The Personal Histories
Darvil Burns McBride & Josephine Phillips McBride
VACATIONS AND TRAVEL
By Josephine: During the summer of 1937, we returned to Flagstaff with our two little boys. Darvil attended Arizona State Teachers College to renew his teaching certificate and obtain administrative certification. I was expecting Sally Jo. She would be born in late August. For me, the mom, I considered those summer weeks a reprieve from the blistering heat of the Gila Valley. We were two hundred fifty miles further north and at 7,000-feet elevation. With lovely grassy places nearby and nice laundry facilities, we lived in one of the summer cottages on campus, neighbors to many other young couples. Just the change of common routine proved a blessing in disguise. We had our two beautiful little boys with us. One-and-one-half and two-and-one-half years old, they looked much like twins. We were often asked if they were.
I became ill in the higher altitude, and the doctor told Darvil to get me immediately to a lower elevation. That Summer, Mama, Dad and Jean were living in Miami where Dad was working for the Inspiration Mining Company Store. On our way to Thatcher, we stopped to visit them. The weather was scorching and we all needed a bath. How grateful I felt to see my accommodating family, and to find them in comfortable circumstances. The next day, we arrived in Thatcher. After turning on the gas, water and electricity, Darvil left the boys and me at Mama’s house next door to his mother and little sister, Frankie. I felt secure enough for Doctor Platt was close by too. They would all keep an eye on us while I recuperated. Darvil drove back to Flagstaff to tough-it-out alone and finish his summer classes.
Darvil: During the Summer of 1938, with Brose and Irene Hanchett, we traveled to San Diego for a seven- day vacation. Brose hauled his dad’s little house trailer behind his car. The trailer could only sleep two; so, Jo and I threw in a tent for our own accommodations. It took two days for us to get there, but when we did, of course, the first thing we wanted to do was spend time in the breakers at the beach. We collected shells, walked the beach, people watching, explored under the pier inspecting the shell life on the pilings and doing all the fun things one does who seldom has the chance to visit the ocean. We ate most of our meals from the little snack shacks there servicing the beach-goers, existing pretty much on hot-dogs.
The most significant memory of the trip began with constant warnings to Brose that he must protect himself from exposure to the sun. That back of his had not seen any sun for years. Together with his complexion, it would surely cause him misery. To no avail though, for that first evening after arrival, he was so parched and burned to such a brilliant lobster red that he couldn’t lie on his back, or hardly even move he was in such misery. I went to a drug store where the druggist recommended treating the burn with vinegar. So, I hurried to the grocery store and bought a bottle. I left the vinegar with Irene after I told them the druggist had explained it would sting at first. Nevertheless, he assured me, it would relieve the overall suffering sooner.
I left their trailer and entered our tent close by. (We had located in a camping area a short walking distance from the beach.) Within about three minutes we heard an unbelievable, heart-rending, blood-curdling, Comanche scream rip through the calm of the camp—the vinegar had taken its toll. Needless to say, Brose managed to survive, though he continued in misery for most of the rest of the stay. After being back home for a while, and the awful suffering from the burn had devolved to a mere laughing matter, Brose declared that trip to be the best vacation he’d ever had in his life.
After six years of marriage, in the summer of 1939, we left the three kids with Jo’s mother in Thatcher. With Jo’s brother, Rodney, and his wife, Janice, we drove into California and on up to San Francisco to the World Fair, on Treasure Island. We enjoyed seven days escape from the rigors of home, the little ones, the awful heat and our normal routine. It took two days to get there and two days to return—giving us three, full, fun-filled days. We stuffed in all the seeing we could in those three days. Many of the exhibits were under cover of tents, and especially at night, the cold wind whistled through them—cold! Even in August. We don’t remember many of the particulars, but we do remember our amazement over the prototypes of new inventions in areas of science. We were wide-eyed over the many marvels of that modern day—55 years ago (written in 1995). We gazed in captivated awe at the new “Bay Bridge.” We traveled its length several times while there—the Golden Gate bridge too. Those wonderful feats of modern, magnificent engineering fascinated us. They were quite the sight for plain old country folks. We had fun traveling and staying in the motels too, coming and going, and while we were there.
Headed home, looking forward to staying the night in Long Beach, our mouths watered at the thought of a delicious bowl of clam chowder. At first mention, Janice wanted to know, “What in the world is that?” Even though she had been in California on many occasions, for her dad lived in La Puente, she had never heard of it. We debated how best to explain it—we hit upon “fish soup.” “Ugh,” she said, “I don’t want any of that.” Despite the picture imagined in her mind, she bravely decided to order some, and ended up enjoying it. As we continued our trip, Rodney pointed out groves of trees that he said were avocados. We stopped at a roadside stand and bought some. Those were the first Jo and I had ever eaten, and we loved them then, and have loved them ever since.
Poor Janice became sort of an irritation on the way home. She had left her only baby, Kay, and she was so homesick for her. She got the bit in her mouth, so to speak, and could hardly be reined in. She tried every ploy in the book to bring an earlier end to our trip. We stretched it out the whole seven days, though she kept up a persistent nagging.
We brought our three kids with us the summer of 1940 to Pacific Beach in San Diego. Twelve rental cottages occupied a long pier, and we rented the very end one. One time we let the kids go down alone into the shallow water below us. We kept watch from the pier rail while they played in the breakers. Suddenly, we noticed Jon had lost his footing. Out too deep in the water, the wave’s back-wash pulled his feet from under him, and over and over he tumbled as it carried him even farther into the surf. Alarmed, I left Jo watching and sprinted the long distance to the pier’s end. I managed to get to him in time before too much damage was done. He sputtered and coughed as I carried him back to the beach. We don’t know for sure, he may have eventually found his own footing and saved himself, but we always believed ourselves fortunate to have been watching. I’d hate to have to carry him anywhere now. Also, it would take a big wave to roll him over.
We visited the Balboa Park Zoo on that trip—a wonderful experience—especially for the children. Sally Jo had her long hair beautifully curled and the two boys were dressed in cute suits looking the part of little gentlemen. We had a 16-millimeter movie camera with us and recorded beach and zoo episodes, which have been converted to video cassette tapes. The tapes include several other precious bits of family history captured on camera too.
Originally, we rented the cottage for seven days. We were having such fun though that we wanted to stay a couple of days longer. I haggled with the manager asking for half-price. Finally, he agreed we could stay two additional days for the bargain price. That was the longest vacation we had ever experienced with our children; a great nine days. Several years later we read that the pier—cottages and all—had been washed away by raging waves under the onslaught of a terrible storm. But we still have those delightful memories.
We left Arizona and moved to California in 1942. After a few years away from Arizona, we felt the need to return for a visit with my mother. My eldest brother, Floyd, his wife, Elizabeth, and their daughter, Sara Beth, were there visiting too, from their home in Northern California. When the time came to start back, they wanted to go north, the long way around, to visit the matchless, natural wonders of Northern Arizona. We and the kids and Nettie decided to go along with them. We drove through beautiful, timbered country and then into the arid area riddled with bluffs and canyons. We visited the Painted Desert, the Petrified Forest and the Grand Canyon and many other exceptional places.
During the summer of 1946, the war continued during the time we still owned the laundry business. We had long wanted a family vacation through California, Oregon, Washington and into Canada. We made many stops to see the vistas, places of interest and curio shops as we camped each night along the way. We enjoyed our first visit to Sequoia National Park. We saw the famous aged, monstrous giants and drove through the giant trees of the redwood forests further to the north. With tongue in cheek and protest from Jo, we drove our car through the hewn-out center of one still living tree and marveled at its great girth and height.
As we continued on through Oregon, we decided to drop in for a surprise visit with old friends, the Wilds, who were living in Bend. We had been members of the Huntington Beach Branch together before we moved to Wilmington and purchased the laundry. As expected, they welcomed us with open arms, and that evening for dinner we feasted on fried rabbit and home-grown vegetables and fruit of every imaginable kind. The entire meal consisted only of what they had raised and harvested themselves. Their rural, lush country had numerous ditches, creeks and streamlets. They took us on a hike to their swimming hole. I asked them if there were any trout to be caught. They said yes, but they had never been able to catch them. Despite the less than encouraging comment, the fisherman in me was forced to take a pole anyway. Along the way we had caught a good supply of grasshoppers.
After reaching the picturesque pool and the kids were swimming, I tossed in a line with a grasshopper-baited hook in the hole just above their swimming place. The first cast hooked into a nice fish, and for the next hour, to the family’s amazement, I continued to pull out trout at will, some even from the hole they were swimming in. A few, we joked, were no bigger than the grasshoppers.
Hiking back we crossed a narrow stream not much more than two feet in width which I thought too small to harbor fish. In spite of its size, I swung a tempting hopper into the deepest place, though shallow at best. The water erupted as a big steelhead trout grabbed it in a flash. I had him hooked well, as he began to fight. Sadly, the line was only two-pound test, and I didn’t dare try to land him, for he weighed way too much. We sent one of the boys running ahead to their barn for a burlap sack to use as a make-shift net in hopes of getting him. Disappointed to see him return empty-handed, I decided on the next best thing—try to slip him out on the dry bank before he sensed what was going on. I thought I had a good chance, for he seemed to be tiring from fighting against the constant resistance of the slender pole. I tried snaking him up on the flat bank. With a flop and a lunge he broke the delicate line, and I sickened as I saw him slide away, back into the stream.
On that same outing, I had packed along a 22-revolver in a holster strapped to my belt. As we continued toward home we walked a ridge-line trail that meandered through sparse, but high, brush. Without warning, a covey of quail flushed from under foot. I couldn’t resist; I pulled up the revolver and ventured a quick shot at the trailing bird. We thought we saw a dislodged feather float away in the breeze, but, he gained speed moving away. As we watch him, suddenly his wings folded and he limply dropped into the brush. Carefully concentrating on the spot we hoped him, we soon were scouring the area. Sure enough, our luck held out. Close inspection disclosed that the bullet had neatly slit his throat, and when the last pump of his wings emptied him of life, he’d fallen where we’d found him. We cooked him up with the rest of the dinner, and I don’t recall of sharing him.
In Oregon and Washington, the massive spreads of black berry vines were in full fruit along many stretches of the roads. For a couple of days, we took the time now and again to stop and pick berries. To our hearts content, we ate as many as we wanted, on the spot, and gathered extra to eat along the way. When we depleted the store, we stopped again and again to eat our fill and replenish the supply. Wild flowers bloomed profusely along the road and in the open places. We passed through mile after mile of lush, green conifer forests and continued to stop to visit whatever caught our interest.
We finally crossed the border into Canada and visited the beautiful, flowered city of Vancouver. Surprise! We found a huge department store, even greater in size than those of California. At home, the scarcity of wind-up, metal, mechanical toys were still in short supply because of the war. But there they had a splendid selection. We gave the enthralled kids enough money for each to buy a toy. For years after, Mac kept his miniature, wind-up replica of a blue MG. In fact, we still had it when we moved to Pasadena in 1961. Our visiting grandchildren often played with it. If I know Mac, he still has it tucked away in a safe place.
On the road back home, in and around Seattle, we saw the many advertisements for smoked, canned and fresh salmon for sale. We stopped at one of the small markets and bought a huge King Salmon. They packed the freshly caught fish in ice and shipped it home to meet us on arrival. We invited Jo’s brother and his wife, Virgil and Toots, over to help us cook and eat the delicious pink meat. It was so big we could hardly fit it in the oven. I wanted to tell everyone that I’d caught it, but nobody would let me.
After Woodbury Business College of Los Angeles hired me to recruit new high school graduates, they assigned me to work the Grand Junction, Colorado Area. We arrived there beginning the Summer of 1949. Though I spent the time equal to a full-time job—which it was supposed to be—I did have some evenings and week ends free. For Jo and the kids, it became a very special summer vacation.
Mac and Jon often wandered down town to visit the stores and dream. Home after one such excursion, they told me they had seen a 177-caliber Benjamin Pump, model 317, pellet-rifle in the sporting-goods store. They insisted on owning it somehow, some way. Well, I made them a proposition, mostly because I also wanted that rifle. Since the area was in the midst of the cherry picking season, I told them if they would go to work and earn half, I would match their money. We had been exploring the rural farm and ranch roads for nice family outings. But now that we had the rifle, we kept our eyes pealed for quail, doves and cottontail. Of course, the season wasn’t open during the summer for bird hunting, but occasionally a stray pellet accidentally hit one—and we weren’t people that wasted good meat.
The evening of the first day that the boys brought the rifle home, we drove into the country. Soon, we spotted a plump, cock quail calling from the top of a bush’s dead limbs. Jon had out-maneuvered us for the first shot at game. It was a good long shot. He rested the rifle across the open window edge, took careful aim, squeezed the trigger and sent the pellet flying. We heard a solid thud as the pellet connected with the quarry, and the quail dropped over backwards, straight down, without so much as a twitch. Elated, we ran to the place and there, sure enough, lay the plump morsel. We spotted much other game and we all took turns trying to bag something. Alas, all of our shots were futile. We returned home with the single kill, only enough for my supper.
On the way home, Mac had examined the gun’s sighting adjustment. First thing the next morning, he began test firing it to determine what adjustments it might need. The first shot, from a very short distance—he was shocked to find—missed the whole, big box he was using for a target, to say nothing of the center where he’d drawn the target spot. In time, the gun was fine-tuned to lethal performance. To make a longer story short, we determined that if Jon had placed the sights dead on for that nice 40-yard quail kill—he would have missed the bird by 30 feet. From then on, Mac and I made plenty of fine connections, bringing much fresh game to the table, but Jon’s luck had run out. His skill improved little at first, and I think he was mad at Mac for having sighted in the rifle. Jokes aside though, I’ll tell the truth that before mid-summer, we were all quite expert with it.
Another hunting experience deserves mention. The Grand Junction ward held an evening picnic outing up on a cool, sagebrush mesa not far from town. The boys put the rifle in the car just in case. There but a short time, we discovered the ground thickly strewn with the telltale signs of a huge rabbit population. As it turned out, I’d never seen so many rabbits concentrated in one spot in all my life. We slipped away from the crowd with rifle in hand and soon confirmed “the why” of so much rabbit sign. We three stayed together and, within a few minutes, I killed four or five cottontail. To not be stingy, I had to give up the rifle to Mac and Jon, and jealous, but with eased conscience, I returned to the church group. The boys continued at it for some time. Soon they had so many rabbits I had to bring the escapade to a halt, for we would not have refrigerator space for all the meat they could have brought home.
Though I’d hunted cottontail hundreds of times in scores of areas, the rabbits of that mesa had a peculiar habit I’d never experienced. When first jumped, they scampered quickly off, disappearing behind the first patch of brush reached. Nearly every time though, these rabbits stopped behind that first cover which placed us out of their vision. We needed only to walk toward that bush, behind which they had disappeared, and even though it appeared as though they had kept right on going, once in easy shooting range of the bush, we simply moved cautiously to one side, with rifle ready, and invariably they would come into sight, sitting there behind the first bush. With slow, easy, stealth, we worked the system so well, that nearly every shot was a head shot—very little meat wasted. As I remember, we took home fourteen from our ward picnic hunt. We enjoyed several, tasty dinners from that single hunt—and nary a ward picnicker knew of the most fun part of the outing.
We visited impressive Grand Mesa, the 10,000-foot, flattop mountain loomed up impressively in the distance. We were anxious to explore the dirt roads and try our hand at fishing. The great mesa had nearly 300 lakes scattered across its table top. Most of them stayed frozen through nine months of the year, and the snow kept most people off of it for eight months of the year. After the thaw, well after the middle of the summer, we drove to its summit passing scores and scores of the lakes. We selected a lonesome secluded place to stop and picnic, and fish in a stream that poured out of one lake and ran down several hundred yards to the next. The trout were biting, but we encountered a situation the likes of which we’d never experienced.
Our fishing ran a quick course, for the infestation of hordes of mosquitoes drove us from the fun. The best way to succinctly describe the experience is to say that within seconds, every exposed part of us became covered with mosquitoes to the extent that the appearance was as though we were covered with fur. No bare skin could be seen. The effect of the thousands of bites caused our hands and arms to swell, to say nothing of the itching that tormented us for many hours afterward. Nevertheless, the mountain harbored a fishing paradise for the well prepared. Each week, the local sporting goods store, outside in front, displayed in a glass-covered ice box the largest trout caught off the mountain during the week. We saw one rainbow trout that measured 34 inches, and a German brown of 40 inches in length.
Also we had picnics at the juniper strewn parks on the lower mesas and other nice spots. We visited the historical sites and other places of special interest. The city was beautiful. In a valley setting at 5,000 feet, cut by streams and cottonwood-lined rivers, surrounded by lofty mountains, the greenness of late spring and early summer made it a paradise. We loved our summer there in that part of Colorado.
Josephine: From Colorado, we returned to again to make residence in the Gila Valley. With three kids in their teens, going through high school and college during the next many years and a mission for Mac, the years were much leaner financially. Consequently, vacations that included the whole family had come to an end. But, throughout that period of busy lives, we enjoyed many outings to the mountain snow, camping, picnics and day-long outings to sight-see, hunt and fish in the Grahams and surrounding hills and mountains.
After our children were grown, usually away from home, and Darvil in the senate, life became very enjoyable for me. I nearly always went with him on his senatorial trips. Though Mama was aging and her health failing steadily, she always encouraged me to stay in Phoenix and make the trips with him. She faithfully urged me to “go on with him”, never holding us apart. To help me not feel guilt, she said I should go and stay with him, because he might die and she would still be living—“You must be with him, not me,” she’d say. A lovely selfless mother.
I felt very fortunate to become good friends with a nice L. D. S. couple from Pima. Milton Lines was a member of The House of Representatives. His lovely wife, Clella, was energetic, fun and a good sport, and we palled around together enjoying everything interesting we could find. Special functions of the Legislature with their ever-present cocktail parties were common, as were functions sponsored by special interest groups. Neither she nor I took interest in the predominant drinks; but, much to our delight they usually provided a big crystal bowl filled with huge delicious shrimp, and they always had a selection of soft drinks and juices too. In the mornings, the wives of the legislators gathered for a short coffee get-together. We enjoyed being a part of the group; it was nice to socialize as we sampled, at will, the juices and the delicious, hot, sweet roles. Clella and I often went to the quality large and small stores in the Phoenix area, mostly just window shopping. Back then, I believed that I’d come to this life especially born to window shop.
Phoenix City College sponsored weekly book and musical reviews with the authors as speakers, or professional performers. I remember vividly the one given on the new musical “The Sound of Music.” The performer read excerpts of the words of its musical selections, as they were played beautifully by the pianist or organist. Intermittently, the guest paused to discuss and explain the important aspects, giving us a wealth of background about the popular production. All the reviews we attended were wonderful.
I attended musicals presented at theaters in-the-round. Darvil and I, invited as special guests, my mother’s two favorite cousins, Belva and Jesse, daughters of her mother’s half-sister, Aunt Ella Birdno, who had lived in Safford. We saw the wonderful musical “Oklahoma.” Generously, on two other occasions, Belva had been host to us, taking us to eat at nice restaurants. Jesse lived in Roosevelt, Colorado but often visited her sister in Phoenix.
In the course of Darvil’s duties as Senator, we were together at many exceptional functions throughout the greater Phoenix area. He was often obligated to travel and stay overnight for special meetings and functions. With him on these occasions, we stayed at the finest hotels that lavished generous amenities upon us. Frequently, in concert with the functions, we sat as special guests at sumptuous banquets. Among other cities in Arizona, the following come to memory that we visited: Prescott, Kingman, Flagstaff, Tucson, Douglas and Yuma.
I always went with him on the out-of-state assignments which lasted several days. The first time I ever flew, we stayed in a beautiful hotel at Waikiki Beach of Honolulu, Oahu, Hawaii. Darvil was invited to take special part at the yearly National Conference of State Legislators. Linda’s (Mac’s wife) mother and aunt, Dora and Ann, chose an exquisite, fresh orchid from Lloyd’s orchid house and fashioned a beautiful corsage for me for the flight over—a lovely work of art. I kept right on wearing it the entire trip. I treasure their precious thoughtfulness. Except for the time-period just after the takeoff and before the landing, we hardly saw the ocean because of the cloud cover. But, the billowing fluff of the intensely white cloud carpet passing below us held me fascinated for hours.
We visited Kansas City, Missouri, where Darvil represented Arizona in the National Education Conference. We stayed in the famous, aged, magnificent Hotel Mulbauch. I still have a pair of shoes with which I treated myself during the visit. I call them my golden, Kansas City shoes. We also spent time in the notorious “Windy City” of Chicago. It lived up to its name; a freezing, winter gale never ceased whipping through the tall buildings of the metropolis. We spent four days in luxury at the well known Hotel Sherman. In Boulder, Colorado, I was with him too. I basked in the accommodations of superior comfort of an elegant hotel. He visited the city as the Vice-chairman of the Senate’s Education Committee attending a special meeting.
The jet flights, the sumptuous living in luxurious hotels, the nice meals, elegant banquets with entertainment, the constant special attentions and the interesting people spoiled me during the eight years as The Senator’s Wife. I devoured all of those extraordinary experiences as though they were delicious deserts. A fairytale life—for a wife—just my kind of life.
Commemoration of the Arrival of the Mormon Battalion and Dedication of the Statue, December 12, 1996, Thursday morning, we drove to David and Linda’s (Mac) home in Corona, California. (Mac is our oldest son.) From there Mac drove us to our daughter’s home in Chandler, Arizona, where Sally Jo and Hersch Butterfield lived, from the time of their marriage in 1982 until 1996. The trip was for a two-fold purpose: to attend Sally’s and Hersch’s annual family Christmas party and to be present at the commemoration of the arrival of the Mormon Battalion at the old Tucson Presidio (Mexican fortified garrison). Our prophet, President Gordon B. Hinkley, presided over the program, surrounded by a thousand descendants of the three men honored by the statue. He dedicated the imposing, 17-foot-high bronze statue immortalizing the raising of the American Flag in the Territory of Arizona for the first time. Christopher Layton—1821-1898—the most prominent figure of the exquisite statue, held the flag in position of planting it. He is my Great-grandfather—my Dad’s grandfather. The other figures depicted Teodoro Ramirez, a merchant-rancher, scholar, teacher and peacemaker, who befriended the army. The third was Company Captain, Jefferson Hunt, the great-grandfather of Linda’s best friend, Camile Jennings. Local and State dignitaries spoke, and the Great-great-grandson of Teodoro Ramirez. His namesake, Teodoro Ramirez, sang “Presidio” accompanying himself on the guitar. The number had been composed and written by him. At the gathering, we ran into a number of old acquaintances who were cousins.
During the Christmas party, Sally’s four married children gathered with their multitude of kids (our great-grandchildren). I quieted the crowd so I could be heard regarding a special subject. I pointed out the little, wicker rocking chair that we had given to Sally a few years back. Somewhat larger than the usual child’s chair, it was a present to me from my Grandmother Nonie and Grandfather Andrew Kimball. (I was between two and three years old then, about 1914 or 15, some two decades before the birth of our first child.) That long ago Christmas morning, I saw the front door open and my big brothers, Dee and Virgil, brought it in, one of them was carrying it upside down over his head protecting himself from the raining outside.
I held the chair up so all my great-grandchildren could see it. I told them it was much more beautiful way back then than now, it being more than 82 years old. (I was 85 at this time.) I told them how I’d loved it. Not only did I rock my self in it, I rocked my doll, my cats, and even old Brownie (the family Pomeranian pet)—when he’d let me. Believe it or not, I rocked our own kids in it until it began to get narrower and finally became too small for me. My three children used it through their childhood and teenage years—Darvil probably tried to use it too. Many of the children present were pleased to hear the history of the little old rocker. A little repair work on its frayed wicker and their children too, may yet rock more of its life away: I hope so.
While I had the stage, I showed them the beautiful oak highchair bought for me as a baby. The tray, long since gone, and the length of the legs reduced by Darvil’s saw to make it more practical in the kitchen and for children growing taller, it is still a highchair. At least it’s a higher chair. The memory of it in our family is a special pleasantry for me.
I brought out the beautiful punch bowl Sally was using that very night. It belonged to Nonie and had been used some-odd-thousands of times. Used extensively for the innumerable special socials and weddings in her home and elsewhere. It had been used for the St. Joseph Stake conferences when Grampa Andrew Kimball served as president. How many Church Presidents and Apostles had been served from it during those bygone days is not recorded. (At least four, and maybe five Prophets of the Church had stayed in her home.) It was in a day when the Valley was virtually without hotels, motels and restaurants; when the stake president’s wife took full responsibility for the dignitary’s lodging and many meals. Nonnie, a wonderful cook, often held evening affairs at her home for many of the stake’s leadership to enjoy the company of the general authorities after the business of stake conference had come to an end.
Also, on Sally’s dinner table during this delightful evening sat another family heirloom, the tall cake plate with the goblet-stand rising about ten inches from the table top, much higher than they’re made today. It was a gift from President Andrew Kimball and his wife Olive, to Darvil’s mother and father on their wedding day. This happened long before Olive died and Andrew Kimball had married my Grandmother Nonnie.
Christopher Layton, my great-grandfather was sent by Brigham young to the Gila valley as the first stake president. Dying, the First Presidency of the Church replaced him, sending Andrew Chase Kimball (father of Spencer W. Kimball) whose wife died leaving him in dire straits with 6 children at home. His wife, Olive Wooley, before she died told him that she thought he should court Josie (Nonnie) Cluff, for she sensed she could be a good mother to her children. President Andrew Kimball had sent Nonnie on a mission to Missouri and she had only been home a short time before Olive died. Eight months after Olive’s death, he married my Grandmother Nonnie. (See the complete history of Josephine Cluff (Josie to friends and Nonnie to her grandchildren).
Darvil Burns McBride
From the McBride Family Newsletter, issue #5, July 15, 1994.
(Creator and editor: Saundra ? Porter Schnepf)
Hi there dear family and loved ones. We have only one thing to report worth boasting about since our last epistle, and that’s our fabulous trip to Ireland and London, where we were guests of Sherri and Ron Barrows, living in Cork, Ireland. (Sherri is the second child of Jon and De Nell McBride. Jon is our second child.) Why, they should treat us as royalty we don’t know, but they did—the best and most of everything. Their two little boys, two and three years old, must have been prompted for weeks on how to treat old and decrepit people.
Ron and Sherri have been assigned to the city of Cork by his company for the past three years, and are very knowledgeable about the country and its people, which proved to be a great help in our guided tours (great guides they were), of the island country. For five days we took advantage of this good fortune as we quartered with them enjoying their special hospitality, plus their willingness to show us things of interest. The morning after our arrival in Cork we were pleased to attend Church services with them where Ron is the first counselor to the branch president and Sherri copes with double duty between being Primary President and running the branch nursery. Though the city of Cork boasts a population of some 800,000, the one L. D. S. branch is the only one in the entire area.
The trip would not have been possible without Jon and DeNell along as our mentors and guides. They had visited Sherri and family twice before.
Ireland is strewn with medieval castles, most of which are in ruin. We visited four that had been restored and refurbished, prepared for tourists. They are really something to see, much larger and more massive than we had supposed. All have fabulous, intriguing stories. We wished space permitted that we could give more detail. But we heard the stories, climbed their never-ending stairs, shivered in their harsh, cold rooms of solid stone, kissed the Blarney Stone and banqueted in the great banquet hall of Bunratty Castle: one and a half hours of life as it was lived in the early part of the 16th century.
Here our son Jon became the hero of the party. Without warning he was accused of trifling with some of the ladies of the castle. The Earl demanded that this scoundrel be thrown into the dungeon: a small barred passage visible to all. Later Jon said to Sherri, “I wonder dear daughter, where they could have gotten my name and seating place.”
Well, the McBride name disgraced, Jon was dragged off to the dungeon screaming Mercy! Mercy! Mercy! at the top of his voice, claiming that he was just fooling around. But Jon’s triumph came when the Lord of the castle relented by lowering the sentence to singing one verse of a song of his choice. Well, Jon had sung for his life before. With tears of joy and cheers from the British crowd, our hero launched into a very loud rendition of “On The Road to Mandalay.”
As the applause died down, Jon took a step toward the Earl and said, “Oh thank you dear Lord for sparing my life. I could kiss you for that.” In response for that the Earl dived for cover under the table. And now, after our rendition of Jon’s performance, this is the statement last of all which we give of him: he really put on a show!
Ireland is a beautiful and ancient country. Water is no problem. It rains a little every day, accounting for the beautiful green fields and hills with their stone and brush hedgerows. These hedgerows are from the stone cleared from the fields centuries ago.
We visited the only Waterford Crystal factory in the world. Glass making is an ancient art, and here everything is done by hand. To watch the many blowers, handlers, and artists work their miracles, was two hours of fascination, everything done with care and precision. It is hard to believe that such exquisite pieces of utility and ornament could come from 75% percent common sand plus a little potash.
Ireland was a delight, but London, though fabulous, was a worry: so difficult to get around and see all one wanted to see. But by auto, bus, train, hook-and-crook we managed. The star of our visit there was Stonehenge.
We quote from a letter written by Jon that he prepared for his family: “It was awesome because of its age, begun in 3,000 BC. Henge means ditch. It was originally a six foot deep ditch with a six foot embankment on the inside. Stones did not appear until 1,000 years later, hauled 150 miles, probably by barge. The really big stones arrived 1,000 years later from only 36 miles away, but requiring 600 people six months to haul each one. This really massive job was done by the Beaker People. The Druids arrived another 1,000 years later, (AD 0), after Stonehenge was already a ruin.”
Much, much more could be said about this little-understood monument. Whether it represents religion, science, or a fortress of protection is still unknown. Now that it is being preserved, maybe future generations will succeed in unraveling its many riddles
After two weeks of travel in foreign lands, one consuming fact is impressed on the mind: how good it is to be back home. In fact we barely made it. We love you all, Jo and Darvil.