend and take Ethel to the temple?” So then I went back to Provo because the Bishop that knew me was down in Provo.
This was kind of out of order, but it still went. Cause I went to Provo to the Bishop I’d been working in the church house and had done a lot of services in the church that way. I went down to him and asked him if I was eligible for a recommend for the temple. He said, “I don’t see why not!” Any way we got our temple recommends and went through the Salt Lake Temple October 11, 1928.
Our first home in Salt Lake was on Fifth Avenue about Fifth. It was a little house…. one family …. one person had a rented area downstairs and they had the same floor plan upstairs and we took that place. It had to be pretty dog gone cheap, because we weren’t making very much. It seems to me like it was about $40 or $50 a month. It was furnished.
It seems to me like Ethel was with child right quick. Elwyn was born in the LDS hospital in Salt Lake City. How did we pick his name? I don’t exactly remember on that. I liked Lugene… somehow or somewhere I picked up that. I liked Lugene. But then the Doctor we had was Doctor Petersen…. J. something Petersen. I thought that was kind of a neat way to put a name …..
letter and name….. have a name so you could have a letter and I don’t know the discussion came up on Elwyn….I don’t remember how that come. (Seems like somewhere in the records I saw an Elwyn) We got it somewhere and it sounded pretty good …. only we spelled it different.
E L W Y N and the other was E L W I N. Yeah, we spelled it with a Y in. And put that first and then when he gets into school…. what happens…. they call him Elwyn. It’s the ridiculous thing, if your going to name somebody, you’d better put the name you want to call them by , first.
(Dad always called him Lugene… he liked that name. I think he would have liked his name to
be E. Lugene Smith)
OH WELL, A LOT OF PEOPLE DON’T LIKE THEIR FIRST NAMES SO THEY USE
SOMETHING ELSE…. LIKE SMITTY! or like Smith!!
Every time somebody comes around they say “How are you Smith?” There’s some people who come into the temple who come up to me and say “Hi, Uncle Smith.”
The Tooley boys come in quite often (Don Carlos Walkers’ daughter’s children). Their kids come through the temple all the time. Of course their both dead. One of the boys was a Bishop for a time. But he moved out of the area into another area. But he comes up to the temple and he
always comes over and is jolly.
We had a baby girl born about a year and a half later. HOW COME YOU NEVER GAVE HER A NAME? Well, she died in two days. The Doctor says, “Well, shall we give her a name?”
I didn’t know what to do and I didn’t want to bother your mother. I mentioned something and she was so down hearted….. that……..
She was born in a hospital, but she was born in a Catholic hospital. Because the LDS hospital had done some dirty tricks to the doctor and he changed hospitals. He wasn’t getting the service he wanted and whatever was going on that way, and he just got out.