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An Abbreviated History of Lloyd Anthone Larson and Dora Isabella Hicken Larson
Jennie Ann Hicken Larson

Principally written by Lloyd Anthone Larson and including Ann’s synoptic autobiography and excerpts from significant papers and letters and with memories and tributes, presented by family and friends 

Dora and Lloyd married October 10, 1922. After Dora passed away July 3, 1984. Lloyd and Jennie Ann Hicken, Dora’s younger sister, by eight years, married Lloyd September 15, 1984. Ann had lived with the family since July, 1928. After graduating from high school at 18, she arrived to help the family during Dora’s difficult, 9-month, bedridden pregnancy, to take over the household chores. She remained, the rest of her life


Lloyd Recounts the Sagas of Their Lives

            Some of my grandchildren may want to know something of a child’s life from five to ten years old, when I was that age [in the years 1905 to 1910].
            First, you must remember we did not have such things as telephones, radios, automobiles or television.  I saw my first automobile and electric lights when I was eight years old.  You cannot possibly know what wonders they were. So many things that happened in a couple of years were simply mind-boggling.
            Our family, Dad, Mama, three sisters and I came back to Gunnison when I was five years old. [Lloyd was the third born in a family that eventually would have 5 girls.] We lived in a two-room log cabin, but my father started immediately to build our new house. That home still stands. It was completed in 1908 when I was eight years old.
            1908 is probably the most epochal year of my life. Can you imagine so many things in one year?  Our newly completed five-room home, and we even had an electric light bulb hanging from the center of the ceiling in the living room and kitchen. Then the telephone arrived, a contraption you could talk over a wire to people all the way across town. There were only one or two lines for the town and you had to listen attentively for your [sequence of] ring[s]. Ours was one long ring, two short ones and another long one.  Needless to say everyone knew everything about everyone else for the next few years.  Eavesdropping was a bad thing to do, but most everyone did a little bit of it.
            The well which supplied us with household water had a curb and a windlass over it.  The windlass had two ropes wrapped around it with buckets at each end of the ropes.  One of the ropes had a regular two and a half gallon oaken bucket at each end.  The other rope had one-gallon metal buckets on each end for children who were not big enough to handle the oak bucket.
            By this time I was six years old and was drawing water from the well and carrying it to the heating tub about fifty or sixty feet away. The heating tub was placed on top of three rocks so a fire could burn under it to heat water for the washing machine. The washing machine was activated by turning a wheel on top of the washer.  This was a chore shared by my older sister LaDorna and myself, an endless bit of drudgery.
            Once a week, butter had to be churned. That also was a job for the children. Our churn was an oaken bucket type about three feet high, ten inches across the bottom and eight inches across the top, through which was fitted a wooden lid with a hole in the middle with a wooden cross-type agitator on the bottom. The butter was separated from the cream by raising and lowering the stick. This seemed to be an almost endless job. If the weather was too hot the butter would not harden, if too cold the butter would not separate from the whey.      
When I was six through eight years old, it was my job to mind the soap making. Soap was made by filling the tub on the fire base, half-full of water, the proper amount of suet (fat), and three cans of lye. The fire must be watched constantly, as the soap mixture becomes hot, it will boil over. Just before the soap reaches the top of the tub, a cup of cold water is spread over the boiling mass. Then a part of the fire is scraped aside [and the tub placed on it]. The water must be kept boiling all the time. Continual watchfulness is a must. I became the soap expert and b the time I was seven, no one was about to interfere with the soap maker while on the job.
            From six through ten years of age I did many things for family income. In the summer, I herded cows on the bottom land of the Sevier River for 10 cents per head per week, not including Sundays. I would pick up the neighbor’s cows with ours after 8 am and bring them home after 4 pm. Most of the time I could use one of dad’s horses to ride. When I didn’t have a horse, I had trained a brindle heifer named Jennie to ride. She was no good at herding cows, but could save me the two-mile walk to and from the bottom land
            After school started, I could sometimes carry “dobys” (bricks) [possibly adobes] from the molder to the drying ground and dump them out of the molds to dry. That was hard work for one and a half to two hours, but I was paid ten cents per hour, and that was a lot of money then.
            By the time I was seven, I was spending more time on our farm. I drowned out and killed gophers for [a bounty of] two cents per tail. I also rode two horses which loped through the field pulling a net to catch grasshoppers, as they [climbed up and] perched on top of the alfalfa, along about sundown. We received, one cent per pound of grasshoppers.
            When I was seven, I got hold of a few muskrat traps and did my first trapping on the Sevier River, along with herding cows. In the summer the pelts are no good, but I received five cents per tail bounty, and I got a lot of practice learning how to case the skins of the animals. All fur bearing animals up to the size of a wolf must be case skinned for pelts.
            A “go-devil” is a homemade apparatus that includes a platform that you ride on standing up. Two logs are bolted to the underside of the platform, with the front ends beveled to the shape of a shovel; this tool [piece of equipment] is pulled by two horses and digs two furrows [ditches] for irrigation [ditches]. While on my chickenpox vacation [from school], I go-deviled [used a go-devil to gauge out ditches for] 52 acres of spring wheat and oats.
            The year 1908, was the year of “Haley’s Comet.” That spectacle lasted for weeks. I was also baptized on June 28, 1908. It was also the year I received a calf for my eighth birthday [present]. By now, I was milking a cow morning and night.
            As winter set in I accumulated a number of muskrat traps and started a trapping line on the slough, four miles west of town. This required getting up near 4 am and riding my pony to the slough in the dark. Flashlights had not been invented yet, but I carried a kerosene hurricane lantern with me for light after I reached the slough. I would carry the carcasses home and put them in the granary, so they would not be frozen when I got home from school to skin them. The tails were worth five cents bounty, and the good cased skins [fetched] from ten to twenty-five cents, depending on the market.
            Our schoolhouse was next to the bishop’s storehouse lot, about one mile from home. When there was no snow on the ground, I could ride my pony to school and pasture him on the storehouse lot. When the snow was deep and [there was] no grass to graze, I walked with my sisters.
            In the year 1910, the Gunnison Gazette published the story of Orville and Wilbur Wright successfully flying a motor powered airplane for nearly two minutes.
            The 4th and 24th of July were always celebrated with cannon fire before daylight. My father was the cannon man and I drove the buggy. As we drove through town, Dad would light a fuse on a detonator wrapped into a half-stick of dynamite. These explosions would reverberate from one side of the valley to the other on these clear mornings. There would be a parade of wagons and buggies decorated with flags and buntings. We kids always seemed to get hold of some small flags and tie [them] onto our horse’s bridles, and spare pieces of bunting to tie onto our saddles, so they were more or less decorated. After the parade, [we listened to} the patriotic speeches and the prayers. In the afternoon, all kinds of kid’s games [were held], and then came the big event of the day—the horse race down Main Street.
             By now, I had five sisters that aggravated an old problem. [Lloyd was the third born in a family of 5 girls.] Saturday night was bath night for the children. We bathed in a round [# 3] wash tub in front of the stove. I was always the last one to bathe, and there was never enough warm water left in the reservoir [that was built into the stove] to warm my tub.
            1905 to 1911 was by far the most eventful [time of my life], with the most new experiences and the greatest amount of worldly changes [changes in the world] in my lifetime.
            The next few years were the happiest for mother. She had her own [five-bedroom] home [that Dad built], a huge vegetable garden and there were some old apple trees Dad supplemented with new varieties of apples, peaches and plums from the Sears Roebuck catalogue.
            Our culinary water came from a well which contained so much salt that no stranger passing through could drink it. It always amazed me to see a tired, hot stranger draw a bucket from the well via the rope and windless—a single wide-diameter pulley over which passed the bucket rope to give mechanical advantage to pulling up a heavy bucket full of water.  Beautiful sparkling, clear, cold water, and then the expression on his face at the first—and usually the last—swallow. I had no idea the water tasted like that until some years later in 1908, after visiting my mother’s folks in Holden.
            Mother had hitched the team to the light wagon and taken her brood [with her] which then consisted of two more sisters, Jessie and Ruth, making six children in all, on a trip over two ranges of mountains to the west, to visit her folks in Holden.
            We had stayed in Holden for the 4th and 24th of July. Each street in Holden used to have its own spring [consisting of a stream] which ran down a ditch in front of the houses. What wonderful water that was, clear, cold and sparkling. Holden people always claimed it to be the best water in the world, and I’m sure— with some justification. On the way home, there were many stretches of mountain road that the horses could only pull the wagon short distance at a time. It was the job of my sister, LaDorna, and myself to have a rock ready to put under [behind] the rear wheels of the wagon each time they stopped it, to [let the horses] get their wind. It was a wild scramble each time they started up [again] to keep up with the wagon, to have the rock ready for the next stop. [Evidently, they carried their heavy rocks uphill.]
            We had started from Holden with a 3-gallon keg of that wonderful water, knowing how pleased our dad would be to drink his fill from what would be left in the keg. We had left Holden at 4 am. We unhitched and fed the horses at Round Valley Lake about noon. It took most of the afternoon to reach the summit of Lone Cedar Mountain, where the first time since lunch, LaDorna and I were able to get in the wagon. We were completely exhausted and—able to ride the rest of the way.
            The family had completely emptied the water keg, and it was a great disappointment to tell Dad about the wonderful water instead of letting him taste it. But, that wasn’t nearly the shock that I received as when I took a dipper full of water from the water bucket on the bench in the kitchen. [Few houses in those days had sinks.] It nearly strangled me. I went to bed nearly choking from thirst. It took quite a few days to get used to our well water.


Memories of Grandpa John Larson by his son, Lloyd Anthone Larson
[As of now, we aren’t sure of the date when the following happened.]

            It was about this time that Rex Lane (Later, Dr. Rex Lane) showed me how shave soap later off my face with a silver of broken glass from a window pane. When I demonstrated I could shave just like Dad and Cronin to my mother, she made an all out effort to convince me I wasn’t old enough to shave and that a sliver of glass was not the same things as a razor.
            The following winter was quite severe. By this time Dad and Cronin had seven or eight men working in the diggings. They had intended putting in a stamping mill come next spring, as they couldn’t “get out” to Modena, Utah, the closest shipping point, for several months on account of the snow.
            The men continued working “on tick”, meaning they would get their pay later. They were “Mucking” [loading ore by hand or machine to remove] the ore to the surface and sumping [separating the high grade or richest ore] it for future “stampings” [crushed ore] but were “high grading” the good stuff to be hauled at the earliest possible time to Modena. This high grade ore would more than pay the miners back wages and make a payment on a stamping mill.  Everything looked rosy for Dad, Mother and Cronin. Then tragedy struck.  Dad and Cronin had been closer than brothers. They had been partners in a sheep venture, then partners at prospecting and now partners in a going gold mine. Either of them would have trusted his life to the other wholeheartedly.
            When the snow melted they loaded their high grade ore onto a wagon and Cronin left for Modena about two days journey. An American smelting assayer was waiting for him and the ore was all that they had expected. It amounted to several thousand dollars. In those days a dollar was a lot of money. Gold at 1000 fine was $20.00 an ounce.
            Dad did not blame Cronin for getting a few bottles of whiskey on “tick” or for a well-deserved celebration by himself. But that wasn’t where it stopped. While waiting several days for the check to arrive for the assayed ore, Cronin indulged in a forty eight hour poker game which took the whole amount of the check to cover [the loses]. The result; when Cronin sobered up enough to realize what had happened he didn’t have the nerve to face Dad, mother or the miners.
            The next we heard from him was eight years later, when Dad received a letter from him from South Africa announcing he had a good diamond diggings and would sure like Dad to have a half interest in it and be partners again. He also mentioned that he had married a local girl. To Dad, knowing from school geography that African girls were Negro, he became so riled up that he threw the letter in the stove. We’ve never heard from Cronin since.
            Someone from Modena drove the wagon with supplies Cronin had bought back to Pike’s Diggings. A man by the name of Kearns had been boarding at our house all winter and spent most of his spare time at the diggings with the men. It was probably more than a coincidence that he had enough confidence in the mine to pay the miners back wages and give dad a few hundred dollars to move on.
            Dad loaded mother, my two sisters and me in the wagon and he rode ahead on horseback to pick out the trail. Mom drove the wagon. We started for Moapa Territory where Dad had heard of a new white metal that was so hard you couldn’t scratch it with a file, and yet it could be melted in a campfire. This was a trip of many days and was a rugged trip.  Most of the time there was no road at all. I remember that my sister LaDorna and I spent most of our travel time mounted in a panier on each side of a pack horse, with our things of amusement (her doll and my wooden gun) on a blanket arrangement on top of the pack saddle between us.
            Moapa was a small trading post town on the Muddy River about 75 miles north of what is now the city of Las Vegas, Nevada and occupied mostly by Indians.
            Dad found his white metal but uses for or knowledge of tungsten had not been developed.  So after a time we headed for the Colorado River just below Grand Canyon to seek the much more familiar but elusive gold panning. He had heard of a sand bar in the Colorado which had lots of color. This informant had to leave the previous spring on account of high water. He found the sand bar and the panning also. I can remember his and mother’s joy as they screened (concentrated the gold in) their first pans.
            The farm on “Poverty Flats” was not to profitable, the jack rabbits could not be controlled because of the great expanse of undeveloped land [surrounding us]. Also the grasshoppers took a large share of alfalfa and grain. On our home lot in “Johnstown,” (the section of the Gunnison River south of the San Pitch Bridge) Dad built a blacksmith shop, where he did horseshoeing and general blacksmithing. Later he operated the blacksmith shop with Uncle Olaf Gustavason from 1905 to 1912.
            Dad was always progressive and would never hesitate to gamble on anything new. Gasoline engines were new. Dad had a 2-horsepower horizontal Fairbanks Morse shipped in from Sears Roebuck. He rigged a shaft and pulleys through the shop and had the first power-operated shop in Southern Utah. It turned his grindstones and the shaft to sharpen discs and plows etc. He also cut a hole through the engine room and ran the belt through it to turn Mom’s washing machine. I’m sure this was one of the first power washing machines, at least in Utah.
            In 1908 Russia generously donated 800 Jews to the United States. President Taft just as generously donated them to Utah. Governor Spry not to be outdone in giveaway, donated them to Gunnison Valley, and the state built a 25-mile canal out of the Sevier River, and gave them 40,000 acres of land on the west side of the valley. They named this town “Clarion.”
            I was eight years old, and my father and several other men volunteered to assist teaching the men of Clarion Colony the rudiments of farming, including how to handle horses and the proper ways of harnessing them. After the men grew tired of doing the same thing over and over, their enthusiasm waned and the stopped going to Clarion. My father sent me twice a week for several weeks to see that grownup men harnessed horses properly. I rode a horse seven miles to and from Clarion, 14 miles in all. On the mid week trip I had to start at 2 am to get back in time for school, which was another mile.
            Many of those Jewish men never did learn how to harness a team, and not to be scared of a horse. In fact, the town didn’t last long. In a few years they had taken over two of Gunnison’s stores, had started a potatoes sales organization and drifted generally to other towns and cities; Clarion was soon abandoned as a community.


            At twelve years of age, we had taken over the hotel (Valley House). I was much closer to my muskrat trapping activity. My father’s health was not very good, and he sold farm equipment and machinery, including fencing wire. I earned some money by assembling spring-toothed harrows at 15 cents per harrow. I could assemble one in two hours after school, and three or four on Saturdays and if Mom wasn’t watching, a couple on Sunday after church. [Harrow: An implement for cultivating the surface of the soil, distinct from the plough, used for deeper cultivation.]
            Our main sport in the fall was to start tumbleweed rolls along the county road, which was Main Street, where there invariably, I would be joined by 10 to 20 kids, and the weed roll was 20 to 25 feet long and more than 10 feet high. What a grand fire for a little while. We roasted potatoes in the coals and someone always supplied a chicken, roasted, feathers and all. Now that doesn’t sound too appetizing to you who have never tried it. But, as the feathers burned they melt and form a solid encasement around the chicken. When the feathers and skin are pealed off in a nice solid piece, clean white meat is left.       
An absolute essential at Halloween was to drag people’s outdoor toilets with our saddle horses somewhere else. One of the real sports was to stand on the San Pitch River Bridge the morning after Halloween and watch the farmers trying to sort out their own wagon and buggy wheels which we had pile in great heaps in the river bed. Kids brought wheels from as far away as centerfield to pile on the Halloween heap.
            In 1912 my father bought an E.M.F. [Flanders] automobile to replace the four house stage which we used to meet the train each day about six miles out of town. I watched him in everything he did to that car, until I knew about as much as he did. One day when I knew he was not around, I turned the switch to on, pulled the choke wire which protruded through the radiator and lifted the crank a couple of times. The engine started. I was just going to back it up into the shed, but temptation overcame me and I drove it out onto the road where I was soon joined by 8 or 10 kids who I had to show off to and took them for a ride around several blocks and back. It had started snowing and smooth tires wouldn’t push the car up the incline. Dad came out—that was one licking I can still feel.
            A few days later, I tasted victory. Dad was having a very bad time with his dyspepsia [a pain or an uncomfortable feeling in the upper middle part of your stomach which might come and go, but it's usually there most of the time]. I think it was ulcers.  He called me in and asked if I could drive to the railroad, as there were some important “drummers” (salesmen) that were due. I made the trip and the drummers furnished me with new bachelor cigar to smoke on the way back, which I of course ditched before mother saw it.
            Once Leo Ackerman and I had to meet a special train at midnight, bringing back our basketball team from Manti. We had a 22 pistol, and upon arriving at the station the smell of a skunk was putrid. We soon located him, but probably shot at him in the dark fifteen or twenty times before hitting him enough times to kill him. We fastened a wire to him and tied him to the running gear of the stage. As the train stopped all the windows in the coach car closed. Our passengers boarded quickly, screaming for us to move away quickly. The smell was strangling and it was still that way when we got back to town.  When we stopped, Leo got down and found that the skunk had accidentally, somehow, got stuck in the running gear. I don’t think anyone believed him [that it was an accident].


            At fourteen years of age we moved to Salt Lake City. Dad drove our ***Flanders automobile to Salt Lake City and converted it into a grocery delivery truck. He had drawn a rough map and sent it to me. I drove a horse and buggy to Salt Lake in three days. I had enough hay tied to the back of the buggy and oats under the seat to last three days.  However, when I stopped to water the horse at a pond near Springville, a farmer let me put the horse in his barn and fed him hay in the manger. He also put a of couple ears of corn in the oat bay which rattled when the horse went to swish his lips to pick up the oats.  We had never raised field corn in Southern Utah, but we did grow lots of rattlesnakes.  When the corn rattled like a snake the horse reared back, breaking his halter rope and nearly crashed the barn door as he backed into it.
            I started high school at Eastside High School on its opening day, September 1914.  After Christmas I got my teacher to arrange for extra work to help me from getting too far behind the class when I would leave in late April. I had made up my mind to go back to Gunnison to be a farmer.
            In April, 1915, I went back to Gunnison to my Larson Grandparents during the farming season. It was customary for the men folk to take a week’s food supply to the farm which was seven or eight miles southeast of town. On Uncle Arthur Larson’s homestead, he had built a one-room shack where we three slept. Our cooking was done outside on a campfire. We always went back to town on Saturday for church on Sunday and back to the farm on Monday.
            Grandpa, Uncle Arthur and my father had taken up adjoining farm land above which the Highland Canal was eventually built. The area was nicknamed “Poverty flats”.  It was good land but entirely surrounded by uncultivated brush land which gave the rabbits and grasshopper and unfair advantage on the alfalfa fields.
            I salvaged 13 acres of my father’s alfalfa and I broke up nine acres of new land which I planted to seven acres of oats and two acres of potatoes. I traded one days work for the use of a team with Grandpa.
            I went back to Salt Lake and school at the Westside High in the fall of 1915.  During the winter there was much publicity about the new town of Delta, down on the Pavant Desert and its new sugar factory.
            I left school the last of February to get rich thinning sugar beets. It was claimed one could make an unheard of $200 per day. Of course, beets would not be planted for a couple of months or more, especially as this was the worst winter they had ever had in Central Utah. The cattle men had just [completely] given up fighting the blizzards on the Pavant Desert.
            I went to work for an Uncle Sidney to gather up what animals were still alive. It was a sad situation. He had come on to the desert with twelve hundred head and all we salvaged were about two hundred.
            I was riding with Arnold one day and he shot a jack rabbit to go with our sow belly and jerky and sour dough biscuits. He holstered his gun without reloading.  His fingers were about frozen. His dog came back yelping then ran toward some brush barking. Arnold got off his horse and went around the brush to help what he thought might be a downed cow. It was a funny sight watching him running back, circling the brush trying to reload his gun, while wearing a pair of bull hide chaps—a rabid coyote at his heels. He finally got his gun loaded and was able to kill the coyote, but not before it had torn a V-shaped slit in his chaps.
            Before beet thinning time came I had become acquainted with a California family who had built a nice home and was getting ready to plant sugar beets. I saw 16 acres in one corner of his field which he had not planted. He rented it to me for a ton of beets per acre and he furnished the water. The sugar beet company advanced the seed. I went over the two ranges of mountains to the East, to Gunnison where I still had my saddle horse.  Grandpa had a large stifled colt [Possibly an animal with an injured “stifle” or knee. The true "knee" is the stifle and is found on the hind limb only.] He let me take her to break in and he loaned me the colt’s mother. It was an odd team of farm horses, but they pulled a ** sulky plow and planted my beets. When the beets came up I started thinning.  After a sunrise to sunset day of hard back breaking work thinning beets I counted the rows in sixteen acres and decided then by the four rows I did that day it would take me about harvest time to weed sixteen acres of beets. ** [A two-wheeled plow rigged with a seat between them and above the plow share or cutting edge of the plow.]
            I was living in a tent, batching it and living on next to nothing. There was a Mexican camp just down the road, and I spent some evenings there for company and mainly to share their food which they were very liberal with. I only weighed about eighty pounds and looked younger than sixteen. I soon gathered there was much jealousy between the big jefi [top boss or chief] and the little jeffies [lesser bosses]. One day while at the store at Woodrows, which was about five miles from the farm, I overheard Mr. Webster, the grocery man tell the sugar beet foreman that he could not get labor for the 26 acres which the sugar company had advanced him $380 for plowing, planting and irrigating. I stepped up and asked him if he thought the sugar company would let me assume the note, that I could get the labor. The fieldsman told me to check for [about] the labor, and he would see me tomorrow.
            That night I singled out “Urbano Riviera” who I knew had been especially antagonistic with the big jefi, Gonzales.  He had six followers who agreed to go with him.  The sugar beet company Okayed my note without an adult co-signer. Urbano brought his men and my beets were thinned, then weeded and topped at harvest time, when many adult farmers lost much of their beets because they were unable to get crawl [working on knees] labor.
            At harvest time, a Mr. White from Oregon had a beautiful team of brown nosed mules that wouldn’t pull and empty wagon out of an irrigation ditch. In my earlier years I had learned that there was nothing you could do about a balky horse, but a mule’s ability is dependant upon your control of him. Mr. White loaned me his mules with the assurance that whenever one of his wagons passed, on the way to the beet loading dump, they would unhitch and help pull my loaded wagon out of the field. I had about a third of a wagon loaded when they balked. I know mules and how to handle them. I locked the brake on tight and climbed down on the doubletrees. I held the reins tight and proceeded to lay a five or six foot piece of one-inch link chain over their shoulders, at the same time holding the reins so tightly that they couldn’t go forward. I climbed back into the wagon, I calmed them down with a steady rein, released the brake, spoke very gently, “Giddy up” and just ever so slightly rattled the chain. Those little brown mules [really] leaned into the collar together and the wagon started like [it weighed] nothing.
            When I arrived at the beet dump, Mr. White would not believe that those mules had pulled that wagon with 6,300 lbs out of the field, and thought I was crazy when I turned them toward the tipple without asking for a lead team.  I told the blockers (men who carry a block of wood to put under the rear wheels to keep the wagon from rolling backward when you stop to wind [rest, let them get their wind] the horses) to get ready and I made three stops up that tipple. That story made a big hero out of me at the expense of fun-joking toward Mr. White. I never asked those little mules to pull 6,300 pounds over the beet tipple without a lead horse again. [Tipple: an elevated place with a ramp up to it, where the hauling wagon can be dumped, possibly into a train car, a larger freight wagon or a holding place.]
            Late in October I got my check from the sugar beet company, one thousand, one hundred thirty nine dollars, which was more money than my father had ever seen at one time in his life. I had settled everything in Delta and I was on my way home—with a check for $1,139 in my pocket—and $2.45 in cash. The railroad didn’t take checks. The town was closed after 6 pm and dark. I was at the railroad station never dreaming that I, the wealthiest kid in town, had no way of buying a ticket to Salt Lake.
            The train came in and as the engine was chugging along, I saw my opportunity to get home.  I walked through the dark to the front of the engine and climbed onto the cow catcher. I realized that it would be cold, but I had an overcoat and I figured the heat from the engine would keep me warm. It wasn’t bad until we began hitting snow drifts with such force that snow would spray thirty or forty feet into the air, crushing me to the engine.  To avoid the pounding, I crawled back on top of the cylinder. By the time we reached Thistle Junction, the snow had wedged me in solid between the boiler and the cylinder. I had a scary time breaking loose. Once free, I didn’t dare try it again, so I took a chance and boarded the train. When the conductor came by, I asked how much the fare was to Salt Lake City. He told me two dollars and forty cents which I paid him and spent the rest of the trip thawing out.
            Upon arriving home, I registered the next morning at Westside High. Within a few days I had a job at Western Union from 4 pm until midnight. This lasted through the winter until spring.
            One day there was a big patriotic parade down Main Street. A 120-foot long flag was carried by Red Cross people. People were throwing contributions onto the flag. I threw my purse with what it had in it from the fifth floor of the Western Union and went down stairs and walked over to enlist. I had to fib about my age by six months.That is why my army discharge papers say I was born on February 28th instead of June 28, when in fact, I would be 18 years old. I passed my heart, lung and blood pressure exams but had to take my weight, height etc at another office the next day. I walked up and down Main Street from eight in the morning to eleven in the morning and took a drink of water from every fountain which were a half-block apart. At 11 am I weighed in at 103 pounds and was 5’ 3 &1/2” tall. I was discharged December 18, 1918 and went to work as a mechanic at the Cullen Garage.


            I went to the Book Mountains to work on a large cattle ranch belonging to a couple of my uncles. Here I worked the summer range in midwinter watching and caring for cattle that were caught on the ledge rims by snow storms and were unable to get out until the snow melted.  I endured wind blasts as low as 60 degrees below zero.  I carried bunch grass [a natural growing grass] to stranded cows, and trapped and hunted wolves for bounty and pelts. I shot one three toed wolf that I collected twenty five dollars from the cattlemen’s association, twenty five dollars from the sheep men, and ten dollars from the state.

The Hapless Beast: Only a few months before he would marry his beautiful Dora, he worked for a rancher herding sheep in the Book Mountains of Utah, discussed elsewhere. He started his own herd too, and in his spare time ran a long trap line, which he checked daily each early morning. Unless it was a very small animal, he often “case skinned” them not distant from where trapped so as not to be burdened by the weight. A couple of coyotes, a bobcat and a badger weighed up quickly. Compared to others of his inclination, he made good money, always using his time to great advantage. Clean, prime, winter pelts of deer, mountain lions, bobcats, badgers, skunks, pine martins, weasels, coyotes, red and gray foxes, wolves, beaver, muskrats and wolverine were marketable. I know he had trapped or killed all of these with the possible exception of the wolverine. However, he told me of seeing wolverines. 

            In the greater area, an “infamous wolf,” leader of a small pack. periodically made its rounds decimating sheep in areas he passed through. The State had placed a $25 bounty on the wolf, and the ranchers association had placed a $25 bounty on him, and the sheep men, $10. The wolf was referred to as something like Old Three-Toes due to a missing toe on a forepaw, probably lost in a trap—hence, the ongoing difficulty of  trapping him again. Lloyd’s boss had lost a few sheep to this pack, and after it had passed through a few times, Lloyd calculated that in 12 to 14 days it would pass through again. Aware of the main trail where he’d always seen tracks, he set a steel-jawed trap, expertly hidden and masked of human scent, with a ripe-smelling, scent-masking recipe of his own, principally made with animal urine and gall saved from the two bladders of many animals. Cleverly baited, he bided his time. True to their routine, as he had predicted in his mind, the pack stalked through the ranch, but luckily, Lloyd spotted him and dispatched him with a single trigger-squeeze of his rifle. He became known far and wide for this feat. (He only brushes over it in his history, but several times, he recalled it to me in real particulars.) 

*** Case skinning is done by making the initial cuts through the pelt along the hind legs, around the anus and the tail in the inside of the skin, enabling the skin to be pulled forward, over the head, clipping carefully the inner ear carteledge and around the eyes, nose and mouth—in effect, turning it wrong-side-out without marring the pelt. Then with sticks or wire inserts, the pelt is stretched, and the bits of fat and flesh remaining on the skin were “fleshed off” and then the skin dried. Still today, most pelts are sold to the furriers prepared this way. 

Population Explosion: Lloyd told me of a population explosion of red foxes on the sheep ranch. He often watched them in the thin brush of the small nearby valleys populated with many fox holes, the occupants nearby. His rifle, an older vintage, used a cartridge popular in bygone days. I believe it was a 45-70 single shot. Regardless, the heavy bullet had slow velocity, and a poor trajectory (very arced). At a distance, he always shot high to compensate for the bullet’s rapid drop. 

He recalled sitting up on the ridges looking over the den sites and trying to connect with a lucky shot. Wind drift as well as poor trajectory caused constant failure. Nevertheless, with each shot came a short delay before he saw the dust puff of the striking bullet. The closer foxes would run over to the pock mark from which rose the dust to investigate with a sniff. He never claimed to have made a direct hit. I doubt if he tried many times, because of the cost of precious ammunition in a day when pennies held significant value. (Recalled and recorded by Darvil David (Mac) McBride, husband of Lloyd’s daughter, Linda Ann)

            In spring, I broke brush and willows on one hundred twenty acres of bottom land and managed the Bown Land and livestock Company lower ranch. In the summer of 1920 I began riding competition rodeo at the Indian Bear dance festivities at Ouray. The winters of 1919, 1929 and 1921, I trapped coyotes, wolves and bobcats as a sideline with up to ninety traps.  I shot wild horses for $2.50 per pair of ears for the company and sold the tails and manes to the Ute Indians at Ouray for an average of $2 per pair.  Most Indians did not have horses fast enough to get close to a band of mustangs. They always had a good trade in horse-hair lariats, hackamores and bridles [made from horse-hair parts bought from sellers like me]. 

            My folks were quite poor on account of father’s bad health. I was not at home much after 14 years of age. With the assistance of a wonderful old maid who everyone considered an old witch schoolteacher, I managed to complete a 3-year commercial course high school by attending 3 to 4 months per year and doing extra assignments which she finagled for me. I always intended to get enough money to go to college, and had enough to start at Logan U.A.C., studying Electrical Engineering. World War I came along and after my discharge on Dec. 18, 1918, I went to work in a garage which was a new industry just getting started.  Though I was a fairly good mechanic and probably could have made something out of it, I felt I had to get out of the city, and went back to the Book Mountains to work on a large cattle outfit as a regular cowhand at first. The pay was only $40.00 per month, but I was happy and saved at least $34.00 to $35.00 per month. The second Year I was Myrup’s highest paid man, $60.00 per month and I was breaking up new land and building a dam across Hill Creek Canyon to control floodwaters. It was long hours of very hard work, but it seemed like I was on top of the world.   From Lloyd’s letter of counsel to his son, LaClede


             I Started for Salt Lake in December 1921, with good saddle horse and pack horse.  We got caught in the Uintah Mountains in a blizzard.  I had to dig in under the snow to get out of the cold blast at about eight or nine thousand feet altitude. Upon getting up I found both horses standing, but [with feet] frozen. I had to shoot both of them. Then I started walking to find that less than a quarter mile was a forest cabin stocked with wood and food. I could have taken the horses into the cabin had I known it was there.  It took me twelve days to reach Salt Lake
, but it was worth it.
            I went to a dance New Year’s Eve at the Odeon and fell for the prettiest girl in town.  She didn’t believe me when I said, “Girl, it’s been a long time since I saw you.”  She had her two sisters-in-law with her and she didn’t want them to think she would talk to a stranger, so she let me get away with it.
            1921: Dora was born June 24, 1901, in Heber City, Wasatch County, Utah.  Her parents were staunchly religious. Her father went on a two-year mission to South Carolina when she was five months old.  She was the fifth child and lived in a family of twelve natural or adopted children, though no distinction was made as to who was which.  Her family never had money, but they knew nothing of poverty, as there was always food to eat and somehow her mother kept them all clothed, although they all wore something that was too small for some one else.
            I had been on that ranch in the Book Mountains for two and a-half years and had come home for Christmas in 1921. I celebrated by renewing old acquaintances between Christmas and New Years. New Year’s Eve I was partying with old friends from Gunnison until 9:00 PM when we separated. I wandered alone to the Odeon Dance Pavilion. I couldn’t help but watch the most beautiful girl there and the way she could dance. I finally caught her eye and nodded to her as I would an old acquaintance. She didn’t exactly return the acknowledgement but she didn’t seem to take offense either. Needless to say, I got the next dance with her and also several more during which time I asked to take her home. She was accompanied by two sisters-in-law. She accepted under the condition that I take her sisters-in-law with us.
            She lived with her sister, Zola, on the 448th South and 33rd East, in Murray, Utah.  Third East was a graded dirt road and there was deep snow—and it was slick. When I turned off 48th South onto 3rd East the car slid off the road down the grade embankment and was stuck. I first walked the sisters-in-law home a half-block north, then walked Dora home a half-block south. Zola was waiting up for her and after introductions; Zola and I were friends immediately. I made a date with Dora for the next night and walked back to State Street looking for a lighted house that might have a telephone. Not many houses had telephones in those days, and it was nearly 4 am before I got a taxi to pull my car back onto the road and then headed for home.
            The next night it was snowing hard when I arrived for Dora. She and her brother-in-law, Billy Park, invited me in. Dora had made two delicious lemon meringue pies. I had been living out of a Dutch oven and on sour dough bread for two or three years and those pies were out of this world. I always have told her that she snagged me—with them.  After those, I didn’t have a chance.  I stayed in Salt Lake two more days and spent most of them in her company.


            On January the 4th I left for the Book Mountains ranch. I traveled by train to Price, Utah. The snow had piled so deep I was stuck in Price for two weeks before completing my trip to the ranch. Dora had completely captivated me and in a couple of months I sold my riding gear and what was left of my sheep and headed back to Salt Lake. Dora and I were married on October 10, 1922, in her home in Heber City, by Bishop Heber Crook.
            I had a trucking contract hauling silica from Cottonwood to Murray. I went broke with [because of] the old equipment breaking down etc.
            In the spring of 1923, I was managing Herbert Aubach’s ranch of 1,000 acres of scrub oak, bench land, where the Salt Lake City Highland Homes area is now. We were raising pure bred duroc hogs and bronze turkeys on shares. Our daughter, LaDorna, was born Sept 12, 1923.
            In the fall of 1923 I went to work as a boiler maker for the Utah Copper Co at Magna, Utah. On the 19th of December 1923, I climbed up upon scaffolding to rivet trusses which were 168 feet above the ground.  It was so cold we had to have fires along with air pipe lines to keep from freezing the air hammers. I started with a new pair of pigskin gloves and by noon had turned them over to keep leather between my hands and metal. The palm sides of the gloves were sticking to the metal. At noon, I turned in my time and picked up my check at the finish of the shift.


            We sold our stove and a little other odds [and ends] for $12.50, and two days later, on the morning of December 22, I loaded our total worldly belongings and was on my way to California in an open touring car (Closed sedans had not been invented yet.) with Dora and our three-month-old baby, LaDorna, and my mother who had stayed on to help Dora through child birth. We also had our collie dog.  It took us three days and part of the nights to make the trip on dirt roads [sometimes just wagon-wheel-track roads] which ran from one town to the next. Though it was midwinter, we cleared snow off the ground and camped out at nights, and followed the wagon tracks to California. We bought gasoline in grocery stores. (Before gas stations or motels.) It was a little over 1,000 miles of rough, frozen or muddy tracks and we arrived in Los Angeles about 1:00 am on Christmas morning (now it’s 700 miles.)
            The collie dog kept LaDorna cuddled and warm the whole trip. The collie had been a wedding present, just a little bunch of fur. He had never been allowed in the house before LaDorna was born, but after she came he couldn’t be kept out. He soon learned that when she cried, if the cradle was rocked she would stop crying.  During the next year, people were continually amazed to see him with his front feet up on the cradle rocking it when she cried.
            In California I did construction work on the Edison Plant in Alhambra and the Roosevelt Building at 7th and Flower. I decided to sell real estate with my friend Ross Knighton. I was a complete failure as a real estate salesman. I couldn’t believe all the baloney that had to be told to the new influx of Easterners and just could not tell them the things they wanted to hear.
            In desperation, after three months of this, I answered an ad for a fish worker.  Luckily I applied for the job at the harbor Fish Company dressed up in my good clothes and presented my card to George Beubler. I told him about a large fish house in Salt Lake. It so impressed him that he didn’t notice I didn’t tell him that I had never worked for the fish house or that I didn’t know a halibut from a terrapin. In fact, he was so afraid he was not going to land me; he started talking about a manager’s job. I accepted and went home and spent all night with an encyclopedia trying to memorize and learn something about California fish.
            The next morning after arriving at work at 6:00 am, [still knowing absolutely nothing about fish] I took an order from George’s window and [not knowing where to find what, I compensated, and to save face and skin] called Leonard to “get me six four-pound barracudas and twenty-four half-pound rock bass and two gallons of select oysters.” Then I had Collins do the same thing with another order. This [the efficiency and show of authority and bossiness by the new punk underling] showed the crew up [for they had jumped to the task, at MY command], and I could readily see I had no friends there, [for I had embarrassed them]. George [probably the foreman] thought it looked like a new way to manage the floor and was willing to see the outcome. [Big trouble was stirring, and] By night time one of the younger boys told me confidentially that Leonard and Mike Vidovitch, a big Pole, were going to wait for me outside the building. I was scared but I couldn’t show it nor could I soften my bellicose [belligerent] attitude. I saw some of the crew stop near the street to watch, so as I went out the door I saw Leonard and Big Mike waiting for me. I didn’t say a word but walked swiftly toward the closest one, Big Mike Vidovitch. I swung a right to the pit of his stomach with everything I had. He double up and went down. I turned toward Leonard and he backed off and that ended that.
            After I learned the fish business enough so that I didn’t have to be so bellicose, we became good friends. In fact, over the years to come I have never had two people more loyal to me.


            TOPOLOBAMPO: In the year 1924, I was working as floor manager for the Harbor Fish Company at 6th and Central Ave, Los Angeles, California. Dr. F. Bowers, a dentist, who had traveled extensively, especially in Mexico, was spending considerable time at the Fish Plant. He was selling the owners of the Harbor Fish Co. the idea of growing oysters on the west coast of Mexico. He already had an agreement with the Mexican government for the use of an area in the Altata Bay, about fifteen miles south of the mouth of the Culican River for the oyster planting experiment. It was a wild idea, and I was thrilled when they offered me the job of managing the Mexican end of the experiment. I knew nothing of oyster cultivation, but Mexico was just emerging from twenty years of revolutions—and this was a real challenge.
            Dora and baby LaDorna were left with my parents as I embarked for Altata Bay, Sinaloa, Mexico on a small Mexican ship, The Bolivar.  It had a freight capacity of about five hundred tons and sleeping quarters for ten to twelve passengers.  I checked on with two ten-ton barges, two second-hand fifteen-foot eastern catboats, one twenty-two-foot skiff and a seven horsepower outboard motor, two small marine engines and about five tons of supplies including canned and dried groceries.
            My first stop on the fifth day from San Pedro, California was La Paz, South Baja California close to the tip of Baja California. It was a sleepy little village, which had formerly subsisted on its pearl fishing. Several of the world’s famous pearls came from La Paz. But those days were past, the pearl oyster was nearly extinct and La Paz now existed on its beautiful inland bay by exporting hides and some dried fish.
            Though La Paz harbor is a deep water harbor, ships had to anchor five or six hundred feet from the shore. Access to the shore was by a catwalk plank on top of pilings. Cargo was carried to and from the ship on men’s backs, called Patos [ducks], walking these planks.
            On shore a narrow street with high rock walls on either side topped with jagged broken glass ran from the shore line to the center of town about a short block. As I walked up the dusty road I flushed a sow and seven or eight baby pigs from a dust hole. I nearly stepped on them. They had been completely covered with dust, the only way they had of getting out of the hot midday sun.
            When I had reached the crossroad which was the main part of town, I looked up and down the road at a couple of stores and other business buildings, but the street was deserted, not even a dog. This was my first experience with the Mexican siesta. While I was standing there wondering where the people were, a lone figure appeared at the other end of the street. He wore the regular white cotton pants and shirt. As he saw me, he started walking toward me. Although I had no reason to expect an American here I seemed to know that he was the one and I started toward him.  I knew no Spanish and I had heard nothing I could understand for five days. It was really a thrill to talk and listen to someone I could understand. The big thrill came when I found the tall good-looking American was a grown up playmate of mine from many years ago in Gunnison, Utah.  It’s a small world.  He was on a mission for the Mormon Church and was teaching a branch of thirty five to forty members. He took me to the Governor’s palace and introduced me to the Governor, Alexandro, and his beautiful though plump wife. They invited me to have lunch. This was memorable occasion. I had little experience with real Mexican food but was trying hard to converse with them through my interpreter, Lyle Coping [my old friend from Gunnison. I had a mouthful of chili-hot food and to get the stinging out of my mouth, I swallowed my last bit of breath, and almost choked before finally recovering tiny bits of air. It was one of my life’s most embarrassing moments.
            Our ship pulled out of the harbor early next morning for Guaymas. It took a day and a night. We spent the following day loading and unloading cargo. We left in the evening for Toplobampo.
            When I awakened the next morning, it was to become a day of surprises. As I dressed and went to leave my cabin I was confronted with two rurales (soldiers) with rifles and machetes. They were apparently trying to tell me I was under arrest and to move off the ship.
            It seemed that during the nine days since I had left San Pedro, California, a new government was put in power in Toplobampo. The rurales allowed me to get my suitcase and then marched me off the ship, one rifle in front of me and one in back of me. I was taken up the hillside to the railroad track where they helped boost me into a railroad car then shut the door. That was a very lonesome feeling, nine days away from anything understandable and locked in a boxcar on the side of a hill. Toplobampo at that time was a fishing village of a few adobe houses and ***Ramada shacks [upright posts with a flat roof possibly to shade farm animals] scattered on a steep hill rising out of the bay. There were no families except a Chinese couple who ran the store and lived in an adjoining adobe house with a high wall around it. There were no other women. A quarter-mile east of the main town, were several armadas of red-light women.
            Stretching eastward of Toplobampo hill was a mile or so of dry mud flats and then desert for thirty miles to Los Moches, then up the Fuerte River to the town of Fuerte.   It was originally supposed to connect with the Atchison Topeka Railway, but the railway never made it to the summit of the Sierras in fifty years of construction. They had made it nearly to the connecting point at the summit several times but then a change in government and new engineers would decide on a new route. The railroad locomotives and cars were still the fifty or sixty- year-old type with high spoked wheels.
            Happily, I had only been in the car twenty or thirty minutes when it was opened and a good-looking, young Mexican climbed in. He was the new captain of the port and spoke a few salutary words in English but not enough to carry on a conversation. He immediately dispatched one of his mosos (servants) to his office for a Spanish/English dictionary. He returned with the largest dictionary I have ever seen. Captain Cirose turned out to be not only an intelligent man but he had a wonderful sense of humor, which came in handy in the next hour or two of our conversation through the dictionary.  He became my loyal friend and protector during the next three months and one week of my forced stay at Toplobampo.
            It seems that I had cleared with the American attaché at San Pedro for me and my cargo to be delivered to Altata, Sinaloa, duty free.  Apparently, small ships at one time had entered Altata Bay but not in the last fifteen or twenty years. The new Aduanna [customs] de la Porte at Toplobampo, were immediately suspicious of chicanery and had me arrested for attempting to land untaxed merchandise and machinery at an unused and unauthorized port. This was a very serious charge and required Dr. Bowers to go to Mexico City to unravel things and for me to stay in Toplobampo three months and one week.
            After a couple of hours with Captain Cirose, he took me from the box car to the Aduanna’s office and signed a responsibility paper for me to move my barges and machinery on them around the hill into an estuary. I put up a tent on one of the barges and prepared to live in it.  However, all of my ten thousand pounds of groceries were confiscated and stored in the Custom’s House on the water front. I was allowed to take a limited amount of canned goods out for my use. The Aduanna de la Porte was a large,   pot-bellied, arrogant man who reminded me of a fat boar pig.
            The first night on the barge was pure torture. The ahenis (small gnats) came by the thousands. Their bite is more stinging than a mosquito, and there were plenty of mosquitoes also. By morning my head was swollen and burning, so were my arms and hands. I got up before daylight and got in the skiff and rowed for shore. I climbed up the hillside brushing off mosquitoes and ahenis until I came near the top of the ridge where I felt a little breeze and believe it or not, no insects. That was my first nature lesson in Mexico. Ahenis are so small and light they cannot fly in even a slight breeze. So from then on I took a blanket to the top of the ridge to sleep, when it didn’t rain.
            The fishermen of Toplobampo were mostly young men. They were very strong and tough. There was a building next to the store which was a saloon where the men gathered every night. Besides Mescal, Tequila and Cervesa, there was usually a kettle of beans and tortillas to which customers could help themselves. I was learning Spanish fast and spent many of my evenings at a table in the saloon using all the Spanish words as I learned them. Also, I think I was forced to arm wrestle every man in town, although there were a number of men who were bigger and more powerful than I, who I was no match to arm wrestle. However, I threw every man in town at finger wrestling at least once or twice.
            When the tide was high in the afternoons the men would play baseball in the salt flats adjoining the east side of the hill. One afternoon I was at the foot of the hill watching them play at baseball. A young husky named Dominges was calling my name, “Antonio (They couldn’t say Lloyd.) He wanted me to “peech”.  I answered, “No permiso sale de cuidad (I don’t have permission to leave the city).” They immediately sent someone to get Captain Cirose, who gave me permission to go onto the salt flats to play baseball. I didn’t want this, as I had not had a baseball in my hand since high school, and at that time it would be bad for the gringo to stumble at anything. I walked to the pitcher mark and thought it out carefully. Then I fingered the ball and threw an attempt at a slow in curve. More to my surprise than theirs, that ball bent over a foot. Dominges, who was catching let out a yell, “Bravo!” and I had a new responsibility as “pilote peecher” for the Toplobampo Pescadores [fishermen]. During the next few weeks I spent most of my spare time throwing a baseball. Part of the time spent showing a young fellow how to finger the ball for different curves. He caught on quickly and enjoyed it so much, that to my relief I saw to it that he spent more time on the mound than I. I could do this because within a few days I was made Capitan of the Toplobampo Pescadores Team, and they were well prepared [conditioned to subservience] to accept authority after twenty years of revolutions and military rule.
            Our first game was at Pichilingo and we won it. During the next three months we went once a week by sailboat to coastal towns and by government truck to some inland agricultural towns, and we won every game. Those husky Pescadores were happy with their gringo Capitan and though they were a wild bunch, they accepted my rigid rule of no drinking, not even a Cervesa, for twenty four hours before a competition game. They always made up for it after the game. They were so thrilled by their success on the ball field that they gave me too much credit for their victories. The war was over, baseball was the new glamour game, and after their original successes I could have convinced them that the moon was made of green cheese.
            During this period of time, the great political campaigning for the new president was going on. General Flores was running against General Calles who was the protégé of Mexico’s military leader, General Oblegardo Obregon.
            During the daytime, politics were never important enough to take preference over the tide times—high and low tides—or other conversations regarding fishing. In the evening in the saloons where everyone gathered after dinner and the drinking progressed, no telling what would happen. Sooner or later someone would shout, “Viva Calles,” then a chorus of “Viva Flores” and someone would throw a knife, a chair or anything else, and the fights would be on. On my very first night’s experience, I learned that the best way to protect myself was to keep still, pull a table close to the wall, tip it up edgewise and stay low until the battles subsided.
            The morning after my first experience at Mexican campaigning, I learned that one had been killed by stabbing and several others were more or less incapacitated from knifings and concussions from thrown chairs and clubbings. There were several more of these melees during the political campaign. Calles was elected and General Flores moved into the hotel Rosales in Culican. Dora and I became well acquainted with General Flores and his wife later at Culican before his tragic death. This deserves some explanation here:
            Shortly after Dora and baby LaDorna arrived in Culican in the spring of 1935, we had a suite of rooms at Thomas Desmukes Hacienda. General Flores had gone to Mexico City for Calles’ inauguration. It seems he was given a dose of broken glass in his food before returning to Hotel Rosales where he had his own cook prepare his meals.  However, when more pulverized glass was found in his flour, he had to find a safer place to live for his wife, two children and himself.  Dora and I moved into a single room at Tommy’s and they moved into our suite. General Flores was a large, beautifully built man and loved very much on the West Coast of Mexico. He died a few weeks after moving into our apartment.
            The Tong Wars were in full swing at the time I was in Toplobampo and extended all the way to San Francisco, California. I never learned to understand the machinations of the Tong Wars, but there were many killings. In fact, during the pat year, assassinations and murders were numbered in the hundreds on the West Coast of America, but mainly in the San Francisco area. [The Tong wars were feuds carried out by gangs of Chinese immigrants (or Tongs) in US cities (notably San Francisco and Los Angeles) between the 1850s and the 1920s.]
            The Chinese couple who had the store at Toplobampo had a teenage son who went to school and lived with some other Chinese in Los Moches. It seems the son had fallen in love or something, of which I never learned the details, with a girl of another tong and for self preservation he had gone into hiding.
            It was a hot afternoon and I was having a siesta on one of my barges in the estuary. I saw a couple of automobiles loaded with what I looked like Chinese men coming up the dug way toward Toplobampo. When I heard loud shouting of my name, which by now was Don [a title of esteem] Antonio, I recognized Charlie the Chinese man running down the steep rocky hill shouting my name. I jumped into a skiff and rowed the few yard to shore in time for Charlie to jump in, shouting for me to get to the Monte pronto [quickly]. It is a couple of hundred yards across the estuary to the mangroves. As I started rowing I saw the two cars pull up to a stop at the top of Toplobampo and four or five men exiting from each car. A minute or two passed as I could plainly see them scatter to the store and other structures.
            By the time I was halfway across the estuary headed toward the mangrove jungle growth, they apparently discovered that Charlie was in my skiff and escaping. They started running down the road toward us. The lead man had a rifle and when they saw us getting away they stopped and the rifleman started shooting. Luckily, he apparently was out of breath and we were three hundred yards away. Even so, he was hitting too close by the time Charlie jumped out of the skiff and disappeared into the mangroves. I watched them discuss the situation, finally recognizing the impossible situation of finding anyone in that jungle. They started back up the hill, and I returned to my barge. There was one hole in the gunwale [The upper edge of a boat's side, pronounced gunnul] of my skiff. From the size of the hole in the splintered wood, I could discern that the rifle was not less than a 30-30.
            A Senor Grijalva had charge of the railroad facilities at Toplobampo. He had heard about the way shrimp were caught with power nets below Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. For a few dollars he had been able to get an American World War I surplus life boat and a surplus Ford marine engine. They were lying on the pier at the Toplobampo wharf when I arrived. Mr. Grijalva was greatly elated when he saw me inspecting them one day. Although I knew nothing about marine boats, I did know considerable about engines, and I had time on my hands. It was easy for him to talk me into taking charge of assembling his shrimp-fishing gear. He would give me all the men I would need to assemble the venture. I did a lot of study and made a lot of measurements before cutting into the transom of the boat to assemble the drive shaft from the motor to the propeller.  Grijalva supposed he had everything to complete the boat conversions, but as the assembly progressed there were many things that I had to invent and improvise, such as shaping the heavy timber for the engine to be belted to, and I even made the babbit bearing to hold the shaft through the transom.  There were many other things that had t be improvised.
            The day finally came when I considered everything ready and told Mr. Grijalva that “tomorrow we can try it out.” I thought he and I and a couple of mosos would put it in the water, try the motor and gear out on the Hipon shrimp bank, which was about seven miles from Toplobampo. That would give us the opportunity to see what could be changed to make things work.
            There was one thing I had not counted on, that was their idea that the gringo was an expert on everything.
            Tomorrow came, imagine my surprise and chagrin when, also came the chief of police of Los Moches, the mayor, the territorial general, the captain de la puerta and Grijalva, along with cases of mescal, tequila, and a couple of pescadores to handle the nets. They were all feeling artificially good by the time we reached the banks.
            I tried to explain to them that we would have to experiment with the pitch of the mo-boards I believe the horizontal, flat boards to adjust, which pull the nets down under] on the front of the nets. I set the boards at an angle that looked the best to me, and we dropped the seine [net for catching fish] overboard. We started moving forward at about four knots. Within a hundred yards, the boat began slowing down, and I assumed we were digging into mud. By the time we had gone three or four hundred yards, we were just churning water [not moving]. The pescadores began pulling the boat back to the immovable net. I tried hard to pretend it was no surprise to me to see the net completely clogged with nearly 3,000 lbs of shrimp. As the shrimp were poured into the boat hold, I ordered everyone onto the prow [the very front] of the boat. We turned for Hipon, about two miles away. The boat was in calm water. The boat was loaded to within about two inches of the gunwale [the top edge of the boat]. We made it to the Hipon beach in a very calm sea at about two knots. By the time our shrimp was unloaded and spread out on the drying ground, most of the pescadores from Topolobampo had arrived in their dugout canoes. That was an evening of celebrating I’ll always remember.
             Gloria De Gringa – 1925: In the year 1924, I went to Mexico to develop an oyster farm at the mouth of the Culican River on the Coast of Sinaloa.  Dora came down to Mexico in early 1925.  I had cleared about a half acre of Mangrove and Latta tree jungle to build a home for her and our 18 month old baby girl, LaDorna.  This was shortly after the finish of the revolution and Dora was the only American woman in this part of Sinaloa and the only white woman in all of the jungle country from Toplobampo south to Mazatlan, three hundred seventy five miles away.
            Because of the high tides and tropical storms which sometimes brought the ocean several miles inland, I drove pilings into the ground and constructed a floor thirty inches above the ground, sixteen feet square. On this I had a World War I officer’s tent suspended from a center pole. Above this was a canvas fly which protected the tent from the tropical sun.


The Family Recalls Some of Lloyd’s Many Stories of Adventure in Mexico 

            The Friendly Shipmate: During his oyster farming days at Altata Bay on the west coast of Mexico, as he paddled a small dugout canoe through the mangroves that thrived on the edges of the bay, a full grown raccoon would, seemingly from nowhere, drop into the boat. It always took its place at the prow and waited for flying fish, ready to swat one as it sail by. Sometimes on its own, a fish would end up flopping about inside the craft, in which case, at no expense of energy to the coon, the free meal arrived. Usually, the animal waited until a fish sailed within reach; and, standing on hind legs, it would reach up and bat it into the canoe. It may have caught jumping mullet also.

            Sometimes they were out together for hours, the animal always ate his fill. When they returned, passing through the tangle of mangrove limbs, at some appropriate point, it would jump up into the tangle and disappear. He had brought the baby raccoon back to their place (tent) for Dora’s enjoyment. He tethered it to a pole until tamed through feeding and handling. Once released, it would come and go at pleasure. Nearly every time, or at least usually, when Lloyd went out, the pet would drop into the canoe. Lloyd said he always waited for it and enjoyed the company.
            LaClede recalls his dad telling of one night: The raccoon entered the tent and was trying to open Lloyds eyelid. Awakened and startled, he grabbed it and hurled it across the tent.

            Other Pets: According to La Dorna, they kept an armadillo too (an easily tamed animal). Also, Lloyd told of two green parrots he had trapped or taken as babies from their nest. They were kept on a perch atop a pole fashioned with a crosspiece. They may have been a Mexican variety of the Amazon parrot.

            Migrating Baby Sawfishes: On at least one occasion, as Lloyd entered the open bay from the mangroves he experienced a strange phenomenon. He saw what seemed to be an endless foot-wide, dark line on the surface of the water, stretching far out of sight, out of the bay and on into the open sea of the Gulf of California. Upon approaching the line, he discovered it to be composed of millions of baby sawfishes about six inches in length, noses to tails in a steady relentless advance.

            The Big Cat: Lloyd and Dora with baby LaDorna wended their way down a dozed-out road. They putted along in an old bare-essentials truck. A tangled mix of brush, trees, rocks and soil mounded up on both sides from the dozer’s road work forming two long continuous banks. Without warning an unannounced, very large, white, mountain lion appeared, and according to them, made its way along the top of the bank at the same height as they were in the vehicle. The big cat stayed along side of them for some time, using the top of the mound as its trail, making guttural sounds as they continued. Dora said that she experienced real fear, for it seemed that she could, at times, almost reach out and touch it.
(Recalled by Darvil David (Mac) McBride, husband of his daughter, Linda Ann)

            I often times would be forced to spend from one to several days out on the water, leaving Dora and the baby alone. Her only protections was a 38 Colt revolver strapped to the tent center-pole, and the ladies stiletto which at that time all ladies carried, usually strapped around their leg or in their boot top. Dora had become better than average with the revolver, and she was really good at throwing the stiletto. [a small, slender-bladed dagger.]
            Her only human contact when I was away was an Indian family that had their Ramada on the bank of the estuary a couple of hundred yards inland. There was an elderly woman, a twelve-year-old girl and a six or eight month old baby and four or five adult Indian men. One of the men was on the retarded side. One day when I was working in the mangrove forest not far away, Dora had heated some water on her homemade stove I had built for her and was taking a bath in the tent when she looked up and saw Chico (the retarded one), looking in through the tent fly. I heard her scream, but before I could get there he was gone. Our camp was in plain sight of their camp, and I could see all the men-folk were in camp preparing Lisa (mullet) for drying. Immediately, I coached Dora what to do as a demonstration, as I could see they were all watching. I went out back of our tent and passed behind it until I was in view of them again and I placed some cans and bottles on mangrove branches in plain sight of the Indian camp. Then, Dora came out of the tent with her revolver in her hand and slowly walked around the tent as she loaded cartridges in the revolver. As soon as she put the tent between us and the Indian camp I took the revolver and fired six fast shots and luckily shattered six bottles and cans. Then Dora took the gun and walked back around the tent into full view of everyone, she blew the smoke out of her gun and calmly reloaded it.
            I do believe everyone in Culican as well as all the fishermen knew of the talents of Gloria, the Monita Gringa Senorita [the cute little gringa Miss]. Chico apparently took the hint as she was never bothered with him again.
            Dora’s fame as a crack pistol shot spread among the fishing camps to such an extent that almost a year later, I really got an exaggerated story of her revolver skill at the market place in Culican, the capitol of Sinaloa, which was a full day’s journey inland at that time. The Indians loved Dora and simply idolized our little blonde baby girl. I heard many local stories about them, but I think Dora’s shooting ability amazed them greatly.  They had other reasons for their admiration for her.
            One afternoon I was cleaning some fish for Dora to cook for dinner. We heard the Indian woman in her camp screaming and crying. We both ran for their Ramada. Dora out distanced me as I had heavy rubber boots on my feet. The woman was holding her six month old baby and screaming hysterically. They baby’s face was black with no signs of breathing. Dora grabbed the baby, holding it by its feet, and she gave it a hard hit on its back. A pebble flew out of its mouth and a few seconds later [we heard] a weak cry. The baby had picked up a rock while crawling on the dirt floor of the Ramada.
            No one, including Dora has never explained how she knew the baby had a pebble in its throat, or how she came to the instant decision of striking the baby on the back to dislodge it. Dora’s fame spread into town and even beyond. Shortly after this, they came for her to cure all of their ills. We had a large supply of camphor phenique, which she used to cure their cuts and bruises, plus some pain killing gum for the tooth ache.
            Shortly after this event, Governor Vega, his lady friend, the Presidente of Culican, the Chief of Police and their wives, together with their mosos (servants) came to El Brinko to inspect the new oyster cultivation project. As the stories about Dora were told, the women were so enthusiastic they left the Indian camp and came over to our camp where they spent the afternoon with the beautiful gringa. Poor Dora, she couldn’t understand a word of Spanish. [However, Dora would very soon return to California.]
                        Dora learned to sail a canoe with a paddle and skiff with a mutton-leg sail [the simple, high triangular, single piece sail], but not without some exciting experiences, such as forgetting to duck as the pole swung over for changing directions. She grabbed the pole with one hand while holding the baby with the other and, of course tipped the boat over on its side, holding her and the baby’s head under water until I could get to the other side of the boat to counter balance it.
            We had a little dugout canoe fourteen feet long and just wide enough to squeeze into. Dora and the baby were sitting in front facing me as we were on our way out to our foreman’s camp on Garcia Blanca Island. I was paddling in very smooth water on the lee side [the opposite side of the boat than where the wind force hits] of the island separated from Garcia Blanca by a channel about one hundred yards wide. The tide was coming in and the current between those two islands was ten to twelve miles per hour. The idea is to come to the channel close to the protecting island, then shoot across the fast current, losing as little distance [being carried carried along by the current as little] as possible. Just before starting into the channel I saw the lead [front] of a porpoise school coming in with the current. (They came in tandem, and as they rose and fell, from a distance, they resemble a giant sea serpent.) To give Dora a closer look I shoved the canoe out so it hit the center of the current at the same time as the leader got there. He was a monster for size, and as he surfaced directly in back of Dora, he blew like a whale. Dora caught sight of him and threw the baby directly back [over] to me. In order to catch her, I dropped my paddle. Dora was never able to see any humor in this incident.   

            Off season for planting oysters we started a shark fishing business using our gasoline catboats and barges to get supplies and pick up shark oil and shark fins from the island where I established shark fishermen. Juan Morales, my foreman, and I, harpooned a grey nurse shark from a dugout canoe. He was harpooned just back of the dorsal fin and headed up the channel against an outgoing tide. We were tied fast to the harpoon rope and there was no way to cut him loose and balance the canoe [at the same time].  Probably the wildest dugout ride known. Luckily we ran him into shallow water. He weighed about one and a-quarter tons and we extracted 75 gallons of oil from his liver and got about one hundred thirty pounds of fin.

     Lloyd's Shark Oil Enterprise: At the time, shark oil enjoyed a great market with the leather tanning industry. Lloyd, with an engine-driven craft, (called a catboat) also rigged with a sail, principally plied the waters of the Gulf of California (Sea of Cortez) though he naturally, ventured south along the mainland coast, for his base near Topolobampo at Altata Bay, lay south of the tip of Baja. The sail went up at advantageous times to save fuel and to move along faster. At the fishing towns and villages, he provided or arranged for 55-gallon drums placed close to the shore. Caught sharks provided a bountiful source of oil from their livers. The fishermen tossed the livers into the lidded drums to heat up under the intense sun; this heat rendered the oil  from the livers at a steady rate.   
     Visiting the drum sites, he poured off the oil that had risen to the top, into containers, paid the local in charge of the rendering-drums and headed for the next site. He navigated up and down the coasts, crossing the sea back and forth from Baja California to the mainland of Mexico, as needed, to make the trips in the shortest distance and time. On several occassions, he encountered stiff gales and rough seas, testing his mettle in seamanship, sailing and engine and craft maintenance. This business, with little competition, prooved a profitable sideline during off-season of the oyster farming; which he was employed to do. My memory fails me regarding storing and handling of the fins, though I know the market was with the Chinese.                               Darvil David (Mac) McBride, son-in-law  

We Survived a Huricane

Early July, 1924 -- Punto Brinco, Mexico, I had made a clearing of about one half acre of mangrove jungle about a half-mile inland of Altata Bay, [close to the town of Topolobampo], State of Sinaloa. Here I built our home, a floor made of mahogany lumber on pilings about three feet above the ground. Upon this elevated floor I erected a sixteen foot army officer’s round tent which was suspended from a larger heavy center pole.
            The next couple of years were very eventful for Dora, our baby LaDorna and me.  The following is one of the highlights. We lived through a hurricane.
            The ties down ropes on the tent were each tied to the end of three Data saplings, which were wedged under the floor at a forty five degree angle. This was my own invention to keep from tearing the tent to pieces in case of a high wind.
            In those days there was no such thing as a radio. This particular afternoon I observed the great black clouds to the southwest. Darkness should come about 8:30 to 9:00 pm, but by 5:30 it was already dark. The sinking sun complete bolted out by the massive clouds of a hurricane. The year before, I had experienced a hurricane at Toplobampo though I was not prepared for many of the things that happened in this one.
            By eight o’clock the wind had become a gale, some of the tie down saplings (pliable as they were), began to snap. Luckily I had a reserve pile of fifty or sixty saplings at the rear of the tent, and I began replacing them for the broken ones. By now the rain was no longer normal. It was slashing down in sheets. It was so dark that one could not distinguish your hand in front of your face between the flashes of lightening. The lightening was by now striking on the left, then on the right, in front and in the rear. The crashing of the thunder all around and the pungent smell of sulphur from the striking lightening was like pandemonium cut loose. Dora screamed as lightening struck a few hundred yards to the east, the thunder crashed and a loud hissing noise, as what looked like a giant bowling ball of red heat came slithering and sputtering towards us. It turned to our left leaving the smell of burning sulphur. There were several more of these balls of lightening striking in different directions and the continual breaking of the saplings that were holding the tent down which I replaced as rapidly as possible.
            Dora and the baby were sitting on the floor watching and they could see in the almost constant lightening flashes. I know she was as frightened as she will ever be in her life. To me it was pure excitement with no thought of fear until the water was suddenly up to my knees, then up to the tent floor. Then I was frightened, because of the half mile of mangroves between us and the bay there was no battering of waves. The water was ocean salt. If the tent went and the water got any deeper, our only choice would be to hang on to the mangrove trees above the water level. This was a horrible thought which I did not transmit to Dora. As I continued making my rounds replacing the tie downs I kept telling her how beautiful the things were that we saw in the lightening. She never once let on how frightened she was.
            The water quit rising [when it reached] about three feet, but the ocean extended itself some three miles inland. By midnight the wind had calmed down some but still had gusts that would send me wading in waist-deep water to replace the saplings. My mind was completely occupied at getting around through the flailing water, replacing the broken tie downs by the light of the lightening, but I knew Dora was praying for all of us all of the time.
Earlier in the storm I had fastened a 16-foot flat bottomed skiff into a thicket of heavy mangroves. As daylight came, the wind calmed and the rain slackened.  I put Dora and the baby in the skiff and started inland. The first quarter of a mile I dodged in and out of the taller mangroves. Then suddenly the terrain ahead was of sandy desert with some three feet of ocean water on top of it. I rowed about three miles inland to an Indian camp called Biatato, which was on a bit of a hill covered with mesquite and Palo Blanco trees. Here we dried out as the water receded.
            By afternoon we were able to return to camp. It will always be hard to explain how our tent home was still fairly intact after the hurricane, while the Harbor of Guaymas which is up to the north of Altata Bay is considered a harbor of refuge for boats and ships in that part of the Pacific, as it is twelve to fifteen miles inland from the coastline. Practically every boat anchored in Guaymas Harbor was lost in this hurricane. Many large fishing boats were piled up on the sore hundreds of feet from the water’s edge.
            In 1925, Dora left Mexico, but I remained there for another year. I do believe everyone in Culican as well as all of the fishing camps knew of the talents of Gloria, the monita gringa senorita from El Brinko.
            1926: After I came back from Mexico, leaving everything I had worked for, for three years, I went to work for Martin Gronsky at the Grand Central Market at Third and Main in Los Angeles. The crowds, the noise and the smells soon got to me and after six months I could stand it n9o longer and asked for my job back at the Harbor Fish Co.
            One day I took Dora and LaDorna and with some friends went to the beach.  Dora was just recovering from a long illness and was timid about going in the water, but I coaxed and holding her hand pulled her into the waves, wanting her to have some fun.  Just as a big wave came, she panicked and turned sideways. The wave hitting her knee turned the knee cap upside down.  I picked her up. Her leg was bent with the heel under her armpit.  I carried her to the car and took her to the hospital.
            I left four-year-old LaDorna, with a complete stranger, not getting her name in my excitement. The lady either found my friends or LaDorna remembered where she lived because we got her back.
            Dora had to have her leg in a split-cast for a year.  Every morning and night I would massage the leg with olive oil. At the end of the year that leg was more shapely and bigger than her good leg.
            When Dora developed tuberculosis, I would get up at 4:30 in the morning, fix breakfast, my lunch and lunch for Dora and LaDorna and leave their lunch in the ice box. I would carry Dora outside to a swing where she could be in the sun and get fresh air. LaDorna would bring her lunch to her. At night I would carry her back to bed fix dinner and go to bed myself.
            These were hard years. My mother passed away and we mist her help and encouragement. We moved to Montecito Heights where the air was better than in Pasadena.
            My sister, LeVaughn Kornfeld, her husband Henry, and Baby Gayle moved in with us. Dora was pregnant and in July 1928, her sister, Ann, came to visit us after graduating from high school and took over the household chores. LeVaughn moved. Dora had to remain in bed the entire nine months. In January 1929 Tony was born, a big, healthy, happy baby. Shortly after his birth we moved to Temple City.
            The depression years were upon us. I was lucky to have a job. I made $35.00 a week.  I worked long hours. I made me a new car from two old second hand cars with the help of two cousins and a friend.
            I decided to raise chickens in the back yard. We had a big yard and a coup across the back.  I bought a thousand baby chicks at a time. When they were pullet size we would kill and dress them and sell them to the clubs where I sold fish. I also sold eggs.
            Selling chickens involved more than buying, feeding, killing and selling them. They haveTo be kept healthy. One night we had to give them worm pellets which contained a tobacco substance. We waited until they went to roost, and then crept into the coup. Ann grabbed a chicken, handed it to Dora who handed it out through a little drop near the floor and I would stuff the pellet down its throat and let it loose in the yard. When we finished and looked around, the whole yard was littered with dead chickens. I had not pushed the pellet far enough down the throat and it knocked the chickens out. They weren’t dead, just drugged. Eventually they started to recover and staggered around the yard like a drunken sailor. What a sick feeling I had in the pit of my stomach.
            One Christmas we plucked 18 turkeys (Lots of pin feathers.) I took them down to the plant and put them in the refrigerator for delivery the next day. During the night the ammonia pipes burst and the fumes engulfed the turkeys.
            In 1929, we bought our home on Sultana Ave. I paid $5000.00 for it. An unheard of price! I earned $35.00 a week and paying most of that to the doctor. Later I added another bedroom, bath and enlarged the living room, putting a big picture window in the north side of the living room.
I built LaDorna a big playhouse with electric lights, wall paper, and carpet on the floor.  The kids enjoyed it for many years.
            [In 1944 (approximately)] During the early to middle forties I owned a 34-foot boat, with a 10-foot hull. It was made of teakwood and named Toyot. It could handle most any kind of water between Balboa and Catalina.
            Our first few years of ownership were limited to cruising at 5 miles an hour within the breakwater, because of the on going war. Watching the newspaper for information on the opening of the channel to the sea, we misinterpreted the time by one day. So with a load of LaDorna’s friends on board we gaily cruised past the coast guard and opened the throttle for a long awaited cruise in the open sea. We were all thoroughly enjoying ourselves in our new freedom when the coast guard sirens screams and the coast guard cutter crossed and criss crossed in front of our bow. We followed his instructions to turn around and follow him back to Balboa Harbor. Luckily the officer in charge in the office was an official in the American Legion. Our error was explained and we were sent back to berth until the next day. (Actually, LaDorna was made to go with the Coast Guard on their boat. The Coast Guard Station was on the island where LaDorna now owns her home along with 7 other home owners)
            A few days later we were cruising just off Huntington Beach. We were going north when a huge brown whale was sighted between us and land, going south.  I turned the boat around to follow him. I misjudged his speed and when I looked down I saw some 20 feet of tail about under the middle of our boat. I threw the boat into reverse and the whale brought his tail to about 15 feet in the air. Everyone got a thrill.
            We went to the first talking motion picture at the Alhambra Theater “The Jazz Singer.”
            In 1933 the great Long Beach earthquake occurred. The total number of deaths was never disclosed. Great damage occurred.  Ann had been on furlough from the Western Union.  She was called back to work and I drove her to Los Angeles at eleven o’clock at night.  All the windows of the banks on the corners of Seventh and Broadway were blown out. A drunk on the corner was shouting, “Roosevelt closed the banks, but God has opened them.”
            In 1934, we took our first vacation and drove to Yosemite and June Lake. On the way the car caught fire, a bear ransacked our camp. We hiked to the top of Yosemite falls, Ann passed out, I had to carry her half way down the mountain, then Dora’s knee gave out and I had to carry her the rest of the way down. My back ached for days. A deer kicked LaDorna in the stomach; Tony fell out of the boat into the lake when I took him fishing against Dora’s wishes. He also got lost when he left LaDorna in the rest room, and we had to get the forest rangers to find him
            In 1935, Linda was born. She was sweet beautiful baby and the neighbors, Pete and Helen Matheson would borrow her when they had company to show her off. He was not as fond of Tony who a couple of years earlier wanted to help him plant a privet hedge the length of our long driveway. Pete was on hands and knees with Tony handing him the plants.  When he straightened up to look at his work, Tony had handed him the same plant over and over. He refused any more help from Tony.
            In 1936, we rented what was the forerunner to our present mobile homes. It was big cumbersome oblong box on wheels containing a stove, ice box, table bed, etc.  We drove to Heber City Utah to celebrate Dora’s parents golden wedding [anniversary].
            In 1938, I took flying lessons. Eventually Jim Dewey and I became partners in a flying school at the Alhambra airport. I flew a DH Moth.
            In 1941, LaClede was born. I didn’t have much time to spend with my family.  The war years were filled with hard work. Pearl Harbor was bombed. I tried to enlist but they said I was too old. I was active in civic affairs, in the American Legion, selling war bonds, being an air raid warden etc. My business was under a lot of pressure, the Blue Eagle NRA Ration stamps. Labor union was giving me a lot of trouble because I was paying my men higher wages than the other fish companies. My men would not join their union. Picketers walked in front of my building.
            In 1942, August 5th I was elected commander of the Joseph L. Kaufman Post 279 of the American Legion. I was also top bowler on the Legion Team.
            In 1944, I became a member of the Baldy Voiture 104 40 & 8 in March. I was responsible for the building of their locomotive which was made from a new Dodge truck. During these years I also served on the Sheriff’s Reserve and was a member of the Search and Rescue team.
In 1945, I became sole owner of the Harbor Fish Co and the next few years worked day and night.
            Near the end of the war I had sponsored a youth, his mother and sister from Germany to come to the United States. I found her employment in the Catalina Knitting Mills and the boy a job and a place to live. They paid back every cent as quickly as possible.  Inga was 14. Twenty-seven years later she made it to our 50th wedding reception.
            I also sponsored a clothing drive for the Korean People.
            In 1949, after a seven-week illness, (recorded elsewhere in this record) Dora, Ann and I spent six weeks in Hawaii touring all of the islands. The Luraline ships were on strike and we had to fly. As a result of the strike there were not too many tourists visiting the islands at this time and everyone went out of their way to show us a good time.
            In 1950, I retired from the Harbor Fish Company, turning it over to Tony to operate for one year. This is the time I took up motorcycling. I have worn out 24 motorcycles. Hugh Hutchins and I took many long trips to far away places.  One trip we were leaving Pueblo, headed for Oaxaca on a long road. We were traveling side by side. Ahead of us were some cattle.  I just knew the cow at the roadside was going to turn across the street in front of me and sure enough she did. I couldn’t turn out because of Hugh and hit the cow broadside, damaging my cycle and cutting a gash to the bone in my left arm. I always carry a bottle of campho phenique in my first aid kit. Hugh swabbed it out clean and while I held the skin together matching the jagged edges, he put short strips of adhesive tape across the cut to hold it together. We managed with bailing wire to fix my cycle enough to get into town. I went to the doctor, he took off a strip of tape and said if the rest of the cut was cleaned and bandaged as well as that part he was going to leave it alone. Today there is hardly a scar.


“SWEDE” By LaDorna Perine Eichenberg, his daughter and firstborn -- In 1950:
Most of his motorcycle buddies called him Swede, because of his Swedish heritage.]  

      “You won’t be alive in six months,” Doctor Tucker said: “if you don’t get rid of that business. I mean it. You’re fifty. Slow down a bit. Start thinking about a hobby: a relaxing hobby.
      Golf, the doctor had thought, or hiking; short hikes—not too strenuous—something to calm an ulcerated stomach.
      “Damn!” Swede thought, “What the hell will I do with a hobby?”
      He found plenty to do with a hobby. He bought a motorcycle, and has had to build a trophy cabinet to hold his sixty-five trophies [to say nothing of medals and plaques]. When Arthritis stiffened his knees, he took up flying and received his license at seventy-two. Now he’s gliding.
      Your life is going to have to change drastically,” Doctor Tucker said.
      Swede changed it.
     Seven weeks before, a hemorrhaging peptic ulcer had gushed. For several of those weeks he had drifted between life and death. Finally his mind willed his body back toward recovery. He looked totally exhausted; his large square jaw sagging, his once-bulging muscles thin and loose, his big bones poking at the hospital sheets. If he had resented the bland, pale diet the doctor had given him, the thought of giving up his business disturbed him more. But he knew he had to do it. He had finally become owner of a Los Angles fish company after twenty-five years of muscle-pulling work, six days a week, sometimes more, He had lifted and tugged at fish crates the size of coffins, fought with leaky ammonia tanks that leaked only on Sundays, and sometimes at night he sat alone in the dark plant to scare off burglars.
      Swede Larson had grossed a great deal of money in those twenty-five years. He wanted to go on grossing. None of his family had the desire to take over the business although his nineteen-year-old son, Tony, ran the company for a year and took care of the details of its demise.
      At the emergency hospital his limbs were prodded, bent and x-rayed.
      “Mr. Larson,” the doctor said, “you have one of the worst cases of poison ivy I’ve ever seen.”
      Swede rode home silently indignant. How could unbroken bones hurt so much? He glanced sideways at his daughter. She probably thought he was out of his mind and too old for motorcycle nonsense. “A man is as old as he wants to be,” he mentally argued, “and there’s no such word as can’t.” Having taken care of her probable thoughts he closed his eyes and revived that thrilling moment when he found himself and cycle floating over the treetops. “Hot damn! Look Ma, no hands!” That’s what he had thought. He grinned.
      Swede became good at hill-climbing but he needed more horsepower to do it better, so he bought an English Triumph TR-5. He wore out five of them and over a dozen other cycles as well. Vincent’s hill, near the desert town of Palmdale, California, seemed undefeatable. No one could climb it. Swede did. Johnson Motors, local importer for Triumph, asked if he thought he could climb Vincent’s with the new, powerful TR5. Since he had made the climb with a TR6, he felt no hesitancy in saying yes. A day was set. Twenty-five young riders and Swede stormed the hill. Only Swede made it over the top. He hurtled its crest three times. Vincent’s was renamed “Larson’s Hill.” The Chicago office of United Artists did a TV short about him for “Top Views of Sports,” shown nation-wide.
      To Hugh Hutchens and Swede, motorcycling became almost a fulltime occupation. Hugh was a well built man and a celebrity by proxy; his youngest daughter, Colleen, was the first 5’ 11” Miss America [and the first from BYU]; one son, Mel, was an All American basketball player [at BYU and then, he became a professional star].
      The two men climbed hills, inspected each of California’s lonely deserts and then decided to try for Central America. Swede’s strength was again formidable. Even though of average height, he was always described as big. No one could out arm-wrestle him and not many had tried to finger-wrestle with him after he had put a policeman’s finger in a splint. It had been a good-humored contest and a clean break.
      During the trip to Central America, a cow had sauntered in front of Swede’s cycle. His brakes squealed but to no avail. At fifty miles an hour, horsepower can kill a cow and vice versa. Swede lay unconscious for long minutes, perhaps an hour. He was just rising unsteadily, shaking his limbs to see if they still worked, when Hugh caught up with him.
      Swede grimaced as he saw the bent front forks and the twisted handlebar of his cycle, and again when he saw his own upper arm slashed six inches to the elbow. At Swede’s instructions, Hugh poured campho-phenique into the wound, washing out the road dirt and revealing the bone. The two men bound the wound at intervals with strips of adhesive and covered it with gauze. The motorcycle was a different matter. The tugged and pulled. Nothing. Swede’s patience gave out. It did that now and then. He took off the wheel, wedged the forks between boulders, grasped the forks with his good arm—pulled—his face contorted. Hugh gasped as the bars straightened.
      The two travelers camped between towns, often sleeping in the Indian camps. The Ocatal River looped from Ocatal to Guadalajara making it necessary to lift the bikes across again and again. While the other countries they were to travel were strange to Swede, Mexico was not. IN1924, he had spent over three months as a prisoner (at first in a boxcar) at Topolobampo Bay. By the time the government had exonerated him from import tax evasion on his equipment; he had made not only a good start with the language but organized a championship baseball team for the state of Sonora. Upon his release he continued to Altata Bay. His lovely young wife and infant daughter soon joined him. They moved into a tent, shook their sheets out each night for scorpions and cooked in an oven Swede made from oyster-shell lime, sand and two oil cans. His job was to plant oysters in the shallow bay as an experiment for Gulf Oyster Company. Times were wild, just a few years after Pancho Villa. Most of Swede’s workers were formerly Villa’s men. One man was arrested at his own wedding feast for army desertion. The man never reached the jail. His army captor was found in the jungle, head split with a machete.
      Now, a quarter of a century later, the country was peaceful. There was beauty all the way to Nicaragua. Hugh and Swede turned back only because they didn’t have proper papers to get in and out of Panama. 
Back home again, Swede enjoyed his hill-climbing. He liked to visit a difficult hill and pose as an observer, and old man, past his prime, watching the muscled youngsters, Minnesota Fats waiting for a sucker. They’d exploded up the hill; motors sputtered; wheels spun; bodies flew; cycles tumbled backwards. When everyone had failed, he’d pull down his goggles, gun the throttle a few times to announce his presence and start up the hill. The looks of condescension amuse him. Up and over, he made it look easy. The shock on their faces, the congratulations, and the admiration were heady stuff. He frankly enjoyed it.
      Endurance runs were another passion. May, in Pearblossom sounds benign, but it’s a rough and tumble time. Pearblossom, California is host to the “Greenhorn Enduro,” a cyclist’s dream or nightmare. White lime marks a five-to-six-hundred mile trail through hills, boulders and gullies. The greatest handicap of the race is to draw a late starting number and choke on the dust of seven-hundred other riders.
      One typical “Enduro” started at nine o’clock in the morning, forty miles of sand to the first checkpoint. Temperatures rose. The dust-brown air became stifling and many riders suffered heat prostration. Spectators crowded the spots of the shade provided by cars and trailers. One-hundred and sixty riders dropped out. Some were carried away. At each check point the riders were timed. Points were docked if the rider wert too fast or too slow, depending upon the type of obstacles. Less than one-fifth of the entrants finished. Swede always the oldest entry, finished each of the twelve “Enduros” he entered, usually in the top ten.
      An international endurance run on the Isle of Man proved one of Swede’s greatest disappointments. Chosen as one of six U.S. entries, he arrived in Europe only to be told that the rules stated, “No one over fifty-five.” Swede was then sixty-seven.
      Besides hill-climbing and Enduros, other events kept him busy: the Hare and Hound races, a hundred-mile cross country ; Scrambles, a closed one-half to one-mile course over rough terrain, repeated many times; Hare Scrambles, a twenty-five mile loop repeated four times.
      At 71 he still cycled, but he had given up racing. His son purchased a plane, so it was only natural that Swede gets a pilot’s license at seventy-two. He had a license long ago when flying was easy and the skies uncluttered. He flew a DeHavilland Moth in those days until a practical joke lost him his license. He hadn’t flown since.  Swede had been flying above the old Alhambra airport, looking down on the corrugated metal roof of one particular hanger. His pilot buddies were inside the hangar having coffee. There was no resisting. He swooped down and skimmed the plane’s wheels across the hangar roof. The clatter sent frantic pilots scattering over or under any object in the way of the door. An F.A.A. inspector had been enjoying coffee in the same hanger. 
Swede flies frequently now, sometimes with his wife to his son’s ranch in Southern Utah or sometimes to Salt Lake City. Gliding is his newest interest. He soloed a few months ago at seventy-three.
      Recently, his son found him surrounded by National Geographic maps. Swede was excited. “Tony, what do you think of this trip?” He swung a wide finger in an arch from Johannesburg, South Africa to Rhodesia.
      “Pops, I don’t think there are roads in some of those places.”
      “I ain’t going by limousine. I’ll take my cycle.” Swede used “ain’t” whenever he could. He insisted that it tasted good.
      Tony didn’t answer.
      “What’s the matter?”
      “Well, Dad, I was wondering, you’ll be seventy-four in June.”
      Swede pushed himself away from the desk, faced his son and in a very controlled voice said, “What the hell’s that got to do with anything.”

Lloyd and Hugh Hutchins–Motorcycle Trip to Honduras–January 1954

January 1954

Tue 13: Riding our motorcycles, we left on our trip to Panama. [They only made it to Honduras because they lacked permission documents] We slept in a motel short of Phoenix.
Wed 14
: We stayed in a hotel in Tombstone, Arizona.
Thu 15
: Camped with truckers above the Gobernelo river. Used water from a Mexican’s can. Next morning saw it was alive with mosquitoes.
Fri 16: Took road for Chihuahua via Pilpito Canyon. We averaged between 5 to 10 miles an hour. I took pictures of Indian houses in caves. Trail to end all trails for rocks. Camped abut 15 miles beyond Casa Grande with Mexicans alongside the road.
Sat 17: Rode hard all day across the biggest mesa I’ve ever seen, interspersed with rock hills. The rocky road always went into a river. I saw hundreds of dams between San Buenaventure [perhaps Buenventura or Buena Ventura] and Carmen. I took pictures of pumps, one for livestock water and two horse pumps for irrigating. We rode a paved road for about one hour before sundown. We camped between Encenillas and Chihuahua. We saw a pack of coyotes.
Sun 18: We spent a few hours chasing aroun Chihuahua, then out of gas 15 miles south of Jimenez. Bought 21/2 pounds of peanuts, 2 sweet oranges, 4 rolls of bread for 29 cents. Stayed in Parral, nice motel, clean and bath.
Mon 19: Rode up a hill overlooking Parral. Over 90 operating mines here. Gold, silver, lead, zinc, copper, manganese and even tin. Rode to Duran go. Longest straight road in the world, 62 miles, all 7 to 9 miles thousand feet above sea lever. Stayed at Roma Hotel. Visited market, papayas weight 18 to 20 pounds.
Tue 20: Made long ride to Agua Caliente. Good roads. Took pictures of Indians about ten miles south of Elpidis Huichol, Zacatecas. Huichol Indians about 400 years ago occupied this country. It is now owned by
General Elpididis who is building 3 or 4 room motel bungalows in each of the wigwams. They are 43 feet wide and 55 feet high, made of clay.

Wed 21: 350 miles to Pachucha. Took pictures. Pachuca claims to be the largest silver producer in the world. Fourth rate hotel.
Thu 22: Had field day with camera. Visited pyramids. Dust storm all way to Mexico D.F. Bought primary chain for Hugh and new plugs for me, hope they work. Had reservations at the Waldorf but Hugh didn’t like the high prices so stayed with my pal. Lousy. Visited toluca, Cuernavaca, Xochilimaca, orifices [holes ?] 3000 years old.
Fri 23: Late start for Pueblo, after 4 miles into Guatamala made Ocotal about an hour before sundown. Foolishly gave into Hugh’s whim and started over mountain trail which everyone claimed impossible. Caught in dark and Hugh gave out. Help from Indians to get to their camp. Stayed in camp. Hugh completely out. Hired Jo Castio (an Indian) to pack our luggage. Made about 18 miles of canyon of tremendous mountains. Very hard going. Hugh gave out again. Going very slowly. I walked back and rode his bike over the had places. Stayed overnight at another Indian camp. A brother of the first camp. Felt all alone. Hugh is completely done in, very sorry for himself and wouldn’t eat. I made his bed and cooked supper but he still wouldn’t eat.
    Next morning started with promise of better trails but were discouragingly worse. Pushed motorcycles across river. Had to work one mile up river through solid piles of boulders.  I took both cycles over almost every bit of it. Finally a little bett4er trail for 134 miles.  Stopped at Campo cheville. Had Indian lunch -- tortillas, scrambled eggs and black paste beans. Not very appetizing but food anyway.
    Out onto dirt road late in afternoon. 20 miles to Huehuetenango, an American fruit town.  Good hotel, $5.00 a day with food, steak, boiled potatoes, chopped green beans, good soup, light dumplings in honey.  Meal started with a sweet custard of cheese. Hugh pushed it all aside after messing it all up and ordered a glass of milk. He filled it with ice, added a lot of sugar and then salt. He drank part of it then went outside and ordered a coco cola. Took pictures of ruins excavated by American Fruit Company. Very pretty and complete.

Sat 24: Rode to Santa Cruz del Quiche. Hit a dog and knocked myself out and bruised considerably. Dr. dressed me.
Sun 25: To Guatamala, passed hundreds of Indians coming to trade at Chichitenango. Everyone carrying huge loads of something. Thousands of Indians to town, between two catholic churches burning incense mixed with manure and charcoal on the steps. Seven or eight acres of space between, filled with all kinds of merchandise, mangos, avocados, bananas, corn coconuts, herbs and a thousand other things.
    Later a sacrifice to a pagan idol on the hillside.
    On a very bad road. Nearly to guatamala. Supper on the road to town.  Met two Americans, told us about 31-13 St. Very good. [Evidently the [Treinta y Uno – Calle Trece Hotel.” Or maybe the English, “31-13 Hotel was used.”]

Mon 26: Fixed up motorcycles and myself, X-rayed. Ok but hurts awful.  Hugh laid around all day.
Tue 27: Rode to San Salvador frontier, no papers. Had to start back 17 kilometers to Jutiapas. Had dinner and hotel room in enormous old hacienda. Beautiful plants in the patio, bougainvillea and trumpet vines around and above. The two of us for five dollars.
Wed 28: Back to Guatemala city. Lost Hugh, hunted all day. He had an accident. Hit a truck, landed in the police station for three hours.
Thu 29: San Salvador Counsel. Meet Clamshman, big help – to San Salvador. More jungle like-growth. Everything now one half cent each. Great trees of avocados and mangos. Thousands of acres of bananas, papayas and other fruit along the road. Also great coffee center at Santa Anna.
Fri 30: To Honduras. Waited til ten A.M. to find Honduras and Nicaragua don’t issue tourist permits. Went to American Consul, he could arrange our way south but could do nothing about our return. Decided to start back and made it to and across the border the same night.
Indian woman saed us from unpacking. Stayed in little town “Monogay” fifty cents each. Straw bed mat.

Sat 1, (February): Early start. Much trouble with civil guards. Picked up three times. Finally at Guatemala and Post office closed. Embassy and consul closed, stores closed. Opening of Congress. Hugh wants to buy a lottery ticket. Staying at 31-13.
Sun 2: Rode to Amatalan around lake. Rested the rest of the day.
Mon 3: Cleared Mexican and Guatemalan immigration. Hotel in large ancient hacienda, three dollars. Lots of food,but mysterious town in midst of banana plantations. Many noises in jungle, resembles locomotive whistles and screams.
Tues 4: To border. Most beautiful but rough ride. Many rivers and continuous plantations of bananas and wild papayas, coconuts and mangos.  Made three trips between town and immigration and frontier. Paid two dollars graft to Mexican clearance before four in the afternoon. To Tapachula. Quite a large city. Room at White House, no sanitary facilities.
Wed 5: Loaded motorcycles on train at Aregco, over twenty hours.  Filthiest train possible. Only food sold by natives at stops. Fruits, cherimoyas. Curious kind of drink that could be mixed in a bucket of
[perhaps, or ?] pan. Rich fresada. 

[Fresa in mexico, means strawberry, maybe Lloyd meant a rich strawberry-like drink, because the fruit can taste much like strawberry, as well as pineapple and mango, according to where they are grown.] 

    Passed through twenty hours of country cleared from dense jungle.  Formerly great banana and rubber plantations. Many rubber threes still in production. Banana blight ruining most plantations. Jungle quickly taking over when cultivation ends. Upper part of trip, the best looking cattle in Mexico. Show signs of breeding. (Crossed with Zelas and Brahmas.) 

[Lloyd may have meant Zebu cattle, which were crossed with others, but still retained the hump and, the Mexicans may have called them Zelas. The Brahma was the name given to the Zebu when first introduced to the US in the 19th century. They are presently interbred with the range cattle for resistance to heat and Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever from tics.]

Thu 6: Unloaded motorcycles at Oriaca at four thirty in the morning. Waited for daylight. Rode to Oaxaca same day. Out of gas twenty five km before Tehuantepec. Hugh tried pushing me but took a good spill. Stayed at same hotel as before. Good meals. Bought a blanket for twenty six pesos.
Fri 7: To Mexico City. Pictures of fodder catches in trees. [May mean fish drying, hanging in trees. Or, cattle fodder somehow stored in the limb crotches of trees.] Little boys making palm leaf hats, flowering trees. Stayed in Imperial Hotel. 

(Pages torn from book, don’t know where they belong.) 

Sat 8: Left for Oaxaca. Bad luck all the way. Twenty five miles of very bad road. Return to Matamoros. Hit cow doing fifty five. Stayed over Sunday in Oaxaca to repair motorcycle and me. Thirty five MM went on blink. Spent three hours doing ten minutes work on cycle. Had arm sewed, bandaged and cleaned out and a tetanus shot for two dollars forty five cents. Rode to Monte Alban. Many pyramids and burial tombs but no 35mm pictures. Will try to buy one tomorrow.  Bartered with some Oaxacan Indians for an hour or so. They really have nothing but are happy.  They have a few sheep, shear them and cord the wool and make very beautiful serapes and blankets. 

[He was cut to the bone, from about 3 inches above the elbow, across the elbow, and on down the forearm for about 3 inches. He cleaned it out with water, applied CamphoPhenique, approximated the edges of the wound and taped the edges together.] 

    Held up for gas at a dollar fifty per litro in the mountains. Hot after getting out of mountains. Flat tire, no lights, no town. Stayed in old Mexican hotel. Bath from three hole tank. Hugh’s cold better but still unhappy about dollar fifty gas.
    Chulula, city of churches. Over three hundred churches. Visited pyramid excavation. Most standing phenomenen of the trip so far. Showing of six dynastyies, one built above the other. First one is over three thousand years old. Stayed in
Puebla. Left Puebla about five in the morning for Mexico City. Arrived as usual after dark. Made a two hour trip in five hours. Stayed in junky hotel and ate some dirty grub.
Sat 8: Rode to Tenayuca Pyramid. [Tenayuca is probably a state in Mexico.] Camera on the blink. Hugh is cantankerous. Missed some good pictures. Back to mexico City to a camera shop. Hope I learned magazine trouble. Five letters from home. Bought spring for starter crank and some plugs for Hugh.
    On to Bosencheve, most beautiful drive out of D.F. over eleven thousand feet pass. A hundred miles of marvelous cattle country over eight thousand feet elevation. Farms reach from eight thousand to ten thousand fie hundred feet in elevation. Very rich ground and prosperous looking towns. Many big haciendas.
    Flat tire from stone bruise at Bosencheve. Stayed at Hotel Esendira.

Sun 9: Rode to Paricutin volcano, through rich agriculture land, including Morales, a beautiful modernized city. same type Mexican markets in all towns. Famous old acqueduct still in use through main street full length of town.
    Paricutin is inactive but ash and smoke so thick visibility very poor. Indian boy went along to show us lava flow over town. Church front and walls and pulpit still standing with lava flow fifty to a hundred feet all around the rest of town completely covered.
    Started back to highway, got dark. I had no light, made ride by moonlight. Camped alongside the road in pine trees. Cooked supper. Made fire for Hugh, afraid he might catch cold. Went after water and washed dishes.

Mon 10: On to Guadalajara. Beautiful trip through rich farm country. Largest market in Mexico. Gas eighty cents. Trouble finding hotel. Found one with American women. Good meals. Matched Hugh for choice of beds. He lost and never got over it.
Tue 11: Went on to Tuxpan for gasoline. Six kilometers of road. Made supper at Nuevo Mes. Rest. Ordered sopa. Slept at hotel. Guadalajara side trip to San blas. Most interesting trip through tropical jungle down to sea level mangroves.
Wed 12: up and at gas station. Successful. Chugged out at Esquipq.  Walls are rebuilt at church. To Mazatlan for a two duck and oyster dinner. Nine dollars. No gasoline. On to Culican. All ferries are free. Road eighty per cent complete and very good. Got three liters of gas at ferry for Hugh and three liters for me at trucking point. One dollar per. Out of gas at Imalo. Car at grass hut and he gave me two liters.
    At Culican stayed at Roso Hotel. Sixteen dollars. Went over to see Tommy Dismukes. He is still very bitter against the Mexicans.
    At the Roso Hotel plumbing is better than average, but the regular signs “put used paper in receptacle.” Order means nothing.

Thu 13: Still hunting gasoline. A Mexican volunteered he had some at his house. No extra charge. Changed oil in forks. Visited Tommy and started for dirt road at noon. Four hundred ninety five kilometers. Very rough going. Los Mochis at eight at night. Supper and slept out.
Fri 14: Up at six thirty in the morning. Hundreds of Mexicans and small mules heading for the cane fields. Sixty to seventy five per truck. Pictures of bunch looking at cycles. To navajoa on dirt road. Not bad. Paved to Obregon. Spill in mud before Navajoa. Gas still hard to get.
Obregon to Guaymas on fine road. Supper and slept on road fifteen kilometers north. Forded river between Navajoa and Obregon. Pictures of Hugh fording river.

Sat 15 To Hermosillo by ten in the morning. Good breakfast.  Very cold riding to Nogales and through customs at Tuscon. One hour and ten minutes. Sixty four miles to Arizona Courts. First clean bathroom and good meals in six weeks.
Sun 16: [The next day, they arrived home.]

Tommy Dismukes was an American he met in Culican when he went to start the oyster beds in 1924

List of Supplies

Clutch brakes,Cable,Sleeping bag,First aid kit,Canteen,Visas,White slip for motorcycle, clothes, Camera, Camera lens, Shoes, Milk, Flour,
Corn, Bacon,Sausage, Potatoes, Beans, Dried beef.



            We also took a trip to Alaska in1951. We flew to Seattle then took a ship up the Inland Passage, a train ride to Mt. McKinley. A doctor and I hired a pilot to fly us over Mt. McKinley, even though it is forbidden to do so. It was a spectacular view.  We flew home from Anchorage.
            In 1951, we sold our home in Temple City, made a good profit and purchased our present home in San Gabriel, California. All of the houses on Sultana Ave in Temple City were dividing their lots to smaller two dwellings. I wanted to put in a swimming pool. I laid it out in shape with two garden hoses. Many parties, weddings have taken place in our tropical looking back yard.
            Also, in 1951, we traveled across the United States. We have visited all of the National Parks except Mt. Rushmore, visited every state except that one and attended a session of congress in Washington DC.
            In 1952, we visited Mexico by car. I have taken many Scout Troops to Mexico as well as family trips with kids and grandkids.
            On one of our earlier trips through Mexico we had to cross the big rivers on rafts mad from canoes. Later they soiled the fun by building bridges. We were about 60 miles north of Mazatlan; the road was blocked with big rocks. Truck drivers carrying machetes were turning over cars. They had bandanas around their faces and were really angry because the people who operated the rafts had been carrying tourist cars across for three or four days and the trucks loaded with bananas and other produce were waiting in long lines. Tourists were paying more money to ferry, and the produce was spoiling. We turned around and went back to Mazatlan.
            1954: Previous to a trip to Europe on a BYU tour, the IRS paid me a visit. Some one had turned me in for not paying enough income tax. They went over all my papers. They knew everything I had bought, when and from whom I bought it. It took several months for their decision.  In the end they owed me money.
            We went to England, France, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Italy too. Everyone took pictures. They all sent their best slides to me from which I selected 100, catalogued and packaged them for each tour member.
            One Sunday morning we arrived in Cologne, Germany. Most of the city was in ruins from being bombed during the II World War: piles of rubbish all around. Some of the fronts of buildings were rebuilt but the backs only half standing. We visited a branch of the LDS Church in a basement of a bombed-out building. The Congregation was small, but when 35 of us entered, the room was full.
            The man who led the singing had a beautiful voice. He picked songs that were familiar to us. Just by watching him you could tell what he was going to say. We had been given sheets of songs in different languages by the BYU leaders. I have never heard such singing or volume; we felt we excelled the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. I never hear the song” The Spirit of God Like a Fire is Burning,” but what I think of that fast Sunday in Cologne, Germany.
            In 1955, we were back in Mexico again. In 1956 we visited Florida, Cuba and Nassau. In 1957 we covered all of Canada. 1959-60 found us back in Mexico.
            1959 and 1960: Tony and I bought the old Gordon Ranch in Azusa, California. We thought of building a mobile trailer park which was popular rat that time. For a year we fought the city council for zone changes. Finally, when they gave them to us, we changed our minds and built 90 beautiful homes. We sold them all.
            After retiring from the Harbor Fish Company, I dealt in second trust deeds for 20 years. They proved profitable.
            Tony and I had another business venture together. We bought a car wash in Santa Monica. For a couple of years we operated it, but transient help was a problem and we sold it.
            I owned a couple of ranches, a small one at Gold Beach, California and a larger one at Sutter Creek, California, where I ran cattle.
            I also owned a large Ranch at Freemont Oregon. It was a thousand acres at the site of the old city of Fremont.
            In 1963, we traveled around the world on a BYU tour. All the treasures of the world were at our fingertips. We visited the pyramids In Egypt and rode camels. In India we rode elephants to the top of a mountain to a palace where we had to remove our shoes, belts and wallets. Anything made of leather was forbidden. We visited the larges dam in the world under Russian construction at Aswan. We have seen the Seven Wonders of the World and a lot more.
            In 1965, we traveled through Central and South America. We picked up LaClede when he finished his mission in Chile.
            In 1967, we toured the south pacific, Hawaii, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Samoa and Tahiti.
            In 1969, we drove 7,000 miles through the Scandinavian Countries, with the help of ferries, of course. In our travels we have been as far north and as far south as one can go. We crossed the Equator and the North Pole.
            In 1970, a glib tongued guy told Tony, Bob Perine, Mac McBride and me, that he knew exactly where a buried treasure was in a cave in Cost Rica. We fell for it. We didn’t find any treasure, but we did come home with some pre-Columbian artifacts.
            In 1971, we visited the Balkan Countries behind the Iron Curtain. It made us appreciate all that we take for granted in this country.
            In 1972, we celebrated our golden wedding anniversary: Four hundred guests in our back yard reception, and a dinner and program for family, by family, at the church in the afternoon.
            In 1976, we visited England, Scotland and Ireland. We also went to Wales.


Lloyd Anthone Larson—“This is Your Life”—1978 

Script excerpts of a presentation
By Talmage Jones, Regional Director, at a stake priesthood meeting 

Information not noted here is found throughout the rest of this history 

            The following attests to Lloyd’s business acumen, his tact and charisma in business and other phases of life, and most of all, his overall integrity, fairness, dependability and compassion toward his fellowmen—and his testimony of—The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

            Moreover, we need to be well aware that Lloyd became active in his church—giving up for good, his cigars and beer at age 50, after the hospitalization for a bleeding-ulcer-scare. As you have read in previous parts of his history, it is impressed upon us that he always had pride in his Mormon heritage, and never, was he critical of, or an antagonist of the Church; for he cooperated in every way through encouragement and affording transportation to family that didn’t drive, to always take them to their church meetings and activities.    
                    Linda Ann
Larson McBride, third child and second daughter 

            Talmage Jones begins: This is an election year, and if I were to nominate a man who has done more things, been more places and helped more persons, I would nominate Lloyd Anthone Larson of Las Flores Ward, Pasadena Stake. This man of today, exemplifies the tenacity, hard work and courage of our forefathers, and most important, the charity that Christ described. “If you have done it unto the least of these, ye have done it unto me”
            Lloyd was born the first year of the century June 28, 1900, in Fay Nevada, a mining camp. His father, John A. Larson and his mother, Ellison Teeples Larson, were wonderful parents but very poor, and his father suffered poor health.
            They made there home in Highland Park, and attended the Garbanza Ward.
            He became a partner to the two owners of the Harbor Fish Company, and from 1941, having borrowed money to buy out one of the partners, he buried himself in the business.
            He said, “I made it pay well; I increased [business volume] by ten times, and people called me successful, but it was a night mare: Repulsive work, labor shortages, government interference, and very little sleep and no family life for the next eight years until I wound up in White Memorial Hospital, and there, it took me two weeks to recuperate.” He had a heart problem and a hemorrhaging ulcer.
            Lloyd had never been inactive. He hated every minute of it. In seven months he gained weight, from 155 to 245 lbs. He hated himself and was grouchy with everyone. At 50 years of age, many thought he was through.
            He went back to his Dr. for a checkup about a year later.  The Dr. said, “I don’t know how you did it, but you have recovered wonderfully.” For him, biking was a godsend and restored his well beaten body to a robust vigorous one of full energy and vitality,
            Magazines, newspaper, radio and TV stories have been written about “Swede” Larson and his motorcycle prowess. He is considered a miracle and a legend in motor circles. He even has a hill named for him [a hill that he only climbed, at a ripe age to the chagrin of the many young riders who had failed]. He has always been the oldest entry in a number of cross country endurance runs [hair and hound, scrambles and the hill climb], and frequently comes in first and always in the top ten. His sixty trophies for amateur motorcycling awards won in contests where most competitors were in their twenties and Lloyd nearing and [until] exceeding sixty years.
            After LaDorna Larson Perine Eichenberg, Tony, Linda Ann Larson McBride (her husband is the stake president of the Corona Stake), were born; then LaClede [arrived], who is a detective in the Los Angeles Police Department. Both sons [and son-in-law] have served missions in foreign countries—Clede in Chile, Tony in “Texas” [and Mac McBride in Uruguay].
            Lloyd has been active in the American Legion for many years. He was Post commander of the organization and held many other administration positions. He was a Los Angeles County District Warden for Civil Defense.
            In the church he served very successfully in so many areas: as chairman of the ward finance committee while building the Las Flores Ward.  He was Activity Director in the MIA, supervised forty-four YM and YW one year and forty six the next year on a successful bus trip to Salt Lake April Conference.
            He has served as first and second counselors in the Elders Quorum. He has been outstanding as the Welfare Director for 18 years at the Pasadena Stake for the ranch.
He has been active in Las Flores Ward scouting programs since the ward was organized.  Many boys and fathers will remember when he took the Explorer Scouts on so many trips: such as a nine-day rafting trip down the Rogue River, a trip all the length of Baja before roads were built, and many trips to the Utah Wonderlands and Colorado River.  Hundreds of young men testify to his leadership.
            His hobbies are: hunting, fishing, collector of pre-Columbian artifacts, motorcycling. He won first prizes in California hill climbing championship in 1958, and has won twice since. Also, [he has won] endurance and cross country racing. Whenever we visit a place where someone is considering an impossible task, we say, “Lloyd Larson could do it.” He is also A rock hound and does lapidary and jewelry making. He has an active pilot’s license and also holds a license for glider piloting. He has taken sixteen mm and 35 mm movies in more than forty countries and forty eight out of the fifty states.
            One of his top hobbies is his twenty-one grandchildren and three great grandchildren.
             He also rides a bicycle for eight miles before breakfast everyday of the week. He became a high priest in 1970. He has been assistant group leader in his H.P. group under Dean Anderson. He is at present assistant group leader under Arlen Harris. [He is]  a superior home teacher. Loves his families and learns what they need and then sees that they have it.
            What an example of enduring to the end is Lloyd Larson. He knows what the Lord requires for exaltation and he daily finds ways of ensuring it for himself and his family and all of us who delight in his example.

            Lloyd Larson we salute you.     Talmadge Jones, Regional Director           

Lloyd’s acknowledgement to the tribute above

Note the mention of his testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
coupled with deep respect for several church stalwarts herein mentioned. 

           Lloyd begins: Brethren, this is an unexpected and undeserved honor, and I thank all of you, especially, Tal Jones, Marvin Lange and Don Mortensen.
            I have always liked the taste of the slogan, “No man is an Island unto himself.” I have a slogan of my own. I have long since concluded that “You are the result of your lifetime associations.”
            I was lucky to have been born [June 28, 1900] of wonderful parents. All four of my grandparents were pioneers that crossed the plains to Utah.
            My mother was a beautiful woman with a wonderful, strong character. It was principally her who was responsible for implanting in me the early seeds of a testimony of the gospel; she was aided by my love and respect [I had] for my four wonderful grandparents, who were always active in the church. Grandpa Larson was a Patriarch. He with several other young men, with Bishop Aus Kerns, were the men who smoked the Peace Pipe at the end of the Sanpete and Sevier Indian War.
            During quite a number of my adolescent and young adult years, I was away from where there was a Mormon church. But in my subconscious mind, the seed of a testimony was there.
            At sixteen years of age, I went to Delta, Utah, to grow sugar beets.  Delta, at that time was a rough and ready town of immigrant farmers from California. There was no Mormon church in Delta. Later, in the army of World War I, there were no Mormon Church facilities. Then for several years I worked for a large cattle outfit in the Book Mountains south of the Uinta Basin in Utah, and there was no church of any kind. Later, we lived in Mexico for several years. There were only Catholic churches which we did not attend, but during those years, I had Dora with her solid faith and testimony.
            After returning to the states in 1926, there came people very close to my life that had strong testimonies. Many of you remember President Underlet. He was our Bishop in the old Rosemead Ward, when we held services in the small woman’s clubhouse on Rosemead Boulevard. When the ward was split he was the first bishop of Las Flores Ward. He was then assigned as President of the German Mission, and I was associated with him in aiding some Mormons out of a war-torn Germany to the United States.
            I was in a partnership with President Howard Hunter, in a grocery venture. He was the secretary-treasurer. I was financially associated with patriarch Claude Bird when he was in the cleaning business. He later became
Bishop of Las Flores Ward.
            We have had close friendships and associations with Bishop Verl Funk and President Tal Jones and their families, [during] all of their married lives and with Verl and Mona, even before that. We have benefited by the friendships and close associations of the brethren and their families in Las Flores Ward since its inception.
            I did not have sufficient college education to conduct successfully a highly competitive business [in the beginning of business ownership], but I was fortunate to have been associated with a couple of shrewd business men of German extraction.  I learned the things they did wrong and selfishly [as well as the shrewd things they did right]. It was their devious methods that taught me the virtue of honesty in business, and brethren, believe me—it works.


            1n 1980, we were among the first tourists to visit China after it had been closed to tourists for thirty years. It was quite an experience.
            In 1981, I had a slight stroke, no damage, but I had to have the carotid artery in my neck reamed out. A dangerous operation, but I came through it fine.
            In 1982, we celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary. We had a wonderful program at the church which Brother Ellis videotaped and gave to us. All the kids and grandkids wore Tee Shirts with my picture riding a motorcycle on the front, and on the back, a picture of Dora with the words” Behind Every good Man is a good woman.”
            In 1981, we also took a trip through the Panama Canal and the Caribbean Islands. I learned to Scuba Dive.
            In 1983, we flew to Venice and boarded a ship for a cruise through the Greek Islands. We sailed at night and toured during the day. The highlight of the trip was to Ephesus, Turkey, where the ruins were being excavated. These marble ruins are very extensive. It must have been a beautiful city in biblical times.
            We visited Istanbul again which brought back memories of our first trip there in 1963. On a free day we boarded a ship and crossed the Bosporus. Istanbul is a divided city. We walked down side streets, watched them weaving rugs. We passed a bakery where they were loading big, round loaves of bread into trucks. The bread was unwrapped. It smelled so good. We were invited into the bakery and watched them take the loaves out of a huge oven with long handled wooden shovels.
            Going back, we boarded a ship thinking it would take us back to the other side. But, it was a boat going to Russia. The captain had to stop another ship going the opposite direction, and we had to walk a plank from one ship to the other. We landed back in Istanbul, miles from where we started.
            In 1984, my beloved Dora Passed away [July 3] after a long illness with cancer. [Lloyd and Ann, in part, sacrificed their wellbeing in appreciated and unselfish care of Dora.] September 15, 1984, I married Jennie Ann, Dora’s sister.
            Ann and I visited China again. It was an entirely different country. Remarkable changes in four years!
            As a result of these trips, I have been invited to show slide pictures in many schools, clubs and churches.
            I have enjoyed many hobbies: photography, lapidary, raising orchids, raising bees, even tried sculpturing and oil painting.
            1985: In February, in the Huntington Hospital I underwent heart bypass surgery and the implantation of a pacemaker. I am still recuperating.
            Most of the important events in the world have taken place in my lifetime. I wish I could have gone to the moon. I have lived an active and interesting life.

[At the age of 84 years, Lloyd never really recuperated from the quadruple bypass surgery; he gradually declined in health and passed away in 1989, after months of suffering, and after Ann, a remarkable spouse, had completely exhausted herself in the ultimate of selfless care-giving. The ordeals that Dora, and then Lloyd -- outstanding and honorable parents -- passed through, brought about a great outpouring of loving-care for both, each in their turn, from their equally honorable children.] 

And so ends an abbreviated, true account of amazing lives; two persons faithful to the end, improving themselves through the years. They lived lives of unselfishness, constantly giving of themselves until given out. Their extraordinary saga shall be a testimony to all, of the importance of fair and hard work, honesty in dealing with our fellowmen, serving the needy and love of, and obedience to a living God. Their Savior received them with open arms, with the words, “Well done, my good and faithful servants.” We doubt not the infinite loftiness of their status, in which they are now rejoicing. All of us, without exception, are awaited in the next world and will receive our just compensation according to our good works. Would that we all might merit the place of dwelling that Lloyd and Dora have been awarded.


Jennie Ann Hicken Larson—My Brief History Including Some of My Earliest Recollections

 I was barely two years old. Uncle Jock (John Murry Murdoch) brought Bessie, nine months older than I, and Raymond, who was just a few weeks old, to us. Their mother (Minnie Miller Murdoch) had died from complications.  He told my mother he could not handle them. A little while later, he left on a mission to New Zealand for two years. They lived with us until Bessie was 14.  Then, Uncle Jock remarried and took them to live with him and his new wife in Park City, Utah.
            Raymond ran away and came back home to the only parents he had known and stayed until he went to college. Bessie did not get along with her stepmother and went to live with her aunt, who made arrangements for her education to become a registered nurse. It was hard to see them go.
            Before I was born my parents had raised two of Mama’s deceased sister’s (Margaret Ann Murdoch, husband, Lewis Hawkes) children, Isabelle and Robert Hawkes, for several years. I remember Bessie as plain as if it were yesterday, in her little red coat and poke bonnet hat. And I had to give up my bed for the baby.
            We had a happy childhood and played outdoor games: Run Sheep Run, Kick the Can, Hiding go Seek, roller skating, Indians and Cowboys, sewing clubs and candy pulls, sleigh riding, swimming in the canal, and Luke and Snyder’s Hot Pots. I always had a birthday party and new dresses for school, Easter and Christmas. I went to Wasatch Central School through 8th grade and four years to the High School and seminary classes and mutual.
                We all had chores to take care of. On Saturdays we churned the wooden washers. Our first washer had a stick with a handle that came up through a hole in the top, that we pushed and pulled back and forth. The second one had a lever with a handle on it, that when we turn it, churned the clothes inside. But first, we had to carry in buckets of water to fill the boiler to heat the water. After washing was done, we used the warm sudsy water to wash off the porch and side walks. We polished the milk cans and silverware with ashes from the wood-burning stove—no comet in those days.
            There were no packaged foods in the stores or Christmas tree lights, Christmas paper, or boxes. In our home was one light bulb that hung from the ceiling on a long cord and we had no lamps or plug receptacle. Pickles came in barrels, so did peanut butter. We made home-made ice cream on birthdays and the 4th and 24th of July.
            Ice was chopped from the flour mill pond in the winter and packed in layers of sawdust in private barns, to last through the summer. We trimmed our Christmas tree with paper chains and strings of popcorn and cranberries. We opened our gifts on Christmas morning, about 4 am. Our gifts were never wrapped. We had no fireplace, so stockings were hung over the knobs of the dinning room chairs and the gifts laid out on the seat of the chairs and on the floor. When we entered, we saw everything at once. Our gifts were mostly from the Sears Roebuck catalogue. We always received a new dress, new underwear, hair ribbons, books, beads, crayons, a doll, and Ray got a wagon etc: We thought everything was great.
            My family faithfully lived their religion. My father not only prayed for the Widows and the Orphans, but he supplied them with produce from his huge garden. The tithing office was on the other end of town, but many times we hauled produce to the tithing office. At harvest time, we followed Papa, plowing the potatoes up. We had to shake the dirt off of them and separate the biggest ones for the tithing.
            I never heard my Father swear. When he became frustrated, he would say “Thunder and Lightning.” One time when we were weeding, I had a bigger pile of weeds, and he came to check and said, “Thunder and lightning, can’t you tell an onion from a weed?”
            My father constantly read the scriptures to us. No matter what we were doing: Ironing, washing dishes or sewing carpet rags. I wish I had paid more attention to them. Once when he was in California, he asked me why I had not converted anyone when I rode the same street car with them every day to and from work. I told him that people wanted to read or sleep. They didn’t want to hear about the Book of Mormon. He said, “Thunder and lightning! Nonsense, the most important thing in their life is to hear about the Book of Mormon.” When I was baptized, my father took me by the hand to the Bishops office to pay one penny of tithing, for someone had given me a dime for my birthday. The Bishop solemnly wrote out the tithing receipt. I deposited it in a little leather box sitting on the dresser in Mamas bedroom. Someone had given the box to Papa when he left for his Mission in 1901. I still deposit my tithing receipts in it, even though it is falling apart.
            I’ve seen beautiful sights in the sky, rainbows that were almost spiritual experiences, but my best one was in Cologne Germany. On a fast Sunday morning, the tour was looking for a Church to attend services. We located a bombed-out building, where there were about 30 German Saints. We sang, “The Spirit of God like a Fire is Burning.” I have never heard the Tabernacle Choir sing with the volume and spirit and power we had that morning. When we bore out testimonies, they could understand us and we could understand them. There was only one man in the tour who knew German, and he had been on a mission 20 years ago. The spirit was so strong, not just in only one person, but in everyone.  Needless to say, everyone on the tour gave a generous fast offering, and even now, every time I hear that hymn, my mind returns to the bombed-out basement.
            After I graduated from High School, I came to Los Angeles by bus to help Dora, who was pregnant and needed to remain in bed the entire time, and most of the time with her other three pregnancies too.  When she was up and well, I worked at the Western Union Telegraph Company sending telegrams. I end up working for them for 42 years. It was interesting work—but very stressful. We never heard of stress back then. I went to night school and took up shorthand, and have tried every craft class there is, from upholstery, quilting, cake decorating, copper and leather stuff, all of them.  I saved money, made my own clothes and did my own hair, and every two years I planned a wonderful vacation. I went home to see Mama and Papa, Rodello and Ray when ever I could. It was always hard to leave them and return to California.
            When I was a child, Europe meant some small pink, blue, green and yellow patches on a map; some fictional places where fairytales originated; that someday I would actually be crossing these small patches and discovering that the fairytales were not fairytales at all. They were actual histories of the Countries.
            I couldn’t imagine that I would travel 15,000 miles through England, Holland, Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Italy, The Vatican, Monaco and France, and that I would swim on the Isles of Capri and gaze upon the treasures of the world.
            Nor, could I imagine that there could be so much enjoyment in shopping in the narrow, winding streets and that I would meet such interesting people and eat so much food. And, that a big glass of cold water could taste so good, or that  group singing could be so melodious and so much fun.
            I thrilled at the changing of the guards at Buckingham Palace, and the sight of the Story Book Palace at Windsor. I enjoyed the performance of Romeo and Juliet at the theater on Stratford Avon, and, lunch at Oscar Davidson’s restaurant, where the menu was a yard long, with lists 184 kinds of sandwiches.
            I thrilled upon seeing the castle of the Rhine River in Germany, and the lacy, exquisite beauty of the “Dom” Cathedral in Cologne; the intricate clocks and porcelain stoves in the homes of Goethe and Mozart; and the picture-post-card beauty of the small villages tucked away in the Austrian Alps.
            I experienced the following: St. Marks Square, and the Gondola rides in Venice; the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the visit to Piragua, and the quiet serenity of the faces of Anna and Cecelia Cassillina sisters, who made the stained glass window of the Last Supper in Forest Lawn’s Cemetery in Glendale, California. Also, I saw the glory that is Rome:  Michael Angelo’s “Moses,” the Spanish Stairs, and the Sistine Chapel, the Basillica of St. Peter, the Catacombs, the myriads of fountains of Tivoli’s Villa Estate, the Isle of Capri and the brilliance of the Blue Grotto, the ruins of Pompeii, the Apian highway lined with ancient olive trees—gnarled and grey—their trunks split open and shimmering in the sunlight.
                I saw the Rhone glaciers in Switzerland, and I went swimming in the icy waters of Lake Lucerne, the covered bridges built in the 13th. Century, listened to the delightful tinkle of music boxes, saw the Eiffel Tower, and I remember the queer feeling in the pit of my stomach as the elevator carried us to the top of the Arc of Triumph and Napoleons Tomb, also, the Palace of Fountain Bleu and Versailles, the Louver, with all its famous treasures, Notre Dame, the Follies Bergere, and the taste of onion soup at 3 o’clock in the morning.
                I remember all these and many more I recall in moments of reverie. These things are from only one scrap book. There are other times of recalling delightful visits to Mexico, Canada, Alaska, a trip around the United States, and an exciting trip in 1963 around the world on a BYU tour, and to South America in 1965, to Scandinavia in 1969 and to Europe again, and, to Australia, New Zealand, Samoa, Fiji, Hawaii (5 times), to the Caribbean Islands, Turkey, India, Egypt, Russia, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Romania, the Panama Canal (twice), China (twice), Japan, Cuba, Nassau, and to the last one, Africa.
            I retired in 1972.  I developed breast cancer and was operated on in 1979. I Married Lloyd, 15 Sep 1984. We went to China on our honeymoon. Tony, Marilyn, her brother and his wife were on the tour also. Lloyd died December 30, 1989.  In June, I moved to Redlands, California.
            I have been a Beehive, Laurel and relief society teacher, a Stake Sunday School Secretary for 20 years, a counselor to the relief society president, a Young Women’s Mutual Institute President—which was the hardest thing I ever did, but where I learned the most on how to delegate, get along with people, meet with people and conduct meetings. I’ve been a Stake Single Adult Group Representative, a Family Home Evening Group Representative (twice), once in San Gabriel, and once here in Redlands, and Magazine Representative, which I’ve had for my last two callings, and I’ve had three bishoprics,  while in the same ward, the same ward I’m in now.
            In 1990, I went with little LeVaughn on a cruise on the Queen Mary to Africa. Also, went to Branson Missouri (twice), and a river cruise with Tony and Marilyn and Ethel up the St. Lawrence River into Canada and New York.
            When I was about ten years old, my goal in life was to teach school, have a purple car and live in a hotel. My wishes and goals changed as I learned better. Now, teach school? Nooo! A car, yes! But, not purple, that’s too big a package. However, I do live in a swanky hotel-like retirement home, “Mission Commons,” here in Redlands. It’s like a cruise ship on land.




A Few True, Cute Stories About Our Aunt Jennie Ann Hicken Larson
and Dora Isabella Hicken Larson

by Linda Ann Larson McBride and Jennie Ann 

Ann was born in Heber, Utah. Heber is in a valley surrounded by mountains. Growing up, she thought the surrounded valley was the whole world.
              One day, walking to school, she was reading a book about a school that disappeared.  Approaching her school, with her face glued in her book, she looked up and sure enough, the school was gone.  It had nearly burned during the night, leaving charred ruins.
            Another childhood memory is of a special Christmas gift. Her Mother became too ill to make her Christmas dress and so her Father decided to make it.
            He had never sewn before, but he cut it out and sat at the machine and completed her dress.  The seams were crooked and the sleeves different sizes, and the hem was uneven, but it was the most beautiful dress she ever owned, because it was made by her Papa.
            She took after Papa too: Her sister had a beautiful new dress; the prettiest she had ever seen. Since the family had very little money, and pretty dresses were somewhat rare for them, Ann, thinking how beautiful it was, took the scissors and  made doll clothes out of that beautiful, new dress. It was fun for Ann, but a tragedy for her sister, because it could not be fixed or replaced.
            After High School, her sister, Dora, became bedridden with a difficult pregnancy. Ann moved to California, where she took care of Dora’s 4 ½-year-old, LaDorna, and also took care of Dora. After Tony, the baby that made his Mother so ill, was born, Ann went to work at the Western Union.
            Because of her expertise and experience, she was always chosen by the Western Union to go to the Democratic and Republican conventions where she sat close-up to the Nations great leaders and news reporters. She really didn’t like some of those reporters.
            While working on the upper floors of the Western Union, the Long Beach earthquake hit, and it was a frightening experience to be in a tall building that was swaying with the earth.
            Through the years she shared a bedroom with her nieces. LaDorna remembers that the evening before her (LaDorna’s) birthday, Aunt Ann slipped a ring on her finger in the dark and told her she could not look at it until morning, which was her Birthday. It’s funny, but kind of cruel—Ann does things like that.
            One time, a neighbor asked LaDorna who Aunt Ann was, and she told her Aunt Ann was the maid.
            Ann snores loudly. The family taped her one night to prove it. The tape player was clear down the hall from her room, but there was no trouble picking up the snores. She thinks, now that she lives alone, that she has conquered that habit.
            In August, she went to Disney World with Tony, Marilyn and their family. She took her great niece, Rachael McBride, so she would have someone to ride with on the roller coasters. After each day of trying to walk as fast as Ann, Rachael fell into bed at night exhausted. Because Rachael slept so well and never mentioned a thing about snoring, Ann uses that as proof that she no longer snores.  One day, she asked Rachael about it.  Rachael said, “Well, I didn’t hear you snore, I was too tired to hear anything, but the first night I dreamed all night about a pack of snarling wolves and the second night I dreamed about a hurricane.
            Ann does nice things for people: One of the nicest things she did happened 21 years ago.  A young woman in her ward, while adjusting a cover for her baby in its infant seat drove into a tree and the infant was killed. Ann wanted to do something to help heal the pain of the grief-stricken young woman. So, she arranged a trip for this young sister and her husband to go to Hawaii with LaDorna, Tony, Linda (Me) and LaClede, her nieces and nephews, and our four spouses (now her step children). That way they would have good, but distracting company. Though she paid our total expense, she did not pay for them. This occurred at a time when a trip to Hawaii was a real luxury, and she didn’t skimp on the best for us—limousines picked up the five couples every day transporting them sight seeing. She sent us to four Islands.
            Paying for the trips was the easy part. She took all their children while they were gone. Sixteen of them stayed with her, and she kept them two weeks. She took the children swimming, to the zoo, farmers market, to dances, read the classics to them, had crafts every day and they were all disappointed when their parents came home, because they were having such a fun time.
            Nine months later four babies were born within two weeks of each other. (I guess the parents were having a fun time too.)
            Ann then joined the gadget of the month club. She was very sad when they went out of business, as she looked forward to seeing what kind of gadget she would receive. She still loves gadgets, and all of Linda’s family is helping to prepare a gadget Christmas for her next year. So, if you see something very weird, that you think Ann would like, Vera Jean or Marilyn can get the word to Linda (Rachael’s Mom, Tony’s much younger sister).

Additional Humourous Stories

Drink Graciously, Then, go Ahead and Die 

            In Agra India, visiting the Taj Mahal, the oppressive heat made the deordantless Indians with their garlic breaths and garlic sweat made it nearly unbearable. In the basement we had seen the coffin of the woman for whom the building had been built in her honor. The crowded bodies, garlic breaths and sweat, and the heat and thirst overpowered me. So, I did the next best thing to surviving through it—I just went ahead and fainted. Lloyd picked me up and carried me outside to the steps.
            They had informed us that morning of a local outbreak of cholera, and to drink only boiled water. The Taj Majal stood in the center of a huge field, and a mile-long roadway lead up to it. A young man ran the entire length of the road bringing me back a tin dipper of water. I don’t know where it came from, but I thought, “If I drink it I will come down with cholera.” But, “If I refused it, it will be a harsh insult.” The kind man had run so far and returned dripping with sweat, so I said a quick prayer—and drank the water down. Fortunately, I suffered no ill effects. Prayers, sometimes, are answered very quickly.    Jennie Ann Hicken Larson
[All levity aside, we see conviction in this story, and get a glimpse of Ann’s sound faith in Deity]

Get Rid of the Worthless Gift from the Prophet

            In the early 1900s the Prophet and the twelve apostles were visiting the stake conferences in the small towns. About 1912, President Joseph Fielding Smith visited the Heber City Stake. He shook hands with all of the Primary children, and gave them each six or eight big, fat, penny-sized, juicy raisins. (I never see them any more; I guess they use them to make wine.) Isabelle Hawkes ate hers, but Dora brought hers home to show Papa her special gift from the Prophet. Papa decided that she should save them, so he put them in a long, narrow, white envelope and closed them up inside his tin strong-box—along with birth certificates, baptismal records, deeds—all the important papers.
            After a while, he discovered that the juice from the raisins had seeped through, spotting nearly all the documents. From then on, anytime someone opened the box, the raisins found themselves in a new envelope. Through the years we replaced the envelope many, many times. In the mid 1990s, we checked for the last time, and found the raisins completely dried up into tiny seeds—I threw them out.  Jennie Ann Hicken Larson 

I Sure Taught Him a Lesson

Soon after coming to California, at 18 in 1928, Lloyd put his will to the task of teaching me to drive a car. As we pulled up in front of the store, I parked diagonally at the curb. I waited in the car while Lloyd left to make his purchase. Inside the store he bumped into a cop friend of his. Taking gross advantage of me, he asked the cop to have a little fun, telling him I was a very, new, just-learning-to-drive driver.
            As a nervous girl, I watched the policeman walk toward me then around the car, all the time slapping his black gloves in the palm of his hand. “Did you park this car?” he asked, in very stern composure. “Yes,” I answered. “Is this your car?” “No sir.” Still slapping the gloves against his palm, as all semblance of calm melted away. “May I see your driver’s license.” “I don’t have one.” “Do you have a beginner’s license?”—never ceasing slapping his gloves—No sir,” Distraught beyond words, I continued to watch and listen. Whack, whack, whack slapped the gloves. “Well, let’s see—you’ve violated about 10 codes. An abrupt vision flashed before my minds eye, of me, locked up in jail staying the night. Slap, slap, slap he kept on with his gloves.
            Shaking all over now, I chanced to see Lloyd peaking around the door edge—and laughing—how could this be? Then it dawned on me that I’d been scammed in a put-up-job. I broke into tears. Lloyd, “a kindly man”, asked if I wanted him to drive home. "No," I snapped, and backed the car out and drove home.
            After the terror of that incident, I rebelled, and never drove again—and, from then on he had to drive me anyplace I wanted to go. Until his kids grew up, he was stuck with it. In the end, I did learn to drive in 1972 at the age of 61. And, was I ever good!     Jennie Ann Hicken Larson

 The Suffering Doubled

            One day as Dora and I waited for Lloyd in the car, for Dora to drive me on an errand, for her driving practice, unbeknownst to us, Lloyd had perched himself out on the trunk of the car. Dora, so busy preparing to do everything right, failed to see him in the rearview mirror—with his face pressed tight to the window with flattened-out chin, cheeks and nose. I saw him: he motioned to me to be still. Dora backed out into the street, and when she spotted him in the mirror, it scared her half out of her skin. She stomped the gas, jerked the wheel, and shot up over the curb, where the car died in the field. She got out of the car, then scolded Lloyd as she headed for the house. Like me, she never practiced driving again. He outsmarted himself the second time and suffered the double penalty.     Jennie Ann Hicken Larson

Twin Minds of My Sisters 

Zoa and Zola are identical twins, sisters to Dora and me. They married in their twenties not long before this long before this happened. Zoa lived in Montana and Zola in Salt Lake City. At that time, the fad for women became crocheting fancy yokes for their nightgowns. Christmas came, and each one sent the other presents of identical yokes -- each made from the same pattern and, possibly from the same yarn.           Jennie Ann Hicken Larson 

I Hope You Like It

Zoa and Zola planned to meet at a coat sale at Aurbachs Department Store. Zoa arrived first, she tried on a coat she liked, and looking up she found Zola finally there with her in the store. She asked her how she liked the coat she had on. Zola failed to answer, and Zoa, discovering the clerks watching her felt embarrased. She knew good and well that they thought she was talking to herself. She looked again at Zola, and though she'd asked a fair question -- she stood looking at herself in a mirror.     Jennie Ann Hicken Larson 

We All are Mistaken Once in a While 

A new neighbor had moved next door before Zoa died. Shortly after, while at the temple, the sweet neighbor nearly passed away right there in the temple, for there stood her dear departed friend. Seeing her ghost, she nearly fainted. Zola, Zoa's twin sister was there too, had attended the same session as the poor neighbor. (How was she to know; no one told her about twins.)     Jennie Ann Hicken Larson 

Let Me Train Him, It Won’t Kill Him

I taught Raymond how to walk by helping him across the floor, while holding him under the arms. He became ours when his mother, the wife of my mother’s brother passed away. I was about four years old, and Raymond, two years younger and a sickly toddler -- still demanded the bottle. One day, as he cried, no one paid the slightest attention to him. I heard him, and recognized his hungry-cry. I went into the pantry and found a small bottle sitting in there on the table. I knew that it had had turpentine in it, but now, it sat there empty. I poured a cup of milk into it, and gave it to Ray. He never cried for, nor ever touched another bottle again. It seemed to me that I should have gotten more glory than I did.   Jennie Ann Hicken Larson 

 Just in Case, Cuz You Never Know
Aunt Dora was definitely low key—amazingly beautiful—but just not a scene grabber like Uncle Lloyd, and although I loved her dearly and had lots of pleasant talks with her, I remember more how they made me feel than what the content was. She was, I think, not truly unflappable, but she had equanimity of spirit that came from wisdom. Plain good sense, some might call it, but I think it had more grace to it than just that.

I remember her telling me that every time Uncle Lloyd took off on his motorcycle and she told him good-bye, she told herself that it might be the last time she'd see him alive, so she kissed him like she meant it -- because she did mean it. Something between concern and flat out shock must have registered all over my face, because she took great pains to get me to understand that it was because she loved him. She said she knew, absolutely KNEW, that it wouldn't be "being alive" for him NOT to be able to go riding like that, and if she stopped him then she wouldn't have the real him alive anyway. So she gave him that gift of freedom, and kept her fears to herself. She wouldn't even mar his good time by allowing him to see her worry. I thought that was remarkably strong character. And I understood, too, that she was giving me a lesson in what love is. Love is unselfish.    Linda Gayle Westrate 

You CAN be Surprised

            She told me a number of things along those lines that she said she wouldn't tell her own offspring and explained to me that moms often do that because there are things you just CAN'T discuss with your own   kids -- I understand that now that I have a grown daughter of my own—but it doesn't make the honor of having Aunt Dora confide in me feel less
            Most of my family stories came from my mom (FYI and for all future reference, *I* think of LeVaughn as my mom, and Gayle as a sister to me). I have to admit that Mama believed you could get away with embroidering the details if it'd make a good story better in the telling.  Her stories, however, were so entrancing that I always preferred 'em to ordinary fairy tales as my bedtime fare.
            It's no guarantee of validity, either, when a story got cemented in the telling, but several times I heard Mama and Aunt Maude share the following anecdote, so it must have made the rounds within the family as a pretty good joke at the time-- 
            It's true that Dora was quiet, soooo quiet, so meek and good, she never lost her temper, never even raised her voice, and NEVER cussed. (I gathered this was in rather strong contrast to Mama and one or two of my other aunts, who, while they didn't use the language accepted today, were not above saying Hell or Damn... and as children themselves had been quite fond of a particular reservoir in their area, since sadly renamed, that bore the moniker "Helen Dam"...). Anyway, my mom was sick in bed and Dora came to keep her company each day for a while. Mama took on the task of trying to teach her to knit and Dora was working at it for an hour or two at a stretch, but she was having a hard time of it... messing up the count and reversing the knits and purls... it had to have been pretty frustrating, but she was patience personified. This went on for quite some time, rows and rows had to be undone and redone, the yarn grew worn, thinner, a trifle dirty and tangled, and Dora would just bite her lip, give a tiny troubled sigh and get on with it. Mama was quite impressed. So she was doubly startled one afternoon, when she herself was half drowsing, to suddenly see Dora stand right up, THROW the entire ball of yarn clear ACROSS the room, and in a clear and ringing tone declaim, "SH%#!"! I remember Mama and Aunt Maude, years later, STILL laughing over that...                              Linda Gayle Westrate 

He Carried It a Trifle Too Far

It made it easier for me to believe the story about Aunt Dora standing up to Uncle Lloyd one time. When we were young, elders just didn't hug the way this family does now. (Aunt Ann and Jorli and I were comparing notes on it yesterday at Lisa's—we like it the new way!) When LaClede was about three, the infamous tale goes, he went to his dad for a hug and a kiss goodnight, and Uncle Lloyd told him, "You're a big boy now, big boys shake hands, they don't kiss"—and Aunt Dora, to everyone's shock, probably not the least even her own, rounded on him like a mother tiger and told him, "This is my baby, my last, and if he wants a kiss you're going to kiss him!" (And Uncle Lloyd did!)       Linda Gayle Westrate, Dora and Lloyd’s great-neice 

I Was Trying My Best to Make a Good Impression! 

            The first night Dora brought Lloyd home, it seems it was late and she told him he could sleep on the couch, and then brought him fresh linens. Without lighting a lamp, so as to not disturb the family, she groped through the linen closet for a cover. In the morning they found him wrapped cuddly in a linen tablecloth.
            During this same visit, wanting to impress -- and to be of help, he went out to the wood pile and was chopping wood for a time. Suddenly, a large split or chip flew up hitting him in the upper lip, cutting it nicely. Naturally, Dora saw the bloody mess and fixed him up with a bandage across the injury, probably quite swollen and unattractive. The jokesters around, insisted that Lloyd had wounded himself on purpose to avoid having to kiss Dora’s plethora of relatives.   Jennie Ann Hicken Larson

Temporally we insert the following here in this place.  Arrangement will be changed as we develope the site.


Recalling Stories Told to me by Lloyd Anthone Larson Including Special Experiences with Him
by his son-in-law, Darvil David (Mac) McBride


From about 1969 until he quit riding his motorcycle in 1982, at 82, I spent hours and days—adding up to months—riding with Lloyd in the desert, hills and mountains of Southern California and Baja California. As we sat visiting in the shade of a big rock or tree, he told me some fascinating stories. Following are a few, in brief: 

The Friendly Shipmate 

During his oyster farming days at Altata Bay on the west coast of Mexico, as he paddled a small dugout canoe through the mangroves that thrived on the edges of the bay, a full grown raccoon would, seemingly from nowhere, drop into the boat. It always took its place at the prow and waited for flying fish, ready to swat one as it sail by. Sometimes on its own, a fish would end up flopping about inside the craft, in which case, at no expense of energy to the coon, the free meal arrived. Usually, the animal waited until a fish sailed within reach; and, standing on hind legs, it would reach up and bat it into the canoe. It may have caught jumping mullet also. 

Sometimes they were out together for hours, the animal always ate his fill. When they returned, passing through the tangle of mangrove limbs, at some appropriate point, it would jump up into the tangle and disappear. He had brought the baby raccoon back to their place (tent) for Dora’s enjoyment. He tethered it to a pole until tamed through feeding and handling. Once released, it would come and go at pleasure. Nearly every time, or at least usually, when Lloyd went out, the pet would drop into the canoe. Lloyd said he always waited for it and enjoyed the company. 

LaClede recalls his dad telling of one night: The raccoon entered the tent and was trying to open Lloyds eyelid. Awakened and startled, he grabbed it and hurled it across the tent. 

Other Pets 

According to La Dorna, they kept an armadillo too (an easily tamedanimal). Also, Lloyd told of two green parrots he had trapped or taken as babies from their nest. They were kept on a perch atop a pole fashioned with a crosspiece. They may have been a Mexican variety of the Amazon parrot. 

Migrating Baby Sawfishes 

On at least one occasion, as Lloyd entered the open bay from the mangroves he experienced a strange phenomenon. He saw what seemed to be an endless foot-wide, dark line on the surface of the water, stretching far out of sight, out of the bay and on into the open sea of the Gulf of California. Upon approaching the line, he discovered it to be composed of millions of baby sawfishes about six inches in length, noses to tails in a steady relentless advance. 

The Big Cat 

Lloyd and Dora with baby LaDorna wended their way down a dozed-out road. They putted along in an old bare-essentials truck. A tangled mix of brush, trees, rocks and soil mounded up on both sides from the dozer’s road work forming two long continuous banks. Without warning an unannounced, very large, white, mountain lion appeared, and according to them, made its way along the top of the bank at the same height as they were in the vehicle. The big cat stayed along side of them for some time, using the top of the mound as its trail, making guttural sounds as they continued. Dora said that she experienced real fear, for it seemed that she could, at times, almost reach out and touch it. 

The Hapless Beast 

Only a few months before he would marry his beautiful Dora, he worked for a rancher herding sheep in the Book Mountains of Utah, discussed elsewhere. He started his own herd too, and in his spare time ran a long trap line, which he checked daily each early morning. Unless it was a very small animal, he often “case skinned” them not distant from where trapped so as not to be burdened by the weight. A couple of coyotes, a bobcat and a badger weighed up quickly. Compared to others of his inclination, he made good money, always using his time to great advantage. Clean, prime, winter pelts of deer, mountain lions, bobcats, badgers, skunks, pine martins, weasels, coyotes, red and gray foxes, wolves, beaver, muskrats and wolverine were marketable. I know he had trapped or killed all of these with the possible exception of the wolverine. However, he told me of seeing wolverines. 

In the greater area, an “infamous wolf,” leader of a small pack. periodically made its rounds decimating sheep in areas he passed through. The State had placed a $25 bounty on the wolf, and  the ranchers association had placed a $25 bounty on him. The wolf was referred to as something like Old Three-Toes due to a missing toe on a forepaw, probably lost in a trap—hence, the ongoing difficulty of trapping him again. Lloyd’s boss had lost a few sheep to this pack, and after it had passed through a few times, Lloyd calculated that in 12 to 14 days it would pass through again. Aware of the main trail where he’d always seen tracks, he set a steel-jawed trap, expertly hidden and masked of human scent, with a ripe-smelling, scent-masking recipe of his own, principally made with animal urine and gall saved from the two bladders of many animals. Cleverly baited, he bided his time. True to their routine, as he had predicted in his mind, the pack stalked through the ranch, but luckily, Lloyd spotted him and dispatched him with a single trigger-squeeze of his rifle. He became known far and wide for this feat. (He only brushes over it in his history, but several times, he recalled it to me in real particulars.)

*** Case skinning is done by making the initial cuts through the pelt along the hind legs, around the anus and the tail in the inside of the skin, enabling the skin to be pulled forward, over the head, clipping carefully the inner ear carteledge and around the eyes, nose and mouth—in effect, turning it wrong-side-out without marring the pelt. Then with sticks or wire inserts, the pelt is stretched, and the bits of fat and flesh remaining on the skin were “fleshed off” and then the skin dried. Still today, most pelts are sold to the furriers prepared this way. 

Population Explosion 

Lloyd told me of a population explosion of red foxes on the sheep ranch. He often watched them in the thin brush of the small nearby valleys populated with many fox holes, the occupants nearby. His rifle, an older vintage, used a cartridge popular in bygone days. I believe it was a 45-70 single shot. Regardless, the heavy bullet had slow velocity, and a poor trajectory (very arced). At a distance, he always shot high to compensate for the bullet’s rapid drop. 

He recalled sitting up on the ridges looking over the den sites and trying to connect with a lucky shot. Wind drift as well as poor trajectory brought constant failure. Nevertheless, with each shot came a short delay before he saw the dust puff of the striking bullet. The closer foxes would run over to the pock mark from which rose the dust to investigate with a sniff. He never claimed to have made a direct hit. I doubt if he tried many times, because of the cost of precious ammunition in a day when pennies held significant value. 

A One-Track-Mind 

Lloyd and Dora had retired for the night. Before the lights went out, Dora glanced at Lloyd laying with his back to her. She saw blood seeping through the garment top. Closer bare-skin examination revealed a clear print of a knobby motorcycle tire track well across his back. He had competed that day, and went down in front of a one-track-mind competitor, and he didn’t stop. Lloyd brushed himself off, remounted and finished the race in fine time. 

Time to Brag 

            When Linda and I decided to marry, I was not one bit acceptable to Lloyd as a son        in-law, no doubt he couldn’t see much in me. Years went by as I worked part time, was broke and had experienced little success in anything. Come to think of it, he was right; and heck if I knew what Linda saw in me either (except, I might have been pretty handsome). How could I be acceptable to him back then? I was still in school and didn’t know what I wanted to be. After building a successful artificial gas log manufacturing business, and finishing dental school at USC, with very little sandwiched-in fun he began to look upon me in a different light.
            With the above explanation in mind, years before I started riding with Lloyd, Linda and I sat with Dora and him watching TV. After a bit, the subject of finger wrestling came up—you’ll read about it in another part of their history. To the point, he said that he had never been beaten in it. He asked me to come close and engage fingers, promising not to hurt me; he would release the force in plenty of time to not cause me pain. I complained, and said I’d rather not. He insisted, repeating how he would be careful toward me. Now, he had split his foot between the big and second toe while riding, and leaning back in the recliner with the foot in a cast propped up on an ottoman. Finally, I relented and curled my middle slender finger around his GREAT MASIVE DIGIT.
            He said to start slowly; and believe me, I did. The forces mounted and pumping adrenalin coursed through my frightened system. Without any change of expression that I could see, without any perceptible change in position, of a sudden, Lloyd came up out of the chair, his foot slipped off the ottoman; and he slid low over it and landed on his stomach; the worst of it, his maimed foot with toes sticking out the end of the cast whacked down on the floor with the weight of the cast adding insult to injury. I felt sure he had broken a toe or two. I was beside my self and really embarrassed. He got up by himself—I didn’t dare help him. Those of you with firsthand knowledge of him know exactly what I mean.
            With little fluster showing, he sat back in the chair and rubbed his toes a little—I waited in worse agony than his—then, he looked up at me and said, “You are the first person to ever beat me.” He was about 59, and I, about 25. About a year later, I listened to him discuss his prowess of the past with a friend, after which he added, as he motioned toward me, that, Mac was about the only person who ever came close to beating him. When he and I later found ourselves alone, I said, “Lloyd, what the heck were you talking about. Don’t you remember that I beat you; you had flown over the ottoman belly-down and you darned near broke off a toe? He stared at me for a moment, and then kind of grunted a positive. Several years would pass before a single year of acceptability ever arrived.
            The time did come. Day by day, month by month, bit by bit, I slowly became acceptable to Lloyd. We really settled in to being much more than good friends. Years churned on by, and after a good while of dental practice (and Lloyd was a patient. He and his daughter were the only patients I ever had that could sleep through an appointment), and difficult church callings and eight children; I found in the mail a short letter. Among other special things he’d put to pen, he explained, “Mac, to me, you’ve never been like a son in-law—but like the brother that I never had. (He was the youngest and only boy in a family with four girls) Tears filled my eyes; I was deeply touched; and tears fill my eyes now as I record this. 

A Little More Bragging. Well, Maybe I’m Off Base 

            After I bought the new Triumph (TR6-C, the one with the high pipes instead of the low sweeping ones on the TR6-R: C for country and R for Road), and stripped and modified it for the dirt, I gradually became a much improved rider. After a year riding it, Lloyd hit me up to be his partner in the Baja 1000. For the bikes, it was a two-man event. For the next four years, he would try to talk me into it. I like to think it was because he thought I was an expert, dependable rider—eating at me inside, I suspected that he really liked my Triumph. The truth is that even had I started my half of the race—he said he would do the half that had to be ridden in the dark—I could never have physically done it.
            I was cursed with a rump that after about three hours would start to become very sore and then, escalate to pure agony. I would explain the problem many times to him, but I don’t think, he, or for that matter, anyone, has ever understood. I’ve yet to meet another with the same problem. Everyone wants to equate it with chaffing, galling or bruising. It is best explained as a hurting that comes from what seems like the entire thick layer of the epidermis loosely and slips back and forth, with each bump, jolt, revving, braking or swerve. If you place your one hand firmly on the skin on top of the other hand, and sharply move it forward then backward, it slips across the underneath structure of the hand. Finally, it feels as though the upper layer might begin to tear away from the under-layer. That is the way it is, and the misery mounts and mounts. I would have competed, if it weren’t for that. The hill-climb became my love and forte. If I could have found a competition on a Saturday, I would have entered. 

The Good Samaritan Points the Way 

About three-quarters through a very long enduro race, Lloyd had hit each check point right on the money. The riders were well spread after the many hours. Up ahead, not too far, a fellow-competitor slicked along. Lloyd noticed an animal try to cross in front of the rider, and he watched him hit it dead on, and keep on going. As he came along side, he saw a huge killed-dead bobcat. A prankster at heart, Lloyd slid to a stop, jumped off his bike, grabbed a handful of sticks, and propped up the cat in the fashion of being on point, a fine directional devise showing the way to continue. He said it took so little time, that he had no trouble compensating to hit the next check point with precision. Many riders commented on what would always stick in their memory. More than half of the riders were behind him, and all of those delighted in the helpful pointer. 

Steve McQueen and Keenan Wynn 

During a couple of decades of Lloyd’s days of competition, two popular stars of the big screen were his contemporaries. In the desert during the evening before the starting day, Lloyd sat as many others milled around him, arranging their camps for the night. Steve McQueen and Keenan Wynn were fast buddies in dirt bike racing, Keenan, more of a veteran than Steve. As they walked past, he overheard the low guarded voice of Steve say, “Who is that old s-of-a-b.” “Well,” replied Keenan, “you might think he is an old s-of-a-b, but you will soon discover that that old s-of-a-b is—one h of a rider. Though both were younger—Steve much younger—and they enjoyed fame in dirt biking because of their movie stardom, neither one of the men would ever come close to eclipsing Lloyd, and Lloyd would outlast both by more then a score of years.



Our  Motorcycle  Trip  with  Lloyd  Larson
by Darvil David (Mac) McBride,
son-in-law, husband of Lloyd's daughter, Linda Ann

In may of 1968, Lloyd, Darvil (my dad) and I, loaded our motorcycles in the back of my Ford short-bed pickup, along with a well-stocked grub box, a few tools, a plastic tarp and a an old, canvas umbrella tent. Lloyd had his 1965 Triumph 650, given to him when the American Motorcycle Association sponsored him as part of the 6-man American team to go to the Isle of Mann for the international racing competition. I was riding a used 305 two cylinder Honda that Lloyd had picked out for me as my first bike. We drove to the outskirts of Ensenada, Baja California, Mexico, where we unloaded the bikes and started toward Cabo San Lucas (Cape St. Lucas), the southern tip of Baja California. In a few days, we would pick up my brother Jon, in Santa Rosalia, where Jon, because of his commercial pilot status, had free flights on commercial airlines to that small city. Following are a few memorable occasions of a fabulous 21-day trip, with Lloyd and I on our bikes, and Darvil in command of the pickup. 

Our First Night 

As the sun set, we called it a day and stopped and made camp. After we ate Dutch oven biscuits and other yummy stuff, we rolled out our sleeping bags as the darkness of night set in. Now sooner had we spread them, Lloyd hollered to roll up our bags, for we couldn’t stay there. With a flashlight, after he called us to him, he lit up the ground; and we saw scores of scorpions crawling everywhere. We drove on for a while until we found sandy ground free of rocks, where we bedded down for the night. 

Candle Trees

The next night, we made camp in the boojum (bujum or cirio) tree area. Strange trees that seemed prehistoric in their hairy-looking trunks and sometimes tentacle limbs forming spooky candelabra shapes extended into the distance. This is the only place on earth this tree exists on but a limited number of square miles and is said to be related to the occatillo. Cirio means wax candle in Spanish. 

Drinking-Water Along the Way 

Usually we rode the coastal dirt roads, sometimes the sea lapping at its edges. Regardless, except when we were forced inland for lack of any other road, we traveled close enough to the Sea of Cortez (gulf of California) on the east, or the Pacific Ocean on the west to make our way down to the waters edge. Sometimes with lady luck on our side, we bought our meals in tiny make-shift restaurants at fishing camps. There,  water had already been drawn from a well somewhere. With rare exception, we got our water from private wells—usually very shallow—which were never denied us by the gracious Mexicans along the way. A few wells were unbelievably close to the salt water, literally on the upper beach, at times less than 50 feet distant. Most were simply covered with a couple of pieces of tin and a board or two and sometimes a cloth spread, cardboard, canvas or old piece of plastic tarp. Virtually always a well was associated with the rural gas stations. 

Gasoline Along the Way 

We would not see a gas station until we reached El Arco, midway down the Baja Peninsula (400 miles + away). However, usually conveniently located, we visited the common, primitive gas stations of that Mexican state at that time: Several 50-gallon drums, stacked two high, tended by a Mexican. With a siphon hose running from the top barrel, and a quick priming by mouth, the gas made its way into our tanks strained through a cotton cloth or chamois cloth. 

The Roads 

Forty minutes south of Ensenada, all semblance of pavement ended. The elevated road that looked like it had been well prepared for paving and abandoned was a deeply pocked for several miles. Soon, it became a road wide enough for two cars to pass with care, later, two could pass with caution. It consisted of mile after mile of fine dust, sand, gravel, large and small rocks, some sharp and at other times round, and volcanic ash all natural to the land.

Many times we came to wide networks of criss-crossing caused by taking alternate dryer routes after the ruts puddle up with rain water. They continued in the desired direction, so we could choose to turn on to a new set of tracks every 30 to 60 feet. Sometimes the complex was near a half mile wide. There were curves and dug ways as well as miles to remarkably straight, narrow and smooth volcanic ash. On these roads, the center was high and flat, and sometimes we chose to clip along on it, though much softer, somewhat like floating atop beach sand. We often reached speeds of 60 mile per hour. At times we could leave the road for a great dry lake, much fun for the bike riders. Once I looked off to my right, moving at about 65 miles per hour, and low and behold, a rider was passing me at great velocity. He was lying on his stomach on the bike seat with feet stretched back for less wind resistance. You guessed it: it was Lloyd at full throttle soon disappearing behind the contrail of dust. On this trip we had few problems with bike or pickup flat tires. 

Turtle Stake 

Within a very few years, sea turtles of all kinds would fall under protected species. However, on this trip we feasted often on turtle stake. The meat tasted to me for all-the-world like beef, but it had a more striated appearance than beef. At the little fishing camps where we were happy to eat along the way, out behind the buildings we saw turtles in pens or staked out, a rope tied to one leg. I believe there were two different kinds. 

The Starry Heavens 

Every night we lay in our sleeping bags staring up at a sky devoid of incidental light. Perfectly clear we gazed at its immensity, the Milky Way milkier than ever before. So clear and so broad was the vista, that we saw many falling stars. We also spotted satellites passing the stars until they disappeared on the horizon. Lloyd told us of riding with Hugh Hutchins on their first trip on bikes into Mexico many years back, and they watched in wonder as Sputnik I (October 4, 1957), the first satellite ever launched into orbit. Nearly every night, camped in the far-out open, serenading coyotes lulled us to sleep. 

Celebrity Status 

The first trip Hugh and Lloyd made into Baja, upon stopping in a village or town, large crowds gathered around the men and machines. On a couple or three occasions, school was discontinued, and the children flooded them with their presence and questions. Lloyd spoke a “Pigeon Spanish” he had first begun to learn when he was jailed for three months at the start of the oyster farming project. (read of this in another part of the history.) Having learned Spanish as a missionary in Uruguay, Texas and New Mexico, it was fun to listen and watch as he treated with the people. The truth is that he always made himself understood and he understood everything he heard -- no small accomplishment for a gringo—and a talent he was accomplished in, much better than I. 

On our trip, a few would collect around us, but nothing dramatic, only a few questions, for more than 10 years had past, and back then, their bikes were the first motorcycles ever seen outside magazines. 

The Broad Spit of Sand to the Island 

As we zipped along the road at the edge of the beach sand of the Sea of Cortez, somewhere past the Bay of Conception -- we could see a small island ahead, about 130 yards out from the beach proper. We left the road, for we saw that a spit of sand about 15 feet wide connected it to the beach. Our bikes floated the sand nicely over to the island, and we spent some time looking around at the dilapidated shacks and sheds, mostly made of what nature provided on the island, for it had large trees and lots of shade. Lloyd decided that fishermen had used it to clean and dry their catches. After a while, I glanced back at the spit, and to my horror, it could only be seen under a full foot of water. The tide had moved in fast and was rising fast. We stopped at the edge, and Lloyd said. “Let’s hit it hard and fairly fast—and don’t stop no matter what.” He made a wide circle and hit the water with a solid splash. I followed suite, and though my bike began to sputter, I managed to keep it going, reaching the beach. Within just two minutes, we would have spent the night waiting for the tide to go out. 

Separated and Worried 

Since midmorning, I hadn’t seen hide nor hair of Darvil in the pickup or Lloyd. Several times during the day we had navigated some of those stretches of crisscrossing rutted, tire track roads. Lloyd, usually well up ahead would often turn back to find us, or, we would find him stretched out in the shade of anything available, waiting for us to catch up. Lloyd only had one speed, always leaving a rooster tail he accelerated to real, real fast. I had looked for his tracks and the truck tracks to no avail. Continuing southerly, I figured that all roads had to lead to El Arco, The only town for a hundred miles any direction, the half-way point on the map. Twice I was able to buy small amounts of gas at ranches but continually ran low. Finally, I arrived—relieved to see both there. They had already rented a room, so we went to dinner.
            At a gathering of friends and relatives a couple of months after the trip, I overheard Darvil discussing the adventure with a friend. I picked up at the point where he asked, “Well Darvil, couldn’t you follow Lloyd’s tire tracks?” He gave a wide-eyed answer saying, “Track him hell!” He only hits the ground every 300 feet.” 


We found a shady place, outside of the town of Mulege, by one of the few rivers that flows from inland Baja into the sea. There we settled in to eat and camp. But, the first order of business was to bathe in the semi-clear river. It averaged about 15 feet across and flowed about 3 feet deep. We were all sitting on the grassy bank in various stages of grooming, when after standing; I glanced at the water—not a little bit astonished—to see a 7-foot shark slowly making its way upstream. I hollered in surprise, and all of us watched it leisurely pass. Jon, one of our chief naturalists on the trip (for all four of us were chief naturalist), confirmes that in most rivers emptying into the seas, a number of sharks species routinely swim up them. Jon objects, that there was a large shark swimming upriver, But I remember it well as seven feet long. Regardless, it was plenty big enough to deliver a nasty bite and get away with much more than a nickels worth of meat. Jon also reminds me that while he was standing about bellybutton-deep in the river, he felt fish about 2 feet long brushing against his legs. He said they felt rough skinned like sharks. To verify his claim, he dawned a mask, re-entered the water, and, sure enough, there were the sharks of the size he had estimated. 

One Tough Hombre 

As I whizzed along the fast dirt road, the chain broke on my 305 Honda, flipped up between the frame and the housing and jammed tight. Lloyd as usual had ridden on ahead, and we knew not when he might return. I leaned the bike over and began trying to dislodge it. The temperature was well over a hundred degrees in the shade, but I worked on with the sun blistering down on my back. Soon, I had to stand, for I was overheating and feared sun stroke. As I rested inside the pickup, Lloyd returned. He sat down in the dirt, with legs crossed next to my tool set, which I had covered with a rag, so I could handle them without burning my hands. 

Darvil got the plastic tarp out and tried to rig a semblance of shade for him. I kept putting the towel over the tools as Lloyd exchanged one for another. Pretty soon, in his gruff way, he said for me not to do that anymore, and in the same breath told Darvil too quit worrying about the shade. The intense heat caused Darvil and me to feel somewhat breathless, and I felt like I was almost staggering around, on the verge of feeling woozy, while Lloyd worked on using those super heated tools in those massive hands of his, seeming not to notice sun or heat at all in the breezeless early afternoon. He worked for the better part of an hour before finally releasing the jam, re-linking the chain and reassembling everything. 

Several times, Darvil had shaken his head at me in disbelief of his imperviousness to the elements. I had already experienced his toughness and relentless stamina before. How he managed those tools and survived the sun and heat while exerting such energy, I’ll never know. To boot, his mechanical know-how seemed limitless. He was the toughest most indefatigable man—and strong—I have ever known, bar none. And, to be 68 years old at the time! Unbelievable!

Lloyd’s daughter, LaDorna Perine Eichenberg, confirms the preceding story with a story of her own: 

Mac, you mentioned that my Father had great stamina. He certainly did! And he expected us to have the same, even if only five or 10 years old. While visiting Yosemite, he insisted that we go on a hike. It was at breakfast time. I wanted to go to the pool. Instead, he led us over Yosemite's 3 main waterfalls: Bridal, Yosemite and Nevada and then to the top of El Capitan. No food or water. Once, we did rush for water dribbling down a rock only to find it was sulfur [tasting]! 

We arrived at our tent at 8:30 that night. He had taken turns carrying Aunt Ann, Mother and Tony. (He did not carry me.) At the top of El Capitan we drank water, and it seems to me we ate a candy bar. I've never been a big fan of hiking since. I learned on that trip that kids do not complain or cry. . . EVER! 

(Incidentally, holding my dirty socks in my hand I reached out to pet the nose of a "TAME” deer. She reared up and missed disemboweling me with her hooves by an inch or less.) 

The Water Troughs and Small Tanks 

We passed by many corrals with tanks and troughs—most of them windmill fed, once in a while, spring-fed—located out and away from the ranch houses. We never missed the chance to slake our thirst or to treat ourselves to a good face wash, or more, and to replenish the water with us on bikes, and the supply carried by the pickup. As we sat resting in the shade by one trough, two mounted vaqueros (Mexican cowboys) meandered up to us. Delighted that we spoke a fair amount of Spanish, they lingered visiting. Come time to be on our way, we bid them thanks and adios. Lloyd shot out first like a monstrous, aggressive snorting jackrabbit-of-a-dragon, and the horses spooked a little nervously as the bike’s back tire raised a magnificent rooster tail of dirt, sand and trampled, dried cow pies and horse biscuits. The vaqueros threw their heads back and laughed out loud while slapping their thighs in delight.

A Strange Phenomenon 

The sun had set, and we lay in sleeping bags on the beach sand enjoying a glorious sunset out over the sea. As it darkened, and the land cooled, a pleasant breeze from the sea wafted over us. The dampness of the air became such that droplets of condensed moisture covered exposed parts of the plastic tarps under us. We went to sleep in bags so drenched with moisture that we began to feel uncomfortable. Upon awakening in the night, we worried about what the end results would bring. No way could we roll up bags that wet. 

The sun arose an hour before we did, and as the inland, desert landmass warmed, a dry gentle breeze swept over us. Fairly comfortable as we prepared breakfast and ate, by the time we went to our bedrolls to roll them up, they were completely dry. 

Music in the Air 

We passed through a region of large, tall black-limbed mesquites. We stopped for a break, and in the absence of running engines, we found the air alive with an incredible DIN of the harsh cooing of white wing doves. The white wing is common in much of Arizona (and in California along the Colorado River). Our family has heard the birds on thousands of occasions, but never in the volume we heard there. Warmer in early spring there, than above the border, we experienced this during the nesting season of thousands and thousands of pairs. 

The Caracaras and Harris Hawks 

Occasionally we saw the colorful long-legged caracara, a hawk-like scavenger, a real treat for a birdwatcher and amateur ornithologist. Few are seen in the United States. We saw them on the ground, and soaring in groups a couple of times. Also, we saw occasional Harris hawks, a large beautiful social, communal hawk, that unlike all other hawks, hunt cooperatively and after a kill, feed together relatively calmly as a group. There are several other peculiar habits and aspects about the specie too. Since that time, as an avid falconer, hunting principally cottontail and jackrabbits, I have enjoyed hunting with three of these birds. Often, we caught three in a single short outing, and once we caught five. They become quite tame, almost a pet, and I say almost, because it is, not quite. They respond to being called in much better than all other hawks. 

Clamming, Cooking and Eating 

Once, later in the afternoon, we stopped to set up camp earlier than usual. Lloyd knew exactly what the small bay, from which the water had receded meant, as soon as we came upon it. First thing, we headed out on the fine, wet sand. With a couple of buckets, a shovel and bare hands we began digging. We harvested a bunch of clams. They all measured a good inch and a-half or more across. Lloyd set up the cooking arrangement over the tidy open fire so as to steam the batch. I’d never seen it done; and I had never eaten steamed clams. I watched it all carefully: As they steamed, the shells opened . Soon we began to gluttonize over them. Darvil and I loved them as much as Lloyd did. 

Left Out, but Loving It 

I remember it as the second night we camped. Lloyd and I had gathered wood from the desert floor. We returned to camp to find a small fire already started, and Darvil had his Dutch oven stuff ready. Coals were under it, and Darvil spooned-shaped the dough and covered the greasy bottom with the biscuit dough and put on the heated lid using a whittled stick with a short piece of branch left at the end for a hook. Then he loaded the lid’s top with glowing coals. 

Lloyd knew the art of Dutch oven cooking well, for Linda had told me that when they camped, Lloyd usually came up with Dutch oven biscuits, and I had been out with the family at times, enjoying it all, while Lloyd did all the work. This evening, I watched the two men, and Lloyd seemed to have a slight questioning look on his face as though sensing theft; and he knew who the thief was and he knew the scoundrel knew that he knew. However, Lloyd peeked closely as Darvil lifted the lid off, and we could see the golden-browned biscuits therein. 

Upon seeing them, Lloyd immediately said, “Well, there’s one job I’ll not be taking over on this trip—ever! He was pleased. A few nights later, he was doubly pleased, for as the lid came off the Dutch oven, the scrumptious peach cobbler dazzled him. I read his very thoughts perfectly. Inside his very mind I distinctly heard him think, “Well, old Darvil is alright—even though he is a democrat.” 

Spear Fishing 

Somewhat past the halfway point of the Baja Peninsula, we picked up Jon at Santa Rosalia on the Gulf Coast. He’d flown in by commercial air. He’d brought with him two complete sets of skin diving equipment. ** Finish with Jon’s help. TO BE CONTINUED

Wild Iguanas 

Leaving La Paz behind, we began to see Iguanas off to the sides of the road. We were passing through country of large rocks mixed in with small almost brambly trees, we saw a number of them of various sizes out sunning. 

“I Wasn’t Waving” 

Darvil and Jon usually manned the pickup, but on several occasions, gratefully, they relieved me and took their turn on my bike. Jon, my brother, rode with ease, having owned a Honda-90. (When he returned from Guam while in the Air Force, he left it at my home in Corona until he got settled. Little did he know how much and how often I would use it learning the simplest rudiments of dirt riding on that little street bike.) Darvil had taken a couple of turns also, enjoying it a lot. Being a complete novice, wisely he moved ahead of the pickup with good judgment and care, leaving plenty of latitude for the unexpected. 

Up ahead, around a bend and out of sight, to our horror, we spotted a quick rising plume of dust. We past a humble house with a front porch on which a nice-looking young mother and a pretty daughter relaxed in chairs. Once along side the still lingering dust, we pulled to a hurried stop, jumped out, and ran over to the left of the road down into a shallow, sandy ravine. There lay Darvil with a leg still under the bike, belly-down, just starting to struggle a little. Of course, the first thing we asked him was if he was hurt. He attempted a mumbled “No,” and without any prompting, he twice repeated, “I didn’t wave! I didn’t wave! We were well aware then that he had slapped down hard on the sand and was stunned, struggling to regain his senses. Lloyd had come back looking for us, we had just helped Darvil sit up and waited for him to recuperate. (Nothing broken.) 

I don’t remember of seeing a scrape or bruise on him, and he never once complained. How sore or bruised he was over the next several days we will never know. After a while, he began to explain the subtleties that brought about his indignity, without ever mentioning the words of denial he had volunteered after he had confirmed he wasn’t hurt. We weren’t sure if it even still resided in his memory, for he’d been in shock. Later on, we told Lloyd what he’d said, and boy did Darvil take a ribbing during the rest of the trip, and forever after—for we told everybody the whole story right in front of him as well as out of earshot and naturally even in his absence. “I didn’t wave (at the pretty girls)”, became our oft quoted confession by Darvil, for the rest of the trip—especially each time we passed attractive senoritas—but, more especially, after ugly senoras. 

Dreams of an Adventurer 

Lloyd had two great unfulfilled dreams of adventure. One, crossing the Sahara Desert: not completely attractive to me. The other: For years, Lloyd discussed with me the extraordinary adventure of making our way clear down into Brazil to the tributary rivers at the end of all the rapids of the source waters, whose confluences initiated the great Amazon River. 

We discussed the reality of banditos—a real possibility and a possible probability—for in the remote mountain ranges and rainforests, it was an ever-present threat in mountainous and far Southern Mexico and some of the Central American countries and in South America. Besides banditos, the small-country civil disorders and disputes between the individual countries, spawned cantankerous federal armies and counter-striking groups of peasant and sophisticated Guerillas. Nevertheless, I’d have given my eye teeth to be in on such an adventure—and that’s saying a lot for a dentist. 

He wanted to ride motorcycles to the embarkation point, building a log raft or, a double pontoon-like craft lightly decked over two long dugout canoes. We would sell one bike, and mount the other on the craft to serve as power for a driveshaft and propeller. Then, with a tiller astern (at the back) to control direction we would float most of the time, only using the motor as needed. We could navigate the entire length of the Amazon. He thought it might take three, maybe four months. 

Lloyd, enjoying much discretionary time and financial independence, and willing to finance an adventure of a lifetime, tempted me often. However, the adventure always stayed outside reality for me. We had five, then six, then seven and then eight kids (plus the borrowed kids), a dental practice that would, for sure flounder, heavy church responsibilities and a very unselfish spouse who wished adventure for an adventurous husband, but justifiably would have to object, as I had to say no too. What a dream though!

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