Venice Anne Carson was born on July 19, 1925, the daughter of George Lester Carson and Leona Flossie Wakefield in Burley, Cassia County, Idaho, at the home of Mrs. Edwards on Miller Avenue. Doctor Cooper tried everything to make me cry and finally succeeded after sprinkling cold water in my face. Ten days later my mother took me back to the ranch 60 mile south of Burley in the Northwest corner ofUtah, which was in Box Elder County. I had an older sister, Adele, who was six and a half brother, Max, who was twelve. Max lived with Grandma and Grandpa Carson in Salem. His mother died when he was very young.
In September 1931, I entered the first grade at the Grouse Creek school. Silvana Zeigfred was my first and second grade teacher. Edward C. Harris was the principal the first four years I attended school. I went to school in Grouse Creek up to and including the sixth grade.
The ranch was sixteen miles from Grouse Creek so every fall mother would rent a small house and move to Grouse Creek with Adele and I while we went to school. In the winter when the snow would get too deep for Dad to come in the car, he would ride horseback every week or so to visit us.
In the spring of 1934, Dr. Curtis in Payson, Utah removed Adele and my tonsils and we stayed with Grandmother and Grandfather Carson in Salem until we could go back to the ranch. Just before returning to the ranch the Carson family all went on an outing up Loafer Canyon. We had all kinds of food, cases of soda pop, etc. It was really something for little ones to remember. My Grandmother, who was sixty-three years old then, played baseball and went hiking with us.
There were many activities at school. It was very busy for everyone practicing for plays and the school track meet. All of the surrounding towns would compete each year, meeting at different towns. After a very exciting, but tiring, day there was always a big dance in the evening. There was never a dance for the adults without a children’s dance earlier in the evening. My mother played the piano in the orchestra for many years. Everyone would bring their small children and make beds for them on the benches.
Every spring after school was out for summer vacation, we would pack up all our things and move back to the ranch. It was always raining it seemed like on that day. One year we got stuck in the mud and my dad had to walk to the ranch for a team of horses to pull us out. It was night so mother fixed a bed for us on the truck and we slept all night and in the morning she managed to gather enough dry wood to start a fire and fix our breakfast.
The companionship of my sister, Adele, was great. We spent much of our time riding horses. My horse was named Browny and hers was Buck. We were never afraid to go anywhere on them. If for any reason I fell off, my horse would always stop. One day we were both riding him, with a coat over our heads for some unknown reason, when we both fell off. We had hardly hit the ground before he had stopped for us to climb back on.
There were many snakes at the ranch, mostly rattle snakes, so we were taught when very young to be on guard at all times. Adele and I have killed many snakes on our horseback rides as well as other places. One day we were down at the corral playing when we heard a very loud rattle and hissing. There was a rattle snake caught under the pole fence. I stayed to watch that it did not get away while Adele ran to get something out of the shed to kill it. As she ran toward the shed, she saw another one in time to jump over it. A very scary time, but before long we had two dead rattle snakes.
There was a creek running through the meadow just down off the hill from the ranch house. Every summer mother would help us fill burlap bags with sand and put them across the creek to dam up the water to make a swimming hole, we called it.
When we got a little older we always slept outside under the stars. Usually it was very cool, even in the middle of summer and many times we would go to bed with hot water bottles or heated flat irons from the kitchen stove to keep our feet warm. Many nights we would lay awake for hours building castles and talking about the stars. If it started to rain we always had a tarp we could pull up over our heads to keep dry and pretend we were sleeping in a tent.
It was a great thrill to see the newborn lambs and the shearing of the sheep. We would watch them with great interest and think how easy it looked and how much fun it would be to do it. The man, who was called the wool tromper, would let us help him tromp the wool.
We had to climb up a ladder to a platform where they would hang a large burlap sack. Then as the fleeces of wool were tied together and thrown up to him he would drop them into the sack and tromp them in very tight. When the sack was full, he would sew the opening to hold the wool inside the bag, then drop it to the ground where it would be rolled away and stacked until the time to take the sacks to the railroad to be shipped to the buyer. It was great fun to jump and run on these 300 pound bags of wool. They were loaded onto the trucks and hauled forty-three miles to the railroad. Sometimes we were permitted to ride on top of the load.
I was baptized into the LDS Church on August 5, 1933 by John Hadfield, in the swimming hole at their home. I was confirmed by David Toyn the same day, while sitting on the running board of the truck. The rest of the group was confirmed the next Sunday in church by A.J. Ballingham and his name is on my certificate.
We would watch Dad and the hired men cut, rake and stack the hay. Sometimes we were allowed to play in the piles of hay, but we were very careful because of the snakes. When Adele was old enough to drive, they used the truck instead of the horse and cart to pull the loads of hay up on the stack. After Adele moved away, it was my turn. It was a hot, dirty job but it was the first chance we had to earn our own money. I learned to drive a car when I was fourteen.
My grandfather, M.E. Wakefield, ran the country store and Post Office at Grouse Creek. It was a great treat when one of my Uncles would bring out pieces of brown sugar, candy and gum for us.
In 1938, my parents rented an apartment at 461-27th Street in Ogden and I started the 8th grade at Lewis school. Mr. Delmar Dickson, the music teacher, asked me if I wanted to join the school band. My folks got me a saxophone and I started taking lessons from Mr. Dickson. I was in the Lewis band and the Ogden High Band.
My sister Adele had a job in Ogden so she stayed in town. I started asking friends to stay a few days with me at the ranch and I would stay with them in Grouse Creek. After I learned to drive I would go to Grouse Creek to attend Sunday School and Sacrament Meeting. The Summers of 1941, 1942 and 1943 I had great fun with my friends at the ranch, as well as in Grouse Creek.
I started at Ogden High School in 1941. I enjoyed the ball games and did manage to add up enough points to get into the Pep Club. I graduated from High School in the spring of 1943 and went back to the ranch to spend my vacation. While in the Pep Club in 1943 we had a “Scrap Drive” to help in the Civil Defense, of which we were all members.
In the fall of 1943, I passed a civil service test and was hired as a clerk-typist at the government supply depot. I worked there until the spring of 1944. I quit my job and my cousin, Flora Tanner and I, went on a two-week vacation trip to California by bus. We went everywhere and saw everything. Part of our time was spent standing outside the Hollywood Canteen trying to see some of the movie stars. We visited Mexico, San Diego, Los Angeles and on up the coast to San Francisco, where we spent a few days with our Uncle Elwood and Ginny Wakefield, then on to Reno and home. I went to the ranch and decided to stay the rest of the summer.
In the fall of 1943, I was employed at the U.S. Employment Office as a switchboard operator and typist. While at the Employment Office, I met Harold Flygare, who came to work as a counselor in September 1946. In December 1946, we started going out together. I worked at the Employment Office for two and one half years.
On September 13, we were married in California at the Ambassador Hotel by President Preston D. Richards of the Los Angeles Stake. Sister Richards and Harold’s brother, John and wife, Flora, were with us.
We have had some wonderful experiences together during the past forty-nine years. We have one lovely daughter and three fine sons, who each have their own families. We now have fourteen grandchildren and four great grandchildren. Life, love and the good Lord has blessed us in many ways. We have our share of problems but life is great. We appreciate all the blessings that we have received from friends and family relatives.