Friday, December 6, 2013

1927 Honor Battery ~ 222nd Field Artillery


Turning the Hearts of the Children to Their Fathers

In 1926 the 222nd Field Artillery Battalion, Battery D , Utah National Guard was organized.  Prior to this time  the local National Guard was a Calvary Unit  

This new battalion consisted of young men, some of them not yet married. The photo above represents just a few of the children who were born much later and who are very proud of their fathers because of their many accomplishments

The photo they are holding is  Battery D, 222nd .FA.  It was taken  at  the annual summer encampment held at Jordan Narrows  every summer. Their commander was Lee R. Christensen Sr.  The accompanying photo  was reproduced from one that is displayed at Utah National Guard Headquarters in Draper.  The donor of the picture is Lee R. Christensen Jr., who now lives in Washington State.  Lee had it reproduced, framed and sent as a contribution to the Mt. Pleasant Relic Home. He, himself joined the group in 1937, just shy of his 16th birthday.  He has told us that it was standard practice back then to join during your sophomore year in high school.  Lee tells us that Elmer Fillis and Billy Hansen joined at the age of 14.

The brass label on the photo says this group of young men were  an Honor Battalion and here is why.  They earned Silver Cup for appearance, discipline, sanitation, quality of mess, speed and accuracy in firing works, control of instruments, close order drill, customs and ceremonies of the service.  In 1927 this group was also honored for having   best program at the camp and for the greatest percentage of attendance.  First Sergeant A. W. Peterson was awarded a cash prize for general efficiency during the encampment and  Earl Beck was awarded a small loving cup for boxing.  Captain L. R. Christensen was highly commended for the splendid showing of Battery D. 

The men mustered into the charter group were:  Officers, L. R. Christensen, Chesley P. Seely, James F. Jordon.   Enlisted men  were: Morris C. Pallard, Waldo M. Barton,   Evan A. Beck, Alden V. Borg, Milo Brewer, Arthur W. Brewer, Ray C. Brotherson, Ernest G. Brunger, Guy L. Candland, Grant Coates, Alvin H. Christensen, Harold Q. Christensen, Earl G. Christensen, Andy J. Draper, Robert L. Ericksen, Harold E. Frandsen, Othello P. Hansen, William Hansen, Harold Glen Johansen, Peter Jordan, Theron L. Jorgensen, Cannon Jorgensen, Drannen Kolstrom, Farrel Larsen, Ervin (Chris) Larsen, Joseph Larsen, Evan McArthur, Perry F. McArthur, Kent Nielsen, Edgar E. Olsen, Seymour J. Olsen, Mont Olsen, William M. Orrock, Axel W. Peterson, Ferry W. Peterson, Ray Prinera, Francis J. Rackman, Que E. Rasmussen, James Howard Rasmussen, Paul F. Reynolds, Peter W. Reynolds, John H. Rosenberg, Hyrum Carlton Seely, Harry Simpson, Gordon Staker, Alden C. Syndergaard, Fern Truscott, William Radford Wagstaff, Daniel LeRoy Wall, and William M. Williams.

 A quote from the Mt. Pleasant Pyramid, our local newspaper, in 1927 states “Battery D is trying hard to be your protection and your pride in times of trouble.  It expects you to give it support and encouragement in times of peace.  ….. With scarcely an exception fathers and employers of these boys said to them, ‘We will make the sacrifice, you go to camp’. “Battery D  extends to those fathers and those employers its sincerest thanks.”  And from a 1933 Pyramid we quote, “During the past eight years’ competition for the regimental merit cup, Battery D has won the coveted honor five times, the last three years in succession.
 Mt. Pleasants’ National Guard Unit Btry D was called up for Federal Service 3 March, 1941 and ultimately fought for our nation in World War II.       

Our Mt. Pleasant Community can be very proud of these men for generations to come.  Mt. Pleasant Pioneer Historical Association and Relic Home appreciate Lee R. Christensen’s very meaningful contribution.


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I'm Off To Yakima


For a week or ten days......


     1. I will not be seeing much of this!  

2. nor doing any of this and........
 3.  hopefully shoveling none of this ? 

      But visiting with Tracy, David, their 3 dogs, 5 goats, 3 cats and two horses.    Lee

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dear Hal (Harold Graham Christensen, a cousin to Lee.)




May 20, 1996

Dear Hal,

Of all the Christensens I know, I’m the one most prone to reminisce about family history
so I very much enjoyed your letter to Bruce. Over the years I’ve corresponded with Ruby
Cox Smith, a cousin of our fathers, and I’ve shared your letter with her. She has been my
reminiscing correspondence, though I’ve never met her. It was her father, Bruce Cox, who
built the three big lambing barns at the Oak Creek farm/ranch.

While I’m calling the barns “lambing barns,” I don’t know that that is what they were built
for. I do remember a winter or two when J.W. did not sell his lambs in the fall, but kept
them and perhaps bought others to feed into the winter - a feedlot operation. What I remember
most vividly about the barns is how immense they were to a small boy and how
my mother considered the lamb manure to be pure flower growing gold.

Bruce may have lived for a time at Oak Creek place. During the early days of the Depression,
A.D., Tobey Candland, and Harold Swan all worked for J.W. Steve and Elsie lived at
Oak Creek, but either Alice/Tobey or Maud/Harold may also have lived there. I doubt the
Swans stayed in Fairview for more than a year before returning to California. A.D. and
family left the area for Nevada about 1937. J.W. lost the Oak Creek place about 1935-36.
You were very young so you probably do not remember when all of J.W.’s boys homesteaded
in the Sunnyside area of East Carbon County. I don’t know that any of them but
L.R. bought sheep. They built at least two cabins, Bill’s and L.R.’s. Because Tracy and
L.R. were WWI veterans, they had some advantages over the others. I think all but L.R.
dropped out early. L.R. was challenged when he came to “prove up” and he lost his place.
This forced him to buy in the Schofield area. He may have been there ahead of J.W. It also
forced him to merge his herd, six or seven hundred head, with J.W.’s.

I once asked L.R. how J.W. managed to hold onto his herd while so many big spreads went
under during the Depression. He said the banks could have foreclosed on J.W. and most
other herds in Sanpete County, but that J.W. owned some unmortgaged pasture land that
made his less insolvent, if that’s a description, than others. The banks, of course, had more
sheep than they knew what to do with so were not pressing foreclosures. There was always
the hope and the promise that Roosevelt and the Democrats would turn the economy
around. Which they did, of course, with a big assist from WWII.

Lee

The following is taken from "Utah History To Go" and written by John H.S. Smith.

With its high, dry climate, abundance of bunch grass, excellent breeding program, and "near-perfect transhumance cycle," Sanpete County had proved an ideal place to raise sheep. Unfortunately, the worldwide depression that began in 1929 sent wool prices tumbling. On May 31, 1929, the Manti Messenger had reported that wool was selling at the highest price ever--about a dollar a pound. Then things suddenly changed. Rudolph Hope "related a story of two men who were dickering with a commission man after the peak of the season. Not content with a dollar they were trying for more, but during the bargaining a telegram arrived for the commission man who promptly refused to buy at any price and left. This was the start of the slump and soon wool was fetching as little as five cents a pound, irrespective of quality." The industry would never fully recover.
At the turn of the century Utah had some 2.7 million sheep, and Sanpete was the heart of sheep country. By 1994 the state had only 445,000 sheep and lambs and a wool clip of only 3.8 million pounds. Sheep remain an important element in the state's and Sanpete County's agricultural economy, but the glory days of the 1920s are gone forever.


Sources: John S. H. Smith, "Localized Aspects of the Urban-Rural Conflict in the United States: Sanpete County, Utah, 1919-1929" (M.A. thesis, University of Utah, 1972); History of Sanpete and Emery Counties, Utah (Ogden: W. H. Lever, 1896); Wayne L. Wahlquist, ed., Atlas of Utah (Provo: Weber State College and Brigham Young University Press, 1981).

The entire article will post tomorrow.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Hal was Harold Graham Christensen, a cousin of Lee R. Christensen
Harold Graham Christensen
Harold Graham Christensen
(Hal)

Sunday, August 25, 2013







February 28, 1991

Dear Dale,

That was some story you told your mother. The Army runs you off the street at 6 PM.
What will you tell her when you show up back in Centerville with a 4’-8” Korean bride?
You’re mother will want to know how you had time to court her. Better have an honest
story ready. You and I know you’re living a jazzed-up version of your Flint fraternity days
minus the final exams.

I’m just back from the hills with my old dog, Dudley. Actually, he is Robyn’s old dog, but
I take him out every day for 1 1/2 to 2 hours of hiking either along the Yakima River or
Manashtash Ridge. The first two miles from the house1 the latter 10 miles. I prefer the
ridge because I get a more strenuous workout - on a warm day, some sweating. Dudley
doesn’t care. Along the river - rain, wind, sleet, or snow - he’s in the water. On a cold
day, he’s practically a walking ice cube.

The Yakima is a mountain river on its way to the Columbia sixty miles east. It starts fifty
miles west of here. By the time it reaches Ellensburg, it is fifty yards wide and moving. In
the summer, it will have rafters soaking up the sun above and the water below. By the time
they float through the Canyon, they’re water wrinkled down and sun baked up.

Until last June, I hiked with two dogs, Dudley and Wyndam, both flat coat retrievers.
Wyndam was Robyn’s champion - confirmation, obedience, and tracker trained. A truly
great dog. Unlike Dudley, he was not interested in jumping into the river after sticks. He
wanted the real thing. Along the river, I had to watch him so that he did not challenge a
beaver, a muskrat, or a 90-pound king salmon. Just a super dog. But, at age 12, he was
seriously ailing, so we put him down.

In addition (the dogs live with Barbara, my ex-wife), we still have Kitty’s dog, Mollie,
a sheltie. Mollie won’t (never has) hiked with us, but she is always there to welcome us
home. Barbara tells me she loves Dudley’s stories about the wolf he chased and mice the
size of elephants. Dudley can be wild with his stories. Then there is Harold, Barbara’s cat.
Harold is almost as big as Mollie. Here in my apartment I have only Harlem (Little Fleece),
Tracy’s rabbit. He objects to me calling him Little Fleece. Claims I’m threatening him. I
tell him not to worry. I prefer wool in my moccasins and rabbits are to damn stringy to eat.
I’ve also told him that if I slip one more time on one of his little black ball bearings, I’ll
introduce Dudley to him.

I talked with your mother last evening. I thought she had sold all your cars, but she tells
me she still has a small pickup and a big bike for sale—cheap. I told her if I could find my
old black leather jacket, I would buy the bike. Not until warm weather, of course. But I’ve
had second thoughts. Now-a-days, you’ve got to wear a helmet, keep the headlights on,
even be licensed. I like the old days when you could ride with nothing but your oily levies,
a red bandanna and a tattoo, hair a blowing, girls a screaming, cops a chasing. Those were
the days. There was nothing like a 60 yard skid on your side to test the paint job on the old
Harley. Even thinking about the old days calls for a nap.

Hang in there.



Lee


Dale
(Dale is a nephew and a veteran helicopter pilot Iraq)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

 Two Photos.  Trying to help King Felix win one>?  I’m sitting one seat left of the left field foul pole (yellow   line ).  My high hard   one is not what it once was but the flutter ball still fools them.   lee



Unknown




KATHY; Until a year or two before WW2 the National Guard Officers wore this uniform. Both Univ of Utah and Utah State had ROTC programs and their grads would wear this uniform. I do not recognize this officer but two who were in the Guard, there were others, that I do remember were Ray Tanner and Harold Frandsen but would not recognize them.



The building bricks look like the Library>? lee



Thursday, July 11, 2013

Two Wars ~ Two Troopships ~~ Two Sinkings

TWO WARS-TWO TROOPSHIPS-TWO SINKINGS




World War One SS Tuscania

When the United States declared war on Germany in April of 1917, my father, L R Christensen, was herding sheep for his father, J W Christensen. When the Draft Act passed a few weeks later he became a prime candidate, age 27 and single, to be drafted. He started looking for a military unit he could join that would take him overseas. At some point, he heard about an engineer unit recruiting experienced mill and forestry workers to cut and mill rafters and planking for the trenches. He had worked for his father at his mill up Fairview Canyon and this experience qualified him for the 20th Engineers (Forestry). He reported to American University, Washington D C, December 1917 where the unit was mobilizing. The unit did not spend much time on military matters; they were, after all, going to do in the military what they had been doing as civilians. They sailed for France on the 24th of January, 1918 on the SS Tuscania. Their troopship was torpedoed off the coast of Ireland, early evening 5thof February. This disaster is covered in detail on the internet. Go to:


To read my fathers’ biography on this website: click on “Archives”, click on “24 January Passenger list”, click on “20 Engineers Co F”, scroll down to Utah and click on “Private Lee R Christensen”

Private Lee R Christensen December, 1917

(center, with receding hair line)




World War Two His Majesty’s Troopship Rohna

Just as in WW 1, it was the passage of a Draft Act that got my father back into the active military. He had been a member of Mt Pleasant’s National Guard unit, Btry D 222nd FA Reg since it was reorganized following WW 1. The Draft Act of August 1940, some 15 months before Pearl Harbor, called for the drafting of men 21 – 35 and the mobilization of all National Guard units. Mt Pleasant’s Btry D with the rest of the 40th Div Utah/California National Guard was called up 3 March 1941 and reported to Camp San Luis Obispo early April just as carpenters drove the last nail completing their mess hall.

A renewal of the Draft Act of 1940, passed in August of 1941, gave the military permission to send draftees and National Guardsmen overseas. The ink on this new Act was barely dry when the 2nd Bn of the 222nd FA Reg that included Btry D was alerted for assignment to the Philippine Islands to sail from San Francisco 10 December. In preparing for this overseas post a number of the older officers considered too old for a combat unit were transferred. My father was one of them.

After Pearl Harbor, and following a number of assignments that included Ex officer of the MP Bn at the Japanese Relocation Center, Santa Anita, he was assigned to train and take overseas a stevedoring Bn (men that load and unload boats). They trained spring and summer of 1943 on the Seattle docks and sailed for Oran, Algeria late September. After a short stay in Oran where the war had moved on, they sailed for India with sections of the Bn on a number of different troopships. My father and his staff were aboard the Egra directly behind the Rohna with a clear but nervous view of the sinking. Like the SS Tuscania in WW 1, this troopship disaster is covered in detail on the Internet. Here are links for more information on the sinking of the HMT Rohna.



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMT_Rohna



http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glide_bomb


KATHY:  I have now heard from the American Battle Monuments Commission.  There are thirteen Utah  men MIA from the sinking of the troopship Rohna, none from Sanpete County.  lee


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Lee's Letter to Beth April 26, 2003

Dear Beth                                                                                         26 April, 03

            How do you hi-rise city dwellers know when it’s Spring?  There is the calendar, the weather reports, neighborhood images by the roving reporter, and the Kentucky derby, always run the first Saturday in May.
           

Out here in the Yakima boonies, spring is not a calendar event tho it’s never more that 2-3 weeks off the traditional dates.  This year, the butter cups were in bloom the first week of March and they’re long lasting.  They were overlapped and followed by a colorful continuum of wild flora that will go into mid-summer, some lasting but 2-3 days. 
Next door, the pear orchard is in bloom and the 60 acres of apples will follow in about 10 days.  Earlier, the lone family cherry tree and apricot tree bloomed.
            After my morning hike with the dogs, I frequently refer to the Sagebrush Country- a Wildflower Sanctuary for the names of the flowers I’ve seen.  By now I should know them all-but I don’t-and Andy Anderson, our old high school biology teacher, would be disappointed.  Poor memory for wildflowers I guess.     



  From my youngster days, I still remember Indian Paint brush which I don’t have in my backyard and lupine which I do.     


                                                                              
     

 Over the years from my hikes thru the brush, I’ve added only Balsam root, Large headed clover, Phlox, and Desert parsley. 



From my hikes on the wet side-out of Seattle-I know the Columbine and Trillium, neither of which we have here in the sagebrush.
            On this mornings hike, I spotted a flower just blooming which for now, after checking my book guide, I’m calling the Camas.  It looks like the so called Death Camas and I’ll want my homo sapiens expert to look at it. 



 The Camas, as do most wildflowers, comes in a number of varieties and only the Death Camas is poisonous.  Utah’s Kamas, my mother’s home town, was named after the flower.  Here in Washington, we also have a town named Camas.  Our spelling is better.  Neither named after the Death Camas, which I’m guessing by looking at the latin names, is a very different species than the more beautiful flowering Camas which is not deadly.
            And when you think Spring, don’t overlook the bugs that also take on new life and vigor as the days lengthen and warm, such as the wood tick-here called the dog tick.  An ugly little creature.  I’ve been warned about ticks since the first day I crawled into the sagebrush-about age 2.  There was always the anxious ritual of mother and dad inspecting your naked body for the little crawling creature with much talk about dying from Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever.  And of course a discussion of how to force the little varmint to let go if he had a grip.  Dad was for the lighted cigarette, Eva for the turpentine.  It is no wonder some grown-ups still panic when they see one.  If the ugly little tick can cause such fear it is a good thing the dinosaurs are long gone.
            Both Lynn Poulsen and Elmer Fellis attended Mt. Pleasant’s Pioneer Day luncheon.  The program was improved from last year but the luncheon entrée was still a sub sandwich-however unlike last year, it had been thawed.  Elmer said he’s told the food committee no more subs or he is gone.  Lynn, a former president of the group, never comments on the food.  He may be packing in his own lunch.  The church has a large modern kitchen and I may get a group together including you to prepare next years meal.  Old fashioned meat stew-maybe Venison with dumplings.  Sharpen your spud peeling skills so you’ll be ready.

                                                                        L.R.








Thursday, May 9, 2013

Scofield ~ 1988 ~ The Last Summer

Lee


In the early 1930s, after losing his homestead in the Books Cliff area of Carbon County (he had not spent enough time there) and wanting to stay in the sheep business, however small, my father, L R Christensen needed grazing range to comply with the Taylor Grazing Act. With his father J W Christensen of Fairview who also needed more range for his much bigger herd together they bought about six thousand acres in the Schofield area from Mt Pleasant interests that included the James Larsen family.



By the mid-1980s the acreage was owned by about fifteen of their heirs and operated as an informal family partnership rented to a cattleman who ran about six hundred head of cattle there June to October. It was the ideal place for a recently retired out-of- shape office worker with cowboy fantasies to exercise those fantasies. Here are some of the high lights of my last summer at Schofield.






Schofield - 1988 The Last Summer
Sunday, July 31, 1988, 2:30 p.m.

Back on the property, getting ready for another August of riding, hiking, packing. Left Ellensburg
Thursday. Car camped at Farewell Bend State Park, Oregon. Swatted mosquitos
and talked with the ghosts of Oregon Trail travellers throughout the night. Next day, drove
to Anderson Campground, Twin Falls, Idaho. Spent evening with Barbara, Pat O’Marra,
and daughter Connie. Had not seen Connie since Juneau, 1965. She has since became a
very attractive woman, married, divorced, earned a masters in social work from UCLA,
worked as social worker in LA area. She has now returned to Kimberly/Twin Falls to
work, having tired of the southern California rat race. A very pleasant evening.

On the road early Saturday morning. Planning to make Schofield by mid-afternoon. Was
on schedule until pickup started misbehaving south of Salt Lake City. Pulled into a service
station, but before mechanic could look for problem, it disappeared, so drove on. By
Springville, the engine was dying every time I let up on the accelerator. To my surprise,
I found a garage open and in two hours for eighty dollars I had a new fuel pump and a
smooth running pickup. Decided to stay in Fairview rather than drive up the canyon in late
afternoon. Besides, I was tired, needed a shower, and the weather looked threatening.

Have been here a few hours. Have built a corral to protect the hay I hauled from Ellensburg.
Put up the wash stand. Done some policing of the campsite. Taken short nap. Left
to do is haul sheep wagon from Salt Lake. Build saddle rack. Just heard first loud crack of
thunder as the usual afternoon build-up begins. This may go on for 2-3 hours and, by early
evening, have blown through. We may or may not get some rain.

Wednesday, August 3, 1988
Back in camp. Left Monday for Salt Lake City. Visited with Elsie in Fairview, then on to
Provo where I overnighted. Spent evening visiting with June. Tuesday, drove to Salt Lake
City. Checked courthouse records. Ross and Eva were not married in Salt Lake County.
Checked with Register University of Utah. Was told to send proof of death for transcript,
also two dollars for transcript. Bought Tracy’s Amtrac ticket. She leaves Seattle August
16, arrives Provo August 17. Had visit and dinner with Dave and Susan, who are housesitting
Hal’s home. Talked Schofield.

Wednesday morning, hooked sheep wagon to pickup and was on highway by ten minutes
to seven. Was ahead of the commute traffic into the city; into Schofield by 10:00, after an
uneventful drive, much to my relief. I had expected a disaster pulling a sheep wagon

originally built to be pulled by horses; modernized by adding rubber tires, no tail lights, just
the farm implement triangle road permit, protruding chimney, bounce around stove. I was
fearful that my slow highway speed up Spanish Fork Canyon would cause a traffic jam, but
I was ahead of the traffic.

Was able, with help from steady, sturdy pickup, to locate wagon where it belonged in the
campground. I’m now ready for the summer, but will take a nap first and then see what I
can do about the mice in the wagon. Maybe I’ll challenge mice before nap.

1:00 p.m. - Mice nests cleaned out. Did not see any mice. They may know where to hide
as I attacked each nest. Took mattress and springs out to get a big nest that I suspected had
been built from mattress filler. To my surprise, mattress was intact. Nest must have come
from earlier mattress. The wagon is now fairly clean. Mice nest free at least. It needs
some repairs, which I’ll do over the summer. Needs a new stove or the top of the current
one welded. Will see what I can find in Mt. Pleasant or Fairview tomorrow.

5:45 p.m. - I’ve moved most of my gear into wagon - all but the food. I’ll know by morning
what the remaining mouse problem is. If they have nibbled away at the newspapers or
the leather equipment, I’ll move mouse edibles back into pickup. I’m much better organized
around wagon than a year ago. Even old dogs can learn new tricks. Have hooked
horse trailer to pickup. Ready to take off for Fairview/Mt. Pleasant for last minutes groceries,
beer, and horses. By tomorrow evening, I should be in full swing.

Thursday, August 4, 3:30 p.m.
Back in camp with horses. They did not load easy, but appear to be better stock than last
summer. The brown gelding has bad hobble sores on both front feet. I’ve salved them.
Have them tied to a tree getting them familiar with their new environment so they will not
take off for Indianole tonight. Have not yet decided if I will stake them tonight. Probably
should first night, away from the home corral.

Saw Elmer Fillis and Lyn Paulsen while in Mt. Pleasant. Both looked good. Elmer is the
fittest 64 year old I’ve seen in these parts. It is his winters in southern California; his summers
in Mt. Pleasant with plenty of tennis and golf that does it.

Pickup performed like an 87 model just off the assembly line on the Cottonwood Canyon
grade. That’s seven miles of 8% climb on a hot, hot day pulling a horse
trailer with two horses giving no help.


Finished buying my camp supplies and, for the most part, am completely moved in for my
second summer. Now to get the horses adjusted and me into the saddle.

To my surprise, Lamont only charged me $250.00 for the horses and tack. I had expected
to pay at least $400.00. There are still some bargains - I say - before I’ve ridden the horses.

7:15 p.m. - Have had supper - sheepherder potatoes, onions, and boiled eggs. I use the
water I’ve boiled the eggs in to do my dishes, which have been washed. Checked on the
horses. They are adjusting. I have them in a small barbed wire holding corral. So far,
I’ve been able to walk up to them. Have grained them, small amounts, two-three times,
so they’re familiar with their rider. There is very little grazing in the corral, so I’ve tossed
them some hay. They prefer the sparse grazing to the world famous Ellensburg Timothy.
My telling them that Kentucky Derby winner, Seattle Slew, ran on Ellensburg Timothy did
not impress them. Will check them one more time before I crawl into the old sleeping bag.

Friday, August 5, 11:45 a.m.
I have just washed my hands from my morning ground brushing activities. Was in the
saddle on Old Geld leading Paint the packhorse by 9:30. Fifty yards down the trail, he
dumped me. It was so fast, so sudden, so unexpected, I don’t really know what happened.
He bucked once, maybe twice, maybe three times, then I’m on the ground slightly stunned,
completely shocked, without my glasses. The horses trotting down the trail. Recovered,
caught the horses and started looking for my glasses. Took me forty minutes to find them.

Remounted after tying Paint and rode Old Geld for twenty minutes alone. He is a mount
I must stay alert on. Returned, picked up Paint and rode around, keeping a very tight and
short hold on my pack mare. It is likely the bucking episode was caused by letting the lead
rope get under Geld’s tail. Anyway, no broken bones. I don’t even feel bruised.

Had a great deal of leather work to do. Pack saddle is new, but all straps had to be adjusted.
Stirrups were too long and had been wired set, so had to get out wire cutters, leather
punch, adjust, and rewire. I’m learning to do these jobs, which any packer or rider should
be able to do. After being thrown from my horse, I’m starting to think that the setting up,
the getting ready for, and the equipment repair are as interesting and as much fun as the riding.

Put the horses in the big pasture. Will see how that goes. Will ride again, later this afternoon



7:35 p.m. - I guess I’m through for the day. Did not get back in the saddle, but elected to
drive to Price. I had forgotten how different and interesting the rock formations are for the
15-20 miles before Price. The canyon was steeper than I remembered.

Price was hot and you have to wonder why a town. Got the supplies I needed, but mostly
looked around and came home. My worries about catching the horses in the big pasture
were groundless. The Paint comes right up to me. Old Geld follows.

Bought a small plate of sheet steel to cover draft hole on stove. Have now put good steel
over broken or missing stove covers, so fire should burn and heat, maybe bake as good as
new.

Saturday, August 6, 4:20 p.m.
Back from today’s auto travel. Headed out for Skyline Endurance Ride about 8:30. Arrived
Lake Canyon about 10:00. Saw first six or seven 25 milers finish. First two were
father and son, Ward Arabians, to whom I had mailed photographs from last year’s ride.
Chatted with them about their ride. Talked with Mrs. Reynolds. She and her husband manage
the ride.

Then, under threatening sky, headed down Huntington Canyon. Did not find anyone squatting
on the Valentine Gulch property, but did not walk up into gulch because of heavy rain.
Drove on down the canyon to Huntington, admiring the interesting rock forms and bristol
cone trees.

From Huntington on to Price. Still more interesting land forms. Ate lunch in Price. Bought
insoles for boots - overlooked yesterday - and home. It is an interesting loop with contrasting
geological features from Schofield, Skyline, Huntington, Price. Tracy may want to
travel it.

Saturday, August 6
5:10 P.M. - Grained the horses. They were a good quarter mile away, but came when I
called. That is, the Paint came and Old Sour Geld followed.
Took a few minutes to find the answer to an important question. Do my homemade pack
boxes fit the canvas panniers? The answer—No. Lamont’s panniers are not standard-don’t
even appear to be square. More homemade than my boxes.
The boxes  are good for mouse proofing my food. Will work out something else for packing.


Sunday August 7-8:30 A.M.
Have grained the horses, prepared and eaten breakfast, done the dishes, made my bed,
cleaned the wagon and I’m ready for the day’s activities. Will take a short walk, round up
the horses and get ready for a couple hours riding.

Rained some last night—even a gentle rain is noisy on the tin roof of the wagon. There was
no lightening or thunder (they go together)—just a sneak up on me in the middle of the
night rain. Could use some every night.

1:00 P.M. - Lunch finished. Boots cleaned, toenails cut and planning afternoon activities.
Was in the saddle at 9:45. Headed out and wary. Kept old Paint close so no loose rope to
get under Geld’s tail. Rode to reservoir and back. Two hours. Let Paint follow off rope
home. No real incidents but Geld occasionally wants to head home and gets balky, rears.
An alert rider can stay with him, get him under control and he’s fine for the next 20-25
minutes.

2:30 P.M. - Just back from a 2.8 mile lunch hike. I thought I left the place very clean last
fall but the beer can throwers have been back. Will clean it up again.

7:45 P.M. - Dinner and dinner dishes done. Was a quickie chili with beans and Vienna sausages.
Earlier I had planned a more elaborate meal but am back late and tired from a two
and a half hour search for “Rogers Gate” over on the lower Lost 40. Did not find gate and
I wonder if we could get onto our property up his 80-foot corridor. Will take more inspecting.
Will ride over to campground and inspect rather than hike from here. By the time I
hike to the campground, tramp around, walk up and down hills on a hot afternoon I’ve had
it. And that is how I feel tonight. Must yet go see if the horses want water. They do not like
the muddy water the cattle drink.

Monday August 8.
1:55 P.M. - In camp. Horses watered and groomed as Tracy would want. Washed-up and
ready for lunch. Had 3 hours plus ride up to top and back. Good work out for Geld and
Paint followed beautifully. Bottom sore but I’m trying to get in shape.

Tuesday August 9
10:10 A.M. - In camp for morning break. Not riding today. Will dedicate this one to picking
up all the big junk in the camp area—like mattress springs, burned out wagon or car seats

and assorted small stuff. Will throw into pick-up and take to Schofield dumpster or if
moved, all the way to Mt. Pleasant dump. With the big stuff out of the way can clean up the
little stuff over the summer. Dave would like this area for a family campground. If that is
his idea with my time and inclinations to pick-up—learned in military—I’ll turn this area
into a park. Mother Nature has given us a beautiful place to start.

Brant came by last evening and had soup with me. Examined my map of area—and I don’t
have fences in some of the places he says there are fences. The differences all involve LR/
Eva’s property. I’ll ride the total area before I complain to Hal.

Mary Jane’s idea of giving our land to Audubon Society for the Eva Parke Bird refuge
makes more sense every day.

8:00 P.M. - Back from second trip to Schofield. First one to take PU full of junk—successful—
big help. Second trip to make two telephone calls-to Sally-all is well eastern front and
to Robyn—all is well Ellensburg front. While in Schofield had hamburger dinner.

Spent good part of morning with Brant. He took me up on top. Pointed out where water
holes were. Then up Starvation canyon again pointing out water holes. Pointed out the RR
grade where the RR had crossed our acreage headed for Schofield. It was a meaningful
orientation to the property for me. I had some boundaries clearly screwed up. I’m not very
lay-of-the-land talented. Certainly no Fremont the Pathfinder.

Wednesday, August 10
1:20 P.M. How easy it is to lose track. I had to go back to yesterday to make certain it was
Wednesday. Finished lunch—awaiting Dave, who is due today. Had a 2-1/2 hour ride trouble
on one stretch. It is a 200-yard shady lane and 2-3 deer had crossed it just ahead
of us. Old Geld was very obstinate and refused to go. Turned, reared, stood solid so I lead
him. After that things went well. Will have to ride him back and forth in there a number of
times. I’m occupied with the horses, getting them, saddling, riding, unsaddling, grooming
and returning them to pasture via water hole from 9:00 to 1:00 on a day like today. A full
morning.

6:15 P.M. Dave has just left-got here about 2:45; had 1-1/2 hours discussion with Ag man
from Price-I did not sit in on conversation. Since they adjourned we have sat in sheep
wagon-2 beers each and talked family, Schofield, etc. Good afternoon.


Thursday August 11
11:40 A.M. As they say in the Air Force, “It was smooth sailing until we hit Turbulence.”
One half hour out on the trail and up a steep slope Old Geld decided to get rough. I stuck
with him for 4-6 twisters and then I was rolling down the hill. Both horses took off—
haven’t seen them since (10:30 was F for Fly Hour). Have a skinned elbow, sore neck—
maybe a slight whiplash and sore right rib cage—maybe a broken rib or two.

First chore is to find horses. I’ll return the Geld overnight in Fairview to see how I feel in
the morning and if all is well come back here. If not we’ll have to make some decisions.
But first the horses.

1:15 P.M. Back in camp—horses up road a piece—tied up. I’ll have a light lunch—hook up
the trailer and return Old Geld. Will take both horses, but if I’m feeling OK tomorrow will
bring Paint back with hopefully a reliable mount. Right now, I’m a little sore all over. Like
maybe I’ve gone a quarter with the Chicago Bears.

The next crisis will be loading? A beautiful doe just strolled through the campsite.
Friday August 12

9:05 A.M. Parked here in front of Lamont’s while he brings up a substitute for Old (High
Hips) Geld. Got into Fairview last evening about 5 P.M. Took me about one hour to load
horses—a little patience—damn little, and some force. Spent night here in Fairview. Had
dinner at Stu’s with Ted Mower and his wife Goldie—then out to his Oak Creek home for
pleasant 2 hour visit.

Got up this morning and did my laundry. Now I’m ready to hit the saddle and trail. Some
pain to neck and right rib cage, otherwise sound as the American dollar.

1:20 P.M. - I appear to be back in business. Arrived back in camp about 11:30. Tied and
fed horses-had lunch. Moved excess gear back onto horse trailer, watered horses, grained
them for orientation purposes and am now ready to relax. Only thing missing appears to be
saddle water canteen. Probably where I unsaddled and tied horses yesterday afternoon.

New gelding appears to be much calmer and pleasant-Old Geld was very sour—had his
ears laid back most of the time—drove Paint away from the grain-threatened on and off
while they were grazing. A very unpleasant horse. He was certainly one you would suspect
as being a closet bucker—which he turned out to be.


Lamont was very apologetic for Geld’s actions and thinks I have one that will respect my
Senior Citizen status.

7:00 P.M. Have just finished dishes—sumptuous meal—canned string beans, potatoes,
boiled: chicken gravy with a can of chicken in it. Too full for dessert—which was to have
been canned apricots—maybe later.

Saturday August 13
10:15A.M. Just finished an extensive policing of immediate camp area. Have two bags for
dumpster. I find pieces of wire above every footstep. Will not ride today. Both neck and ribs
sorer than yesterday—probably because I did not keep them warm enough last night. Both
feel better after hour of walking and picking up.

Will go into Price today. Check out some activities for Tracy and me—maybe send a
postcard or two. Horses came for grain when I called. I think they will be catchable when
I’m ready to ride. New Geld could use a little weight, so 2 days rest won’t hurt him. Paint
getting fat.

6:00 P.M. I’m about to grain the horses, halter them and take them to water. I’ll be interested
in seeing if they drink as I’ve not watered them since noon yesterday. There is water
in the pasture—if they’re found it-and a good dew fall last night.

A frustrating day that ended with what I wanted to get done. Picked up the metal milk
boxes in Schofield—was given them. Went to Price—money machine would give me no
money. Computer said “unable to verify with your bank.” Went by to get water—sign said,
“non-potable.” Two strikes. Started researching the water problem. City officials had referred
me there for water last week. In the Museum—when I inquired about Visitors Center
I was asked what my problem was—being that the Center closed. I explained—a knowledgeable
gentleman (I hope) said if the water was coming out a faucet it was drinkable.
Price had only the one water system-and piped water drinkable.

So, on way to get water, tried bank again—and what do you know—got my money. Bought
some books—and two dishpans, which I’ll use for grain feeders, and came home. Did visit
both Helper Coal Museum and Price Museum. Both good.

6:40 P.M. Grained and watered Old Paint—didn’t drink much so either not thirsty or too
excited to drink because Old Geld not with us. He was too quick for me to get a rope on
him. Better luck in the morning. If I’m ready to ride. Now for the evening meal. What will
it be....


Sunday August 14
8:20 A.M. Waiting for the coffee to perk. Have been out and grained and caught Paint. She
is tied in what I call the stall area. Old Geld did not take his grain and I did not catch him. I
have a special problem here. Part of my summer challenge.

Neck and right rib cage still sore—spent a restful night.

11:20 A.M. As I’ve hinted at before—the challenge of living out here may be what all the
fun is about. And horses in the mountains represent a major challenge. I decided to lure Old
Geld into the smaller pasture/corral. The same corral I kept Brown Geld and Paint in the
first night I had them. The gates were not all they should be and in anticipation that I may
have a problem catching Old Geld I’ve spent the morning improving the gates. I think I’ve
got the gates so he won’t try and jump them. The fence is generally good.

After fixing the gates I put Paint in the corral and in came Old Geld (O.G.) I shut the gate
and I now have him in a corral—-still big about 75 yds. 50 yds-but by much smaller than
the 2 mile sq. pasture he has been in. About 5 P.M. I’ll go down and see if I can catch and
ride him. I’ll keep them there until I leave for Provo and Tracy. Feed them hay.

Have dead calf in pound—will try and drag it out this afternoon-or better yet let Brant do it
when he returns tomorrow.

1:35 P.M. I moved dead calf 50 yds beyond pound—Brant can probably tell what killed it.

7:15 - End of day. Cold Quik Chocolate drink for dinner as I had hamburger at Finn’s Inn,

4:00 P.M. Went up to Madsen Cove State Park to see if I could locate Rogers 80’ that we’re
trying to access to our property. Have a general idea-but general is not good enough here—
that 80’ could take in an impossible hill. I may ask a surveyor to locate it for me.

Did get in 25 min. riding on Old Geld. Took me a few minutes even in the small corral
to catch him. Paint goes wild when he is not near and for my short ride I tied her but she
skinned her shoulder trying to get loose. It’s one problem after another with horses. Good
chocolate drink—must drink it more often.

Monday August 15
8:50 A.M. - Off to a slow start. Haven’t had breakfast yet. Have lured the horses into the
corral so if I decide to ride they are available. We have a fully overcast sky and hopefully
will get a good rain. It has been hot and dry and I can notice the change in vegetation since
I’ve been here. Yesterday not a cloud in the sky. Today I hope rain.


Unlike last summer when there was a build up every afternoon with some rain with much
lightening and thunder. This summer has been peaceful and dry.

9:29- Started to rain hard enough that you can hear the pitter patter on the sheep wagon’s
tin roof—Hope it lasts all day. I would like the area green for Tracy. She is not used to a
dust bowl.

11:05 A.M. - Housekeeping done—ready to catch horses and ride-Cat went by about

9:40—-thought I would walk up and see it in action. As I was headed up that way Brant
came by and I rode up with him. Cat was to work upper pond today, so I just watched them
unload—at first cattle guard, then caught ride back to camp with son of Cat operator. They
will be working 2nd pond tomorrow, near Andy Anderson’s cabin-should be able to see that
one.

Will get no rain today—has passed over without doing anything but teasing. Right lower
rib cage bothering me today. Neck not too bad.

2:55 P.M. - Have just finished my cheese and beer lunch-Bud Light-not worth the can its
packed in. Have not yet found a dark or foreign beer in Utah. Rode Paint for about 1 3/4
hrs—leading Old Geld. Paint is hard to bit—tosses her head, but is otherwise a good horse.
Needs work and Tracy can give it to her. Mr. AlIred looked at her-says she is only a four
year old. If so she’ll be a good one. Could be pretty, too. I’ve let her get too fat. And she is
friendly—most of the time I can walk up to her. Today’s catch was not one of them. But I
was patient, friendly and in due time caught both of them. Have turned them into the big
pasture for the afternoon and night.

Right rib cage giving me pain.

10:10 P.M. late for an old timer—I’ve been into town with Brant. I had walked up to the
cabin hoping to see what construction they had done, and hoping to ride back with Brant
and Jack. On reaching the cabin and finding no Cat—and looking at the tracks I decided
they had gone. About a third of the way back they caught me. Brant was taking Jack to
Clear Creek and invited me to come along. But again about a third of the way to Schofield
we passed Jack’s son coming for him. Brant and I adjourned to Finn’s Inn where Brant had
dinner—a hamburger and a beer and I had a beer. Four or five Mexican sheepherders were
drinking beer and shooting pool and a couple of other cattle runners were there to kid Brant
about how his cows are scattered all over the mountain—which I guess is true. A late but
enjoyable evening. If you’re playing fantasy cowboy its best done in the company of real
cowboys.


Tuesday August 16
9:35 A.M. - Horses grained and corralled. Breakfast prepared and eaten (coffee, eggs and
Vienna Sauages), dishes washed and dried, bed made and wagon swept. Now for catching
the horses, saddling and riding for 2-3 hrs. Then off to Fairview for the night-was unable to
get reservations in Provo-and pick up Tracy Wednesday morning.

12:10 - Sitting here belching my lunch and finishing my Rainier Lite-which is causing the
belching—Oh! for a good beer.

Have had an hours ride on Old Geld—Paint following-they are still saddled and I’ll ride another
hour or two before calling it a day. Old Geld did not misbehave—though I had to lead
him up what I’m going to call the “reluctant trail.” Brown Geld had same problem though
this time I suspect OG could hear the Cat in the distance.

Wednesday August 17 3:20 P.M.
Back in camp with Tracy and her tent is pitched. Bed roll moved in and she has set up
housekeeping.

Stayed the night in Fairview because I couldn’t get reservations in Provo. Headed out at
6:00 A.M. to meet incoming Amtrak—due 7:30—but was one hour late—Tracy said they
ran out of water in middle of Idaho. Tracy and I had breakfast with June—pleasant visitthen
on to Fairview to pick up saddle and bridle for Old Paint—actually 5 years old according
to Lamont. Then up to Schofield. Drove Tracy around reservoir to give her lay of land.

Yesterday before leaving put in another two hours in saddle—a good part of it driving
Brant’s cows.

Last evening spent 1-1/2 hours with Dean Staker, old National Guard buddy. He appeared
delighted that I had looked him up. Most people like to be remembered.
Tracy, my daughter

Thursday August 18
8:40 P.M. - Tracy and I had three hour ride today—over to lost 40, back to 2nd 40, into big
pasture and home. We had not intended to ride that much for Tracy’s first day—but got carried
away. Old Paint had gotten out of Big Pasture and was with Brant’s horses—so it was

11 A.M. before we got started. We’re both looking forward to tomorrow’s ride into the far
corner of Eva’s property.

After a ride visited Clear Creek which is considerably smaller than Schofield—50 people
vs. 100. Had rice with tuna fish gravy for dinner. As usual my gravy too thin and of course
runny.


Friday August 19
5:20 P.M. - Diner and lunch combined—just finished. In saddle at 10 A.M. Five and onehalf
hours later back in camp. Rode down to blue gate—up on top—over to Starvation/Bear
Ridge Road—down to Pond-Mill and home. Almost too much for your Senior Citizen.
Tracy doing great, youth will tell. Making plans for Park City endurance ride tomorrow.

Sunday August 21 9:35 P.M.
Tracy has kept me so busy I haven’t had time to write. Yesterday Saturday 8/20 left camp at
6 A.M. for Park City and Endurance ride. Had breakfast Tucker; got to ride about 10:30—
watched for an hour and headed home—Lunch in Heber—some shopping in Orem, Springville
and back to camp about 3:30 P.M. Was cold enough to build fire in wagon stove. Had
light rain for about 1/2 hour. Bow hunting pressure light.

Today we left camp at 9:30 A.M. on foot and walked shoreline to Carbon Co Campground.
Tracy sunned until about 1:30. Then we walked home via front Lost 40.1 look a one hr.
nap. After dinner we walked beyond gate one. Counting her early morning jog, Tracy
covered in excess of 10 miles today. I’m about 2-3 miles behind. On our hike to gate I we
got soaked so came back. Built fire in wagon stove, and have dried some of our garments.
Through the night in the dying heat the others should dry.

Monday August 22
4:55 P.M. - Dinner over, dishes washed, relaxing after 5-hour ride. Went onto Eva’s property
to the Northern end. Was a small lush meadow near end. Then rode up Starvation road
to Blue gate. Some ripe chokecherries along Starvation. Passed convoy of Bow hunters
headed home, 4-5 motorhomes and trailers. Tracy having trouble with Paint tossing her
head so we took bridle off and used only the halter. Some improvement.

8:20 P.M. - Back from climb of Baldy. Good steep climb of 45 minutes—wandered around
coming down so it took one hour. Found dead doe—couldn’t’ tell if shot with arrow. Was
the doe that had been in camp during my first 3-4 days here. What a waste. Had been dead
a very short time.

Wednesday August 24
7:30 A.M. - Tuesday - Rode 3 hours. Hiked with Paint carrying water cans to piped
spring and brought back 10 gals. of water. Tracy jogged 4 miles. Evening rode with
Brant while he and his great dog brought up small herd of cattle and placed them on
Eva’s land.


Now for today. Getting ready to do Nine Mile Canyon. Tracy out jogging (2 miles) while I
make coffee.

Thursday August 25
6 P.M. - Just back from 2 hour ride—a shorty. This morning we hiked Baldy via the first
gate—about a mile hike with a 1200 ft. elevation gain. Tracy no problem. Lee huff and
puff.

Yesterday we did Nine Mile-an interesting drive-Cliffs have Indian petrographs going back
800 years. Saw some, but had trouble following guide brochure. Canyon also great geology
study. At end of the road (as far as we went) was an old ranch with real cowpokes getting
ready to round up cows and a log cabin tavern. Long drive but interesting.

Sunday August 28
7:45 P.M. - Just finished the evening 3 miler. Added up to the breakfast 4 miles Tracy and I
have done 7 miles. A relaxing, short exercise day. After yesterday I needed it.

Saturday—yesterday—we went to Mt. Timpanogas—Tracy climbed it. 18.2-miles round
trip with elevation gain of 4350 ft. She made the round trip climb in six hours—unbelievable.
I did not summit-made the ridge overlooking Provo—a magnificent view-in 3-1/2
hrs. Probably 14 miles round trip, with elevation gain of 3200 ft. Rested 1/2 hrs. and when
Tracy returned from Summit headed down. She was good hour or hour and a half ahead of
me. I felt fine and could have reached summit in another hour. I cannot climb with Tracy’s
speed and energy. It is a great climb—good trail—too many people, with a constant, spectacle
view. Highly recommended for active people.

Came back to Provo had dinner with June-got back to base camp about 9 P.M. Great day.

Left camp Friday—took in Price—the museurn-Huntington Canyon, Valentine Gulch-overnighted
in Fairview where we did our laundry and showered. It was probably the shower in
Fairview that made Tracy’s great climb possible.

Wednesday August 31
9:45 A.M. - Starting to break camp—will at a slow pace—fold up tent—put away Tracy’s
sleeping bag-shine her boots. Probably go into Schofield for hamburger dinner. Tomorrow
take horses back-come back here for night and clean out, clear out Friday.


Took Tracy to Provo yesterday where she caught 9:25 P.M. bus for Amtrak in Salt Lake.
Her Provo Amtrak had not made it out of Denver because of washed out bridge. We had
dinner with June, prepared by her from produce from her garden. A pleasant afternoon and
evening visit.

Monday we had ridden to top of Little Bear Canyon—6-1/2 hrs in saddle.

Sorry to see Tracy go. She has been a good companion—and I think she had an interesting
time—a pleasant respite from her studies. The end of summer always brings a little pain.
The more pleasant the summer, the more pain.

2:40 P.M. - Tent down—dried, rolled and boxed. Saddles and related tack in horse trailer
ready to return to Lamont. Boots cleaned, oiled, waxed and shined. Tracy’s ready for storage.
Horse baled hay to scatter; all temporary camp construction taken down with exception
of washstand. There is a threat of rain and if it comes heavy will make leaving difficult.

7:30 P.M. - Back from Schofield where I had a hamburger and beer at Finn’s Inn. Called
Mary Jane, Maxine and Lynn Poulson. Made tentative plans to have dinner with Maxine
Monday Sept.12. Lynn not available Friday so will try and see him when I come back
through after BYU.

Thursday Sept I
5:40 P.M. - Had horses loaded and out of camp by 9:45 A.M. Both must have been anxious
to leave as I caught them in the big Pasture. Paint always nervous to load but she went in
without too much fuss. Geld took a little quiet urging. In Fairview and unloading 11:15.

Went by Mt Pleasant and Elmer Fillis hoping to find him home and a dinner date tomorrow
night—no luck. Headed back to property final camp breaking by 2:30.

Have now finished about 60% of loading. Will finish after dinner. Leave only gas stove
for breakfast coffee. While in Fairview will call Barbara—Tracy home. Summer winding
down. The last two weeks have been very good.

Friday Sept. 2
7:50 A.M. - Breaking camp. Heading out at 7:35. Left clean camp as only an old soldier
can do.

Friday evening. Took Elmer Fillis and wife Reva Cox Fillis to dinner at the Wrangler-Mt.
Pleasant. A most enjoyable evening—they are a delightful couple—both look great.


2 P.M. - Sitting here in my motel room waiting for Provo to wake up. But then I note it is
Sunday—and that won’t happen in this LDS community. Had trouble finding a place to eat
breakfast—Hardees—not so hot. Then at I P.M. I went by the cafeteria, which I understood
opened to feed the students at 12 noon, only to find it closed until 3 P.M. Our class is to
convene at 4:30 and go to diner. Hope I make it. Have not checked the pool. I wonder if
they (Mormons) allow it open; a very slow day. Should be hiking some place.

Sunday Sept.25 4:55 P.M.
Back in Ellensburg—arrived about 4 P.M. last Thursday, Sept.22. Have been taking it easy,
like a deep-sea diver coming up from the depths. Will recap—working backwards-no reason
to start out hazy.

Left Boulder Utah, Tuesday Sept.20 about noon—headed home. Drove to Fairview, visited
with Elsie—on to Oak Creek, visited with Ted Mower and then on to Provo, where I
checked into Motel 6 and on to June’s for dinner. Two stories for history. Elsie recounted
the trials and tribulations of living near JW and Laura, and recounted how unhappy Eva
had been in her stay with them on coming from Chicago.

When I told June that I had visited the Mountain Meadow site she said her great grandfather
(on her mother’s side) had been a participant. Went off to California never to return.
Had also had not killed the men he was assigned to kill.

Got up early Wednesday and headed north. Had originally thought I would go via Nevada,
but when you head home, go direct. Stopped off in Burley, Idaho and had lunch with Newel
Nelson—on to Kimberly and visit with Pat and Barbara. Newel looks good-had open-heart
surgery as has his wife Marion. He has been very successful—was always bright enough
and a very hard worker. Glad to see him succeed—sorry he is such a conservative Republican.
Pat and Barbara always a pleasure to be with—more my type. Got into Boise at 9:30
P.M. Motel 6

Up early—5:30-on road by 6 A.M. and burned rubber until arriving at Monterey Gardens,
Ellensburg.




Visitors to Camp






Summary - Summer 1988


Thursday, 28 JuIy Leave Ellensburg

Sunday, 31 July Arrive Christensen Campground, Schofield

In and around property - 31 July through I Sept.

Tracy with me - 17 August through 30 August

Elderhostel - BYU 4 Sept through 10 Sept.

Dinner Maxine’s, Salt Lake City - 12 Sept.

Mountain Meadow - 15 Sept. - earlier had visit with Whiff Hansen, St. George, Utah.

Grand Canyon, North Rim - 17-18 Sept. Hiked about half way to bottom and back.

Outlaw Trail Endurance Ride - Teasdale, Utah. 19 Sept. through 21 Sept.

Return to Ellensburg -25 Sept.





Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Lee R. Christensen Writes Utah National Guard Headquarters



Lt Col L R Christensen


Ernest G. Brunger
Chesley P. Seely




Matson Brothers:
Joseph in the rear
Rex C. in front
Joseph did not return from the war.


222 Field Artillery Officers Party
Here is a photo of Brunger in uniform.  Too bad he is not facing the camera.   Photo Shop  you can probably turn him around?  He is on the right just inside the door.  Bonny Fuller the x coach from North Sanpete is on Brunger's left against the wall.  Photo early San luis Obispo summer 1941.  

Both Rex and Joe Matson in the 1929 Lions club photo.   Does Photo Shop have an aging app>?    Rex bottom step extreme  left, Joe extreme right   against rail about third up.  .    lee 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013



El Monte.

 The Oak is about where we stood to watch the climb


The Pyramid
90 W. Main
Mt. Pleasant, UT

January 20, 1993

Dear Editor:

February 24 is the 47th anniversary of the El Monte Oak Park Rocky Mountain climb. As
mountain climbs go, it was certainly not comparable to the Everest climb, nor even Mt.
Timpanogas. But for the climbers and the spectators from Mt. Pleasant’s Battery A, 204
Field Artillery, it was an afternoon’s respite from the tedious Army life at isolated El Monte
Oak Park in eastern San Diego County.

I don’t recall who issued the challenge. It was probably Sgt. Wilbur Rasmussen wondering
out loud how long it would take someone to climb Rocky Mountain. And then, Cpl. Shirley
Madsen responding that he would climb it in under two hours. Others joined in with yeas
and nays. After a week or two of contention, sides chosen, bets made, Shirley and his partner
Pfc. Jay Larson scheduled their climb.

With the men of the Battery at their chosen viewing stations, all binoculars and B.C.
scopes uncased, Shirley and Jay took off. They had about a quarter of a mile to go before
they started the serious climb. This they covered at a fast walk - a warm up. Then, up the
mountain they climbed, rock by rock, steep slope by steep slope. They moved too slow for
the “can dos” and too fast for the “can’t dos.” Three quarters up the mountain they disappeared
onto the back side. The tension built. Just as some of the can’t dos were asking
for their money, they reappeared. First it was Jay, and then Shirley on the summit. Total
elapsed time was one hour and 17 minutes .

Now, 47 years after the event, I’ve heard some of the observers state the climbing time as
35-40 minutes. But my notes, recorded 15 minutes after the event, clearly read: one hour
17 minutes. Still well under two hours.

This climb confirmed an old Utah truism - it is foolhardy to doubt the climbing ability of a
North Sanpete sheepherder.

Lee Christensen



        


 S SG Jay R. Larsen 


     ID: 20925444 

         Branch of Service: U.S. Army 
        Hometown: Sanpete County, UT
            Status: KIA 




Monday, February 11, 2013

The Physical and Psychic Wounding of Lee R. Christensen


Taken from Lee R. Christensen's book "You Knew Me As Buddy"


1ST LIEUTENANT 229TH FA BATTALION
28TH INFANTRY DIVISION, WWII


I reported for active military duty 3 March 1941. I separated from service 26 December
1945 after 4 years, 9 months, 24 days of service.

Three years five months after reporting for active duty I was on a foreign field face to
face and within artillery range of the enemy. During those 3 years 5 months I trained in the mountains, the desert, the swamps, off landing crafts, with the Navy, against pillboxes; was jumped on by paratroopers, rolled over by tanks.  My primary unit, the 229th FA Bn spent 9 months in combat. I was with them two different times totaling 4 1/2 months.

When the 28th Division crossed Omaha beach 22 July 1944, I was battery executive,
C Battery 229th FA Bn, in charge of the four howitzer crews and their 105 mm howitzers.
C Battery moved into firing position prepared to fire on the enemy for the first time at dusk 30 July. We fired our first combat mission 0700 1 August according to the battalion history.  I had not remembered we fired from this position. Our fire was in direct support of the 112th Infantry Regiment who were to take Hill 210 on the outskirts of Percy, France.  At 1130 I was told to report to Bn Headquarters, prepared to go forward as liaison officer, 1st Bn 112th Infantry.

I shaved, ate lunch, collected my gear, told my howitzer crews to shoot straight and fast and I would have them in Paris in a week. Then I reported to Bn ready and eager to move forward.

At battalion I was told I was replacing Captain Miers who had been wounded. His jeep
was waiting to take me to 1st Bn Headquarters. On the way forward I saw Lieutenant Colonel Huff, 229th FA Bn commander, and Major Hall sitting in the Colonel’s command car and I waved to them. As I drove by 112th Infantry Regimental Headquarters, I saw Captain Ferguson.

Waved but did not speak with him. He was Bn liaison to Regiment. My jeep, it was now my jeep, dropped me off on a sunken, tree lined lane between two hedge rows. I walked the 150 yards to where Murtaugh and Hensley - I knew them from my service in A Battery - were waiting with the radio. I was near the Infantry Bn Headquarters and with either the reserve rifle company or the Heavy Weapons company. There was a single widely spaced column of riflemen moving through a break in the hedge row and up the hill.

On joining my radio crew they told me they had no communications. They had laid
no wire and the radio was not working. I told them that unless we can talk to our Fire Direction Center we’re wasting our time here, I told the radio operator to get the jeep, go back to battalion and get a radio that worked. I also discussed laying wire to Regiment.

About then I heard an incoming shell. I hit the ground face down. I do not recall the
explosion. I do remember the sharp stabbing in my lower left rib cage. I knew I had been hit. I was terrified. I knew I had been hit and remember thinking “I’ve been hit but I’m still alive.”

I got to my feet. In a manner, less than heroic, I asked someone to look at my back.
The commander of the Heavy Weapons Company, I knew him by sight but not by name, said, “I’ll look at you Lee.” He sprinkled sulfur powder on the wound and put my compress bandage over it.

Murtaugh said he would get our jeep and take me to the aid station. I walked part way
down the lane, then stretched out in a foxhole along side a dead German while Murtaugh went for the jeep.

At the aid station I stretched out in the grass - it was in an open pasture - was given
morphine and waited. I recall being moved 2-3 times during the evening. At one point
Lieutenant Colonel Huff came by and saw me. I asked him not to end the war until I got
back. At another stop, probably the Division aid station, a chaplain I knew talked with me.

 By now it was dark. Then there was an ambulance ride, four of us. No one said a word. I do not know who my wounded companions were or of what army. By daylight I was in a field hospital.

At the hospital I was ambulatory. Even ate a few slices of canned peaches.
During the early evening, about 24 hours after I had been hit, I was taken into the
operating tent. As I recall it was a brightly lit tent interior with white sheets along the walls and ceiling making it even brighter. There were 12 or 14 operating tables.
It was daylight when I regained consciousness, back on a stretcher in a ward tent,
fully bandaged from hips to nipples, an IV bottle on its staff above my head, a tube in my left arm. But my most vivid memory on awakening was wondering why my right hand was bandaged. I could not recall being hit in the hand.

It was not until 3-4 weeks later when a nurse decided to replace what by then was a
dirty bandage that I saw the shell fragment that hit me. It was the size of the first two joint of my little finger, ragged, sharp and by now rusting. A keepsake from a thoughtful surgeon.

My field hospital stay is mostly a memory of long days, long nights confined to a narrow stretcher. Occasionally a patient around me would die; then a flurry of activity. 

Nightly a ward nurse would give me a rectal sleeping pill. I don’t recall any meals. Every other day a doctor would punch a long hollow needle between my ribs and suck out the bloody fluid. At one point I was transferred to a second field hospital as my first one packed up to follow Patton.

This transfer caused the most painful incident of my wounding experience. The second
hospital failed to pick-up on my removal and re-bandaging schedule. When at last they
removed the bandage the tape was fused to my skin. As they peeled off the tape it pulled skin and flesh with it.

After three to four weeks I was flown to a base hospital in England, near Perham
Down Salisbury. I remember clearly the pilot who flew me across the channel. He was
dressed for a night on the town except for house-slippers. Had on dress blouse, pinks, visor cap and house slippers. I remember thinking this man is fighting a different war than the one I left. On our arrival in England I forgot to notice if his lady friend met the plane.

My stay in the base hospital was mostly card playing, reading and ping-pong as my
mending accelerated. I was now ambulatory. An indication of my returning health was my first bowel movement in nearly five weeks.

About mid-October I was transferred to a rehab hospital - the Country Club we called
it - to begin the physical conditioning that would prepare me to fight again. We took short hikes, 3-5 miles, did calisthenics, played volleyball, and took cultural trips - one to Stratford- on-Avon. I continued to mend.

One reason for my rapid mending was my desire to rejoin my unit at the front. I was
then and I am to this day embarrassed by my short - measured in minutes - first combat
action. After three years five months of training, I’ve always felt I should have lasted more than 15 to 20 minutes. I owed both my Country and the enemy more than that.

I’ve titled this autobiographical drama, The Physical and Psychic Wounding of Lee
R. Christensen. I’ve described the physical wounding, the psychic is more difficult to define. But if you grew-up, as I did, reading Hubbard’s Message to Garcia, exalting in Lord Nelson’s “England expects every man to do his duty,” heroically fighting to the last man with the Spartans at Thermopylae, then, when your combat time comes you move forward into battle ready to close with the enemy and prevail for Flag and Country.

I was ready. I went forward with anxieties but not fearful. I was as the cliché goes
- gung ho, I lasted 20 minutes.








From the Battalion History
Early in the morning of 30th July the 229th FA Battalion moved forward to occupy our first combat positions...  At 0700 on the morning of 1 Aug ‘44 the battalion fired its first combat mission, battalion 60 rounds, in support of the 112 Infantry Regiment’s attack on hill 210 northwest of Percy, France. 
Additional Note:  Mt Pleasant’s Battery A 204th FA Bn was in the neighborhood and had been on the line for about a week. When the 3rd Army was activated at high noon 1st Aug the Bn was transferred to the 3rd Army and in combat frequently fired in support of the 5th Inf Div.