Sun Dublan
Chapter 5 


When Grandfather Robinson died, Mother inherited a lot by where the cotton gins are now, and sixty acres on the flat west of the Taylor-Bowman orchard. She gave them to me. This made it possible for me to go into the orchard business. Donn and I both planted an orchard in the spring of 1960. I planted peaches and 500 pear trees. Donn planted peaches and apples.

I should report the progress in settling Dad's estate by intestado (no will) and paying the inheritance tax to the Government, which we finally got done. Licenciado Molina handled it in the court. He charged us twenty thousand pesos plus expenses. He wanted a lot more, but Uncle Harvey intervened and got him to do it for that amount. The inheritance tax was a little over three thousand pesos, including $500.00 paid to the Jefe de Hacienda (the man in charge of the Federal Tax Office). This was necessary because they could have charged us thirty thousand based on the true value of the land, instead of the value listed on the official records, and they could have delayed us thirty years if they had wanted to do so. I was pleasantly surprised that it was that low.

Now the Church will pay the tax on the property that was in Dad's name in Chalco and Veracruz, so the property can be deeded.

Donn and Keith bought the land on the flat, but since they were hurting for money, and were in debt, they sold it all except 25 acres that Donn kept to plant an orchard on. They also sold half interest in the pump to Uncle Harvey, who wanted it for his sons and grandsons. They traded one fourth of the pump to me. I traded my sixty acres on the flat west of the Bowman property for thirty acres west of Donn's and one fourth of the pump and well. They were going to trade it to the Wagners. They deeded my sixty to them instead of the Bowman land. I applied thirty acres on the purchase of a sore in the well and pump, and paid the balance.

We calculated the land at $50.00 dollars an acre and the pump at $100,000.00 pesos. Keith and Donn were to pay this money to Mother for her support. We didn't get any of the land, the mill property, or the ranch as an inheritance. We thought that Mother should have it so she would have something to live on.

Joe and Claudius Taylor immediately planted an orchard on the first forty acres on the south. It now belongs to Ronald Taylor.

Donn is to pay Mother the original deal. The Wagners took over the notes that Keith and Donn made to Gordon Romney to payoff the indebtedness on the farm and ranch. I suppose that Keith is just about out of debt. Donn was so heavily in debt that he had to sell the land to pay Gordon Romney and Uncle Harvey. Keith and Donn bought most of the ranch, except the little part west of the highway that Maurice bought.

A few years later, I bought the west forty acres that Uncle Harvey had given to Lynn's son Robert and Uncle Adelbert's son, Agustin Taylor, and also the share of the well and pump. Uncle Harvey offered to lend me his big motorized scraper to level it. He lent me Isidoro Rios to run it. We staked the whole forty acres and finally got it fairly level. It took a long time because the hydraulic system kept breaking down. Bob and Agustin had not taken over the land Uncle Harvey had given them, so I paid Uncle Harvey for it in dollars. He charged me more than the value we placed on it.

May 5, 1960: Two or three days ago we were watering the new orchard. I had left the hired men for a while to work in my office on the poultry accounts. The big Caterpillar motor on the pump burned its bearings out. It took me about a day to take it apart to see what the problem was. On May 5, Nelle went with me to El Paso to get the parts for it. We had to replace the bearings and crankshaft. We also put new piston rings in it.

A Fordson diesel tractor came with the farm. It had two wheels together on the front axle. This made it too hard to steer accurately because they were in the center, and there was enough play in the steering that it didn't hold them steady. I bought a junked tractor from someone that had the axle with wheels on the side, which made it much better when we replaced it on ours. We completely overhauled the Fordson two or three times. We took it all apart and replaced bearings, pistons and rings, ground the crankshaft. We also replaced the injector pump, and took it to Chihuahua to have it overhauled at least twice.

A couple of years later, we went to Torreon (Nelle and I) to buy new pistons and piston sleeves, bearings, rings etc. to completely overhaul the Caterpillar motor. The Caterpillar had a gasoline motor bolted to its side to start it. We had to overhaul this motor two or three times. So we became pretty good mechanics. We also completely rebuilt the yellow Buick's motor twice, and the blue Buick also.

We planted cotton between the little trees two or three years. Uncle Elmo Robinson got a cotton gin company to install a gin in Dublan. Later, we planted lettuce on one piece of land. The Wagners were growing lettuce, and agreed to market ours. They also lent us a planter. The price was not too good the year we planted lettuce.

We also planted milo maize between the trees, and on the forty acres we bought from Uncle Harvey. We hauled manure from cattle feeding pens in Nuevo Casas Grandes, and we used the recommended amounts of commercial fertilizer, but we never did get as good a crop as others did on land that was not so sandy.

December 1960: (Written at Hotel McCoy, El Paso.) As usual we are scurrying around and not getting much done. I have spent two days finding used parts for the yellow Buick, and replacing the rear axle completely. Nelle is out of patience with me for not helping her shop. I just got back from Ciudad Juarez, and we are going to try to see Santa for a little while before we go home.

All this year Donn has been helping us remodel our house completely. We took off the screen porch on the back and added four bedrooms and two baths. Donn did a great job for us. We also made the kitchen much larger, installed cabinets, and added a pantry and washroom. We also bought a diesel or coal oil burning furnace for a central heating system for the whole house. This made the house like it is now.

We are about ready to move out in order to finish the rooms we are living in. We decided not to move out before Christmas. (We moved over to Mother's little home for a while.) We had bought a new gas stove and an electric refrigerator. We also bought a freezer from Glenna Call. I can't remember why they wanted to sell it.

I forgot to mention that we made a basement room under the big kitchen. We used it for storage. Originally, we had planned to put a walk-in refrigerator down there.

Christmas letter 1960. It seems that it takes the tradition of Christmas to break us out of the customary lethargy and want to "get in touch" with our relatives and friends, even if we have to do it in this poor way. It seems that sending this good, sincere wish turns loose a flood of memories of previous events that enriches our life.

There is also this tremendous feeling that we might compare to the feeling the people of the U.S. get when they think of all that gold stashed away at Fort Knox. We don't get to see you too often, or feel your spirit in person, but we know that there is something of tremendous value there backing us up, which makes our lives richer and more productive. It is a noble thing that takes many different forms, and also like the gold it doesn't tarnish and it can last through the eternities.

This has been a very rewarding year for us (in a purely spiritual sense, of course). We have been presiding over the Dublan Second Ward as bishop and Mrs. bishop. (This turns out to be a family affair.) You know of course, that the degree of service brings a corresponding spiritual return, and since we have been trying hard to be of service, we have received many blessings. There has been a rumor that when we got control of the tithing that we were able to remodel our house. However, you know that we would never use a penny of it.

Our biggest problem is that our people are so very poor that it almost tears your heart out. How would you like to live on five or ten dollars a week, and want to pay tithing and offerings, building fund, budget, schooling for the kids, and send a missionary, etc. The "Mormon" way of life becomes a complicated problem under these conditions. Very few are comfortably fixed. We need to find a solution some day, so they can earn a better living. If you have any suggestions they will be gratefully considered. Our poultry cooperative helped some.

Our children give us great joy. As doting parents, we think that they are exceptionally intelligent, and we hope that they keep the correct concept of what this life is all about.

Claudius III, our fifteen year old was greatly blessed by spending the summer with his Uncle Bob at Dixon, Illinois, under the "music influence." He made considerable progress on the piano and pipe organ--enough to be of service to the second Ward as Sunday School organist. He is the third member of the family to joins ward. The others still attend the First Ward, so we are a split family. We hope that Claudius will learn more Spanish and get the desire to go on a mission in a few years. They really entertained him well with picnics, concerts etc.

Jennie Loriene {13), Flora Eileen {11), and Roberta {9) are also learning to play the piano, and are doing very well. Eileen seems to have a very special gift in this respect. Jennie also plays the clarinet. She rides the bus with Claudius to Colonia Juarez to attend the seventh grade. This has been a controversy, but there seems to be some advantages to have the seventh and eighth grades at the Academy. Our youngest Conrad {7) is all boy, and we enjoy him very much.

Nelle is teaching the second grade in the Dublan school. The new school building is being constructed now, just west of the chapel. It will be very nice to have a modern school building. Another just like it is going up in Colonia Juarez. A large gymnasium and auditorium is to be built at the Academy as a combination stake center and gym for the Academy. It will cost $600,000 dollars, seven and a half million pesos. It is nice to have a rich father (the Church).

I am still in the chicken business, and making chicken feed--literally and financially. Since we have planted the orchard, we will soon go out of this business.

The Church Authorities in Mexico have been working to get favorable publicity in the Mexican press. Recently, President Pratt (my mission president) brought over a writer who wrote a couple of nice articles on the Colonies for the Mexican news weekly magazine, "Siempre." He took pictures of our daughter, Loriene, along with others, to accompany the articles. She seemed to catch the photographer’s eye. The pictures show that the Mormons begin dancing at twelve years of age. Another is of a sewing class at the Academy. These articles in the "Selecciones" of the Readers Digest, newspapers, and magazines have helped the missionary work.

I made a mistake on the previous page when I said we were repairing the yellow Buick. It was the blue Buick, and we were doing something else to it and not replacing the rear axle. However, we did replace it on the yellow Buick.

November 21, 1962: The new grade school buildings were dedicated in Colonia Juarez and Dublan.

December 4, 1963: Stake Conference was held in the new auditorium and gymnasium at the Academy. It is such a lovely auditorium. It will be interesting to meet the Governor and other officials who are coming for the "inauguracion" next Saturday (tomorrow). They are having a four-way tournament tonight, which we will attend. It is the older fellows, Keith and Chato, the primera fuerza.

Elder Marion G. Romney is to dedicate the building in special services on Sunday. We will not have Sunday School. It should be a really inspiring occasion. Elder Romney is looking forward to meeting the State Officials. All this should contribute to our "image" in Mexico.

Christmas letter, December 1963. I composed this little poem:

May you have "CHRISTMAS JOY"

Simple words, yet they enfold

The wonderful, the new, the old,

The strivings of the human soul

To reach the Holy Infant's goal

Of peace on earth, good will to men-

The ties that bind our hearts as one,

Given by our Father and His Son,

To enrich our lives eternally

With joys untold--and finally

To know that He will come again.

Yes, Christmas brings out and intensifies the important emotions and aspirations of love for each other and love for the Lord. And best of all it causes them to be expressed. As we are drawn to the beauty the glory, the inspiration of the birth of the Christ Child--as we realize that "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." As we contemplate this event so glorious that the hosts of heaven came to earth to sing praises to God, our Father--we are brought to comprehend the most important things. We realize that the loving teachings of the Savior of the world are for living. And so we live for a moment as we should live always. We have the desire to express these feelings to those we love, and we do it. We thank you all for what you mean to us. We appreciate your love and friendship more than we can say.

This has been a good year for us in every way except financially. We have had good health and a comfortable living. We have had the privilege to contribute our small portion to the work of the Lord during another year as bishop and workers in the Dublan Second Ward. Nelle has lent her special talents of special leadership to the primary. Claudius III and Eileen have served as ward organists. Jenny Loriene, Roberta and Conrad attend the First Ward most of the time, and so they miss the chance to perfect their Spanish.

Claudius III has been living with his Uncle Elwood and Aunt Barbara Taylor in Riverside. California, attending the Junior College there. The three girls ride the bus to Colonia Juarez to attend the Junior and Senior High School. They are all learning to play the piano; Roberta, the violin; Eileen and Loriene play the clarinet in the band. Loriene also sings in the J.S.A. chorus. Conrad is in his Uncle Maurice's fourth grade and gives him a bad time.

The new music teacher, Melvin DeWitt, from Provo, Utah, is carrying on the violin project started by Bishop Rulon Romney and Mary Louise Bowman.

We have prospects of financial improvement when our orchard on the flat comes into production. We hope to have a small crop of peaches this coming year. The poultry-egg business is poor at the present time. We pay freight on our feed concentrate from Mexico City, and on the eggs etc. We ship to our best market also in Mexico City. Large poultry egg producing plants have been established in Monterrey and Mexico City and other places. They have less expense, and so we can't compete.

Nelle has had to teach in the grade school for the last few years to help us over the hump and pay for our new house.

Things are looking up, and there are signs of progress in the Colonies. The Church has given us a wonderful stimulus with the construction of new grade school buildings in Colonia Dublan and Colonia Juarez, and a marvelous stake center and J.S.A. gymnasium at the Academy. There is nothing to compare with it even in the bordering states in the U.S. The auditorium seats over 600, and opens into the foyer and gymnasium to seat almost that many more. We attended a school play there last night. The sound system and acoustics are wonderful. The gymnasium has a floor large enough that it is divided by a hardwood sliding partition to make two almost full size basketball courts and separate the gym for boys and girls. Each side has beautiful tiled showers, dressing rooms, and locker rooms, equipped with the best of every needful thing. There is also a large band room, and practice booths with soundproofing.

The Governor of Chihuahua, Praxedes Giner Duran, with a company of Senators and other state officials, the Municipal Presidents of old and new Casas Grandes, and many others came to officially inaugurate the building on December 7th. It was a lovely program, with a great deal of praise being given. The best known radio announcer-commentator of the area, to whom hundreds of thousands listen, Jesus Soltero L. spoke on the program also. He is a really fiery orator. He has given, arid is giving us free publicity that is doing an incalculable amount of good. His most helpful comment was that he recognizes us as true Mexicans, which is what we need now to affirm our position in Mexico. Dan Taylor gave an exceptionally good talk.

Apostle Marion G. Romney dedicated the building on December eighth. Harvey L. Taylor of the B.Y.U. was also present and gave a wonderful address. They asked us to recognize and prepare our selves to fulfill our mission as leaders in this nation.

President Ara 0. Call sent missionaries to Nuevo Casas Grandes last March, and largely from their efforts, we have had sixty-two baptisms into our ward. A beautiful new chapel is to be built in Nuevo Casas Grandes, and then the ward will be divided. Our membership has grown to 540 in the three years and nine months that we have been leaders of the ward. The Church is growing rapidly in Mexico. We are happy to be a part of it.

Once when we were in El Paso, Nelle became very sick, she had been having signs of appendicitis. I administered to her, anointing her with consecrated oil. She felt better soon after, and spent the rest of the afternoon shopping. Then we went to a show, "El Cid." We left for home at 4:00 A.M. because I had a meeting the next day at 11:30 A.M. She felt good all the way home and felt well afterward. She was so grateful to have the Priesthood in our home.

Later she had another attack of appendicitis and had to have an operation. They also repaired a hernia that been bothering her. Drs. Hatch and Salas did it.

April 1964: We were traveling to General Conference in our Blue Buick; we had just overhauled it completely and the motor was a little tight. It was cold, and the thermostat was not working properly so the heater would warm us up. We put a cardboard in front of the radiator to keep the motor hotter so the heater would work. While I was driving, it worked fine. Hector Spencer was traveling with us, and when it was his turn to drive he didn't watch the motor temperature. It got so hot that it exploded one of the radiator hoses, and the motor just about melted it got so hot. This happened at Belen, New Mexico. We called Maynard Bowman, after spending the rest of the night in the car. He came down and towed us in to Albuquerque. We found a motor in a junkyard, but it was for an automatic. They said that they could alter our clutch plate to fit it. They did it and installed the motor. We started out but the motor vibrated violently even at medium speed. We went back and found that they had not done a good job in centering the clutch plate. They did it over. We went on to Utah, but missed the Conference. Hector went to conference on the bus. I guess that was when he was bishop of the First Ward.

May 7, 1964: The wind has been blowing a lot this spring, and yesterday we had one of those terrific sand blasts (the wind blowing sand, cutting off the tender plants) that discouraged Keith from farming on the flat. We had one piece of cotton just coming up and there was not much left of it. The young corn was cut off too. We hope that the rest of the cotton will come up nicely. We are grateful that it is nice today.

In November 1964, Hugh D. McClellan Jr. came to live with us for the school year and attend the Academy.

In June 1964, we attended the B.Y.U. Education Week at El Paso. Twenty-five of our members attended, counting us. The B.Y.U. people gave us a book as a prize for having that many attend.

Uncle Thell's daughter, Chloris, her husband, Ray Barnes, and their children visited with us for four days. We took them to the lake to swim and water ski, to Colonia Juarez to show them the Academy and the town, and to the Casas Grandes, Paquime ruins. We took them to a restaurant to have Mexican food. They said they had a good time.

We had many people visit us, the MacDonalds, the Romneys and many others. Bill Cardon came for dinner once with some friends. When he went back to El Paso, he sent Nelle a nice set of china dishes.

Maurice and Nellie and family moved into their beautiful new home that Donn helped them build. They still lack some of the finishing work.

I can't seem to find the date when we were released from the bishopric. Porfirio Flores and Nefi Ontiveros served with me most of the time. Porfirio had said a number of times that he would like to be released. When I did it, it hurt his feelings.

I received a letter from the Presiding Bishopric in September 1964 saying that they had received notice of our release and complimenting us on our good work. In a letter Nelle wrote, she mentioned returning from El Paso just in time to take care of Toribio Ontiveros' funeral around the first of June. Claudius III played the piano accompaniment for the singing.

It was a very good experience to serve as a bishop. As Paul says in Timothy 3:1-2: "If a man desire the office of bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach." We tried hard to fulfill all the requirements and opportunities, and this service brought us much joy and many blessings.

We had the experience of anointing with oil and blessing individuals who were healed. We cast out an evil spirit from a young lady in Nuevo Casas Grandes. This gave us a very queer feeling. We tried to care for the destitute by giving them food and other necessities, using the fast offering funds, but we had a hard time providing work that they could do to compensate for the aid received. This was one of our greatest problems.

I used to tell the Second Ward that we were an "almacigo" (a hotbed) where the youth could get a good, early start in life and then be transplanted to fertile soil in other places. We must have done something right, because the youth we had in our Aaronic Priesthood and Young Women classes have contributed greatly to the growth of the Church. Some of the young men have become Branch Presidents, Bishops, Stake Presidents, and Mission Presidents.

We were released because the Stake authorities wanted to put a native Mexican in as Bishop. They selected Francisco Valenzuela to be bishop. (Bishop Valenzuela was later ordained a Patriarch, following in my footsteps.)

Shortly after being released as bishop, I was set apart as a member of the high council, and assigned as adviser to the Second Ward.

During the years 1964 to 1966 the poultry business had become so bad that most of the members of the cooperative had gone out of business. Walter Shupe still had a flock of over 3,000 hens, but he was making his own feed. Slim Nielsen Jr. was still in business along with his turkeys. In Dublan, Joneses still had some hens. So I kept on handling the eggs and making feed during 1966. Then we all decided to go out of the chicken business, and the "Avicola Colonial" was liquidated.

The orchard was not making enough to live on yet, so I applied for a teaching job in the Dublan Grade School. We had a bilingual program. I had the third grade teaching the Spanish courses required by the government, and the fourth grade in the afternoon. I had 27 third grade students beginning on August 29, 1966, and 22 in the fourth grade. There is a list of these students in my keepsake box.

I taught in the Dublan Grade School for two years, until the spring of 1968, and took care of the orchard in my spare time. Of course, we were on vacation in the summer when there was more to do. My greatest problem was keeping good discipline. During the twenty years that Nelle taught, she never had any problem with discipline. I would have been a much better teacher if I had learned her secret. I had the same problem when I taught at the J.S.A. I was too easy going, expecting the students to want to learn. However, I believe that they did learn as much as they would have under another teacher.

In November of 1966, Claudius III entered the Missionary Training Center to prepare for his mission in the Mexico/Mexico City Mission. President Jasper McClellan sent us a letter telling us that he arrived on December 21, 1966, and was assigned to work in Leon, Guanajuato.

On July 16, 1967, the very nice Nuevo Casas Grandes chapel was dedicated. The ward was then divided. I helped make up the membership lists and put the books in order.

Christmas Letter, 1968. Nelle is still teaching second grade. She has touched the lives of many children for good. She is the teacher of the In-service Training Class of the M.I.A. We appreciate her efforts to give us a well-managed, well cared for, happy home, and also helping to support us by teaching. These activities keep her busy early and late.

Claudius is trying to make the orchard and farm produce more. We make mistakes, but hope to follow Bryant Clark's advice: "Never make the same mistake twice." I was second counselor in the Dublan Second Ward bishopric. I was trying to catch up on the ward secretarial work. This is a full-time job.

Claudius III was released from the Mexican Mission on December 171 1968. We are proud of his accomplishments in the mission. He has been supervising elder for the past few months, and has greatly enjoyed the work. The following is a comment made at that time which didn't come to pass: He is planning to begin to study in Mexico toward a medical career, beginning about the second week of the new year. It will be necessary for him to complete "Preparatoria" at the Church school, "Benemerito de las Americas" in Mexico City because his two years credit at Riverside and B.Y.U. will not be accepted completely. Then he plans to enter the National University at Mexico City. We are happy that he has chosen to study and work in Mexico.

Jennie Loriene has been working in a beauty salon at Salt Lake City. We are not too well informed about her plans. She is a beauty, as well as a beauty operator. We are proud of Loriene.

Flora Eileen has been working at Phoenix, Arizona trying to save enough to go to college. We hope she will continue to study piano, which she plays very well. She played the accompaniment for the school operetta, "The Mikado," last spring as a Senior in high school. We are proud of Eileen.

Roberta is our "this year" Senior in high school. She is a budding artist under her Uncle Maurice. She plays the clarinet in the band and pep band, sings in the chorus, edits a page of the school paper, and very much enjoys life. We are proud of Roberta.

Conrad is our "Freshman" in high school. He plays tuba in the band and pep band, and has been appointed manager of the basketball B team. He will accompany them on their first trip to Animas, New Mexico tomorrow. He is growing rapidly in all directions, and will make a good football player when they begin to play it here. He makes life interesting. We are proud of Conrad.

With our family, our work, our Church and community activities, we have a full and happy life. Next year we will have the added pleasure of tearing down the old chapel and building another better one.

Dad was one of those who got the old chapel built. It has served well during forty years, so we believe that he would he pleased to see it replaced by a better and more serviceable building.

December 19, 1968: I very much enjoyed singing the tenor solos in "The Messiah." We were hurrying to Colonia Juarez so we wouldn't be late, and as we turned the first curve on the dugway (we had the paved road then) we ran into four or five horses. We couldn't miss them all. We hit one, and it pushed the radiator into the fan. We straightened it up a little and went on over to the stake auditorium for the performance. Nelle was really upset, and gave me a bad time. She said that she cried throughout the performance. One of my brothers towed us home, and we fixed the car (blue Buick) the next day. We also sang the rest of the numbers in the chorus.

May 1969: President Agricol Lozano invited me to be a member of the Board of Directors of the Sociedad Educativa y Cultural, S.C. (the Church school system in Mexico). I received a letter from George Turley at Mexico City with a check for $1,500.00 pesos to buy my airline ticket to be there on May 18th for a meeting on the nineteenth. Those present that I remember were Dan Taylor, F. Burton Howard, Pres. Lozano, George Turley and two or three others. George invited me to stay with them at their home. It was a nice experience.

We had previously traded the blue Buick in on a new Datsun four door sedan. It was a metallic blue-gray color. We put quite a few thousand miles on it, traveling many times to El Paso, to Mesa to the temple, etc. One time I was taking Mother to El Paso to put her on a plane to go to Dixon, Illinois to visit Bob and Rickie (probably for Christmas). We went out over the grade through Ascencion to Ciudad Juarez. Much of the road was not paved at that time. It had snowed and the grade was a little slippery in places. At about kilometro 75, we were going along at about 55 or 60 miles an hour. The Datsun slipped and started going sideways. It gathered mud in front of the wheels going sideways until it started rolling off the grade. We rolled over once or twice and the car ended up with the wheels in the air. I was so busy trying to control the car that I didn't think to hold Mother so she wouldn't bounce around. She didn't have her seat belt on. I was not hurt at all because I was holding on the steering wheel, but Mother really bounced around. She was very bruised and she broke her collarbone. I was so sorry that I had done that to her.

The Datsun had bent wheels, but it didn't do much harm to the body, and it didn't break any glass. Some people came along and helped me turn the car over on its wheels, and we drove it on to El Paso. We could only go about 25 miles an hour because the bent wheels made the car vibrate badly. We took Mother to see Doctor Merlin Pierce. He put some kind of a corset around her upper chest to hold the bones from rubbing and causing pain. Mother insisted on going on to Dixon the next morning. She really suffered, but never complained. Bob and Rickie also took her to a doctor, but her bone didn't knit exactly straight and it gave her some pain during the rest of her life. I never got over how sorry I felt about it. I bought some new wheels before returning home.

Claudius III and Ana Marina Brown were married on June 27, 1969, in the temple. For some reason, we don't have a record of what happened on that glorious occasion, and our memories are blank. At the beginning of 1970, Donn was so busy that he decided to rent his orchard to me on shares. By June, he decided to sell it to me. He owed Uncle Thell fifteen thousand dollars. I made a deal to repay Uncle Thell, but I don't remember how I made the other payments. By this time, Donn had acquired a fifteen acre piece of land from Orson Hawkins to pay for remodeling their home in Dublan. So I bought forty acres and the balance of the well and pump from him. He regretted selling it later, but I was really glad to have bought it. I paid Uncle Thell the first payment on June 2, 1970.

In June 1970, we traded the Datsun in on a 1968 Red Rambler American. I immediately drove it to Phoenix to have the bottom surface of the cylinder heads of the Caterpillar motor resurfaced. This motor was always breaking down for some reason or another. We became quite expert at fixing it, as well as the Fordson tractor. One cylinder head was not repairable, so I bought a used one.

On August 21, 1971, Jennie Loriene and Ronald William Esmeyer were married in the Salt Lake Temple. They met while Loriene was living with her Aunt Dorothy and learning to be a beauty operator and working in a beauty salon. She was in Salt Lake City for a number of years before the marriage. I remember that Ron was a little late arriving at the temple, and he was somewhat out of patience because Loriene was supposed to pick him up. The Esmeyers gave them a reception at their home, and we gave them another in Dublan. Ron got really sick and didn't enjoy their honeymoon trip as much as he would have done otherwise.

During the last part of 1969 and all of 1970, the new Dublan chapel was built. Dave Judd was in charge of the construction. The members did a good share of the work building it. I paid my assessment by keeping the records and making the progress reports weekly or monthly. We also worked on the roof, etc. as groups.

On May 14, 1971, Elder Delbert L. Stapley dedicated the new chapel. The two former bishops, Arnold Call and Francisco Valenzuela, also spoke during the program, as did the acting bishops, Scott Bluth and Gerhardt Schill. Elder Russon was there and spoke also. It was a lovely occasion and very nice program.

In 1971, we bought Conrad a bass electric guitar with its sound system. He played it with a group of his friends for dances and other programs. He learned to play it by himself and did a very good job.

July 26, 1971: This is a letter written to Ron and Loriene congratulating them for Stephen's birth:

Congratulations! We are so happy with you and for you, and we are so very proud to have another grandson. He is undoubtedly a very special spirit, and you will have joys you had never even thought of before.

Knowing you both, I am sure he will not lack for love, and a feeling of companionship and security. These take the problems out of normal development, and make for a happy, normal, sane, intelligent individual.

When he gets old enough, Ron will have company on his trips to the canyons and lakes, and it will be a great experience for both of them. Claudius III went everywhere with me, even when he was a little chap, but by the time we got Conrad, I seemed to be too busy. Conrad and I both suffered because of it, and Con has had problems that Claudius never had. I hope you never have these problems.

Oh, it is great to have good sons and daughters like you. We love and appreciate you more that you will ever know. The Lord gave us choice spirits also.

I will say to you what the doctor said to us when he saw Claudius III. "The seed is good, now all he lacks is some brothers and sisters." May you have many happy glorious experiences with your children.

October 19, 1971: We had another of those unforgettable occasions in our lives to be able to visit our children and relatives in Utah and attend the General and Relief Society Conferences. We are glad that Nelle has the pull to get off to be able to go. The Home Evening Manual is "right on” when it reminds us that our family relationships are heaven on earth. Of course, we've known that all along, and being with our loved ones again has renewed it and made the incentive strong to make it for all eternity.

The trip home was lovely because we were able to listen to the inspiring conference sermons all day as we traveled. The southern Utah and Flagstaff stations gave us good strong reception. I can't remember why we had to travel that day.

Eileen had a very nice dinner waiting for us at Phoenix, and we enjoyed staying with Eileen and Roberta overnight. We enjoy our children's experiences vicariously. Sam and Flossie came over for a short visit, which we appreciated also. We arrived home before six p.m. Monday October 4th.

I had received an invitation from Dr. Norris E. Bradbury, the manager of the Los Alamos Atomic Laboratory where most of the research was done for the atomic bomb and other atomic developments, to go on a trip with him and some friends to see the southwestern part of Chihuahua, including the famous Basaseachic waterfall that I had not seen before.

When we arrived home from conference he didn't seem to have arrived as yet, so we were relaxing. However, they had arrived earlier, and finding us not at home, had visited the ruins and Colonia Juarez. They came to see us later that evening. So I got busy early the next morning, checked things at the orchard, got the supplies together, and we left about noon on Tuesday.

The paved road to Zaragoza was not a surprise, although we admired its beauty and the beautiful scenery, but I had never dreamed of a paved road on southward. It connects with the other highway at Cuauhtemoc, south of Chihuahua City. We followed it as far as Santa Ana de Babicora, 130 miles, of which only 10 are not paved. Then we took off west over to Matachic on an unimproved mountain road (28 miles). We camped in the mountains above Matachic. Maurice's tent let us sleep well in the rain. It rained every night. The next morning, the river at Matachic was up, so we got a big diesel truck to tow us across. By camp time that evening, we had traveled almost 60 miles of beautiful mountain scenery. This was a good lesson in patience. Clark Carr and Ed Wilder both had four wheel drive vehicles (Jeep Wagoneer and Ford Bronco). They were in no hurry--they averaged about 6 miles an hour over the steep mountain roads. By speeding up over the smoother places, it would have been easy to cover the same distance in half the time. However, the scenery was delightful, and the company very good also. The mountains are straight up and down. The highest peak is 10,180 feet high. The road goes up to 8,700 feet and then down to 6,000--up again and down-it seems like forever. On the high north side hills, the big pines and firs are covered with moss, even hanging like in the everglades. The big pines are short needle, and pinon, and jack pines. There are different kinds of cedars, large oaks, fir, and I think I saw spruce. The wild flowers are colorful and varied, and there are ferns and mosses in the deep canyons.

The next day by noon and 21 miles further, we came to a little valley where we were told the unmarked, slightly used road takes off to the great falls of Basaseachic. It goes by lady Eufemia's house and farm. The little kids ran to open the pole gates to earn a few centavos (they had seen tourists before). Clark hired a little fellow as a guide, and an hour and two miles later, we got down to a river, where we camped. It was raining hard, but soon let up, so we all hiked down the trail to the falls. After a half hour leisurely walk along a lovely steep canyon and a few meters over a rock cliff face, we had a lovely view of two rivers coming together, one with clear water, and the other in flood. We could hear a muted whisper of water falling. Then we went out into a widening canyon of beautiful rock, almost flat in which the river had worn a narrow channel of whirlpools in the rock, and we were there. There is a breath-taking, tremendous, awe inspiring canyon that opens up wide with sheer, colorful rock walls which go down a thousand feet to the river below, and rise another upward from where we were. The river, which is only about a meter wide in its tortuous rocky channel, rushes under a tremendous boulder which spans it and also under a delicate natural arch and then down a thousand feet into space. Absent is the tremendous roar we expected. The water seems to vaporize as it falls and settles into the rocks below like a slender, swift cloud. The vapor shoots out in beautiful symmetrical streamers onto the greenest blanket of mosses and ferns, pine trees and verdure that even an artist would be hard-put to imagine. It looks like a magnificent painting spread out a thousand feet below that spreads out in that lovely, magnificent canyon and disappears in the distance between towering cliffs.

They say that there is a trail down to get the impact from below, but we didn't find it and really didn't want to spend the energy going down. We were content to climb out on a rocky point to gaze enthralled at the power and glory below. The water forms into V-shaped masses which dissolve into vapor as they disappear into the cotton-white column swiftly falling into what seems to be infinity. The eyes follow it down, down, down; that must be the bottom--no, it is still falling, falling down and down, disappearing into the swift cloud. The river below seems to be a trickle in the first rapids, but it regains its current as it goes along. A cloud forms out in the space far below us and remains suspended there for a time. In contrast, the green is greener, the painting ever more exquisite. Chihuahua the beautiful, can you imagine!

Life has not, as yet, provided us with monetary riches, and yet we are rich. We are rich because of our family. God has given us select spirits to be our children and grandchildren. We were born to noble parents, of worthy progenitors. We glory in the merit of our brothers and sisters, and all the branches of our extended families. We are rich in the variety and beauty of our experiences, and in the companionship of our friends. We are rich in the fulfillment of our spiritual experiences in the Church of God. Life is good; who could ask for more?

In 1970, Lic. Agricol Lozano asked us for copies of Dad's "intestado" so he could donate the properties that were in Dad's name to the nation. We sent them, and also a special power of attorney so he could act in our name.

When the peach and pear orchards started producing, we sold the fruit to the Wagners. They had a rather small packer when they first started. A few years later, they built a very large packer and two immense refrigerator rooms. They also installed a water-bath cooler to cool the fruit immediately. There were coils to cool the water, which was then pumped up and over the big boxes of peaches. These boxes were about 4 x 4 feet, by 3 feet high. We picked into them on special wagons we made after seeing how the Wagners made them. We used a truck rear axle, and made a balance cam from a piece of railroad rail with a truck wheel on each end. We used a truck chassis and welded a sheet metal top on it with roller rails to facilitate handling the large boxes that held more than 400 kilos each. This made a nice easy riding trailer which we pulled with a pickup.

At first, we handled the peaches and pears in wood apple boxes, and hauled them on Donn's pickup. We picked the peaches every day in order to have them tree ripe but not too soft. This makes for a much more flavorful peach, and is why our peaches were so good. When we got into production, we picked about 700 apple boxes full on the best days. We thinned the peaches until the ground was covered with little peaches in order to have larger peaches.

From February until the middle of May, we had to he ready to go light up the heating buckets in the orchard. Sometimes we had to light up as early as 9:00 P.M. and burn the buckets all night until 9:00 the next morning. This burned an awful lot of diesel fuel. Fortunately, it only cost $1.00 peso a liter at that time. We bought a 50,000 liter tank and installed it up high so we could put fuel in the tractor from it. Wagners made us another tank that held over 200,000 liters. We had to install this one at ground level and so we had to pump the fuel in and out. Even with that much fuel stored, we had to haul fuel when we smudged, or we would run out. When we all lit up, even Dublan was filled with a dense fog of smoke. On some years, we had to light up more than thirty times during the season. When the temperature started to go down, I would pick up the men from their homes and take them out to the orchard. Many had the men sleep at the orchard to be ready.

I didn't want to pay the men when we didn't need them. Bryant Clark suggested that we burn with the smudge pot covers 1/3 to 1/2 on. It was good because we could light more pots and make the heat more even. They would last all night that way.

Another big job was to keep the orchard sprayed. After pruning, we sprayed zinc which was lacking in our soil. We also sprayed other trace minerals when the trees had full foliage. We applied large amounts of nitrogen and other commercial fertilizers. Then we had to spray insecticides often. We bought a little 100 gallon sprayer with two hoses and spray guns. We mounted it on the tractor and the pump ran off the power take-off. We didn't have the money to buy a big power sprayer.

We disked between the tree rows to keep the weeds down, and cut the weeds in the tree rows by hand. We hired about 25 to 30 men most of the winter and summer to prune the trees, thin and pick the peaches. We also had to weed the cotton, milo and other crops we grew between the trees and the unplanted land.

The pears got fireblight and root rot, so we pulled them out and planted more peaches. We also planted apples, and Donn had apples on part of the land we bought from him. There was always something pressing to do. The apple trees also got root rot. Later, Dupont came out with Benlate, if I remember right, which was a fungicide that held the rot in check. We applied it in water by hand around the trees. We had a tank mounted on a car chassis to handle the diesel and water. The men would draw it from spigots on each side of the back of the tank and fill the smudge buckets or apply the water on the trees. We would put the correct dosage in a tub of water to apply one quart per bucket of water, and put from one to four buckets per tree according to size. The fungicide cost two dollars and fifty cents a pound.

The only thing that could have made the week of August 23 to 30, 1972 a more memorable experience would have been to have all the members of our family with us. We are sad that we didn't make the effort during their growing-up years to go to interesting places together as a family.

At first, we decided to go to the Area Conference in Mexico City by car, but then they chartered buses for about the same cost as the car, so we decided to go by bus because it would go straight through in 24 hours. We had a three hour lay-over in Chihuahua, and arrived in Mexico City at noon Thursday.

Kenyon and Leona Wagner invited us to stay with them at the "Arbolillo," "Benemerito de las Americas," the Church School that they were directing. They treated us royally. Since it was vacation time, there were also about 3,000 other members from many parts of the nation staying in the student boarding homes while they attended the conference. They were transported to the "Auditorio Nacional" in the school buses. This big auditorium could hold about 17,000 people as I remember. This was the first Area Conference to be held in Mexico.

Our stake choir, directed by Vaughn Green, sang in the first session on Saturday. We had about 130 voices, including some former members of the stake like the Gerald Pratts, the Jack Knudsens, the Marion Robinsons, etc. It was a great experience to sing in that large auditorium and before about 15,000 people. There were over 17,000 at the Sunday morning session. We used the Tabernacle choir microphones and equipment, which they had sent down prior to their arrival on Saturday afternoon. Anna Marie Taylor accompanied us, and also the combined choir of the Mexico City stakes. She was a student of a member of the organ guild, and he got her permission to play the tremendous organ. They also permitted Alexander Schreiner to play it. One of our Mormon organ experts tuned it for them.

The conference began Friday night with a marvelous talent program presented by all the stakes and missions in Mexico except ours. The "folklorico" dances were fantastic, with astonishingly beautiful and authentic costumes, and they were performed just as professionally as those presented at the "Palacio de Bellas Artes." They presented three 3 fantastic Aztec dances, Zapotecan dances from Oaxaca, Huapangos from Tampico, Tarascan dances by the Mexico City Stake, the famous "Danza del Venado" by the Mexican Mission, and a marvelous group from the West Mexican Mission danced the "Jarabe Tapatio." There were many others. A three hundred and fifty voice choir sang some choruses, and it couldn't have been better. They said it was the result of many day-long practice sessions and consulting with all the best talent to authenticate it. We were proud to belong to a Church that could inspire such a great, unselfish service accomplishment as that. You will never see anything done better, even at the B.Y.U. The two combined choirs that sang in other sessions (other than ours) had spent many thousands of pesos on their beautiful costumes, or robes. They sang very well. The Church has a very solid and wide base on which to grow in our southern countries.

President Marion G. Romney conducted the Saturday sessions, and he tried to do it in Spanish. His written Spanish was very good. He had planned everything very well, but his tongue just wouldn't perform like he wanted it to do. President Lee thanked him for trying. The talks by the other General Authorities were translated in a running translation, with the Spanish louder than the English being spoken. President Lee's talks were translated by Eduardo Balderas a sentence or two at a time. The people wanted to hear the Prophet's voice. The inspiration of this great conference will surely stimulate a marvelous growth of the Church in our Nation. It will help many to catch the vision of belonging to the Kingdom of God on earth. It was a wonderful thing that the Government permitted a Church to use the great "Auditorio Nacional." It marks a breakthrough in our relationship to the Government. President Romney stayed over because he was finally granted an interview with the "Secretario de Gobernacion." Perhaps it will help in admitting more missionaries.

Sunday morning, we went early to hear the Tabernacle Choir practice. Then we heard the weekly Choir broadcast. They sang, “I know that My Redeemer Lives” in Spanish. I was surprised that they sang “Estrellita"--a love song--on Sunday, but I guess in the broadcast they sing all kinds of songs.

President Tanner presented the General Authorities for the sustaining vote of the people. Thus, President Lee was sustained, while present, by over 17, 000 Mexican Saints for the first time. This was the largest conference ever held by the Church under one roof. Mother was invited to sit with the Mission Presidents' wives down in front, so I asked President Agricol Lozano for a special ticket for her for all the sessions. Good tickets were rather hard to come by, because they gave us tickets in different locations each time. Some were away up high, and I mean way up in the "gradas." Kathleen was also permitted to sit with Mother in "luneta" the best seats in the house.

All the talks by the local leaders were in Spanish, and they were very inspiring. Only the General Authorities spoke in English. Elder Fyans and others also spoke in Spanish.

A group of us from our stake also sang in the "National Priesthood Chorus," as they called it, in priesthood meeting. President Lee attended four meetings in widely separated locations that Saturday evening. The Spirit was tremendous. It was a great privilege to be a part of it.

We spent half a day in the great "MuseD Antropologico," which we hope you all will visit some day. It is a unique, very large museum. If a person spent enough time there he or she could get a very good education in Mexican culture, past and present. All they lack is to have the Book of Mormon to explain some things.

In December 1972, we drove the Rambler American to Salt Lake City to spend Christmas with Claudius and Marina and Ron and Loriene and their families. Claudius and Marina were in Provo at the V. We had a lovely time sharing Christmas with them.

On one of our trips to Utah in the Rambler, we went by Phoenix. Evidently we left Phoenix rather late because by the time we arrived at Bitter Springs it was dark. A herd of horses ran across the road in front of us really close. We hit one of them and mashed the radiator against the fan, broke the windshield, and the pony kicked the back window out as he went over the car. It shattered all over Mother and Aunt Lucille in the back seat. Nelle was also covered with shattered glass from the windshield. The windshield was not broken out, and I could still see through it enough to drive. We walked over to the service station, country store there and I bought some aluminum liquid solder. I went back to the car and took the fan off and drove it over to the station. We also called the Highway Patrol. He said that he would not hold us, and that we could go on if the car would go. It took me about three hours to straighten the fan as well as I could and mend the radiator. I bent the tubes and crimped them after putting some aluminum solder in to seal them. They leaked very little, and so we decided to go on to Jacob Lake. We arrived at about three or four in the morning and they were closed, so we went in to the employees' bunk house to sleep. We couldn't find enough blankets, so we slept cold.

We didn't think we could find any glass to fix the window and windshield until arriving at Salt Lake City, so we decided to drive on in. A cop stopped us at a little town, and said it was against the law to drive with so little vision through the windshield. We talked him in to letting us go on. But another stopped us a little further on and insisted. We asked him if we took the windshield out, could we go on. He gave us permission, so we took it out and had a cold ride to Provo. Nelle, Mother, and Aunt Lucille rode to Salt Lake with Claudius. Roberta went with me. We replaced the glass and radiator in Salt Lake, and also the fan, all from the junkyards, and fixed the bent roof as well as we could. Later, at home we had it fixed and painted it blue.

In 1973, we planted another 8,000 peach trees that we bought from the Wagners. Darryl had put in a peach nursery because they were expanding their plantings very rapidly and couldn't afford to buy trees from the nurseries in the U.S. They grew very well and produced good fruit, but by about in the early nineteen seventies they started to die with crown gall. This was a disease that caused the roots around the trunk of the trunk of the tree just under the soil to swell and become all knotty. We were told that the disease came from the nursery. However, most of the peach trees got the disease and died a few at a time. When Jerald and Ron rented the orchard, they started to pull the unhealthy trees out in blocks and planted apple trees.

Monday morning, April 16, 1973, we had just come home from smudging the orchard, had a bath and were eating breakfast, when Judy came running in and said, "Come and help, Aunt Maurine's house is burning up. It was about ten o'clock. We all ran over, but something was wrong with the pump, and there was no way to fight the blaze. It started on the roof or in the attic. We never knew if an electrical short started it, or if some boys who were shooting off fireworks shot one of them on the roof.

We immediately started to take everything out of the house that was movable. We couldn't get to their food storage in one of the upstairs. I tried to get all of Donn's sound, tape recorder player out, but I didn't have any way to remove the large loudspeakers. I also wanted to remove the cabinets in the living room, but by that time people didn't think it was safe to be in the house, and they made me come out.

It was a difficult, sad experience to be there and watch our family home burn up. All the neighbors came and helped remove things from the house, and they also helped move things into the bodega and the cheese factory building with Bishop Schill's permission. There were so many memories related to our home of happy and sad times, of so many learning experiences, of our parent's loving care, of our loving association together, and poignant memories of Christmas and other holidays, etc. However, Donn has now built a beautiful mansion where our family home once stood, which is much prettier and much more convenient. So I guess the fire was to force him to progress. It took him a number of years to finish his wonderful home.

When Conrad graduated from High School, he went to El Paso and stayed with his Aunt Hannah and Uncle Alma Jarvis while he looked for a job. He finally got discouraged about finding a job he could hold, and went and joined the army without consulting his parents.

Some time later, he called us from an army base in the southeastern U.S. and told us he was going to get married. The girl was not a member of the Church, so we tried to talk him out of it.

On March 1, 1974, Conrad LeRoy Bowman married Brenda Faye Cook. She followed him to other bases and to Germany, where Con was stationed for a couple of years or so. They had two little boys, Michael and Christopher. The marriage lasted until June 27, 1980, when they were divorced. In some way, the court decided that Brenda was not a fit mother, and Conrad decided that he couldn't keep them. Michael had some serious mental problems and was very destructive around the house. In some ways the Church family services became involved and had custody of the children. Since we as family members decided we couldn't keep them, Conrad let them be put up for adoption. Eileen had Chris for a while, and she wanted to keep him, but the Church services wanted them to stay together. Claudius III and Marina considered taking Chris also, but finally decided against it. We were told that they had been adopted by a very nice Mormon family.

On October 1980, Conrad LeRoy married Karen Barrett, a girl he met in Salt Lake City. She had two children and had been married before. She couldn't have any more children. They stayed together until about 1987, when they were also divorced.

Conrad worked for the National Semi-conductor, an electronics production company, employing thousands of people. They fell on hard times and began to let thousands of their employees go. Conrad was in charge of the calibration program, and he was not let go the first two times, but he did finally lose his job, and he then went to school to learn to drive a big tractor and trailer truck.

On December 19, 1974, I sang the part of Caspar in the Operetta "Amahl and the Night Visitors" (The Three Wise Men). Maurice directed it and planned the costumes. They were very good. Caspar is the Wise Man who tries to add a little humor to the operetta. Sharon Taylor sang the part of the mother. Amah' was Paco, Marion and Donn were the other Wisemen. We also presented it the next Christmas time with a few cast changes. Later, it was presented by the young people of the Ward.

I forgot to mention that we presented the Messiah on December 19, 1965. I sang the first two tenor solos. Marene W. Robinson sang the soprano; Jewell E. Bluth and Carol T. Wagner sang the contralto, and Marion C. Robinson the bass. It was presented by the Dublan Ward M.I.A. with Maurice conducting. Bob played the violin.

In 1974, I was appointed to keep the records of the Dublan Cemetery. I took my employees out to help me and during the next four years we made a scale map of the cemetery, and identified all the graves it was possible to identify. I went out on the first days of November, which are the days the Mexicans decorate the graves in order to identify as many of them as possible. I had pages printed for a loose leaf binder, and used two facing sheets for one burial lot. I finished this job just in time to give it to Bishop Merriner Jones before we went on our mission in 1978.

On January 31, 1975, Roberta married William Craig Jensen in the Salt Lake Temple. We gave them a nice reception in Colonia Dublan, in the recreation hall of the new Chapel. We used the Valentine, Love theme. Craig's parents and a number of his brothers and sisters went to Mexico to be with them. They now (1988) have eight children.

In 1975 and 1976, I began to have a lot of pain in my right hip joint. I went to a specialist, Dr. Basom, in El Paso. He advised against having a hip replacement at that time. John Lupo gave me a cane, which I used to walk or move around. The pain got to be less intense so I got along all right.

On April 25, 1976, I was ordained a Patriarch by Howard W. Hunter, an Apostle, after both Nelle and I had been interviewed by him. I was sustained to serve in the Colonia Juarez Mexico Stake. My Certificate was signed by President Spencer W. Kimball and his Counselors, N. Eldon Tanner and Marion G. Romney.

This was a wonderful experience for me, although I felt my weakness and struggled to have the necessary inspiration. I gave blessings both in Spanish and English. Young people came from Ciudad Juarez and Chihuahua in addition to our own stake for me to give them blessings. I had the inspiration that they were all really great people. I also gave blessings to older adults, mostly in Spanish. I don't remember how many blessings I gave, but it was a rather large number. (100 to 150 or so).

In 1987, I was called by the acting President of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, Elder Howard W. Hunter, (who called me in the first place in 1976) to give patriarchal blessings in Spanish to those who came desiring blessings. Shortly after I was called, I began to be very weak and to have problems in talking clearly. I felt that I could not get the Spirit's inspiration under those circumstances, so I never gave any blessings after this latter call. Three or four bishops called me asking if I would give a blessing. The Church Purchasing Department provided me with a recorder, foot switch, and microphone, which I will return to them. This call was to give blessings in Salt Lake City

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