Another case in point was when we were putting up hay and had been working pretty steady so we decided to take the afternoon off and go swimming. Some of the boys had made some rafts and took them out to an island in the Snake River. I had been swimming for a while when I started to get a cramp in my leg. I crawled to the raft and stretched out on it for a while. About then they decided to go back to shore so I got off the raft and started swimming towards shore. I was almost there when I got another cramp. I tried to holler but I just got my mouth full of water. I went down and came back up, then tried to holler again. Francis had reached the shore and was partly dressed when Dad asked him where I was. Francis looked and saw me go down for the third time. He jerked off his clothed and jumped back in to help me. The others pushed a plank out and he got me on it and with their help brought me in. I had swallowed plenty of water and felt the effects for a while, but I was sure thankful to be saved from a watery grave!
Another time I almost drowned in the Snake River just beneath the bridge in Idaho Falls. A man and I were standing on the bridge and we saw some big fish in a large hole in a rock under the bridge. We decided to go down and try to catch them; I thought I could because I had caught fish with my hands before. When we got there we found the rocks were very slippery because of the spray from the falls. As I stepped on one of them I went down and I would have drowned if that man hadn’t held me and pulled me out.
It was about this time that Morris Gibbs and I were fishing and exploring along the Snake River and we saw where Fall Creek dumped into the river. The water was so low that it revealed a cave underneath the falls. We wanted to see it so we jumped from rock to rock until we could go behind the falls and up into the cave. We went back in a ways and we could hear another falls back in the cave somewhere. It was so dark and we had no light so we were afraid to go any further. It seemed as though no one else had ever seen or heard of this cave because most of the time it was covered with water.
I belonged to the Boy Scouts in those years, too, but was not always as active in it as I would like to have been because of the farm work I had to do. I learned a lot of good things from it and I worked in the scouting program later in my life as a Scoutmaster. I still think that every boy should belong to the Boy Scouts of America. One of the friends I had in the Boy Scouts was Verl Nielsen who later played a role in Estella’s life (small world!!)
Even though we were still living on the same place we were told that we had to go to the Shelton Ward because of the boundary line changes. It was there that I was ordained a priest in the Aaronic Priesthood by Bishop Edmund Lovell on 1 April 1923.
I had two years of High School but wasn’t able to stay in school because I worked at the Lincoln sugar factory that winter. I also took a seminary course under a Brother Fisher. He was sure a wonderful teacher. Our study was the Patriarchs and Prophets of the Old Testament, over forty years later I am pleased to find that I still remember most of those facts.
To be continued…