I am the ninth child of Jesse and Annie Paskett Barlow. I was born on January 27, 1916 in a log cabin in Etna, Box Elder County, Utah. My Dad was a cattle rancher, and my mother was a housewife at that time. My brothers and sisters include: Emma (Kimber), Roy Jesse, Melvin (died as a baby), Joseph Lester, Francis, Adella (Bigham), Louise (Ballingham), Sidney Raymond (died as a baby), and then I was born. I have lived longer than any of my brothers and sisters.
I had a happy childhood out on the farm. We rode horses. We had a homemade sleigh we used in the winter time to ride on. Our house was kinda down under a hill, so we rode our sleighs down the hill, under the fence, and into the backyard by the corrals.
I was the youngest. Once, when they were cutting the hay, when I was four years old, I wanted to go to my Dad. Mother said, “You can’t go out there, you’re barefooted.” But I went anyway, and when they found me, my feet were bleeding from the stubble in the fields. That’s one time my Dad could have whipped me, but he didn’t. He never laid a hand on me. He just took care of me.
We moved into Uncle Joe’s (Joseph Smith Barlow Jr.) house in Grouse Creek when I was six years old (1922). The school teachers asked mother if they could live with us for a fee. She agreed to fix their meals. I started school that September in Grouse Creek. I was a fairly good student.
I loved the piano. I used to run over to Grandma Tanner’s every day and pick out the tunes I would hear on the old battery radio.
My father Jesse was named after Uncle Jesse Morgan, (Amanda’s brother). I remember him very well. He walked with a cane. He was living with Grandma (Amanda) Tanner. Uncle Jess died before Grandma Tanner.
My mother Annie was the daughter of Philip and Emma Richins Paskett. She was a very quiet devoted housewife; a very reserved person.
My Paskett grandparents lived about one-half mile or two to three country blocks from our home in Grouse Creek. I remember Grandmother (Emma Richins) Paskett also wore a waist blouse and skirt with an apron over the top. She would always fix me something to eat. I would have some corned pork and a slice of bread and butter. Grandpa (Philip Andrew) Paskett would have a big brine barrel full of a pig to make the cured pork. Grandpa Paskett was a straight walking man. His hair was white as snow. He had beautiful handwriting. He came from England, then to Henefer, Utah, then he was one of the first settlers of Grouse Creek. He kept most of the records and wrote a Grouse Creek history. Grandma Paskett was bedfast as I grew up. She always wore a night cap, which was an English custom.
Grouse Creek had a Country Store with a few hotel-like rooms and variety items to sell like shovels, picks, pins, needles, groceries, hardware, sewing items, etc. The store was about a 3/4 or a mile walk from our home. My Mother (Annie) would give me three eggs to put in my little lard bucket to trade for store items. I would trade the eggs for ten lollipops in flavors of chocolate, lemon, cherry, etc.
I was happy in school. I had a lot of playmates and friends.
Boarding the school teachers is where I learned to wash and iron, make butter, cook, milk cows, feed chickens, pick chickens, and make Buttermilk Doughnuts.
For activities, we went on Easter hikes and we’d have old cedar tree bonfires at night, where we’d cook a chicken or throw a potato in the fire. We had dances at the ward. When we had a candy pull, we would freeze fudge ice cream with rock salt. Once we had a watermelon bust. The fellows held me down and rubbed watermelon all over my face, hair, arms, and clothes. I haven’t liked watermelon since.
I went to the tenth grade, and didn’t finish high school. One of the school teachers, Ed Harris, was just like a brother to me. I learned how to type (not really, really fast), but I was a good student.
My mother’s cousin Jim Betteridge, who had eight girls and one son, lived in Salt Lake City. I went to visit them. They talked me into getting a job. They took me down to the Murray Laundry. I got the job folding up the clean clothes, sheets, and pillowcases. I made 25 cents per hour as a wage.
My sister Adella, and brothers Francis and Lester and I got an apartment on Second South Fourth East in Salt Lake. All three of them eventually got married. I worked at Nibley Park Golf Course Concession Stand out on 27th South. We sold sandwiches, snacks, and root beer. I rode the streetcar to be there at 4:00 a.m. While working there, a tall gentlemanly man used to come in. I was honored to serve President Heber J. Grant root beer when he golfed.
I also split shift at Owl Drug as a waitress. I became friends with those who worked at KSL and KDYL radio, Deseret News, and local businesses. Once while working, a middle-aged man came in. He said, “You’re L.D.S. aren’t you?” “Yes,” I replied. “Do you know who I am?” “Yes, I’ve seen you in the newspapers,” I said. “You are Elray L. Christiansen, an apostle.” (He was later president of the Logan Templeand married Jack Frye and I).
I would go home for awhile on holidays and Christmas. At age 21, I moved back to Grouse Creek to help Mother with the boarders because Dad was real sick.
The U.S. Government had a project six miles out of Lucin called a CCC Camp. The CCC camp had movies. The boys would come to Grouse Creek for church and dances. This is how I met my husband MerleCriddle Clegg. He worked there. Merle’s family was from Downey, Idaho.
On August 17, 1941 we went to Malad for a dance. His brother-in-law says, “Why don’t you two get married?” We went and got the judge out of bed. We were married that night. When I got back to Grouse Creek, they had a shower for me.
Our first home was being the caretakers of the abandoned Lucin CCC camp. It was primitive living circumstances. It was like we were pioneers with kerosene lamps and a wood stove. It was hard. I was so sick, expecting our first baby. Just before Sandra Lee was born, we moved to Burley, Idaho. She was born on May 18, 1942.
It was World War II at this time. Merle worked near Twin Falls at a Japanese labor camp.
When Sandy was nine months old, we moved to Ogden, Utah, where Merle worked at Second Street for the government.
Our daughter Merlene Dianne Clegg was born on October 12, 1943.
About this time Merle and I were having marriage problems. I filed for a divorce in Pocatello, Idaho August 16, 1947.
Dixie, our third daughter, was born on September 27, 1947.
Roy took the children and I out to Grouse Creek to live with Mother. Later I moved with the children back to Brigham City.
My niece Velma Kimber Jensen introduced me to William J. (Jack) Frye. For our first date, he took me to a dinner and show on New Year’s Eve. We went steady until April 11, 1950, when we were married in the Logan Temple. Sandy was eight, Diane was seven, and Dixie about two and a half.
Our honeymoon was to Southern Utah. When we came home, we found Jack’s two boys Glen, age 13, and Billy, age 8, alone in our Brigham City home at 366 N. Main. We wondered why. Well, Billy had the chickenpox really bad. They were staying with Grandma Frye, and she had her youngest daughter there who had just had a new baby. She was afraid they would catch it, so she sent the boys to our Brigham City home. (We have lived in this home 49 years come April 11, 1999). I helped to raise Glen and Billy, who lived with us.
I worked at the Peach City Café some and for the Tropical Café for two and one half years.
Sandy had polio in grade school. We took her to the Ogden Hospital, where she stayed for 15 days. She was blessed that she didn’t have lasting paralysis.
Jack and I were excited to have a baby. Marilyn Frye was born on October 1, 1951, her married name is Gold. Their children are John, Benjamin, Jack, and Lolly Mia.
My Mother (Annie Paskett Barlow) moved to Brigham City from Grouse Creek. It was nice to have her so close. She passed away just before her 94th birthday on January 27, 1975. She was buried in February 1975 in the Grouse Creek cemetery next to my Father (Jesse).
Jack worked at Mendenhall’s auto parts as a mechanic and salesman. He gave this piano in my living room to me as a wedding present. It was Billy’s mother’s. I have willed it to him. Jack passed away 21 years ago on July 5, 1978.
After Jack’s death I traveled a lot and worked hard in my church assignments.
On October 27, 1997, after preparing to go to the Senior center for lunch I had a heart attack. I called my niece Velma Kimber Jensen to tell her I felt sick. She and a neighbor took me to the hospital. I spent the night at the Brigham City Hospital, then had by-pass open heart surgery at the Ogden Regional Hospital. On November 4, I was transferred to Godfreys Foothill Retreat for recovery. I came home onJanuary 24, 1998. On July 31, 1998, I suffered another stroke and was in the Columbia Brigham City hospital another four days after which I was at the Pioneer Care Center for recovery and therapy until Thanksgiving time.
I’m recovering now at home from slight paralysis. I am independent and try to take care of myself. My daughter Dixie, my niece Velma Jensen, and my ward Relief Society members check in with me on a regular basis.
I WOULD MOST LIKE TO BE REMEMBERED: My service at the Brigham City Senior Center, where I was happy. It was one of the happiest times in my life.
ADVICE TO CHILDREN AND GRANDCHILDREN: Love one another with all your heart and tell others you love them. I think I made a mistake by not telling my children more. Remember your pioneer heritage and the examples of your grandparents. (My Mother taught me to pray at a very young age). Say your prayers and thank the Lord before you ask for anything.
LaVern Frye passed away April 23, 2005 and is buried in the Brigham City Cemetery, Brigham City, Utah.