Her Life

"My Book" Autobiography; Written in 2005 & 2011: Chapter 1

I have long considered writing a book, so beings I will be 73 in a few more weeks and to every thing a season now is the time for me to start this long tale of my life as I remember the events as they happened or as my brain remembers them occurring, whichever it may be.

I am waiting as usual for spring to come, it seems it has been a long winter and I love the outdoors and the warm days to just sit and watch the creek. We live by  Slate Creek which gently flows to the river nearby, beings we live at the mouth of the creek we have a river nearby that it spills into. A beautiful river which has  fishermen lining its banks for many miles in the spring and again in the fall hoping to catch a steel head or a trout on their long lines.

As a child I have spent many hours fishing so I know that wonderful time a person can have as they spend their time hanging on to a line and balancing on a rock and moving that hook around just right so that fish will soon grab on and the thrill of landing it out of the water as to not losing it back into the water.

My life started not far from here, my folks lived on the mountain near here, during the 1930’s life was poor here for money but rich in  many other ways.  My parents, a young couple married in 1929.  I was born in Lewiston, Idaho Feb. 4, 1932  the first child and only daughter of Babe and Grace Maynard. My mother traveled to Lewiston to stay with her family before I was born, she was in St. Joseph Hospital waiting for me to be born, all was well until I decided to get out of there and no Dr. on hand so the Catholic nurses held towels up so I could not enter the world till the Dr. arrived, of course by the time he did get there my Mothers body had stopped all contractions and I was black but alive, I was a small child, but healthy, I have since wondered if my delayed birth is why I never like to be late for anything! While we were in the hospital awaiting my birth my Father was making his way across  the Grangeville prairie in a snowstorm behind a snow plow which was clearing the roadway, but wind blowing so much the snow was a foot deep for my Dad’s truck to  pass through. With 4 feet of snow in the area there was a lot of snow to blow. After my birth we traveled back to Salmon River to our house on the Mountain. 

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 2

My father found many ways to get his family taken care of, he made wood to sell, deer season was a time for hunting and he worked in a remote area for the US Forest Service on a lookout, Called Black Butte Lookout. It was a long way out from other lookouts, it overlooked the Big Salmon River area and was able to see to the north area  being  able to patrol the  whole area for forest fires.

Now that job has been removed  and done by airplanes touring over the land for fires, especially after a thunderstorm.

My father told of the times the storms would rage over the mountains and lightning coming in so close to the lookout that the high cabin on the lookout in the sky, would entirely light up. The cabins were equipped with lightning rods anchored to the ground so being in the cabin during a storm was the safest place to be, but sounds a little frightening to me. 

The people on the nearby lookouts would call each other  reporting  any fires they saw  by using  telephones  they would ring up a call with a hand  crank to fellow  workers on another mountain to report any fires they could see from their advantage point

During the quiet times, between storms,  it was a lonely place, chipmunks  coming to visit on the nearby huge boulders near the lookout would come to feed on scraps of bread that was put out by my father, these little animals would become pets of his and he enjoyed them very much. 

A packer carrying strawberries up the mountain could sell one strawberry for a $1.00  and as he made his way from one lookout to another which was miles apart he would sell all he had.

My Uncle Jack  also worked on a Lookout called Sawyers Ridge Lookout,  which has now been removed from the forest and our neighbors use it for an artist cabin to do her art projects in, it is now again on a mountain but visible from Highway 95 in Central Idaho at Slate Creek.

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 3

While my father worked on the lookouts in the summer months I and my mother lived on the mountain, which was nearer to my Grandparents but still several miles away from anyone.  Mom’s brothers were young men and they would stay with us as the times were bad in the country during the depression years.

Once we came home from a shopping time in a village, miles away it seemed, when we had to travel either by horse or an old car, possibly a Model T Ford. We have a picture of this old pickup but not sure if it is a Ford or a Chevy.

As we came in the door of our house we heard the awful grunting sound of an animal. It was bumping into something behind a closed door in our kitchen. I can remember being kind of scared as to what that sound could possibly be. My mother always kept our house so very  clean, so when we finally got the kitchen door open, we found the old sow pig had pushed open the back door got into our kitchen and had pushed the door shut  made a real stinky mess in my mom’s kitchen, she had stinky pig poop all over the room plus all the mess she made scattering our things.

Our place was in the timber and cougars lived back in the woods. We would hear cougars screaming in the night and their screams echoing across the mountain was a scary thing to listen to. In later years the howl of my Siamese cat would send shivers up my back, finally decided that long ago memory of cougar screams in the night could be what I was  reminded of.

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 4

My family moved off the mountain when I was  close to 6 years old so I could go to school near the school which was  less than a  quarter mile from where I live now. My father built a little house sided with shingles, it had a tree in the front yard and I remember especially spending many hours up in that tree watching the birds. Rattlesnakes were living here too so I’m wondering if I thought it was more safe there high in the tree. I remember running down the path to the outdoor toilet and laying in the path was a long rattlesnake, I was running so fast I could not stop so I jumped as high as I could and leapt over the snake.

I always had a cat and a dog. The Poe family had 2 boys I could play with, but the yard between  our homes seemed so  large that I was always glad to get back home.

I was four and a half when my brother Glenn was born. My Mother had traveled to Grangeville with her brother Gene, beings my Father was on the lookout and not home in August of that year of 1936. She was going to look into a nursing home where she could come to for the birthing, it was a very hot summer and that day was hot as she was inquiring about the nursing home, they asked her if she would feel better with a warm bath,  she agreed she might, as she went to step into the tub her first contraction started and in 5 minutes my big 10 lb. brother arrived. Glenn was born August 28, 1936. My Father was busy during fire season on the lookout and didn’t see  our new baby until late October.

Although he was 10 lbs. at birth, it seemed a long time to me before he was big enough to play with. One of my memories of this time was a new puppy that awoke both of us in the night. My dad had come in the night and brought us a new black puppy, of course we were really excited about this new puppy.

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 5

When it snows here on Christmas Eve it  makes me remember the day my second brother Jim was born. After having my first brother born in 5 minutes time in a Grangeville nursing home on a hot August day in 1936 my  Mother chose to stay home with the birth  of Jim. My father was working for the  Idaho State  road Department at this time so he was home  December 24, 1939  on Jim’s birthday. It snowed 6 inches in Slate Creek and in Cottonwood where Dr. Orr had to drive from, it was really deep, so the Dr. was late and my brother was born a few hours before the Dr. arrived.

My Grandmother, who had 11 children of her own, was so nervous she threw the  babies clothes Jim was to wear in the heating stove because they never found them ever. Waiting for the Dr. to come was ok for my mother and baby brother because  they were fine.

Now on Christmas eve, when it snows I always remember walking with my oldest brother and my Grandpa across the Slate Creek Bridge to Grandpa’s house because a new little baby was being born in our house that  very night.

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 6

I just received word this AM that my sister in-law is in the hospital with pneumonia and a blood clot in her lung, receiving medicine by a breathing machine and a shot for the blood clot, hopefully she will recover soon. Is hard to be so sick, but modern medicine is a wonderful thing for so many illnesses to be cured.  

Just received word from my cousin’s daughter that my cousin, Eldonna, passed away 10 days ago from cancer. I had been wondering about her beings she had not replied to a letter I sent her in August about the death of my aunt on my fathers side passing away, making that generation all gone and on my mothers side  they are all gone also, so leaving only the cousins left and we would be next, leaving only four of the girls and my 2 brothers and 2 other brothers left  of my mothers immediate family.

Brings to mind just how old I really am, but just a reminder to anyone reading this, we only know we are old in body but our minds still stay young and we are as we were when we were young, with more wisdom and a little more caution, but feelings of love for others, thankful for families and friends, appreciate each day more, and oh so thankful when we are well. 

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 7

Now back to the past.

My brothers were a big part of my life when we were young. I was four and a half years older than my 1st brother and eight years older than my 2nd brother. 

They were such handsome little boys, my first brother was born bald but as he grew his hair came in like cotton but soon started to color to blonde and it was such pretty hair with curls , as he grew it went from white to dark brown with the most beautiful shades in between. My second brother was a gentle wonderful little boy, with a smile so wonderful you could not help but love him dearly.

During this time I started to school in Slate Creek. My teacher was Roberta Roby, her first teaching job and I thought she was wonderful, I was left handed and she allowed me to write with my left hand which was probably good because my parents had tried to get me to use silverware with my right hand, but it just didn’t work, even to this day I can only write left handed and eat left handed. Other things I do I can use the right hand better than the left. 

The Slate Creek school was closed in 1940 and a few years later the US Forest Service bought the property and a nearby field of alfalfa and put a Forest Service Compound on it. The school was located near where they put  a sewage treatment plant for the compound. 

I got the measles when we lived in this little shingle  sided house and I still remember the long days laying in the dark, the window covered to protect my eyes, must have been a long time for me to remember it so well.

One of our neighbors' children had fell into a tub of hot water ,they lived near the state shed where the state stored their equipment. They used brown cigarette papers to cover where her skin was burned. She recovered.

My cousins were in my school at this time, Betty Jean and Norma Lea. The only time we have lived close together, so as families move apart we do not get to grow up together. Betty Jean died last year and Norma Lea lives in Arizona, she visited me last summer on her way to Lewiston to see her sister, Arlene.

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 8

My Father had finished his work on the Highway 95 that was being built toward Riggins. They were ready to pave it so he was to go further down the river and build that part of the highway from White Bird to Graves Creek.  To this day  it is still unfinished, with 6 miles of rock needing to be removed.

So we moved from our little shingle sided home to farther down the river near Graves Creek in the summer of 1940. We lived in a tent, we had a board floor in the tent with about 3 ft of boards up the sides. We could look out and see the river flowing by on down the canyon of Salmon River.

This was a lovely time for us as we were camped alongside of the unfinished highway  and beside the Salmon River.

We didn’t have any neighbors except a houseboat that was anchored a mile or so up the river; our Mother took us to visit the lady one day and of course being on a houseboat was another world to me.  The slap of the water on the sides of the houseboat and the gentle rocking motion was wonderful.

My Mother and the houseboat lady talked of triplets being born to a lady that lived above the river and on a hill not too far away from us. At 8 years old hearing of a lady having 3 babies at one time was a real event for me to remember for all these years. As life would have it I was privileged to have talked with the houseboat lady some 45 years later, we visited about those 3 babies born that year and about the day we visited her on her houseboat., when we all lived on or near the Salmon River in 1940.

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 9

My fathers work was done on the highway because he ran into either 3 or 6 miles of solid rock and the state decided to abandon the highway project and eventually they put in a new highway over Whitebird hill that was a straight road on the west side of the old curvy switchbacks that was used until about 1975, some 35 years later.  

The curvy old highway used to make me car sick whenever we went to Grangeville, which wasn’t to often, besides getting car sick I always had to use a bathroom and before we could find a bathroom I would always wet my underpants, so my mother used to say she wondered if I just wanted new underpants or I just couldn’t wait, knowing myself all these years later I would guess all that cold weather on the prairie would be bound to cause me not to wait. 

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 10

A new bridge near and over White Bird had to be built for traffic and when we moved back to Slate Creek in 1975 we were so glad to cross that bridge after bringing our worldly possessions on a big flat bed trailer all the way from Kamiah September 3, 1975. The straight highway was a relief but believe me a heavy load gets mighty hot on the brakes before you get to that bridge, many a big truck driver will attest to that.

As I breathe a sigh of relief to that memory I will tell you of moving to Kamiah in the year of my 3rd year of school. My memories of 3rd grade are only a few, it was here that I was devastated to be told by classmates that there wasn’t any Santa Claus, I remember crying myself to sleep that  night. 

My classmates also told me I couldn’t write very well because I was left handed and that I couldn’t sing, so after all that good news which was all true I was glad to move to the 4th grade to another rural school,  at Redrock.

Before moving to Redrock we spent the summer in Kamiah. I went to the Presbyterian church school bible class, that was a new experience for me and still  remember the time I was to say part of a prayer out loud,  I lived through it, just a first time of so many things to learn about speaking out.

Kamiah was the first place I could go swimming. Dr. Bryan had built a swimming pool for the city children so we wouldn’t take to the river to swim. It was a good place, with a lifeguard and just the right amount of kids of all sizes and the pool was built for all sizes too.

They had a metal barrel with a wooden head and  a tail floating in the pool.  The bad thing about it , a person had to be careful not to break your teeth on the side of the hard metal. Since I had already broken my front tooth, I was extra careful not to damage them anymore. 

When we first arrived in Kamiah we lived in a small cabin near Olive Auto Parts,I was playing in a tree with a neighbor boy. We were dropping rocks into a can below us. His little brother came and got in our way to drop the rock and he wouldn’t move. 

Finally he picked up a rock and threw the rock up into the tree and right into my mouth. Broke one of my front teeth off in a v shape and loosened the other front tooth. I spent many a time at the dentist getting them treated. I had to keep that v shaped tooth until it was fully grown out before they would put a cap on it. The other front tooth has always stayed a little darker. 

The first money I made when I went to work in my beauty shop in 1951 I used to get my tooth capped.The same Dentist, Dr. Fike, that had treated it before put a gold cap on it. I never cared for the gold but at least it was straight. The gold cap cost me $10.00 As the years went by I had a porcelain bonding cap on it, which has  done very well. It cost $100.00.

The lesson learned that long ago time is always be careful of your teeth not to get them broken. At least nowadays dentists can fix them much better.

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 11

Hanging from the rafters of the woodshed roof  when we arrived. The woodshed  was attached to the Redrock schoolhouse and by going through the  back door of the school we could enter the woodshed. The winters were cold there and we spent our recesses playing on the rafters. I do not remember this so must have been not too exciting after my tree climbing days in Slate Creek. The rural schools were all built the same so my 3rd grade school was like my 1st and 2nd grade school in Slate Creek. My only memories of those first and second grade  years was I always had to pee so often and one day the teacher decided I could wait and beings I was up at the big blackboard in front of the class  and I could not wait and memories of all that warm liquid running down my long socks and splashing over my shoes onto the floor, even though I had scooted over near a book case on the edge of the room still didn’t hide the big puddle I had left. I never remember another time when I couldn’t leave the school room for the outside toilet we all had to use, along with a cold bucket of water we all shared using a big dipper for a drink and memories of the barrel stove that heated the room. 

At Christmas Slate Creek school had a big Red Bell of tissue paper made like bees make their place for honey. I still see that beautiful Christmas Bell turning up there high in the room. Turning because of the draft from the heat of that big stove, which was the teachers job to build the fire and bring in the bucket of water each morning. Members of the community brought the wood so we would have heat.

The Redrock school had red and green streamers all twisted around and I remember watching them moving in the  ceiling of that school. I was a good student so I must have done more studying than looking at the ceiling. At the Redrock school I had to walk about a half mile or so to school and on that country road the neighbors cows grazed in the ditches and to this day I am leery of walking past a cow no matter where it is.

The house we lived in smelled like bees. One day I came home from school and my oldest brother was so excited because that day my father had tore away the siding on the house and found a bee hive of honey in the wall. To  this day the smell of bee hives reminds me of that house we lived in. At night I would smell bees, probably because our bedroom was just inside that wall where they found all the honey. We lived here because my father worked for the county at a rock crusher with his Cletrac he had bought so he could be self-employed.

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 12

When this job was done we moved to Kamiah and I went to the 5th grade in Kamiah school. We lived in an apartment off main street and the movie theater was a block away, we had never lived near a movie theater before and many an evening found us at the movies. At this time we had a terrible sickness, not sure now what it was but my mother was so sick with an ear infection . She was too sick to care for us, my folks hired a lady to care for us, she must have wore a girdle because her little round bottom was like a balloon all tied up in a little bundle. I was so sick I was delirious and awoke one night on my dad’s lap, wondering how I got there.

When we lived here our chimney  burned out and of course here came the city fire truck to put out the fire, always a scary thing for children. Sirens screaming in the night. In the front of the apartment was a large empty room that used to be a store, once in a while we would get to look into this big empty room which always amazed me.

The first year we lived in Kamiah my brother Jim had whooping cough when he was only 6 months old. We lived in an upstairs apartment and my job was to see that Glenn my oldest brother wouldn’t fall out the upstairs window when he coughed while my mother kept Jim from choking on phlegm since he was so small. I was lucky and only whooped once, but not so lucky when I had a heat stroke from fishing with my Dad at Old Man Creek on the Lochsa River. We fished all day and I did not have a hat. I remember being so hot and shivering away wrapped in blankets.  I never could stand very much heat from the sun since that time.

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 13

March 22, 2011
As you see it has been 6 years since I stopped all this tale; so now I’m ready to hopefully finish up my lifetime story at least to a point anyway.

I have been busy with a few things like a few hospital visits and now I take a handful of pills and just plain living. I have been busy with everyday stuff such as dishes, cooking, cleaning, a trip to Hawaii, New York and a trip to Washington DC. 

So back to my story to about 1943. My family went to Keuterville so my Dad could build a road down to the Salmon River.  This road  made it possible for an  Enneking family to drive their cows down to the Salmon River for winter pasture and get a vehicle down to the river.

The school we went to was a rural school just like the one in Slate Creek that I went to in my first two grades. My brother Glenn was ready for 1st grade, we had to walk across a big field along a fence, other school mates walked with us at times and especially in winter when the snow was deep my brother was to short to walk through that much snow so one of the Benching boys would put Glenn on his shoulders and carry him across all that snow.  I remember playing Fox and Geese where we chased each other in a tunnel of snow to try and catch  or touch one not knowing where we were because the snow was so high we could not see over it.

We lived in a trailer and my Dad built a room onto it for our kitchen, all this was situated behind a huge horse barn that was used years before for horses on the Mager ranch. We had 3 banty chickens, 2 hens and 1 rooster, Dad made little chicken coops for them, they laid eggs  out in the bushes and our job was to know where they laid or set so of course we spent much time watching where they went each day so we could find them when we moved.

My Mother had a Westinghouse  Electric Roaster which she baked in and all that delicious bread and  rolls she made is a wonderful memory. I played with paper dolls in the trailer section where we slept by making an area where a table could be  made  into a bed for us kids.

On  our days that we went to shop in Cottonwood we could go to a restaurant and I still remember soup with round crackers was a really nice treat for a cold winter day. When it was time to move we had to find all our chickens and by then we had 30 chickens so our chicken crop had flourished, Dad had to make a bigger crate to move them.

Our school had all 8 grades in it. Our one teacher was busy  with only 1 or 2 children in each class. Mrs. Mader was our teacher, she was a mother to 2 of our students. This was a fun time for us. My brother Jim was only about 3 or 4 when we lived at Keuterville.

When we moved to Kamiah again we lived in a house in town which was owned by a man named Root so we called it the Root house.  My brother Glenn remembers he had pneumonia while we lived in that house, I had rheumatic fever, and our Mother was in bed about 3 months waiting for our baby brother Lyle to be born Nov.18, 1944. 

After I had rheumatic fever I had to wear long socks to keep my knees warm, Mom got me some socks with speckles on them and I thought I looked like I had turkey legs of course at 14 who wants speckled socks.

My brother Glenn also could not resist the box of fireworks and accidentally touched a match to one in the box and our bathroom was a fireworks show with noise effects and smoke for a little while.

Lyle was born healthy and a joy for all of us, Mom recovered and that was good  for all of us too.

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 14

One of the years we lived in Kamiah our Dad bulldozed many new logging roads in the Lolo Creek area. We had a tent that we lived in and huckleberry picking was our favorite afternoon pass time. At that time Jim, our little brother, would sit in a apple box and pick his own berries off a bush we picked for him, when he was done he’d call out for another “eatin bush.” That evening we would have huckleberry shortcake, which was the very best.

The very first night we got to where we were going to camp our Mother went to get a bucket of water from the nearby creek and stepped on a bee nest  the black hornet kind  which stung her so many it was so awful. The bees were so bad that year my Dad carried a bee spray on his bulldozer which was good because years later he was stung, he was allergic and barely made it to Doctors office  before his throat swelled shut.

1948 we moved down by the Clearwater River. My parents bought this place and enjoyed making a garden. Mom had the most beautiful rose and flower garden and flowering trees. 

About this time I was in Camp Fire girls and every year we would go on a camping trip. The first one to Headquarters. This was a fun trip for about 14 young girls. The week we were there we had a thunderstorm that soaked our tent just after we had our plate of fudge all done.  I remember Joyce was more worried about the fudge getting wet so she carried it around looking for a dry place while all the rest of us grabbed clothes and anything that was out of the tent , even the tent needed held down. 

Another day brought officials from Headquarters to see us about their town water supply not running. They found in their reservoir a pipe that had been stuffed with a piece of clothing. Some of the girls had went for a walk and found this large pond that they swam in but also found a pipe draining all that good water out at the bottom.  Like good campers they plugged that pipe so all that good water didn’t drain out.  No more swimming in that nice place. It was Headquarters water supply. 

Our 2nd year we went to Rocky Ridge Lake which seemed like a 2 hour drive from Kamiah with all 14 of us in back of my Dad’s pickup. It had sideboards on it we stood in the back all the way. This lake is very deep with an old raft that just begs for someone to ride it but not many takers except one day Nola Heath got on it all alone and sailed away. We were not sure the raft would stay together but all was well and she made it.

Glen tells me his family was at Rocky Ridge lake and of course the raft was still floating.  They used it to tease the Fish and Game people by hurrying across the lake  on the raft and hurrying up into the bushes as if they had to many fish, but after a search no fish were found and all was well again as for that old rickety raft I am thinking it’s probably still  floating there.

The 3rd year we went to  Red River Hot Springs. Again we went in my folks pickup and a long dusty ride it was. We all got so sunburned it must have took us the rest of the summer to get our dry hair and skin back to normal. Most of us were Juniors in High School by then and our leaders Mrs. Young and Mrs. Jackson both mothers of our classmates had decided that was enough years for us. We  had completed all but one  year to finish the Camp Fire Program but our interest was getting crowded with Senior Class  activities. We were so glad we had these weeks to camp in our beautiful Idaho.

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 15

All these years later Glen tells me his family went to a rural school at  Hope Well which was just three miles from Redrock School where I  was with 5 girls and Glen was with 6 boys. These schools all close to Winona.

Glen’s family lived near Winona and attended several schools  in that area.  They moved to Tammany about 1944. They were cattle ranchers  several years they had a real cattle drive from Tammany up to Forest on to Craigmont and down 7 Mile grade through  Kamiah streets across the Clearwater Bridge up the Glenwood Road to Lolo Creek across the Musselshell and on to  their Weippe place which they bought in1948. They had a cabin at  Rocky Ridge where each year they drove cows  for summer pasture and also was a good place for elk hunting many piles of horns are  proof of their hunts.

Loyd and Rose moved to Alaska in 1954. Glen spent several years working with Don and Doyle in the logging business. Building and operating a sawmill and hauling lumber from the Weippe Place to Orofino.

Glen drove a logging truck for Shmidt Brothers. One evening after dark he was unloading logs and woke up laying on the ground. Evidently as he unhooked a chain  a hammer was  knocked up onto his forehead and he doesn’t know how long he was out but managed to finish getting the truck and logs where they needed to be for the night and get on home.

1956 to 1958  Glen was in the army  stationed in Germany. Glen was a driver of a jeep for an officer in the Army. One time the officer said  “Wilkins you scare me to death.”  Glen and family used to fly down the Lolo canyon on a dirt road in a jeep to the Lolo creek to fish and swim.

I was in high school from 1946 to1950.  I  learned to drive during the summer driving from Glenwood where my parents bought 1200 acres of timber in1948. They put in a sawmill which was built by a carpenter, Carry Hudson. Carry  built cabins for a kitchen and a  dining room,  2 cabins for hired men and a cabin for our family to sleep in  Those buildings are still there.

The  sawmill had a pond for logs.  Jim was rescued out of that pond by a man that worked on the green chain. He laid Jim on the bank of the pond with Jim’s head down  with water running out of him.  Jim slowly recovered and a sigh of relief from everyone. The pond was a good place to raft around and  Glenn and Jim  were trying  it out.

My brothers also were good green bean snappers and at the same time would read comic books propped again the bean pan while they  snapped beans. Mom had a good  green bean crop that year. On weekends at the Kamiah place she would pick beans and during the week at the mill the boys armed with new comic books would read and snap away while Mom was busy cooking for the crew  and for us kids all hungry as growing kids are.  She also canned 120 quarts of green beans  that year.

We have pictures of the field that was cleared for hay ground for future cows Dad was planning on  having after the mill was done. Carry built the mill site  He also made a machine shed.  Dad said he never bought so many nails as he did for Carry to build all these buildings. 

Mr. Hudson made a cabin that he lived in close by my parents for several years in his old age at Kamiah. Carry and my parents enjoyed Lyle very much after all of us were gone and in school. Lyle spent many hours entertaining them. One morning Lyle set an empty  can of syrup on the cook stove and all of a sudden it blew up to the ceiling and of course caused a big bang with syrup splattered on the ceiling.  I’m sure that interrupted their  quiet time visiting and enjoying the mornings with coffee and a smoke.

Lyle liked to wear a man’s hat and men gloves.  I remember him always ready for work with a floppy hat and big gloves and Lad usually right with him all this when he was about 4 or 5 with big brown eyes like our Mom.  Jim was just a little boy too and usually we saw Jim, Lyle,  Glenn and Lad all doing some fun thing together. Lad was a collie dog who was loved very much.

I was in high school by then and as I remember my days there it was a busy study time.  I was on the student council all four years and when I was a senior I was editor of  “The Kubs” our senior annual.  This was  a busy time plus basketball, band, and typing class which took lots of time and a perfect paper was almost impossible for me to type.  I finely got a  B+  but it took lots of my  time.

Kooskia had a open air round pavilion and many Kamiah kids would go there on Saturday night, a band from a Kamiah Davis Family was usually playing there . They were very good and we had good times there.

I was in band and music was always a treat for me to hear. We spent many a day in parades and concerts. Our uniforms were white trousers and maroon jackets with a high tight collar. The white pants were always a pain to keep spotless especially if we had to follow the horses in the parades.

Kooskia was about 7 miles from Kamiah with a gravel road after a new road was built it was  paved but the tragedy of this was several young people went too fast and many were hurt  some paralyzed.

Later the pavilion was tore down and a new highway put in the curve of the  mountain right near where the pavilion was located.This highway is the highway up the Lochsa and on to the Lolo Pass area and Montana. 

When I was a junior in high school my eyes fell on a young man and seems as though my life centered around him from then on. He took me to band concerts and  dances at Kooskia Pavilion , school dances and proms. 

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 16

As time passed it was time for me to graduate. I had always planned to be a nurse but it took 3 years of schooling and I was not ready to spend that much time in school so I opted for 1 year in beauty school. Which I did enjoy and as years went by I was glad I had chosen this for my work. I have met and loved many of the people as I worked on their hair and as I have grown older most all of those ladies are gone now, but the memories are still with me.

I was 19 on Feb. 4, 1951. I had  a few more hours left of beauty school but Eugene had received his draft notice to report for duty in May of 1951. He wanted us to be married before he left for the Army. March of 1951 we were married. He was home for about a month and  his folks and I took him to Lewiston to the airport. He went to California for basic training . In July his parents wanted to go to California for a trip so I and Dorothy, his sister  and Norman and Mable  drove to California and of course we saw Eugene at Fort Roberts near San Luis Obispo.  We also went to see Monterey Bay. Dorothy and I ate too much fresh orange juice and I got hives from it.  Mable also needed a Dr. to check her for heart palpitations.

We discovered California water is not good for shampoos. Dorothy and I had to go to a salon and get the goop  shampooed out of our hair. They use a special shampoo.    

We traveled through Yosemite Park on the way to California and on the way back we traveled the full length of the longest valley that runs north to Sacramento.  We wandered across Oregon  to Walawa and ended up driving up the Rattlesnake Grade to Lewiston and on  to  the  Clearwater River to get us back to Kamiah.  What a beautiful site it was to see Idaho scenery again.

So back to beauty school and I was able to finish enough of my 2000 hours before I took my state board so that I had only a month's worth of hours left to finish  beauty school or 200 hours as I remember.  My only regret was I missed taking a trip to Yellowstone Park with my family because I needed to get those extra hours in at beauty school. Life has its consequences I do believe.

Now it is October 22 ,1951 Miss Appleford had a beauty shop in Kamiah and I decided I could buy it.  I was  in my own shop at the age of 19. 

After basic training  Eugene was off to Korea for 18 months.  He  was a cook for officers on a train that run north and south to the North Korea border. They had to worry about the tunnels being bombed as the train went through. He got hepatitis and was in a Tokyo Hospital for 6 months before being discharged. This was 1953 and the war was over soon after.

Eugene went to work for Sig Grove construction and I was still in my shop.

In 1956 my Mother was very ill with stomach cancer and our world changed as we had known it.  She was so very sick and October 10,1956  she died at the age of 46.  What a tragedy it was for all of us, especially my brothers Lyle and Jim were only 12 and 16. and Glenn was 20.  All of us were devastated by this cruel disease that took the  life of our Mother.

My brother Glenn married Donna Evans in the Summer of 1957.  After graduation my brother Jim joined the Army and the next year my brother Lyle also joined the Army.  They were both stationed on the east coast. They both missed going to Vietnam by just a few days.  

In 1958 I moved my shop to a trailer  on a  lot out near the Kamiah Cemetery.  We built  a 2 room beauty shop off the trailer. This gave me more room.  This worked out fine and more hair was done.

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 17

On May 22, 1962 my life changed again.  Eugene was working on a diesel tank for his new pickup. The tank exploded and burned his legs and 65% of his body, he lived for 6 weeks. Died of infections July 8, 1962  in Spokane, Washington.

After his funeral I was very tired after 6 weeks of hospital watching over his condition.  I stayed at my Dad’s house for a month to rest up and regain a sense of what to do next.  Of course an estate needs to be taken care of and finally I went back to my work.  

In the fall of 1962 the Worlds Fair was in Seattle so  three of my customers  were going on their usually  taken trip of the year and asked me to go with them which was a treat for me and it helped me know life goes on.

I needed to take a new motorcycle of Eugene’s back to Lewiston.  I asked Glen Wilkins to take Eugene’s pickup and haul the motorcycle to Lewiston for me, which he did.

Glen was Eugene’s double cousin they had worked together on the same construction job camped together and rode motorcycles all over the hills . Glen had just returned from Army duty in Germany in1958 and was working with Eugene. The Lolo camp ground where they camped and worked was a good place to jump Harleys over big cedar trees. 

I had a Chrysler car that I owed a Thousand on and the dealer told me it was worth that much. He suggested I could just trade it back to them.  Which was a good idea to me because I was still settling Eugene’s estate and didn’t at that time know the outcome of all that money wise. When my neighbor saw the dealer come to get the car he came to see me and I told him what was going on and he said “that's the way the cookie crumbles.”

I didn’t live far from town but figured I could manage somehow for groceries  and I could always walk. 

I did get the estate settled and  everything squared up and I was left with my trailer to pay for and almost had the lot paid for.  Of course I must mention Sandy my Chihuahua dog was my shadow. 

In September Doyle and Lennis wanted to go to the fair in Seattle and asked if I wanted to go as a guide. I didn’t think I was  a good guide but decided to go along because it was a beautiful fair with all new buildings and water fountains and the Space Needle.

Glen went with us and it was a fun trip.  I got to see the boat docks where they lower the water and let the ships in from the sea and of course the zoo was great.

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 18

It wasn’t too long before Glen was coming  to see me.  Several motorcycle rides made life more fun.  By November he slipped an engagement ring on my finger.  We were married at Norris and Joyce’s home with immediate family attending. We drove to Montana’s  Flathead Lake.  The roads were icy  around the Whitehorse Dam so we gave up on that and  continued around the lake.  We saw  Whitehorse Dam  years later with our three children and Glacier Park also.

Our first summer was spent near Headquarters in a tent. Glen was driving a gravel truck and I greatly enjoyed a summer off from the beauty shop.

The next summer we spent several weeks camping on the Lochsa River at Post office Creek.  Glen was working for Cummings Trucking Co.  Glen drove a gravel truck removing a big slide which was 400 feet long and 150 feet deep. In the evening he fished in  the  middle  of the river. He didn’t have a net so all those foot or longer fish wouldn’t go in his basket and would plop back into the river.  Now they call it catch and release.

In 1963  Glen and I and Rose and Loyd took a trip to Illinois to bring back a veterinary truck  for Gerald from Peoria Illinois.  We went through the badlands in North Dakota and on to Minnesota to see Rose’s relatives and then on to Springfield, Illinois and Salem where President Lincoln lived and worked.  It was so cold,  like a wind chill that was setting a record for cold so we did not linger to long sight seeing.                                                                                  

I realized Glen’s big shoulders just did not fit trailer doors.  Especially after he said “ if I don’t get lined up just right I hit one side or the other”.

Glen and Doyle were sawing lumber on a small mill for lumber for Doyle’s house. Glen decided he needed lumber for a house too. After working all day for Carney Pole Doyle and Glen would saw lumber and two houses soon appeared.

My Dad moved back from Lewiston and with his bulldozer he dug our basement  May of 1964. I remember this time because it poured rain and our basement was wet as well as the river was at flood stage with water everywhere.

Now was time to pour cement,  2 feet at a time around  28x48  ft.  After drying time he would raise up the boards and pour again. This made a good wall for our basement.  Next all those  cedar boards  were made into walls for the house. Glen had some help from my Dad  and Ray when the roof was put on. My Dad had hurt his arm at the pole yard and to strengthen it he split shacks for our roof.

We sold our trailer  and the money was used for windows, plumbing, wiring and whatever else we needed. We moved in with a paper floor until we put a carpet down soon after.

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 19

When Neal was born we still lived in my beauty shop that we were comfortable in but as soon as the paper floor was down we movedin1965,  by New Years eve Glen was putting on the last blocks for a fireplace chimney.  We celebrated with a fire in the fireplace with a New Years fire 1965.

When Neal was 11 months old he could walk and peek his nose over the window sill to see out. Neal was born August 22, 1964.  We brought him home to a cradle that our siamese cat used while we were gone to bed her newborn kittens in.  That Kitty was given to Grandma Rose and lived for years as Pie Face. Dr. Dunlop said when Neal was first set eyes on “ look at those shoulders.”

The house building went on for some time and on November 12, 1965  Laree was born. Dr. said she was “really tiny but just perfect”.  I  have always thought so myself.  We continued to love our new house but in ten months Laree contracted encephalitis. Our world changed again with dread for what could happen to her. A miracle was done we think in the most unusual way.  God works in mysterious ways and this is our story.  We took Laree to Dr. Cruz for 3 days in a row.  He gave her a new antibiotic everyday.  On the 3 rd day he wanted her in the Orofino hospital. So we had her there by noon and beings I had been up so much for 2 nights I went home to rest. At 5:00 P:M  Glen called me from Carney Pole saying our truck would not start no matter what he did and it  had always started.  Glen wanted me to come to Orofino and pick him up.. He said if it starts he would drive to the hospital.  I was going to go their first to check on Laree and when I got there Glen and the truck was there.  Glen said it started right up when he went back to it from the phone.  Glen took care of Neal while I went into the hospital.

When I got to the floor where she was her room door was shut.  When I went in I looked at her and she had vomit on side of her face and no breathing that I could see. I stepped to the door and no one in the hall or at a desk . I stood there and hollered “is anyone here even the janitor where is everyone, my little girl is dying.”  A lady came out of the next room in a housecoat and quickly said “I am a nurse here.”  I quickly showed her Laree and she hit something on the wall and bells rang everywhere and stat was called out.  People came from everywhere and got oxygen on Laree and very soon Dr. Cruz appeared.  “What happened “he said and he took over and she came out of it.  We had our neighbor lady sit with Laree all night.  Dr. Cruz was with her 2 hours in the night  and the next morning we followed the ambulance to Lewiston.  We saw Laree in Dr. Olson's arms going into lab for a spinal tap.  Encephalitis was diagnosed.  She stayed in the hospital for 10 days and we only  knew she was better when she sat in her crib and rocked herself back and forth just like she usually did at home.

I was told at Orofino that three other children was in cribs in Laree’s room.  They had diarrhea and had cried all afternoon. They got them quieted down and had shut the door to the room.

Dr. Olson said for us to watch her progress for 6 years to see how she was doing. Soon she had to learn to crawl again and she played with Neal and we knew she was doing fine each day.  

She graduated as valedictorian from high school in 1984 and 5 years later given the honors from Idaho University for Most Outstanding Student Award. She was blessed and we  were too.

If Glen’s truck would have started we would not have been in the hospital that evening.  He would have come on home and I would not have went to Orofino.  

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 20

Life went on when.  Laree and  Neal was picking dandelions in the cemetery.  A thin grave stone fell on Laree’s  leg and she had the biggest bone in her leg below the knee broken. It stayed together so Lennis and I got her to the Dr. with her leg on a pillow. She had a cast on her leg at 2 years old.

Glen was working with a post splitter in Headquarters and Neal’s 4th birthday was celebrated on the steps of a cabin we lived in while Glen run the post splitter.  Doyle and Glen made this post splitter and it was a wonder to watch. Post were then loaded and went by train to California and made into picket fence  material.

Glen had his appendix out unexpectedly several weeks after a post pushed into him and about a year later Glen diagnosed Laree when she awoke one morning with a sore tummy and walking bent over as she could not stand straight.  All this when she was 3 years old with appendix operation.

Kevin was born Oct. 1, 1967. My nurse that day said “your husband will have to claim this one because of those dimples the baby has “ and she was right.  Glen also has those dimples.  Kevin was a wonderful little boy. Even when he blew up and tore all his covers off his bed.

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 21

My Dad was still with us until 1967 when his father was sick and needed him at Slate Creek.  Dad had been the best helper for me and Glen.  When the kids were born he stayed with the one left at home until Grandma Rose could come.  Dad put rocks around the front steps and sidewalks and split shacks for the roof plus  digging our basement and played with the kids.  We were  sad to see him leave for Slate Creek.

Glen started a body shop in our basement but not too long he was working with Monty Perry at Olives Auto Parts as a auto repairman.  Then moved to the Helt building as Gem Body Shop with Monty Perry.  The G and M must have been Glen and Monty. 

In 1969 we had Kevin in hospital for pneumonia and then Neal took his turn being in hospital for tonsils out. Neal ate a hamburger after his surgery.   Ear aches and bronchitis was a problem for all of them and chicken pox.

When Kevin was in kindergarten he came down with mononucleosis which shortened his kindergarten year but the next year he insisted  that he already went to kindergarten and we relented and started him in first grade.  He did later graduate from high school as a valedictorian. A few months of kindergarten must have been enough.

Glen made a big swing set in backyard.  Our kids and neighbor kids used it a lot.  Glen also made them a scooter with a motor they drove up and down the driveway.  He also had a pair of stilts for use mostly Neal was brave enough for them.  A fruit room in the basement was used as a play kitchen for many hours and the clothes chute over the stairway  was quietly used for a slide which went on more than I knew about.

One fall day Glen went hunting back to where he lived his first years near Winona and Fort Misery area. When he came home he said he  would like to live out of town.  We had talked to owners of land near Winona but before deciding completely my Grandfather's place was for sale in Slate Creek .  After  Glen saw the creek and the 5 acres he wanted to move there.  That's how it was we came over the hill with all our walnut furniture on a long trailer down the Whitebird hill and was I ever glad to see that high bridge at the bottom of the hill. 

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 22

Telling about walnut furniture reminded me of all 8 Grandfather Clocks  Glen has made and all his furniture he made in his spare time.  He cut the walnut tree for some folks that needed a tree removed from their front yard.  All the lumber from that tree and 12 smaller trees we bought from near Lenore has been used  to make all this furniture.

While we lived in Kamiah  Glen was working in Alaska doing auto body  and painting work.  He worked there for several years and again after we moved to Slate Creek. 

We arrived at Slate Creek on Sept. 3, 1975.  The little house my Grandparents lived in was old. Made from lumber that was in and old store years before when wagons brought freight to the area.  We knew we needed to build a new  house. 

Glen returned to Alaska for several years later after he had poured our shop  floor and gathered logs for a shop.  Which he built and we lived in it while he tore down the old house .  We then needed more logs and spent a summer gathering logs and again he poured another cement floor for our new house.  He thinks he lifted all logs 7 times in getting them from the woods to the buildings and up the wall.  Log houses here are great. Cool in summer and warm in winter.

The kids went to Riggins school and they enjoyed their days there. Track, basketball, band kept them busy. They rode the bus and later drove a Studebaker and  our GMC.  In the summer they all worked at the forest service as they grew older and each year one of them was over there doing yard maintenance.  Laree doing book work and one summer she was in the ice cream store in Riggins.  When not working at getting  logs for us they floated the creek, fished and Neal hunted, Laree sewed, Kevin had rabbits, we had chickens and a cow, Cindy,  Glen milked and her calves provided meat. We grew our garden.  Getting the garden plowed and orchard planted gave us all things to do. We have loved this place even all the rocks we had to pick up has been a good  memory. I gave kids 1 penny for every rock they picked up to load a trailer. This kept them busy counting rocks and they didn’t have time to fuss at each other. That trailer was loaded with 600 rocks when Glen came from Alaska to unload it. 

The rattlesnakes never bit any of us.  Many times they give you a thrill when they are close.  Everyone pitched in with a shovel, broom, rocks, hoes and advice on just how to do  the job.

I still miss the sound of a little 50 motorcycle going around and around the house.  Each kid taking his turn. Pulling each other on a skateboard with a bicycle on the concrete floor.  Neal jumping gravel piles on his motorcycle and Kevin holding a big white fish down in the yard so it wouldn't jump back into the creek.  The sound of floaters coming in for a landing.Mowing the lawn on a little riding lawn mower.  Dad bringing in a new calf with Cindy worrying along right behind him.  All this and so much more has been for all of us through the years a joyous memory of our days here at Slate Creek.

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 23

Seth is Neal’s son and Seth came to stay with us when he was in kindergarten.  I took him to Whitebird kindergarten and would go pick him up then he had time to fish, read, watch tv or play with Duke.  I remember many days when his string of fish was impressive.  The creek fishing was great till he saw the river and wanted to fish in the big water.  He would go with us to get wood and little as he was he wanted to split wood.  One time on  the way home we had a flat and the  spare tire  was under the wood.   Seth had to lay on the bank of the road while Glen got us going again.  All this time Seth was hurting from a migraine headache.  He was so good suffering away without a whimper.  Now he tells me those headaches are gone and I am so glad for him. Seth lives in Boise. Neal and Seth can text each other. Times change with new gadgets.

During our time here we took a trip to Canada and Victoria, BC.  We toured the gold mine in Canada that started the stock market in Canada.  We saw the starting of the Colombia River and Kevin’s greatest adventure was seeing Flintstones park and riding canoes and rides that all those Flintstone kids  got to ride on .  A ferry ride to Victoria which gives you the feel of Britain with  tea time.  The wax museum and the beautiful flower gardens. Another ferry ride to Washington State.  The rain forest and rain which even windshield wipers  can’t get rid of it and of course the ocean and all its beauty.

In 1981 after the eruption of Mount St. Helens we were planning to leave the next day for Alaska. We  could not go north because of Volcano ash so we traveled to Weiser and west to the west of the volcano and north to Seattle. Up the Frazier River and across BC to entry into Alaska. The mountains and the lakes are beautiful but we had rain all 10 days to Faith Creek Mine north of Fairbanks. Our 3 plus months in Alaska  seemed short but we were busy everyday. The pans of gold we saw,  growling bear we heard on our walk, the grizzly standing on the hill, the trip to Fairbanks with Mary’s driving,  the creek flooding, the sun never setting, sleeping in daylight all night ,the tundra, the mosquitoes , and the blueberries all added together means  what Alaska  is to me.

When we came home for school we found my Dad looking paler and soon he was diagnosed with cancer. He needed chemo and radiation but it was hard for him those days.  Soon he moved to our house and we took care of him.  First he lived here in our shop but as time went on he moved to our room upstairs that was our creek room. He died April 22, 1982. 

My heart goes out to all cancer patients. The ordeal is true punishment and death almost seems kind in comparison to living with it.  I have missed him and his kindness.

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 24

Neal graduated from Riggins High School in 1982 . He was a firefighter for the forest service and continued to fire fight for a year before he went to Boise ITT technical school for electronics for 2 years  and  graduated 1985.  He came home and decided to fire fight a few more years in Idaho and was in the Hot Shot crew then going to Yellowstone Park fire in 1988. On to Hurricane Hugo damage in South Carolina. Grass fire in Arizona and fire fighting in Washington State. Later working in Moscow in telephone work for 12 years and now lives in Lewiston.  Neal bought a brick house and enjoys it very much.  Rides a motorcycle and of course loves it.

Laree graduated in 1984. She was valedictorian of her class  and received the Shearer 4 yr. Scholarship to the  University  of Idaho.  Laree and Shaun were married  July 4, 1984 in our log house overflowing with 100 guests and temperature at 100*.  They worked each summer. Shaun for Fish and Game and Laree at Slate Creek Forest Service.  They taught in Alaska for 2 years and home again to Slate Creek.  They have been teaching all these years since and have two wonderful kids  Kaleb and Kaleala for us to love and enjoy all  the news of their activities in track, basketball, band, and report cards most anyone would  ie for. All four driving everyday to school in Grangeville.  Shaun teaching science and Laree 2nd grade.

They bought this place from us in 1990. Glen and I are very comfortable in our shop house these many years.

Kevin graduated in1985, he to had a valedictorian award and a Shearer 4 yr. scholarship.  He entered the  University  of Idaho for 4 years, graduated and entered the Air Force for 3 years.  He was stationed in Germany. On his month  off  he traveled to  most  of the countries in Europe and to Israel. He received 86th Fighter Wing Airman of the Year award 1991.

He was sent to Japan and on his month off he traveled to Australia and New Zealand.  When enlistment  time was up he came home to re-enter the University of Idaho to get his degree  in Special Education. He has since got his Masters degree.  After living in California, Hawaii, New York he is at home in Connecticut  teaching Special Education.

When Kevin was in Hawaii he wanted us to travel to see him and Hawaii. It is beautiful,  the beaches and the ocean, colored pools of fish to see with a snorkel.  We went to the Pearl Harbor Museum and relived the war when Japan bombed us by looking at films and a tour of the Battleship Missouri and seeing all the ships that were sunk.  It was a good trip and our trip home was a bumpy one through a storm but we made it and so glad to have such a wonderful opportunity  to see Hawaii and Kevin.  

Kevin lived in New York and again sent us tickets to visit  him and the city.  This time Laree , Kaleb and Kaleala went with Glen and I.  What a wonderful city and we all had such fun seeing all the sights  Kevin had planned for us each day.   The subway is great and took us every direction from the Metropolitan Museum to the Empire State Building to Federal Hall and  Union Station. Tour buses showed us the city  and all sights  possible.  We walked to Battery Park and got on the Ferry to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty. 

Washington DC was our last trip a year or so later. Shaun and Laree, Kaleb and Kaleala and Glen and I again  had a wonderful trip with Kevin planning each day. So many monuments, museums,  printing press where all that money  is made, Arlington Cemetery, St. Michael Church, just as beautiful as  St. Patrick in New York.  Again what a wonderful trip and we were so glad we saw all these wonderful sights.

Going to Arlington Cemetery  was a poignant time for me.  My brother  Lyle while he was in the service was an Honor Guard at the unknown  Soldiers Grave.  The day we were they they placed a wreath at the place where three soldiers are buried. Lyle received an award for best dressed soldier of the unit for the month and I believe this was in 1964. Lyle was killed in a car wreck 1970 on Whitebird Pass.  He was coming to see our Dad,  Babe Maynard. Lyle had 2 sons and a wife.  He was 26 years old.

"My Book" Autobiography; Chapter 25

We have had several Wilkins family reunions here. I wished I had counted them all, maybe someone has? When we started these reunions most all of us were here except Grandpa Loyd, now we are less by five, Grandma Rose, Lennis, Doyle, Ray and Gerald. As time goes on we will be less. Those who are here will remember all of those gone and we will always continue to be a family as this book shows through the years we change but always continue on for the next generation.

My love to all of you for the good times and a wish for the peace of a good life to come.