Monday, May 31, 2010

This is a Cemetery

This is a Cemetery
 Author unknown

Lives are commemorated ... deaths are recorded ... families are reunited ... memories are made tangible ... and love is undisguised. This is a cemetery.

 Back of grave of Charles Lee Butler - Lou's brother
 Communities accord respect, families bestow reverence, historians seek information and our heritage is thereby enriched.

 Etta Lorene Carpenter - Leona's mother
Testimonies of devotion, pride and remembrance are carved in stone to pay warm tribute to accomplishments and to the life -- not death -- of a loved one.

 Don and Leona at grave of Ream Carpenter - Leona's father
The cemetery is homeland for family memorials that are a sustaining source of comfort to the living.

 Mable & Jess Butler - Lou's parents

 Charlotte Carpenter Butler & Charles Butler
Leona's sister - Lou's brother
A cemetery is a history of people -- a perpetual record of yesterday and a sanctuary of peace and quiet today. A cemetery exists because every life is worth loving and remembering -- always.

Pueblo, Colorado

Friday, May 28, 2010

Grandma Cora Butler

I've been going through some more old photographs and came across these of Lou's grandmother,
Cora Melvina Wisemiller Butler

 Cora Butler with son, Joseph Henry Butler - circa 1894
Her second child, Joseph was born 15 June 1893 when Cora was almost 21 years old.
I love that she wrote on the back of this picture, "Haven't I got my mouth fixed nice" 

with her daughters - approx. 1913
back: Ida Amanda - Sarah Edith - Bessie Evelyn
front:  Susie Belle - Cora - Beulah Alice

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

No thanks, Mr. Roberts

[While I was principal at Parkview Elementary School] There had been problems over saluting the flag, Halloween, prayer in school, etc. I was trying to stay clear of those kinds of problems when I could, and had taken up the subject in building meetings, so I thought everyone understood what the district policies were.

One day a boy was sent to the office for talking back. I was asking him what the situation was, when he said he was only asking a question about writing his “Thank You” note to Oral Roberts for the bibles.

“What Bibles?” I asked

“The Bibles Oral Roberts sent us. Miss Taylor is going to pass them out after we write our thank-you notes.”

I made a quick and immediate trip to Miss Taylor’s room and sure enough, all of the students were writing thank-you notes. I told her she was not to pass out those Bibles to her students and to take up the thank you notes and destroy them. She could take the Bibles to her church, but she was not to bring them to Park View or to give them to her students.

Later in the day one of the boys told me they were going to meet Miss Taylor in the park and get their Bibles! I went back to the classroom again where I made it clear again that she was not to give any Bibles to her class, period!

One day [after that incident] it was brought to my attention that many of the students in Miss Taylor’s room had a lot of school supply type items such as staplers, pencil sharpeners, Eversharps, ball point pens, and note pads. When I asked one of the students where he was getting all of this stuff, he said that Howard and some of his buddies would get you anything you ordered.  Howard said those kids were lying, and he named another boy who was shoplifting for the girls. It turned out that Howard and several of the boys were taking orders and then acquiring the items at nearby stores.

Maybe I should have looked the other way when Miss Taylor was trying to give them Bibles!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Pueblo's Melting Pot

For many years, Dad was the principal at Bessemer Elementary School - the neighborhood school that has been referred to as Pueblo's historic melting pot.  Today the school is called Bessemer Academy, and most of the traditional red brick structure dates back to the 1930s when the current Bessemer school building was built.

Steel Plant

Established in the late 1800s, Bessemer was an independent town south of Pueblo, built in proximity to the Colorado Coal and Iron Company, and took its name from Henry Bessemer, the Englishman who invented the process for converting pig iron into steel.  The steel plant later became Colorado Fuel and Iron - CF&I - and was a major employer in Pueblo for many years.  The school was founded in 1881 to serve the growing number of steel-worker families, mostly immigrants from Italy, Slovenia, Germany, Ireland, Spain and other European countries.

Bessemer neighborhood today

Historian George R. Williams wrote that at the turn of the century, Bessemer was a lively place, with boarding houses for smelter and steel mill workers, grocery stores, clothing stores, little ethnic neighborhoods. A main thoroughfare [just two blocks south of the school], Northern Avenue, was the first asphalt-paved street in Pueblo and "CF&I was the big dog. It was a very prosperous area." 

Bessemer School
Bessemer Academy - September 2009

In 1880 the community residents asked the school district to provide a school for their area, and the next year ground was broken for the school that would share the name of the community.  Miss Maggie Schackleton was named the first teacher at Bessemer School.

 According to an historical account published in 1949 in The Pueblo Chieftain (newspaper), the building was expanded in 1893. It was expanded again in the 1920s, but by 1930 the building was believed to be unsafe, and after several failed attempts to pass a bond issue and then find a contractor acceptable to the community, the current two-story building was constructed.

Don walking down memory lane

Window at the lower level

Interesting brick work

 Left side is the gym - scene of Dad's famous "slam dunk"
historical information found here and here

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Remember this?

Lou and his mother, Mable, following his open heart surgery, May 1988

Click here for a reminder of what Dad was dealing with 22 years ago!

14 May 1988 – Got up and worked on moving dirt in the orchard, to build a pathway. I got very tired and my chest began to hurt, so I stopped and played ball with Matthew.

26 May 1988 – I had another (my 2nd) heart attack in Pleasant View

26 May 1988 – Angiogram, 5: 30 p.m. Five bad spots.

27 May 1988 – Open heart surgery. Dr. Thomas Blanch was my doctor, and Dr. Cain was the surgeon who performed the open heart surgery at McKay Dee Hospital in Ogden. I had 5 bypasses done on my heart, and was weak for a while.

Hooray for modern medicine that gave us a lot more good years with Dad!

Monday, May 10, 2010

PODner Mable

 Lou's mother, Mable, worked at the Pueblo Ordnance Depot for a number of years.  These pictures and clippings document the honor she received as PODner of the month in May, 1961.

Mable Elsa Davis Butler
May, 1961

Letter of recognition and

 the pin she received

Newspaper clipping from the Pueblo Star-Journal

Bro. Evenson's additional recognition of Mable's honor

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

"If ye love me, keep my commandments"

Leona and Lou at the Frankfurt Temple

There are a few things which I must tell you that impressed me the most about our mission.

This kind of experience, shared with my beloved wife, enhances a marriage experience which had already exceeded my fondest expectations. But now we had much more uninterrupted time together than ever before. We had no telephone in our room, no truck or automobile, and no TV. I really didn’t think I could survive with no football games, no sports of any kind to watch. We had no news except once an hour over the Armed Forces Radio, and we missed it most of the time because we couldn’t stand to listen to the music that went with it!

Why was it so great? Well, we spent a lot of time talking and reading and visiting with our fellow missionaries. We read the scriptures more than we ever did before, and we did some writing in our journals and a lot of letter writing. Not having a car, we did a lot of walking. First, because we had to, to get groceries every day, almost; and walking was very interesting, because there were forests within a few blocks from everyplace we lived and the towns were also very interesting. We loved to see the beautiful homes and well-kept gardens and yards. Of course, it is always interesting to see the people.

At the temples in Europe, it is the five groups of people who are so terribly important: the full-time temple workers (the staff), the local temple workers, the local patrons, the groups of patrons who come in for the week, and the other temple missionaries. We had a special relationship with each group. It was only the temple missionaries from the US that we expected to be able to see again after our mission, and that was questionable for many of them.

The temple missionaries are mainly couples, but some singles. We found these to be great, and we did many things together, especially in Switzerland. We worked together in the temple, learning from the ones who arrived before we did, and teaching those who came after we arrived. We shared our testimonies, our birthdays and anniversaries, and our pictures from home. In Switzerland we would all take our tables and chairs to the apartment foyer and have a covered dish dinner on the holidays and we would sing and visit and have a good time for the evening.

Throughout our entire mission, I was constantly impressed with the theme of the two great commandments given several times in the scriptures, “to love God and to love our neighbor as ourselves.” As I was impressed with the constant flow of love among the missionaries and in the temple with the temple workers and patrons from Europe, I was desirous of being more like so many of these people that we met. I know that in order to improve anything, you need to be able to measure it to determine how to improve upon it; but how do you measure love?

The Lord said in John 14: 15, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.” And in verse 21, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me; and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”

So, I need to live the commandments to prove my love for Christ and Heavenly Father – that is what we came to the earth for, anyway, so it’s no additional problem.

The Lord said to Peter in John 21: 15-18 three times: “Lovest thou me?” And the three answers were: Feed my lambs, Feed my sheep, Feed my sheep. So the other way to measure my love for the Lord is to serve his children. So, obedience and service are the things that we must measure to show improvement in loving the Lord.