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The Personal Histories


Darvil Burns McBride & Josephine Phillips McBride




As a little girl, I went often with Mama to her Relief Society leadership meetings. On one occasion, a woman was present who during a camping trip had lost her first child as a result of a rattlesnake bite. She had her second child with her who was just a toddler. I always adored younger children, toddlers and babies. Attracted to the little one and wanting to help in caring for him, I stayed close as he played on the church steps.


Well, he suddenly lost his balance, fell and bumped his head. The over-protective mother scurried to his side.  As she passed by, she gave me a mean scowl of disgust and attacked me with heart-piercing words which let me know she blamed me for the accident. Tender of heart, as only a child can be, and in front of all the other women, I could have died of embarrassment. For, I feared the others too, placed blame on me. I had not been the cause of the accident nor could I have prevented it, and the depressing, horrible feelings that crushed my heart should never have been inflected upon a child so sensitive and helpless to defend herself.


I wore a nice, comfortable and cool summer dress. Straight and beltless with pleats around the bottom, it looked good on me, and I felt good in it. It had been a favorite of mine for a long time.


As I walked along looking in the store windows in downtown Safford, I felt as if the dress had slipped and was hanging too low, so I would reach back over my shoulders trying to pull it up. But, I still felt that something about the dress was out of sorts, because it felt different against the back of my legs. Later, I happened to glance at my reflection in a store window and found, to my horror, the dress had torn horizontally, wide open, completely exposing my entire behind. I just knew that every body in town, including the bums loitering at the curbs had seen the back of me wide open. Thank heavens for a slip.


In junior college, always with a deep love for music, the music department attracted me to its classes and its many presentations. A wonderful musician, the wife of a doctor, would be a guest performer in our music assembly. Together with other selections, she planned to render one of the school music director's compositions. The director asked me to prepare a short introductory discourse relative to the music of the event. Well prepared, I delivered the talk in a manner that pleased me. I felt a glow of pride.


As the guest performer proceeded with a brief introduction of her selections, much to my embarrassment, she used the word "aria".  I had used the same word in my presentation several times mispronouncing it "oria".  To make matters worse, I'd placed the inflection on the "i" instead of the first "a".  I could have died.


Married and living in Solomonville, six of us, all young mothers, as invited guests at various events, would sing as a double trio. I loved it, and it should be mentioned as one of my hobbies. Unfortunately, within a group of women there is always a "cat" or two. Eventually, out of jealousy, one raised her divisive head. She had a clever fluent way of twisting words that she had said or just invented, making it appear to others as though another had said it.


At the time, Darvil served as the principal of the elementary school. As a favor, he had hired her husband, a friend since boyhood, to teach in the school. She alienated herself and two other women of the six-some, along with a few others of the town against me through her ugly sophistry. Though most everyone in time would come to know her for what she really was, for a while, she caused me much embarrassment and distress. In this case she had influenced several to believe that I had put myself forward, supposedly in my own words, as: "...the First Lady of Solomonville, because my husband is the school principal, and because I have a fur coat, of which she was very jealous. 


To the credit of a lovely young woman in the community, Pearl Payne Kempton, who never demeaned anyone; she always countered mean words spoken of others with great diplomacy and kind words to defend them. Protective of me she came to my rescue much to my relief and eternal gratitude. (She was one of the many children of the wonderful Payne family that lived across the street from us in Thatcher for so many years.)


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