I have delayed in writing about our club "The Winged Four" because the memories are so treasured that I am afraid that I cannot do them justice. I am sure that I will leave out many important parts because memories are elusive at best and sometimes they are there and many times they fade away to come back at some reminder or some incident will bring a forgotten picture.

As long as I can remember Taylor Abegg and I have been very good friends. As I remember we were together on many different pet projects and fads that we went through when we were boys together.

The first picture: Taylor finally got permission to spend the night up to our place. Mother gave in to our pleading and let us put a bed out in the rose arbor near the cooler. The cooler was simply a box covered on three sides with burlap sacking that was kept wet so that it cooled, by evaporation, the milk and butter or whatever mother put in it. The bed had to be placed length wise in order to fit in the arbor. To get in bed we had to vault over the foot of the bed to land on the bouncy springs of the bed. Of course that  started us to jumping up and down on the bed which soon started us pushing each other just a little. I don't recall exactly how the pillow fight started but soon it was in full swing and I do mean SWING!!!!! As we were sweating and swatting one of the pillows exploded and that wonderful Goose Down Pillow was a limp rag in my hand and we were engulfed in swirling feathers. Feathers were in our eyes, up our noses and stuck to the sweat of our bare skin. I had never seen so many feathers I still don't know how so many feathers could get into that small pillow bag. The rose arbor was all bloomed out with feathers. Oh!! The big pan of milk in the cooler that had been set for the cream to raise was filled to the top with feathers. They had even gotten under the wax paper that covered the butter. This was less of a problem than the cream in the pan. Two very subdued boys went in to report to mother. I have never spent such a miserable night you just can't get rid of that many feathers and you sure can't breathe feathers.

After the little Ground Squirrel craze had finally subsided we decided that we wanted to raise Pigeons. We each prepared a place to keep our Pigeons and then worked out a plan to get some Pigeons. We watched the big flocks of pigeons that flew around the mill and landed to pick up the spilled wheat. Uncle Moroni, as we called Brother Abegg, showed us how to make a figure 4 trap with a long trigger stick under a screen top box. We set the trap in a strategic place and baited it with a little trail of wheat leading to the trap. Many times the pigeons would eat all of the wheat without even touching the trigger stick. Next we saw pigeons flying in and out of Brother Cardon's big barn. The Cardon's lived across the street from our place we decided to go hide in the barn and when and if the pigeons came in we  would quickly climb up into the big barn window and cut off the pigeons escape route. This plan worked very well but we were not counting on the weather. A big flock of pigeons flew in and hurriedly found places of shelter. I quickly climbed up in the big open barn window to cut of their escape. Suddenly the lightning flashed and the thunder shook the whole barn and it began to hail. Those enormous hail stones were at least an inch in diameter. After two or three hits that really hurt I jumped to the hay beneath to escape the beating. How that storm raged we could not hear each others yells because of the terrible roar of the hail on the roof of the barn. We proceeded with our plan to catch the pigeons in the barn and soon we had them flying and fluttering around in the barn. We saw one fly out the window but was instantly killed by the enormous hail stones. We stopped our pursuit of the poor birds for fear that another one might attempt to fly out into the storm and be beat to the ground and killed.

Finally the hail stopped and we went out to try to get to our house across the street. The trees and plants were stripped of the leaves and the green leaves were buried under about six inches of white hail stones. All of the flowers and garden vegetables were buried under the hail.

I remember our ford car's roof had been torn to bits in the part that was not metal over the back seat there was a gaping hole and the back seat was full of hail stones. Later we used that hole to stand up in to shoot rabbits from the car. It became a very good sport we would stand on the back seat and lean on the top of the car for better aim.

We still didn't have any pigeons so we went to ask permission to go into the Farnsworth attic after dark to catch pigeons. The big Ruben Farnsworth home had a peaked tower on one side of the roof and on that tower the pigeons had a hole in the shingles of the roof to enter that tower. That tower is still on the house. Scott  and Jewel Bluth have lived there for many years. It is one of the few remaining original Deblan homes left.

Sister Farnsworth was glad for us to go catch the pigeons but cautioned us to be careful and step only on the rafters and not on the ceiling. That night well after dark we ascended into the attic and made our way to the tower. As we entered the tower we flashed our lights around to confuse the pigeons so they could not find their way out that small hole. We used a long pole, that someone had left in the tower, to dislodge the pigeons from their high roosting places. They would flutter around in confusion and come down to where we could catch them and put them in our sack. We made a big haul of beautiful birds and went home to divide the spoils. We clipped their wings and put them in the pens and we were in the pigeon raising business.

I remember raising a pair of squabs by hand feeding them. I enjoyed it at first but with time it became very tedious. It is surprising how much wheat it takes to raise a pair of squabs. We had all colors of beautiful pigeons, big blue ones, slate colored ones with barred wings, pinto ones and brown ones and mixed colors. They could make that little pen shake with their cooing and fighting.

After a while Taylor's parents brought him some beautiful, delicate, white Fan Tailed Pigeons. These were pure white and had a big fan tail that fanned up in the back until it nearly touched their heads as they walked delicately along. Taylor got rid of his other pigeons and put these special ones in their old Chicken coop with a nice run completely closed in with chicken wire. His first pair soon began to reproduce and it was really a pleasure to watch those delicate white creatures with red eyes and red feet.

Soon Taylor began to see a lot of cats prowling around trying to get in to get those pigeons. Chico Jones and family lived across the fence from Taylor's house and the big barn and the vent holes in the foundation under the house really provided an Ideal place for cats to live.

Taylor confided in me about the problem and I went down to his place with my little 22 single shot rifle to get rid of the cats. We  were very successful in killing most of the cats by seeing them sunning themselves when no one was around. I don't like to brag but I was a good shot and could hit those cats in the head behind the ear and they scarcely uttered a sound. They usually would thrash around a little and then lie still.

One of the biggest tom cats had eluded us and we had not had an opportunity to get a shot. He seemed to  know we would not shoot when there were kids playing around the yard. One day he was sleeping in the sun and was a perfect target but there were a bunch of little kids playing with Albert, Bu (Charles) and Melvina. Taylor told me to hide just around the corner of the back of his house and he would lure the kids away, around to the front of the Jones house. I waited anxiously and when they disappeared around the house I took careful aim and shot the cat. Just then Aunt Melvina came out the back door to check on the kids. Seeing the big cat kicking and thrashing around she said in her loud high toned voice, "What is the matter with that cat". Then seeing that no one was around she went back into the house. When Taylor came back to where I was waiting he mimicked in a loud high toned voice, "What is the matter with that cat".

Back to the winged four. I was very pleased to receive Taylor's reply and write up of the winged four because he did a much more detailed and descriptive write up than I could possibly have done. I will add some little memories of mine at the end.

ESOS del Cuatro!!!!!!

Keith, you asked for a few of my recollections of the Winged Four as you begin your write-up.  I'll look forward to receiving it.  

I hope the following will serve your purpose, and possibly trigger other memories on the part of Dan and Donn.



In September of 1935 our family moved to Provo, Utah, for a year on the occasion of Dad's sabbatical leave of absence from the JSA.  Dad spent the academic year taking college classes at BYU.  Louise and I attended the ninth and seventh grades respectively at BY Junior High.  We lived in a basement apartment on about second east and third north.  A family named Tanner occupied the house across the street from us.  They had two boys, one slightly older than I and one slightly younger.  In due course I became acquainted with them and learned to my delight that they were both avid and advanced model airplane builders.  I spent as much time as I could with them and that is where I learned the basics of model airplane building. Over time I accumulated a modest inventory of construction materials and other supplies, and began designing my own models.  Every chance I could find I would visit the local model store where I felt like I was truly in Heaven. By the time the school year was over I had built several models.  In the process I nearly severed my left index finger trying to make a balsam knife by pushing a razor blade into the end of a wooden handle with a pair of pliers.

At the end of the school year we moved to Salt Lake City where Dad was employed for the summer.  We all lived with my mother's half sister, Nora Taylor Burgener, and her husband and children during the Summer. Her son, Clair, was just a little older than I but we were soon good buddies, and we started building model airplanes in the loft of their barn.  Clair's cousin, Albert Burgener, soon joined us and the three of us spent the summer of 1936 building all sorts, sizes and styles of model airplanes. When it came time to return to Dublan I was eagerly looking forward to showing my friends this fascinating new hobby.  I was truly delighted when the three of you embraced it with the same enthusiasm I had.


As we became more and more involved in this hobby we realized we had to have a place to work that was both private and secure.  Our chicken coup seemed to offer the best possibilities.  With Dad's permission we proceeded to refurbish it, and we converted it into a nice little workroom where each of us had a corner with a work surface that enabled us to do our work. It wasn't long before we decided our club should be named THE WINGED FOUR.

Supplies were always a problem.  If we were building a model from a kit the supplies were included.  They consisted of plans, balsam stringers, blocks, sheets, tissue paper, glue, rubber bands, sometimes a precarved propeller, but more often a block of balsam wood from which we carved our own.  Glue was a problem.  We never seemed to have enough. Every time anyone of our families went to El Paso we would try to get them be bring us some of the right kind of glue along with other supplies.  Dad saw our predicament and furnished us with a good-sized sample of woodworking glue that was strong and easy to use.

Piano wire was also a problem in that it always seemed to be in short supply.  It was a necessary part of the landing gears on most of our models.  It enabled the model to land on a rough surface without being destroyed.  We scratched our heads for some time on how to solve this problem.  We finally came to the realization that there was in fact a good supply of piano wire close by.  In the school assembly room there was an old upright piano that was already pretty well shot.  We rationalized that if it were to miss a few strands of wire it wouldn't make a significant difference at all in the sound.  So, armed with a good pair of diagonals, and with two of us posted as guards, we partly dismantled the piano to the point where we had full access to the wire strands.  It was now just a matter of selecting the wire gage we needed.  Then with the diagonals we would cut the wire at both ends from a group of three wires corresponding to a single note.  The wire when cut, being under tension, would let out a loud TWANG, loud enough to be heard throughout the entire building.  Well, from that point on there never seemed to be a lack of piano wire for our models!

The rubber motors used to power the model consisted of a length of rubber band about an eighth of an inch wide, the ends tied together.  We would apply a rubber lubricant to the rubber so that it would wind and unwind smoothly without knotting.  Winding up the propeller was a chore, so we improvised by using a hand drill and locking the metal hook on one end of the rubber into the drill chuck. We could then just turn the crank and wind the motor in a small fraction of the time.

Applying the skin (tissue paper) to the wings, tail and fuselage required some care.  The special tissue paper used could be glued in place, but there were always wrinkles.  By spraying the paper with water from an atomizer, the paper would shrink as it dried and leave a perfectly smooth tight surface with no wrinkles whatsoever.

When one of us completed the model we were working on we would all assemble  and participate in the preparation for the test flight.  There was a vacant field adjacent and to the north of us which provided plenty of open space.  When all was ready the builder would launch the plane.  We would all stand breathless. If the plane functioned as intended we would all rejoice.  If it didn't we would retrieve it and start over.  We always designed into the plane a small negative pitch to the propeller, so that when the propeller stopped turning the plane would glide better. We also adjusted the rudder so that the plane would turn in a wide circle, and we wouldn't have to chase it so far.

Study Hall

Our little clubhouse also functioned as a miniature study hall.  We all did much of our schoolwork in it.  The atmosphere was just right to concentrate on our lessons.  Frequently we would leave our schoolbooks in the clubhouse overnight and pick them up on the way to school the next day.

We also built secret compartments in the floor of the clubhouse. We would conceal some of our treasures in these compartments and feel that they were completely safe.  This added to the mystique of being there.

This wonderful arrangement prevailed through my eighth grade school year and freshman year in high school.  In that period it literally became the center of most of our extracurricular activities.  In my sophomore year of high school my family moved from Dublan to Colonia Juarez.  This put an end to our clubhouse but not to the Winged Four, which has remained intact ever since, though not as closely knit as before.  

In an effort to preserve the clubhouse we moved it over to Dan's place where it was seldom if ever used again.  I'm not aware of its final disposition.

I hope this brings back wonderful memories of the enjoyable times we spent together.

All the best;



Donn, Dan and I were very excited and enthused about Taylor's new hobby and were very anxious to learn about model airplanes. We had seen a few airplanes in our lives and we had dreams of actually flying someday.

We all went to work on our club house. Taylor made us feel so much a part of it that we all considered it ours as well. We each made our desk in our corner of the Club house and took great pride in adorning the club house with treasures such as an old antique pendulum clock  set on a special shelf with a little tanned spotted faun Deer skin under it. We devised a lock for the door that was impossible to unlock without knowing the combination. It was opened by pulling in sequence three strings by reaching under the floor and different places. This gave us a feeling of security knowing that no one could figure out our lock. We each had a light for our own desk making it ideal for working and study.

I remember reading the thrilling Bill Barnes air stories and air battles in the magazines Taylor subscribed to. Especially I remember the thrill of making model airplanes and having them fly beautifully around until the rubber power gave out and then glide to a landing in the vacant lot. I remember the thrill of having the plane that I had designed fly very well.

We were constantly trying to improve our selves and our conduct. I remember that Taylor suggested that we devise a way to stop swearing. We made a pact that if one of us swore the other three could hit him on the shoulder muscle as hard as each desired. It didn't take long to break any habit we might have had of an occasional swear word. That broke us for life from using swear words and even helped us avoid useless slang and substitutes for the real thing like Gosh and darn. I always remember with gratitude the self improvement program that we adopted in the winged four. This improved our performance in school and church and our everyday living.

This club came at a crucial time in our lives and in our formative years to help us catch the vision of being the best we could be. It certainly has helped me in my life and given me an attitude of enjoying life and taking every opportunity to serve and do the right thing. It gave me a taste of the joy and satisfaction that comes from helping and being close to others in friendship.

We established a friendship that has endured through the years and has been a force in my life and made me feel that I had friends that I could always count on. We still consider ourselves "THE WINGED FOUR".

S. Keith Bowman, March 18, 2002