Sunday, August 1, 2010

Today is Dad's Birthday

Here I go!  I have been fussing with this for the past several days.  As you see I am starting  with our dad only I write only of MY memories.  If Gary and Ted want to add a comment of their memories, Please do.  I am learning about how to blog as I go so this is pretty basic.

2 Aug 1913 baby boy born 12 lbs.

     This is my dad and me.  I always felt very secure very loved by my dad.  We are sitting on our porch at 512 E. 6th Ave. Jerome, Idaho. I'm about three years old so that would put the year 1945.  Do you see a resemblance?  He called me by the nickname of Smokey, like an Indian that would sit around a campfire. Dad was the one who read to me, especially the 'funny paper' cartoon Katzenjammer Kids.  He would use a different tone of voice for each kid and talk in the foreign  dialect of the kids. 
     When he was home in the evenings it was Dad that put me to bed and would make up bedtime stories.  If he wasn't home when it was my bedtime I would lay awake listening for him to return and the second I heard the front door open I would call to him to come and finish the story he had started the night before or repeat an old one.  No matter how tired he was he never refused my request. 
     When I was six and no longer believed in Santa, I wouldn't let on that I no longer 'believed' because it would take away the fun for Dad in our listening for Santa's Sleigh and his reindeer on Christmas Eve.
     Dad was my Principal when I was in the first and second grade at Lincoln School in our small town.  I would wait for him in his office after school until he was finished with his work and we would walk home together (our house was about 1 mile away)
 or I should say we would skip home.  Dad would say a ditty of "Skippity Hop to the barber shop to buy a stick of candy, one for you and one for me and one for sister Sandy."  As young as I was I always wondered what people thought when they would come to their door to watch this big man and a little girl skipping down the street (no sidewalks) hearing our singsongy voices of Skippity Hop.  I dearly loved my dad.

     Why or why didn't I ask my Grandmother TOMLINSON  what it was like giving birth to a 12 pound baby!  One thing, at least Dad was born in a hospital and not at home.  He was born in the LDS Hospital in Salt Lake City on 2 Aug 1913.  At the time his parents, Ethel and George, were living with Ethel's parents, James and Sarah HEPWORTH at 757 West 1st N. (today it's 2nd N).   The dress he is wearing is not the beautiful 'blessing dress' that many of us have used in blessing our children. 
He was given the name Vern Wherrett TOMLINSON.   On the 19 Nov. 1914 another child was born to Ethel and George.  She was named Katherine and sadly died 21 Nov 1914.   Then another sister was born 12 Feb 1918 she was given the name Louise Wherrett TOMLINSON.   

Once, I did ask Dad where the middle name came from.  All he said was he thought it was the the maiden name of a great- grandmother on his fathers side.(Not So, that's another story)  Aunt Louise had no idea where the name came from only stating "What an awful middle name to give to a child!"  However, Grandmother Ethel told my mother (Verona) the name was to be kept in the family in order to be eligible for any family money.  How amusing! 

I'm guessing that Dad was about four years of age when this picture was taken.  His HEPWORTH grandparents owned
a large square piece of land in the center of the same block where their house was located and where there was a  large horse barn that housed quite a number of horses.
Across the street was the Jackson School where Dad attended the first and second grade.  His parents moved to Ogden where he attended the third grade.  Then back to Salt Lake City for the fourth grade. His parents would move back and forth between Ogden and Salt Lake City for the next several years. 

This is the only picture I have of Dad with his dad George Wherrett TOMLINSON.  George's business was managing and/or (over the years) owning a live stock commission company.  He bought and sold cattle, sheep, and hogs

     Can you pick out Dad? The six footer in the middle!  Through the years Dad played football, basketball, baseball, tennis, was a wonderful swimmer. This is his freshman year,1928 at Central Jr. High School in Ogden, Utah in an opera comedy "Pickles" or "In Old Vienna"  11 March to be exact.  What a well rounded guy!! 

     The summer of 1928 Dad had appendicitis and spent two weeks in the hospital and "made splendid recovery."   Then his father sold out his business and the family moved to Stockton, California.  Less than a week  into his Sophomore year at Stockton High School  the football coach invited Dad to try out for the football team.  When he got home that afternoon and told his mother about it she immediately protested, "You just had an operation, that game is for Seniors, and the like".  So he had to give up the idea of playing football.  Dad did play basketball!  The team name - "THE TARZANS!"  I'm still chuckling!  
Don't you just love this picture?!!  If you look closely, Dad has his name 'Vern' etched in the grime of his right pant leg. 
I asked him about the dirty, dirty pants and he said it was the "fad" not to wash your pants!  Dad was so 'IN'.   Dad is 17 years old Mother is 16. The car is parked in front of Mother's house.  Dad is known by the nickname of "Butch" because his family owned the Butcher Shoppe in Albion.

It is now 1929/30.  Dad's mother and father separated and Dad his mother Ethel and sister Louise move to Albion and again live with Dads' grandparents who have moved to Albion from Salt Lake City.  

     This is 'Butch' age 17 washing the family car!  So typical!!
The is a new Buick that was given to Ethel in the separation agreement. The divorce is not final until 1936.
I was so pleased to get this photo sent to me just a  few years ago by a cousin of Dad's who lives in Cheney Washington.  The shed in the background still stands next to the 'HEPWORTH' house in Albion. 

I am going to end the tribute here.  Since this is my first blog on people who have gone to the other side (dead) I'll see just what the response will be to all you kin folk.  Besides, at this writing I don't know what I am doing (Blog wise)  If anyone wants a copy of Dad's autobiography just let me know, I can send it to you.