Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Interview with Mimi and Grampy

Bruce Albert Buchanan (living) and Ruth Rasmussen (1946-2015)

my parents

me-->Bruce Albert Buchanan and Ruth Rasmussen Buchanan

Recently my niece interviewed my parents for a school project.  They were kind enough to share it with me.  I thought their answers warranted a blog post so that all of their grandchildren and future great grandchildren could read them.  These are great questions that all grandchildren should ask their grandparents.  According to an article in the NY Times, children handle stress better when they know their family history.

Question 1
What games did you play at recess when you were in school? Did they play with both boys and girls?

 I went to a private school when I was in Grade School.  Sometimes the boys and girls played together and as we got older we played separately.  In the the early years we played "rover red rover, send Sally Jane over", hopscotch, marbles, and kick the can or steal the flag.    When we were older we played "touch football", baseball, and marbles.  We had recess in the morning (before lunch) and then again in the afternoon.  By the fourth grade we only had recess in the morning and by 7th grade we didn't have recess.

Because I was born after World War 2 in 1946, I am from a generation called the "Baby Boomers". Lots of children were born then until 1964 when the boom ended. So I was a child in the "50"'s.  I went to Central School from the 1st grade until the 3rd grade. During recess, we played hopscotch, rover red rover, and spent a lot of time on play equipment called the "monkey bars".  Children got hurt sometimes on the monkey bars probably because we landed just in the hard dirt if we fell.  Do they have them at your school?  They had swings which we had to race to from class just to get a turn on them.  I loved to swing and could go very high.  As the boys did, girls also played marbles, but I mostly played jacks at recess.  My mom would play jacks with me at home just to practice.  She was very good.

Then for the 4th thru 6th grade, I went to Harding School, which was right next door to Central School and it even shared a big lot.  But the younger kids couldn't go over and play with the older kids.  At Harding, we played dodgeball most of the time, boys and girls together.  It was a lot of fun unless you got hit in the face with the big rubber ball.  We would run bases, and the other side would throw a ball at us to get us out.  Kids played it a lot during the lunch hour. I only ate "hot lunch" at school one time, and on my way to sitting down, spilled my tray all over my new gray poodle skirt. I walked home during all of my school years from 1st through 12th grade to eat lunch.  That was our biggest meal of the day, and my mom was the greatest cook.  My Dad would come home at the same time to eat too.  I loved that time most of all!

Question 2:What chores or jobs did you do when you were young?

My chores were to empty the garbage, fill the coal hopper for the furnace, take out the clinkers from the furnace, make my bed, and do my homework before I could play outside.  In the summer, I mowed the lawn.  
from the time I was 10 to 15 years old I sold worms in the summer.  My worms were the most expensive in town.  I sold them for .25 cents a dozen.  I mowed lawns and when I could drive, I would haul coal from a nearby mine in a pickup to peoples homes.  I would put the coal in their coal bin.  I payed $3.00 for a ton of coal and sold it delivered for $ 6.00.  I mowed lawns and cleaned yards for $0.50 an hour.  I never got an allowance but always seemed to have money.  I had a savings account at the bank and when I was 12 my account had $100.00.  Today that would be like having several thousand dollars.  One summer when I was 16 years old I worked washing dishes and cleaning floors for a restaurant called the Totem Cafe. I worked 7 days a week all summer.  My bosses name was Frosty and his wife was Ramona.  I saved $900.00 that summer and $1000.00 the next summer.  That year I went to college and my books and tuition for the YEAR was around $250.00.

As for chores, I was the youngest girl like you, and my brother wasn't born until I was 5.  So as the baby of the family, I wasn't expected to do very much.  We played outside all of the time, so I wasn't in the way for my Mom to get her work done.  I'm sure my 2 older sisters did a lot more washing of the dishes than I ever did. I was pretty spoiled for the most part.  I remember begging my Mom to let me iron when I was 10, so she let me iron the pillowcases to give me something to do.  I shared a room and the same bed with my sister Helen, who was 5 years older than me.  That wasn't too fun for her, but I loved it.  I was a teenager before I had my own room.  I remember dusting the living room furniture on Saturdays and eventually vacuuming the carpet when I was older.  Once my sisters left home, I did more around the house.

Question 3:Did you take any trips when you were young or go on vacations.  How did you get there? How often did you go?

We didn't take to many vacations.  Once we went to Yellowstone when I was about 10.  My Grandmother ( Ma Buchanan) went with us.  She was old, not much fun and my sister was a pill.  My dad and I went camping and fishing all the time.  We were gone most every weekend in the summer fishing somewhere.  We went on horses once into the Unitah mountains.  In the fall we went hunting and camped out when we were gone.  I started fly fishing when I was about 10.  I used a bamboo rod and still have that rod today.  In the winter we went duck hunting.  I shot my first deer when I was 11 and my first duck when I was 10.  When we traveled we went in a car.  When we went hunting and fishing we had a jeep wagon and always went in it.  One vacation that I remember was with my Grandparents (Grampy and Nona).  They took me to San Francisco when I was about 8.  We say a play called "South Pacific" stayed in a fancy hotel, called the Mark.  We went in a 1950 Buick and saw California.  We drove through a tree in the Redwoods.  My Grampy and Nona really loved me and took really good care of me.  My Nona died on my birthday when I was 10.  I really missed her.  Later my Grampy moved to Pueblo CO. and every summer and Christmas I stayed with him and his new wife Zoetta for two weeks.  He taught me how to play Bridge, Poker, Pool, Bowl and eat greasy hamburgers.  He was a lot of fun.  I stopped going when I turned 16.  He died when I was going to school in Bozeman Mt.  Your mom was about 9mos. old when he died.  

We went on fun trips when we were young.  I loved traveling with my family.  The first trip I went on when I was a baby, so I don't remember, was to Yellowstone Park in my Dad's first car, a Buick.  We went there many times over the years, and to this day I still love going to Yellowstone Park and West Yellowstone.  It's one of Grandpy's favorites too.  We always travelled by car, and not very roomy cars like we have today.  We went to Oregon so my Dad could compete in trap shooting.  He always wanted us kids to continually look out of the window at all the scenery so we wouldn't miss anything.  He didn't travel fast, and made us look at EVERYTHING.  I was usually sitting on the floor of the car because my sisters took up so much room on the backseat.  Fun times. We also went on a fun trip to Hollywood, California to see my aunt  with just my mom, sisters and little brother.  My dad was deer hunting and didn't even know we went.  My 17 year old sister drove most of the trip.  That was before Disneyland was there.  What I remember the most about that trip was picking grapefruit from my aunt's tree for breakfast.  My first trip to Disneyland was when I was twelve at Christmastime.  I had new red silky pajamas and a crazy looking stuffed monkey Santa brought me, and I carried him with me everywhere on that trip.  I still have him.

My favorite trip was to Lake of the Woods in Ontario Canada.  We drove  through many states to get there.  We had a large cabin and stayed two weeks.  My dad went fishing on a large lake every day with a guide my dad hired named Johnny.  Dad would take my mom or one of us kids each day too.  At lunch time we stopped on a little island, and Johnny would cook any fish we caught for us to eat.  It was the best I remember eating.  He taught my dad how to filet a fish, and mom how to cook them. As kids, we could go to the little convenience store by the cabins and get anything we wanted, and it was just charged, so we never needed any money.  Of course my dad had to pay the bill at the end of the stay.  I went everyday for a Big Chief red soda.  I loved it!

We also went rock hunting on the weekends during the spring and summer in different parts of Southern Utah.  My dad was a "rock hound" and made beautiful jewelry out of rocks that he cut and polished.  We went with other families and loved being in the desert.

Question 4:What was an important even in your life?

 An important event in my life.  There have been so many.  When your aunt Heather and your Mom were born was pretty special.  The day I married Mimi.  Going to the temple and being sealed to Mimi and your aunt Heather, your Mom and uncle Ryan.  When I was baptized by your greatuncle Art.  Finishing a Ph.D in Bozeman.   When my parents died has come to mean a lot to me.  Almost dying when I ate a mushroom was an event that really changed my life.  The first time I walked through a temple.  Setting a National Record when I was 17.  Being called into a Stake Presidency.  Turning 60 years old. My father died when he was 58.  Backpacking with 4 sons for hundreds of miles and climbing Engineer peak with Adam 10 years ago.  Getting hearing aids.  Going to Alaska with 3 sons.  Selling a business that I had for over 40 years.  Winning the Don Roush award as the Outstanding Teacher at NMSU.  Maybe the most important event in my life has not happened yet, but if I had to pick ONE that has, it would be to do with the day I decided to be baptized.  The church means everything to me and having a testimony of the restored Gospel defines me more than anything.  

Those were probably the big events of my younger years.  The other activity that took up my summers was 4H. I joined when I was ten until I was 18.  It was a program where my mom was a leader and my friends and I learned to cook and sew.  Then we would enter our products in the county and state fairs to be judged.  Those were such fun times.  When my friend Jane and I were 16, we won a state food preparation contest, and a trip to Denver Colorado for a big convention of youth.  We stayed downtown Denver in a large hotel and had tours and fancy dinners with ice sculptures.  That was the first time I ever ate cheesecake, and I thought it was so good. I also sang the 4H song at the final banquet of the week in the new Hilton Hotel. They had a light on me in a darkened room with a flag waving behind me.  I was petrified, but I did it.

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