Sunday, October 23, 2011

Personal Journal of Leland Keith Stoker, Post 4

Moving to Burley
In the spring of 1936 we moved about five miles closer to Burley. This was to a rented 80 acre farm in the community and ward called Unity. I remember quite a few memorable things about that time. At this location there was electricity. That is the first experience, in my memory, of having lights that would really light up the room. This brought the new experience of having radio. Dad's parents had moved to a farm where there was no electricity. They had a radio but no way to use it. It was loaned to our family and was a real experience. Radio had regular programming on it much like television has nowadays.
During the day there were programs that were of a serial nature. Some were of the soap opera type. There would be regular newscasts and music shows. In the evening would be prime time shows. These would come on once a week. They would consist of comedy, drama, music and occasionally sports. One of the favorites would be boxing announced live.
I remember Dad and Mom's concern with moving to a larger place. The one in Springdale had 40 acres and this one consisted of 80 acres. We didn't move there until spring. The entire place needed to be plowed. This was quite an undertaking with horse drawn equipment. Also, Dad was concerned because he only had four head of horses. It took three head to pull the plow. This left only one horse to pull the harrow to smooth and work down the clods for a seed bed. There was no money to buy another horse nor to hire anyone to drive the extra team.
After a lot of discussion, Dad decided, with a lot of reluctance on Mom's part, to have me ride our tamest horse pulling one section of harrow behind it. Even though I was only about four months short of my sixth birthday, I still vividly remember the first day out on the job. It was a cold, windy, spring day. We started early in the morning and worked until noon. As dad unhooked the horses to take them in for their noon feed, I remember asking him how much we had done. His answer was, “about an acre”. I really didn't comprehend what was meant by an acre, but could see that we surely had a lot of work ahead.

Starting School
That fall was the beginning of school for me. I don't really remember the very first day of school but remember very vividly some of the first days of school. At that time we did not pre-register at all for school. I started at the Miller School in Burley. After just a day or so, they transferred me to the Overland School. Shortly thereafter the transfer came to the Southwest School. Apparently no one wanted me because there were only three grade school in the city of Burley.
I was in Miss Oberholtzer's class. There probably was never a more timid and shy first grader than I. School was exciting and came fairly easy for me. Reading was particularly enjoyable. It has been a very enjoyable endeavor ever since then and continues today. There was only one subject that ever really gave me any trouble. That was art. For some reason that was tough in the first grade and never did get much better. I have always enjoyed looking at artistic things but when it came to drawing them- well there must be a short circuit between my eyes and my hands. The things the eyes behold do not transfer to the paper or canvas.

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