This will be a recall of my memories with photos from the time. I do have to start before I can remember anything. I was born on
Friday the 13th. As Jills Uncle Ezzie would say " I don't remember when I was born, because I was very young but you could ask my mother, she was there."
It was on April the 13th, 1945. Mother was living on her folk's place,in Coltman, Idaho. This is the trailer she lived in.
 
I do not recall this place as I was very young but it was here we were for a time. As for Dad the next insert shows what he
was doing on the day I was born. I will have to research and find out where he was at this time.
At some point I will go back through his log book and find out where he was.
However the following two photos are me as a newborn.
 
Here is my birth certificate from the nursing home.
 
 
 
This is Mother, Steve and I at Coltman, Idaho. This is in the side yard of Grandpa and Grandma Stucki's home.
 
 
 
A number of things went on before I was really able to recall. One was I learned to walk. As I have been told if it was not for my grandfather Wood,
I probably would have never learned. We had moved to Foley, Alabama or so I have been told. It was there that grandpa Wood
taught me how to walk.I have a very blurry photo of him and I just as I start to fall. But here is the results of his efforts.
 
 
This is me at the "Airbase"
 
The next time in my life and the first memory that I have happened in Idaho. We were living out at the "airbase" now Pocatello airport.
I have a couple of photos from there but do not actually remember it. This was after Dad had returned from the war and was
continuing on with his education.Dad was in the process of building the main floor onto a basement house he had purchased in Inkom.
I have always thought that the following photo was from there and that time, however the background does not fit. At any rate this would
have been near the time frame. Grandpa and Grandma Stucki had come down to visit and grandpa, dad, Uncle Jerry , Steve and I were going
over to Inkom to see the house.We were in grandpa's car and the three of us kids were in the back seat. Along the way Steve and Jerry
took my hat from me and were teasing me with it.They were throwing it back and forth and I was trying to catch it. I don't know if it was dad
telling them to give it back or a bad throw but the hat ended up on the floor of the back seat, where we were,
and I being in the middle bent over reached down and while hanging on to the door (handle as it turned out) I grabbed for my hat.
The car had suicide doors, those that open to the back of the car, with the hinge on the back seat side rather that the middle post.
At any event out I went. The next thing I recall was going into the house with my head all bandaged up. The story of what happened
after I fell was as they backed up to get me I was running down the road saying 
"don't leave me, don't leave me."
I don't recall saying that but it makes a good story.
This is Grandpa Stucki. He seems endless with this look. This is as I remember him.
This is another photo I like of grandpa.
I remember grandpa going out to irrigate the fields. This was how he would look.
And if this is really the house in Inkom that dad is working on then this is about the age I was at that time I fell out of the car.
In looking at other photos and judging from the flight suit, I would have to assume that this house is in fact in Foley, Al.
The house in Inkom did not have this type of siding. There is another possibility and that is this could be
grandma and grandpa Wood's house before they moved into the stucco house on Sublet Street.
 
 
Shortly after we moved from the "airbase" to Inkom we got a huge snowfall. I just recall the snow up over the picket fence.
 
Inkom was a magical place. We as kids grew from there.The shed to the right of the tree is the chicken coop.
When we left Inkom that tree (a Weeping Willow) was about three feet in diameter. I do not
know if it had anything to do with it but when dad was planting either that tree
or another one just like it I know he started from a limb and put it into a bucket
that was a mixture of water and manure. Dad said that the nutrients would
accelerate the growth. The trees turned out to be huge. It was by that chicken coop
that Syd got the scar on his face.  To the right of the chicken coop was where we would chop off the heads of
the chickens to prepare them for cooking. And they do run around with their heads cut off.
While I don't recall all of the mundane aspects of life we did a lot there. Between dad and
Grandpa Wood we had a swing and Teeter-Totter in the back yard.
 
I have decided that I would like to duplicate this Teeter-Totter here in Las Vegas.
OK, so the photo is as massive as the Teeter-Totter.
If you notice the Weeping Willow tree on the left of this photo is a lot bigger than in the photo with the snow.
There are a few other things I recall from Inkom. I think it was for the Forth of July that we always dressed up as indians.  It may have been the 24th of July.
At any rate we thought it was fun even if the potato sack itched like crazy. Just try to make cloth to fit against the bare skin out of burlap and see.
Although the outfits in the photo below look to be out of flannel.
 
There was not that much time past when we moved to Inkom and the snow year but check out the difference in size of the Weeping  Willow tree.
Syd is new in the picture and I don't really recall when he came along, it's just like he was always there. However Donald was a different matter. 
We were involved in picking his middle name. I can recall being in the car and talking about what would fit. We tried a number of names and then
said how would that be with just his initials?  I don't remember who came up with Bruce but that seemed to fit and the initials weren't bad either.
So along came Donald.
As for the time in Inkom we grew up. I had my first job, picking and bundling then selling Watercress. Actually it was Steve and I, but so what
Mom would get us up early in the morning and we would go up to Doc Norton's place and pick the watercress out of the creek. I recall mom taking us up
to his place to ask him if we could pick watercress on his property. He said that would be OK with him. We would pick as much as we could and then
take it home and clean and bundle it.We would use a round metal washtub full of water on the front lawn. Then after we had cleaned a bunch
we would wrap a rubber band around the stems and set it aside until we had it all done. Then mom would take the whole mess to Pocatello
and deliver it to a store that had contracted with us to buy it.The store is no longer there but it was on South Fifth
in the same locations as Oliver's is today. That would be the 100 block of South Fifth.
I remember when we would go into the store and go past the Watercress I would proudly state "that is our Watercress , we picked that"
So what did we do with the money? Who knows?
As with most kids of that era dad tried to keep us busy. We had chickens, pigs, a cow , calves, and a garden. We picked berries around the yard.
We had Current and Gooseberries. Another job we had would be to pick Raspberries. There was a farm, Murdock's, at the base of the hill. If you went through town
on Rapid Creek road and then turned right at the fork that road would take you along the base of the mountain and come out on Highway 91/191.
The corner was where we wrecked the pickup but that will be later in the story.
It was during this time when I became acquainted with the term "like a chicken with it's head cut off" We butchered chickens for our own use.
I don't think there is any smell that is as gross as the smell of wet chickens steaming. We would stuck the chicken carcass into a pot of 
boiling water and then when the feathers were loose enough we would pluck all the feathers.
Sometimes after I had chopped off the chickens head it would still fly some and run around. We learned how to milk the cow, and slop(feed)
the hogs, teach the new calves to suck from a bucket nipple, and then later how to drink out of a bucket. We gathered the eggs, separated the milk,
then churned the Butter. Mother would take the skim milk and make Cottage Cheese with it. Today I still can't stand Cottage Cheese. I am not sure
it is the process of seeing it made or not. Mom would take the skim milk put it in a gallon glass jar, cover the top with cheesecloth and then put it
on the back of the cabinet and leave it until the milk curdled and the results is Cottage Cheese.
This is a Separator. You turn the handle until it is spinning fast enough and then the milk is fed into it and within the part with the two spouts are a number of
metal cones and by centrifugal force the cream is separated from the milk which is then skim milk. The skim milk would be fed to the calves and the cream used for
cream and butter. It took a lot of work to get the separator going and then you had to keep is spinning until all of the milk was separated. The other thing with a
separator is that to clean it you have to take the stack of thin cones that spin and keep the cream from the whey. That was part of our job as well.
 
Then on top of our domestic chores we also took advantage of the wildlife. We learned to hunt for deer, rabbits, and birds.
I was never good at bird hunting, but I did a lot of rabbit hunting. Of course the best were Cottontails, but we also hunted Jackrabbits.
We ate them all until we started to see boils show up in the Jackrabbits. We would still hunt them for their skins. After harvest we would take them home
to clean and skin them. The rabbit hide was pulled off inside out and then we stretched them on a frame made from a wire coat hanger. We would also skin the deer
and then nail the hides to a board or just spread it out on top of the garage. It had a flat roof. Then all of the hides would be taken to town and sold.
We cut and wrapped our own meat, then into the freezer it went. There was a place in Pocatello that was a cold storage place.
 You could rent a locker box, really a pull out drawer about three foot wide and two feet high. All of the meat that you could not store
at home would go to the "locker". It was on the corner of Alameda and Highline, where the Maverick is today. It was always cold
with a lot of frost and a big door with a push button latch on the inside.
The Butter Churn looked something like this. You would hold the top by the red gearbox and then turn 
the crank until the cream turned into butter. It seemed like forever at times. and yes it was as tiring as it looks.
 
 
 Another thing we did was pick spuds. When we were at Inkom we would get out of school to pick spuds. I recall that we would get seven cents a sack.
I don't have a photo of me picking spuds, but I have found one of dad and Delos. In these days the spuds were picked by hand.
 
 
The difference between this photo and how we did it is it was a one man operation. You would fill the wire basket with spuds and then pour them into the sack.
Then you would continue down the row filling the basket and then return to the sack until it was full. Then when you had it full you tied the top and started again.
This time I know what I did with the money. With part of it I would buy a caramel apple and eat it and then I would buy a brick of 22 shells. That was a thousand shells
in those days. Then we would go shooting. Often the spud harvest would coincide with dad's Toppers Club trip. On one trip we had grandmother Wood looking after
us in Inkom. Before dad left he instructed us that there were to only be four kids in the car when we went to pick spuds. Well Steve invited two of his friends and I invited my
friend Karl Campbell to go. So everyone showed up at the house and there were five of us. Grandma counted and said someone had to stay. So Karl and I stayed, but we didn't
want to go to school. So we of all things decided to climb up to the "I" on the hill in Inkom. Have you ever seen it? It is across the road from the school. Two or three
hundred yards at most. Well we sat there and thought about what we were going to do. We decided to ask Karl's grandmother North ( who he was living with) if she would
drive us up to the spud field in Lava Hot Springs. Some 20 miles away. She did and we almost got fired because of the late start I only had time to pick
one sack of spuds, and got a whole seven cents before we moved to the next field. But when I explained that we got there late and would be on time the rest of the
week he said OK. Well that didn't change how many of were getting in the car. So Steve and I and his friends got in the car at home, then the four of drove off and
went downtown and picked up Karl. As a result we were all able to spend the week picking spuds. Oh, and by the way school was not closed for that time it
was still in session, it was just that those picking spuds were excused. Why someone didn't see us up on the hill I don't know. But we never got in trouble for it.
At some point we moved to California for a time. We first lived on "H" Street in Chula Vista. I was in the second grade while there. Later we moved up to Quintard Street.
While on "H" Street dad must have been deployed overseas. I recall when he returned that we had lots of things he brought back from where ever it was.
Things I recall. We had silk jackets with cool embroidery on the back. We also had battery powered boats to sail on the near by ponds. Dad brought us foils to play
with, of all things.  For those who don't know that is a sword but the blade is round.
This is the house on H street. 115 H street Chula Vista, California.
 
I recall we had Yellow rain slickers, and we played like we were firemen and had the garden hose and would spray the brick of the house.
It was while we were in California that dad would take us to the swap meets. I don't remember where they were but it was cool to walk around and see all of the stuff
people had to sell or trade. There was an irrigation ditch across the street, actually it was probably a waste water ditch, but same diff to us. On the way to school
we walked past a field growing Celery. In my later years I returned and the ditch had been covered over and of course the field is no longer there. The area is
full of homes. In the second grade I could walk up "H" street and catch the bus but Steve was too old to catch it there. He could only catch it at the stop before mine.
Yup, you know it he would make me walk with him to his bus stop. We didn't always ride the bus, sometimes we walked. We had a school fair and one of the things
we did was have a nail pounding contest. Well I won it. My prize was a wristwatch. It didn't work but it was neat. I was looking over it and read the inscription
on the back and realized that it was real. I remember running into mom and dad's bedroom and waking them up and telling them what I found out, and could
we get it fixed?  I do not recall what the answer was but part of it was go back to bed and we'll talk about in the morning. Well somewhere along the line we moved.
We moved up on a hill (Quintard Street) into a house that was one of two on this hill, next to a big Tomato field on one side and a bunch of sagebrush or at least the
California equivalent. We would run down the hill through the brush (sometimes) or follow the dirt road other times to get to school.At this school 
I was in Third grade. I do not remember which school it was but the name Castle Park comes to mind. While we were in California
there are a number of things I remember. Mother did not like the water to drink and so we would drive to a springs and buy the spring water.
The house on Quintard was set up so we always came in the back door. We were up on a hill and we could
see the sun set on the ocean. The photo below is the front side facing the ocean. I do not recall playing in the fenced yard.
For church we met in the Foreign Legion Hall. One of the first things I would do was go in behind the bar and play
with the beer bottle caps. Why? Don't know except that is what I did. Mom was in an accident returning from Primary one day. We were in the backseat and Steve
had a short piece of pipe he was playing with. Again why? Who knows? At any rate he had this pipe in his hands with one end to his stomach and the other
to the back of the seat in front of him. He was not seriously hurt but it did smart. In the back yard there on Quintard there was a big hole. Why it was there or what
it was for I don't know. I know dad would shoot his pistol into the hole at times. I also remember dad coming by in his helicopter and hollering out the door for
one of us to go get mom and have her come out and talk to him. He couldn't land, wasn't allowed to. But he could stretch the rules and hover low. The back
door was the one we used all of the time to come into the house. I guess the front yard was just for looks or to enjoy.
 
It was during this time that our Uncle Walt would come and we would all go fishing. Everyone going would have to get up
early and I was always in a dither. I don't know what it was but I could never remember if I liked Oveltine or Postum. Dad always wanted us to have something to drink
before we went. I guess this was the only time I had something hot to drink in the morning. At any rate I was usually wrong and I hate Postum. Well we would go down
into Mexico and fish on the ocean. I remember leaving the car out on a point of a hill and walking down this trail to get to the ocean where we would fish. Which
brings to mind something else. Dad would buy us bamboo fishing poles. I don't recall if he brought them home with him from overseas or not but we always
had Bamboo fishing poles. I remember walking down the trail and getting my pole stuck in a bush and breaking the tip. Did I catch fish? Don't know.
But we did catch fish.
 
One thing that I do recall was Steve casting his line and it didn't go out, so he kept jerking on the line to get it unstuck from whatever it was behind
him. The problem was he did not turn around to look. Well it was Uncle Walt's lip. I remember him (Walt) holding the line and hollering at Steve.I remember
that how the hook was removed was to push it all the way through the lip and then cut off the barb, and then back it out of his lip.
If the tide was low we would sometimes look for Abalone. We did get them sometimes. They had to be pried off the rocks with a jack handle. The other thing
we would do is go for drives. We went out into the desert on down into Mexico. I remember getting gas put in the car in Mexico and the guy pumping the
gas just kept pumping it after it was full and letting it run onto the ground . He pretended to not understand what Dad was trying to tell him. Another time
we were out in the desert exploring old ruins. I remember looking up into an old chimney and finding out that there was a wasp nest in it. And yes I found
out the hard way. I don't remember how many times I got stung but it was not fun.
It was while we were in California that I was baptized. Dad was not active at the time so it was a good family friend that baptized me. His name was Karl Logan.
I do remember being in the font and seeing mom and dad on the front row watching.
 
 
 
There was one time when one of dad's friends invited us to go out with him on his sailboat. We went out on the ocean and sailed for a while. What I remember
was it was windy and cold. The other thing was the boat was never level. It was always at an angle. But that is what you need to sail.There are other things
we did but these are the memorable things. One thing that I am not proud of was just before we moved back to Inkom. We had a friend that we
would play with and for some reason we had our cousins over and we told this friend to go home. Well he did and he had his dad come back with him dressed in his
security uniform and kicked us out of the gravel pit. Another thing I remember from swimming in this gravel pit was swimming with my shoes on. I had gone out
a ways and was coming back and the shoes were weighing me down. It was all I could do to get to shore. That ended my swimming there.
So we moved back to Inkom. Perhaps when I have dad's paperwork all scanned and in order I can add dates.
Two memorable things between Chula Vista and Inkom. The first is we were very young and dad drove through the night some of the time. We were on a two lane
road with a nighty degree turn in it. We were sleeping in the back seat and dad stopped. I got up and looked out to see what was going on. There was a car upside down
and dad was trying to get someone to lay down on the car seat which was out of the car. I guess someone was on their way back from Yellowstone and fell asleep
and missed the turn. I guess one of them was dead and the other kept trying to get back into the car.
The other thing was on the way back to Idaho we were still in California but close to Reno and as we were driving I looked to the left and there walking on the
outside of the car, on the ledge by the window was our Pure bred Siamese cat. Well the cat was OK until it got to the side view mirror, then it jumped or
fell off from the car.. We spent some time looking for the cat but it would not come to us. We left it there and went on into Reno. I would guess the folks put an
ad in the paper or something because when we got to Idaho we were notified that some one had found her, and it was  home.
Well now we are in Inkom. At one time the house was just a basement house but dad built the top floor and the attached
garage/carport. At some point Steve and I had our bedrooms in the basement. I remember that we had an old coal stove in what had been the kitchen,
and we used to build up a big fire and have the stove glowing cherry red and then we would crawl into bed and hope it stayed warm all night. Nope, it
generally didn't. It would leave some coals in the bottom so we could start a fire in the morning to warm up. The front room upstairs was the width of the house
and it had a big(for the house) front window. Then the kitchen was on the right side and mom and dad's bedroom was on the left. You had to go through
the kitchen to get to their bedroom. Then the bathroom was on the right, actually if you looked at a floor plan it was behind the bedroom, on the same
side of the house. But from the kitchen it was on the right from the bedroom. Then again in about the middle of the house at the back was
the stairs that went up to the bedroom above the back porch. After dad added that, Steve, Syd and I slept up there. Steve and I shared a double bed and
Syd was in a single. That is about all the room there was. There was a hole in the wall on the stairs. It was the size of the stairs and was just big enough to
squeeze through and be inside the wall. The nails in the wall were sticking out on the inside. Steve was upset when he grew enough that he could not fit.
We had a window that looked out over the garage. That made it easier to sneak out of the house
at night. Our friends used to come over to the basement window when we were there and whistle like a Bob White. Then we would go out and play.
 
At any rate this the house we lived in at Inkom. When we lived in the basement the windows on the side were used for the signal.
Later the window over the garage is the one we would sneak out of.
The top of the barn can be seen just over the cab of the truck. The willow tree on the left of the house
is the one that Syd was pulled out of when he broke his wrist. It had to grow up more from here. At some point in time dad, Steve
and I put a metal roof on the house. It was just corrugated galvanized steel. The last time I looked it was still there.
I was the guide patrol leader and our patrol would go out to fill some of the requirements for advancement. One time I remember going
back behind the MK area. That is the cut on the hill to the west of the Cement plant. It is easily seen from the freeway today. We went up the
canyon behind the hill to have a cookout. All of the kids wanted to make their fire down in the trees where the twigs were easy to get. It was also
cold and wet in the bottom. This would have been in the spring with some snow still on the north slope and bottom of the draws. Well I let them find out
the hard way. I made my fire up on the side of the hill in the sunshine and had the fire going and was cooking my food and they had not 
even been able to get their fires started. It turns out the wood was wet and only looked dry. They had a hard time breaking the twigs 
because some (most) were green and not dead. The trees had not started to bud out yet. I had used sagebrush and other wood and 
as a result had a good fire. I guess the down side of it all was I did not keep us all together. Half of us came off the hill and the others
thought it would be fun to roll rocks down the hill. A couple went through the fence of a corral at the base of the hill. I do not 
remember what I cooked but it was fun. Another time Karl Campbell and I went for a hike and one of the things mom sent with 
me was a quart jar of Raspberries. We opened it up on the hill and ate from the jar. By the time we ate them they had been
bounced around so much that the Raspberries had broken apart and it looked like a bunch of ants with the legs floating in juice.
On that trip we went up on the hill North of the school, behind the Damron place. That is the stone house close to the freeway with
all of the trees around it . It was while on that hike that we saw a buck mule deer. I don't recall how big the rack was but
we were impressed.  Another time we built a go cart( actually just a slab of plywood and four wheels) and drug it all the way up to the water
tower across from the school to ride it down the road. I don't know if we had test driven it before but the wood was so flimsy that
it bowed in the middle and drug on the ground. We couldn't figure out how to ride it so we drug it back home. That was the end of that.
I guess I know where Mike gets his desire to climb. We used to climb on the Lava rocks that were across from our house. Now
the freeway goes through them. I do recall getting most of the way up to the top and not being able to go any further up.
For a while I didn't know if I could make it back down or not. But as you can see I am not still there so I must have found
my way down. The lava's were a lot of fun to climb in and on. There were cravesses in the rock that we could follow and think that
indians had been there before us. We also used to roam up and down the Portnuf River. If you walk around the lavas and go up
the old highway, the water would change from muddy brown to crystal clear. As you leave Inkom on the freeway going south, there
is a butte that sticks up just before you go back onto the lavas. Well it was back behind the space between them that we would
go skinny dipping.  The only problem was that that was the time when raw sewage was drained into the rivers. Oh well we
didn't catch anything from it and had a good time.
There are a couple of times that I remember we took a bike ride. Once Karl Campbell, Danny Shaffer, and I and someone 
else who I don't remember, decided to ride our bikes into Pocatello to go swimming at Ross Park pool. We were told to
stay off from the highway, which meant that we had to ride the back road. From the cement plant to Portneuf Gap it was
all gravel. Then it turned into pavement and was just a lot of work to finish up. I do not really recall swimming I just 
remember the ride. There was another time that Karl and I went for a ride. It must have been my 12th birthday. Mom called
Karl and I into the kitchen and said that Steve and his friends were planning on giving me a swat for each year. So mom
gave us both a piece of cake and said why don't you go out the back way and get on your bikes and go somewhere.
We had a spot cleared out down on the river by the cement plant that we used as a fort. You had to crawl through the 
wild roses and whatever stickley plants there were to get there. As we lazed around we decided that we should do
something. So foolishly I said why don't we go for a bike ride to McCammon? So we got on our bikes and walked them up
the dugway by the cement plant and then on up the road to McCammom. This direction the road was a mixture of paved
and graveled. We road all the way there and then said "now what?" It turns out that neither of us had any money
so there we were at the edge of McCammon hot and tired and nothing to do but head back. I do not recall if the freeway
was completed or not but we decided to go back on the old highway. That was actually a lot of fun. It was up and down 
along the base of the mountains, so we would peddle to the top and then race down the other side and most of the
way up the next hill. Then we would stop and look for the dog. He was just leaving down the hill behind us. We would
wait for him to catch up and rest then we would go again. The only problem was we did not understand that a dog cools
off by moving and panting. So while we were waiting for the dog to rest up he was running around so we
decided that he didn't need rest, and we would take off and speed down the next hill and up the other side. Then we 
would stop and look back and there was the dog just starting down the hill behind us. Well I guess we plain tuckered
the poor dog out. The dog would still go with me anytime I went off on my bike. As a matter of fact he was a royal pain
at times. From the corner by the school down to our house it was down hill but not really steep. You could get going
real good and then when you came to our house there was a rise of about 3 feet from the road to our lawn. It
would make for a good jump. The only problem was with the dog alone he was OK running along side, until
you got close to the house. Then he would decide to go to the other side of you. Not from behind but
in front. I don't know how many times he caused us to take a spill, after I hit him with the bike. The jump was
usually a lot of fun. One time though I had a real head of steam going and I was going to fly. I went up but
when I came down my front wheel was turned just a little to the left. As a result I and the bike went to the left.
Into the side of the front steps to the house. No big deal after I picked myself up except I couldn't turn my front
wheel. It seems that I bent the front forks and to ride the bike I had to turn the handlebars all the way around.
I don't remember how I fixed the bike or if I rode it like that for a while. I do know that it was up to us kids to
take care of and fix our bikes.
Another thing we liked to do was hike up the canyon/gulch behind the house. We placed a homemade flag
up there in the saddle. Karl and I would argue as to which way up was easier, go up the ridge line to the top
and then walk along the top to the saddle, or walk up the bottom of the gulch all the way to the saddle. I was
the one that wanted to walk up the gulch climbing all the way and Karl wanted to go up the ridge to the top
and then have an easy walk over to the saddle. We still moved mass (ourselves) the same height and distance.
It seems that as a young boy I was very gullible. A neighbor boy talked me into making a treasure stash in the
hills behind our house. I must have showed off the coins that I had, or something, at any rate I was the one
to put most of the coins in the jar and we went up the gulch behind the house with the coins in a jar, and hid
them in the rocks. Just as we had placed them in the rocks Virgle said did you hear that? Was there someone
else out there? Well of course I did not hear or see anyone, so we hid our money, and then went home. A couple
of days later we went back to check out our stash, and lo and behold there was broken glass all around and
the money was gone. There must have been someone else that had seen us, or so I thought for a while.
Virgil was Steve's age rather than mine and I am sure just wanted my money. Oh, well, live and learn.
 
School was not what I liked. I was a lackluster student at best. I had to work hard and did not really enjoy it.
I recall at one time looking out of the school window and seeing workers working on the railroad tracks. They
would swing their picks and then pick them up to swing again. I was fascinated that when their pick was on the
way back up and almost ready to come back down then I would hear the sound of the pick hitting the metal stake.
I suppose that today there is a name for that. At any rate I stayed in school and was lead along by the others.
We used to have P.E. Where they would take the boys from two classes out to the fields and play ball. One 
teacher would go with the boys and the other would stay with the girls. Well, they couldn't always be
in two rooms at the same time, one day one of the girls threw an apple core out at us as we were going
to the field, Karl picked it up and threw it back then someone sent it back out and, ya, I picked it up and lobbed
it back through the window and into the room to hit the teacher, that had come back into the room. Well when
the principle came out and asked who threw the apple core, Karl fessed right up, then he asked who else there
were two of you. So I had to fess up also. We were taken into the office and lectured to and then first Karl was
told to bend over and grab his ankles. He got a swat with a short pointer. Then I was told to grad my ankles, 
after the swat I started to straighten up and was told to grab my ankles again, I received a second swat and
then asked do you know what that was for? Well no I didn't and I was told that when he was on a day off and
his wife was subbing for him I had slammed the door to his room. Well I hadn't but there was no telling him that
and besides I had already received the punishment. I also knew that I could not go home and complain to my
dad because I already knew that his philosophy was if you get in trouble at school and come home and complain
to me you will get it again, because you probably deserved it. If not for that then for something that you
weren't caught at.  Well I guess it all turned out OK. There was another thing I remember from school. We had to  go
to band and I was trying to learn how to play the trombone. I wasn't very good at it and I missed things. It was 
when the classes split and the younger class was supposed to return to class and I was not paying attention
or something and stayed in the class with the older kids. I don't remember if the teacher came to get me
or if the band teacher just knew that I was supposed to go back to class. At any rate I remember him talking to
me in the hallway, and saying "you don't have it why don't you quit"? I think that was the end of my playing an
instrument. I was glad because it was not fun for me. 
We moved to Mink Creek Road in April, 1959. I think it was on my birthday that we moved. For the rest of the school year
we would drive the pickup to Inkom, at least Steve would, to go to school. Steve would then drive to Marsh Valley for school.
I went to the grade school in Inkom.
 
Now it is about time for the pickup wreck.
Steve, Syd and I were at the ranch (Pebble Creek) building fence. We were putting posts along the lower line
between the ground dad had sold and that he kept. The fence went from the cattle guard to the south to the
ridge that marked the south property line. As I recall we had a dull iron bar for making the hole and a sledge
hammer for pounding the metal posts into the ground, a couple of shovels and a roll or two of barb wire.
We were young and easily distracted. Well not that young, I think I was 14 or 15. At any rate we got tired
of working and looked for an excuse to quit. As it happened it was trying to rain and we saw thunder and
lightening over by the gap into Pocatello. We picked a rock and watched it and decided when there were more
than three drops of rain on the rock it was too dangerous for us to stay on the mountain with all those metal
tools and all that barb wire strung on the mountain. When we say the required number of rain drops we put
all of the tools away and went down into Inkom to visit Steve's girlfriend. The truck that we had was a 1949
Studebaker pickup with a stock rack.
This grainy photo of the truck shows what it looked like.
We hooked up with Karen, Steve's girlfriend, and another guy (Gary comes to mind) and all piled into the truck,
Karen was babysitting and had a baby in her arms. Gary was driving Steve was next, then Karen and I was
by the door. Syd? Well he got moved into the back with the tools and all. We went for a drive out of Inkom on the
highway and then took the Skyline/Green Canyon turn off and took the road along the base of the mountain.
Gary was not really speeding but as we came into the turn back towards Rapid Creek at the Murdock berry farm
he cut the corner and was traveling on the inside of the corner.(the other guys lane) Did I say that it was a blind corner?
Well it was, as we were in the middle of the turn we saw a phone truck coming toward us, Gary moved to the proper
side of the road and Physics stepped in. We were going too fast to keep the truck on the road. As we started to slide
on the side of the road, and tilt as the bank sloped away from the road I felt my door start to open. The next thing 
that I remember was we were upside down. Steve was on his hands and knees on the top of the cab (inside)
straddling the baby. As they all got out and started to move around I realized that I couldn't move. The door of
the truck was on my arm, pinning it to the ground. I called for Steve and when he came over and saw me I said
"I'm not panicking or anything, but get this door off my arm"
Despite Gary's assurance that we could take the curve at that speed he was wrong.
When dad got there he was upset. And for some reason he picked on me. Actually his question was anybody
hurt? I showed him my arm, and my head. I had a small cut on both, but neither needed stitches or bled bad but
I was the only one hurt other than bumps bad bruises. Syd? Well the pick, shovels,bar and barb wire must have
cushioned him. He didn't have a scratch.
When the State police showed up to take the accident report his question of is anyone hurt? Prompted dad to grab
a hand full of my hair and pull my head around so the trooper could see it. And then he grabbed my arm and bent
it around so he could see the wound on it. It was on the inside of my right arm and I recall standing on tiptoes 
as dad showed that one to the trooper. Well we were all OK really. Just shook up and subdued. And the method of 
determining it was too  dangerous to stay on the mountain sounded really good/lame/stupid you pick the adjective.
The truck ended up down by the barn at Mink Creek. I don't know how it is, but we never tried to start or drive that
old wrecked truck. I guess my mechanical desires hadn't kicked in yet.
Somewhere along the way dad bought a new truck. It was a red 1959 Studebaker. It was new and had a lot of power,
at least on the lower end. The next thing I was aware of is that we had a stock rack put on the truck, or perhaps it was
the other older truck. At any rate we went on a date with the truck. A triple date. What a thing to see Steve drove and
the three girls were in the front seat with him. As for Gene and I? We were in the back of the truck sitting on
(of all things) metal kitchen chairs. After the movie it was dark and Steve only had a daylight permit. So we had to go
over to Grandmother Wood's and wait for dad to come and get us and take us home. We did that type of thing a lot.
Going to town and then over to grandma's to wait for dad. I can recall a lot of nights sleeping until dad was ready to
go home. Going to grandmothers was interesting. She would always offer us something to eat and one of the
things she made a lot was dumplings. I hate dumplings. I don't know if it was the texture or what. I still don't like them.
Another thing we knew was that we had to make choices for a sandwich. We could have a slice of bread with butter on
it or peanut butter or jam but not all three or two of the choices. Grandpa had a big garden and the thing I remember
that he grew was horseradish. He also had a garage with woodworking tools inside. Then he had a tub full of dirt
and coffee grounds with nightcrawlers in it. I think he sold them to earn money. At one time I recall we were tasked 
with trimming the huge Cottonwood trees in their yard. It was a a lot of work and not very fun. But we did climb
up in the tree with a chainsaw and operate it standing on the limbs.
As we grew older I discovered girls. One of my early dates was with Steve. I liked Nancy Worth but was too bashful
to talk much to her. It must have been the first time I asked her for a date, and it was in person. Steve took me to their
house, but I was afraid to go up to the door to ask her. Well Steve took it on himself to help me. He pulled prodded
(ie. kicked)  me all the way to the front door. And they had a long walkway. After the fact I was to find out that
Mr. Worth was at one of the upstairs windows and saw the whole thing. We dated for some time. Another thing
I was to find out was Jaren Tolman also liked her. That wasn't news to me, I knew that we would hang out
together in the south west wing of Pokey High, and then when the bell rang for classes we would walk to class.
I would have my arm around her waist and Garen would have his around her shoulder. I don't know when I found
that out, but it was long after the fact.
     High school was different. I had a love hate relationship with school. There were classes I liked and those
that I really hated. Chemistry I hated. Biology I liked and Geometry was good as well. History, well I had to be there.
It was held in the band room and it didn't take long to find out that the harmonics in the room were good. You could
hum at a certain frequency and get the whole room vibrating. I don't remember how we came upon it but  there
were a few of us who would take turns humming.Since the room was tiered the teacher had to lift his head to look
and see if he could figure who was doing it. If, no when he came close to your side  of the room you would stop
and another would start. I don't ever recall getting caught at it. Oh, well.
The other memory was Homeroom. We had a home room assigned and there was a girl I really liked there.
As for her, she didn't care for me at all. But I would still tease her. That got me moved from behind her to in front
of her. Her name was Carol Ann, and I don't recall her last name. After I was moved in front of her, I would
turn around and talk to her. One of the things she would say was "whatever you do, don't join the crummy Navy"
well I did any way.
The Navy time was interesting. Steve and I joined together and we stood side by side as we took the oath.
Well actually it was nor right next to each other, his serial number ends in zero and mine in four so there
were three people between us as we lined up to take the oath. We joined when I was seventeen and
I had to have dad's permission to join that early. That was May of 1962. That summer we went to boot camp
for two weeks. Then we returned home and went to weekly meetings out at the Pocatello airport  Then
during the Christmas break we went to Tacoma Washington for our two week cruise. We were on the
USS Watts DD 567. There were a couple of things I remembered. The first was you had to make a decision
when you got into your bunk as to if you were going to sleep on your back or stomach because there was not
enough room to turn over with out hitting the person above you. The next thing was to find out that
I really didn't get seasick. The closest I came to it was during dinner and I was holding my tray, with one
hand so it would not slide off from the table, and eating with the other. I was eating Chocolate pudding,
and the texture and movement combined made me push away from it and not eat it. In as much as this was
Christmas and there was not a lot to do we had gone into town and were at the USO club and this little old lady
came in and was going around and asking if anyone would like to have Christmas dinner with her. I did not jump
right in at the offer and a couple of other guys did. At any rate It was when they were picked up the next night, I remembered
Dad's advice, If you are invited out to eat take them up on it. Because the little old lady did not show up, but her
twin granddaughters did and were they great looking. Oh, well.
Right after High School graduation I started my active duty. I received orders to report to North Island
Naval Air Station. This was across the bay from where we went to boot camp in San Diego, California.
We were placed in a transition barracks until we were given our permanent assignments. When they were
handed out I was assigned to the Admirals Gig detail. One of the other guys was assigned to the 
communications group as a file clerk. That was just too much for him. Who wanted to be a file clerk?
He went around asking what everyone else had and when he got to me he asked if I wanted to
trade. It didn't mean anything to me so why not? The bad thing was that it cost me money. While he was there
he drew sea pay, and I didn't, but I did learn to run an offset printing machine, which helped me with a job while
going to ISU. At any rate the Navy still wanted to make me a radioman, but while being a file clerk I was in an
area where other radiomen would practice Morse Code with a speed key. The sound would give me a headache.
I decided that I did not want to be a radioman. While there one of the officers came out of the Top Secret "Cripto"
room and said turn on the radio. We did and learned that President Kennedy had been shot.
It was a short time later that we moved into a new facility for the communications group. My job changed from
file clerk to teletype operator. The new job lasted about 15 minutes. What my job was to stand over the teletype
machine and when a message came in I was to press the line feed and add a number of extra blank spaces
on the bottom of the message and then tear it off and hand it to the typist. Then he would type the routing
information in the space at the bottom and put it into an out basket for the printer. Well as I was standing at 
my post waiting for a message to come in, an officer came by and asked me what my job was. Well after I
explained to him what my job was he said let's find something else for you to do. The typist
can tear his own messages off. He took me into the print room and said learn this job. So I became
a printer. Someone in the other room would go around and pick up all of the messages that had the routing
added to them and place them in the basket in the print room. Then we would take the message, look
at the routing and print the required number of copies. The first printing press was an ABDick 350.
 
This is the press that I learned on. Then we were asked who would like to learn to use a new machine and I was
still fresh (sorta) and volunteered. I was sent to classes to learn about the new press. The Multilith 1250
 
It was a fun machine to run. It was still as much work as the old one but it was new. Somewhere along
the line the guy with me in the print room decided that he was going to use my machine, rather than his old 350.
We argued about it for a while and then I "allowed" him to push me out of the way and he started using the new 
machine. However while he was not looking I placed a piece of clear tape over one of the pickup suction tubes.
Then every time the machine would pick up a new piece of paper it would only pull from one side and that would
cause the paper to twist and jam the machine. After trying to fix it a number of times he got mad and said
"here, you can have your damn machine". Well I went through an elaborate gyration of setting up the
machine and clearing the jam and then went on about my printing. He was still a difficult guy to work with.
He would spend more time out front talking with the guys and leave me to do the work. I might add that
we were on the midnight shift and there were not a lot of people around to see what he was doing. After a
while I got tired of doing all of the work. So I decided the only way to correct the situation was to divide the work
in half and leave half for him to do. So one evening as he left the print room,and the messages came in,
  I made two stacks, with a one for me one for you, then about 1 hour before our shift was due to end,
I opened the window and told him that he had better get in and get his half of the work done. He came in
and looked at the stack of messages and then the routing of some of them and accused me of giving him
all of the short ones. The problem with that is you would run three pages and then have to clean the print drum.
I assured him that I was honest with how I divided the work. He threatened to knock my lights out,
and was ready to fight but wanted me to throw the first punch. I told him that he was not worth my career
in the Navy. We must have gotten rather loud because as we were standing there an officer came in from the
other room, stopped , looked at both of us and said well who won? Then he and the other guy went out
and the officer came back and asked me what was going on. I explained what the situation was and
then he went back out and had quite a discussion with the other guy, at least from what I was told later.
Then the officer came back in and said that he was going to come back and we were going to get along.
My reply was "yes, sir". It was only a couple of weeks and the other guy was moved out.
It was after a year at North Island that I got new orders for shipboard duty.
But first I went home for a month of vacation. I worked for Richard Browning bailing hay during
my vacation. The other thing I did was start dating Alexis Wheelock. She was to later write me while
I was on the ship. One letter in particular was air dropped to the ship, which was how we got mail while out at
sea. One of her letters told me that my Grandmother Wood had died. I was at sea and not able to return
home in time for the funeral.
Then I reported to Treasure Island for my shipboard duty. I was assigned to a Radar
Picket ship. The USS Tracer AGR-15, This was a converted "Liberty ship".
 
The radar picket ships were part of the
DEW Line (Distant Early Warning) our job was to sail out from the West coast some 500 miles, and then
cruise in a 25 square mile plot of ocean and monitor incoming air traffic, and report the contacts to the shore.
There was a total of seven stations along the west coast. They extended from off Mexico in the south, to the
area off Canada in the north. I never made it to the station in the south but was on station in the north.
All in all it was not bad duty. We would be out to sea for 30 days and then back on shore for 20 days,
with four section liberty. What that meant was we had to work part of the time but we had a lot of time off.
This is a photo of one of the other ships, AGR-14. We met at sea and did a high line transfer of movies.
 
Although this is not the ship I was on it looks just like mine.
The guy that I traded jobs with in San Diego ended up going on a 10 month Pacific cruise on an LST.
OK, so when I got on board ship I was glad I decided not to be a radioman, because they had so many 
radiomen those were the guys that worked on the mess decks. It also turns out that you were required
to spend the first six months on the deck force. Standing lookout watches, mopping the decks and steering
the ship. Actually not bad duty other than the rotating duty. Then I was asked if I would like to train
as a Meteorologist. I decided that would be  a good job, but there was a problem. That was an Airman rating
and I had to cross rate, that is become an Airman. So I took the correspondence course for Airman.
Still an E-3 pay rate, the same as Seaman. So I became an Airman and then started studying to become
a Meteorologist. However before I made 3rd. class (E-4) and more money, my enlistment was up and
I returned to the Unit in Idaho. I started to attend meetings and then was told that they didn't have
a billet for an Airman rating. So, I cross rated back to Seaman and started studying to become
a Lithographer (Printer). But then before I got there Vietnam started heating up and people were looking
for a reserve location to join. But then we were at full compliment and there was no space unless
someone left. Well, Syd was coming up and did not want to be sent to Vietnam. I asked the Chief,
"If I made a Vacancy could Syd fill it". By that time there was a waiting list and I was asked
where is he on the list? He was number 7! The Chief looked at the list and said there isn't anyone
on the list that knows better so yes. So I made room for Syd and Joined an Air unit out of SLC.
Yup, I had to cross rate back to Airman. striking to become a Meteorologist. What we would
do is fly to Naval Air Alameda, across the bay from San Francisco.
Somewhere in here I broke up with Alexis and started dating LeeAnne Proffitt.
After a few months with the air unit I left to go on a mission and received my final discharge
while serving in Great Brittan.LeeAnne wrote to me throughout my mission.
 
This photo is of our first baptism. This is Sister Brown with Elder Muir and I.
 
It was interesting that in that time frame we practiced learning the mission lessons by using a brother and sister Brown.
The mission time was different. We spent a fair amount of time looking up members that had been baptized but were inactive.
I actually had 7 people that wanted their name removed before I baptized Sister Brown.
Shortly after arriving in England, while still in the mission home, we were sent out to tract. On the first day I remember
going to a street of row houses. Each one had a small fenced yard. How small? Small enough that one of had to step
around the gate to give the other Elder room to close the gate. Anyway we went through this gyration and then turned to 
knock on the door, only to find out that it was a blank. The house had been enlarged and this door was not used, if
fact it did not even have a doorknob. From there on we stepped over this 18" fence. My first area was Chatam
and this was where we met Sister Brown. My companion was Elder Muir from Rexburg. It was this area that I was at a
couple of times. We were tracting and knocked on a door just down from where the new chapel was being built
in Rainham. This young lady answered the door and as we were talking with her, probably just after telling
her who we were, she said "your'e Americans". Well we started to talk about what we were doing and what she was
doing, She was teaching school, and was from Pennsylvania. We ended up inviting her to stop by and visit with the other 
Americans at the Fish's house. She became a regular visitor and enjoyed the company. One day she said what is this
Book of Mormon that you keep talking about? I recall Elder Muir saying, "you mean no one has told you about the 
Book of Mormon? We held an impromptu first discussion right there. She wanted to know more and eventually
got baptized, moved to SLC and became a member of the Tabernacle Choir.
While I was in the Chatam/Rainham area just down the street from one of my flats/apartment, was the home 
of Charles Dickens, and there was a castle in the neighborhood. I was waiting for a companion change and
was supposed to stay in the flat. However the fog had rolled in and I decided that I wanted to take pictures
of the castle in the fog. As I started out the door my landlady said, aren't you supposed to stay in until your new companion
gets here? To which my only reply could be ,yes, but the fog is perfect and I'm just going over to the castle
to take pictures. Here's one of the Castle.
 
I was actually quite pleased with my photos.
 
Somewhere along the line I moved to the Mission home in London and became the mission printer.
Along with printing I was a general gofer for the Mission home. One of the more interesting times
was when I was asked to drive two sisters from the mission home to a Conference out in an East suburb 
of London. It was on the way home that we had been asked to take a pair of Stake Missionaries home.
It was on our way and easy enough to do. As I made a turn to their place I noticed a police car behind me.
Well the lights came on and they pulled me over. It turned out that I had a broken taillight. When asked for my license, for 
some reason I could not readily find my English license, so I handed him my American one. Then proceeded to try and describe
how the car was registered. I said it was registered to the British Mission, and he had this real puzzled look and then I said
well more properly it is probably registered to "The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints, the British Mission". He still had that 
very puzzled look and then I found my English license and as I handed it to him I said "you may know it more commonly as
the Mormon Church" While all this was going on his partner was walking around the car checking the license plates and the general
condition of the car. I also explained that it was my job to see to the needs of the vehicles as well, and that I would insure that
we got the car taken in and the taillight fixed. Well he handed me my stuff back and said good night. As they left and we started off
the sisters in the car all started laughing. I asked What and they said that you should have seen the look on the other Bobby's face
when I said we were Mormons. He looked at the sisters and then he looked at me and then back to the sisters.
Then they said there are going to be stories of Mormons and Polygamy going home tonight.
There was another time I was sitting in the Mission Presidents office and Sister Hogan was there with us also. She
commented to the President that she wanted to do more than be a secretary and wanted to teach. Well President Callister,
had this card box on his desk. He pulled it over and started going through it and pulled out a couple of cards and
passed them across the desk to her and said "here are a couple of referral cards, why don't you and Elder Wood
go out and check them out?" In a shocked voice she said Elder Wood and I? The reply was yes they are close by
and you will be OK. I might mention that these are cards people fill out when they would visit the Hyde Park chapel, which
was just down the street from the mission home. So we left and went to the first referral and the person answered
the door and Sister Hogan started in on a general door approach spiel. Well the individual was oriental and when
she would say Prophet, he would say profit you mean for money? Everything she said he acted like he did not 
understand. As we left she said Elder Wood I am so frustrated! Why couldn't I get through to him? I then explained
that he really did not want to know and he was just messing with her head. The other referral turned out not to be home.
That was the first and last coed teaching moment.
One of the other things I did in the Mission home was make copies of talks for the other missionaries to use.
This was in the "old" days when we only had reel to reel tape recorders. In the mission home we had a
couple of high end reel to reel recorders. I was able to double the speed of both recorders and thus
record the talks in half the time. Our mission mom was the daughter of Legrand Richards.
I was recording one of his talks and while that was going Sister Callister walked in and said What on earth
are you doing? She had never heard talks at double speed before. I would keep the volume low so I could
keep track of where I was in the talk. So I said don't you recognize who that is? I said let me slow it down to
normal speed so you can recognize it. I slowed it down and when it started to play she got this look on her
face and said "Why that's daddy".
 
I had a job to start working for the US Forest Service on a fire lookout just after my mission.
However after my return and before I left to the lookout, mother wanted to practice hiking in preparation
for girls camp that summer. She asked if I would go on a 5 mile hike with her. Of course I agreed.
Rather than use an established trail her plan was for dad to drop us off at the Pebble Creek Ski area parking lot,
then we would hike up the ski runs to the top of the hill and then down the other side, while dad would drive
around the mountains and meet us at Pebble Springs. Along the way we stopped to rest and heard a noise and
turned to look and below us we saw a B52 type airplane flying, in terrain hugging mode below us. We were looking
into the cockpit as they flew by. This photo of mother shows about where we were on the mountain.
 
 
After the plane went by heading north a while later it came back going south. And just as close to the mountain.
And, no I was not ready either time with my camera. This next photo is me just outside Pebble Springs campground.
 
 
If you didn't notice mother was not carrying a pack, and I had all the supplies that we thought we might need. I was home from my
mission for about three weeks before I went to work for the Forest Service. This next photo is a short time later on the 
Butts Point Lookout.
 
I was trying for a tan and instead got burned with blisters and everything. I used the self timer on my camera to take this photo, however
there was not enough time to trip the shutter and get in position on the lookout before the shutter tripped. So I did a Rube Goldberg setup.
I hooked my remote shutter trip cord about 6 inches long, to the camera and then set the timer. The shutter cord I had put through a hole
that I drilled in a mouse trap, and then propped the trap with a piece of wood with a string tied to it. Then I went up onto the lookout
with the string pulled the piece of wood out, which then tripped the shutter release cord, which activated the camera timer, and gave me
time to drop the string and strike the pose. I thought I was quite smart.
 
Somewhere along the line, after returning home LeeAnne and I split up, and I started to date Jill Rushton.
 
After Jill and I got married I still got in trouble over the girl in my High School homeroom. While trying to come up with a name
for Shelley, I told Jill that I liked the name Carol Ann, and thought we should name her that. Well she asked 
where that came from and when I said that there was this girl in High School that had that name, well
that ended that. "We are not going to name our daughter after your old girlfriend", It didn't matter that
she was not really a girlfriend and we had never dated, it just wasn't going to happen. So it was back
to the drawing board to find a name. I still liked Ann and so did Jill, there just wasn't going to be a Carol
with it. While returning from Idaho Falls we passed the sign for Shelley and that name jumped out at both
of us. So, Shelley that is how your name came about. Ann was actually a family name and was OK.
After getting married I continued going to School at ISU, I had been planning on becoming a
Forest Ranger but then the Forestry School was moved to Moscow Idaho, and I didn't want
to move. So I went to the Advisor and he suggested that I enroll in the program for
Health Physics Technician, while I tried to decide what I wanted to do. The program covered all
of the prerequisites that I would need for other classes in any event. So I started on that course.
It was a two year Associate program. This called for two summers studying at the site as an
intern. We were told to report to the Central Facilities on  Monday morning and was given
a building number to go to. As for a bus ticket we were told that we could buy one from
someone at the bus stop. Well I got to Central (as it was called) and found the building.
At this point we came right up against Government Rules. Posted on the side of the door
was a no trespassing sign. There were a couple of us and we debated if we
could enter the building or not. Finally we decided that we were hired and so we must be 
allowed to enter. We had an orientation there and at some point we went to the the various 
sites to study and train. We had a lot of classroom training as well as some hands on training.
I was in my second year of school and had been to the site for two summers, when ISU
decided to change from Semesters to Quarters or vice versa, I don't remember now.
At any rate I was taking a heavy class schedule, Chemistry, Physics, a Math class and a
Photography class as well as labs for the Physics and Chemistry. Jill was worried that we
would not have enough money over the Christmas break. I was going to school on the GI Bill,
and it was based on time in class. The change amounted to a break of a month. Long story short
I applied for a job at NRF Facilities, as a Tool Crib attendant. I got the job and they wanted me
ASAP, so I checked out of school and went to work.
I did decide to keep the Photography class,
and found out that I am not much good at double teaming the work. I had to work the one
night that they were teaching the class I really wanted and needed, Composition. At any rate
I managed to pass the class with a "C".
 
Therefore my start at the site was in the tool room.
Early on an incident comes to mind. While we were living in Pocatello I was working for the Site at
the Naval Reactor Facilities. I was working a 12 hour day. I would leave for work in the evening around 5 PM,
then I would ride the bus to work and work all night and get home around 9:30-10:00 AM. I would go
right to sleep, get up in time to eat dinner and then return to work. It was a very full day. Well one day
I came home and my sister Sheri was there with Shelley and Jill was somewhere, Visiting teaching or
something. Well I came in said High and goodnight, then went to bed. The next thing I know is that
Shelley is standing beside the bed bawling her head off. She had been bawling for so long that
she was horse and was having trouble getting the sobs out. So I get up calm her down and go
out to see what is going on. There is no one in the house except her and I. I found out later that
Sheri had to get back to school and Jill had not returned. How long had Shelley been along?
I have no idea. She was too young to talk much less tell time. The long hours changed some but
still took a toll on the whole family. 
It was shortly after this that the job at NRF ended. Once again I was out looking for a job.
Not finding anything at the site I looked elsewhere. There was a job pushing milk for Rowland's 
Dairy. When I interviewed for the job I told the interviewer that I was planning on working at
the Site. Well that broke the deal. His reply was that they could not afford to hire me if I was
just going to quit at any time and go somewhere else. I really needed the job. So I asked him
just how long would I have to work for him to feel that he had received his moneys worth?
He thought about it for a while and then said three months. I told him that if he hired me
I would guarantee that I would work for him for three months. So they hired me and I became
a milkman. I was on the commercial route where I would drive to American Falls and stock
stores,schools, and restaurants. Then I would go to a store in Aberdeen. On Wednesdays
I had a long day and would also pick up the school and a couple of stores in Fort Hall.
Well I knew after a month that I was not going to stay longer than three months.
I recall one incident that almost ended the job early. It had snowed and I was at
 the store In Aberdeen. I had finished stocking the shelves when the manager told me 
to make sure that I moped the floor when I was done. Well I knew that I had not
spilled any product and I asked what do you think I need to clean up. Well it was the
water from the snow on the wheels of my cart. I told him that was not part of my job,
in as much as it was not product. Then I asked him if he also asked his customers to 
mop up after themselves. His reply was we'll see about that and away he went. Before
I left the store he was back with the mop bucket and said I called the store and they
assured me that you would mop it up. Well I was furious. It was long distance to
make a phone call from Aberdeen to Pocatello so I had to wait until I got to American
Falls. When I called no one answered. I fumed all the way to the plant where I asked the 
foreman. His reply was it is a good policy to do it, my question is it in the contract for me
to do it?  Well no, but half the time I do and half the time I don't, but it is a good policy.
Well I didn't care much about policy. I explained that the manager had been told
that we would clean clean up and that I had called from American Falls and Had
I been told that we had to do that I would have left the truck there and been done
with the job. I felt that I had spent way too much time just stocking the milk to be 
required to do the stores work for them. I told the manager that he had best call the 
store manager and explain that the gal at the plant was wrong and I would not
be mopping  the rain and snow off his floors. To which he replied If you have a
pile of manure it is best to leave it alone and let it crust over than to stir it up and
keep the stink going. Well I was all for getting the whole pile on a pitchfork and 
throwing it out. Another thing happened. We had a price change on our product
and this same manager handed me a rag and a can of hair spray. When I asked him
what's this for he replied that is for changing the price of the product on the shelf,
to reflect the new price. I explained that I sold that product at the old price
and if he wanted to make more profit on that product he could change the
price himself, but I was not about to change all his prices for him.
Well the upshot of all this was that after a month I knew that I was not
going to work more than the three months I had promised. After two months
I gave my notice that I would be leaving at the end of the three months.
They tried to have me train my replacement but no one seemed to last past
a couple of days working the route. In the end I left and I was without a job.
While I worked for Rowland's I started driving dad's 1957 Studebaker Silver Hawk.
I did drive it some right after I got off my mission and was working for the Forest Service.
Then I bought a 1949 Chevrolet. Then when it died I had a 1955 Buick for a while,
I sold it to Syd and then ended up with a 1959 Chevrolet car, and then a 1959
Chevrolet Station wagon. As for the  Stude I don't recall just why I stopped driving
it. I have to assume that I was able to finally buy my own car.
Since I had quit there was no unemployment and I had to find a job soon.
I went to the DOE office in Idaho Falls to check on the status of my application.
The gal looked through the file cabinet and could not find it. I thought OH, great 
here I am waiting for a job and they have lost my application. Then she asked what
 job was I looking for? I told her Health Physics Technician, to which she said I just
pulled all those files for someone to interview from. She turned to a table and there
was this huge stack of folders. It was about 3or 4 feet tall.She dug down about
6 inches and pulled mine out. Then she asked when would I be able to start work?
My reply was immediately. She replied that she would place my file on top and tell
the interviewer that. Well I interviewed on Wednesday and was hired on Friday and 
was told to report to the site for work on Monday.
I have a section on medical issues which covers a lot of Jill's issues as well
as things about me and the rest of the family. At this point in the story I do not intend to
talk about Jill's death. It was not a stellar time in my life. I did not deal well with her loss
or illness in the final years. I do recognize that I used the Boy Scouts as a means to 
relieve stress and tension. The moments I was able to steal from the time with Jill,
allowed me to continue on. What stands out above all was I worked all sort of crazy 
hours at work, and combined it with my scouting work. I know that there were times
when I would come home from work lay down for a few minutes, then get up and go
to mutual, come home get Jill ready for bed, fix a lunch and then go to work. I would 
work all night and then stay for my regular day shift and then come home bone weary.
This was how I was able to cope. I would stay so busy that I didn't have time to dwell
on the problems. I know the kids had to suffer some because I didn't go to any of the 
school things they had. Perhaps I did go to parent teacher meetings but I do not recall.
 
And that was all mixed in with my next thirty-nine years.
I started working at the Chemical Processing Plant (CPP). CPP was quite exciting
in the early days. Our mission was to receive the used fuel rods from around the 
country and it included the Naval Propulsion fuel as well. We would receive it and
store it in a water filled basin for a period of time and then pull it out, into special
lead filled Casks and then take it up to the main building, the processing plant. Then
the fuel would be "charged" actually placed into the processing system. We actually
had three different dissolution processes. One was for the Navy fuel and the cask
would be placed over the dissolver and the shielding lid slid out of the way and then
the slide drawer on the bottom of the cask would be opened and the fuel rod
would drop into the dissolver vessel. The vessel would be filled with water at this
point but you could still feel the fuel hit the bottom. I do recall one time when the 
Supervisor has failed to purge the vessel and dropped the fuel and it sparked and
set off the hydrogen still in the vessel. It rocked the cask and the other
HP(Health Physics Tech) took off running. I found him out of the area and down
the stairs in the office. He was sure that something really bad had happened.
One of the other processes had the cask sit on a shelf with a curved chute that led 
into a shielded cave with a set of leaded windows (for shielding as well as viewing)
and then the operator would use manipulators to pick up the fuel and place it
into one to two dissolver vessels. Then we had a third cell where the fuel cask
was positioned over the charging port and then dropped into another cell, onto
a table. This was the Stainless Steel clad fuel. Then the operator would pick
up the fuel and place it into a special dissolver that was filled with Nitric Acid.
There was an electrical charge placed across the vessel which allowed the acid
to dissolve the fuel. After the fuel was dissolved, by any of the processes we would pull 
samples of the material to assess how complete the dissolution was. Then the material 
would be put through some separation processes, which would separate the fuel,
Uranium, from the cladding material with all of the mixed fission products. When the 
Uranium was as pure as we could get it It would go into another cell for storage,
and the other material would go to what we called the "tank farm" 9 large storage
tanks underground. They were each 300,000 gallons each. This was the waste stream.
The fuel (Uranium) would then go into a room that would change it from a liquid to
a granular solid. This was called the Denitrator. The Uranyl Nitrate would be sprayed
into a heated bed and that would drive the liquid out and reduce the Uranium to a
yellow cake type material. The radiation of the uranium at this point is about
15 millerem per hour. A very safe level. The high radiation goes with the MFP.
The end product was packaged in a round quart ice cream type carton, then
sealed in a plastic bag and then sealed in a number 10 metal can. At the time we
were processing the fuel the cans were worth $600,000 each. We would then place
them in a half 55 gallon barrel. The inside was filled with plaster with just room for
one can to be stored in the middle of each barrel. When it came time to ship them
out we could then load 50 of the half barrels in the back of a semi trailer. When I 
started work we would load the truck and then send it on it's way. When we sent
the last shipment, it had an escort, of really hard dudes, with a lot of guns.
The trailer had changed from a regular semi trailer to a hardened trailer.
The tractor was hardened as well. What do I mean by that, Well the escorts
traveled with the shipment both in front and back. Bulletproof comes to mind
for the tractor and trailer. The shipment of this comes under the 
U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission. this is a link to their web page.
That will give the rules and regulations for shipping.The security was such
that the shipment would leave the Chem Plant and go over to TRA, the 
Test Reactor Area, and park and then at some later date leave from there.
This was a security process so someone at our plant could not call up the
bad guys, and say the shipment just left. We did have a gal that was an 
HP, that had heard about the truck and came down to the Vehicle Monitoring
building and walked in and said in a rather loud voice "how can you tell that
these tires are bulletproof?" Well we told her "Lynn, you can't know that",
or at least you are not supposed to talk about it, especially in front of the 
security group. Well we were doing a very good and important job.
Then President Carter decided that we weren't  going to process fuel anymore.
That changed the tenor of the work. We quit dissolving the fuel, but we did
continue to process the waste material. What was known as the MFP, mixed
fission products. We went from 3 sets of storage bins, when I first started to work
at the Chem Plant, to 6 bin sets. This in itself was an interesting process.
The MFP was in a liquid form and stored in 13 large underground storage tanks.
Each tank was 300,000 gallons in capacity, We would process the MFP in a
fluidized bed reactor, as it was called. What the process was, amounted to having
a large vessel, with a material called Dolomite in it to start with. There was a flow
of heated air fed into the bottom of the vessel, and the Dolomite would then be
less like a sand pile and more like a sand storm. The Dolomite took on the
characteristics of a liquid, rather than a solid. Then into this heated (1000 degree)
vessel the liquid MFP waste, mixed with calcine (fertilizer essentially), this would
be flash dried and the air would cause the calcine to tumble or roll around such
that the liquid would reform back into calcine, with the MFP adhering to the
reformed calcine beads. Then as the process was checked, by pulling a sample
out of the bed, as it was known, and examining it. When the size was right it
would be transported by air, fluidized, and moved into the storage tanks. This was a 
continuous process. The waste stream moving with air would go to the top of the
storage bins into a cyclone separator, and the calcine would then drop into the
separate bins just like a grain elevator. As with everything this had a by-product.
Heating the Nitric acid based MFP produced an orange looking plume out the stack.
From a scientific stand point this was a very weak fertilizer, but from an environmental
point of view it was very bad. So the big bad government had to do something different.
The new process still is not working full time, there are a lot of problems with the process.
However it does not produce the unsightly plume, it just does not work well.
I worked at the site until January 2012. It was that month that the company offered an early
out with incentives, and that is just what I had been waiting for. Now I could retire without losing 
any of my earned vacation time.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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