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The Family File

Hyrum Don Carlos Clark

What I Remember About Father

by Antone Ivins Clark Nov. 1980

It was always good to have father come home from Star Valley. If it was late fall, he would always bring a quarter of Star Valley beef which he hung in a shed next to the coal shed. I was always intrigued with the nice juicy steaks he would cut off. With a meat saw he would cut through the bones. Also recalled the days we would go to the station and bid him good-bye, as he would leave for Star Valley. We would look at the amount of lights clear to the point of the mountain, clear to Salt Lake City, looking for one of the lights that would blink and we would know the train would soon be here. I can well-remember when the head light came into view as it approached Farmington. Father would take a long, wadded-up newspaper and light it as a torch and would wave it as a semaphore, over his head to signal the train to stop. The engineer always replied with a whistle.

Baby picture of Antone I. Clark
Father used to take hay to the delivery stables in Salt Lake City, now and then. I accompanied him on one trip and I counted twenty autos on the road between Farmington and Salt Lake City.

Father and mother often went to the Temple and usually they would come back with father's pocket's full of Humbugs, Peppermints and Lemon drops for the children.

I remember a fierce lightning storm in Farmington one evening, with the lightning cracking all around us. Father called us together and we knelt in prayer in the parlor. This gave us security as he used his Priesthood to rebuke the storm.

From my earliest childhood, I revered Father as the most honest man who ever lived and he has always been a shining example to me. One of the earliest quotes I remember him saying: "I would rather give him a dollar than cheat him a dollar." Through all adversities that came to him, such as losing his property, he was always generous in his offerings to the Lord.

I remember the folks sent me to the bank with a monthly milk check from Salt Lake City, and as I told Uncle Amasa to take out the tithing from it, he broke down and wept, because he realized the circumstances father was going through.

It was understood, when father was well-to-do, he would graciously donate a lion's share to any worthy cause. Now as I look back over those years, I can truly say the Lord truly loved our Father.

When father was working his hardest, he was happy and when he was happy, he would be singing a Church hymn. Sometimes the same hymn would go on all day long.

As I look back on my father, with some of his sayings, I admire him for his great knowledge of the scriptures and good literature, usually Shakespeare. For instance, when I didn't act my age, he often put his hand softly on my shoulder and would quote from I Corinthians 13:11, "When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child, but when I became a man, I put away childish things."

Quite often, when we helped father dehorn cattle, the cattle would bellow as their horns were clipped. Father would say, "Yes, we must be cruel to be kind." So many times I heard him quote: "this above all, to thine own self be true, and it must follow as the night the day, thou cans't not then be false to any man."

I remember going with father and mother and the family in a white canvas-top buckboard wagon, toward Weber Canyon for a holiday picnic and a sudden storm came up and we stopped in an underpass of the railroad and waited a long time for the storm to pass. It was too late to venture on and we had to go home disappointed.

I also remember other picnics in Weber Canyon near Strawberry Bridge. He used to relate to us children, it was near here where he proposed to mother. The story was something like this: "If you were a fish in that river, and I was a fisherman and cast out my hook and line, would you take hold?"

The Community picnic: This was one of the great events of my early childhood. It was a hike to Little Lake up Farmington Canyon. We were glad to see father in a buckboard wagon and a team of horses and mother at his side. An enjoyable time was had by all. I remember father was an expert at lassoing. He could loop the rope around the head or feet of the cattle as they went charging by.

I remember the time we had a horrible east wind and during the night the phone rang. It was Heber Sessions, the station agent on the other end of the line. He said: "Hyrum, you'd better come down to the railroad. The top of your barn is on the tracks and the L.A. limited will soon be coming through." Although it was true, it was hard to believe.

Several months after our marriage and while working on the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge, my foreman told me to take a vacation. I lacked several months for a full year of employment and felt I wasn't entitled to it. But he insisted I take the vacation anyway. It became a blessing to us as Grace was able to visit with Father and went to the meadows and helped him milk cows that night. A few days later, while we were in Star Valley, father met with his fatal accident. We took some pictures of father in his work on the farm, which we prize.

Father had a keen sense when it came to surveying in laying out drainage ditches. I often remember him using a carpenter's level to sight across and was able to determine variations of a slope at a great distance. I think of him as a man with a keen, mathematical mind. I loved him.

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