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My Personal Remembrances of my Grandmother, Leah Ann Lovell Ririe
By David Ririe

I was always treated like a privileged character in Grandma Ririe's house, not that I deserved the status, but because I was her eldest grandson and was fortunate enough to be named David after grandfather. It was a pleasure to be in the large and beautiful home where I was born. I loved its spacious rooms and the nice bathroom and the kitchen from which delicious food was served. One thing I particularly liked was her victor phonograph. I remember that she played some of the instrumental records over and over for me because I preferred the instrumentals over the vocalists’ recordings. She also had some seashells from which you could hear the ocean surf when they were placed next to the ear. Grandma told me that Grandpa obtained the shells when he visited in San Francisco. There was also a bookcase which intrigued me. As soon as I could read she pointed to one book in particular and showed me the writeup about grandpa in Volume 2 of "The History of Idaho." This book is now in my possession and I am thankful for it.

At six years of age I started grade school. Since the grain wasn't harvested by the time school started the folks placed me with Grandma until they could finish the work on the Granite farm and move to the valley. Grandma was very nice to me during that period which was a hard time for me because I was very bashful and didn't do well in school.

Grandma was a great story teller. She laughed heartily as she related stories about our Dad to Max and me. He was apparently quite mischievous for she told of his pulling a little girl's hair who passed them on the street on one of their visits to town. She also told of Dad's greasing the buggy for Grandpa - the seats and all other parts. It was obvious to me that she had enjoyed her children, although with seven of them she must have been very busy. Her sense of humor was wonderful.

I believe the first money I ever earned may have been from mowing her lawn. The lawns and grounds of the home were spacious and well designed. Mowing the lawn with a push mower was anything but easy, but she paid me well, so I didn't mind doing it. She also bragged about the good job I did and seemed to have an endless supply of silver dollars, one of which she put in my hand each time I finished the work. In those days that was good pay for a mere boy.

One day she told me that a politician came to her home and offered to take her to the polls. When he asked her how she voted she replied, "By secret ballot." Then she looked at me and said she hadn't voted for him, although he probably thought she would feel indebted to him and do so.

I remember laughing and laughing some more as Uncle Eldon described his efforts to teach her to drive the new family car she had purchased. As I recall she took a turn around the orchard, barely missing trees and hitting lower limbs, to the east of the house, and came near demolishing the car as well as objects that stood in the way. Uncle Eldon and Aunt Sylvia drove her to and from Church, town, and visits. As far as I am aware, she never learned to drive, although she did own cars.

Grandma liked good food. One of her favorite things was a family picnic. At a Ririe family picnic on occasions such as the Fourth of July, there was food enough to feed far more people than were in attendance. It was my job to go on several trips with her. At the first town she would suggest we stop for ice cream, candy, or soda pop. No wonder we liked it when she was with us. She canned many quarts of apples, jams, apple butter, and we even made cider with the apples. Hers was a wonderful house to visit.

I regret that one time I hurt her feelings. She had brought a bottle of her plums to a Church affair. No one partook of them and she said, "Here's David, he will eat my plums." But I opted for some peaches that someone else had brought. Grandma was hurt and I wish I could have a chance to make that decision over again.

Grandmother was very independent, but at the same time she was not averse to calling upon her sons to help her in times of need. She rightfully expected respect and a quick response and she could scold when the need arose.

To illustrate her independence, I relate this incident. Our Father was the Bishop and in caring for the widows of the Ward he sent Max and me to deliver wood to each of them. We delivered the wood from the Church wood pile to the widows on our list and at the end of the assignment still had part of the load. One of us suggested that we take the rest to Grandma. We drove up alongside her woodbox near the back of the house and started to fill it up. Grandma came out of the house. The conversation went something like this:

"What are you doing?"

"We are delivering wood as the Bishopric asked us to do to the Ward widows and we brought some to you.”

"You go back and tell your Dad, the Bishop, that when I need charity I'll let him know.”

We knew then why her name was not on the list.

Grandma worked hard to support herself and her children when she was left a widow. As far as I know they had as good an education as most other families provided for their children and she sent Uncle Eldon on a mission to England. Long before her death she divided up her farm properties and gave each child a part of the land.

In her later years she took renters into part of the house. Stanley M. Boyle, the high school principal and his family once lived under her roof as well as several family members including the newly married, such as Aunt Lizzie and Uncle Ivin, my parents, and Uncle Parley and Aunt Edna. They lived in the home with her until they could establish places for themselves.

She truly did many generous things for others. On one occasion her generosity peeved Uncle Eldon. She gave Grandfather's double-barreled shot gun to me which angered him. He tried to get her to reneg on the gift, but she would not budge.

She loved me and I loved her!

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