Saturday, December 15, 2012

George Anders Anderson

George Anders Anderson

George was born at the home of his parents, Neils and Mary Anderson, on Thomas Road on August 16, 1913.  At that time the home consisted of only two rooms.  There were two children born before George. The first child was a little girl named Emma Jane.  She was born December 20, 1909.  She died just six months later on June 4, 1910.  She was fine during the day and that night she had a convulsion and died..  Next came Donald Neils.  He was born July 15, 1911.  After George, Mary Ingrid was born November 11, 1915, then Wallace Owen on December 17, 1917, and Robert Denton on August 3, 1920.  Denton died serving his country during World War II.  The plane he was fighting in was shot down over Keil Germany in 1944.  Records sent to the family from the War Department show that the B17 on which he was belly gunner was carrying out the fifteenth mission when it was hit by anti-aircraft fire and exploded in mid air.  No parachutes were seen coming from the plane.   After Denton,  Ross Wilson was born on December 26, 1922 followed by Russell Wilson born on April 16, 1926 and then Heber Homer was born August 26, 1928. 
George was the smallest baby born This was a blessing because it was a hard birth. George was born breach.   Mary was in labor two days and a night.  The Doctor came out of the bedroom and told Neils that he could only save one or the other, not both.  Neils told the Doctor in no uncertain terms to get in there and do his job and save both of them.  The poor Doctor did his best and he was finally able to deliver the baby and they both survived.  Neils always teased George telling him that he came into this world backward and he had been backward ever since.
George went to grade school on the corner of Wilson and Thomas road at the Wilson School House.  This is now the school district offices.  They had to walk to school.  In the winter when he was small, if it was a blizzardy day, Neils would come with a blanket and carry him home

 His older brother Donald would follow behind and step in his fathers footsteps.  George graduated from the 8th grade from this school.

Mary told how George used to go to the Peterson store with his dad.  He would see something he wanted and he would throw a terrible tantrum if he couldn’t have it.  His father told him he couldn’t go anymore if he had tantrums, but he had them anyway.  George would lay on the floor and kick and scream.  His father would go on with his business and then he would pick George up and take him home swearing he would never take him again.  One time his father told him he could not go so he hid in the car and went anyway.  His mother thought this was great fun and when she would tell us about it she would laugh so hard the tears would roll down her cheeks.  George had a lot of tantrums when he was a child and got his way quite often.  This is so hard to imagine because most of us knew him as such a quiet man. Very, very stubborn, but quiet.  His father always said that if George ever fell in a ditch, be sure to look for him upstreem because he would be too stubborn to be downstream.

When George started school, he was so puny the school nurse decided he needed Cod Liver Oil.  His mother bought large bottles of it and George had to take a big dose of it every morning before he ate his breakfast.  Mary added a little sugar to it to help the taste, George said it sure didn’t help the taste much.  His mom kept this up until he had his tonsils out at age 11 or 12.  It is no wonder that George was so small, that stuff would stunt anyone’s growth!

When George had his tonsils out, the doctor came to the house and removed George’s first and then a cousin’s, Phillis.  Sister Ingrid and brother Wallace were next.  They kept the children in the bedroom and brought them out one at a time, doing the surgery on the dining room table.

When George was a young boy, he and his older brother Donald went up the ditch to the head gates with their dad.  Their dad told Donald to watch George while he went up the ditch to check some other head gates.  He was the ditch rider for that canal.  While he was gone the first thing George did was to try to cross the canal on a plank and fall in.  This was right at the head gates and the water really swirled around and bubbled there.  There was no way that Donald could possibly save George without drowning himself.  George was able to grab a cattail growing by the bank and hang on for dear life.  Donald ran down the canal bank to get his dad.  Neils said that if George hadn’t been so small the cattail could have never held him without breaking.

George’s first school bus was a Model T flatbed truck with staves up and over the bed like a covered wagon.  These were covered with canvas.  It had a window in front so the driver could see them and a door in the back with two or three steps going down.  The bus had a row of benches down each side.  It was really cold in the winter.  The bus was so slow that they could get out and run along side and even pass it while it was traveling down the road.   George rode this bus while in the 9th grade at Moreland High School.  When he was in the 10th grade, they got a new bus.  It was a Dodge Graham truck.  This had 2 foot high sides built out of 2 x 4's, then staves over the top and canvas stretched over that.  This one had a door built in up front right behind the cab.  You could open the door and step into the back.  It had a row of seats on each side and two benches back to back in the middle.  This bus went much faster and they couldn’t outrun this one.

One day George decided he wanted a sandwich.   On this very day his mother had just finished a batch of jam.  It was poured into the bottles and it was cooling.  As soon as it was cooled the wax would be poured over the jam to seal it.  George took a slice of bread and proceeded to put a scoop of jam from several of the jars onto his bread.  Needless to say his mother was a little irate to have all these jars with a hole in the middle of the jam.  She really got after him and he ran outside and hid under an upside down beet dump bed that was used on the truck during beet season to haul beets.  While he was hiding there he fell to sleep.  He was gone a long time.  Neils had the neighbors and his brothers help look for him.  Neils’ brother Phil just happened to lift the side and look under the beet bed and there was George fast asleep.   They had been looking in the ditches and everywhere.  Mary was so relieved when he was found as they were so afraid that he had drowned.

When George was a senior, he borrowed a horse from Roy Goodwin.  George only had school half a day, so he rode a horse so he could go home and help farm when he was finished.  At this time, their father was on a mission and Donald and George, being  the oldest boys, had a lot of work to do on the farm.  George liked working with horses.  His older brother, Donald, did not.  George would do most of the work requiring the team of horses and Donald would irrigate and do most of the hand work.  That way they were both happy.

Their mother, Mary, raised chickens and sold the eggs every week to help buy her groceries.  Every Saturday the boys had to shovel out the dirty old straw and then cover the floor with clean straw.  Not a fun chore.  When they finished cleaning their chicken coop, they had to go over to Alta Stander’s place and do her coop because she was a widow. 
After harvest, George made enough money from his spuds to buy his first car.  It was a 1929 Chevy Coop.  He took off the trunk lid and put in a rumble seat.  It was dark blue.  It had a cut-out on the tail pipe so it was really noisy.  Everyone could hear him coming and going for miles around.  The car had a little piece of chain that came up through the floorboards that he could pull to make the cut out work so he could control the noise.  Of course, most of the time he had it as noisy as he could get it.  He still had this car when he started dating Virginia.

George’s cousin, Ray Anderson, set up a blind date with Virginia Hampton and George.  Ray was dating Bernice Wheeler who was a best friend of Virginia’s.  Bernice lived down the lane at the old Poole place and Virginia just lived around the corner on Clark road.  They went to a baseball game.  This is the first time they had met.  When they were dating Virginia’s dad would always comment when he could hear that noisy car coming after her, “here comes shorty high pockets”.

After they had dated for a short time, George asked Virginia to go steady.  He decided he was going to get married.  He told his dad and they went to town and got some lumber and started fixing up a little house that was down the field behind Wallaces’ house.  You went down the lane beside the potato cellar.  There was two large potato cellars and the house was behind and off to the west of the cellars.  The house was later lived in by Wallace and Vivian while they built their basement.  Then it was sold and moved on to Thomas Road.  George hadn’t asked Virginia to marry him yet.  She was working for Lowell Smith who was the mechanic at the Riverside Garage owned by Ollie Fackrell.  His wife was bed ridden and she had a small child.  Virginia worked taking care of her and the child.  The home was right beside the Garage.  While she was there working, George and his dad stopped at the Garage and filled the truck with gas on the way back from the lumber yard.  Lowell come over to the house and told Virginia that he had just seen her boyfriend and his dad at the Garage and they had a load of lumber to fix up a house for her and George.  This is the first time she had heard of this.  Before long George bought a ring and gave it to her.  She didn’t dare tell her folks for awhile and wore the ring around her neck on a chain for about a week.  While George and Virginia were living in this home they were farming with horses. George had a nice team.  During the night while the horses were in the corral behind the house, someone came in and took the horses.  They cut the fence on the corner across from All American Store and loaded them up.  For weeks everyone searched for those horses.  Once they heard that they might be in Arco.  George and his dad drove there to see but no luck.  They were never found.  This was a terrible financial loss.
They met in June of 1934 and were married on September 13th, 1934 in the Logan Temple.  Virginia had just turned 17 on July 23, 1934 so, because she was underage, she had to have her mother’s sister go with them with a letter from Virginia’s mother giving permission.  They were going to get married on the 12th but when they got to Logan, Virginia’s aunt, Anna Christine Hobbs had gone to the fair, so they stayed the night and got married on the 13th.  George was 21 and Virginia was 17.  They went to Ogden and stayed the night at Virginia’s uncle, Hyrum Bolander’s home, then hurried home the next day to put up hay.  Also they had a wedding shower for Virginia that day at Mary Anderson’s house.

George farmed for most of his life.  He also had milk and beef cattle, pigs and chickens.  He worked for Twin Butte’s Construction driving Caterpillar making roads in the mountains by McCall,  Idaho.  He worked at Boyle Hardware and furniture store making deliveries and laying flooring with Tom Hemming.  Trained with the Railroad to be a Switchman.  After he finished his training, the call came for him to go to Glens Ferry to work.  At that time about the only thing there was the railroad switch station.  There were a couple of little stores and a few people who worked for the railroad.  George and Virginia decided that they did not want to live out there in the middle of nowhere, so they turned down the job and went back to farming.  George  bought and ran Riverside Garage for a couple of years, drove milk truck for Blaine Randall, worked at Mike’s paint and glass doing glass work, and worked at the AEC site doing custodial work.  While farming he would supplement his income working at the potato warehouses in the winter.

George never got farming out of his blood.  He began farming with horses and then his father bought a 1935 Farmall tractor.  The tractor was used to run the Case Thresher and do some custom plowing.  The Tractor ran the thresher, but the grain was still cut and hauled to the thresher with the teams of horses.  As the grain, peas, beans or clover seed was threshed, the seed went into bags.  No one wanted the job as bagger.  First of all it was really dirty.  There was so much dust from the thresher. The bags were filled clear full then sewn shut with a large needle and twine.  When these sacks were full they were heavy.  Everywhere the thresher went, there went George as the bagger for many years. The Anderson brothers all had farms and they always helped each other get their crops in.  They shared their equipment with each other.  When their harvest was done they always made sure that if anyone needed help with their harvest the Anderson boys were there to help. The Anderson brothers were known for their hard work and for their honesty.

They lived on Thomas road next to Neils and Mary’s home when the Teton Dam broke in 1976.  George was at Alice’s home to help her get ready for the flood.  He was trying to protect the well from getting flood water in it.  When he got home his house was flooded.  The water had missed Alice and hit him instead.  The additions in the front and the back were full of water up to the floor level of the main house.  The main floor escaped the water damage but everything in the lower levels were ruined.  The water was between two to three feet deep. They were lucky because they did not have a basement.

George loved his brothers and his sister.  He so enjoyed living by Homer and Russell.  He spent a lot of time working with Homer irrigating and taking care of cattle..
George was a kind and a loving father.  He enjoyed his children and his grandchildren.  After he retired, he really enjoyed being able to go on trips with his children.  He was a great sport to go on most of the rides at Disneyland except for Space Mountain.  He just didn’t like the roller coaster rides too well.  He was game to walk down into Carlsbad Caverns.  For those who have not done this, it is a long steep walk.  When we took him to the Natural Bridge caverns in San Antonia, Texas he went down in them once, but the second time we went there he sat out in a waiting room and had a nice cold Pepsi.  He said that he didn’t like the look of those great big slabs of rock on the ceiling.  Part of these slabs had come crashing down to the bottom of the cave many years ago but the guides made sure to try and scare you by saying that they could come down any second and Dad did not like the looks of that for one minute.    We went to Washington, Canada, California, Nevada, Oregon, South Dakota, Minnesota (drove there and back so saw a lot on the way), Montana, Texas, New Mexico and Mexico.  We went on a lot of trips and saw a lot of fun things besides traveling all around Idaho.

Homer and Barbara took George and Virginia with them to Indiana.  The stopped in the Black Hills and saw Mount Rushmore.  They went to Nauvoo.  Came home through Yellowstone and went through Cody, Wyoming and went through the museum.

George and Virginia were married 65 years.  During that time they had lean years and good years.  They worked hard together and provided for their family.  George was a little man with a great loving heart.

George and Virginia had a 50th wedding anniversary celebration at the Riverside church.  When they had their 65th anniversary, they had a celebration in their yard.  They had over four hundred guests come and share the fun.
George and Virginia had four children;

Clair Hampton Anderson born August 8, 1936 Died November 2, 1965

Mary Joyce Anderson born December 18, 1937

Sadie Sharlene Anderson born August 28, 1943

Leon George Anderson born September 1, 1956

George fell and broke his hip April 14, 2000.  He was in the Bingham memorial Hospital seven days and died on April 21, 2000.  His funeral was at the Blackfoot West Stake Center on April 24, 2000.  He was buried at the Riverside-Thomas Cemetery.

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