Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Julie tells me that she didn't know that I had ever lived in Wattis. In the above photo, I am shown with my Great-Grandmother Mina Pritchett in Wattis.
After my mom died, I went to stay with Grandma Smith. She was the principal of the Wattis school. She had left the Emery County School District because the Carbon County School District was paying better and, also I think, because she was pretty much on her own after Grandpa Smith had died and the girls were away from home. Aunt Renee had been working in Salt Lake City, as I understand. Then she and Uncle Max married and she was in Price.
Great-Grandma Pritchett came to Wattis to help care for me.
She fell down the inside steps at the school (it had two levels) and broke her hip. I vividly remember being told to sit still at her side. I still remember that the stairway was painted dark gray on the bottom and light gray on the top and that there was an arrow pointing to the restrooms which were down the stairs. (We had our own little apartment, since the position was a live-in one.) I remember sitting on the steps and patting Great-Grandma Pritchett's hand while Grandma Smith went to get the doctor. Great-grandma was very brave. She must have been in a lot of pain but she just moaned a little from time to time. Then I would pat her hand and she would tell me that everything would be fine and just to sit still on the step and wait. The doctor came and so did some other men. They loaded her onto a stretcher and took her to the hospital. She ended up in Salt Lake with Aunt Jessie and her husband while she healed. Uncle Frank had a pharmacy in Salt Lake which he and Aunt Menetta ran so he was also close by. Great-grandma had a very serious break and it never did really heal well. She did come back to help with me after the hip was somewhat better. By then, we had all moved to Price. I called her Grandma With the Cane. It was OK. It was after she broke her leg that we moved, Grandma and I, into Uncle Max and Aunt Renee's apartment in Price. Then Aunt Renee could watch me while Grandma taught school.
Later Great-Grandma came back to Price and we moved into a small house. While we lived there, she sent me out to catch birds. She gave me a salt shaker and told me that if I could sprinkle the salt on the bird's tails, I could catch them. I sneaked around for many hours but I never could get close enough to catch one. When Grandma Smith came home, she was a bit peeved with Great-grandma. She said, "Myrna, if you can get close enough to a bird to catch it, you don't need to sprinkle salt on its tail." Great-Grandma just laughed and laughed.
Incidentally, when I was a teen, I told Grandma Smith and Aunt Renee that I remembered Great-grandma falling downstairs. When I described the paint and the patting, they were amazed. I had never been back there and I could describe the school right down to the arrow on the wall. I told them that I also remembered being on a bed with a yellow bedspread in the school. I had been taking a nap and woke up. I remember Aunt Renee coming to get me as you do when I child wakes up from a nap. Garth is three years younger than I am and so he wasn't part of my life yet.
Oddly, I remember Aunt Renee coming to that little house after we had moved out of her apartment. It was wartime and treats were few and far between. She had managed to get a can of shrimp. Those were my favorite and so she brought them to me. Good and loving people were always part of my life. I am so grateful for that.