Oral Histories

John William (Jack) West


Jack West

When we got back to Provo we were considered old timers for the JC’s. In fact, I have forgotten the age group, maybe 35, no, I think 30. But they had kept organized the group that we were socializing with before I went into the service so we got back in with all those people. We had a real, real good social time. We had a dance a week and Helen loved to dance. I enjoyed it. I remember two or three times they had a big boat down on Utah Lake and the group would go down there and dance on summer nights, had an orchestra. There was room for all of that. Boy, we really had fun. So we were back into the social activities.

During this old timers deal, going back there, we met the Humphreys, Marv and Mary Humphrey. He was working on the railroad and Ed Rambo was one of the guys that worked in the shops down on the railroad. They took me fishing up on Strawberry, and, boy, it was fabulous. We just caught big natives and lot of good fishing. So we started doing that and every summer we spent a lot of time up there. Helen and other couples, and Jim went up with us and Marv’s boy, and we really enjoyed Strawberry. It was fantastic.

During that time we were acquainted with Dr. Westwood. He was one of the leading doctors in Provo. We got acquainted with him and his wife, and his wife’s brother and wife, the Vassar’s. We really had some good friends and really had a lot of fun between the JC’s and them. We went deer hunting with them a lot, duck hunting, dove hunting. We really had a good time, all that time. And what else did we do? I went out and did some lion hunting. Ron Jones was a friend from the JC’s old timers. During the winter I went out lion hunting two or three times and they always furnished a horse, so we had a good time there. One time we got one, brought it back, hung it up at the station and got a picture of Jim standing by that. Remember that, Jim? A lion hanging there and Jim was standing by it. So we really had all kinds of activities. When we went lion hunting, the girls would go along and stay in Price. That’s where we usually headquartered and then when we would come in the evening, no matter how tired we were, we had to go out dancing and socializing. Boy, it was rough sometimes after hunting mountain lions all day, but we really had a good time.

Well, the station was just very successful. In about ‘49 the station I was in was one of those old tin stations out toward the street and then they had built a two-bay brick building in the back for lubing and washing. But in about ‘49 or ‘50, the company tore all that down and built a big new super station on the back of the lot. Put in all new pumps, everything, and two bays and a real nice office, so that made the operation that much easier. We had two angled pump islands and it turned out real good for us. And, of course, having worked for the company prior to ‘39 before I started merchandising and while I was merchandising, I knew most of the company people. Anything I wanted, they were real good to me because I got along so good with all of them.

Up until about 1953, after they built the new station, we had been renting. We rented two different houses in Provo. But, as a result of the new station and the way business was going, things were going real good. We decided to look for a home and started looking around to buy. They were building some new area in northwest Provo. In fact, we finally decided on a home at 760 North 750 West, a small place, two story, and bought it from a guy that actually was a customer. He had built a new bigger home in Orem. We moved in there maybe the latter part of ‘53. It was run down, even though it was new. He’d built his new home but he had neglected it, so we immediately went to work on the yard and fixed it up the way we wanted it, did a little remodeling inside. Had a big rumpus room downstairs with a real nice mural on the wall, desert type, and a bedroom down there. That give Jim a bedroom upstairs, Ann a bedroom downstairs and then we had a nice one. We did a lot of painting inside and then the yard needed a real workover, so we did that. Then, in ‘56 when we decided to come down here (Moab), we put it up for sale and a neighbor bought it, one of the neighbors around the corner. We made $5,000 bucks on the deal. So that was our first home in Provo.

When we moved to Provo, Ann was a year old, and her birth was absolutely fantastic as far as our life style. When we got married, we thought we had really done it. It was wonderful. And then, when Ann was born, we just decided that was ten times more of a life style and added to our life. Then, when Jim was born, boy, it was perfect and that’s just what we had, just everything we wanted and were so contented and happy, having a boy and a girl. Ann was a beautiful gal. She had long ringlets and she was as pretty as Shirley Temple ever was and her mother kept her dressed so pretty. Of course, she did most of her growing up while we were on 2nd South in that first home we moved into. When we moved down on Star Avenue, she was in junior high school and Jim was five years old, because that’s the home we lived in when he started school. But one thing that happened when we were up on the other place. Jim, of course, had been up to the station forever, but one day he disappeared. Helen couldn’t find him, and as I recall, someone brought him back, had found him wandering around. He had decided he was going up to the service station and he got up into town, got a little confused, but at least people found him and rescued him, and brought him back to the house. But, oh my gosh, we enjoyed the kids so much and did a lot with them. We spent a lot of weekends going back to Ogden to visit Grandma and Grandpa Berglund, and, boy, they were really in love with both the kids and Grandma, when they were both little, she was just wild about them.

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