Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Recollections of my Grandparents Charles Parker Sr. and Elizabeth Ann Davis By: Grandson Burns V. Parker

Recollections of my Grandparents Charles Parker Sr. and Elizabeth Ann Davis
By: Grandson Burns V. Parker
back- Zina Ett, John Davis, Sophia, Ray Cecil, Charles, Laura Elizabeth,
middle-Charles PARKER Sr., Bruce Fayette, Elizabeth Ann DAVIS PARKER,
front- Samantha Ahlena, Esther,

This was prepared at the request of our Aunt Sophia Parker Stapley to be included in her autobiographical history - "Together Again". It either reached her after the history went to press or some of the descriptive material was a little too strong. Regardless, it is being re-typed hopefully to give our younger relatives a sense of the wonderful people our Grandparents were.

Grandpa[Charles Parker Sr.] was born December 30, 1853 in Centerville, Davis County, Utah. Grandma [Elizabeth Ann Davis] was born January 8, 1859 at Old Fort Harmony, Utah. They were married March 10, 1880 in the St. George Temple, Washington County, Utah. He passed away May 15, 1935 in Kanarraville, Utah and she passed away February 26, 1927 also at Kanarraville, Utah. "Together Again" gives great detail which I will leave to you to re-read. It is CHOICE!

When this was first written in 1976 I jotted down some tid-bits of memory; little anecdotes and reflections as they came to mind. It brought back some very pleasant and poignant memories. Some of the detail may have been transferred from my parents and others, but as it is written it will sound as it came to me first hand. Recollections are presented as topics as follows:

1. THE BOX: Grandma had suffered with Arthritis for many years and had been non-ambulatory for over 30 years before her death. She occupied the center of attention in the middle of the living room in a chair with a wooden box three sided with a top always placed over her very tender feet. She was always so kind, cheerful and gentle. I sat on the box looking up at her while she told the most interesting stories. She always had a way of encouraging everyone who had troubles and adversities with her cheerfulness and it seemed to always pay off. I felt a great personal loss when she passed away. Grandpa was always very kind and gentle in taking care of Grandma.

2. THAT GLORIOUS PLACE---THE CELLAR: The cellar was a storehouse for the summer's labors and it held a great charm for me with the good smells and delicious tastes it contained. I remember the meats in brine; the rock salted pork; the stored smoked meats including hams, bacon, pork jowls and beef tongues; the pickles in bottles, brined and dilled in casks; bottled and canned fruits and vegetables; dried fruits and nuts; the apple bin with apples in straw or sawdust (what an aroma and taste!); coal for the stoves; cans of sorghum and honey; and GRAPE JUICE which was intentionally allowed to become wine; and ON AND ON. INDEED, WHAT A LOVELY PLACE TO SETTLE DOWN WITH FOR A LONG HARD WINTER.

3. THE PIG KILLING: This was always enjoyed and anticipated by all the youngsters and I think the grown-ups as well. If enough pigs were slaughtered all of the youngsters could have a bladder to blow up and use as a football. What Greasy Fun! The evenings were also Devine with fresh broiled kidneys over the coals in the fireplace of the old kitchen range. A treat to be sure! The mammoth table in the living room kitchen was equal to the task of holding several carcasses while being cut up. The heads furnished meat for head cheese, mince meat, brains, tongues, jowls--you name it. Everything was used except the squeal.

4. THRESHING TIME: Before feeding the threshing machine, the grain had to be cut and bundled by the combine harvester; placed in shocks in the field to prevent rain damage or immediately hauled by team and wagon to the grain stack. I had the distinct duty to tromp and arrange the bundles on the wagon to prevent from sliding off during the trip from the field to the stack. I was too young or too small to feed the thresher from the stack. It took two men to do so and about as many to off-carry the sacks of threshed grain, to the granary, on their shoulders. Getting the dinners ready for all the workers was also a formidable effort, but the great expanse of food, quantity, variety and flavors compensated everyone for the preparation. Both Grandparents seemed to enjoy threshing time as much as the rest of us and Grandpa would let the grandkids play in the grain in the bins. What fun! This privilege usually stopped when the threshers left, however. What s great time--THRESHING TIME!

5. FARMING AND LIVESTOCK RAISING: Grandpa realized the need of fertilizer for better crops and if he wasn't doing other chores you could see him loading manure with a manure fork into the low "truck wagon" then hauling the wagon by a team of horses to the fields or on garden plots in town before spreading it by hand. It was smelly, but produced good gardens and crops.

Hay hauling time gave me mixed emotions. I was normally the tromper and in a single summer tromped over 100 loads of hay. My siblings helped with the tromping sometimes though. I looked with envy to two of my favorite cousins (Gordon & Foch) who seldom had to work in the hay fields since both were victims of hay fever. I still remember how gentle Grandpa and my father were in pitching the hay on the wagon without covering me up. I could not say the same for Uncle Cecil. I doubted if he really cared if he covered me up or not and he was especially careless in pitching the thistle hay from the meadows behind the fields. Guess he had other things on his mind THE SPORTS OR THE NEXT HORSERACE. He has long since been forgiven though. Grandpa gave me a load of hay one summer for my efforts and I sold it for $8.00 which seemed like big money at the time, as I was only 10 or 12 years old. I helped weed the corn and ride a single horse pulling the cultivator in each furrow. It being manipulated by the one following it on foot. These were great and healthy times!

Grandpa was a great livestockman raising fine cattle, hogs and horses, but few sheep, however at one time he and my dad did own over 100 head of sheep. Grandpa was insulted by the name Jersey and prided himself in having some of the best Hereford and durham cattle in the area. I remember his prize Hereford Bull named Riverdale who besides being a great sire could also hold his own in a bull fight with any other bull in town. He also had developed a dairy strain of milch cows and he would be milking them before daylight while smoking his pipe unless he was shucking corn by lantern light, one of his pastimes. Grandma was no slouch when it came to raising silk worms and chickens. I don't remember the silk worms, but remember her saying that noise would cause the worms to spin knots in their filaments. Regarding her chickens she was very proud of her fine minarka hens. She was quite generous in giving me an egg or two to use as barter for candy at the Kanarra Coop Store.

Grandpa was a great horseman. You should have seen him ride one of his favorite mares "OLD RUTH"; a very lively animal and he handled her very expertly. He was a pretty accomplished veterinarian too. I have a vivid memory when he castrated "Old Chess", a Belgian bred station that had sired several colts. I was not much help at my age but was a very curious onlooker. Grandpa had a special way of trussing-up throwing and tying him up with a rope so he couldn't move. He did it alone. I was kind of a scrub nurse getting the materials together and heating up the searing iron. I watched with amazement the cutting, clamping, searing the chords, and rock salt treatment of the incision with NO STITCHES. The recovery of Old Chess was uneventful for a 3 or 4 year old station now a gilden. He was sold to Cox's in Hamilton Fort and was a good work horse for the rest of his life according to Jenny Cox, Mr. Cox's daughter.

6. GRANDPA THE GORMET: Grandpa's eating habits and style were always a delight to me, partly maybe because he was a "South Paw". He tried to introduce me to eating clabber (soured milk in pans or as it is now known as yogurt), but to this day I have no culinary interest in clabber or yogurt. He would pick up a desert spoon in his left hand--scoop up a spoonful from the clabbered milk pan then put about a teaspoon full of sugar then--SLURRP!-- and it was down except for what was caught on his mustache. He would cut thin slices of smoked ham and he would eat without further cooking--very delicious.

7. GRANDPAS SMOKE HOUSE: I was amazed at how well he operated his smoke house. He usually stoked the fire with wet corncobs soaked in a bucket to make the smoke. He saved them after shucking and shelling the corn from them. It took several days for bacons, hams, jowls, and beef tongues to reach their epitome of flavor--very delicious. They stored in the cellar since no refrigeration was available in those days.

8. FAMILY GET TO-GETHERS: I anticipated with pleasure the Summer Vacations and family get to-gethers with the locals and the out of town relatives. I enjoyed them very much when I was not committed to hay hauling, weeding and cultivating. Grandpa and Grandma were extremely good hosts for such occasions. The City Cousins got a chance to ride the horses; and even help in the hay hauling, cow milking and other farm chores. This made it easier for the residents. My recollections of get to-gethers with out of town relatives at Grandpa and Grandma's house took on three stages:

A. GREETINGS: Handshakes, hugs and kisses!

B. SOCIALIZING, FEASTING, FUEDING AND ARGUING: Socializing and Feasting are self explanatory. Feuding occurred with fights among the cousins and their parents in various combinations. Arguing usually involved politics. Lively discussions would occur. The more heated ones would be between Grandpa, Uncles Charlie, Cecil and Fay. Grandma & My father were usually the arbitrators, as I remember.

C. FAREWELL: Almost the repeat of "A"--with all the torments of "B" having been resolved. Finally the goodbye handshaking, hugging, kissing and this time TEARS. We locals always looked to next year's get to-gether again usually during the July 4th or 24th celebrations in Kanarraville.

Charles PARKER home Kanarraville, Utah, later owned by son John Davis PARKER

9. GRANDMA'S PASSING: As I recall there was a feeling of relief when Grandma was spared the agony of suffering and pain when she was taken. Grandpa became very lonely staying in the big house alone. He also began sampling some of Uncle Cecil's and Uncle Noel's labors with the barley, yeast, malt and water--Too Much I'm convinced as it did not enhance Grandpa as a bed partner when I would go down from our smaller house to stay with him at night. He seemed to appreciate my presence and the "Home Brew" smell is only a slight unpleasant memory.

10. PERIOD FROM GRANDMA'S PASSING TO GRANDPA'S DEATH: After Grandpa became reconciled to Grandma's death he seemed to get hold of himself and in my opinion lived a comparatively happy remaining life with his chance to live with his daughters in Salt Lake City and Castle Gate and spending the last few years in his home town, Kanarraville. I became quite concerned with my own growing-up and had less and less time to associate with him. A situation I now regret. I don't think I showed him the respect I should have after he returned to live the balance of his life with our family. He was in pain and agony, but stood up bravely before he died. He reached a period of peace and expired the same way. My father and I believe Van witnessed his passing and it truly was peaceful.

In conclusion, I as a grandson of Grandpa & Grandma Parker feel that the camaraderie and companionship I was privileged to experience in the brief time of 10 years with her and 18 years with him did enrich my life of which I am so grateful for. I look back with nostalgia, satisfaction and unfortunately with regret for not having grasped the opportunity during the fleeting time I was with them to have enjoyed their company more.

P.S. I hope that the foregoing will enrich your heritage & understanding of two of your ancestors.

Sincerely, Burns V. Parker

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