Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas - 1939

 To a young and starry eyed 14 year old Leona, Lou's Christmas gift of a cameo bracelet was thrilling.


But even more exciting was the accompanying card which gave her real status as his "girlfriend."


70 years of Christmas memories

Monday, December 19, 2011

. . . so many wonderful memories

A request to the Davis grandchildren for Christmas memories brought several responses.  These are from Alice Bell Higgs.

I have so many wonderful memories of Grandma and Grandpa Davis I hardly know where to start.  
Early style Cracker Jack box
One Christmas I remember we went to Haswell and to the ranch and Grandma Davis had made a bushel basket of Cracker Jacks.  I have tried to make some for my kids and I end up with a whole bunch of very soggy popcorn not even the birds would eat!

 She also had saved a lot of spools and made whistles for all of us.  
I've never been able to make those either.

 One time she was making taffy for us to help pull, and Hubert was just tall enough to reach up and put his fingers into that hot candy.  Grandma grabbed him up and sent one of the boys to the shop for a small can of kerosene.  She sat and rocked that baby with his fingers in that kerosene until he went to sleep.  Grandma always knew what to do.  I guess when you raise 14 kids you have to!  I don't remember if we made the taffy.

Friday, December 16, 2011

'Tis the Season

. . . for some great memories!

Christmas 1977

Leona - Lou

Jim - Don - Tom
Leona - Lou
(Lou and his family must have been home in Utah)

Lynn - Tesi - Carol
Leona - Lou

Butler Grandchildren
Beth (niece) -Kristie - Kari - Emily - Tommy - Chuckie
Nathan - Jamie - Jeremy

Enjoy the Christmas Season!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

O Christmas Tree

In December of 1958 we decided that we would get a permit and go to the mountains to get our own Christmas tree like we had read in so many stories about people doing.  We would have sloppy-joes to eat (because we could take it up and keep it hot) and hot chocolate and wouldn’t need to have a fire.

Five men on a mission!
Lou, Jr - Don - Tom - Jim - Lou, Sr
blurry picture, but it documents the infamous day

We had our tree hunting expedition in the mountains near San Isabel, above Rye, Colorado.  It was a cool, crisp day with snow on the ground and a lot of sunshine.  It was a great day for a Christmas tree hunting party!

Leona has always been very particular about her Christmas tree.  It had to be of excellent shape with well filled out limbs in the right places, etc.  So as soon as we got out of the car, the four boys went in four directions - each going to find the perfect tree that would suit Mom.  As they each would find one, they would call for her to come see it.  Since they didn’t stay together, she was having to run all over the mountainside to inspect the finds of each boy.

Naturally the boys never found the same tree, nor were their trees together, so she had a long walk between them.  They were not finding very good trees that were satisfactory to her.  As time went by, and after many trips across the little valley between the two ridges that the boys were on, she became less critical and finally said, “Just take any one; I’m tired!”  Jim and Don carried a tree in from the forest, and we tied it on top of our station wagon.  Leona got the lunch ready for us; we were all starving.

Christmas tree lunch
Jim - Don (front)
Lou, Jr - Tom - Leona (back

We had a good time, and the tree was satisfactory, but for some reason we never went back to the mountains for another Christmas tree!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Same old story

You've probably realized by now that present life sometimes gets in the way of preserving the past - and I've reached one of those sometimes this week.  As a result, I'm taking a Christmas break from blogging and will be back in 2012 with more stories, pictures and memories to share. 

For the remainder of this month, I'll re-post some memories from previous Decembers.  Because really, our memories just get better with time!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Enjoying Junior High

The Carpenter family moved to Pueblo, Colorado where Leona finished her years in elementary school and received this certificate of completion on 2 June 1939.

Certificate issued 2 June 1939

She was in the 8th grade in 1938-39

and the 9th grade in 1939.

She obviously took part in Western Days at Risley Junior High!

Leona Carpenter - 2nd row, far left

I love this picture of Leona and her dad.

Leona with her father, Ream Carpenter
14 years old - 1939

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Elementary School Days

Although she was born in St. Joseph, Missouri, Leona's family moved to and from Colorado several times during her elementary school years, as her father followed work.

In March, 1934 while living in Cañon City, Colorado, Leona was baptized a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints by Elder Arthur Chapman, a missionary from Heber City, Utah.

Elder Arthur Chapman

 She spent some of her early school years at Washington Elementary School in  Cañon City.

E. Leona Carpenter - front row, center
Fifth grade

She looks a little older in this picture - probably 6th grade.

Leona Carpenter - middle row, 3rd from right

Leona was obviously a good student in Edna Wheeler's 6th grade class, as evidenced by this report card.  Not only did she have straight A's, but Mrs. Wheeler consistently gave her check marks for "Excellent attitude and progress".  A model student! 

6th grade report card - Washington School

1937 - 11 years old

Thursday, November 17, 2011

November 17, 1943

68 years ago a young girl boarded a war time train filled with troops in Pueblo, Colorado and rode to Seattle, Washington to meet her own special soldier.  Because Lou was only 20 and Leona was still 17, she carried with her letters of permission from both of their mothers, just in case they got married before they reached the legal age.  

A few days after Leona's arrival in Seattle - and 3 days after her 18th birthday so she didn't have to use her letter of permission, they were married and began their long and happy life together. 

Leona - Lou
November 17, 1943

Happy Anniversary! 

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Birthday Girl

Birthday Celebration - 1996

A rare photo of the Carpenter women together
Pinkie - Tootie - Leona

Happy Birthday to You!

To read the post about Leona's birth, click here

Friday, November 11, 2011

Military Service Remembered

Radio School Graduate - 1st tour of duty
2 August 1943

Leaving the family behind - 2nd tour of duty
18 August 1950

For the years you served 
and the sacrifices you made
- a Veteran's Day thank you.

To read about Lou's military service,  click the military service
link in the labels column to the right

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Little girl Leona

In my process of sorting and processing pictures of Leona's family, I've discovered a few more photos of her early years.  I hope that before too long, I will have some narrative to accompany these pictures, but for now, enjoy this cute little girl!

*   *   *   *   *   *   *

I've posted this picture before, but I wanted to include it again in this series of posts.  The other woman is Florence Carpenter, wife of Ream's brother Ralph, with her daughters Mae, Maxine and Betty.  I love this picture of Tootie as a very attractive young mother, just 17 years old.

Baby Leona and her mother, Lorene Carpenter (back left)
early 1926

This picture of Leona and her younger sister, Charlotte, needs a professional restoration, but if I wait to post this until that's done, we may never enjoy it!

Charlotte, about 6 months old - Leona, 3 years old

Leona's grandmother, Mary Parker Carpenter, died when Leona's father, Ream, was 16 years old. Ream's oldest sister, Effie, who was 12 years his senior, took over the mothering duties - especially after Ream married and had children.  She adored her two little nieces and happily took the role of doting grandmother in Grandma Mary's absence.

"I and 2 dolls"
Leona - Aunt Effie - Charlotte
about 1930

Remember this post about the family resemblance?  

Leona, about 7 - Lorene, about 24
circa 1932

People will not look forward to posterit
who never look backward to their ancestors
- Edmund Burke

Monday, October 31, 2011

All dressed up

It wasn't Halloween, but Leona dressed up for the 
senior class "Kids' Day"
Centennial High School
May, 1943

Leona in front of the high school

Her sidekick was Lou's younger brother Chuck, who was the same age.

Leona - Chuck

Happy Halloween!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Dell Holland, missionary

In April, 1997, Lou received a letter from Dell Holland, then 92 years old, the missionary who had married Florence and Evan Callaway.  In the letter he recounted the excitement of that wedding day.

Wanda - Dell Holland in 1992

". . . later in the fall Florence asked me if I would perform the marriage ceremony for her and her fiance. I told her I would be happy to. Florence went out to her folks place a week early to prepare, and we accompanied the groom and best man in a 1925 Pontiac - what was then a sedan with wooden bows over the top covered with plastic leather and plastic glass windows. There was no hard surfaced roads or seat belts. Ha! It was beet harvest time and deep ruts in the road. About half way, the groom pointed to the clock in the rear vision mirror and said, 45 minutes (45 miles). We would be there by 1 p.m. Scarcely saying that, and we and the car was leaning against a light pole, the car top was flattened out and we were on the ground. The only body physical damage was a slight scratch on my wrist. The groom caught a ride back about a mile and obtained another car identical to it and rolled on to a hysterical family about 2 hours late.

"The next day en route home, your dad [Jesse Butler], in viewing the wrecked car, stated that there was no doubt that God with his protecting arms was wrapped around the occupants of that car and that there was a man of God in the car. I was told that he soon joined the Church and was placed in the Branch as clerk."

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Wedding Crasher

 I know this post and the next one aren't about Leona, but since today is the 81st anniversary of this wedding story, I'm posting it now.

Florence Davis Callaway was a younger sister to Mable Davis Butler, Lou's mother.  Lou had a copy of Florence's personal history, and I've shared her account of sheep shearing previously.  Florence's history is an entertaining read, and includes the following memory that is too good to leave unpublished!  We pick up the story after Evan and Florence were engaged, and Florence had returned to her family's ranch to make final preparations for their wedding on October 25, 1930.

Mary Florence Davis and Evan Callaway

Time flew by, and I wanted to spend a week at home with Mother and Dad.  Elma, my good friend, and now my sister in law, and her sister helped me plan the wedding, which I wanted at home.  They were so good to plan with.  Minnie made angel food cakes for the dinner, and Elma, Mother and I planned the dinner.  We planned to have the wedding at 11:30 as the Callaway family planned to come at 11:00 a.m.  They did, but the groom and his party did not arrive.  Time passed and everyone became worried, me included.   The boys began to tease me that the groom stood me up.  The folks assured us that they left soon after they did.  We waited, and at 12:00 we knew something had happened.  No phone, no way to get in touch with them, but to wait.  Sometime after that, as everyone was watching the hill where they would show, someone said, “Here they come!”   As the car came close enough to recognize, I said, “That is not Tag’s car!”  My brothers, Johnnie and Richard, grabbed me and shut me up in the garage, for they said the groom should never see the bride before the wedding.  I was FIT TO BE TIED and Mother or Elma let me out.  When they arrived they were really tozzled up, but looked good to me.  We learned they had an accident just out of Ordway.  It seemed they had a terrible rain and the roads were so cut up with beet haulers, that Evan got in their ruts, lost control of the car, and it rolled over twice and hit a telephone post.  The Elders were thrown clear, but the back seat landed on Zelna.  Elder Holland’s arm was cut, but not too badly.  They were all shaken up.  They had been able to right the car and have it pulled into Ordway and rented a car and came on in.

Not exactly a promising start!

Mother decided to have the dinner first as it was past ready and all would be better to get settled.  They said if they hadn’t had the preacher along they wouldn’t have been so lucky.  I was so upset; I hardly remember much about the dinner except Dad Callaway asked Elder Holland how tight he tied the wedding knot.  Elder Holland said, “I only tie the strings and it is up to them how tight they pull the strings.”  That was a very good answer.  I don’t remember now who was at the dinner or wedding, but it was a big dinner and a house full.

We had rented a little house off Fourth Street on Fountain, and we were real happy to be let out.   Tired, Evan sleepy because he had to work double days to get two days off.  We had put all our things we got at the shower and moved everything we had before I left for the ranch.   Well, everything was not as we had thought!  Zelna and Alta had gotten in and mixed things up just a bit to let us know someone had been there, and sewed up my gown and his pajamas, but good.  Well, I got mine unsewed, but he got disgusted and said he didn’t need them anyway.  We soon crawled into bed.

The next morning he had to rent a truck to pull the car back to Pueblo.  So he and Tag went after the car.  They were real late getting back as they had to make arrangements to have it repaired, and as you may guess, we started in debt. Well, that’s another story.

Happy 81st Anniversary, 
Aunt Florence and Uncle Evan!

Friday, October 21, 2011

It's a Girl!

The first daughter of Etta Lorene (Tootie) Boling and Ream Everett Carpenter, Eleanor Leona was born on November 14, 1925 in St. Joseph, Missouri.

Eleanor Leona Carpenter

She was a tiny baby and weighed only weighed three and a quarter pounds at birth. As typical for that era, Leona was born at home, but there was a doctor and a nurse or midwife in attendance. The doctor (surely joking) said, "Do you think it's worth keeping?" Grandma Tootie said she was furious with him since she had just gone to a lot of work to have that baby!

Leona - mid 1926

Do you see some family resemblance? 
Do you or your children look like this chubby cheeked baby girl?

At the time of Leona's birth, her parents Lorene and Ream, along with Ream's sister Effie, were investigating The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and meeting regularly with the missionaries.  One of the missionary sisters was Eleanor Bills, and Leona was named for her.

 Bessie Williams - Eleanor Bills 

The picture back

The back of the picture reads:  (in Effie's handwriting) "the first missionary girls I ever met.  Sr. Bessie Williams and Sr Eleanor Bills".  Both good as gold"

And in Ream's handwriting below: "Leona, you were named after Sis. Eleanor Bills, the one on the right."

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The Other Half

 How do you tell a story without featuring one of the main characters? 
It's impossible!

Louis Edward and Eleanor Leona (Carpenter) Butler
51 years of marriage - 1994

In the process of sharing Lou's history, I have known that his story wouldn't be complete without recounting the story of his other half - his wife, Leona.  Married almost 62 years, their life together was a great blend of two distinct individuals who lived and loved life hand in hand.  So in the coming posts, I'm excited to share pictures and stories from Leona's life and weave them together with Lou's so we get the whole story. 

I think I know where I'm goingStay tuned! 

Friday, October 14, 2011

61 years ago . . .

. . . these pictures were sent to a serviceman daddy in Alaska.

Don  -  Tom

Jim - Lou, Jr.

Bicycle built for two
Don - Tom

Lou - Jim - Tom - Don

Those cute boys (and their brave mother) survived the separation,
but they were sure happy to see their daddy come home again.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

First Church Building - revisited

Remember this post about the LDS Church buildings in Pueblo, Colorado? 

The first LDS Church building in Pueblo, Colorado - circa 1908

My recent wanderings have unearthed this picture of that same building, taken about 1929.  The women's hats, the shape of the glasses, and the little girls' haircuts all contribute to what I consider a classy historic photo.  I love it!

 With Leona's help, I've identified the following:
  • Mable Davis Butler (Lou's mother) in the 3rd row from the back - light colored hat and holding a young child, probably Eldon, close to her face
  • Florence Davis Callaway (Mable's sister) standing right next to Mable to the left 
  • Louis Butler - kneeling in front row, 4th from right, holding a flower in front of his face
  • Chuck Butler - maybe kneeling in the front next to Louis

Do you recognize anybody else?

Friday, October 7, 2011

Hegler Pool Update

In the process of going through more notebooks, Leona came across a picture and another account of Hegler's swimming pool which I posted about a couple of years ago.  I've updated the post (purple text) and added a little more information.

Click this link and check it out.  You've probably forgotten what it said, anyway, so it'll seem like a new post!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Cowboy Up!

How cute are these little cowboys?

Jim and Lou, Jr.  - early 1950s