Personal Journal of Leland Keith Stoker
I am starting to write this on February 15, 1985. I will try to recollect as much as possible of my earlier life and then attempt to keep it up on a more regular basis.
I was born on July 7, 1930. The mind is a little foggy on the exact details, but have been informed that the birth took place at home. Home was a small house in Roy, Weber County, Utah. As recent as last year this home was still standing.
My parents are Lee Hammon Stoker and Ethel Elizabeth Blanch. Better parents can not be found. Their industry, integrity, compassion, and demonstrated love cannot be surpassed. It is hoped that references may be made that will demonstrate some of these qualities that they possess.
At a short year of age, our family moved to Lava Hot Springs, Idaho. Early the next year we moved to Burley, Idaho. This was a time (1932), when the country was in a deep depression as far as economics were concerned. The move was made in bitter cold weather in the middle of February. The few head of cattle that Dad and his brother, Herman, had accumulated were driven, over the snow and ice, to their new home.
My first personal recollections begin with the home we first moved into. It was a small frame house located in the rural community known as Springdale. The home was located about 10 or 11 miles Southeast of Burley. We lived there until the spring of 1936 or until I was about 5 ½ years old. It had no electricity. Consequently, coal oil lamps were used for light. The water was pumped by hand from a well located out in the yard. Water was carried by the bucketful into the house for culinary uses. The toilet was located at the end of a path or for little kids a little pottie under the bed.
Several events happened that I remember while living in Springdale. I remember my 5th birthday. The reason it is remembered is that our family went to visit Dad's parents. They had moved to a place a couple of miles away. When we arrived Dad's younger brother, Ivan, informed me that it was my 5th birthday and that I was supposed to be spanked on birthdays. He administered the “present”.
Another time at this location mom had a meeting to go to. It was in the springtime and Dad was irrigating. It was decided that he would take me with him to the field for the afternoon. The sun was shining but the wind was blowing cold. At my continuing complaint about being cold Dad told me to lie down in the shelter of a high ditch bank out of the wind It was comfortable there with the sun shining brightly on me. Soon I was fast asleep. The next thing I was aware of, was stinging feelings all over my body. At my screaming Dad came to see what was the matter. He laughed as he peeled all my clothes off to get rid of all the ants. I had lain down in an ant-bed.