Oral Histories

Ruby Ray Tangreen Zufelt

b. 1908

Ruby Zufelt

Q. How old was John? Was he a lot older than you?

A. I think he was eleven years older. I didn’t realize what was going on, but Ross told me. She was cooking dinner for him, and John and she had three hamburgers with the potatoes, so he had to go home and eat.

Q. Did your mom live with you until she passed away?

A. It’s a sad story, but John raised hell about Wade having a little company ‘cause he’d never put up with anything that Wade did. Wouldn’t let him play his record player. Wouldn’t let him do anything. And Wade never asked him for a quarter. He went and shined shoes at the barber shop to get spending money, ‘cause he wouldn’t have accepted it if John offered it to him. John was afraid I’d give Wade a dime and he wouldn’t give me any spending money. The first year we were married, he went down to the store every week and bought twenty dollars worth of groceries. I had a pretty good start on that. Then he got tighter than hell. Then he got so he give me ten dollars every Monday morning for groceries. There was Kay and Wade, and my dad was there most of the time. John and I had to eat. One week he gave me $2.46, and one week he told me he didn’t have any money. I cut his and Wade’s hair and now, if I could have a hair set we could all look nice. But he never give me any money for a haircut. If I was a poor working widow, I wouldn’t feel too bad about going to Sunday school without hose, but when I’m married to somebody that thinks they’re the richest man in town, and I can’t afford a pair of stockings, that’s bad. But he didn’t give me any money to buy a pair of stockings. He was just tighter than bark on a tree.

After this incident where he raised hell because Wade had a little company and he had to have air conditioning because the noise bothered him, he got up and went out to the trailer the next morning. He was going to pull out. So I went up to LaSal and got a job. I knew I could get one anytime. I had a little trailer, a small one. I was sleeping on the couch in the back room. He come out there one night. I said, “Well, I hate to tell you this John, but I’ve gone up to LaSal and got a job. I’m going up there to get to work. So he stalked back in the bedroom and that was it. I had to take Mother to Salt Lake, and I went to LaSal.

Q. So then was your mom at your sister’s all the rest of the years before her death?

A. It wasn’t very long. I think she was all broken up. She was a conscientious little person. She’d been enjoying a little attention, which she had never had. I don’t believe she could handle it. She was in the hospital for several months before she died.

Q. And then back to LaSal you went, with Wade?

A. I went to LaSal and cooked at the café. Wade went to work in a filling station and went to school in Monticello.

Q. And then John was gone?

A. I didn’t have any idea it was a permanent split-up. I’d come down, clean the house up, and cook something for him anytime I had a little time off. John stayed in town. He had son there.

After that I went up to LaSal, he come up there one time and took me for a little ride. He asked me for Mother’s address. He said, “I want to get her a box of candy,” but his voice broke when he said it. So I gave him the address, but I wouldn’t ride home with him. I walked back to the café.

Q. So then you went to LaSal and just worked up there until you met Orville?

A. No, I worked up there for a while. Then I worked at the hospital as a cleaning lady. The people who were just starting that garage up there come down and asked me if I would go up there and run the café. They offered me a pretty good job, so I quit the hospital and bought a big trailer and went up there. That was back to LaSal, and Wade was going to high school in Monticello.

Q. So you spent a lot of your life at LaSal, off and on?

A. Yes, cooking at the ranch house and cooking in the café.

Q. So during the years that you worked in different jobs, after John and before Orville, did you have other boy friends that you liked, just not enough to marry?

A. No. I didn’t go out much. I was too busy. I still had quite a family.

Q. But you loved to dance back then.

A. Never had a chance. I didn’t have a chance to dance until I met Orville. He was a dancing fool.

Q. He was dancing fool, was he? So where did you meet Orville, in LaSal?

A. No. I went down to see Andrew and Eva Lou in Arizona. Andrew was in Tucson. I went and took care of her kids while she worked. And then I went down to Tucson and helped Andrew out for a winter or two. They were having a real hard time. He wasn’t getting any benefits yet, and couldn’t work. His wife was working and they were living in a little tiny trailer and hard up as hell, and his pickup was broke down. So I went down there and let him use my pickup. Bought groceries for the family and helped them out through that winter.

Q. So there were quite a few years there between John and when you met Orville?

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