Oral Histories

Jim & Nellie McPherson

It started to snow when we got up next morning, so we brushed off our saddles and decided to go back down through the Pratter place and Brush Hole. Not one bit of snow along the way. We got to Fisher Valley Trail and Jim said, “It is slick. We’d better walk. Don’t be afraid of your horse. He can stop.” But I wasn’t sure. Better than halfway down, my feet went out from under me. When I looked up, Sinbad’s head was right over mine. He looked tall as a mountain. It was April 26. We had lots of water that year.

Bill and Lillian Boulden came to the valley after he was out of the service. Bill had worked for McPhersons before I went there, and wanted to come back. Lillian of course was afraid of horses, but she didn’t have to ride. Once she helped us down the canyon with some cows. Her eyes were big as saucers. Bill had told her how the rocks fell of the rims, and one did. Jim and I got into the Narrows once. There was a big one, maybe a couple of feet high, and clear across. So we couldn’t ride around. Jim said, “Pull down your hat.. Hang on to the saddle horn and jump your horse.” We did and rode on. Back to Bill and Lillian, on Christmas day, it had snowed. Bill argued all morning to put the slip-on runners to feed. Jim told him the snow would be gone by that time. They did and we took off, Bill and Lillian driving. Jim and I were standing on the back. Instead of Bill going the right way of the ditch, he crossed it, kitty-corner, throwing the back corner of the slip up. Jim jumped and so did I, but landed on the side of the ditch. I heard my right ankle grate. They got me back on the slip and to the house. It was twice its normal size. Lillian got hot water. We didn’t know about cold water, ice, or snow at that time. The fellows had to change runners to wheels and feed. There was a pair of homemade crutches and I got around. Some of the swelling went down. New Year’s Day we had to go out to do the income tax again. I put on one of Jim’s boots. Bill took me to the top of the hill in the wagon, thank goodness. I could step in the stirrup with my left foot. It was late when we got to Moab. We always stayed at Vergie Carter’s Motel, at $8.00 per night. The next morning I went to Dr. Allen. He examined my ankle and it wasn’t broken anywhere. So he bound it up, and it felt so good. The group was gathering at Kenny and Bette Beache’s that night. So we went down. They wanted to go out to the Hole in the Rock. It was a restaurant and club sort-of-thing at that time. But it had rained and the streets were sheets of ice. Jim said, “I’m not taking Nellie,” and we left. I don’t think any of them went. They had a hard time getting out of Kenney’s drive.

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