Oral Histories

Ruby Ray Tangreen Zufelt

b. 1908

Ruby Zufelt

Q. And that was in Idaho? What town?

A. Jerome.

Q. You were just outside of Jerome, Idaho?

A. Yes. Then we moved to town, into Jerome, into a little cabin. It was just a one room cabin, but it was comfortable.

Excerpt from The Early Years of Ruby Ray:

Dad got a pair of old link springs with a frame on them. He put casters on it and rolled it under the bed. Vern and I slept on it at night. They rolled it under their bed in the day time. We didn’t have much. Mother had a sewing machine and they bought a new chiffonier, a tall dresser with a little mirror. They called it a chiffonier. They bought an Aladdin lamp and we had that before we left Idaho, but we never had a good lamp after that. We just had coal oil lamps. (With the Aladdin lamp) you pumped them up and they had a round wick and it made a bright light like lanterns do. It had a tall chimney and a globe on it. I guess they sold it before we left Idaho, because we didn’t ever have it after that.

Back to the DeLong interview:

I went to the second and third grades, while we were there. I remember the teacher’s names were Miss Gadow, second grade, and Miss Arps. As soon as school was out, we left and came back to Utah. Mother couldn’t stand the climate there. She couldn’t stand to be around any alfalfa or hay. She’d be deathly sick with asthma and the doctors told Dad to get her out of that country or he wouldn’t have a wife for very long. So, he fixed up a covered wagon, a nice covered wagon, and got another horse. He always had old Daisy. He got another horse to go with her, and hooked up that covered wagon. I hadn’t seen it, but I went to school to get my report card and got home early. They had the wagon loaded and were sitting in the seat waiting for me to come so they could leave.

We spent the summer in that covered wagon coming from Jerome, Idaho to out east of Monticello where we finally landed. We stopped and spent a couple of weeks at Aunt Jenny’s and Uncle George’s ranch, between Wellington and Sunnyside. Dad helped Uncle George drill a well, line the house, and do some farm work.

Excerpt from The Early Years of Ruby Ray:

Then we went out to Aunt Jenny’s. She lived out east of Wellington in an area they called Kamo. They call it Kixs today. They had a farm out there and it was irrigated. They didn’t have much; they were pretty poor. I know she had some spinach. It was on and we had spinach nearly every day. I never could stand spinach. She made bread and it soured and Dad said, “Well Jenny, I just can’t eat that sour bread.” She said: “Oh, you’ll eat it all right, we can’t waste it.” Later she crumbled it up and made pancakes out of it. When it was all gone, she said: “Well, Lewis, I told you you’d eat that sour bread.”

Nora and I were really good friends and we went out to cut alfalfa to feed the hogs. I cut my finger with the sickle. I still have a little scar (from the cut).

Back to the DeLong interview:

Then we started out again. Uncle George didn’t have any money, but he had a store building that he had rented in Sunnyside. We had to go to Sunnyside, on the trail, and get groceries for the money Dad had coming for the work he had done. We got to Green River on July 3rd, and kids were buying firecrackers and stuff. Dad pulled us out of town and sent me over to a little grocery store. It wasn’t very far to go for a loaf of bread. I went in the wrong door and got in the pool hall. I was so embarrassed. I went in the grocery store and got the bread. We got out of there as quick as we could so we couldn’t get any firecrackers.

Excerpt from “The Early Years of Ruby Ray:”

We went on and camped out at Courthouse. There was a cabin there then, and it was vacant at the time. We took care of the horses (Snipp and ol’ Daisy) and cooked our supper on the campfire, as usual. Dad was restless and couldn’t sleep that night, so he got up and drove on to the (Colorado) river and crossed the river.

Mother woke me up so I could see how beautiful that river was. I was just scared to death of the water. I hated going across the Green River, couldn’t hardly stand it. I’d just been awful happy if she’d have just let me sleep going across that river. But she thought I’d enjoy the scenery. I woke up and seen it, but it sure scared me. Then Dad went on into town. We camped there by the troughs at the river. The water was piped over to the road so the people could water their horses, ‘cause everybody was using horses then. We saw very few cars on the road, lots of covered wagons. . . . Dad went on into town, looked around, talked to people. Ireta fell down in the mud and that mud, was red and stained her dress.

An insert Ruby added later:

I remember when we passed through Moab in our wagon, there was an old blacksmith shop where the old road used to go on Fouth East. They called that area “Monkey Wrench Flats” because every time the guy that ran the blacksmith shop got mad he would come out and throw a monkey wrench out in the road. I think it was a Mr. Grimms that ran the place.

Back to DeLong interview:

Read the other Oral Histories