Jabberwocky for 2003 August

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: Ok. The main detail is, I have survived!

The bride and I got up early and made it to the temple in plenty of time. My IV messed up while I was driving down, and I couldn't stop to fix it (being on the freeway), so I was kind of weak by the time we got to the temple. I made them let my sister into the bride's room to help me. Anne actually did most of the buttoning and advice-giving and I was glad for the break. The ceremony was lovely. It was performed by Lynn Poulson, a man I used to work for, who has known Susie since before she was born. The bride seemed very happy and not scared at all and the groom just shone.

They had five little boys in tuxes and two little girls in floofy dresses, children of the groom's siblings, waiting outside. This sent the Cute-o-Meter off the charts. After pictures, which took forever and a day, we had a big family lunch at Olive Garden, which included all the people who couldn't go to the temple. By that time, of course, the little children were a wreck, but I didn't worry about them because they weren't mine. It was reassuring enough for me to know that yes, they DO make pretty babies in that family.

We came home and collapsed. The reception was the next day--I didn't have anything to do for it as the ladies from the ward handled it wonderfully. We've been having a lot of thunderstorms and were in danger of getting rained out, but we only got sprinked a little, and the clouds took the edge off the heat. The groom's family did not manage to keep the little kids in their tuxes throughout--not only was it hot, but the kids discovered Grandma's Amusement Park, which occupies the rear 40 of the yard where the reception was. If they'd been allowed to jump in the pool in addition to the trampoline, their evening would have been perfect.

I made a tri-tip and bought Costco pizza and used paper plates and so on at home, so feeding the troops was not difficult. My house is still upside down, but we'll get there.

There are lots of M&Ms left from the reception. Want any?

: Gasp! Choke! I took my car in for service and it's going to be $640.

: "Knock knock"

"Who's there?"

A West High School football player. Do I want to participate in a fundraiser to support his team? I do not. What are you doing in a BHS neighborhood, kid?

Now I am going to have to call up Joey Nations and donate to the BHS team to make up for turning that other kid down.

: Almost have my scrapbook up to date, except for the wedding.

: I'm back from Utah but have spent the last three days basically crashed in bed. Here is the report on my trip to Utah. Leonard, Rachel and I got up really early last Friday morning and drove straight through without incident. It's so fun to have older kids who can share the driving--it's almost worth the agony of teaching them to drive. (Actually, I didn't teach Rachel to drive; Ruth Davis did. I didn't have what it takes to do it again with a third child.) We got to Provo around dinnertime and stayed with the newlyweds in their little off-campus apartment. It was rather bare, but clean and in good repair--a nice place for a first home. Rachel slept on a featherbed on the living room floor and Leonard and I slept on a pull out couch bed.

Saturday morning we went to visit the North American Museum of Ancient Life at Thanksgiving Point. I really like this museum and this was my third visit, but I wanted Leonard to see it. I shot a roll of film of my kids there, the highlight of which was the picture of my son-in-law with the mural of the creation of the universe. We were very careful to note all the trilobite fossils because they figured into our plans later. After the museum we went to lunch at HickoryKist in Provo and then took naps--at least I did.

Late afternoon saw us traveling to Midvale for the reception. It was a busy afternoon getting all ready for the evening. I was worried that it was going to rain, but it didn't. The reception got interesting before it even started because the Delaneys showed up. They are people from our former ward who now live in Idaho; I was in the YW presidency with Cheryl and taught the girls in Primary. Susanna told an interesting story about her one and only experience toiletpapering--the Delaney's house. Brother Delaney came out and caught them and yelled at them and the girls all went home scared and crying. They didn't know he was only giving them a hard time.

The reception officially started and the people were lined up clear down the block. I never met so many neighbors, and such friendly people. It was a real ordeal standing there in that line, however. I worried about John's father's strength. I think it's better to just greet the guests individually, but was told that a line is the way they do it in Utah. Well. I think I'm safe from any more Utah receptions, so that's okay. I would have liked to have more time for a longer visit with Sheila from the Mollybluestocking list.

A highlight of the line was when Bob Denkers, an old friend from college, came through with one of his daughters. We also had a good number of relatives--not all we would have liked because being August they were on vacation, but quite a few.

The next day, Sunday, we went to church at the BYU married student ward. The young couples actually gave some of the best church talks I've heard in years. After church we went to a family dinner at my brother Jonathan's. All my sister's married children were there and we had a lovely visit. This is the last time in a while to see Dave and Alyson, as they are moving to Kansas to grad school. Aly said she would send me some ruby Birkenstocks that I could click and come see her.

In the morning we got up very early, Susanna and John went off to work, and we hit the highway. We travelled to Delta by way of the Tintic Mining District, where my great grandfather got his start (and his finish) as a miner. We took pictures of some of the most admirable timbering I've ever seen, still sturdy and solid after over a century.

In Delta, we checked into the Best Western and then went larking off down a nowhere road to try to find the trilobite fossils. The map we had printed off from the internet looked a lot more thorough to a person sitting at home in California than it was trying to navigate the desert with its hundreds of nameless and mismatched road. Eventually we made our way from the two-lane highway to the Road of Doom and from there to the quarry. It's funny that I've been driving around in a 4WD vehicle for two years now and this is the first chance I've had to use it.

It was darn hot. We got to the quarry and spent the afternoon breaking rocks with a hammer. It got hotter. We found many, many trilobites and this was extremely exciting, but boy was it hot. We had read also that there is a geocache in the area,and we looked for it, but not having a GPS we didn't find it. Eventually, we loaded up all the rocks we could carry and returned to Delta via The Road of Doom. We ate dinner at a place called The China Inn in Delta--to be highly recommended, and run by real Chinese people.

In the morning, we visisted the Deseret Industries store, where we bought a book called "How to Write a Story and Other Essays" by Mark Twain for $.50. Then we went cross country--not on a Road of Doom, but rather a Road of Inconvenient Travel--to I-70, which we took to US 89. I was kicking myself that I didn't bring the blueprint of the house my grandfather designed and built in Panguitch so we could find it. We paid a visit to Big Rock Candy Mountain and then continued south to Glendale, where we paid a visit to old friends, Kingsley and Mimi Nelson. Dinner and catching up.

We got up well before dawn and headed home. I drove through Zion Canyon in the dark--an absolutely magnificient experience with the full moon shining of the rock faces and Mars closer than it has been for 50,000 years. Especially surreal were the views of the formations in the half-light, framed by the window cutouts of the big tunnel. These tunnels and highway are sentimental to our family because my grandfather built them.

Out of the canyon, we found they are widening the highway and widening and reparing the Hurricane Bridge, but they have had the good grace to have preserved Grandpa's supporting towers. I don't know about the original railing--last time I was through there, maybe three years ago--the concrete wasn't in such good shape, so it was good to see the bridge getting some attention.

Through St. George, Las Vegas, home without stopping, except for breakfast at the Denny's in Mojave.

: Further thoughts on teaching kids to drive. I taught Leonard. It was agony. I think he really didn't want to learn, but bless his heart, he did anyway and now I think he is glad.

Susanna was so sure she was unbeatable. I'll never forget the day she jumped into the dunebuggy and drove straight into the grape vinyard. It was really nerve wracking teaching her; Nancy Shile helped and let her drive in a little red Ghia. Greater love hath no man. Then Ruth Davis taught Rachel.

What wonderful friends. I don't know if I could do it for anyone else.

: My uncle Bill Whitney called and said Aunt Jeuney had an anuerysm. (Bet I didn't spell that right!) We are all very concerned and anxious and waiting to hear back from him regarding her status.

: Aunt Jeuney died. I am bereft.

: Here is the obituary I wrote for the newspapers.

LeJeune Whitney was born July 25, 1921 in Springville, Utah, the third child and only daughter of Lewis Jotham Whitney and Frances Evaline Henderson Whitney. She grew up surrounded by friends and cousins in Springville in the old family home on Main Street, and she graduated from Springville High School.

After a brief stint at Brigham Young University, she proudly served our nation during World War Two as an officer in the Army Air Corps, where she rose through the ranks and broke traditional barriers, contributing to the expansion of the women’s movement. After the end of the war, she married Carl Thornton Griffith, and the new couple made their home in Oregon, where she graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in journalism.

LeJeune and Carl became the parents of one child, Carl Whitney Griffith. Although they were divorced in 1968, LeJeune and Carl remained friends through LeJeune’s brief marriage to Marton Ackerman and Carl’s remarriage. They raised their child together and in later years once again maintained a household together, where they cared for each other until Carl’s death in 2000.

LeJeune had a heart filled with kindness and a brain bursting with ideas. Her interests and professional involvements were almost too many to list; she could and did do anything and everything. She edited the National Chinchilla Breeder magazine, she worked for the Salt Lake Tribune, she wrote and published her own books, she established a craft supply import firm and a graphics shop, and she spent many years on the corporate staff of Hewlett-Packard corporation. At an age when many of her contemporaries were quietly retiring, she embraced the computer age. LeJeune excelled at everything she did, and was always anxious and willing to share, help, and counsel with others to lead them to excellence also.

Her many nieces and nephews and the children of her friends will always remember LeJeune as a guide, an inspiration, and a second mother. She cared about every one and strove to help each person’s creativity and interests develop and bloom. LeJeune had friends all over the world, from all walks of life, and of all ages, from older people to her contemporaries to little children.

LeJeune is survived by her son, Carl Whitney Griffith, his wife, Suzi Griffith, and her beloved granddaughter, Sarah Maurie Griffith. She leaves two brothers, Joe and Bill Whitney, and Joe’s wife, Carla Whitney, as well as numerous nephews and nieces and many, many friends and relatives. She was predeceased by her parents, her brothers Lewis Earl and J. Cecil Whitney, her sister-in-law Lorna Whitney, and her stepmother Jesse Alleman Whitney.

: So I read in the paper that Griffith Observatory is being rehabilitated. The planetarium will have a new projector, and the place will be expanded underground (into where the lawn is now.) The murals are all going to be restored. It will reopen in 2005.

: I am scrapbooking Christmas of 1980. Making progress!

: This is going to be a difficult semester. It has hard times written all over it. Oh well. We've done hard times before and survived to tell the cautionary tale.

Rachel and I are getting ready to leave for Utah to attend Aunt Jeuney's funeral. I am on the program; I have to read from Tennyson's "Ulysses." She requested I do this poem at her funeral but I always thought she would be doing it at mine instead.

: I am back from Utah where I attended my aunt's funeral. It was very, very difficult to see her dead, --she was always so full of life and operated on a broader canvas than most people. In many ways, it was a much more grevious loss than the death of my mother because I think I was closer to Aunt Jeuney. In other ways it was easier because I had her longer, and I know she lived a full and long life.

I recited from Tennyson's "Ulysses" for the service. I was worried about what kind of job I'd be able to do, but everyone says the poem was a high point of the program. There were a lot more people there than I thought would be there. They ran the obituary I wrote for her in the Springville Herald, and I guess a lot of the locals saw it and came out.

Other speakers were my brother Jonathan, two men who went to high school with Aunt Jeuney, and my uncle's bishop. My sister in law Sharon sang a lovely sentimental old song (NOT a funeral number, a twenties "pop" song) and my brother Robert gave one of the prayers. The other prayer was by my cousin Ryan. We sang "Do What is Right" for an opening song and "God Be With You Till We Meet Again" for a closing. Singing that closing hymn with so much scattered family was really an emotional experience.

My brother Leonard missed his flight and didn't make the funeral--a real downer for all of us-- so my son Leonard was a pallbearer in his place.

Military honors were done by the local VFW post, and seeing those old veterans still standing (just barely) just about finished me off. I don't know what they are going to do for parades and the funerals of soldiers when the last of these old boys is gone. They seem to get more frail every year. My youngest niece picked up all the shells from the twenty-one gun salute, so we divided them up among those who wanted one as a souvenier of our aunt.

We buried her next to DH. I think he would be pleased to have her there because he was extremely fond of Aunt Jeuney.

My cousin Whit (her only child) is taking this loss really, really hard. As are we all. My sister and I have made a date to return in a year to do her temple work together.

Upon my return home, I had an email from a member of her camera club, who said the club is having a memorial next week and could he have permission to read the obituary there. I told him of course, and I'm flattered and grateful that she had so many wonderful friends.

Jabberwocky for 2003 August

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© 2001-2006 Frances Whitney.