|John T Barker standing, Esther holding Blanche, Adelia|
Well Blanche and I went to the Fielding Academy and graduated, I from the academy, it burned and Blanche from Fielding High School. She boarded with Tracy Shepherd.
He and Esther were good people, good neighbors had many friends, were always willing to help others. They were good examples to us. Mother was so good and honest. I never heard her stretch the truth. She was always caring for the sick, going into peoples homes, caring for mothers and new babies. She was a kind and loving mother. She knitted stockings and mittens & crocheted corded wool that they sheared from the sheep and made wool batts with which she made quilts. John never had any boys and she worked hard and helped him outside also she milked cows, pulled weeds, fed pigs, picked fruit and canned it. They had a root cellar and it was a place to store potatoes, carrots, cabbage, beets, onions all winter supply. They cured their own pork, salted it and smoked it. Dan stored his wheat in the grainery in large bins and when the hams, shoulders, bacon were smoked and cured they would put them in the grain bins and cover them in with the grain. They raised chickens and we had eggs, mutton from the sheep and beef, plenty of milk and cream so we were well fed because we raised most of our own food. Father loved the farm, loved the soil and loved to till it and plant and make things grow. Mother baked bread and made such good pies and cakes.
Mother loved flowers and she would carry water from the spring to water them. She was neat & clean in her yard, her home and we were taught personal cleanliness, with sweet clean clothes and bedding, clothes that weren’t washable were hung out in the fresh air and pressed. The rooms especially bedrooms were aired every day windows open wide to let the fresh air in.
|John T Barker, Jr|
Father was proud of his Guernsey dairy cows. He would come back from the pasture or meadow from taking the cows and would always bring a big handful of “pink Johnny Jump Ups” wild flowers growing in the meadows. Also Lilacs, violets, Lady Slippers, and Blue Bells. My father was a gentle man, quiet and reserved never loud. My folks loved the fine things in life.
I always remember when we were sick he would make a special trip up town and bring something like oysters, oranges, strawberries, candy, or some surprise, and I used to look forward to it. He was always full of wisdom and saying something special like “Help the sapling the oak can take care of itself.” His favorite was “Know this that every soul is free to choose his life & what he’ll be.” Sunday School hymn.
He loved his grandchildren dearly he would carry them and show them all the pictures on the wall, or the pretty things, of course mother loved them too, and she took care of Blanche’s fatherless children, and mine when they were young.
My folks gave me pretty clothes, some I remember were a white lave dress and a beige lacy large brimmed hat with a black velvet ribbon around the crown & a big pink rose in front, also a rose color satin dress with rose color chiffon sleeves, a royal blue satin dress with pink lined collar, a light blue georgette dress with sheered waist. I don’t remember Blanche’s clothes. I was married when she started high school. We were both good dancers and all the boys who were good dancers all wanted to dance with us, we were never wall flowers. Father and mother were also good dancers. We used to have a dance hall where the dances were held in the ward similar to the cultural hall now a days. There were especially good stage shows put on by local talent. We had picture shows and ever so often E. Forest Taylor and Co. would come from Hollywood, Calif. and oh what a stage show live acting, that was.
One other thing very important thing my mother never slapped or spanked me in my life. I probably was spoiled being an only child for 8 years, but other than being determined and strong willed I was a good moral girl. I never spoke disrespectfully to my parents ever. Other than running away and going for a car ride with a nice boy Russell Satterthwaite from Garden City. He gave me my first box of chocolates. My dad used to think I should be put on a pedestal and the boys shouldn’t take me, but he was overly anxious I guess. He didn’t need to worry. Heber Keetch said to him once “How come John, Adelia is such a good girl, never gives you any trouble and is a good church worker, so talented and is always accompanying for someone to sing or play.” Sister Hunt said “Adelia is always in Mutual where she belongs.” Of course they were overdoing things but it made me & my dad feel good anyway. There was never any quarreling in our home just peace & love, but we were very poor. I remember in the summer mother used to let me sleep as long as I wanted to, but I worked hard and always helped both of them. They were mild and kind and full of love. I remember chasing Blanche around the milk house and all around to get her to wipe dishes for me. I never could catch her but she says I locked the screen door and locked her out, so she took my little embroidery scissors pried open the door and broke the tips of my scissors. When I was still going to grade school and Blanche started school, the boys would tease her, they would pretend to hurt me and she would swear at them and fight like a trooper for me. They just kept on teasing when they knew she would do things. I have to laugh now when I think about it. When she was a baby how we loved her, and one time when grandpa Barker was still alive, she had a funny spell just straightened out and went unconscious and about scared us to death. Grandpa John Barker Sr. used to rock her and sing to her when she was a baby. He always turned the washer for mother and there was no electricity then, and he helped mother all he could.
I remember when he died all of a sudden it must have been a heart attack, I was so scarred I never dared go into that bedroom it affected me so with fear. I was sick. I used to take the cows a mile & a half to the pasture in the morning, & go get them at night. The mosquitoes were so bad they about ate me up. I used to milk cows too and pick raspberries. I suppose Blanche did those things also but there was eight years difference in our ages. I went to Blackfoot, Idaho and lived with Aunt Pearl and uncle Marion, I surely love them they were so good to me. I was homesick the whole time but they rented a piano & I played for them they were proud of me. Uncle Mane used to sing when I’d play. I was on the ‘A’ honor roll up there my first year in High School. Then I came and finished at the Fielding Academy and that is where I met my dear Cornell. We were so happy those years. I was an “A” student used to play in the school orchestra and played for most of the choruses. I was so happy my junior year we had our nice junior prom in the Paris Pavilion. All the boys from the surrounding towns, and I knew them all and about danced myself to death. Of course the nicest thing about that was Cornell was my escort & I loved him then but he didn’t ask me to marry him until spring or February. He proposed to me on his birthday and gave me a beautiful ruby engagement ring in the spring. I graduated in three years from High School.To be continued.....