Oral Histories

Rolly Thompson


Rolly Thompson

Rusty: Now when did you get to this part of the country?

Bobbie: About 40 years ago.

Rusty: And you came to Green River?

Bobbie: Yes, because of my children’s father. We were divorced but he was here and I was really ill and I came to bring the kids out to live with him because I figured I was going to die.

Rusty: It looks like you pulled through.

Bobbie: He died and I’m alive. I had all kinds of allergies and I weighed 112 pounds approximately when I moved here. And I’m a tall lady for 112 pounds. I don’t weigh 112 anymore and I’m thankful. Doctor Mayberry was the one that finally got me on the mend. He was my very good friend, but he was a good doctor but also a good friend.

Rusty: So you were traveling to Moab for health issues?

Bobbie: I had surgery over there and he delivered two of my grandkids. But he was my best friend. He kept saying, “You are too thin. We are going to have to give you something.” After a while, he’d give me these pills and they wouldn’t help. Then he said, “I think it’s your nervous energy that is keeping you so thin.” So he gave me something to help me not run so hard.

Rollie: We both had that kind of a problem.

Bobbie: But I don’t have it any more. I can lay right down on the side of the dirt and go to sleep. It just don’t bother me any more but as you can see. I’ve been here off and on for about forty years.

Rollie: When I worked running caterpillars and equipment around here, in the summertime when it was hot, I’d get down to 125 pounds. This one time I was out running Howard Sullivan’s cat with the cable dozer and I had to get out and push the dozer around if you wanted to angle it. One day I thought I had the worst heartburn in the world; I thought I was going to die. I went to Doc Barton and he looked me over he grinned and asked, “You know what you did?” and I said, “No.” “You have strained your diaphragm.” He asked me what I was doing and I told him. Then he says, “You know what, Rollie? If you’ll drink a beer a day, you’ll gain weight.” I drank a beer a day for thirty years and I never did gain weight until I met Bobbie.

Rusty: She must be a good cook.

Rollie: Last winter down there, I got up to 160 pounds. That’s the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life. I’m back down now to what I usually run in the wintertime.

Bobbie: I’ve gained a lot of weight, to me it’s a lot. Our whole family was skinny. You just looked at big old rails. My son wore 29 inch waist pants until he was in his late 30s.

Rusty: Were your children all raised here?

Bobbie: They all went to school here. JoAnn finished school here; she came in her senior year. Susan was in the first grade her first year here. I love my kids, but of course everybody loves their kids. My baby stayed here longer than the rest of them and everybody loved my baby.

Bobbie: The guy that was at church yesterday whose grandfather or great grandfather was one of the first store owners in Green River, he might have information on Thompson. He did go to the museum this morning to see my Joanne at the museum because she has a pretty good little archives down here on her own. He might have been a Farrer. They were going to take pictures over to Joanne could scan them and give her all the information they had on Green River. Joanne Chandler. She’s in the archives over at the museum.

Rollie: One more story. When I was seven years old, it got 42 below zero here. The school was up there where the motel is now. I would leave the house and Harold’s station was here on this corner. Then I’d go up to this corner which Magarelles had a station there at that time. I’d warm up there then I’d run to the Green River Hotel which was right across the ditch right here and warm up there. Then I’d make it to Midlin Garage which is still standing and warm up there. Then I’d make it to Bebee’s store and that was the first grocery store that I know of and warm up there. Then there was nothing from Bebee’s store to that school and that was the longest trip in the world. They said it even froze cows standing on their feet.

Rusty: Do you remember what year that was or how old you were?

Rollie: It was in 1937, ‘36 or ‘37.

(Break …Tape restarted)

Rollie: I went to a lot of rendezvous and I sewed my own uniform and I sewed the wife’s skirt and blouse. She decorated them, but I sewed them by hand with an awl.

Rusty: And your kids went along with you on the rendezvous?

Rollie: They all like that too. Everyone of them was in Colorado and Utah.

Rusty: Did you belong to a local club around here? You have medallions from some.

Rollie: We did have a club here for awhile.

Rusty: Who were some of the members?

Rollie: Don’t recall. Mont Swazey. We had rendezvous people or black powder people but most of them around here just like to go shoot, not too many liked to put out the effort to go rendezvousing.

Rusty: You have a lot of shooters in Green River, even a new shooting range?

Rollie: I haven’t looked into the range; we just kind of slid out of the rendezvous and went to rock hunting. Bobbie was a rock hound and so was I to a point and so we just kind of went that direction instead of staying with the rendezvous. It takes a lot of getting to get things together and really runs into hard work.

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