Oral Histories

Bill Meador

b.1933

Bill Meador

Q: That was in the Warner Lake area?

A: Yes, our cabin overlooked the Warner Lake. In 1942 they made us move it down the hill away from the lake. They were going to develop a range of summer cabins, which they never did. Until that time several Moab families lived at Warner – the wives and children, and the men worked in town. We had quite a bit of company. After they made us move, those people started moving off of the mountain as well and there weren’t as many people up there by the mid 40s….’45, ‘46. Most of those families had moved to town, but we stayed there.

Q: Who were some of the other families?

A: The Corbins, the Bish Taylors, and the Robertsons. Most of the old centercore families whose men were in business in Moab.

Q: Did they all have cattle?

A: No. No they just came up to get out of the heat for the summer.

Q: But you were actually running cattle. How big of an outfit?

A: We had about eighty head. My dad had bought Mill Creek from Charles Zufelt because that’s all my brother wanted to be was a cowboy. It’s the one thing I never wanted to be. He bought the ranch and my brother basically ran everything. In those days it was an economically feasible unit for a family, especially when you have a little brother that you don’t have to pay anything to.

Q: Which came first, going away to the service or college?

A: I graduated from high school in May of 1951 and was in the Marine Corp two days later. Went to San Diego for my basic training. Served in Korea. Was finally discharged from the supply depot at Barstow, California. Got out, Lyn and I were married, and moved to Cedar City; started college at Southern Utah. I had a scholarship to play football. We were there two years. Came home when our daughter became extremely ill. We had to put her in the hospital at St Mary’s. I had to lay out of school two years while we paid off her medical bills and got squared away to get back in school. I had lost my GI bill by then and Senator Bennett, the father of the current Senator Bennett, (they look just exactly alike) and Senator Watkins got my GI bill reinstated. We had already moved back to Logan. I said, “I’ll get a job and go to school at night, whatever I have to do.” But we were there about a week when the two of them notified me that my GI Bill had been reinstated. In those days, you could only stay out of school 2 quarters and keep the GI Bill. That was like a gift back to us. It allowed us to go to school full time. I graduated from Utah State in 1960.

Q: You had the service and all of a sudden you said you got married to Inalyn. Was she local here? Had you known her before?

A: Lyn and I had only gone together since she was in the seventh grade and I was in the eighth. It took us a long time to make up our minds to do that, and there were bumps along the way like kids have, but we have been together so long it’s ridiculous. We’ll be celebrating our Fiftieth Wedding Anniversary in August of this year.

Q: That’s room for congratulations that’s for sure. You got married and went to Cedar City to school. Were you over in Cedar City when you had your first child?

A: Yes, we were not going to have children until we got out of college. We were married in August and Lyn didn’t get pregnant until October. Our daughter was born there. We really enjoyed Cedar. People were very good to us. I had successful seasons as a player and as a student. I enjoyed college life. It was totally different from Marine Corps life. We came back to Moab and worked here two years, then went back to college to get a bachelors degree and then continued on.

Q: When you started school in Cedar were you already planning to become a teacher?

A: No. I had driven a couple of Marine Corps officers to China Lake in the Mojave Desert where they were testing various kinds of weapons and airflow type of things and one of the officers talked to me about a platoon leaders’ class in the Marine Corps and a college education. I had observed over the period, of course, how much better officers lived than I lived as an enlisted man. I had made up my mind that I was going to get a degree. I really didn’t plan on getting out of the Marine Corps. I liked the Marine Corps. I liked the structure of it. Going to college, I had it in mind that I would like the law. The classes that I took for two years were directed at something that would prepare me to get in and finish law school. When we got ready to go back into education, I had spent some time with educators here in Moab as just close personal friends and had decided that I would like to do that. That’s when I went and talked to Mrs. Knight and she encouraged me to become a teacher. I’ve never been sorry for that choice. I wish I could have stayed in the classroom longer, but I couldn’t afford to.

Q: During the time you were here paying off your daughter’s medical bills, you basically changed your whole life goal and decided to go into teaching?

A: I really did. The influences of the people I was associating with, and I did some part-time coaching and things like that, that brought me in contact with kids. Having that daughter to sit down and read to. It all came together that maybe this is something I should take a look at. And at that point the legal profession was not feasible financially for me. When I went back to school, I needed to get a degree as quickly as I could and get on a payroll as quickly as I could. Now my oldest son Shawn is an attorney and a very successful one. 

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