Oral Histories

Ruby Ray Tangreen Zufelt

b. 1908

Ruby Zufelt

Q. Now who was Rose?

A. Clarence’s (and Alta Larsen Tangreen’s) daughter. She was a little younger than me, but she had three little kids. She died with the last baby. She said, “I wish you was my mother.” I said, “Well, we’ll just play I am and we’ll be fine.”

Q. You took care of her?

A. She had two little girls and she’d come up to the house everyday about 11:00 o’clock. in time for dinner. I didn’t have anything. That was about the time Lenore was born. I had a garden and a charge account, but I was awful careful, because I knew that I couldn’t get more than thirty dollars worth of anything. Not that much because, of course, Clarence had to have his tobacco and whatever. But she’d come up everyday about 11:00 and have dinner and then she’d stay until after supper. Then she’d have to leave right quick to get her kids to bed, and leave the dishes for me to do, too. But she was a sweetheart and those kids were very precious. That was before we went to Tropic, ‘cause she died the winter we were in Tropic and there was five foot of snow and we came to the funeral. She was married to a Darrow. Anyway, she is buried in that lot. Helen’s mother died. That’s the youngest of those three girls of Clarence’s (and Alta’s). When her mother died, she brought her over here and buried her in the lot. She had to buy the lot, ‘cause it hadn’t been paid for. Then when my Del died, I went to Burke (Taylor) to try and find a lot. He asked me if I wanted the new cemetery or the old one. I said I would rather have it in the old cemetery, but there isn’t any room left there. He said, “There is a lot and it’s a lot bigger than it used to be.” He said, “When Helen’s mother died, Helen had to finish paying for it. She hasn’t got any relatives that would want to use it, has she?” I said, “No, I don’t think so. Helen’s sons said they wouldn’t.” This cemetery plot was originally bought by Clarence Tangreen, but not completely paid for. Helen is Clarence’s daughter by a previous marriage. So it is now a family plot.

But it turned out people had just ordered the tombstones and had put them just anyplace there in the lot. Burke had to locate the graves and put them where they belonged. Burke found that there’s room for me. I didn’t have to pay for the lot. Dixie called Helen’s son, who is still living in Grand Junction, to see if he had any objection to us using the lot. He said, “No, they’d be very glad to have someone on it who was interested in taking care of it.” So that was good. Del is buried there and there is still room for me. Burke gave me a deed to the lot.

Q. That was one break you got. Where is Clarence buried?

A. He’s buried in the Tangreen lot, just across the road. It’s on this side of where the building is where they take care of their equipment. And we’re on the other side and down a little bit.

Q. So you’ll be pretty close to him anyway, won’t you?

A. Not that it matters.

Q. No, it doesn’t. Things in this life we get kinda shook up about, but it doesn’t matter where we are.

A. We had a hard time finding the deed to that lot. Well, Helen had to pay for it when her
mother died. And her name was M.P. Houdashelt. They looked under M.S. Houdashelt and found it, so we got it squared away.

Q. What about things you’ve made in your life, the things you’ve sewed and given away, the dolls you’ve dressed?

A. Doug come by the other day. I said, “Look around this place and see if there is anything you’d like to have?” He looked around and said, “Well, I’d like to have one of those little dolls you made for Christmas one year, that sit on the roll of toilet paper.” I had one in on the toilet in my bathroom. It was faded on the skirt, so I took it off and turned it wrong-side-out, then put it back on. I got it for him. I couldn’t find a doll to make a new one.

Q. That must have been a childhood memory of his.

A. No, Delma took theirs when she left him. That was the only thing he wanted that I gave him for Christmas. I made them for all the kids at Christmas, and that was the one thing he wanted. She got about everything they had, even that little doll. When they got their divorce I spoke to her and said, “You were my daughter for forty years.” Her eyes got teary and she gave me a good love, but I haven’t seen her anymore since.

Q. How many dolls did you make like that?

A. I made enough for all my kids and a couple of friends. I can’t remember, eight or ten.

Q. Well, I remember a few years ago when you were buying dolls at yard sales and decorating them up. I think you made about twenty, didn’t you; and gave away to your grandchildren?

A. I got the dolls, but I don’t think I got ‘em dressed. I gave one to Kay’s granddaughter in the wheelchair. She can’t talk. She can’t do anything. She can make a sound, but she can’t say anything. She can look please and happy, and she was so pleased to get that doll. I dressed it in the dress I made for Vicki when she was little. This is Kay’s and Judy’s granddaughter. She was born that way. She’s thirteen now and she’s pretty hard to handle. Her daddy has to carry her every place. She lives in Orem, I think. They come down for Christmas and maybe the fourth of July or something. I give her that little doll and she was so tickled with it. I was making a white and lavender afghan. I had just finished it and her mother said, “That’s her colors,” so I gave it to her and she was so tickled.

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