As far as Church callings went in El Monte, I was teaching the Sunday School class that Douglas (Douglas Alcorn Rowley) and Ralph (Ralph Alcorn Rowley) were in, I was on the genealogical committee as well as working with the welfare program and I was in the Elder’s Quorum presidency.
I got a job with the U.S. Rubber Company where Leonard (Leonard Clark Alcorn) worked. When summer came I took on other jobs also to help with the expenses of a large family.
(For details of the children’s experiences in school, see Lillian’s (Lillian Alcorn) history).
David (David Alcorn Rowley) had been having his troubles since leaving the farm and I wasn’t able to give him hardly any money. He couldn’t pick up any work that easily either. He and Don (Donald Eugene Smith) were good pals, so he joined the Navy while we were living here, but he didn’t like that very well. He later joined the Army.
We had a lot of good friends in the El Monte ward and Lillian and I would go to parties with them. We had lots of good times. One time they gave me a surprise birthday party. I was also asked to be Santa Clause that Christmas, (for details about these events, see Lillian’s history).
It was here that Douglas had his eyes operated on and the muscles changed back behind them. His eyes would cross while he was looking at you. They had tried to correct this condition in Montana with glasses, but it didn’t work very well. He didn’t have to wear glasses after the operation. The story of Douglas selling his glasses in school in Montana is told in Lillian’s history also.
In August of 1946 Grace (Grace Harriet Rowley) had a baby boy. They named him Donald Eugene (Donald Eugene Smith Jr), after his father. We were all saddened when he lived only about 17 hours. It was really hard on Grace and Don.
I went to work for the Fidel Construction Company and worked up in the San Gabriel Canyon. I worked both jobs for a while, then quit the Rubber Company.
It was while I was working on this new job that we got word that my father, Hugh Thompson Rowley, had died on 14 March 1948, I got leave from my job and I went back to Montana for the funeral, dad hadn’t been himself since he had sleeping sickness some years before. He would get disoriented even out in our backyard, and Francis (Hugh Francis Rowley) or Erma (Erma Thornton) or the children would have to lead him back into the house. It was a time of reunion, although a sad one. My Uncle Royal was there and we had a nice visit, Francis asked me if there was anything I wanted and I told him I would like Dad’s old watch since he bought it the year I was born.
I sold my place in Montana for a lot less than I should have had out of it, but with the money I was able to pay off the place in El Monte, California.
I was asked to help build the new chapel in El Monte. I worked on it for a while but didn’t get to help finish it because Lillian and I had decided to move to a smaller community thinking it would be better for the children. We had all lived on a farm most of our lives and there was so much congestion and crime in the city.
To be continued…