Carol E. Balsley Hines
Q: Did you live at Valley City?
A: No, my dad left there long before. I still have some history of Valley City but you probably have it too.
Q: Did your father move to La Sal?
A: No, he was with the Forest Service so he was there and up in the Monticello area and all that country.
Q: What was it like growing up here as a child as compared to being in a city?
A: We could just go any place. We could go hiking. We’d go up to the power dam as we got older and you know the big ditch that runs in front of the fire station where it drops down? It was an open ditch and we went swimming in there all the time. Nice big stream. We were always swimming or doing something.
Q: Did you go down to the wetlands as a child?
A: Yes, we used to go down there and skate. You know it used to freeze over down there. Had good skating.
Q: Did you ever go on the river when it was frozen?
A: Yes, it would really freeze. Nobody’d believe it but they took the oil well equipment down with horses down the river. It was frozen. And then everybody had an ice house. They’d go down and cut the ice out of the river and put it in these icehouses. You know how they’d put it in the sawdust and stuff.
Q: Did they ever get an ice factory here?
A: They did for awhile and the fellow would deliver it around because we had these chest freezers and so he’d bring these big blocks of ice every so often. And then we’d get along fine and we’d chip some off and make ice cream once in awhile. Get a little cow’s cream.
Q: Did you go up on the mountain like a lot of Moab people did during the summers?
A: No we didn’t live up there. Some people took their families and their cows up there but we never did that.
Q: It must have been pretty hot down here?
A: Yes but as kids you don’t notice. We walked up to the power dam,. Nobody took us up to go swimming. We walked.
Q: We talked about Al Rogers one time? Do you remember when he died?
A: I can’t just remember but I’ve got some things on Al Rogers. Dad mentions him in his history but I can’t just remember when he died.
Q: Were you a little girl?
A: Well I guess I must have been about 8 or 10 maybe. But you know we had those wood and coal stoves, you know, those heaters? He’d sit in the front room and spit tobacco juice on the stove!
Q: So he lived right in the house with you?
A: Sometimes he did. He’d come down and dad kind of watched that, mining and things so he’d come down quite often. I probably shouldn’t say all this but there’s a bed bug that doesn’t seem to bother people so much. But its all in the woods and stuff. So when he’d come down and sit down these bed bugs would be crawlin’ in his pockets so as soon as he’d get up and move we kids would get the bed bugs off the chairs! I never hear much about it anymore either but it’s a bed bug that seems to be more in the trees or in his house maybe but they don’t seem to bite anyone. But they’d crawl all over him and he wouldn’t notice them in his pockets. And one time mother had this garden out here and so he decided he’d help mother with the garden so she
had this beautiful garden and had these rows of beets. She said “Now don’t cut this plant.” She went out later and he had cut everything but that one plant! Can you imagine how you’d feel after that?
Q: So did you grow most of your food in a little truck garden?
A: Yes, we’d grow everything here. We had black raspberries. I’d sure like to get some good old black raspberries that were just dropping on the vine.
Q: What stores did you have?
A: Well, we had Millers Store, the co-op. But you know Millers burned down the one time when they were down right across from the Poplar Place. And I had just the nicest hen in the freezer down there. My husband was in the army at that time.
Q: Were you heating with wood? Coal?
A: Um-huh, with the wood and the coal. We’d cook with the wood stoves. My folks had one of those big stoves that had the water tank in it and I don’t know what (??) did with it but it was still in the house when dad died and she got all those things but I don’t know what she did with the stove. In the paper one time I saw where there were real antique things and it was $1,000 and that was years ago when someone was looking for one.
Q: I would presume most of the time you drove cars but did you ever take the train out of Thompson?
A: Not too much, a time or two. There was so many kids that had never seen a train so my dad would take the kids out to see the train out to Thompson and that was quite a treat since they’d never got to see one.
Q: Did you have big classes, a lot of people in your age group?
A: Oh no, we didn’t. On graduation there were just 16 of us. There were more of us when we were younger but a lot of them dropped out or moved away.
Q: This is your graduating class? Do you know everybody in the picture? (photo included)
A: I used to. Girls and boys, and we had this little guy right here (indicated boy on front row of graduation class picture). He didn’t grow very tall and fifty years later we had a reunion and that boy had grown to six feet! And he said one of his boys was like that, just very tiny and small. So the big boys would carry him around and all that. It seemed like they were very good to him. But I just couldn’t believe in that time how he had grown. I should have put the names of them on there.