The Energizer Cowboys who kept things humming at the reunion

The Energizer Cowboys who kept things humming at the reunion
These kids know how to have fun!

Sunday, July 8, 2012

You Can Go Home Again --Ririe Revisited 2012

Though Thomas Wolfe said "You can't go home again," I really tried hard to do so by giving our family a taste of what my hometown meant to me, growing up in Idaho.  Though its influence was only for 15 years of my life, I feel like the values I hold dear were planted and nurtured there.  My life was greatly impacted by this little town, and the people who taught me in Primary, Sunday School, Mutual, and school.  Our parents were good hard working people who did their very best to raise and love us, and teach us the principles of hard work, honesty, commitment to the gospel, and the value of setting goals.  So this reunion was designed to capture some of those feelings, and hopefully pass it on to the next generation.  We invited Doug, Lynn, and Nancy and their families to participate with us in this Keeler Kin Reunion.
Janet, Doug, Lynn, and Nancy taken at Jessica's wedding
We started planning this 70th year Sentimental Journey/ Ririe Reunion in June of 2011. Our children were asked early on to vote on the best time to hold the reunion in 2012 and we were able to lock in those dates for the Mountain River Ranch while in Idaho last summer.
We followed the general outline of plans on the invitation below, which was mailed out in May 2012.  We had never really pulled together the Keeler siblings and their posterity together for a reunion before, though Nancy often hosted multiple families at their home during the summer.  I especially wanted us to be together when we went to the farm so that someone besides me, could share stories.  Unfortunately Lynn had a health issue arise and they couldn't come, but Nancy and Bruce and two of their children and eight of their grandchildren were able to come and participate.  Jessica and Tom's families were able to come as well with their spouses and 5 grandchildren. Doug and Della came to the Mt. River Ranch for a few hours, but not to the farm.  It was wonderful to share these experiences and memories together and to have the second cousins get acquainted

While in Idaho last year I took pictures of landmarks we might have the families spot while traveling north.  Samaria and Malad were the first two mile markers along the way.
Samaria is where our GG Grandfather Jonah Evans was asked to settle by the LDS church. He was also called to be the first bishop of Samaria.  He was born in Wales.  The Osmond family has built a memorial cabin in Samaria recognizing their Welsh ancestors, and their mother.  We also visited this while in Samarian.  Jonah is buried on the south side of the cemetary.

 Malad, Idaho
Oneida County Hospital in Malad where I was born, April 20, 1924 -- 70 years ago.

The building is now used as a county health clinic.   It is the hospital where I was born.  Mr. Dr. was names Mayby.  My Henderson relatives lived in Malad in this little white house, as well as on their dairy farm up Deep Creek. The house is across the street south of the old elementary school.  We visited Grandma Henderson there.  She used to make toast in the oven with melted butter and sugar sprinkled on it for a treat.  I was the first grandchild in both the Keeler and Henderson families, so mom took a lot of pictures of those early days.

The back side of this reunion invitation had a couple of traveling games and information about ancestors on the Keeler side of our family.  We hope it kept the kids occupied in their trip through Idaho.

On day one of our trip we traveled first to Mt. Home, Utah to see our new granddaughter Lawsyn, and Anthony and Ashley's family.  We then drove to Kaysville and stayed with Andrew and Amy then left Thursday morning June 28 for Idaho, and to make the final arrangements before the rest of the family came.   As we travelled I wrote down the mile posts numbers. We at lunch at Famous Dave's Ribs in Idaho Falls, checked out the Civitan park, got supplies from WalMart then drove out to Ririe.

Visiting the Murphy Milo Farm

    We stopped at the farm our grandparents, Mike and Ruth Murphy, used to live at, to take pictures.  We have lots of good memories of playing in the barn, mainly of jumping out of the hay lofts onto the loose hay in the middle of the barn.  Despite the fact I always got hay fever, the fun of dropping from the rope into the hay was a bigger draw than the ailments I'd always suffer.
    Grandpa Murphy was a great one to tell stories of his Iowa growing up years, and Grandma always made "high" biscuits for us.
The house looks just as it did 50 years ago, though I didn't ask to go inside.  This is the lawn where Grandpa Murphy would play croquet with us, until his rheumatism got so bad he couldn't walk well.  We often stayed with them, when we had something going on at night in Ririe, instead of catching the bus home.  Our grandparents  loved having us come and they would pick us up from Ririe after school, which was about 4 -5 miles away.  Sometimes we'd catch the Milo bus which would drop us off at their place. 

Doug and I stayed here with Grandma and Grandpa the first year we picked potatoes. Grandpa found us a job in a field near by.  We only earned 7 cents per sack, and by the time we split that small amount, we didn't make much money.  I remember Doug liked to throw dirt clods a lot, and play with the other kids. I think we picked only picked 50-70 sacks each day.  We only did it for three days as I recall.  It was hard work for 9-11 year olds.  My grandpa couldn't believe they paid us such a little amount.
I pretty much worked in the potato fields every year after that until I graduated.
By the time I was a senior in high school I was still picking  potatoes  and we'd get 400+ sacks per day at 10 cents a sack, which was $20 a day for 10-12 days. In the 1960's that was good money for a high school kid to earn. My two fastest partners were Sue Streeper and Barbara Anthony.  We would work for two weeks in the potato fields during Harvest Vacation -- which really wasn't a vacation, but the money was wonderful to have.  On Sunday of our reunion, I went to the Ririe ward where Onda Summers Smith is a member.  She reminded me that we had been partners when we were younger, and we felt really proud of ourselves when we picked 200 sacks in a day.
The. Swetts are now own the Murphy farm and they have lived there for 30 years.  She said the reason they bought the place was because of the barn.  My Grandpa Murphy was a dairyman by trade.   He ran a dairy with many cows in Boise, McCammon and Milo.  They would milk and strain the milk and put it in clean stainless steel milk cans  Sometimes they separated the cream, and had a separate container for it.  The milk was picked up each day by Kraft which had a milk factory in both Ririe and Rexburg.
Besides Grandma and Grandpa's friendly and fun hospitality and delicious "high biscuits", the barn was the greatest attraction for us. We loved to explore and play there. We never watched TV , or sat around bored at Grandma's.  We'd play marbles with Grandpa, or say, "Let's go play in the barn!"  When we got older Doug and I learned to play canasta and pinochele with them.  We also roamed around along in the adjacent fields.

The barn actually looks better now, and they have kept it painted and well taken care of.  It was red when we were kids.  The Swetts also built a big garage-apartment on the property.  The people who sold it to them put wagon wheels fences all around the place, and also decorated with horseshoes.  This picture at shows the fence around the home, as seen from the Ririe Highway.

Entering Ririe -- GRANARIES R US!

David Ririe Home
Another little detour in our pre-reunion ramblings was visiting the original David Ririe home, built in the early 1900's.  This was the first house built in Ririe.  Mr. Tyler, a grandson, was out in the yard moving the lawn with his little grandson, so I walked across the street to take a photo and ask a few questions.  The Tyler family, from Jackson, Wyo., is in the process of restoring this beloved family home.  His grandmother was Marilyn Ririe.

Beautiful tin ceiling added to the home
David Ririe, and other farmers in the area convinced the railroad to build a loop into this little farming community so they could ship their grain more economically.  In 1914 Mr. Ririe housed a crew of 17 men for nine months while the railroad line was built.  His wife and family would bake 22 loaves of bread every day to feed the hungry men.  When the crew finally finished  the line they also built a little depot, they named it Ririe, in honor of the family who took such good care of them.

The Tyler family has spent several years turning the Ririe home into a lovely pioneer memorial to their ancestor.  Mrs. Tyler designed and supervised the building of the wrought Iron fence and balconies.  They have also included in the home memorbelia from their trips abroad as well as pioneer heirlooms.

Of particular interest to me was the fancy wood stove and cream separator in the kitchen. These appliances  were part of our life on Antelope for many years.  Even after we got electricity on the farm, we always had our wood stove in the basement for backup.  As long as we had a milk cow we had a separator on the back porch, and mom churched butter from the cream.  As we got older we all took our turns churning the cream.  Nancy now has that churn.

Once we finished our tour, we got back to the main purpose of our Ririe visit, which was to make sure the treasure hunt clues were clear and could be followed easily.  I had Steve be the guinea pig, and we ran into a few problems, which we were able to fix before the real hunt. 
Once we finished, we headed to Rigby, where we stayed with the Grooms.  We had a great visit with Barbara and Harry, and later that evening met up with Tom and Myrna Summers, Tamara Boyle, and JR and Karen Hayes.  It is always fun to get together with friends from high school.  That evening we learned from Tom that a bad fire had started in Pocatello shortly after we passed through.  One of their friends lost their home.

No comments: