Disclaimer: …In this instance, the inadequacy of the author will immediately and imponderably become overshadowed by the admiration and love that bears in this instance. So very few were the years that we had to enjoy him!
So young, was I, that during those few, brief birthdays little could I understand that Cal wouldn’t–couldn’t–be around forever. Elsewhere, I have spoken of “doctrine.” In Cal’s case, isn’t it wonderful to know that in such a short span of years he accomplished that which has taken others of us decades to accomplish. That, in and of itself, speaks volumes, to my understanding.
Please forgive me for commencing these reminiscences with a brief, but poignant, memory that has come into my consciousness on numerous occasions–one that glorifies to the eyes of the beholder.
Calvin and I were attending school at Grouse Creek at the same time. The spread in our age, being some five years, made it acceptable for him to act as my benefactor. Such an incident arose, in which Ronald Ballingham (Please bear with me, Ronald.) had abused me verbally, and endorsed it with a boot-in-the-britches, for some innocent, unconscious trespass that I had made to his play during recess on this given day. His physical abuse wasn’t nearly so disquieting as was the desultory, degraded feeling that I harbored…but, not for long. The “light came on,” Cal! Before the day was out, Ronald sidled up to me and tousled my hair and apologized for his unkind advances. Without a doubt, it was secondary to a quiet couple of words from Cal.
Calvin Frost Warburton became the second brother and fourth child born to Tom and Ethel Warburton at Etna, Utah. He, too, was born in January–January 20, 1921; seemingly to set the precedent for his two younger brothers to follow. Again, I shall hark to the comments of others of our family who were old enough at that time to play a partial role in his care and companionship. He was a relatively benign infant, which characteristic perpetuated as he grew into childhood and approaching adolescence. Harshness nor abrasiveness were not in his demeanor–not even as I came old enough to know of his characteristics.
At this juncture, perhaps it would be well to enter my recollections incident to the last day that we had Calvin with us. …As usual, the sun shown brightly through the curtained window into the small, eastern-exposed bedroom in which we shared a bed. He was not awake, so I climbed over him to get out of bed (my side abutted the wall). My clothing slid on quickly and quietly, and out of there I went. The chores done, I came in for a bite of breakfast before launching into the fun-day’s work: herding horses along with Gerald and Bob. By that time–perhaps later, Mom was administering to Cal (via the hot foot-bath that seemed to be in vogue during those times). I don’t recall taking too much interest in what was going on. A few bites under my belt and I was out of the house, onto Chunky, and up to the Lucas place to get the horses out and onto the hillside for graze.
Along through the day, as we sat on the side of the mesa-like hill north of the ranch, we could hear this high whine of an automobile engine. Naturally, the dust-cloud was visible without seeking. Here was the company car careening at fireball speed toward Uncle Ernest’s place….Something surely must be amiss. …And it was, as we learned upon returning the horses to the Lucas corral. Calvin had died on May 29, 1934.
At eight years of age, I can’t say that I understood the ramifications involved in his passing. I don’t recall any really deep-seated personal feeling of loss or mourning. Life went on.
It might be noteworthy, to mention (as has previously been done, elsewhere) that Cal had a pretty big crush on Barbara Kimber. (Understandably. She was a beautiful young girl.) For sure, Cal took a lot of ribbing concerning her.
In closing this brief synopsis, perhaps it is well to interject some of the observations, about Cal, as were penned by his father as he, in his late life, forwarded them to a granddaughter, Judy:
“He was a wonderful boy. He was very smart and accomplished much in school..Always ready and willing to help his mother. He was the apple of her eye. The winter they lived in Brigham, did her grocery shopping and knew the prices in all the stores and just where to go to get the good deals.”
“After school was out, on the 28th of May, Mom and [sic] went to Brigham to a Board meeting and left kids home in care of Belle one night. When we returned the next evening, he and Neal were romping and wrestling on the lawn, apparently in the best of spirits. By noon the next day he was gone. The Dr. guessed it was a heart attack. We suffered tremendously. Especially his mother.”
“One of his former teachers seen the account of his death and wrote us a real nice letter. Said she taught him and he was always superb and the leader of his classes. It was quite gratifying.”