swimming

When a child is born, you have no idea what the future will bring for them. You want the best for them, and you pray that all their dreams will come true, but you always wonder if their dream will be to do something that they are not suited for. As their parent, all you can do is let nature take it’s course. Then suddenly, they are almost all grown up, and there, standing in front of you is everything you ever dreamed they would become and more. That is exactly where my niece, Susan Griffith finds herself today as she looks at where her daughter, Jala Satterwhite is now.

Jala starts 10th grade next week, which is a huge shock to her mom. Jala has been an amazing athlete in school. As a freshman, she was in swimming, indoor track, and outdoor track. She actually lettered in track last year as a Freshman, which is pretty rare…and very impressive!! Her parents are hoping that one of her athletic skills will get her into the college of her dreams. Jala doesn’t know yet what college that will be or what she will study, but she has many skills that she could take and make into a great career. Her future is definitely bright!!

Of course, college is a little way off, but it will be here before she knows it. For now, Jala is looking forward to getting her driver’s license next week, and hopefully a job shortly after that, so she will be able to pay for the fuel. That last part might have been what her parents want, because as you know, gasoline is expensive, and we all know that once they can drive, kids like to be on the go as much as possible. Of course, that’s helpful for their parents too, because the kids can run errands and transport younger siblings too.

Jala is growing up to be such a great person…the pride and joy of her parents. She still enjoys riding her horse, Lilly, of course, and hunting with her step-dad, Josh Griffith. Hanging out with her friends is obviously a big thing for her as well. She is very social, and has great friends. Today is Jala’s birthday. Happy birthday Jala!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

In the 18th and 19th century, going swimming was not done in the same way as it was today. While it was considered ok to swim, the clothing was not considered appropriate, and so men and women were segregated during swimming. I don’t suppose going to the beach was as common, and so it problem might not have come up every day, but it came up enough to create a need for a “proper” way to accomplish an outing involving swimming. Enter the Bathing Machine. The bathing machine was basically a small room built on wheels that could be taken to the beach. People entered the machine while it was on the beach, wearing their street clothing. In the machine they changed into their bathing suit, although men were allowed to bathe nude until the 1860s. They then placed their street clothes into a raised compartment in the bathing machine, where they would remain safe and dry.

I believe that all bathing machines had small windows, but one writer in the Manchester Guardian of May 26, 1906 considered them “ill-lighted” and wondered why bathing machines were not improved with a skylight. Once the person had changed, the machine would be wheeled or slid into the water. The most common type of these machines had large wide wheels and were pulled in and out of the surf by a horse or a pair of horses with a driver, but there were some that were pushed in and out of the water by human power. Some resorts had wooden rails into the water for the wheels to roll on, and a few had bathing machines pulled in and out by cables propelled by a steam engine.

Once the machine was in the water, the occupants stepped out from the sea side, and proceeded down steps into the water. Many of the machines had doors front and back, but those with only one door would be backed into the sea or need to be turned around. The most essential element of the machines, was that it blocked any view of the bather from the shore. Some of the more luxurious machines were equipped with a canvas tent lowered from the seaside door, sometimes capable of being lowered to the water, giving the bather greater privacy. Bathing machines would often be equipped with a small flag which could be raised by the bather as a signal to the driver that they were ready to return to shore. Some resorts even employed a dipper, a strong person of the same sex who would assist the bather in and out of the sea. Some dippers were said to push bathers into the water, then yank them out, considered part of the experience. Wow!! I’m not sure I would like that much, but then, to me this whole process seems like it would make the idea of bathing a bit too much of an undertaking, not to mention the added cost to go swimming, because I don’t think anyone would operate a bathing machine for free.

Bathing machines were most commonly used in the United Kingdom and parts of the British Empire with a British population, but were also used in France, Germany, the United States, Mexico, and other nations. Legal segregation of bathing areas in Britain ended in 1901, and the bathing machine declined rapidly. By the start of the 1920s, bathing machines were almost extinct, even on beaches catering to an older clientele. For those of us who grew up in the modern era, this process would seem like a bit of insanity, but then that was simply a different time.

My grand niece, Jala Satterwhite is really into horses, and she is blessed enough to live on a small ranch seven miles outside of Powell, Wyoming, where she has access to them every day. Jala loves all kinds of sports, and she is in great shape, but horses are her true love. They have five horses on the property. Two belong to Jala and her family, and the other three belong to her step-dad’s parents, but Jala and her little sister, Kaytlyn get to have access to them all. Of course, horses aren’t the only animals they have. There are also four cats and three dogs to play with and take care of. My niece, Susan Griffith, Jala’s mom tells me that they are slowly buying more things for the horses, and she comments that what used to be an economical mode of travel, sure is expensive these days. They would love to be able to go riding more often and for longer distances.

This summer, Jala did get to go on a week long back pack trip with a group of young ladies. It was called Dano Camp. It was a completely amazing experience. I had no idea what that was, so I looked into it. Per their website, “Dano Youth Camp was established in memory of the life and character of Danny “Dano” Ostrom. The camps are unique in that they provide the equipment…tents, backpacks, camping gear, food, etc…and the basic gear needed for the trip. The only requirement of the campers is to fill out the appropriate paperwork, make a commitment to the time frame, bring along a few personal items, and be prepared for summer fun!” It sounds like an amazing experience for the kids, and it sure was for Jala.

This seems to be the summer of camps for Jala. She also attended the Youth Life Camp in Oregon, and just got back last Friday. Jala describes it as the best week of her life. The camp is a Christian camp, and Jala is growing closer to God everyday. That makes her parents, and me, very happy. I’m sure the camp in Oregon, where she was surrounded by other young people who are believers too, was an amazing experience. It’s wonderful to be able to share your faith with others. For Jala, it has also been a camping summer, because the day she got back from Oregon, the family loaded up and headed for the Big Horn Mountains to go camping for the weekend. It’s a good thing that Jala is an outdoor sort of girl, because she sure didn’t spend much time indoors this summer.

Jala is going to be a Freshman in high school this year, and will be participating in swimming competitions. Jala did some diving competitions last year too. Practice for that started yesterday, even though school has not started yet. As most people know, gearing up for the school year is almost as busy as the first day. Nevertheless, it’s going to be a great and exciting year for Jala…especially since she is now old enough to get her learner’s permit and start learning to drive. Today is Jala’s 15th birthday. Happy birthday Jala!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My grandnephew, Topher Spicer is a sweet boy, who is a great surrogate big brother to his mother, Andrea Beach’s friend, Nikki Vigil’s son, Marcus. They are both an only child, so their friendship is very important to them. He also has some best friends, Elias and Ethan, that he really enjoys hanging out with. His mom has taught him to play Uno, and of course he plays video games. Summertime is a great time to go swimming, and Topher goes just about every day.

Since Topher’s uncle, Allen Beach was stationed in Japan for part of his time as a corpsman in the Navy, Topher has become interested in Japanese culture. I don’t know if Topher is considering joining the Navy, or not, but if he did, he would follow in a line of Navy men in his family. Whether or not he is in the navy, Topher like some of the culture, and most likely the buildings and such.

Topher loves animals, and I’m sure that he hopes to have a pet some day. When he was visiting his great grandma, my mom, Collene Spencer, her cat was totally taken with him. That was an amazing thing, because Lewie, the cat, doesn’t like to be around most kids, but was totally content to sit beside Topher, and watch what he was doing…no matter what it was. I can understand that, because Topher is a child who is not overly rambunctious. He is content to sit and play a video game, and Lewie felt comfortable with him.

This past week, while my sisters, Cheryl Masterson, Caryl Reed, and I were on a trip to Washington, Topher spent quite a bit of time with his grandpa, Mike Reed, while his mom had to work. They were just two men, batching it together, and supposedly waiting for Caryl to get back home again. I’m sure they missed her, but guy time is fun for them too. Sometimes having a guys week can really be a lot of fun, so I know that they had a great time. Whenever two guys get together and do all the things that only guys would appreciate, it’s a good time. I suppose you would have to be a guy to understand the guy things. Today is Topher’s 12th birthday. Happy birthday Topher!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

My second cousin twice removed, Hazel Grace Pallas, daughter of Angel and Brian Pallas, is quite a character. I have only met Hazel and her family via Facebook, but her mom and her aunt, Elizabeth Nordquist, have posted a lot of pictures of the kids, and along with the stories they provide, I feel like I’ve known their kids forever. As I said, Hazel is a character, but she is also a Girly Girl, and could even be classed as a Diva, but that isn’t surprising, because she spends a lot of time with her cousins, Addilayde and Meadow Nordquist, daughters of Elizabeth and Aron Nordquist, and they can definitely be Divas.

While these girls can be girly and artsy, they also love to play, and they have a great time together; as well as with Hazel’s little sister, Tenley; and their cousins, Hosea and Canaan Oltman, sons of Grace and Tzaddik Oltman. It’s so much fun to look at the great pictures of these close families of cousins. The moms take pictures often, especially Elizabeth, who is a photographer in her own right, so I have watched these kids grow up almost all of their lives.

Addi and Meadow, being the oldest ones, inspire all the fun around there. They play with all the kids, and really enjoy having their cousins come over. The other day, the three older girls, Addi, Meadow, and little Hazel were out in the back yard, playing in the snow. For Hazel, who is 2½ years old, I think this is still a very new experience. Nevertheless, it is one she very much enjoyed. The girls got out anything the could slide on, and they had a wonderful time slipping and sliding on the snow. When Hazel told her mom about all she did that afternoon, she simple summed it up as, “Swimming in the snow, Mom!” When I read that comment, I just laughed and laughed. It was perfect. To have that childhood enjoyment of the snow…untainted by the experiences of driving in the snow, and all the stress that comes with it…seemed like a dream world to me. As I was driving to work this morning, with little Hazel on my mind, I noticed that as I drove down the alley from my backyard garage, over the freshly fallen snow, it felt like I was almost floating along. Hazel’s words came to my mind. “Swimming in the snow, Mom!” I think I know how Hazel felt.

Sisters on the SwingsWhen I think back to my childhood, I always remember the carefree times. Summers spent with nothing but time on our hands, meant swimming at the Kelly Walsh pool, sunning in the back yard, and sack lunches eaten at the park, simply because it was something different to do. Of course, back then, you could easily send your kids to the park by themselves, and they could be gone for hours, and still you did not worry. That fact worked in our favor, because we were allowed to go so many places and do so many things on our own because the world was much safer than it is today.

I remember the hours we spent at the school…the very place we couldn’t wait to get away from while school was still in session. Of course, we weren’t there for the Picnic on the mountain - May 1960classroom, but rather for the playground. Just a couple of months earlier, we couldn’t wait for summer to come, because we were determined not to go anywhere near that school…oh well, the best laid plans…right? Nevertheless, just as soon as you got to those swings that were so very different from the ones at home, you knew that coming to the school in the summertime was a totally different thing, and very much acceptable. It didn’t even matter if you had to bring your little sister along, and going to the park was totally ok even if your parents had to come along. Somehow, even having that parental supervision couldn’t dampen your spirits.

I’m not sure why these thoughts of summer vacation came to my mind today, other than perhaps the upcoming Christmas vacation, which is definitely a close second when it comes to the carefree days of vacation from school. I loved school, but there was just something about that break from school that always felt so Picnic in Thermopolisamazing. I just think every kid needs a break from school, even if they love it. There will always be time for kids to work every day for the rest of their lives, but summer vacation and Christmas break…well those are just pretty much for the kids, and of course their teachers, who I consider very blessed, by the way. I think most of us would love to have their summer vacations off. Nevertheless, that said, today found me thinking about the upcoming Christmas vacation that the kids will have, including two of my grandsons. It will be a welcome break from their studies, even if they do have to work at their jobs. To the kids, I say, enjoy those days while you can, because all too soon, the day will come when you too have a job and those long vacations are a thing of the past.

10277556_10201254514040023_7949572301171895470_nMy grand niece, Jala Satterwhite is growing up so fast. I still picture her as a girl who is her sister, Kaytlyn’s age, but that just isn’t so. This past year, when Jala was in 5th grade, she participated in the science fair, and did a great job. She did her project on salt, which is something I personally like a lot of. Jala has always liked grade school and has done very well in it, but the time has come for her to move on. With her twelfth birthday, comes middle school. She will no longer be one of the big kids on campus, but she will be moving into the world of the older group of kids in school.

We will have to see exactly what that will mean for Jala, because at this point, she is quite proud to call herself a tomboy. Her favorite game is football, and I don’t mean to watch. This last year found Jala playing football with…and besting the boys…at every recess. She is one of the fastest of them all. She likes football so much, that she told everyone that she wanted a football for her birthday, and ended up with three at her party. I guess she is set in that department. With the coming of middle school, comes also co-ed flag football…with Jala 10441077_299355706897558_2146958624341205832_n[1]on the team. She is so excited about playing on a real team…and not just recess fun. She starts in a couple of weeks, and she can’t wait. Hey, I say go for whatever your heart desires Jala. Those kids need you on their team! They want to win…right!!

The summer found Jala taking swimming lessons…an excellent idea. I think every child needs to know how to swim. Jala excelled at swimming too, passing the hardest level a week faster than was required. She is a great swimmer, but swimming simply cannot compete with football…at least not right now. You never know what the future might bring. She may end up on the swim team someday. As kids grow up, their focus often changes and new ideas present themselves, and before your very eyes, they are a changed person. It’s hard to say what Jala will want to do in the future, because she has so much changing left to do.

Jala has grown in maturity in so many ways. She wanted an iPhone this past year, and while 10458591_310204579146004_880179121272629238_nher parents wanted her to have it, they also wanted to teach her about things like responsibility, and making your own way in this world. Of course, Jala isn’t old enough to totally make her own way in this world, but she can learn about earning something she wants, so she will be sure to take care of it when she gets it. That said, her parents decided that if she wanted an iPhone, she should save up for it. A very wise idea. Once you know how expensive it is, and how long it took you to save up for it, you tend to have a greater respect for it…and Jala does. She also loves her iPhone, and did from the moment she got it. I can’t blame her there. The iPhone is the best phone there is, if you ask me. It’s also a great phone for taking all the selfies that Jala likes to take, but then why should she be different than anyone else. Today is Jala’s 12th birthday. Happy birthday Jala!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

imageOur 1st cousin once removed, Nathan Avey, who is Bob’s cousin Sandi Kountz’ middle child finished college this past year, and landed a job in Lewiston, Montana working for Spika Welding and Manufacturing Inc doing drafting and design work. He is somewhat lonely living so far away from his family, especially since the passing of his brother, Brian on June 21, 2014, just four days after Nathan…who we have always known as Kyler..moved to Lewiston. Nevertheless, he is adjusting.

Kyler was a swimmer in school, and loved the hard work and practice. It made him strong and kept him in shape. And he loved the competition. Sometimes people find release in the competition, and I think that is how it was with Kyler. Swimming kept him focused, as well as keeping him in shape. I believe it will be that focus that Brian, Destreyia, & Kylerwill give him the strength and wisdom to help his family through the coming months and years. He has already begun, by keeping close tabs on his mom. As a kid we don’t understand how important that is, but now that so much has happened Kyler is stepping up and taking on the responsibilities of the man of the family.

As the middle brother, Kyler was often in on the teasing that he and Brian used to do to Destreyia, but now that Brian is gone, Kyler feels not only terrible loss, but the very real need to step up and be a good big brother to Destreyia and also the man of the family for his mom, Sandi. It is a big responsibility for anyone to take on, and Kyler is just 20 years old, and still dealing with his own feelings of grief.

I know that right now, things seem impossibly hard for Kyler and for his family, but with time it will get a little easier…or rather, will become normal…if losing your imagebrother can ever be normal. I guess it is just a matter of moving forward, because that is all you can do.

The future is bright for Kyler, even if things seem grim right now. It won’t be easy, but this family will rebuild itself, and I think Kyler will be a big part of that. He is stronger than he knows. Today is kyler’s 20th birthday. Happy birthday Kyler!! Have a great day!! We love you!!

Theresa Halcyone DavisWhen a mother dies young, the family is left to try to put the pieces back together, even though a very important piece of the family will now be forever missing. Theresa Halcyone “Halcy” Davis Freese was a young mother with so much to live for, when she passed away at only 40 years of age. Halcy left a loving husband, Louis Emery Freese, and four children, Vera, who was 14, Buford, who was 10, Myrtle, who was 8, and Florence who was only 4 1/2.  It was a lot for a dad, who was going through his own horrible grief, to handle. For Louis, trying to care for his children and still make a living, became almost too much. Thankfully, he had the help of his mother-in-law, Theresa Elizabeth Spencer Davis, to help them all through the pain of loss, and care for the children, when their dad couldn’t, either because of work, or just the deep sadness of losing his beloved Halcy. The children’s aunts and uncles, Halcy’s sisters and brothers helped out too,and they all showed such kindness to the children, that it became something the children would never forget.

Their Uncle Luther, who was courting Lena Timpte at the time, took the children to the Timpte’s bakery to visit Lena. Later the children would spend a lot of time at Luther and Lena’s farm, and they lovingly pointed out that Lena made the best candy!! They would also go to visit their Uncle Reuben and Aunt Maggie, who lived on the “Creek Place”. That was a great place to visit because they could go swimming in the creek. Clifford and Josephine had the farm in the center. There was always an aluminum pitcher on the table full of milk, which is a real treat for “town kids”, and they remarked that “no one can fry potatoes like Aunt Josephine!” Aunt Cassie was always so sweet, and she kept her girls long hair in beautiful curls. She also had a music box they could wind up and listen to…you could see the inner workings too, which was an added bonus. Aunt Ruth took the children on their vacations for years, and made them clothes. She also did so many other things for them over the years that they became too numerous to mention, but were never forgotten.

As these dear aunts and uncles passed away, one by one, Florence, who was Halcy’s youngest daughter, and the author of this portion of Uncle Bill’s Family History, felt the heaviness of loss that she could not feel as a little girl of only 4 1/2 years, when her mother passed away. While she loved her mother very much, these aunts and uncles had stepped in to make her life a happy one in spite of loss, and for that she could never thank them enough.

imageWhen I picked my grandson, Josh up from Kelly Walsh High School the other day, we drove past the area where they are tearing up the old teacher’s parking lot for the school renovation project that is going on in several schools around town. Josh said, “When I look at that, it makes me sad?” He hated seeing the school he had known change. I found that a little surprising, in that this is Josh’s first year at Kelly Walsh, but when I thought about the fact that Josh’s older brother Chris has gone there for 3 years, it made sense that he would think of this school as a place he knew well. We continued down 12th Street, and past the swimming pool and he mentioned the building that was the entrance to the pool, and it really hit me.

Kelly Walsh High School has been a part of my life since I was a kid. It first opened in 1965, when I was just 9 years old. It wasn’t long after that that my sisters and I began going to Kelly Walsh High School to go swimming, almost every weekday in the summer. We walked past Pineview School to 8th Street, turned on Sally Lane, crossed the foot bridge to Forest Drive, went up to 12th Street and up to Kelly Walsh pool. It was so much fun to go swimming there every summer, and now the building is gone and the pool will follow. All those years of that pool being such a huge part of my summer…and now it will be gone.
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So many changes are about to occur to the school where I spent my high school years. When the work is done, I don’t know if I will even recognize it. After my graduation, my sisters attended there, and then my older sister’s older children, and then when my girls started high school it was at Kelly Walsh, and once again I spent time there. Now, two of my grandsons are there and I am spending time there again. Kelly Walsh High School will always be a part of my life it seems, but it will not always be the school it was. I know it will be a better school when they are done, and I know it is a necessary change, but it still makes me sad too.

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