Next we went to Washington D.C. where Ralph (Ralph Alcorn Rowley) came for us and took us home to his family. They were very good to us and made us feel very much at home. Aleene (Aleene Sumsion) took us out to Mount Vernon where George Washington lived. Mount Vernon is very old fashioned and beautiful. The trees are very large and old. Holes in the trunks have been filled with cement to keep the trees alive. The lawns and gardens, the elegant manor house, the slave quarters, the livery stables, coaches, small gate-room school house, and many more things have been preserved and kept just as they were when the family lived there. It is something I hope all my family will be able to see sometime.
They took us out to see the temple site. The temple was almost finished on the outside and we were sure glad we saw it. They took us several places, including the Smithsonian Institute buildings. We fell in love with them. The ones we saw were filled with such indescribably wonderfully things. We would have liked to spend two months there.
We stayed with Ralph for 12 days then took the bus again and went to New Brunswick, New Jersey. We spent the next four days there with Sheldon (Sheldon Rowley Murphy) and his family. They gave us their master and made us feel so welcome. They fixed a picnic lunch and we went out to the beach on the Atlantic Ocean. Thanks to them we can say that we have at least waded in both the Pacific and Atlantic. The next day some friends of theirs took us with them to New York City and treated us like family. We saw many of the interesting things there. When Myrna Jean (Myrna Jean Johnson) heard Estella (Estella Cordelia Tidwell) tell about (and show the picture) leaning over a railing on the 69th floor of the Rockefeller Center to take a picture of the top of a huge cathedral, showing the tips of the spires and a cross on the top of the building, she said, “My goodness, I didn’t know you were doing things like that!”
Going across on the ferry and seeing the Statue of Liberty was nice and coming back from New York City through the Lincoln Tunnel was fun, too, actually seeing the thing we had heard about, made us feel like we were having a dream come true.
Sheldon had called ahead and made arrangements for some of the church members to meet our bus in Rochester, New York and to see that we got to the pageant and things. Brother and Sister Yahn were there and they took us in Palmyra where we had a picnic lunch with them. Then they took us to the Sacred Grove where Stella had a very spiritual experience. We went to the Smith house and all of this was so wonderful. That evening they took us to the Hill Cumorah Pageant. No one could describe the grandeur of that experience. The sound and lighting effects and the performance of the play are something I will never forget.
These nice people took us back to our motel room in Rochester where we couldn’t sleep in our expensive room because we were so wound up from the many things we had experienced that day. We could never have done it without the help of these wonderful people.
The next day we took the bus to Canada and spent most of it taking in the beauty of Niagara Falls. Estella was really taken with it and didn’t want to leave but we had to be on our way. We saw other places in Canada but a lot of it was during the night.
To be continued…