More Ward Family Stories

MEMORIES OF PAHRUMP

By Albert J. Ward, July 9, 2013

I think I was in my second year of high school in the early 1950s when we moved to Pahrump, Nevada. It is hard to remember my feelings of that time. I didn’t miss going to school. I wasn’t a sports fan and didn’t have many friends. I had no choice.

I still remember the 8 to 10 hours of riding in a truck, no air conditioning, only a canvas water bag.

One thing that sticks in my mind was seeing an artesian well and the water just coming out of the ground. I remember it looked like the water was going uphill. Later, when the farmers started drilling wells, the artesian wells stopped flowing.

There were only dirt roads, no electricity.

One thing I remember most was there was no radio. I missed my shows, most of all Gunsmoke. Television was showing many Westerns at that time. It was a great time for Western fans. I have been lucky that old-time Westerns are on television and DVDs now. It is like a time machine.

In later years, I worked on a cotton and alfalfa farm. The hay from the alfalfa was trucked to a dairy in St. George, Utah, to feed the cows. I also worked on the road that was going to Las Vegas. I had a lot of responsibility, driving a Caterpillar doing land planing, ripping ground, planting and cultivating cotton. I was doing a lot of work for my age. I even drilled a water well. I was paid with a new saddle from Sears.

I didn’t have normal teenage years. I was working full time. But I don’t feel that it hurt me. I learned to take care of myself and have a good work ethic.

“It was the best of times. It was the worst of times.”

Family Visits

By Jim Pate, August, 2013

Visits to Westminster, before and after the grandfolks had moved, and visiting with Margie (yummy molasses cookies) and the Allisons; visiting Bruce and Forney at their long Beach place (very near a park with good climbing trees); walking to the river (Chowchilla?) when they lived on the Raymond property and trying to “catch” fish; riding grandpa’s Shetlands; aunts Mary and Edith doing water colors (mostly of Disney characters; I sure wish I had kept them); Mary and Stan giving me and Al something to drink as we would walk to and from town when they lived in a little apartment as newly marrieds; grandpa buying a pickup truckload of cantaloupes at the 160 to use as feed — but we OD’d on them; Grandpa slaughtering a hog(s) trussed up with a pulley and lowered into a big vat of boiling water; Al and I “swimming” in the irrigation ditches to cool off on the 160; and “lolling” in the “pool” where the well water was pumped out on the 20 acres south of Madera; Al and I walking from the 20 to a little store half-a-mile away to buy a treat of Cheetos and Delaware Punch(?); throwing rocks at the weathervane mounted on the barn at the 20; me and Al making “caves” in the hay bales stored in the barn (in hindsight that was really, really dumb). A little thinking would dredge up more.

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