At the end of sixth end of the sixth grade, a very important thing happened in my life. About the time I reached 12 years old, the Bishop of the Ward in which I lived came to visit me and invited me to come to church and be ordained a deacon and to join the Boy Scouts. I liked him and accepted his invitation even though my father seemed to object. He said that the older boys had gone to M.I.A. and been ordained; it was only an excuse to get into trouble. But I determined that wouldn’t happen to me. Wise old Dad. So I was ordained and started scouting. Mr. Lindon Hall was my scoutmaster. He was the son of one of the Ward families and had lived in the area all his life, but just recently returned from college and gotten married. Scouting was very good for me. I enjoyed Scout meetings and rapidly progressed to second class, but since I never learned to swim, I could progress no further.
The first summer of scouting, we took a week trip to Moon Lake high in the Uinta Mountains and spent an enjoyable week. One of the unplanned features I remember was a bull fight by two big Hereford range bulls right in our camp playing area. You might say the bulls had a captive audience, all the boys watched from trees, sometimes right over the fighting animals.
During the summer I had an opportunity to thin sugar beets for Mr. Hall, father of our scoutmaster to pay our way to camp. I also earned a few dollars extra with which I bought two pigs from a friend. As I remember, I gave a dollar for one and the other was more expensive--$1.50. I raised the two pigs and when they were ready to butcher, I traded them to Father for a Holstein calf. Then I traded the calf for a Jersey calf that he obtained with its mother in exchange for a load of hay. The Jersey calf was a pretty faun colored thing and I named her Beaut. She was purebred but we never registered her. When she began milking later, it was just in time for my project in Future Farmers of America. Even though I milked six or eight cows for the family, I milked her separately and weighed the milk before mixing the milk with the rest of the herd. She was an excellent milking cow and came within a few pounds of breaking the state record for Jersey cows her first year. I’m sure she would have broken the record later, but I only kept records for one year.
In 1934, I was ordained a Teacher and promoted into the Vanguard program for 14 year old boys. By this time I had entered Junior High school and completed the eighth grade. I enjoyed physical education because we got to play ball and I also enjoyed shop. The eighth graders could take metal working shop and I made a metal pipe floor lamp and gave it to my mother.
After I made Teacher, I continued to go to Church and Sunday School for awhile, but I soon dropped out of M.I.A. The Vanguards never did anything. So I stopped going. Then the following summer, there were lots of places to go so I went to the mountains or some other places on Sunday and pretty completely stopped going to Church. In the fall of that year, a lovely sister from the Ward drama department said she had a part in the play and I just had to be in it. Sister Hillman said it was made for me. Only years later did I realize I was the only character she was interested in. So I took the part and again became active in the Church. For several years I continued to be in each year’s three act play until the final year I lived at home. I became the Ward drama director and directed a play. Even to this day I give credit to Sister Naomi Hillman for my remaining active in the Church.
I had been president of one of the Deacon’s Quorum before I dropped activity and after returning to activity, I was made president of the Teachers’ Quorum also.
During the school year of my eighth grade year, the school coach organized a basketball league at noon among the 8th and 9th grade boys. The class room to which I belonged won the championship, even over the ninth grade teams.