Dad as Abraham Lincoln

Every person’s life is worthy of a book. I hope you are writing yours, or saving the material to one day write it. I am in the midst of mine. These stories are hot off the keyboard. I hope they will give you ideas and inspiration for your own book. For previous stories, please go to duanehiatt.com

The book is titled Live Long*, Learn a Little, Laugh a Lot.

Dad as Abraham Lincoln

Whatever dad’s stepmother Aunt Ethyl’s personality was then or now, it is probably significant that her stepsons  left home as soon as they got the chance. Delphin the oldest left first, the moment he felt he could provide for himself. Randall did the same. My father was about to, but then grandpa talked to him and said, “Bud, I really need your help. I know you would like to leave, but will you stay to help me?”

My father reluctantly agreed.

According to dad Grandpa sweetened the pot by saying, “If you stay I’ll give you a baby pig. You can raise it over the summer, sell it and buy yourself some good clothes to start school with.” Dad was about 16 at the time. My father reluctantly agreed, and he got his pig in the spring. He fattened it all summer then his father sold it. Grandpa took this money along with the cash from the crop he had raised that summer off to the bank. Apparently that’s where Grandpa’s income went first. I’m assuming this was to repay the debt he incurred when he lost his farm.

Grandpa returned and my dad met him at the door to get those dollars into his pocket. It never happened,

“Bud, when I got there I found out the payment was more than I had, so I had to use your money. But I’ll get it back to you.”

My dad looked down and saw his new fall outfit go into the bottomless pit of their debt. “I knew he’d never get it back to me. He did too.”

“But I did get you this outfit for school, this nice suit,” Grandpa said. “It’s made out of good strong material. It will last you a long time.” Grandpa unwrapped and rolled out the suit. He was right. It was good material. It was a fine looking suit if you happened to be starting school in the mid 1860′s. My father called it his “Abraham Lincoln suit.” It came even complete with button shoes. Some store keeper pegging grandpa for a sucker dragged it out of his back room and fobbed it off on him.

For whatever reason, dad put the suit on and went off to school. His worst fears were realized. He was a clown and a laughingstock among his peers. He particularly tried to hide the button shoes under his desk, but one of his hot shot classmates spotted them. He grabbed dad’s pant leg and pulled it up on to the desk saying “Look, he’s even got the button shoes to go with it.” Everybody laughed at “Ol Abe” born again in their classroom. Dad survived the day some way, went home, chucked the Abe Lincoln suit and never saw it or the pig money again.

My father wore glasses all his life. He said it was a result of his difficult birth where the doctor had to bring him out with forceps. These damaged his eyes. He loved to play sports, particularly baseball and softball. But his semi functional eyes never could get a fix on the fast pitch as a batter or a long fly or hot grounder as a fielder. So his sports career was as unsuccessful as his family life he said. With his athletic, social, and economic life such a struggle, fortunately my father could do one thing well. He could sing.

Ferron Hiatt could sing so well that sometimes he was featured at the Arrowhead indoor swimming pool and outside dance pavilion in the town of Benjamin three miles north of Payson. By comparison, Benjamin made Payson look like a metropolis, but on Saturday night it was one of the hot spots in the valley. Some nights, Ferron would approach the door with his date, and be ushered through without buying a ticket. He paid his admission by singing occasionally during the evening with the dance orchestra accompanying him. The free admission was a perk. He would have paid double the price to get in if he’d had the money just for the chance to stand on stage, and front the band of Ralph Migliaccio and his “Chicago Hotel Orchestra.” Actually Ralph came from Spanish Fork, a neighboring town up the road eight miles. But he had moved there from Chicago. I doubt the band came with him, and I’m not sure if he had ever really played the Chicago hotel of even if there was a Chicago Hotel. But in Utah Valley, at Arrowhead it was big time stuff.

For a kid who had so little going for him to step to the edge of the stage with a full moon shining down, Ralph Migliaccio on one side of the stage pointing his trombone to the sky, and Tommy Nelson on the other side doing the same with his trumpet, and Ferron Hiatt soloing the vocals, this life did not get any better than that.

One life changing night a young man had to leave early, so he asked Ferron if he would mind escorting the young man’s date home. Ferron agreed. Her name was Gladys Wride. Knowing my father, I would bet the farm that his first words to her were something such as, “This is quite an occasion. I’m going to give a Wride a ride. Pardon my stuttering.”

Knowing my mother, she smiled as though she hadn’t heard such lines for as long as she had been able to tell people her name.

Gladys lived in Benjamin which Ferron found inconveniently close because their ride together wasn’t long enough.

According to the old saying, many love songs, and a kazillion romance novels, true love never runs smooth however. The same dance music that brought them together threatened to pull them apart, at least that was Dad’s concern. Gladys cousin invited her to California and get employment in the upscale “city of roses”, Pasadena. The farm girl from the hamlet of Benjamin found herself as upstairs maid in a swanky home of a wealthy family. And if that wasn’t dazzling enough, instead of dancing on Saturday nights to Ralph Migliaccio’s band, she twirled the light fantastic to the biggest names of the big band era including Benny Goodman, The Dorsey Brothers, and Count Basie.

Ferron, like most young men of that day was about a dollar short of having seventy five cents, so, again typical of his time; he hopped a freight car, rode the rails, and hitched rides to get to Pasadena. He convinced a suspicious policeman that he was just an honest country boy pursuing his lost love, and no menace to the community. He charmed Gladys’ employer/landlady by sprucing up her yard for free. To Gladys he must have given one of the most heartfelt love songs he ever delivered; and it worked. He convinced her that he and Payson were a better life than Pasadena and the big bands.

As befitting their new status as seasoned travelers of some means, Ferron and Gladys did not hop freight cars home. They rode in the more luxurious accommodations of a Greyhound bus.

What do you think about this part of the book?

Everybody I know is busy, including me.  Where are those golden years I was planning on of sitting on the back porch picking my guitar? So I will send just one little part of the book at a time. You can give it a quick read and tell me what you think if you would like.

I’ve slimmed that process down to two questions, and four strokes on the key board (six if you count “Reply” and “Send.”)

The questions are these:

“A” How much did you enjoy this?

“B” How much do you think a person who doesn’t know Duane Hiatt would enjoy this?

The rating is:

1. Glanced at it, printed it out and lined the bottom of the bird cage with it.

2. Sped-read it and filed it with my tax return receipts

3. Thought it was about as interesting as a well written obituary

4. Could have put it down, but didn’t want to

5. Couldn’t put it down. Put it in a magnetic frame and stuck it onto the fridge door

So your response would perhaps be A-4, B-3, (Or maybe A-5, B-5, I’m expecting a minimum number of those.)

Also feel free to add comments if you like.

Also, also, feel free to forward this material to anyone you want to.

My grandpa’s hectic home

For those of you who just tuned in, this is the next installment of my memoirs currently in production. The previous installments are available on my web page duanehiatt.com I hope you find it interesting.

The book is titled Live Long*, Learn a Little, Laugh a Lot.

My grandpa’s hectic home

My father grew up in an unhappy family bordering on dysfunctional as he described it. His stepmother “Aunt Ethyl” was a poor housekeeper, and an inept financial manager, not that there was much finance to manage. His six half sisters were born so close together that he remembers most of his growing years in a home filled with clutter, dirt, and the aroma of stinky diapers in the day and bed bugs swarming over his mattress at night.

My father’s father bought a farm just in time to welcome in the financial crash of 1929. He bought it one day, lost it the next essentially. The rest of his life grandpa would share crop and hire out as a farm worker—not the road to riches. Often he would work for his sons Randall and Delphin who both had farms. The peace of the gospel did not grace my father’s home growing up. My grandfather enjoyed his pipe, and did not enjoy activity in the church. I think it was tied to his feelings of failure as a provider. He hated the idea of paying tithing to the church. He said, “My argument is not with my God. It is with those who want to take my wallet.”

He also seemed to withdraw from a leadership role in the family. Partly this was a communication problem. My grandfather was hard of hearing. The family story was that once when he was working in the field he got tired and lay down for a nap on a ditch bank. A bug crawled inside his ear and ate a hole in his eardrum. I accepted that story long into adulthood. One day my brother Gordon said, “Does that make sense? A bug would eat your ear drum, and even more strange, two bugs would eat both ear drums in one sitting?”

The only way to get a message into grandpa was to shout into his ear. The neighbors probably knew as much of what went on in the Hiatt household as the people inside the house did.

Grandpa never recovered from the loss of his farm or from his most crushing loss; the death of his young wife. She died of heart problems leaving him with three small sons. As my dad related the story, in his grief and insecurity grandpa fell into the arms, or the clutches of a school teacher named Ethyl Tanner. Grandpa and Aunt Ethyl must have had something going for them. She bore him six daughters in fairly quick succession. To her daughters, of course, she was Mom, and to their children grandma. But to her stepsons and their children she was known as Aunt Ethyl.

To me as a child Aunt Ethyl was scary. She had a shrill voice that could peel the wall paper off the walls. She would shriek “Ves” which was short for Sylvester which was short for Franklin Sylvester which was grandpa’s full name. Then announce her message, and grandpa would nod, amble off to perform some duty or just escape.   Aunt Ethyl’s signature laugh completed the caricature; a high pitched cackle that made me afraid to look in her oven to see who might be in there.

But my father had no refuge of deafness to run to. He had to hear every word. Most of those words were harsh criticisms of him “She always told me, ‘You can’t do anything. You’ll never amount to anything,’” he told me

According to dad, she was light on her daughters, but heavy on the boys and most heavy on him.

In some defense or explanation of Aunt Ethyl, her designated title itself indicates the problem. When my first wife Diane died, and Sharon and I were married, I asked all our children to call her Mom. Diane and I had talked about this before she died, and agreed on it. All of our children call their stepmother mom, and all of our grandchildren call her grandma. It took awhile to get some of them to do it. But we worked it out.

Aunt Ethyl never achieved the rank of mother with her sons or grandma with their children. Surely this sent her a message about their lack of acceptance of her as a mother..

Beyond this, apparently grandpa never quite got over mourning the passing of his first wife Adella. He kept her picture also containing a lock of her hair hanging above their bed. I can believe this was no comfort to his second wife. Certainly my father longed for his lost mother. Probably insecurity and the lack of acceptance that Aunt Ethyl lived with contributed to her harsh manner with her step sons.

Whether it was as bad as my father described it, and whether most of the problem came from their poverty and lack of social standing rather than from their stepmother and their ineffective father, no one will know this side of the veil.

We had to cut Aunt Ethyl a little slack a few years ago when we read an article in the church Ensign magazine. It was from a `woman in Payson, She said when she was newly married and a young mother she often felt overwhelmed and discouraged. Her two angelic visiting teachers were older women of long experience and great compassion. They helped her negotiate these difficult years. One of these saintly women was Ethyl Hiatt. My brother Gordon and I were stunned. We thought surely it was a typographical error. Maybe there was another elderly lady in Payson named Ethyl Hiatt (not likely in our little town.) Maybe Aunt Ethyl changed in her older years. Maybe she never was as scary as we had been led to believe. Maybe we will owe her an apology when we see her again. I am ready to apologize. I hope it makes her happy. I just hope it doesn’t make her so happy that she laughs.

What do you think about this part of the book?

Everybody I know is busy, including me.  Where are those golden years I was planning on of sitting on the back porch picking my guitar? So I will send just one little part of the book at a time. You can give it a quick read and tell me what you think if you would like.

I’ve slimmed that process down to two questions, and four strokes on the key board (six if you count “Reply” and “Send.”)

The questions are these:

“A” How much did you enjoy this?

“B” How much do you think a person who doesn’t know Duane Hiatt would enjoy this?

The rating is:

1. Glanced at it, printed it out and lined the bottom of the bird cage with it.

2. Sped-read it and filed it with my tax return receipts

3. Thought it was about as interesting as a well written obituary

4. Could have put it down, but didn’t want to

5. Couldn’t put it down. Put it in a magnetic frame and stuck it onto the fridge door

So your response would perhaps be A-4, B-3, (Or maybe A-5, B-5, I’m expecting a minimum number of those.)

Also feel free to add comments if you like.

Also, also, feel free to forward this material to anyone you want to.

Your next installment is:  My Dad as Abraham Lincoln and big band singer

Progenitors: The High Gate

For those of you who just tuned in, this is the next installment of my memoirs currently in production. The previous installments are available on my web page duanehiatt.com I hope you find it interesting.

The book is titled Live Long*, Learn a Little, Laugh a Lot.

Hear ye! Hear ye! Every man to his post. Arm yourselves. Enemy forces draw nigh on yon hill. Warn thy neighbor.  Haste! Haste! For home and family. The enemy approacheth even now!”

The quiet village was instantly a beehive. Men poured into the streets and out the gate of the protecting wall. Each carried with him a well worn weapon which he had trained and practiced with every day. A motley crew they were, but the fire in their eyes, their grip on their assorted weapons, the determination in their stance, and their heritage as descendants of the fearsome Norsemen carried the message, “One step farther you die.”

The enemy was nowhere in sight yet it was obvious this was real. The voice that called them was a voice they trusted. They knew time was a weapon for themselves or for their enemy. The lord of the manor would know soon enough, but they could not wait or would not wait for him. The voice who knew sounded the alarm. They answered.

Not many moments hence, the enemy crested the hill before them. But there the marauders stopped. The advantage of surprise was not theirs, but the villagers. They paused. The leader surveyed the scene; sturdy yeomen armed with the tools of their trade, the ax, the scythe, the pitchfork, the versatile club. The bandit leader chose not to have his men be the weed the villagers hacked down, the tree they felled or the grain they harvested this day. He gave the order. They turned and retreated back over the hill and into the distance to look for easier pickings.

The home guard stood at the ready in case this was a feint. At length the same voice that had called them to defense came again from atop the gate.

“They have retreated to beyond my view. You are safe to return.”

The villagers, trusting the eyes and the judgment of the man above the gate, filed back into the enclosed village and resumed their normal lives. The “highgate” had saved them again from a bloody battle, and perhaps the loss of their homes and the violation of their families.

As they entered the gate, the Lord of the manor rushed up. Surveying the scene he called to the highgate, “Well done my trusty man. We are again indebted to your keen eyes and faithful watch. Thank you.”

Family names in Europe often came from occupations. The Smiths were blacksmiths. The gardeners were gardeners. In Germany the Eisenhowers were ironworkers. The Shepherds were, you guessed it. But what is a “Hiatt?” According to some accounts, he was a one man equivalent of the DEW (Distant Early Warning) line of radar stations along the Arctic Circle to alert Canada and the USA that Soviet bombers were approaching during the Cold War era.

The early warner of medieval England used a system even more sophisticated than radar—his eyes. To extend his range, he stood on top of the gate into the city. He became known as the “high gate.” Over the years the “gh g” part got dropped, and his descendents were the Hiatts, or Hiett, Hiette, Highett and various other spellings. The most well known branch is probably the Hyatts because of the Hyatt House hotel chain. We are related to them, but not close enough to do us any financial good. I tell people, “The Hyatt’s were blessed with riches and fame. Our side was blessed with the good looks, numerous children, and humility.”

This derivation of our name is speculative, and the documentation sparse. But the linguistic trail does lead to England, and back from there to invaders from northern Europe.

And the hero of the tale of yore described above? His name has been lost to history along with the date and details of this and other noble deeds. But they all live again meticulously and faithfully recorded in my imagination.

What do you think about this part of the book?

Everybody I know is busy, including me.  Where are those golden years I was planning on of sitting on the back porch picking my guitar? So I will send just one little part of the book at a time. You can give it a quick read and tell me what you think if you would like.

I’ve slimmed that process down to two questions, and four strokes on the key board (six if you count “Reply” and “Send.”)

The questions are these:

“A” How much did you enjoy this?

“B” How much do you think a person who doesn’t know Duane Hiatt would enjoy this?

The rating is:

1. Glanced at it, printed it out and lined the bottom of the bird cage with it.

2. Sped-read it and filed it with my tax return receipts

3. Thought it was about as interesting as a well written obituary

4. Could have put it down, but didn’t want to

5. Couldn’t put it down. Put it in a magnetic frame and stuck it onto the fridge door

So your response would perhaps be A-4, B-3, (Or maybe A-5, B-5, I’m expecting a minimum number of those.)

Also feel free to add comments if you like.

Also, also, feel free to forward this material to anyone you want to.

Your next installment is: 

Three mothers and others

In order to avoid the rush, I am sending my 2014 Mothers’ Day message a little early. Actually, this is a talk I gave in church. Several people asked for a copy, so I thought you might find it interesting.

Duane

Three mothers and others

I would like to introduce you to three mothers.

The first is a mother who is in a rest home awaiting the close of her life. It probably will not be long. She is mentally and socially challenged according to medical and psychological definitions. But in her faith in God and her desire to serve him and his children, she makes most of us look retarded by comparison.

She never married, but recently she had a dream in which her Heavenly Father introduced her to her eternal husband. She is excited about that.

Twenty six years ago when her sister died of cancer, she became a mother for several months to her sister’s children. Their home would not have received the Good Housekeeping seal of approval. Their family organization was sketchy, the schedule haphazard, but she nurtured the little ones and served the older ones with all the dedication you could ask of a mother.

The second mother is a righteous, beautiful, and gifted woman who was promised in her patriarchal blessing that she would meet a worthy young man and have a large family. But the years past and the promised blessing did not unfold as she assumed they would. And so she became the favorite auntie of her nieces and nephews. She bonded with them, taught them, and became an example of noble womanhood to them. She did the same for her students in the schools and private teaching that became her career. Her talent and skill inspired and instructed young musicians. Her teaching and patient nurturing lifted the mentally challenged young people to whom she had dedicated her career.

Then one day the patriarchal promise came to pass. To fulfill her new calling as a mother, she changed her associations and activities to focus on her husband and children.

The third mother gave most of her adult years to the process of bearing and rearing children. She liked to quote a noble Roman woman of antiquity who was asked by visitors if they could see her jewels. The woman happily agreed. She had her children brought forth and said, “These are my jewels.”

This mother and her husband practiced family planning. Their plan was to welcome all the babies the Lord would choose to send to them. He chose to send a fair number, and he blessed this mother with the capacity to carry and give birth to these babies with few complications. She did suffer one miscarriage of what would have been their fourth child.

In her mid forties she felt sharp pains in her stomach. Emergency room doctors correctly diagnosed the problem as a tubule pregnancy and said they could not save the developing fetus. They added, “With fifteen children already, would you like us to remove your reproductive organs to avoid any future complications?”

She and her husband asked for time alone to consider. This mother said, “Tell them to take only what they have to. I have not come this far to back out now. If the Lord wants to send us more children, I want to be able to receive them.”

The doctors agreed, but when they operated, they found advanced ovarian cancer. It took her life.

These three mothers were my first wife’s sister Lynette, my second wife Sharon, and my first wife, Diane.

I have seen mothers in many other situations; women who mothered as teachers, neighbors, friends, counselors, healers, business and government officials, and virtually all walks of life. Some had children of their own, some did not yet. Many were limited by cultural customs, ignorance, or personal imperfections, but they sincerely tried.

The best definition of a mother I know is, “A woman who loves the Lord and wants to serve him by caring for his children whenever and wherever she has the opportunity.” For such women the Lord will, in his own wisdom and time, open the way and sustain them in their righteous desires.

Such women will be blessed to become queens and priestesses in the kingdom of God. They will share with their husbands the greatest glories of the celestial kingdom. There are neither bachelors nor single sisters in the most exalted realm of God’s kingdom.

He has said, “In the celestial glory there are three heavens or degrees; And in order to obtain the highest, a man must enter into this order of the priesthood [meaning the new and everlasting covenant of marriage]; And if he does not, he cannot obtain it.” (Doctrine and Covenants: 131)

Every person who chooses to be a husband or wife, father or mother shall have that opportunity. And unto them the Lord has promised:

“Ye shall come forth in the first resurrection; …  and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depths—… (they are they who) shall pass by the angels, and the gods, which are set there, to their exaltation and glory in all things, as hath been sealed upon their heads, which glory shall be a fullness and a continuation of the seeds forever and ever.

“Then shall they be gods, because they have no end; therefore shall they be from everlasting to everlasting, because they continue; then shall they be above all, because all things are subject unto them. Then shall they be gods, because they have all power, and the angels are subject unto them. (Doctrine and Covenants: 132)

“These are they whose bodies are celestial, whose glory is that of the sun, even the glory of God, the highest of all, whose glory the sun of the firmament is written of as being typical.” (Doctrine and Covenants: 76)

The women, who choose to, will beget eternal lives and nurture eternal families, worlds without end they will be mothers.

Installment two of LL, LL, LL

For those of you who just tuned in, this is the next installment of my memoirs currently in production. The previous installments are available on my web page duanehiatt.com I hope you find this and them interesting.

The book is titled Live Long*, Learn a Little, Laugh a Lot.

Sometime in my third grade, my father told me, if I would save half of the price of a new bicycle, he would pay the other half. He also said that if I preferred I could buy it on time and make monthly payments. Looking down the road (bicycle metaphor) I didn’t want to still be paying for a bike after the excitement and the new had worn off. It took me months, maybe years to cobble together enough nickels and dimes to add up to $25. But doing it that way seemed to be programmed into my eight year old DNA.

The Three D’s first album on Capitol Records was classic poetry set to Dick’s music. Like our other material, we wanted to produce music and words that would have value for a long time, not just cater to the present fads.

When I was an administrator at Brigham Young University’s Division of Continuing Education many schools used the slogan, “Lifelong learning.” Inspired by the Mormon doctrine that we can develop ourselves forever, our slogan at BYU was, “Education for Eternity.”

Apparently about as far back as I have been able to make a decision I have favored long perspectives over short ones. Certainly that’s how I feel today. Without a fine-tuned crystal ball it’s hard to know what the next day, year, decade or lifetime will bring. But I suggest we use the best mental and spiritual tools we have to guide us. I have a six inch level in my tool bag. It’s handy for quick checks. But if I want to really know where the project is going, I drag out the six foot level. The longer the perspective, the more accurate the estimation; that has been my experience.

June 16, 1937 Born Payson City Hospital parking lot and emergency room. Great Grandma Rosetta observed to my mother, “Gladys, a baby with a head that big, you’ll never raise that child.”

1941 Broke nose pushing wagon down hill. Face planted on sidewalk about 3 blocks south east of home, 450 East Utah Avenue, Payson Utah.  Henceforth good nose for smelling around corners.

1942 Tonsils out, “Old Hospital” approximately 120 East Utah Avenue, Payson. At Mom’s request doctor re-broke nose to straighten it. He realigned nose several ways then abandoned the project. Henceforth good nose for guiding through complicated freeway interchanges.

1945 Chipped left front tooth when my friend pulled me into Giant Stride pole, Peteetneet School. Playground. Gave me that hockey player smile popular on the cover of “Gentleman’s Quarterly.”

1946 Chosen as Lincoln model by professional make up artist presenting school assembly Made my own stovepipe hat until Dad made me put the pipe back on the stove.

1947 Started a fight with David Daley, got whipped quickly and solidly, resolved to find other ways of building relationships with people.

1948 Mr. Olson, principle and 5th grade teacher at Peteetneet regretfully announced “The highest I.Q. test score in our class was earned by the silliest acting boy.” I assume they said the same thing about Einstein—the one who started the bagel company not the E=mc2 one.

1949 Met Dick Davis in junior high school when he was still Richard and we were not yet two thirds of The Three D’s.

1950 First ukulele, Deseret News prize for selling a subscription. Gained three chords and a boost to my social life.

1950 Read How to Win Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie. Influenced me the rest of my life.. Great philosophy on relationships. Went to look up David Daley.

1951-52 Student Body President Payson Junior High School, Score one for Dale Carnegie.

1952-53 Summer jobs: Worked at Kaniksu National Forest, Idaho panhandle. The boys from Oklahoma converted me to country music. I’m a fan forever of “Three chords and the truth.”

1953-54 Co-captain Payson High School basketball team A hundred sixty eight pounds of towering muscle.

1954 Captain Payson High football team.  If only my muscles were as big as my head. Played end next to my good friend David Daley playing tackle.

1954 Co-Captain again of Payson High School basketball team; credit sky hook shot and Dale Carnegie

1954 Nose reamed out, but not straightened, by doctor in Provo, Utah, New feeling breathing through twice as many nostrils.

1954-55 Student Body President Payson High School; Score three for Dale Carnegie.

1955 Summer job; Pump jockey at Standard of California service station, Vernal Utah

1955 Enrolled at BYU, Brainy professors, beautiful girls, and basketball. It doesn’t get any better.

1956 Summer job: Worked at Geneva Steel plant, union went on strike. I went back to Vernal

1957-60 LDS mission to Tonga Islands, South Pacific; islands beautiful, people even more so.

1960 Organized The Three D’s with Dick Davis and Denis Sorenson; canyon party turns into a career.

1960 Met Diane; love and spiritual confirmation at first sight (for me, not for her)

1960 Skillful and consistent courting, (another big time score for Dale Carnegie) More important, prayer, fasting, from me (even more effective than Dale) helps Diane catch the vision of our glorious future together for eternity.

Dec. 15, 1961 Married Diane; I obviously helped some little old lady across the street in the pre-existence to win such a bride as this.

1962-1986 Blessed with 10 sons, 5 daughters. Diane also had one miscarriage, and one pregnancy was cancelled with her operation for ovarian cancer in 1986.

1964 Bought home after spiritual conformation at first drive up; a little canyon with foothills and the mighty Wasatch Mountains behind, perfect for our tribe.

1962 Graduated from BYU, BS journalism. “The power of the press is a flaming sword. Hold it high. Guard it well.” (Steve Wilson fictitious reporter on weekly radio program I grew up on.)

1964 Bought first goats to help sons learn responsibility. They also learned creativity. i.c. “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day.

Teach a man to fish and he can feed himself for a lifetime

Give a man a goat, and he’ll be up at six o’clock in the morning for the rest of his life milking the critter.”  (Our son Joe)

1964 Three D’s sign with Capitol Records

1969 The Three D’s became The D’s when Denis left the group. Dick and I went back to the comedy/music format we had used since high school.

1976 Radio announcer, DJ, Marketing director KIXX; country music station. New owner changed the call letters to KFTN “1400 on your dial” when he found out folks were saying, “KIXX is for hicks.” I still think KIXX was better.

1976 Joined BYU administration, later became director of communications for Division of Continuing Education

1976 Writer for Bonneville Communications, won awards for Homefront radio and television spots, many centered on family themes such as, “Give your children everything. Give them your time.”

1976 Chairman of “America’s Freedom Festival at Provo” got the Osmonds to perform. Stadium show was a smashing success. Air show was a crashing flop. Win some lose some.

1977 President of  “America’s Freedom Festival at Provo” successful celebration. One committee member was a visitor from England. He served well, but I’m not sure he caught the vision of Independence Day. He referred to it as, “That unfortunate incident in the colonies.”

1977 Began writing “Spoken Word” and scripts for Mormon Tabernacle Choir

1978 Wrote scripts for “You and Your World,” radio broadcasts for youth from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

1978 High Council Edgemont Stake; served with some of the best men I have ever known.

1979 Masters Degree in communications from BYU. Meaning is in the ear/eye of the receiver not the mouth/pen of the sender

1986 Bishop of Edgemont Tenth ward

1986 Wrote “Little Epistles” every week to counsel ward members.

1986 Wrote, directed and appeared in the cast of History of KSL radio for their 60th anniversary.

1987 Diane died of ovarian cancer; we’ll be separated for an eye blink in eternity, but it seems like an eternity blinking back tears right now. Keep a long perspective to get through this.

1987 Wrote the book Overcoming Personal Loss for Deseret Book Company.

1987 Met Sharon. How could a woman this beautiful, good, and talented be available? Obviously the Lord saved her for me. That little lady I helped in the pre-existence had clout.

Jan. 15, 1988 Married Sharon. Twice blessed at the marriage alter.

1989 Wrote short speeches for President George Bush and former President Ronald Reagan and script for Mormon Tabernacle Choir 60th anniversary of broadcasts of “Music and the Spoken word”

1989 Took Sharon to Hawaii where we toured the islands giving presentations of Songs and Stories of Church History for stakes and at BYU Hawaii

1990 Bishop of Edgemont Stake young adult ward

2003 Retired from BYU

2003 Diagnosed with prostate cancer, decided against chemo, radiation, or surgery (poisoned, nuked, or sliced and diced.) chose instead a toxin purging, and healthy food and lifestyle program under direction of Dr. Mark Lafferty. We’ll see how it turns out.

2004-2006 Temple veil worker

2006-2008 Mission with Sharon to Caribbean, more beautiful islands and beautiful people

2008– Temple ordinance worker,

2012 Family gives me a surprise “Diamond” birthday party at age 75; who is that wrinkled guy with the receding hairline in the mirror?

2012 Writing and compiling my life history so far

2013 Sharon and my 25th wedding anniversary. How could a man be so blessed? How many streets did I help that lady cross in the pre-existence?

Everybody I know is busy, including me.  Where are those golden years I was planning on of sitting on the back porch picking my guitar? So I will send just one little part of the book at a time. You can give it a quick read and tell me what you think if you would like.

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Next Installment: Sharp eyed man on the gate saves the village from pillage.