Oral Histories

Rolly Thompson


Rolly Thompson

Q: That was pretty scary, I’ll bet.

A: It was scary.

Q: How long did you work for the missile base here and counting when you were in New Mexico and everyplace?

A: Well, I followed the missile business around for about twenty-two years. I came back I think in ’85 that we came back from Alamogordo. Then I worked from ’85 to ’95 in my own maintenance business.

Q: What kind of maintenance are we talking about now? Building maintenance?

A: No, mostly refrigeration and electrical. I’d help wire houses or whatever, wherever I could find work. And I did a little farming on the side.

Q: Do you still have farming property?

A: No, I never did have property.

Q: How much acreage were you leasing then?

A: I started out with Dale Ross up on Willow Bend . When we started there was probably a couple hundred acres, I’d say. Then during the winter when it was slow, he hired a blade and we went out and leveled another eighty acres or so.

Q: What were you growing?

A: We had hay and Dale put in an orchard, moved a lot of rock. For the orchard, I leveled the ground and got it all ready, two professors out of BYU, I guess they were into trees and stuff so they brought the trees and planted them after I got the irrigation system fixed. We had to pump all the water so we had to run plastic pipe.

Q: Did this come out of the Green?

A: Yes, out of the Green, it’s right alongside of the Green.

Q: What type of trees?

A: They planted a little bit of everything, I think. Bobbie went up there last year and got quite a bit of fruit, different types. She canned them, but I don’t know who’s got it this year.

Q: You were in partnership when you were doing the farming?

A: Well, when the maintenance kind of dwindled down until it wasn’t hardly enough work to keep me going. Then I went in with him, and he had a motel also. He gave me a pretty good wage if I would take care of his motel and do things around his farm. I did that until I retired. I wasn’t going to retire at that time, but my wife got sick. Jean got “Als” which is a non-curable, non-treatable disease. So I retired and stayed with her, took care of her until she passed away.

Q: What year did you retire?

A: In ’95. No, was it ’95? I’ve been retired for ten years. She passed away in ’99. I retired eleven years ago.

Q: With all this work, what did you do for fun all these years?

A: Ha, ha. Same thing I’m doing now, Four-wheeling. I started four-wheeling years ago. I got me an old ’50 Jeep pickup. Before that, we had horses because Dad and Mother had a farm out here with the place that they traded for. W had horses out there so when we wanted to up on the Books or something, we just throwed a saddle and pack-saddle on, loaded our stuff and away we went. Then after awhile,Dad decided they wanted to sell the farm, but I’d leased it for awhile and we finally decided to just let him sell it. So he sold it. That was okay, but I had 5 head of horses. When you don’t have a farm and you have 5 head of horses, they take a lot of feed. So then we sold the horses and went to dirt bikes. Of course, we had our Jeep Posse and we did quite a lot of things. One thing was we put dirt bike races on. We put two desert races on. One on the San Rafael Mail Run on this side of the river and put the Dubinky Still Run on the other. We did that for probably six years.

Q: When you were four-wheeling, did you do any guiding?

A: No, just for our own fun. The Jeep Posse went together and put on trail rides and Jeep trails, we went all over the country that way but we also, my wife and I, went alone some times.

Q: Did you do Search and Rescue with the Jeep Posse?

A: Yes, if they needed it we did help out on search and rescue. Then we went to dirt bikes until we got too old. When Jean got sick we sold or gave them to the kids and went out of business. I just took care of her from then on. After she passed away, why I kicked around here for a year or so and Bobbie and I got together. We’re both rock hounds so that’s what we do.

Q: What is Bobbie’s last name?

A: Anderson. We’re both rock hounds and we just go puttering around. We have lots of company, though.

Q: In this country, I think that rock hounding is very popular.

A: We have company come from Alabama – some of her relations; and we run into people at church and take them out. Even took the pastor and his wife. They have been out every year since – that’s about four years now.

Q: If you look back, can you say what were the funnest things you can remember or the most interesting thing you’ve done over the years?

A: I think the most fun we had was when we were into the dirt bikes and going Jeeping. We have a lot of country to go in and we are still looking for new country. We haven’t covered all this country yet.

Q: Any old friends or buddies?

A: I and the wife teamed up with Bob and Charlotte Seely years back and went all over the country, wherever we didn’t go with the Jeep Posse, we went together. Rock hounding and Jeeping has been our main hobby; seeing the country. Bobbie likes to fish so once in a while we go fishing, but I think the rocks usually get in the way most of the time.

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