My father is Ernest LaMont Blackham and my mother is Olive Olsen Blackham. I was born in a house that was kind of a hospital and Doctor’s Office. Dr. Rigby delivered first myself – Karen Blackham . I weighed 5 lbs. 15 ozs. My twin sister Ruth was born about 10 minutes later, she weighed 5 lbs. 12 ozs.
My twin, Ruth had problems – the "RH Factor". My father had O-Positive blood; my mother had O-Negative blood. So my mother’s antibodies worked against Ruth’s blood because it was foreign to her body.
Dad and Grandma Lucy took Ruth into Salt Lake City to get a blood transfusion on the 2ndday, which was about 110 miles away. Mom had to stay in the hospital in Moroni (in those days you usually stayed around 10 days in the hospital to recover). They gave Ruth two blood transfusions but she died getting the 2nd transfusion.
Ruth was born on February 10th, died on the 12th and was buried on the 14th.
Grandma Lucy and Dad purchased a small coffin and clothes for her to be buried in. The day they buried her, they brought the coffin around to the west window in the house/hospital so mom could see her in the coffin before they took her to the cemetery to bury her.
John LaMont 07-08-1940 (known as “Johnny Mont” growing up)
Linda Gail 04-23-1943
Theron Oneil 05-05-1945
Timothy Matthew 01-28-1955
Sue Ann 10-21-1957
(Mom lost a baby between Sue and Bryant born pre-maturely).
Bryant Ray 03-17-1964
On the East side of our house Grandma & Grandpa Olsen lived next door to us. It was really fun living next door to them. When my Mom and Dad would go on trips for my dad’s work, lots of times she would tend us and check-up on us.
Aunt Vawn and Uncle John lived across the street kitty corner from us.
I remember my bedroom upstairs with Linda. At first I was by the wall as you walk into the room. Linda was over by the front windows. The closet was to the right as you walked in the door. We had an old antique kind of secretary desk. I think it has a roll top on it. When we moved to the new house with I was 8, Mom didn’t want to take all of that old furniture with her. Through the years some have wished it would have been kept because they were really nice pieces of furniture.
In the old red house, when you went to the front door, that room was the family room and on the west side next to it was the Living room. I remember a big chest of drawers that was in that room along with the piano.
I remember the extra bathroom upstairs, but we weren’t supposed to use it – or at least, that’s what I thought. I remember a closet that kind of had a door on it and I used to think it went up to the attic and that we could go outside on a porch even though we weren't supposed to.
I remember the kitchen and the pantry. You also went from Mom’s bedroom into a bathroom and then a small hall which went into the kitchen. I remember going in it one day to choose which “Mush or Cereal” we were going to have. I think Oneil wanted the “cream of wheat or cream of rice”, but LaMont wanted the oatmeal mush, so that’s what I picked – I don’t know why. I also remember that my Mom was a good cook. She made the best pies and cakes and whatever she made it was delicious!!! There were always meals prepared for us. She’s still a good cook today at 90 years old.
I lived in the old house until August 1958 I started piano lessons when I was 8 years old, so I started practicing in the old house and then when we moved to the new house when I was 9 years old, we got a brand new piano. I have many fond memories of living in that house.
Bats: I remember that bats sometimes came down from the attic. LaMont and Oneil were chasing them around with brooms trying to get them out the front door from the family room, while the girls were all running around screaming.
Shirley Temple Show: I remember in the old house getting our first black & white TV for the first time. I remember my Mom gathering us around and telling us it was time to come and watch the Shirley Temple show. I grew up watching her and have always enjoyed her movies. When I was around 12 I think, my Dad had turkey meetings to go to in Monterrey California. So the whole family went with him and then went to Disneyland. When we were eating out one night at a nice restaurant I told my mother that the lady a couple of tables away from us was Shirley Temple (all grown up of course). She looked and said no that wasn't her. The next day, we found out I was right and it was Shirley Temple sitting so close to us.
Other early TV shows I remember are What’s My Line? The I Love Lucy Show, Howdy Doody, Art Linkletter, Lassie, and many more great classic movies.
It was so exciting to get a TV. Before that we'd sometimes look through the window at Co-op store. Then dad decided to get one and told us we could either take a trip to Lake Tahoe or buy a TV. We decided we wanted the TV instead.
Our brand new TV - around 1954 maybe.
Sneaking out of the house: I remember taking a nap with my Mom in on her bed when I was little and after she would fall asleep, a couple of times I ran down the street to the Cahoons to play with them. Mom wasn’t too happy when I did that.
Getting lost ! I also remember when I was very young – I ran off to Janet Eliason’s up the street to play with her. She wasn’t someone I usually played with. I stayed several hours. When I started to go home, my Dad saw me and picked me up in his truck. They had been looking everywhere for me. They had even called the police to help look for me. I’m sure I was in big trouble, but I don’t remember getting yelled at or anything like that. Mom had been crying and they were just all concerned about me – I never did that again.
Dry Heaves- LOL: They tell the story that when I was little, I messed my diaper and LaMont had to change it. He got the dry heaves and threw-up and then Oneil had to clean-up LaMont’s throw-up. We all have a tough time with smells. It was especially bad when I was pregnant with my kids because I would get the dry heaves so easily.
Family Prayer : I remember kneeling down in the family room for prayer and after someone else had said the family prayer, I fussed to say the prayer too, so Mom and Dad would stay kneeling with me as I said a prayer too. I remember that scene as though it were yesterday.
Snooping in Mom’s drawers- long brown socks: I remember snooping through Mom’s drawers in her bedroom. Once in a while I could find a piece of hard candy, or a piece of gum. They were built in drawers with a closet to the side. In one of her drawers she kept our long brown socks. In the winter time we wore long stockings that were kind of heavy, but went all the way up to our thighs. We had to wear garter belts to keep them up. When I went to school, you never wore pants. All we could wear were dresses, so we wore these long tan thick socks to keep our legs warm in the wintertime.
9 Month's Old
18 months old - 1950
1952 - 2 yrs old
Karen 3 1/2 - with Cousins - Marianne & David Crosland
1952 - 2 yrs old
1953 Karen - age 4
1953 - 4 1/2 years
1953 - Linda, Karen & Oneil - Christmas in the old house
1955 - Karen age 6
1955 - Karen age 7 and Nora 2 1/2
1956 - Karen age &, Nora, Bruce and our dog buffer.
(See Grandma Olsen's house in the background)
1956 - Karen age 7
1956 - Nora, Tim and Karen
1957 - 8 years old
1957 - Christmas
Christmas 1956 with my Madam Alexander Christmas Doll
(I still have this doll today)
Click here to go to “Growing up on a Turkey Farm”, working at the Turkey Plant and more stories as they come to my mind.
Great stories, Karen! I can empathize with many of your experiences, having grown up on a farm in northern Utah. I've stuffed my memories growing up so deep that it is taking some time to bring them back so I can write about them. You've done a superb job, and I love the bolded teasers, as well.
Thanks for your kind words. I've been slacking trying to get some of my stories redone since the pictures were lost in the conversion from the old program to this new one. I just discovered an easier way for me to add pictures to the stories - if you're interested in knowing, let me know.
Karen when I read the part about your twin sister Ruth being brought by the window in the coffin it brought tears to my eyes, so tiny.
You have a great memory and have so many wonderful stories that have shaped you into who you are today.
Wow those stockings must have been thick, I guess you could compare them to leggings or tights. I do remember having to wear garters to hold up our stockings and girdles, by the time we took them off we had imprints in our skin from the rubber and metal clips.
Oh my gosh, I could feel the pain as you hit head on with Leonard!
Thanks for sharing, love, Christine