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My Perry Grandparents
By Perry K. Lovell

Although I was named and blessed by grandpa Perry, he died when I was less than two years old, so other than what my mother and grandmother have told me about him I have no memories of him.

When I was growing up, our farm was located about two miles from the Perry irrigated farm. Grandma Perry was a frequent visitor at our home. If I were given just two words that best describe how I remember grandma they would be purity and gentleness.

I never remember hearing one unbecoming word pass her lips. When she became provoked the most profane word I ever heard her use was "fiddlesticks". The only time I can remember anything approaching anger in our relationship was when she was babysitting me and I peddled off without asking her permission to visit my dad's aunt, who lived in the house east of our home. The quarter mile trip was made on my small tricycle. I don't remember how long I had been gone, but I remember her walking through the gate with a small willow switch in her hand. I don’t know if she would have used it and I doubt that she would, but I remember how the tricycle flew over the cobblestones in the street as I peddled home before she could catch me. The words she latter expressed about her concern when she couldn't find me and her fear that I may have fallen in the canal caused me much deeper feelings of hurt than a switch.

When I was three or four years old, mom had to go back to college to renew her teaching credentials. Mom and my sister Gayl lived in Rexberg during the weekday. Dad and I stayed on the farm since dad had chores and work he couldn't leave. When dad was busy doing electrical work and I couldn’t go with him I often stayed at grandma's. I remember how much fun it was to get into Fred's old room because that is where grandpa's old muzzleloading shotgun was kept. I remember how much fun it was to sail down to the first floor riding the banister. It seemed like I was always getting stung by the bees that would swarm under the house eve after leaving Mr. Mobley's hive's that were located in the cedar trees south of uncle Bert's house. The pump organ in the parlor was always an attraction for the grandkids. Going out in the morning to feed grain to the hogs was always fun. However, I was afraid after the oft repeated stories I had heard about the old boar hog that attacked Max Ririe.

Old Sparkle was a real favorite. Sparkle was grandkid wise and when it came time for her to have her pups she would take off and hide the pups until they were old enough to survive the affectionate mauling from the grandchildren that were always at grandma's. Sparkle and her pups were known for their high IQs around the community.

Special memories attend the family gatherings that were held mainly at Thanksgiving giving time. That seemed to be the time when all the family except uncle L. Tom's would gather together. In those days a trip from Logan Utah to the Perry farm was infrequent because of poor roads and cars. Family members would bring food and families and it was a real time of rejoicing and thanksgiving.

I remember mom taking Gayl and I on a train trip to Pocatello. Idaho to visit aunt Eurene and grandma. Grandma was cooking for Fred and some other college students attending Idaho Branch College. On the 17th of April 1980 I saw the name of one of those students on a nametag of an Idaho Falls temple worker as our two daughters were receiving their endowments prior to their marriages. I asked Clawson Richardson if he was the same Clawson Richardson who Fanny Perry used to cook for along with Fred Hardin and Merrill Sharp. Brother Richardson looked rather shocked and then told me he was indeed that Clawson Richardson. He then spent some time talking to me about those college days and the positive influence grandma had made on his life and how proud I should be to be the grandson of such a good and saintly person. I think the trip to Pocatello occurred before I started going to grade school.

Before grandma went to aunt Melba's to work in the Salt Lake Temple she stayed at our house quite often. Memories of her talking to herself are fresh in my mind. When anyone would chide her about this, her favorite response was “Well I have to talk to myself since there is no one else here intelligent enough for me to talk to”. How I would now like to recall and accurately record some of the stories she used to tell me as I would ask her to tell pioneer stories. She would talk about her mother and father about how her mother wove hats in England and saved money to come to Zion after her conversion, of the disappointment on arriving in America and finding no transportation as she had planned by sending money ahead with a missionary. I remember her quoting her mother as stating she hoped that the Elder had used the money for good. She bore no malice. There were stories of she and her husbands travels with their three small children to Idaho. Of the sorrow she felt when she left her Utah home and family, and the memories recalled when the hymn "My Mountain Home So Dear" was sung and her inability to sing that hymn because of the lump that arose in her throat. I would love to hear more about her suitors before she married grandpa. I remember her saying that grandpa would tease her about her "little Welshman" and the welshman saying he would never marry because Hen Perry married the only girl he could ever love. Now when I hear a hymn by Evan Stevens I think of the twinkle grandma would get in her eye when she talked about her youth. I remember grandma commenting on her concern for grandpa's ability to remember items that were important for her. I latter came to know that she had reasons for wondering. Mom related the following incident to me. It seems that grandpa and grandma had gone to Rigby, about ten miles from their home to do some shopping. Almost at dusk, grandpa and the buggy retuned hare and as mom and aunt Verna ran out to meet them they noted that grandma was not there. They asked about her, and grandpa’s reply was, “Jolley I did take your mother with me didn’t I.” With that he turned the horses around and headed back to pick grandma up.

In 1936 uncle Bert drove mom, grandma and myself to Salt Lake City, Utah to visit Aunt Melba. I especially remember a visit to two of grandpa Perry's sisters who were then in their 80's. The thing that impressed me most is how they almost ran up the steep Salt Lake City hills, myself being a flatland child had real trouble keeping up with them. I also remember going through Willard Utah, where the Perry's and Young's settled after coming to Utah, just after a tremendous cloudburst had rushed down from the mountains and burst a dam above the town. We also had driven through Logan, Utah and stopped at uncle L. Tom's for a short visit. The thing I remember most about the drive from Logan to Brigham City was the drive over Sardine Dugway where the car seemed to hang out into space.

I remember the joy I felt in my heart when mom read me a postcard we had received from grandma saying she would soon be at our house for a visit. Just a few days later that joy turned to tears when I was told that she had passed away. She did come to our home again. Before her funeral her body lay in state in my parents bedroom at our Ririe home. I seem to remember her lying in a grey velvet flowered casket as friends and family passed by to pay respects. I remember aunt Melba telling our family that grandma had come home tired from her Temple work and as was her custom had laid down for a short nap. Aunt Melba said she heard grandma say "Oh Henry, I'm so glad that you have come for me.” As I looked on her sweet face. that I so dearly loved, as she lay in her casket clothed in her white Temple clothes she had a sweet gentle proud smile that I will always remember.

Now when I meet her other grandchildren or their children and their children I remember how much she loved the Lord, the Church, and each of us. I can't help but wonder if she is pleased about how well we are carrying on and our interest in each other.

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