Look to the Stars
by Alice Isom Gubler Stratton
Chapter 16
More Wedding Bells
(1927)

84 One evening as the family sat at the supper table, Papa noticed Clinton contentedly munching on a slice of cheese.

"Clint," he scolded, "you can't eat your cheese alone! Eat some bread with it."

Instantly tears welled up in Clinton's eyes. "I already ate two slices of bread with nothing on them, so I could eat my cheese alone."

"All right," Papa chuckled, and Clinton was permitted to revel in his luxury.

Mildred worked for Fosters in Cedar, and early in March I received a package from her. Opening it, I beheld a breath-taking creation of pale green and apricot colored georgette. A note read, "I thought you might be going to the Junior Prom."

As I lifted the dress from the package, its delicate filminess gave me the sensation of petals blowing in the breeze. The dress was trimmed with dainty, fluted ruffles. It had a nipped in waist and a flouncy, gathered skirt.

"Oh Mildred, Mildred," I whispered. "This dress must have cost you two weeks of your skimpy salary."

"How can I ever thank you? The dress tickles me to pieces," I wrote.

Elmer Matheson, Pass's brother, replied for her. "If the dress tickles you so much, take the feathers out of it."

I wore the dress to the first Junior From ever held at Hurricane High. The Junior Class had been added to the school just one year before. The class members had spent weeks making paper flowers to decorate the arches and trellises for the "Japanese Gardens", the theme of the Prom. Beyond all doubt, nothing so elegant had ever been put on in Hurricane before. The hall was so beautiful, and I felt so lovely in my Prom Dress, it never occurred to me to worry about the dance. By now, I had acquired a cluster of non-dancing friends, and we mingled happily among the throngs who had come to enjoy the decorations and the floor show.

Another great event in the family was Kate's graduation from the B.A.C. She came home with her Teaching Certificate, and a contract to teach school in Summit the next fall, in Iron County.

On May 20th, Charles A. Lindberg flew across the Atlantic, from New York to Paris, in his aeroplane, the "Spirit of St. Louis". This was the flrst non-stop flight ever to be made across the ocean. He flew 3,600 miles in 33½ hours. His pictures were splashed in every newspaper and he became 85 a world hero. Lindberg was single and handsome, and girls almost swooned at the mention of his name. Song writers didn't waste a moment in putting to music this big event. The hit song of the day was about the "Lone Eagle."

Chorus:

Lindberg, oh what a wonder boy is he.
Lindberg, his name will live through history.
Over the ocean he flew all alone,
Gambling with fate, and with dangers unknown.
Others may make a trip across the sea,
Upon some future day,
But take your hats off to plucky, lucky Lindberg,
The Eagle of the USA.

Mildred suddenly became a major family concern, she had worked in so many different places, and got attention from so many different people that misunderstandings arose, and she broke off her engagement to Maurice. She became engaged to a man who was much older than she was, and a sad, sad substitute for that darling, sweet Maurice. The family grieved for we knew Mildred was eating her heart out. She cried over every little thine and became a jumpy, nervous wreck.

One week end, a letter came from Maurice, and Mildred ran to her room to read it. As Kate and I went up the stairs, Mildred ran past us and out the kitchen door, weeping. Maurice's open letter lay on the floor at the head of the stairs. I picked it up, and together Kate and I read it, then we went into our room where we both wept. The letter was a heartrending plea for Mildred to do the thing that would bring her the greatest happiness. Each word was one of stabbing pain.

The family's anxiety, and Maurice's unselfish surrender brought Mildred to her senses and she and Maurice were married on the fourteenth of June, in the St. George Temple.

Oh, happy, happy Wedding Day, even if sister Judd (Maurice's mother) did set a hot iron on Maurice's brand new suit and burn a flat-iron shaped hole clear through the sleeve. Maurice was cooler in his shirt sleeves at his reception that night. It was customary for brides to wear their going away clothes at their reception. Mildred's dress was a lovely pink, flat crepe

Maurice had a younger brother Orval, who occasionally dated me. While he worked on Kiabab Mountain, logging for a lumber company, he bought a new Ford Coupe, shiny and black. Orval was a sporty chap who wore his hat at a rakish angle and had a fetching grin. When he drove up in his Coupe and announced that he had come to give me a driving lesson, I was excited. I slid under the wheel and he explained the gears, gas feed and brakes, and cautioned me that a car must go slow for the first five-hundred miles. We crept for the two blocks from our place to Frank Ashton's corner, Orval keeping his hand on the wheel to steady it until after we had made the turn. Then I held the wheel alone. The car wobbled, making crazy tracks in the dust of main street. Giddy with pride, I noted the loafers, perched like starlings on the iron rail in front of John Petty's pool hall. I fancied I could hyear the say, "Well blow me down and call me horizontal, if that isn't Alice Isom driving that car!" The thought of it made the car sweve crazily, but I got it under control. Further down the street were more loafers in 86 front of Walter Stout's Garage. I wanted everybody to see me drive, so I honked the horn. Then the car really swerved, landing in the ditch. Orval, with the help of the amused onlookers, lifted it out. He didn't chastise me, but patiently told me what not to do, especially not to turn corners at 40 MPH, like I did at Frank Ashton's comer on the way back home. Thus ended my first driving lesson.

When Mary and Walter Stout went away for a week's vacation, they asked me to come each evening and stay over-night with their children. Their oldest girl. Wealthy, was Edith's age, but they felt better having someone older there at nights. Venitta was the girl next younger, and there was a passel of little brothers. Every one of the Stout children were exceptionally good looking—fair skin, blue eyes, blonde, with ready smiles that showed their dimples. They gathered around me each evening with happy chatter, and went all-out to be good to me. At breakfast and suppertime they eagerly urged me to eat more. Their approach tickled me. "If you don't eat it, we'll just have to give it to the pigs," they would say.

Walter Stout owned the first radio in Hurricane. Two years earlier, a group of us went from Mutual to his home on a summer evening, and listened while he turned some buttons in the maze of tubes and wires spread over a table. Through the static, he brought in some distant music, which was a miracle.

On August 14, Mama and Papa became Grandma and Grandpa, and the rest of us became Aunts and Uncles. Annie's and Rass's baby boy, Keith, was born. It was an exciting day when Annie and Rass brought the little bundle to see us. We clustered around Annie when she pulled the fluffy blue blanket back from his funny little face. We laughed heartily when the baby squinted at us, then stuck out his lips like he was trying to say, "You." I think he was trying to ask, "You all my relatives, huh?"

That fall, Hurricane High bought thirty typewriters. They only had four the year before for their first type class. Since no certified teacher was to be had, they hired Bradshaw Chevrolet's secretary, Laura Lund. She was almost as young as her pupils, and so anxious to make good, that she worked hard with each individual student, patiently drilling day after day. By Christmas, most of the class had their thirty-word certificates. By spring, many were doing sixty words-a-minute, and a few were doing seventy. Laura was cute and conscientious, and won the heart of every student.

The school also added Seminary to their curriculum that fall, with seventy-five students enrolled in Old Testament History. Jesse Rich was the instructor and classes were held upstairs in the Sandberg Building. Mr. Rich was badly crippled with arthritis, and came to Hurricane to be near the Hot Springs, where he could soak every day. He was the city attorney for Logan, and hired me to type his legal papers. He allowed no erasures, and paid me $1.00 a page. The training was great. I also did his blackboard work in Seminary.

Mr. Rich became dear to every student and they absorbed the Old Testament eagerly. When the question came up, "Why did Jacob seemingly use so many tricks to get the best of his father-in-law?" or "Why was David pemitted to be a prophet, when he had committed such a serious crime?" Mr. Rich patently reminded the class that the Lord uses the best material 87 he has. This point was repeatedly emphasized, whenever anyone was prone to criticise.

When Mr. Rich came to Hurricane, he hobbled with a cane in each hand. After nine months in Southern Utah's climate, soaking daily in the Hot Springs, he had discarded both canes.

Seminary was to the school what dessert is to a meal, and Chorus, under Karl Larsen, was like cream on the dessert. Almost all of the students were enrolled in both.