Tag Archives: utah

654 South 100 West in Brigham City, Utah

Halls of History—A welcome sight for a hungry 6-year-old boy

Halls of History

I had two purposes for going to northern Utah in late July 2018.

One was to enjoy all the railroad action in the area since it’s one of the great railroad junctions in history with Promontory Point being the location where the Central Pacific Railroad and the Union Pacific Railroad met in on May 10, 1869, to complete the first transcontinental railroad. That should tell you where I will be on May 10, 2019….

The other was to visit my childhood homes after my mom moved us to norther Utah after my dad committed suicide in 1961 in Palestine, Texas.

I had no idea what the addresses of the first two homes were, only their general location and what they looked like. I did know the address of the third and final home.

It was the first home that I was really interested in, though, because that’s where my mom became an alcoholic. My dad had committed suicide over my mom’s “indiscretions,” and I truly think that alcohol was her way of comforting herself.

The only thing I knew for sure was that the home was directly behind Food Town, which later became Food King. I also knew that Food Town was on Main Street. I felt sure that something as big and as necessary as a grocery store probably would still be there. It wasn’t. I didn’t have a clue what to do.

I gave up and went to the Brigham City Courthouse and then to the library.

Brigham City, Utah, courthouse

Carnegie Library in Brigham City, Utah

I asked at both places if anyone knew where Food Town had been. Nobody did, but the librarian suggested that I stop at the Box Elder Journal offices across the street. They also didn’t know but being a newspaper, they had newspapers from the 1960s, and they set me up to browse the January 1964 papers. That was how I found the front-page newspaper item about one of my juvenile delinquency episodes (Police looking for passer of bad checks). Food Town had full-page advertisements in every paper, indicating that there had been two locations.

Food Town advertisement in the Box Elder Journal from January 1964, Brigham City, Utah

I went to 81 North Main Street since it was just a block away from the newspaper offices. There was a new Justice Center/DMV building there. Off to 870 South Main Street. There was not a Food Town or Food King there, but look what I found:

Location of old Food Town in Brigham City, Utah

It’s not a Food Town but I knew that was the location I was looking for. I parked, walked around back, looked across the street, and there it was:

654 South 100 West in Brigham City, Utah

House numbers were few and far between; the best I can determine is that the address is 654 South 100 West. The current view of the back of the strip mall from the house is quite different from what I remember.

Location of old Food Town in Brigham City, Utah

When I lived there in 1961, I could watch the food trucks arrive and the expired food being tossed out on the loading docks, a welcome sight for a hungry 6-year-old boy.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Advertisements

Halls of History—Why me?

Halls of History

I attended Lake View Elementary School in Brigham City, Utah, for grades one through four, and half of grade five. There wasn’t a lake within fifty miles….

Lake View Elementary School in Brigham City, Utah

Lake View Elementary School in Brigham City, Utah

I went by the school on July 25, 2018. As I was looking through the front door, the principal came out of his office, saw me looking in, and opened the door to ask what he could do for me. I told him that I had attended Lake View from 1961 to 1965, and that I was in town exploring my childhood. Although the school was closed for the summer, he invited me in.

Lake View Elementary School in Brigham City, Utah

Lake View Elementary School in Brigham City, Utah

I didn’t remember anything about the interior of the school, probably because I spent more time skipping school than attending school….

I used to know the names of all my teachers, grades 1-12, and I believe I have a list of all of them, but I can’t find it right now. I do remember my Lake View Elementary teachers:

Mrs. Larson, first grade—Mrs. Larson lived next door to us. She had a beautiful garden full of Nasturtiums, so beautiful that I destroyed it one afternoon when I skipped school. She knew exactly who had done it. To this day, I love Nasturtiums but in 42 years of gardening, I have never had any Nasturtiums in my own gardens.

Miss Richard, second grade—I was in her very first class. After she put up with me, she either quit teaching or moved to a different school.

Miss Fonnesbeck, third grade—See below, Mrs. Gilmore, fifth grade

Mr. Boyd, fourth grade—The most popular teacher in school.

Mrs. Gilmore, fifth grade—When the State of Utah took me away from my family, Mrs. Gilmore took a special interest in me, even coming down to the Thomas D. Dee Memorial Hospital in Ogden, 19 miles, to visit me.

I kept in contact with Mrs. Gilmore through 1995, visiting her a couple of times in Case Grande, Arizona, where she had moved after retiring from teaching to be with her son. I also came out to her in late 1993, at which time she told me that Miss Fonnesbeck had been fired because she was a lesbian.

Mrs. Gilmore’s son wrote me when she died to tell me how much she loved me. I guess we each made an impression on the other, although I’m not sure why she would take such an interest in a juvenile delinquent child of ten who had no relation to her. Was it just her being a good teacher? A good person? Did I remind her of someone in her past? Were there others like me in her years of teaching?

Since that day when I read the letter from her son, I have always wondered why. Why me?

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Halls of History—Blaming Walmart & Amazon

Halls of History

When I was a juvenile delinquent living in Brigham City, Utah, I think I did everything except rape and murder. My most prolific delinquency task was theft. I was pretty good at it, even for a child whose age still was in the single digits.

I had gotten involved in stamp collecting (philately) when I joined the Boy Scouts. Sadly, every Boy Scout den I joined closed just weeks after my joining. Hmmmm. Maybe they knew something. Anyway, my interest in stamp collecting took me to the attic of our house, where the Boy Scouts manual said old letters and envelopes with stamps could be found. Sure enough. Unfortunately, though, I found a ton of letters addressed to me from my grandmother in Texas. All unopened, but all saved. The stamps intrigued me.

I took all the letters and hid them, taking them with me to Texas when my grandmother adopted me in 1965. I showed them to grandma, at which point she understood why she had never heard from me after mom had taken us there. Four years in Utah. As a juvenile delinquent.

When President Carter signed the extension of the Freedom of Information Act, I went to Brigham City, Utah, to get my juvenile delinquent records. I got them. I was amazed at the things I did as a child.

One of the things that WAS NOT on the 39-page list documenting my delinquency was my theft of a Harris Liberty Stamp Album from the Ben Franklin Five & Dime store.

Harris Liberty stamp album

I had taken the album with me to Texas, and had it until April 1993 when I left it in College Station as I abandoned the State looking for a new life. In 1978, though, while in Brigham City, Utah, I stopped at the Ben Franklin store, which was just a block from the Courthouse, asked for the manager, explained what I had done 15 years ago, and gave him $20 for the $4.95 album. Interest….

He was surprised, to say the least. When I was in Brigham City on July 25, 2018, I stopped by the Ben Franklin store. Sadly, it was there no more. It its place was a vacant storefront, Union Block Marketplace.

Brigham City, Utah

I was a little sad, wanting to blame Walmart and Amazon….

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Halls of History—Police looking for passer of bad checks

Halls of History

When President Carter signed the extension of the Freedom of Information Act in 1978, I went to Brigham City, Utah, looking for information of my youth in 1962-1965. I found a lot, so much so that the Courthouse officer who completed my request called me “one of Utah’s greatest juvenile delinquents.” He gave me 39 legal pages, single-space typing, documenting my juvenile life in northern Utah.

When I was in Brigham City in July 25, I went looking for my old stomping grounds, defined as places I lived and places where I practiced my juvenile delinquency. One of the places I practiced was the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mormon Church in Brigham City, Utah

Mormon Church in Brigham City, Utah

I used to steal lots of food out of the kitchen, money out of the offering plates, and anything else that could feed me since I didn’t get much food at home. Checks come to mind. I stole some checks at the church out of a coat hanging in the coat closet and proceeded to write bad checks throughout the city…. at the age of nine.

I found documentation of one of my weekend check-writing escapades on the front page, albeit below the fold, of the Box Elder Journal newspaper for January 23, 1964.

Box Elder Journal newspaper, Brigham City, Utah, January 22, 1964

I firmly believe that the only reason I’m not in prison for life or dead at the hands of a Utah law enforcement officer is because the State of Utah took me away from my alcoholic mom and stepdad in August 1965, and my wise old grandmother adopted me in December 1965. She laid down the law, giving me both love AND discipline. She told me the rules, told me what would happen if I broke a rule, and kept to her word. It only took me twice to learn that she was serious.

She had me for 7½ years, and by the time I graduated from high school, she had made a fairly decent person out of me.

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Out & About—Could it be that old?

Out & About The World

I got my first bicycle when I was 8 years old (1963) and living in Brigham City, Utah. Granted, I stole it, but….

On the first day I rode my beautiful new bike to school, I parked it in the bike rack at the front of the school. This was back in the days when no one stole things (!), so bikes were not locked.

When I visited Lake View Elementary School on July 25, 2018, the entrance to the school had been moved to a different street. The school principal, who was on site when I was there, told me that re-positioning had occurred in 1981.

I went to the street where the entrance once had been and found a bike rack overgrown with weeds. Wow. I wonder. Could it be that old?

Bike rack at Lake Vew Elementary School in Brigham City, Utah

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Halls of History—I guess I come from a dysfunctional family

Halls of History

When I went to Brigham City, Utah, in late July 2018, I wanted to find all the homes and stomping grounds from my youth, ages 6-10.

The last home I lived in before the State of Utah took me away from my mom and stepdad (I was one of the State’s greatest juvenile delinquents) was at 301 Englewood Drive. Across the street was a park that I often played in to get away from parental abuse at home. Hmmm. I wonder if the parental abuse was a cause of my juvenile delinquency…………

The park in the early 1960s was covered with poison ivy, which is where I learned that I wasn’t affected by poison ivy. In July 2018 it had grass, trees, playground, basketball courts, baseball fields, picnic areas, and no poison ivy.

Lindsay Park in Brigham City, Utah

Lindsay Park in Brigham City, Utah

Lindsay Park in Brigham City, Utah

Lindsay Park in Brigham City, Utah

I must admit that I was a little saddened and depressed while roaming around Brigham City finding things and reminiscing. I think most of it resulted from not knowing my birth dad (he committed suicide when I was 6) and having no relationship with my birth mother after my wise old (paternal) grandmother adopted me in December 1965. I guess I come from a dysfunctional family….

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post

Out & About — Sunrise, sunset

Out & About

While on my long road trip in late July, I was taking pictures of sunrises and sunsets, posting them to Facebook while never knowing for sure if any one would be my last sunrise or sunset.

Now that I’m home, doing better because I’m finding things to do (including trying to get back to blogging daily and visiting the blogs of all my blogging friends), I can sort through the many pictures I took and share them.

Following are the sunrises and sunsets, their locations, and dates.

Sunrise in Lake Havasu City, Arizona.
July 24, 2018
The bridge in the first picture is the London Bridge which was bought by Robert McCulloch of McCulloch Oil for $2.46 million and shipped from London to Lake Havasu City where it was reassembled and opened on October 10, 1971.
Sunrise over London Bridge in Lake Havasu City AZ
Sunrise in Lake Havasu City, Arizona

Mid-morning at Pirate’s Cove Resort in Needles, California.
July 24, 2018
Sunrise at Pirate's Cove Resort in Needles CA

Sunset over the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
July 24, 2018
Sunset near Kingman, Arizona

Sunset in Brigham City, Utah.
July 25, 2018
Sunset in Brigham City, Utah

Sunset on Highway 50 (the loneliest road in America)
between Ely, Nevada, and Sacramento, California.
July 26, 2018
I call the first one “Clouds on Fire.”
Sunset west of Ely, Nevada
Sunrise near Ely, Nevada

Sunrise in Yosemite National Park.
July 29, 2018
The haze is smoke from the Ferguson Fire which started a few days earlier.
Sunrise in Yosemite National Park on July 29, 2018
Sunrise in Yosemite National Park

Sunrise in Panamint Springs, California,
gateway to Death Valley National Park.
July 30, 2018
Sunrise in Panamint Springs, California

These last pictures all were taken on July 31, 2018, in Barstow, California, so I included the time the picture was taken. You’ll understand why I have so many sunset pictures from one night in Barstow once you look at them.

Sunset in Barstow, California.
July 31, 2018, 7:31 p.m.
Sunset in Barstow, California

Sunset from the historic Harvey House in Barstow, California.
July 31, 2018, 7:35 p.m.
(Google or Wikipedia “Harvey House”)
Sunset in Barstow, California

Sunset in Barstow, California.
July 31, 2018, 7:44 p.m.
Sunset in Barstow, California

Sunset in Barstow, California.
July 31, 2018, 7:48 p.m.
Sunset in Barstow, California

Sunset in Barstow, California,
looking east over the historic railroad yard.
July 30, 2018, 7:53 p.m.
Sunset over the railroad yard in Barstow, California

Sunset in Barstow, California,
looking east over the historic railroad yard.
July 31, 2018, 8:01 p.m.
Sunset in Barstow, California

Which one is your favorite?

I'm Zoey the Cool Cat, and I approve this post