My younger brother, Harvey Milas Tanner, was born on November 25, 1936. I was nine years old at the time. He was born in the Dee Hospital in Ogden, the only one of our family who was not delivered by midwives in Grouse Creek. Alta and Flora welcomed a new baby to play with, and I did a pretty good job of being a big brother to him and looking out for him while he was growing up.
It was not easy for Harvey because he had no other kids his age to play with. Even after he was grown up and married and had his own family, he said that it was not a very happy childhood because of this. He would try to play baseball or football, but it was not too much fun when you had to hit the ball and then go catch it yourself. When he was about 6 or 7 years old David Paskett came from Gannett, Idaho and lived in the Mecham house. His son, John, was about Harv’s age and they played together whenever they could, but his parents, Dave and Wynn, were old people and kept John pretty well confined to their home.
There was too much age difference between Wayne and Harvey for them to get along very well. Wayne was always teasing and badgering him, so when Mother and Dad would go to town they would takeWayne with them and Harvey would stay with me. I was in charge of everything, including the cooking, and he ate whatever I fixed without complaint at that time. Today he accuses me of feeding him shredded wheat and tuna fish three times a day, using the same dish, only rinsing it out between meals. Today, when we go to Grouse Creek to stay over, he still seems to enjoy my cooking and dish washing since he never offers to take over and do either one.
Sometimes he would ride in to town with me in my 1942 green Chevrolet, playing some funny games he made up on the way in. He would reach up and honk the horn when we would go to pass another car and wave, saying, “I’ll bet they’re wondering ‘who recognized us, way out here?’” and then giggle for all he was worth. From the time he was a little kid Harvey loved to watch the bulls fight, so if we saw a pair of them getting ready to fight out in the field we would have to stop and watch.
I taught Harvey how to drive when he was 16 years old. One time Dad and I went out in the field at the home place to clean out head-gates. Harvey didn’t want to go with us; he said he would just sit in the car and wait. It wasn’t very long before I looked up and saw my car doing circles out in front of the corral. I said to Dad, “I can see why that damned kid wanted to wait in the car,” and I waved my hat at him to get his attention and he knew that he had been seen and quit right then.
Like the rest of us, Harvey went through 10th grade at the Grouse Creek School. By the time he was ready for high school, I was living in Ogden, along with Flora and Alta, and Harvey came in and lived with us while he went to Ogden High School. After graduation, he went to Weber College, which was only a two-year college at that time.
During the summers when Harvey was in school he worked for the BLM fixing fences and for the State Road Commission painting stripes on the highway. Since Iworking full time by then, I took on the responsibility of helping Harvey out. I made sure he had a car to drive, something that became a source of irritation when I would need to use the car and find it almost always out of gas. I also gave Harv permission to use charge accounts that were in my name so that he could have clothes to wear. When I opened an account for him at a store in Provo, he went back and did a check on my credit. The store manager told him, “With the kind of credit your brother has, he could own the store.” Harvey was not one to abuse those charge privileges, however. He would wear beat-up shoes and old jeans with holes in the knees (before this was popular style). Flora would get very frustrated with Harv because he would not go get some decent clothes. It seemed that the more it bothered her the less likely he was to get anything new.
After he finished his two years at Weber, he went on a mission to Australia. When he got back from there he finished his college education at BYU. He married Gaylia Hawks from Pocatello, Idaho in the Salt Lake Temple on September 9, 1963. Harvey and Gaylia resided in Southern California where he worked as an appraiser for the County of Los Angeles before returning to Utah. One of his appraisals was a home owned by Charlston Heston.
Once back in Utah, he attended the University of Utah where he received his Master’s Degree. He worked for Walker Bank, which became First Interstate Bank, and is currently Wells Fargo. While it was First Interstate, Harvey left there and went to work for First Security Bank, and then Zion’s Bank. While he was a loan officer at First Interstate, he became directly involved in one of Utah’s most interesting crime stories. He was ordered to grant a loan, against his better judgment, to Mark Hoffman, who supposedly was a dealer in rare documents and was selling some of them to the L.D.S. Church. Eventually, after two bombing killings and a bomb explosion which maimed him, Mark Hoffman was convicted for forgery of rare documents. Although no one knew about it at the time, Harvey and his family were placed under police protection because of his connection to Hoffman.
Harvey is the only one in our family who has retained an active part in ranching. He leased his interest to Merlin’s sons, but still liked to go out to the ranch fairly regularly. He spent many enjoyable weekends and holidays with his brothers and sister engaged in the family ranch partnership.
Harvy is the father of three daughters, Stephanie, married to John Grotzky; Cynthia, married to Drew Maerz; and Allison who earned her Master’s Degree from UtahState University and is now working in Salt Lake at a job she really enjoys. He has three grandchildren; Matthew, Erin, and Tanner.
Harvey, at the age of 66, died peacefully at his home on October 3, 2003 surrounded by his family after a valiant fight with cancer.