Oral Histories

Dale & Donna Oviatt

Donna: b. 1929 - Dale: b.1929

Donna & Dale Oviatt

Donna: Where is the roller skating rink that we used to go to?

Dale: I think the one there at Star Hall wasn’t a roller rink when we got married, but Lynn Day had one up on Fourth North and Third East, I think it was. He had a roller rink up there and we used to go up there about every weekend to go roller skating. We did quite a bit of archery all over the state and into Colorado.

Q: Contests? And Shoots? Any trophies?

Dale: Oh a few.

Donna: Lots of them, dust collectors.

Q: Did you make your own arrows?

Dale: Yes, I made a few of them. Wooden ones to start with, fletched them and all; then fiberglass ones. I had a archery arrowhead box that I gave to my son in law and all the archery equipment and then my boy, when he was going to Carbon College he was doing some archery and I gave him all my aluminum arrows. Only trouble was, he stopped to see his girl friend at one of the bowling alleys and while he was in there, somebody stole all the arrows.

Q: Were you a good hunter?

Dale: We seemed to get out deer every year.

Donna: I never did shoot one, but Dale shot his almost every year. Good, good meat.

Q: Did you ever go elk hunting or bird hunting or fishing?

Dale: I never went elk hunting or pheasant hunting either one. I did a lot of fishing. We used to go to pretty near all the lakes on the mountain.

Donna: we did a lot of river fishing up on the sandbars (Colorado River). We had friends that we’d meet up there and have Dutch Oven dinners. We’d fish and the kids would wade around in the water. We had to watch them like hawks. We used to have a lot of fun; we used to own a boat. We sold it because it is just too hard to manage a big boat. Then we bought a rubber raft and we used to go to Monticello and that lake and paddle and play around on the rubber raft. Lloyds Lake. We used to have a lot of Dutch oven dinners, it was wonderful, biscuits and, oh! nothing better.

Dale: I have to tell you about my sweet wife though up at Lloyds Lake. It was down kind of low and the shale there was slick. The wife told me if we went riding around on the raft, then we’d go down and play golf down at the golf course. When we got ready to get out of the lake, she stepped on the bank, slipped and fell down and was mud from one end to the other. (Went underneath the boat) So we had to go back to the trailer house and change clothes before we went to the golf course.

Q: When did you start playing golf?

Dale: Back in the fifties.

Q: What is the history of the golf course here; was it going then?

Dale: The county actually did the grading and all before I went to work for the county. It was a nine hole golf course. Then it proved to be pretty good so eventually they made it an eighteen hole course out of it.

Q: Do you still play there?

Dale: Well, I call it playing golf. I don’t know what others call it.

Donna: I played golf, but I don’t play any more because I’ve got too big of a yard to play golf.

Dale: Bill Buchanan and I were out there last Monday about one o’clock and played nine holes. It wasn’t all that cold, but we didn’t have out shirts off.

Q: Let’s talk about now. Do you think your medical problems are because of the uranium that you worked in?

Dale: Oh, could be.

Donna: Well, the doctor said it definitely was.

Dale: You’d put your dust mask on and go in those yellowcake dust-collectors; work for about four or five minutes. It would be covered up with dust so bad, you’d take the dust cover off, do your work and come out a-spitting out yellowcake dust.

Q: Do you want to talk about your medical history and how that has affected you?

Dale: I didn’t even know I had cancer until I was up to the Senior (Center) one day and (Western Lung Cancer Testing) took an x-ray and found it. Went from there. Went over to St Marys and they operated and took half of my right lung out.

Donna: He went six years before he had two more spots on his lungs.

Q: Did you work during the time that made you eligible for the government program and were you able to get the benefit.


Dale: Actually, the cancer never has bothered me all that much. Lived pretty much the way I would anyway.

Donna: But it eats you away and finally fills you up so that you die.

Q: You are lucky that you don’t have pain?

Donna: Well he’s had pain since his chemo (treatment). It gives him pains in his arms and legs and back.

Q: And you are having a chemo series now?

Donna: Yes, he goes over again tomorrow (Feb 8, 2006).

Q: Do you think you have had any health problems from living in Moab or with Dale’s work?

Donna: I don’t seem to have. No, I’ve had tests and there doesn’t seem to be any problem.

Q: You have seen quite a change in the development of health care in Moab. When you first came here was the Allen Memorial Hospital built?

Donna: No, You know where the gas company used to be downtown. The hospital was right across the street

Dale: It was right across the street from Williams dentist office, where that big hotel on First West and Center Street is now is where the old hospital used to be.

Donna: We had one doctor, Dr. Allen.

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