Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Going Home

Hello Dear Reader,
I don't remember much about our trip back to Great Britain but we left early on the morning of September 5th and went to Belgium where we boarded the ferry for our return. I do remember how excited we were to see the white cliffs as we approached Dover.

We spent a few days in the London area visiting friends and then returned to Scotland. On September 15, I left my family in Scotland to return to Provo. I looked forward to at least one trip back to the British Isles since the mission call was for three years but then, at the last fall conference in 1963, Wendell Mendenhall and George Biesinger informed Grandpa (Wesley) Carter that they were changing his assignment and he would be going to Atlanta, Georgia, to set up the Building Missionary Program in the southern United States.

The Paisley Ward had a farewell party for the family and presented them with a tartan blanket and other gifts. Then there was a dinner party given at the Scottish Mission home with more gifts. All of the building supervisors in Scotland were in attendance. Then, before the family left London, the Church Building Department also had a farewell party for Grandpa and Grandma. The family had made many wonderful friends in the time we were in Great Britain and experienced things we could never have imagined. But now it was time to be going home--at least back to America.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Holland at Last

Hello Dear Reader,
After traveling the autobahn all day we were happy to arrive in Holland where we drove to the home of Stan and Blanche Bird who had lived next door to us in Epsom. Sister Bird was a wonderful cook and had a lovely meal and beds ready for us. We were going to enjoy the next two days in Holland.

The Birds took us to several points of interest and we enjoyed the scenery and the native dress of the Dutch people; we visited two Dutch villages where the people had taken an oath to always wear their native costumes. We also visited Volendam and Amsterdam. We had no worries about the lanugage, the food, or finding a nice place to stay. We had our own personal tour guides who took good care of us. We sampled the local fast food, dressed up as a Dutch family, and had our portrait taken. It was a great end to a wonderful five-day vacation on the Continent.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Monday, September 20, 2010

From Swizerland to Germany

Hello Dear Reader,
After dinner and the adventure we had at the restaurant we were all ready to retire for the night. The second night of our trip was different from the first as we spent the night in a Swiss home (I guess we would say a B & B). I don't recall the sleeping arrangements but LeAnn and I shared a feather bed which, considering there were six of us in one room, was very hot. We both had rollers in our hair which were uncomfortable so we took the down comforter and wadded it up to make a sort of huge pillow. When Grandpa got up in the morning he remarked, "Well, look at that!" We all woke up laughing.

From Switzerland we entered Germany. We spent the whole day driving through Germany. We didn't stop at any special place. We enjoyed the beauty of the German countryside--mostly forest; in fact it was the Black Forest. At one point we passsed a convey of American GIs. Because Grandpa was driving a right-sided English car and was passing on the left like we do in America, he rolled down his window and yelled, "Hello GIs." The men all whistled and waved. That was the most exciting part of that day.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Switzerland

Hello Dear Reader,
The next morning, Sunday September 1, we left France and entered Switzerland. As we drove in through the Alps we were amazed at the breathtaking beauty of the place. We stopped once just to listen to cow bells ringing. We found our way to the Swiss temple and met some missionaries there who directed us to their favorite restaurant, Restaurant zur frohen Aussict, out in the country. We were ready for a good meal. Of course we were at a disadvantage because we couldn't speak the language but we entered a quaint little restaurant and were shown to some seats. We were the object of much curiosity.

After several minutes of trying to make our wants known (the only thing we could thing to say was, "Menu"), the waitress brought out a beautiful damask tablecloth and spread it on the table we were seated at. Then the food started to arrive--lots of it, all on silver platters. Grandpa (Wesley) Carter was so upset, thinking we would be spending all of our money on this one meal, that he told us we would have to go back to Great Britain the next day. Because Grandpa was so upset none of us had much of an appetite. Then the waitress brought us the bill. Grandpa looked it over and calculated it in American terms and the grand total for six of us was around $8.00.

Suddenly Grandpa got his appetite back and the rest of the family, although we had not eaten half of what had been brought to us, sighed with relief that our trip had not turned into a disaster.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Adventures in France

Hello Dear Reader,
The first day we drove through the country side of France and into Paris. We stopped for a short time at the Eiffel Tower. We then drove to the outskirts of Paris and stopped at a grocery store. We bought a loaf of bread (no wrapper) from a mound on the floor in the corner and what we thought was a huge can of cherries. When we opened the can it was jam, not fruit, so we had bread and cherry jam for supper that night. There was so much jam Grandma (Mary) Carter ended throwing most of it away. We had no way to safely carry an open can of stickiness.

As twilight approached we stopped at a hotel. None of us spoke anything but English so Grandpa used hand signs to indicate that we wanted a room for the night. We were all amused at his gestures and that embarrassed him a little but he got us a place to sleep. The room, however, left much to be desired. It was clean but the floor sloped from two sides to form sort of a ravine which ran from one end of the room to the other. The bathroom was down the hall. That didn’t embarrass Grandpa but it was embarrassing for LeAnn and me.

Grandpa and Grandma got the bed and the rest of us positioned our sleeping bags on the slope so our feet were in the ravine and our heads were at the upper end of the slope otherwise we would have ended up in a pile one on top of another. But we slept fairly well and were ready to continue our adventure the next morning.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Five Days on the Continent


Hello Dear Reader,
Before it was time for me to leave the British Isles Grandpa (Wesley) Carter received permission for our family to take the church car and spend five days seeing what we could in Europe. Grandpa, Grandma (Mary), Kent, LeAnn, Billy, and I boarded the car ferry in Dover on August 30th. Once the car was on board we went up on the deck to view the English Channel as we sailed. In a couple of hours we arrived in Calais, France.

We were on a tight budget because Grandpa and Grandma were still missionaries so we compensated by taking sleeping bags, some food, and some maps; we were off on a great adventure despite our lack of funds.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Monday, September 13, 2010

The Ferguson Sisters Visit

Hello Dear Reader,
On May 12, 1963, Grandma (Caroline) Hall and her sister Annie Burch received a gift from their children for Mother's Day. It was a trip to Scotland, the land where their grandfather (Andrew) and grandmother (Elizabeth Watson) Ferguson had joined the Church. At first Grandma Hall protested that it was too expensive but Uncle Norley convinced her that her children would be very disappointed if she didn't go so plans were made and that summer she and Aunt Annie took the train to New York and then flew to Scotland.

It was a wonderful time for the family. Grandma (Mary) Carter had been released from the hospital and there was plenty of room for Grandma Hall and Aunt Annie to stay with LeAnn and I in our upstairs bedroom. These lovely women were optimistic and eager to see the sites, however slowly they moved. We drove to Loch Ness and other places of interest. They were able to make contact with one of their distant cousins who came and took them to meet other members of their extended family. We were fascinated with their nightly excercise routines, their interesting stories, and their happpy laughter. We enjoyed their visit immensly.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Spate of Illness

Hello Dear Reader,
It seemed that Grandpa (Wesley) Carter just recovered from his perforated ulcer and was getting back into the swing of things when Grandma (Mary) Carter became very ill. If I remember correctly it was on a Sunday night and Grandpa was leaving for London. One of the missionaries in the mission office was a doctor who had just completed his residency so we called him and asked him to come to see about Grandma. He came over with his little black bag and examined her as well as he could. He grew very concerned and said that she needed to go to hospital--that he thought she might have meningitis.

I don't remember if an ambulance came for her but I think one did. She was very ill with viral meningitis (in his history, Grandpa put "pneumonia" so I could be wrong) and couldn't move her neck at all. She was in a different hospital than Grandpa had been in and was there for eighteen days, flat on her back, barely able to move. She was also in a ward with lots of people around her. The hospital she was in was for communicable diseases but there were also many women who were mentally ill who would get up and stand over Grandma muttering during the night. It was a very frightening time for her.

Because Grandpa had to do his work he asked me to go to the hospital twice a day to visit and check that Grandma was getting well. In order to get to where she was I had to change busses twice and travel for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours one way. When I arrived at the hospital Grandma would cry and cry. It was very distressing for all of us.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Going to Hospital

Hello Dear Reader,
In the spring I was released from my mission and returned to Scotland to work on correspondence courses in hopes of graduating from High School. I had only been home a short time, however, when Grandpa (Wesley) Carter, while getting ready to go to London, got a severe pain in his stomach. Grandma tried to call a doctor with the results of an ambulance being sent and Grandpa being taken to hospital (in Great Britain they didn't say, "the hospital," but just "hospital.").

He began to feel better in a couple of days but was not allowed to go home. I was enlisted to do office duty and made phone calls, typed up letters and reports, and did Grandpa's filing. He was very unhappy about being confined in a room of twenty beds full of sick men. He wrote, "The beds were so close together there was walking room only on one side. I had to smell tobacco smoke, listen to coughing, moaning, and snoring for over a week before I was released." Our experience with socialized medicine seemed to always be very negative.

As soon as Grandpa got out of hospital he immediately left to make his round of visits to the chapels he was over. I continued to serve as his personal assistant, answering phone calls, finding files for him, making phone calls, and helping him get up to speed in his work. It was very hectic because of the time he had lost.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Change Next Door

Hello Dear Reader,
As I mentioned before Bernard P. Brockbank was the Scottish Mission president. He and his wife, Nada, and their son, Roger, lived next door to Grandpa (Wesley) and Grandma (Mary) Carter. Actually, although they lived next door the quickest way to get to the mission home was through a gate that connected Grandpa and Grandma's back yard to the side yard of the mission home. LeAnn and Roger got to be good friends and went to school together along with Eddie McDonald whose dad was project supervisor on the Drumchapel building. It wasn't long until two other girls, Anita Stettler and Joyce Lane joined these teens as schoolmates. Sadly the McDonalds had to move to avoid the long wait each night and morning at the ferry so Eddie transferred to another school district.

Around the end of the year President Brockbank was released from his calling so Roger moved away as well. This created a change next door. The new mission president was David B. Haight accompanied by his wife, Ruby. He had been president of the Palo Alto Stake, vice-chairman of the Oakland Temple District and of the San Francisco Welfare Region. He had also just resigned as mayor of Palo Alto and was head of the Palo Alto Hardware Company and operated a builders' supply firm. Grandpa and Grandma liked their new neighbors and did what they could to help them and make them feel at home.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Thursday, September 9, 2010

How It All Ends

Hello Dear Reader,
Continuing with Grandma (Mary) Carter's story, she had finally put up glass curtains for privacy:

"Today, three months later, my feelings about [the glass curtains] are dampened. I had invited a Scottish family to dinner and the subject eventually got around to my busy bus-stop corner. I told them about hanging my curtains for privacy. [The wife and mother] then told me that before she had known who lived here, she had asked a neighbor if there had been a death in the house, because funeral curtains were hanging in the windows. It seems to be the custom to hang white curtains such as mine at the windows at the time of a death.

Now maybe I should get in style and dye them "mauve." On second thought, privacy and my funeral curtains shall remain!" --submitted by Sister Mary Carter--Renfrew, Scotland

Just a note about the bus stop: In the winter, when it was very foggy out, a bus would pull up to the bus stop, the driver would open the door and shout, "Is this Wright Street, anyone?" As quickly as she could Grandma would go to the front door, open it, and shout back, "Yes, this is Wright Street!" And then, although she couldn't see the bus, she would hear it pull away.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Glass Curtains

Hello Dear Reader,
When Grandma (Mary) Carter had to feed some of the Church Building missionaries lunch one day she was amused as they picked at their corn and one of them asked, "What are these wee bits of maize?" But back to Grandma's story. I continue from yesterday:

"I then read in a local paper where three housewives wanted the bus stops outside their front doors removed, and I quote, 'You can't do a thing in the front rooms of your house without being gaped at through the windows by someone on a bus.' I was already to join them in their campaign to remove the 'peeping Toms' then I decided that maybe glass curtains would be the answer. I definitely decided on them when the shop-keepers across the street informed me that they could see everything that went on in my house." (To be continued.)
Love,
Aunt Genni

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Adjusting to Scottish Ways

Hello Dear Reader,
As much as Grandpa (Wes) and Grandma (Mary) Carter loved Scotland there were some things they had to adjust to. Both of them needed to get driver's licenses which was no easy feat. The written part of the test wasn't too difficult but the driving part was pretty intense. Grandpa didn't pass the road test the first time he took it and had to go back. He had to have a valid driver's license because his calling entailed a lot of driving. I remember Grandma laughing as she told about her experience with the exam but she didn't write anything about it in her history and I can't remember the story--sorry.

With Grandpa gone most of the time, Grandma had to adjust in other ways as well. She wrote a short article which she submitted to The Builder, the official magazine of the European Church Building Missionary Program in which she told of one experience she had in Scotland:

"When I first moved to my home in Renfrew, Scotland, I noticed that every two or three minutes, double-decker busses would stop at the bus stop in front of my door. As the bus would start up, at least fifty or more heads would turn and look through my windows. If I was downstairs they would peer in from the lower deck, and if I was upstairs, the upper deck would get the grandstand view. I truly felt as if I were living in a fish bowl." (To be continued.)
Love,
Aunt Genni

Monday, September 6, 2010

Kent Comes to Scotland

Hello Dear Reader,
After (Wesley) Kent Carter finished his proselyting mission he was able to be reunited with his parents and siblings by coming to Scotland. He was released from his proselyting mission in November and probably arrived in the British Isles around the end of November or the first of December. After a short rest he was called to serve as a building missionary and assigned to the Galashiels, Scotland project. He was in charge of remodeling an old mansion, making it into a chapel. He had three building missionaries who worked with him and with whom he had to contend. They gave him a bad time until he got tired of it and exclaimed, "Fe Fi Fo Fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman." I'm sure this bold statement was followed by Kent's infectious laughter.

Golden Stettler, the project supervisor for the Paisley building, was over the Galashiels project but it was left up to Kent to supervise the work. Kent and the other three missionaries lived at the old house while they worked on it up until it was completed. Grandpa (Wesley) and Grandma (Mary) Carter were happy to have him only about an hour's drive away and Grandpa was very proud of him and his ability to take charge of the remodeling project.
Love,
Aunt Genni

A Great Tribute

Hello Dear Reader,
I mentioned Church Building Conferences before but there was one in particular that was very memorable for Grandpa (Wesley) Carter. This conference was held at the Hayes Conference Center, Swanwick, Derbyshire (pronounced Darbyshire), England on September 11-14, 1962. Grandpa had been assigned the responsibility of supervising the boys in various activities so he had lined up all kinds of games for them to participate in while all the other (adult) personnel were in meetings. Some of the activities he had planned included cricket, volleyball, soccer, badminton, and horse shoes. He also arranged dances where local youth were invited to the conference center, talent shows, and other such entertainment.

Grandpa was standing watching the building missionaries play cricket when they challenged him to hit the ball. He took the bat and knocked the ball over the fence amid much cheering; he lost the ball in the process. When it was time to go to the dining room for lunch the young men picked Grandpa up, placed him on their shoulders, and took him into the dining room singing, "For He's a Jolly Good Fellow." Grandpa considered that a great tribute, "One of the greatest tributes I ever had paid to me."
Love,
Aunt Genni

Paisley Ward Bishopric

Hello Dear Reader,
When the Glasgow Stake was formed there were eight wards organized. These were the Renfrew Ward, the Springburn Ward, the Glasgow Ward, the Easterhouse Ward, the Cranhill Ward, the Pollok Ward, the Drumchapel Ward, and the Paisley Ward.

I thought you might like to see a photograph of the Paisley Ward Bishopric. Here it is from left to right: Wesley Carter, Bishop; Samuel Sylie, 2nd Counsellor; Thomas Martin Clerk; William Graham, 1st Counsellor (British spelling).

Love,

Aunt Genni

Friday, September 3, 2010

Renfrew to London and Back

Hello Dear Reader,
Every Sunday when Grandpa (Wesley) Carter had dealt with church problems and building problems all week long he would shave, pack his bag, and go into Glasgow (Grandma drove) to catch the train The Royal Scotsman. He then rode all night to be at the London office first thing Monday morning for the weekly staff meeting. After the meeting he would fly back to Renfrew and Grandma would pick him up at the Renfrew Airport.

I don't remember if it was after Billy's baptism or after Christmas that I rode the train back down to London with Grandpa. We had ajoining sleeping rooms on the luxurious train--one of my fondest memories of travel in Great Britain. Grandpa came into my room and we talked until it was time for bed. Then Grandpa returned to his room and we each enjoyed a peaceful night's rest. The sleeper cars there were like regular rooms in a hotel unlike the cramped sleeper cars on American trains. But you can imagine doing that every week for over a year. Sometimes Grandpa got very tired of traveling.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Other Church Service

Hello Dear Reader,
Grandma (Mary) Carter and LeAnn started the first Junior Sunday School in the newly created Paisley Ward. Grandma was Junior Sunday School Coordinator and LeAnn was chorister. Junior Sunday School and Primary had always been Grandma's first love.

Grandpa (Wesley) Carter encouraged church dances which the ward began to hold every Saturday night. These dances were used as fund-raisers for the Building Missionary program. The Scottish people seemed to love dances and participated in everything from The Twist to Scottish dances and hoe downs. The ward members and the missionaries, who didn't have to observe all of the same rules as the proselyting missionaries, had a lot of fun.

Another thing Grandpa encouraged was the production of two plays which were the first to be put on by the Church in Scotland. They were a great success--lots of natural actors in the ward.

In November, when Billy turned eight, it was time for him to be baptized. I was able to take the train to Scotland to be there for the event. We went as a family to the old house the ward was using as a chapel and Grandpa baptized Billy in the baptismal font there. The water was ice-cold and Billy didn't like water much so we were all worried. After he was baptized, he shot up out of the water like a geiser and grabbed Grandpa's neck and wrapped his legs around Grandpa's waist. It was such a surprise to all of us that we couldn't help but chuckle.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Building a Church While Building the Ward

Hello Dear Reader,
Soon after Grandpa (Wesley) Carter was called as bishop he found himself once again facing the building of a new ward chapel just as he had done in Provo a decade earlier. But this was a little different. Under the Church Building Missionary Program young men in Great Britain were called to serve as building missionaries. When it was determined where a chapel was to be built it became the local members' responsibility to provide housing, food, and clothing along with a small sustance wage for these missionaries. The idea was to give these young men the opportunity to serve while teaching them the gospel and a trade. Brother Golden Stettler from Logan, Utah was called to serve as a project supervisor and soon arrived with his wife and family. They were assigned to the Paisley Ward building and moved across the street from Grandpa and Grandma.

Grandpa and Grandma, while on a mission themselves and still supporting Kent on his proselyting mission, took one of the building missionaries into their home and began a long series of activities in the ward to raise money for clothing and wages for all of the building missionaries working on the Paisley Ward chapel.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Organisation (British spelling) of the Glasgow Stake

Hello Dear Reader,
On the morning of August 26, 1962 at seven o'clock a.m., as requested, Grandpa (Wes) Carter reported back to the mission home and informed President Tanner of the results of the previous night's visits to Brothers Graham, Wylie, and Martin. President Tanner was pleased and told Grandpa that the new bishopric would be sustained that morning and set apart immediately following the conference sessions.

The conference consisted of two sessions--one at 11:00 a.m. and one at 3:00 p.m. David O. McKay presided and Bernard P. Brockbank conducted both sessions. The members of the Church in Scotland were inspired by beautiful congregational hymns, solos, and choir music not to mention talks given by assignment under the direction of President McKay and then the address by President McKay himself.

Immediately after conference the newly called and sustained bishopric and their families were invited into a room where Marion D. Hanks set Grandpa apart and gave him the keys to preside over the Paisley Ward. It was unnecessary for him to be ordained a bishop again. Then Grandpa assisted President Hanks in ordaining Bill Graham and Sammy Wylie as High Priests and setting them apart as his counselors. Then all three men assisted in setting Brother Martin apart as the ward clerk. Grandpa said, "I feel that this experience was one of the highlights of my life."
Love,
Aunt Genni

Monday, August 30, 2010

Cause for Concern

Hello Dear Reader,
Grandpa (Wesley) Carter knew that the new stake would be organized the following morning so he was concerned about what to do regarding counselors and clerks. He asked, "President Tanner, what do I do about counselors and clerks as I know none of the brethren in the Paisley Ward?" It was suggested that he might work with Bill Graham as First Counselor, Sammy Wylie as Second Counselor, and Brother Martin as ward clerk.

Of course Grandpa didn't know these men so concluded that if it was President Tanner's recommendation to have them assist him he would be happy to do so. Grandpa was then told to go out that night, get acquainted with these men, and ask them if they would serve with him in the Paisley Ward bishopric. When the meeting ended it was eleven o'clock pm.

Grandpa got home at 2:30 am after he had called Brother Wylie and they had gone together to meet with the other men. This call to serve as bishop was way different than when he had been called the first time.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Bishop Again

Hello Dear Reader,
When Grandpa (Wesley) Carter found himself facing three important church authorities he was a little dumbfounded and wondered what he had done wrong. President Tanner smiled at him and invited him to sit down. Then President Tanner, who was president of the European Mission (which was equivalent to what is now called an Area Authority Seventy), told Grandpa that the three of them had prayed about who they should call as bishop of the Paisley Ward which would be formed the following morning when the new Glasgow Stake was to be organized. They felt inspired that Grandpa should be the one.

Grandpa said, "I was flabbergasted . . . [and] said, President I don't even live in the Paisley Ward." President Tanner replied in his sweet, mild manner that they were aware of that but after praying they felt impressed that Grandpa should be the bishop and asked him if he would accept the calling. Grandpa wrote in his history, "Of course I said, 'Yes.'"
Love,
Aunt Genni

Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Call in the Night

Hello Dear Reader,
The night of August 25, 1962 Grandpa (Wes) and Grandma (Mary) Carter were getting ready to go to bed when the telephone rang. President Brockbank was on the phone. He said, "Brother Carter, I want you to come to the mission office immediately." Grandpa replied, "President, what have I done now? Can't it wait until morning?" President Brockbank replied "no" that he needed Grandpa to get there as soon as he could. Grandpa said, "So to appease him and try to keep him happy as I had done many times in the past, I put on my clothes and walked over to the mission home."

Upon Grandpa's arrival, President Brockbank emerged from him office and asked him to sit down and wait a few minutes because he was busy at the moment. Grandpa sat wondering what he had done wrong to receive such a late call. It was about 10 o'clock pm. After a short wait, President Brockbank invited Grandpa into his office.

Grandpa recalled, "As I entered the room, there sat President N. Eldon Tanner, President Marion Hanks, and President Bernard Brockbank. I threw my hands in the air and asked what I had done now to be called on the carpet by all three of them."
Love,
Aunt Genni

Friday, August 27, 2010

David O. McKay's Visit to Scotland

Hello Dear Reader,
Grandpa (Wes) Carter wrote, "The weekend of the organization of the Glasgow Stake finally arrived and we had 22 guests spend the night with us." If Grandma (Mary) wasn't running a hotel, it was at least a B &B. These meetings took place on August 25 and 26, 1962.

Here's what appeared in the local newspaper: "The 89-year-old president of the Church of Latter Day Saints, David O. McKay, flew into Scotland to-day from New York. The Mormon mission leader is visiting Glasgow for three days for the 'organisation of a stake.' A stake is made up of 10 congregations, and this is the first to be formed in Scotland. It will be administered by local people and known as the 'Glasgow Stake.'

"I am delighted with the following in Scotland,' said the snowly-haired Mormon leader on arrival at Prestwick Airport. 'There are over 11,000 followers in Scotland, and altogether 36,000 in the British Isles.' He added--'We have come a long way since I was first here as a young man of 23--which was over 65 years ago. Then there were only four branches on the banks of the Clyde.'" This should give you an idea of the status of the Church in Scotland while Grandpa and Grandma were there.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Carter's Hotel

Hello Dear Reader,
In July Steven Covey, who had been called to preside over the newly organized North Irish Mission, arrived in Scotland to be trained by President Brockbank. Since there were no living facilities in the Scottish Mission home and it would have been inconvenient for the Covey family to live in a hotel Grandpa (Wes) and Grandma (Mary) Carter let the Coveys stay with them. Grandma tended the three Covey children while President and Sister Covey were taught their duties for several days.

This was the beginning of a long list of visitors that stayed in Grandpa and Grandma's home. It seemed that everyone that went to Scotland stayed with the Carters, invited or not. A few of the visitors included President Marion Hanks' two daughters and his secretaries, President Tanner's secretaries, President and Sister Selvoy Boyer (president of the London temple), Alice and Debbie Holland, and many of the missionaries from the British Mission who wanted to see Scotland before going home. You can see that Grandpa and Grandma were loved and made others feel welcome.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

First Friends in Scotland

Hello Dear Reader,
Grandpa (Wes) and Grandma (Mary) Carter's first friends in Scotland were Steve and Sylvia McDonald and their son, Ed. Steve was the project supervisor for the new chapel being built at Drumchapel across the Clyde River from Grandpa and Grandma's new house. Were you able to click the link two days ago and see Grandpa and Grandma's house on Google Maps? Their closest new friends lived next door. It was comforting to Grandma to know that Bernard Brockbank, Scottish Mission president, and his family and staff were right there since Grandpa was gone so much. However, Grandpa was often frustrated when he was at home because President Brockbank called him all hours of the night to discuss building problems.

The family lived within the boundaries of the Renfrew Branch which met in an old Orange Lodge. The members of the Church in Scotland were very loving and welcoming and soon the family felt that they had many friends. LeAnn was enrolled in John Neilson School (the same school that Prince Charles went to) in Paisley. She was much happier there than in England and made some wonderful friends.

Billy had a hard time at his school. The kids ganged up on him every day and beat him up because he had dark skin and was a Mormon. But that didn't affect his love for the country of Scotland. He still thinks of it with great fondness.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Transition


Hello Dear Reader,
When July 10th finally rolled around, LeAnn and I were happy to be going to Scotland. It was an exciting summer for the family as we were able to travel extensively in Scotland and Ireland. Also, there were rumors going around that President David O. McKay, the prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints would be traveling to Scotland in the near future to organize the first stake there. However, I had only been there a short time when I received a call as a Church Building Missionary to work in the London office in North Cheam.

The whole family traveled down to deliver me to my new "digs". We stopped in North Hampton where we stayed with the Jensens, the supervisor and wife of the building there. We were able to spend the afternoon and evening at Stratford Upon Avon and went to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre where we all thoroughly enjoyed A Midsummer's Night Dream. I think one of the reasons it was so enjoyable was because, by then, we were thoroughly familiar with the accent and understood what was going on. Billy's infectious laughter pleased the audience and we weren't sure if they were laughing at the play or with him.
Love,
Aunt Genni

p.s. This is a picture of Anne Hathaway's cottage--she was Shakespeare's wife.

Scotland



Hello Dear Reader,
Grandpa and Grandma's house was on Paisley Road and Wright Street in Renfrew just a few blocks from the Renfrew airport. Renfrew is about six miles west of Glasgow and they could often hear the music of a bagpipe band coming from the direction of the Clyde. Their house was new but the airport was a busy one and they had to get used to the sound of jets taking off right over the roof of their house. The airport was convenient for Grandpa, though, when he traveled by plane.

There were lots of new and interesting things to learn about in their new surroundings. The accent of the Scots was fascinating. So were their tartans, their songs, their customs, their folklore, and their Highland games. Although Renfrew could be considered a suburb of Glasgow it was still close to the country and the family was fascinated with the Scottish cows (which the Scots pronounce "coos"). It didn't take long for the family to love their new home.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Changing Seasons, Changing Places

Hello Dear Reader,
Spring was beautiful in the British Isles and it was a welcome relief from the cold and fog of winter. Finally, in June of 1962 the rumors became a reality. Grandpa (Wesley) Carter said, ". . . once again our prayers were answered as I found a new home [in Renfrew, Scotland] right next to the mission home." Grandpa, Grandma, and Billy moved into a duplex apartment until the new house was finished. LeAnn and I stayed in England with Church members to finish out the school year.

It was frustrating for Grandma and Billy to be left in a new place without knowing much about the area, the customs, or the people. Grandpa had to go off to work as he had done in England and they felt very much alone.

One of the first things that struck the family was that it never got dark during the summer months. Eventually they got into their new home and the Church bought Grandpa a new car. This was the start of another new adventure and the beginning of more friendships and knowledge.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Easter Break

Hello Dear Reader,
At Christmas we had had a three-week break from school so we were surprised that at Easter we had a two-week break--surprised but happy! This provided an opportunity for LeAnn and I to travel with Grandpa (Wesley) Carter as he visited the sites where chapels were under construction. It was a trip never to be forgotten. LeAnn and I began to realize how big and wonderful the Building Program was and we were welcomed with open arms by the building missionaries and supervisors everywhere we went. By this time there were about fifty new chapels being built in the British Isles.

It was amazing to see the beautiful countryside as we traveled the highways and narrow roads. Sometimes we stayed in Pubs but Grandpa had one special hotel in mind when we stayed in the midlands. He told us we would really like it. It was a beautiful place. That evening we unloaded our bags and went out to eat. When we got back our beds were turned down and hot-water bottles had been placed between the linen sheets--it seemed pure luxury to LeAnn and me.

The next morning we arose early and were the only ones eating breakfast in the dining room when Grandpa pointed out a man descending the stairs. It was William Holden who had won an Academy Award for best actor in 1954. We had never seen anyone wearing dark glasses to breakfast before. We knew then that Grandpa had planned a wonderful trip for us and we had stayed in a pretty ritzy place.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Friday, August 20, 2010

Rumors

Hello Dear Reader,
After the Christmas holidays, in the winter of 1962 rumors started circulating that because of the increasing size of the building program and the scope of the work load, the British Church Building Area was going to be divided and more missionaries would be brought in. That meant that Grandpa (Wesley) Carter would move into and be the head of another area.

Grandpa and Grandma went to Manchester first and then to Glasgow, Scotland. The purpose of these trips was to check out each area to see which would be the most acceptable. After going to Scotland they decided they would sooner live there--which decision may have been influenced by Grandma's wishes to live where her ancestors, who were converts to the Church in Scotland, had lived.

Meanwhile we all kept on doing whatever we were involved in. Grandma learned to take the train all over the London area in her capacity as Relief Society president. Grandpa kept traveling to the various church building sites. Billy, LeAnn, and I kept trying to adjust to the schools and make the most of our educational opportunities.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Boxing Day (Continued)

Hello Dear Reader,
Grandpa (Wesley) Carter was now inside the parking area for Mme. Tussaud's Wax Works. He walked around for a few minutes, picked up an old brick and went to the back gate which apparently wasn't used very much because it was boarded up. We heard a few loud bangs which could have been mistaken for gun shots but then Grandpa appeared driving the car. He drove down the street and told us to get in. He then asked Brother Holland to go back with him.

We were far enough away that we couldn't see what was happening but we heard some more loud bangs and soon Grandpa and Brother Holland reappeared and jumped in the car. Grandpa had bumped the back gate open with the car and needed Brother Holland to help him board the gate up again. Brother Holland seemed to consider it all a great adventure. He said as they were climbing over the fence to exit the lot he got the seat of his britches caught on one of the tall metal spikes and his feet were about one-half inch from the cement. He thought he was caught for sure. He exclaimed that if someone had come along just then he would have had to crow like a rooster.

Grandpa said the fence was put back together so well that he was sure the lot attendant wouldn't be able to figure out what had happened when he returned to work the next day. Our first Boxing Day was a very memorable one.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Boxing Day

Hello Dear Reader,
We didn't know anything about Boxing Day when we arrived in England but the girls at school explained that it was the day when people boxed up the gifts they had received for Christmas that they didn't need and gave them to the poor. It is considered an official holiday and an extension of Christmas.

On our first Boxing Day we went into London with the Hollands to see the lights on Bond and Regent Streets and visit Madam Tussaud's Wax Works. We parked in Mme. Tussaud's parking lot which was surrounded by a stone wall in which tall metal rods were affixed and joined at the top. We were fascinated with the tour through the museum. Because the tour didn't take as long as we had expected we decided to visit the London Planetarium in an ajoining building. The program in the planetarium took longer than we expected.

When we returned to the parking lot we were all surprized. The lot was closed, our car was still inside the gates, and the gates were locked. We tried to find the lot keeper, his phone number, or contact information but had no success. Grandpa (Wes) Carter surveyed the wall, told us to walk down the pavement a ways, and soon he was climbing over the wall. (To be continued.)
Love,
Aunt Genni

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Christmas Season

Hello Dear Reader,
Christmas morning was just as wonderful as it had always been in the states. We all received nice gifts. The only downside was that we weren't able to give as good gifts as we had been used to giving (we did our shopping at Woolworth's), but Santa was very good to us and we felt blessed.

The other wonderful thing about Christmas was the long break we had from school. Typically in Great Britain, (at least at that time) there was a three-week holiday for Christmas. It was a perfect time for us as a family to make some expeditions outside of the London area. I don't remember exactly when we went where but two places we visited were Brighton and Bath. I think it was Bath we visited that holiday season.

For those of you that don't know, the City of Bath was where the ancient "Romans built built the wonderful baths and their temple around the springs of hot mineral water, and Bath became a centre of health and recreation for the men of the Roman Legions, and a shrine of healing and worship for merchants and men of culture from Britain and Gaul." It was awe-inspiring to visit such an ancient place. And it was warm inside the buildings, a nice contrast to the coldest winter Britain had experienced for 100 years.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Monday, August 16, 2010

Christmas Eve in England

Hello Dear Reader,
The proselyting missionaries came to our house a lot while we lived in Epsom. Grandpa (Wes) Carter said, "We always had someone there . . . probably because of our daughters. When we invite[d] them for dinner [the missionaries] would stay as long as possible because they weren't very anxious to get back to their 'digs'." It wasn't long until we learned the latest missionary slang. They used the words "flip" and "garbage" a lot and thought it was funny that Grandpa used the expression, "cotton-picken."

Christmas Eve fell on Sunday in 1961 and when we awoke it had snowed a lot. Since that part of England was not used to snow there were no snow plows. Our neighbors, the Birds, called a cab to take them to church but the cab couldn't get up the hill to get out of the close. We tried piling in one car with our LDS neighbors on top of each other to weigh down the car for traction but that didn't work either. In the end, we walked to church which was about a mile away. When we arrived at the co-op building there sat Elder and Sister Tanner with the sister missionaries; the meeting had already begun.

On the way home, the missionaries ran ahead of us and lambusted us with snowballs, but then they came home with us to have hot chocolate and refreshments. They wanted to see our Christmas tree which we had decorated with homemade decorations (giant pompoms made from dry-cleaning bags and artificial snow made from Ivory Snow whipped with a little water) and they were quite impressed. We were pleased because one of the missionaries' family owned a florist shop. Then they presented us with a hand-made Christmas Card. We weren't expecting a lot for Christmas but we felt very joyful anyway.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Benefits

Hello Dear Reader,
One of the benefits of being settled in our new surroundings was that now we were free to go sightseeing on weekends. Grandpa (Wes) Carter said, "We saw all the sights we could with our family such as Hampton Court [Palace], Trafalger Square, Tower of London, Westminster Abbey, and Big Ben." These were places we visited in London. In his history Grandpa left out London Bridge, the Fire Monument, Houses of Parliament, Buckingham Place, Picadilly Circus, the London Planetarium, Madam Taussaud's Wax Museum, and Hyde Park. Sometimes we rode the train on these expeditions but usually Grandpa drove us because we left early on Saturday mornings when there wasn't much traffic and he was becoming experienced dealing with British drivers.

We also went into London on various occasions to live plays and live performances. If we were going in the evening we usually took the train. We saw My Fair Lady, The Music Man starring Van Johnson, and The Sound of Music with Julie Andrews and Rex Harrison. We also attended a performance of the Royal Ballet, Peter Pan on Ice, Every Night at the London Palledium and Macbeth and other plays at the Old Vic. These were all things we did as a family.

We children also experienced school field trips to various historical places in London. I went with my history class to some of the courts of England and a session of the Houses of Parliament where both Winston Churchill and Prime Minister McMillan were in attendance. We were starting to have cultural experiences that we never dreamed of while we were in Provo.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Upper Crust--Or a Position of Responsibility?

Hello Dear Reader,
It didn't take long until Grandpa (Wes) and Grandma (Mary) Carter began to realize what a unique position they were in. Whenever anyone of importance in the Church came to visit the London area Grandpa and Grandma were included in the socials that were given for them.

One of Grandpa's responsibilities was to buy houses for the new Church Building supervisors and their families as they arrived in England. He also had to see that the superviosrs were properly taken care of and initiated. The newly purchased houses had to be furnished, food bought for a couple of weeks, and all utilities turned on,. This all came under Grandpa's job description.

It wasn't long until Grandpa was put in charge of housing and entertainment for the semi-annual building missionary conferences. These were wonderful affairs where the project supervisors and their wives were instructed and spiritually nourished and the children of the supervisors, the local building missionaries, and sometimes local youth were entertained with games, dances, spiritual meetings, and other social activities--our first initiation to what youth conferences were to be like.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Friday, August 13, 2010

Settling In


Hello Dear Reader,
After we had been in England about a week it was time for Grandma (Mary) Carter to get us children in school. LeAnn and I went with Grandma and Sister Bradley to Rosebery County Grammar School for Girls (Grammar School = High School in the U.S.) where we spoke with the head mistress and she kindly let us enroll. The assistant head mistress was something else--she was very mean spirited and seemed to hate all girls, let alone American Mormon girls. Margaret and Janice Darley were already attending that school.

Then, around the same time, Grandma took Billy to enroll in The Church of England Infant School (grade school). School was harder for Grandma than it was for Billy. In England children start to school and are immediately reading when they are four-years old. Billy was nearly six when he was enrolled and hadn't yet learned to read. The mistresses couldn't be bothered with him and so it was up to Grandma to teach him to read. School in England was an adjustment for the whole family. Here are pictures of LeAnn in her school uniform and the Church of England where Billy went to school.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Our Neighbors

Hello Dear Reader,
The people who lived next door to us on Walnut Close were Brother and Sister Stan Bird along with their daughter Kathy and her friend from California. There were five other LDS families who lived in the neighborhood when we first arrived in England. There were the Bradleys, the Bairds, the Biesingers, the Moores, and the Darleys. All but the Darleys were involved with the Church Building Program. Roy Darley was an assistant tabernacle organist who was on a two-year mission with his family. He gave daily concerts at the Hyde Park Chapel in London.

The Church Building Missionary program was growing so quickly that soon others joined us in Epsom. One family that moved across the street from us was the Hollands--Frank, Alice, and Debbie. It was an interesting situation because when they arrived they had a son serving as a proselyting missionary in Epsom, a Zone Leader by the name of Jeffrey Holland. It didn't take long for Grandma (Mary) Carter to become fast friends with Alice Holland. LeAnn and I also adored her and little Debbie who was the same age as Billy.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Public Transportation--A Piece of Cake


Hello Dear Reader,
Because we had access to only one car and Grandpa (Wesely) Carter usually had it out of town the rest of us soon learned to use public transportation or we walked. The busses and trains in Great Britain were (and are) incredible. It was a bit of a walk to the train station but, once we were there, it was a piece of cake. We often rode the train into London, usually to Victoria Station, where we then caught the Underground (subway). There were easy to follow maps everywhere and it wasn't long until we could readily get around.

When there was a Stake Conference we took the train and then the Underground to the Hyde Park Chapel. We also went to London for concerts, school field trips, stake dances, live stage plays, and musicals. Grandpa and Grandma started taking us to London every Saturday on sightseeing expeditions.

But the trains didn't go just to London. They became a way for us to travel to other destinations as well. Some of the girls we went to school with rode the train every day and so, to visit them, we rode the train to their homes. The church youth took a trip to Boxing Hill once for a picnic and we rode the train together. It was a fun expedition.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Monday, August 9, 2010

Epsom Branch

Hello Dear Reader,
A short time after we arrived in Epsom Grandpa (Wesley) Carter was made Sunday School Superintendent of the Epsom Branch and Grandma (Mary) Carter was called to be Relief Society President. The Epsom Branch met on the top floor of an old Co-op hall; the accomodations left much to be desired. There was no heat in the building and there were no classrooms. Basically the room we met in was a big open hall with wooden floors. We clattered up wooden stairs to get to meetings. Literally, on Sundays, the cigarette butts had to be swept out of the room and the empty alcohol bottles had to be disposed of before church could begin.

In the winter we all huddled together so we wouldn't freeze. We could see our breath when we sang or spoke to each other. Nathan Eldon Tanner, later a counselor in the First Presidency, was in our branch. He was an assistant to the Council of the Twelve at the time and was president of the Western European Mission.

He and Sister Tanner and the sister missionaries who worked as secretaries were always seated on the front row (wooden folding chairs) by the time most of the rest of us arrived. They drove from Leatherhead where their offices were located. Sister Tanner and the secretaries sometimes brought hot-water bottles along and we saw them take off their shoes and put their feet on the bottles or pass the bottles along under their lap robes to try to keep warm.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Assistant Area Supervisor

Hello Dear Reader,
As assistant area supervisor Grandpa (Wesley) Carter's area included England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland. When he first started there were ten or twelve jobs in progress. His responsibility was to assign building missionaries (usually young Brits) to the various jobs, to see that they were properly taken care of, and to encourage the project supervisors and see that they didn't become discouraged. Grandma (Mary) Carter's responsibility was to go with Grandpa whenever she was needed to build up the spirits of the supervisors' wives and families.

But on most occasions Grandpa had to travel alone. It was a relief to him to return to Epsom after traveling the winding, narrow roads during the week. He always felt he was putting up with British traffic. He was particularly frustrated by the lorries, the British trucks, which were limited by law to thirty miles an hour or less.

It wasn't long until Grandpa was proficient at finding his way around Great Britain and dealing with a multitude of problems. When he reached a job site everyone was always happy to see him. After some time in meetings and inspection of the work in progress he would be on his way again.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Another Visit

Hello Dear Reader,
Brother Bradley visited us again Sunday evening. As he was leaving he handed Grandpa (Wesley) Carter the keys to the car parked in the driveway and said, "Brother Carter you are on your own. No way am I going to ride with you while you're learning to drive on the left side of the road." He gave Grandpa a few pointers, the address of the office, and told him to visit the office Monday afternoon.

Grandpa took the car out early Monday morning, got lost, and had to have someone tell him how to get home. This was a new experience for Grandpa as he had a great sense of direction. But we were in a different situation. For one things there were no mountains as a point of reference and another thing was that it was foggy most of the time so we couldn't see the sun as a point of reference either. One thing about Grandpa, though, he wasn't defeated easily.

That afternoon he drove to the office and met the personnel--the people who directed the church building program in the British Isles. While there, Grandpa was told to prepare himself and his family that he would be traveling quite extensively as the assistant area supervisor. This assignment meant he would be away from home at least three or four nights a week.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Friday, August 6, 2010

Time Warp

Hello Dear Reader,
We went to bed about 2 o'clock that night. It wasn't long until Grandma (Mary), LeAnn, Billy, and I awoke and went downstairs to see what we could find to do. What we found was a board game. I don't remember which one but it wasn't long until Grandpa (Wes) awoke and came to join us. It took us some time to get used to the different time zone.

One early morning (2 am) we children all woke up and went and piled on Grandpa and Grandma's bed. We decided to try to figure out the monetary system. We had some British coins and layed them on the bed examining the way they looked. Then we tried counting them out to each other making change as if we were shopping. It took us some time to get used to the money as well.

By the time Sunday dawned we were all exhausted and didn't go to church. In fact, I don't think any of us had even been outside since our arrival at 18 Walnut Close. We were definitely suffering from jet lag.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Thursday, August 5, 2010

First Day in England

Hello Dear Reader,
Due to the differences in time we were all exhausted and went to bed. After resting for a while we woke up and it wasn't long until Brother and Sister Bradley came as promised. Brother Bradley told Grandpa (Wesley) and Grandma (Mary) that he was undecided what assignment he would give them.

Grandpa said, "From the time I had received the call I had had the feeling that I would never build a building while I was in the British Isles. I informed my family that in all probability we would remain in Epsom for a time . . . in a few days this [impression] was confirmed."

After the Bradleys left we all felt starved and went into the kitchen to see what we could find to eat. There was plenty of food but it was a little different than we were used to. For one thing, the milk was in old-fashioned glass bottles. It was not homogenized and the cream was at the top.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Walnut Close




Hello Dear Reader,

We ate breakfast at the Bradley's and were then taken to Walnut Close (a cul de sac), around the corner from the Bradleys. We had seen subdivisions before but nothing like this. All the houses on the right side of the road were exactly alike. The houses on the left were different from those on the right but they were all exactly like each other as well. The only way to tell the houses apart was to observe minor landscaping differences.

As we drove to the close and down the hill Brother Baird pointed out several homes where members of the Church involved in the building missionary program lived. We were all very pleased as we entered number 18. It was immaculate. The furnishings were modern and arranged nicely. The cupboards were stocked with dishes and food. There was also food in the refrigerator. The bedrooms were nice with fresh linens on the beds. Sister Bradley had spent much effort in preparing for us. We were told to make ourselves at home and help ourselves to whatever we wanted and we would be contacted later in the day.
Love,
Aunt Genni






Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sigh of Relief

Hello Dear Reader,
Having no address to tell the customs officers, Grandpa (Wesley) Carter called the mission home in London and got Neil Bradley's name and address. Brother Bradley was the area supervisor of building for the British Isles. Then Grandpa called the Bradley home and talked to Sister Bradley who informed him that Steve Baird, the area architect, was supposed to be at the airport to meet our plane; he would be there so be patient.

Brother Baird and Brother Bradley arrived a few minutes later. Grandpa said, "How releived we were." These men gave the customs officers all the information they needed and we collected our things and piled into their cars. We were nervous passengers because of our recent car accident but they didn't know about the accident and took us on a harrowing, fast ride from the airport to the Bradley home--made all the more harrowing because we were not used to driving on the left side of the road and it appeared that cars were going to hit us as they passed on the right. We breathed a collective sigh of relief when we arrived at the Bradley's in Epsom.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Monday, August 2, 2010

Flight to London

Hello Dear Reader,
The rest of our trip was to take place overnight. We had supper on the plane. Back then the trays were attached to the seats and I remember straightening up my seat and the man behind me yelling that I had spilled his drink. Cigar smoking was allowed on international flights so immediately several cigars and many cigarettes were lit and we all felt nauseated. Then we were supposed to sleep the best we could. I don't remember the seating arrangements but I think LeAnn and I were separated from Grandpa (Wes), Grandma (Mary), and Billy.

As usual, Grandpa made the best of a bad situation. It wasn't long until he saw the sun rise. It appeared to come up out of the ocean. What a beautiful sight! He quietly woke us up so we could enjoy the view too. It wasn't long until we landed at Heathrow Airport and made our way to customs. Our plane was late and we felt sure there would be someone there to meet us. But there was no one.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Touristy Things

Hello Dear Reader,
We arrived at the Idlewild Airport (now Kennedy) about mid-afternoon. Murdock travel had arranged for us to spend some time in NYC and so we took a taxi to the Hotel Taft on 7th Avenue at 50th Street. That evening we walked down to Times Square. Grandpa (Wesley) Carter said, "For a country bumpkin I was pretty brave."

The next day (Friday) we visited the Empire State Building, Broadway, Central Park, Macey's and Gimbel's, China Town, and rode the Statton Island Ferry; pretty educational stuff for a small-town family; we were getting a lot of bang for our buck. But soon we were on our way back to the airport.

We were asked to change flights as our plane was delayed and so had a stop in Boston for a brief time. Within two days, we added Chicago, New York, and Boston to the places we had been.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Saturday, July 31, 2010

On Our Way to New York City

Hello Dear Reader,
We arose early Thursday morning. Grandma (Caroline) Hall had prepared a lovely breakfast for us of hot cereal and warm malted milk. But we were all too nervous to eat much and I'm afraid we hurt her feelings. She told Grandma (Mary) Carter that we were her pickiest grandchildren and never liked anything she cooked for us. She had worked hard to help us prepare for travel. I remember she sewed a pocket high up on my slip where $250, that I had saved from my part-time job, could be carried without fear of a pickpocket. I know she was worried we would get hungry on our trip.

I don't remember who took us to the airport but I think it might have been Bishop Olsen who dropped us off on his way to work. Grandpa (Wesley) Carter said, "There were many friends and relatives [at the airport] to bid us farewell."--I don't remember much about our departure. We flew to the Chicago Midway Airport (The O'Hare Airport had not yet been built.) None of us had ever flown before and we all felt a little queasy. It came as quite a shock that we had to change planes and were not flying straight to New York City. Grandpa and Grandma rushed us down the corridor to the gate we had to be at to catch our connecting flight.

The plane's atmosphere was foreign to us. Cigarette smoking was not yet prohibited on domestic flights and the cabin soon filled with second-hand smoke. We were served a meal and many of the people on the plane had alcoholic beverages. Some of the people became boisterous and all of us including Grandma felt out of our element. But the flight from Chicago was fairly short and soon we were in New York City.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Friday, July 30, 2010

Journey's Eve

Hello Dear Reader,
The last few days we spent in America were interesting but filled with stress. Grandpa (Wesley) Carter had to finish building a storage shed to hold our belongings. The task was not easy considering he had two broken fingers.

Grandma (Mary) only wanted to spend time with Carol and her new baby. Baby Scott was Grandma and Grandpa's first grandchild. He had been born August 27. Grandma always adored babies so you can imagine how hard it was for her to leave Carol and this little one who was just over two weeks old.

On September 13, with our bags all packed we went to spend the night at Grandma (Caroline) Hall's house. Things had come together like clockwork and the new renters were in the process of moving into our house. Curfew was early that night as we were to leave for the airport early the next morning. We didn't sleep well that night but we had no idea what a life-changing experience we were in for.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Farewell Testimonial


Hello Dear Reader,
We had about a week left before our trip which could have been very inconvenient but Grandpa (Wes) Carter had an old pickup truck he used in his construction business that provided transportation when we had to get somewhere farther than walking distance.

Things were happening very quickly now. On September 10 there was a Farewell Testimonial held in our honor. The program was filled with hymns and talks by people we loved. It's interesting to look at the program now and see that the Sacrament Song was "I Stand All Amazed," which was Grandpa's favorite hymn. I had forgotten that Blaine Bray, Grandma (Mary) Carter's nephew, sang a solo, "It May Not Be on a Mountain Height." Two stake presidents and two bishops spoke and each of us gave brief remarks. The scripture included in the program was, "And inasmuch as my people build a house unto me in the name of the Lord, and do not suffer any unclean thing to come into it, that it may not be defiled, My glory shall rest upon it."
Doctrine and Covenants 97: 15.

After the Sacrament Meeting we returned to our home where we were packing our bags. I don't remember if people came by or not but it seems to me that they didn't. We had said most of our good-byes at the church. There were only three more days until our departure.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Final Preparations

Hello Dear Reader,
Our busy schedule didn't slow down the week before departure. Arrangements had been made for Grandpa (Wesley) and Grandma (Mary) Carter to be set apart as building missionaries so we went back to Salt Lake for that event. Billy, LeAnn, and I were there when Spencer W. Kimball set them apart.

On the way back to Provo that evening we were involved in a car accident. We were going through an intersection betweeen Murray and Midvale (remember there was no freeway at that time) when a car that was stopped on the other side of the light waiting to make a left turn was rammed by a woman who was distracted by one of her children. Grandpa yelled, "Watch out, we're going to crash and turned the wheel trying to avoid the ensuing collision. We were t-boned and Grandma immediately began to cry. Grandpa said, "Oh, shut up!" That broke the tension and we all laughed. Then we examined ourselves to see if everyone was all right. Grandpa had some broken fingers and, I think, a slight concussion but that seemed to be the extent of our injuries.

Our first reaction was to get out of the car but Grandpa was wearing a new suit which was pinned in the door so he told us to stay in the car until the police came. Then we worried about how we would get home as the car wouldn't start. But Grandpa said Bishop Olsen, his former counselor would be traveling back to Provo after work and would see us so not to worry about getting home.

The police came and were able to remove the car door without tearing Grandpa's suit and, sure enough, soon Bishop Olsen drove by with whoever he carpooled with, saw us, and stopped to get some of us home. Our car was demolished but the insurance paid the same amount (I think it was $500) Grandpa and Grandma were going to sell it for. So this was just a small blip in our final preparations.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Surprise, Surprise

Hello Dear Reader,
The family was filled with mixed emotions as we prepared for England. Grandma (Mary) Carter was worried that we might have to live in a thatch-roof house and so there might be bugs and rodents to contend with. (Grandma could think of lots of things to worry about.) She was also worried about schools, money, and such. LeAnn, Billy, and I were mostly worried about making new friends. But through all of our worries Grandpa (Wes) was very reassuring and so, for the most part, we were just excited to visit new places and experience new things.

We went to Orem to visit with Uncle Morrie and Aunt Angie because Uncle Morrie had been in England during World War II. It was fun to talk to him and he gave us some idea of what it would be like but it had been nearly twenty years since he had been there so we knew there were surprises ahead. What we didn't know was that we were in for a more immediate surprise.

Grandma had sent for Grandpa's birth certificate which was needed for his passport application. When the certificate came Grandpa and Grandma were shocked. His whole life Grandpa had celebrated his birthday on Christmas Eve but his birth certificate stated he was born on Christmas day at twenty minutes past midnight. After discussing this and remembering Grandma (Annie) Carter had always claimed he was born at twenty minutes before midnight, Grandpa concluded that his mother had wanted him to have a day of his own so for forty-two years he had celebrated his birthday on the wrong day.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Monday, July 26, 2010

Preparing to Go

Hello Dear Reader,
After Grandpa (Wesley) and Grandma (Mary) Carter spoke with Brother Mendenhall they were sent to the office of Dyke Walton where the building missionary program was explained and the wheels put in motion for the Carter family to depart for England.

The next few weeks were very busy. The family had to obtain passports, get vaccinations, and rent their home. Grandpa had to finish the Oakhills building, get the new Provo Stake Center started and turn its construction over to Uncle Ed and Ralph Burk. There were also other odds and ends that needed to be taken care of.

Grandpa and his brothers had invested in a geiger-counter and had staked a claim out on the west desert. Grandpa asked his brothers to please work the claim while he was gone so no one could jump it. There were also other business matters to attend to. And there were things to sort through and store or give away, clothes to buy, callings to be released from, and many, many people to say good-bye to. It was a busy time but one full of anticipation and excitement.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pioneer Day


Hello Dear Reader,
By the time Grandpa (Wes) and Grandma (Mary) received their calling from the First Presidency it was almost Pioneer Day. That year we celebrated in a special way with Aunt Deon, Uncle Vic, and their children. Early on the morning of the 24th we drove to Salt Lake City for the Days of 47 parade. If I remember correctly we met Aunt Deon's family there. It was a great parade and we enjoyed the company very much.

After the parade we all drove to Heber City to swim at the Homestead where the pool was filled with warm spring water. It was a wonderful day. I can't recall all the details but I will always remeber the warm, happy feeling I had as we celebrated with our cousins and Aunt and Uncle. It seems like we laughed a lot.

In the afternoon when the fun had all been had we posed for a family photograph. Because the weather had been so hot Grandpa had decided to have his hair cut short. But after he saw his photograph he remarked, "Well look at that, I look like Mitzi the Pinhead." He decided he would never get his hair cut like that again.
Love,
Aunt Genni




Saturday, July 24, 2010

Officially Called

Hello Dear Readers,
The official call to "Brother and Sister Carter," arrived on July 21, 1961 and was signed by the counselors in the first presidency of the Church, J. Reuben Clark Jr. and Henry D. Moyle. The letter said in part, "We therefore call you to this service in England, and extend to you in advance our sincere appreciation for your willingness to so serve. You will labor under the direction of the supervisor of building construction, who will give you specific assignments for your labors, and make provision for your housing while you are so engaged. The Church will provide transportation for you to and from England, and also arrange for a limited and stipulated expense allowance while you are engaged in these building activities.

"Please be assured that you have our confidence, our commendation, and our blessing in this important undertaking for the advancement of our Father's Kimgdom in the part of the world to which you are to go. We promise you a great rewarding satisfaction for your faithful labors."

The Carter family were about to embark upon a great adventure.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Friday, July 23, 2010

A Call From Salt Lake

Hello Dear Reader,
Shortly after Grandpa (Wesley) Carter made the commitment to build a building in the Provo Stake he was contacted by Wendall Mendenhall's secretary in Salt Lake City. Brother Mendenhall was head of the Church Building Department. His secretary asked if Grandpa and Grandma would come to Salt Lake to visit with Mendenhall. Of course they consented.

When they arrived at the Building Division offices at 150 North Main Street, Grandpa and Grandma were invited into Brother Mendenhall's office. Grandpa said, "I [don't know] how I knew but for some reason it came as no surprise to us [when we were] asked if we would consider going on a building mission to the British Isles for the Church. Brother Mendenhall was surprised that Grandpa and Grandma accepted so quickly and that their family would go anywhere they were asked to go.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Keeping On Keeping On

Hello Dear Reader,
As the construction of the Edgemont Ward building was in its final stages Grandpa (Wesley) Carter was contacted by Ora Hatch once more. President Hatch asked Grandpa if he would consider building a new LDS building in his stake. Grandpa told him that as soon as he was finished with the Oak Hills building in the East Sharon Stake he would be most happy to take on the construction of a building in the Provo Stake. It seems that Grandpa had built his reputation as a good building contractor and some of the stake presidents in Provo were impressed with his ability.

Grandpa seemed happy in his work but construction work is hard physically and I know he was worried about the future when his physical abilities would become diminished. But in the meantime he just kept on keeping on.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Kent and Carol Grow Up

Hello Dear Reader,
As Grandpa (Wesley) and Grandma (Mary) Carter's lives continued to be full of everyday adventures so did those of their children. Kent turned 19 on May 24, 1960 and was called to serve a mission in the Western States Mission. His mission call was signed by David O. McKay, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was dated November 1, 1960. A week later Grandpa and Grandma received a letter from Daisy H. Romney, his mission mother with instructions of things he should know and what he should take with him. Then on November 20, a Farewell Testimonial was held in his honor in the Rivergrove 2nd Ward and he entered the Mission Home November 28th.

About 10 weeks later, on February 10, 1961 Carol was married to John C. Buckley. The wedding was held in the living room of our home and, if I remember correctly, Grandpa Carter performed the ceremony. So, within a short period of time, Grandpa and Grandma's two oldest children had left home and were creating new lives for themselves.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Continuing to Build



Hello Dear Reader,
By the spring of 1960 Grandpa (Wesley) Carter had finished the Provo Welfare Cannery and the Edgemont 2nd and 3rd Ward Building and had begun construction on the addition and remodeling of the Oak Hills, 1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and stake building. For those of you who know where Deseret Towers were located on 9th East, it is the church building just east of there.

When I think of that building I think of Grandpa's story about one of his crew commenting on the beautiful carillon bells that rang hourly on BYU campus. One of the other crew members kept asking, "What?" and then finally responded, "I can't hear you for those d[arn] bells!" Of course now, whenever I hear the bells, I think of Grandpa's amusement at telling the story.

The first picture is of the completed Edgemont building and the second picture is of the completed Oak Hills building.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Monday, July 19, 2010

Death in the Family


Hello Dear Reader,
On September 11, 1959, while Grandpa (Wesley) Carter was working on the Edgemont building he received a telephone call from Grandma (Mary). She had called to tell him that his mother had passed away. Grandma (Annie Blake) Carter had been in the Lehi hospital for several days after suffering a heart attack. She had been ill for some time so the family were not too surprized but Grandpa said, ". . . when death comes to people you love dearly it is never easy."

Grandpa had loved his mother dearly. When he wrote his history he reflected upon the great influence she had been in his life and how she supported him in everything that was good and righteousl He said, "So to a great lady I have nothing but great love and affection for her and for my pleasant memories of her in influencing my life." He was grateful that she had been able to stay with us occasionally during the last few years of her life.
I'm thankful for that blessing as well. Grandma taught me many things and was always patient and kind to me. I was in the 9th grade when she died and the funeral procession went right by Dixon Junior High where I was enrolled. The next day my art teacher commented on the huge funeral procession that had passed the school--it was huge. Grandma had many people who loved her.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Building a Life

Hello Dear Reader,
While Grandpa (Wesley) Carter was in the process of building the subdivision for Bushnell Reallity at 500 North 1055 West he was contacted by Ora Hatch, stake president over construction of the new Provo Regional Welfare Cannery, and Fred Marhman, the architect. They asked him to submit a general contractor's bid for construction of that building. He began building the cannery in the summer of 1959. I don't remember exactly where it was but it was in the southeast section of Provo.

Shortly after starting the cannery Grandpa was contacted by Ben Lewis, stake president of Sharon East Stake, who asked him to build the new Edgemont 2nd and 3rd ward chapel. He started construction on that building the same summer. I don't remember exactly where it was but it was in the northeast section of Provo (up towards Provo Canyon). So Grandpa had two major building projects going on at once.

That fall he was called to serve on the high council of the West Utah Stake in Provo. It seems that from then on building churches and the Church were to be his lot in life.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Grandma's Rewarding Life

Hello Dear Reader,
While Grandpa (Wes) Carter was involved in many things, Grandma (Mary) was also involved in rewarding activities. She served as Judge of Elections for several years and we actually had voting booths in our living room on at least two occasions. She was also very active in church callings (she loved serving as Junior Sunday School Coordinator) and Relief Society homemaking meetings. She planted flowers every spring and canned fruit every summer. She spent a lot of time with Grandma (Caroline) Hall just visiting, helping her quilt, or doing things for her. She got Billy enrolled at BYU Nursery School and ran back and forth taking and retrieving him, worked in the PTA, was involved in her other children's activities, and always found time to visit with and do the hair of the elderly women who came to see her. She seemed to find odd jobs such as delivering phone books to bring in extra money and give her children something to do. She was a charter member of Camp Blue Spruce of Daughters of Utah Pioneers and was actively involved in that organization.

I thought my mother was beautiful and I was very proud when her picture appeared in the newspaper showing off some baked goods she had prepared for the holidays. She had a hearty, contagious laugh that she inherited from the Hall side of the family. She led a busy, productive life.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Friday, July 16, 2010

Life: Still Rewarding

Hello Dear Reader,
Grandpa (Wesley) Carter had devoted so much time to his calling as bishop that, when he was released, at first he was at a loss as to what to do with his spare time. But that feeling didn't last long. He took a volunteer coaching position for boys in pony-league baseball. At the same time he completed construction of the duplex then was recruited to build a subdivision for Bushnell Reality. In January he was chosen to serve as the alternate member of the Provo City Board of Adjustment and was commended for some work he did for the city. So he was involved in sports, the construction business, government, and his family.

It was soon time for the official adoption of Billy. The procedure took place in the Fourth Judicial Court of the State of Utah, in and for Utah County, 2 May 1958. Judge Tuckett presiding. Then on June 26 Grandpa, Grandma, and Billy made the trip to Salt Lake City to the temple where Spencer W. Kimball, then a member of the Council of the Twelve, sealed them together as a family at 3 o'clock pm. Life was still rewarding.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Thursday, July 15, 2010

1957 or 1958?

Hello Dear Reader,
Grandpa (Wesley) Carter had been ordained a bishop by Spencer W. Kimball on May 4, 1951. According to his history he was released as bishop in March of 1958, "after nearly six years." If you do the math, this doesn't add up and I have searched everywhere I can think of to find a certificate of release--all to no avail. I don't suppose it really matters but I try to be as accurate as possible as I relate Grandpa and Grandma's histories.

Anyway, this was a busy, memorable time for the Carter family. One of the last things Grandpa did as bishop was to give Billy a father's blessing and name for the records of the Church. I just found a list of blessings performed by Wesley Carter and he blessed Billy David Carter March 31, 1957 so I think he must have been released in 1957.

But now I have found the program for the missionary Farewell Testimonial given in honor of Elder Harry Lydiksen and Elder Woodrow Blaine Sneed and it's dated Sunday, Nov. 10, 1957. I think Grandpa called them on their missions so Grandpa must have been released in 1958.

But wait, the remarks given at the end of the meeting were made by Bishop Charles A. Sturgill so Grandpa was definitely released in 1957! I think.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Henry






Hello Dear Reader,

Henry was a great hunting dog and Grandpa (Wes) Carter enjoyed hunting very much. His favorite thing to hunt was pheasant although he sometimes hunted quail; Grandpa was an expert shot with the rifle. He especially enjoyed hunting with Kent, his oldest son, who was also an expert shot. Grandpa said, "When I [went] hunting with Kent . . . we never had any trouble getting our limit of birds. A good companion and a good dog traveling through the fields pheasant hunting has been one of the most [enjoyable] experiences of my lilfe." Many friends and relatives welcomed the opportunity to go hunting with Grandpa and his dog, Henry.

Henry didn't always find favor with Grandma (Mary) though. One time he pulled all the clean clothes off the neighbors clothesline much to Grandma's embarassment. She considered him big and awkward but she forgave him after he led Grandpa and her to Billy.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Henry to the Rescue


Hello Dear Reader,
Grandpa (Wes) Carter had a big white and black hunting dog that Grandma (Mary) named Henry. She felt that if the Joneses could name their fancy poodle Riley we should have a fancy name for our dog as well. But Grandma didn't like Henry very much. However, Billy loved Henry right from the start. Henry was very gentle with Billy who would sit on him, pour sand over his head, and other such tricks. The only time Henry nipped at Billy was when Billy bit him first.

Anyway, during all the excitement of searching for the little lost boy Henry kept running back and forth and then he would disappear. Finally Grandpa (and Grandma) followed Henry to the Provo River. There Billy sat throwing rocks into the water. The river was very high that year and very swift. Billy could have been in great danger. We all thought Henry was as much of a hero as "Lassie" or "Rin-Tin-Tin."
Love,
Aunt Genni

Monday, July 12, 2010

Adventures at the Duplex

Hello Dear Reader,
After the Sneeds had brought Billy to Provo life resumed its normal course with children returning to school and Grandpa (Wes) working on the construction on the new duplex which was to become a source of income for several years. I don't remember exactly when the construction started but it was still going on the following summer.

Grandma (Mary) went to Relief Society one day (back in the day when it was during the week) and Grandpa took Billy to the duplex with him. When Grandma went to retrieve Billy he was nowhere to be found. Grandpa had become so engrossed in his work he forgot all about his new little son. We (the other children) and all of the neighbors were enlisted to help search for Billy.

The tension was pretty high for what seemed a long time.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Grandpa's Work

Hello Dear Reader,
After Grandpa (Wes) Carter had dissolved his partnership with Ray Taylor he went into business for himself. Early in the spring of 1957 he worked for Sister Lothfield Newren remodeling her house. For pay Sister Newren gave Grandpa a building lot located at 605 North 750 West. This was a newly-created road that went through from 5th North to 8th North.

Grandpa was an industrious entrepreneur who scrambled to make a living for his family. So he started to build a duplex on the lot he had received for payment. It was nice to have him working so close to home. We children often went over to see how things were progressing and sometimes we were required to lend a hand. Grandpa said, "We started to build a duplex." When he said "we" I think he included, Kent, Ralph Burk, Grandma, Carol, me, and LeAnn. I just remember we seemed to spend a lot of time there.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Saturday, July 10, 2010

New Child, New Name

Hello Dear Reader,
The Sneeds had been almost afraid to come back to our house for fear Billy would cry and hang on them again. But their fears were calmed when they did return and Grandpa (Wes) and Grandma (Mary) were able to have a good visit with them.

In the course of the conversation Grandpa and Grandma mentioned that they were concerned about what to name him. Sister Sneed said they had had that conversation on the trip to Utah and their oldest daughter said, "His name should be Billy David--Billy because that was already his name and David after David O. McKay, the prophet, of course." I remember the adults all laughing and deciding that that was the perfect name. So Grandpa and Grandma's new little son was named Billy David Carter. Not William. Grandma could never pronounce the name "William" but Billy. His name wasn't completely new--just the middle and last parts.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Miracle


Hello Dear Reader,
Grandpa (Wes) and Grandma (Mary) called Sister Sneed and she said it was just like a miracle--that never before had such a thing happened. Grandpa said, "There was much joy in our household at hearing this good news!"

The Sneeds came to Utah at Christmas time bringing Billy with them and staying for the holidays to be with their son, Woody. Of course Grandpa and Grandma had not seen their new son before the Sneeds arrived. He was a cute little boy but he was crying and hanging onto Sister Sneed. She said he cried all the way from North Carolina and had been car sick.

Grandma took her new little son and the Sneeds went to a motel. They thought it would be better for him to bond with our family as quickly as possible. He cried all night long and Grandma sat up with him. But the next day when the Sneeds came back for breakfast Billy was happy and didn't even try to go back to Sister Sneed.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Into the Hospital and Home Again

Hello Dear Reader,
That fall Grandma (Mary) Carter went into the hospital to have the varicose veins removed from one of her legs. As I remember she was there for a few days. On returning home she said, "I wouldn't [have minded] going to the hospital if I could [have come] home with a baby.

The phone was ringing as Grandpa and Grandma entered the house. Grandma took the call. Grandpa recalled, "It was the Welfare [Department] in Provo asking us if we were still interested in the little Indian boy." Grandma answered, "Oh no, they've turned us down and have given us all these reasons why we can't adopt him." The woman at the other end of the line said, "They have moved his case to a new county and right away [the officials in the new county] wanted to know why the boy had not been adopted by you."

Grandma didn't bring a baby home from the hospital but the news of one was awaiting her.
Love,
Aunt Genni

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Discouragement

Hello Dear Reader,
Sister (Mary) Sneed suggested that Grandpa (Wes) and Grandma (Mary) Carter go ahead and make application to the Utah Welfare Department despite the North Carolina laws. They were so anxious to have another child that they followed her advice. A man came, interviewed them, and sent his findings to the NC Welfare Department.

It wasn't long until Grandpa and Grandma received a letter from Sister Sneed saying that North Carolina had turned them down. Along with North Carolina laws forbidding interratial adoption the study that was done indicated that the Carters were too religious, had too many children of their own, and the youngest child of the family(LeAnn) was too much older than the little Indian boy.

Grandpa said, "We were very discouraged and [gave] up all hope."
Love,
Aunt Genni