top of page
  • Writer's pictureAmyanne rigby

2nd East... Memoirs of a Mormon Girl raised in Dog Town- ask the Elm Trees


Preface- Join Barnwood and Tulips every Monday for a memory.... and then write your own--- what kind of street(s) did your family live? Write about it!


A great way to discover your story.... share your joy!




Today, I returned to 2nd east and I listened to the two elm trees that shaded my little red brick house. The house that knows my history... perhaps, better than I do!



Ask the Elm trees... they will tell you the story of the family of nine in the little red brick house- of the games of baseball they shaded- of the lilac trees that marked the home run boundary. Ask the elm trees... they will tell you the story of the children playing cops and robbers in their shadows- of the adventures of the two little girls starting fires in the neighbor's barn- thank goodness it never burned to the ground! Ask the elm trees... they will tell you of the summer nights when the crickets chirped and the stars shone while the kids gathered for night games.



Ask the elm trees... they will tell you about the Walkers and the apples, grandma Jones and her cookies, Mrs. Webster and her red Christmas rice balls, and about Henry and Blanche Dotson and their stories told on a hammock while we savored pudding pops. Ask the the elm trees... they will tell you about Hugh Cheever and how one Sunday he just came back to church and kept coming until the day he died. Ask the elm trees.... they will tell you about Hugh's silent acts of service. Ask the elm trees... they will tell you of the sad day he gave my dad his snow blower- a rite of passage for them both.




Ask the elm trees.... they will giggle in laughter as they recite the stories of skunk traps, cat traps, and the tales of the little girl in hand me downs walking to school with the boy who wore a spider man mask while he galloped on their walk to school together, and how he always smelled of garlic



Ask the elm trees... they will tell you of the day big sister ran from house to house announcing that finally baby # 6 was a girl! Ask the elm trees... they will tell you of big brother pumping little sister on the red two wheeler as she sat on the handlebars.


Ask the elm trees.... they will tell you of the amazing garden Brother Webster grew and of the weeds dad harvested. Ask the elm trees... they will tell you Big sister's plan to get baby sister to sell "I like Ike" pins for her profit!



Ask the elm trees... they will tell you of the echo that came from the front bedroom as the young mother made music with the "click, clack, click" of her typewriter. Ask the elm trees... they will tell you of the births, baptisms, graduations, mission departures, and weddings they recorded (1968-1998). Ask the elm trees... they will tell you of the wrinkled wordsmith who left and took her typewriter and memories with her.



Ask the elm trees... they will tell you of the lone man who took out neighbors' garbage cans, cared for the widows and elderly, who worked hours for his "seven." Ask the elm trees.... they will tell you of the Christmas lights that sparkled from the front room window- of the one strand of Christmas lights hung every December on the coldest night of the year.






Ask the elm trees.. they will tell you of the odd neighbors. Milan and Chuck- how they wandered the street always wearing the same clothes



Ask the elm trees... they will tell you of the alley, of the adventures to Cowley Drug- pop for 35 cents and a candy bar for 40 cents. Ask the elm trees.... they will tell you of the late hour adventure in the snow that big brother took with his brave companion.



Ask the elm trees... they will tell you of this house- of the its residents. The ones that left to early. The ones that never returned.



Ask the elm trees... they will tell you of the smell of spring's blossoms- of the purple lilacs that welcomed spring! Ask the elm tress.. they will tell you of the leaves that fell from their branches- of the piles of laughter they created.



Ask the elm trees... they will tell you of the forts under the lilac trees, the hide outs at the hippie house, and of the day big brother came home with grasshoppers up his pants!



Ask the elm trees... they will tell you of the houses now gone- of Ike Nelson sweeping leaves off his grass- Gomer Cosselet, The Armstrongs, Daisy Sorenson. Ask the elm trees... they will tell you Annie Mcdonough's story- how she swept the road with an old broom until she was well past 90.



Ask the elm trees.. the story of the tree that once stood here and of the day baby sister chained herself to the tree protesting its removal with grandpa's painting in hand. Ask the elm trees.... how proud we all were when baby sister was on the 6 o'clock news.


Ask the elm trees.... the number of times little feet returned from baseball games in victory and in defeat. Ask the elm trees of the whispered prayers uttered for their "seven." Ask the elm trees... of the sno cones, and red balloons, Ask the elm trees... of the Sunday dinners and the many guests who were always welcome!



Ask the elm trees.... of the day they left and the tears that fell in raindrops from their branches. Ask the elm trees... and then recount the smiles and laughter.... tell the elm trees the rest of the story--- 7 college degrees, four missions 7 temple marriages, 33 grand kids, more than a dozen great grands and more on the way, 13 more missionaries- tell them of the prayers still uttered. Tell them that the wrinkled wordsmith still writes and the lone man still works for his "seven." Tell them not to forget us- not the laughter or the tears. Tell them to wave to us when we pass... Tell them to remember- we do!

0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Comments


bottom of page