Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Harriet Dudley and Henry Roland Emmett Family Reunion.

Generation 1 & 2. Harriet and Roland Emmett with their six children clockwise from the right: John (5), JoAnn (6), Dud (short for Dudley) (4), Pat (3), Lucile (1), and Dorothy (2).

 Harriet at Bryce Canyon with Dud, John and JoAnn.


Generations 1-3. John and Norda Emmett backyard in Providence. Harriet is in the center with two daughters on either side. I am second from the left on the front row in the cowboy boots. This was the entire family at the time except Pat's husband Jim and Dorothy's husband Clair and their four children who were living "back east" and did not come to Utah for this gathering. Five more grandkids were still to come for a total of 27 in generation three.

 Many of the older cousins (Lucy and Dorothy's children) lived back east so we didn't get to see them much. The other four children lived in Utah. John (5 boys and 1 girls) and JoAnn's (6 girls) kids each had a cousin pair at about the same age. Here the 10 oldest of those kids play in John's back yard.

 1970 John, Pat, JoAnn, Dorothy with their mom.


1972 In JoAnn's back yard.

All of the cousins, but the John Emmett kids, have wonderful memories of summer time visits and sleepovers at Grandma Emmett's house on 6th south. (My mom Norda did not want to burden her mother-in-law with even more kids). There they would sleep on a large bed with a feather tick, swim in the backyard "pool" and walk a half a block to buy spudnuts.

Once grandma Emmett died there was less incentive to visit Logan or to gather. Most of the gatherings over the years were for funerals. All six of generation two came back to Logan to be buried. John was the only one of the six who raised his family in Logan. Thanks in part to Facebook, many of the cousins have reconnected over the years. There have also been smaller gatherings and visits among cousins but no official reunion. 

A few months ago cousin Carol (Lucy's third) announced that she (in purple) and her son Greg (back) and family (two on left) were coming to Utah for vacation. They wanted to see as many Emmetts as they could. A date was set and soon things started to snow ball as more and more decided to gather in Utah. Diane (in pink) Lucy's oldest and grandchild number 1 decided to come from DC. Her daughter (right) came from Boise. Other cousins came from Ohio, Arizona in route to Michigan, Washington, DC and Nevada.

On Friday afternoon June 17th many of the clan gathered at the Logan Cemetery for the informal start of the reunion.

Cousin Patricia (JoAnn's second) presented each cousin with a map and key for all Emmetts (plus Harriet's three sisters) in the Logan Cemetery.

Anne (JoAnn's sixth and the youngest grandchild) even came prepared to clean headstones.

 At each plot we stopped and visited.

Cousin John McMurrin (Pat's second) was the first of generation three to die. His siblings Marci and Jimmy both passed away fairly recently of cancer. (read more about Jimmy and one of our first reunions here:

Saturday the 18th we gathered at my sister Mary's for an afternoon of good food (including curry and homemade peach and raspberry ice cream), visiting, games and story telling.

Two of the favorite stories were when young John put the family dog Wumpy in the trunk of a new car that Roland was taking for a test drive only to have Wumpy claw his way out via the back seat when John forgot and left him in the trunk over night. And when Relief Society President Harriet served her special "punch" as a hot afternoon pick-me-up to all of the 6th ward ladies who were quilting and sewing items for the annual Relief Society bazaar. When the bishop's wife persisted several times in asking Harriet for the recipe to serve to guests, Harriet finally relented and explained how to make iced tea (forbidden for Mormons) with lemon and sugar.

 Photo by Sam Emmett

19 of the 24 living cousins in age order. staring front left: Diane, David, Pat, Carol, Alice, Judy, Mark. Back Allison, Bill, Patricia, Bob, Marion, Heather, Chad, Melissa, Betsy, Mary, Tom, Anne.

 The whole FamDamily--generations 3-5--in Mary's backyard.

That night thirty of us joined soccer fan Greg (in the beard)--it was his idea--for a Real Salt Lake game. Two of cousin Jeff's children work for RSL and were able to get a a good deal on a nice block of tickets. Three rows of Emmetts.

Of all ages. One of generation five is name Harriet and called Hattie just like her great-great grandmother.

 Some of us were more fanatic fans than others.

Photo by Carol Deese

The descendants of Harriet and Roland have chosen many different paths. Roland struggle with alcoholism for most of his adult life while Harriet served as Relief Society President and then many years after Roland died as an LDS missionary in the southern states. Of their six children, some took up drinking and smoking, others didn't. Religiosity among the six varied greatly. Among the grandkids there is even more divergence with an espoused Unitarian and an Atheist in the mix. Some are staunch Democrats and others staunch Republicans. The amazing thing is that in spite of our differences, we all get along and we love each other. Roland died when the three eldest grandkids were still very young so on her own Harriet made great efforts to foster family unity. She visited her children and grandchildren wherever they lived including England and Germany. She welcomed them into her home for visits and offered marionettes to play with and sen-sens to snack on. She carried on Grandpa Emmett's curry tradition (read about it here: ), made lots of homemade ice cream, pulled out teeth, drove a red comet--with lots of clutch--all over town as she took care of other widows. She served and loved. That love still abounds.

Roland served an LDS misison in Japan (1910-12). When he returned he started to cook Japanese curry which has become a family favorite and he installed a Japanese koi (goldfish) pond in their back yard. Cousin Patsy posted this photo on our family facebook page. I had never seen it. The gathering around that pond and well tended garden may have been one of Harriet's bridge parties.

After Roland died, Harriet gave up on the koi and turned the pond in to a swimming pool for grandkids. All but the youngest grandkids have fun memories of swimming in this pool that Roland built and Harriet re-purposed. Thanks for the memories.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Utah Rocks: Scenic Byway 12

Tuesday we were driving with a purpose: to get back to Springville in time for Joel and Will to rest up and then get to soccer tryouts by 6:30 pm. We were on the road by 8:30 heading south and then west on one of my most favorite drives--scenic byway 12.

The view south from our motel in Torrey towards Boulder Mountain.

As we started to climb up through the pines of Boulder Mountain, I offered a milkshake to the first one who spotted a wild animal. I had designated the length of Highway 12 as a tech free drive so Will in particular needed a diversion. It worked. He eventually saw two deer off in the trees and for the rest of the drive he was pestering me to know when he would get his milkshake (I delivered when we stopped at Wendy's for lunch in Beaver).

Also entertaining us on the drive was listening to part of my inheritance--dad's CD of the Tijuana Brass Whipped Cream album. We all like the music. Joel was delighted when he found a fold out poster of the album cover nestled in the CD cover. He jokingly asked if he could hang it in his room. His parents seriously told him no. Back in the sixties when this was about as risque as things got, a neighbor in Logan took a black marker to the offending cover to protect her sons. No plans to do that in our house.   

The view east towards Capitol Reef.

The higher elevations of Boulder Mountain are covered in large stands of quaking aspens--one of my favorite trees. Some of the stands are old and regal while other groves are mere saplings. Still others have been hit by sudden aspen decline (SAD) most likely caused by a combination of drought, insects and pathogens. 

The view south towards the rocky hills of the Grand Staircase Escalate National Monument. The aspens are just beginning to leaf out.

Our one stop of the day was at Anasazi State Park and Museum in Boulder. It highlights archeological digs of a 12th century Anasazi village comprised of at least 97 rooms and 10 pit structures. Sarah could have stayed much longer to read everything in the museum.

Driving out of Boulder we got behind a slow moving caravan of about a dozen motorcycles in a long, closely-packed procession that was impossible to pass on the occasional short passing lanes. Didn't they know that we were on a schedule? To assuage any chance for road rage to rise, I pulled over to take a few photos and to put some distance between us and the slow movers. Before long we caught up with them again. Luckily they all eventually pulled over and we happily passed by. I suppressed my impulse to stop for more photos fearing they may catch and pass us. As we drove, I noted future side trips I might want to take.

If we hadn't been on a schedule I might also have stopped to take photos of Boulder and Escalante to illustrate how the establishment of the large Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument (announced at the Grand Canyon in neighboring Arizona by President Clinton because locals were not in favor of its establishment and he feared their wrath) has adversely impacted the mining, ranching and logging industries of the area but helped the tourist industry.

Our last photo stop was driving through Bryce Canyon National Park. We have visited Zion twice as a family and Bryce once so we have now explored all five of Utah's national parks. Here are some links to previous trips.

We pulled in to Springville at 3:00, an hour and half ahead of the plan. Rats, we could have made a few more stops. Next time.

Tryouts went well for both boys. More soccer coverage to come this fall.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Utah Rocks: Goblin Valley and Capitol Reef

We started out our Memorial Day by exploring Green River to learn about how a town survives in such a place. Green River started as a place to ferry across the river and then blossomed as a supply station for the railroad. Agriculture, including its famous melons, nearby mining and tourism are part of the current mix.

A few weeks ago I read in the newspaper that Green River's century old Tusher diversion dam had been repaired from flooding and also adjusted to allow downstream flow of small water craft and upstream movement of fish. My curiosity was piqued so off we went north along Long Street. Six miles north of town we found the low rising diversion dam with its center spill way for boats and its irrigation canals siphoning off water along both banks.

The diversion dam and the beginning of the west bank canal.

Looking downstream.

Irrigated fields with Green Rive water. The first crop of alfalfa was already being bailed on some fields.

For photos of Joel's canoe trip down the Green River from Green River go here:

We then drove southwestward into the San Rafael Swell to the wonderful Goblin Valley State Park with its fantasmic hoodoos.

 It is nature's best playground.

Two years ago some over zealous scout leaders toppled a hoodoo like this and then posted the video on Youtube. They took great joy in their feat and only later came up with the excuse that they toppled it to prevent it from tipping over and injuring someone. Idiots.

Sarah had as much fun exploring as the boys and wondered why this is a destination for young men groups but not young women groups.

 Prepared to launch.

 Marie's one ascent (via a back-side ramp).

 Strong enough to hold tiny Sarah, but could it hold the whole family?

The back more hidden part of the valley. Joel had fun playing capture the flag here on a young men's campout a few years ago.

Stopped for a picnic lunch in the limited shade in an LDS Church parking lot in Hanksville. New church and old church face each other kitty corner.

 Interesting street name.

The original rock church of Hanksville.

The drive from Hanksville to Capitol Reef has amazing rock colors of whites, greys, purples, pinks and reds--some of which looked tie dyed.

 Our first stop was to hike up to Hickman Arch. This small bridge is not it.

 Hickman Arch

Cliff side granary built by the Fremont peoples.

Capitol Dome lends its name to the park as do the rock reefs that are prohibitive to movement just as ocean reefs inhibit ships from reaching islands.

Fremont rock art.

 Desert varnish

 Milk weed--happy to see it growing for monarch butterflies to use to metamorphize.

One room school, chapel and community center for the Mormon pioneers who settled the well watered valley. They named their town Fruita. The National Park Service still maintains their orchards that were finally abandoned in the 1940s.

Fruit pies for an afternoon snack on the lawn of the Gifford Farm House. Peach and mixed berry pies for the kids.

Rhubarb/strawberry for me. Yum.

 Drove the scenic drive southward.

Ventured up Capitol Gorge. The Golden Throne loomed above. It is reminiscent of Zion's Great White Throne. Sarah then drove us out of the park to nearby Torrey.

 We ended the day with spectacular views from Sunset Point.

We all agreed that Capitol Reef is a beautiful, accessible, worth-the-visit park. It certainly deserves to be one of Utah's Big Five. For dinner we had delicious hamburgers and fries at Slackers in Torrey. We got back to our hotel in time for the boys to watch the Golden State Warriors win the conference championship and for me to go gas up and wash our sandy car in nearby Bicknell. Another great day. Glad we are not doing this all on a cloudless August day.

For photos of a previous trip to Capitol Reef (with a paleontologist) go here: