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Curtis & Kenneth Worden

Interviewed by: Linda H. Smith

00:00 / 59:03



August 17, 2011

Interviewee: Curtis Worden & Kenneth Worden

Interviewer: Linda H. Smith

Subject: Como Springs Resort Experiences

Transcriber: Cissy Toone

Edited by: Cheri K. Jensen

(Side A)

Linda H. Smith: August 17, 2011. This interview is being conducted in the Morgan County Historical Society Department inside the Morgan County Library building located at 50 North 100 West, Morgan City Utah. The interview is being conducted by Linda H. Smith, County Historian. I will be interviewing Curtis Worden, a former resident of Como Springs.

We have Curtis Worden and his brother Kenneth. And they both lived in Como Springs for quite some time. So we’ll start the interview out.

What are your earliest memories? When did you move to Como?

Kenneth Worden: I lived at Como from 1942 to January of 1955. I went to the service then for three years, and then I lived in Como with my parents until 1962.

LS: That’s a long time.

KW: Then I got married.

LS: And moved?

KW: For a short time I lived in Tucker's apartments, and then I rented back into Como within about six months and lived there until 1972.

LS: You were there a long time.

KW: About twenty year’s probably total.

LS: Uh huh.

LS: Okay, and Curtis you…

CW: Yes, of course we moved there in 1942 and I got married in 1959 so that’s when I moved out.

LS: So you kind of cover the years that you [Kenneth] were gone.

CW: Right, so of course I can’t pin point any exact date. It was just the families that were living there and you know the association of us kids growing up, and all the games we played around there, and the activities that were going on in Como. It was quite a career of that.

LS: Could you name the families that were living up there, had lived there after you and if you knew some that lived there after you?

CW: After us?

LS: When you were there and any that you can remember.

CW: Okay, I mentioned the Bruins family. I don’t remember her name but his was Charley. They had three children, two girls, Lois, and Lorraine [Bruins] and Bud - Buddy Bruins.

LS: Okay.

CW: Then there was the O’Driscoll’s. His name was Gaylen I believe, wasn’t it?

KW: Yes.

CW: I don’t remember hers.

KW: Ida [O’Driscoll]

LS: Ida [O’Driscoll]

CW:  Okay, yes it was [Ida]. They had one boy, Jack [O’Driscoll].

LS: Oh, okay.

CW: The Smith’s lived there, and his name was Percy, and I did finally think I remember; her name was Amelda Smith.

KW: Yes Melda, just Melda.

CW: Just Melda, not Amelda.

LS: Okay.

CW: Of course they had four daughters, there was Phyllis, Betty, LaRae, LaCree, and Jay Smith as I recall. Let’s see, I know there was a Lee family that lived there. I don’t remember the parent’s names but there was Pauline Lee and…

KW: Kent.

CW: Kent Lee, yes. I don’t remember their parent’s names.

KW: Parents names were Doug and Myra [Lee].

LS: Good. Can you tell me which homes the Bruins lived in, where did they live?

KW: They lived in the house behind the skating rink.

LS: Behind the skating rink, okay, and the O’Driscolls?

KW: Over by the swimming pool.

LS: Okay, and the Smiths?

CW: The Smiths lived…

KW: They lived on the back road, it was…

CW: By the river.

KW: The cabins behind the motel, I think - started with thirty-five and they would have lived in thirty-six, I think.

LS: They were numbered?

KW: Yes, they went to as high as forty-five.

LS: Oh, okay.

KW: The Lees lived right next to them at one time as far as…and I think they were in number thirty-seven.

LS: Okay, and you lived in?

KW: When we first got there - I can’t remember the name. I think it was fourteen but it was just outside the showers.  All the showers and everything - the laundry room was right in the middle of all the cabins. Women’s [bathroom] was on one side and men’s was on the other, and the laundry rooms were in the middle; so everyone shared the showers and laundry.

CW: Do you recall what year it was when they took the cabins and moved them over to where we lived on the other side over there?

KW: You mean over onto the house where we… no, I don’t remember that.

CW: That had to be during the 1950’s though -late 50’s.

KW: It was in the 1950’s; as a matter of fact, it might have been while I was in the service if I remember right.

LS: So do I get this? The cabins, they didn’t have bathroom facilities, you all used the laundry room or did they have bathrooms?

KW: No.

LS: They didn’t, okay. So that’s why they were all centrally located, great. Today’s youth can’t understand anything like that.

CW: Yes, no indoor plumbing. There were some other families that Ken came up with that I didn’t mention the other day.

KW: I’ve got quite a few but I can’t give you a lot of particulars on husbands and wives.

LS: Okay.

CW: They weren’t long term families.

LS: Oh, okay.

KW: I’ll start off; there was another Lee family that lived there, Martin and Dee Lee.

LS: Now are they the ones that worked at the Valley Implement?

KW: Yep

LS: Oh, okay.

KW: Martin Lee - he married Dee Roper. She was a widow from the war. She had two children. There was Bobby and Jeannie and they lived in Como for a while. Also Frank and Marlene Lowe lived in Como for quite some time, and of course they had their children. Also Virginia Richardson, the mother-in-law lived right next to them.  They were back in number thirty-six/thirty-seven cabin area. Larry Abbott lived in Como for a while - him and DuWanna. Wayne Bates lived in Como for quite a few years. He lived in the house behind the skating rink.

LS: Oh, okay and that was…

KW: He lived there before I lived there in the house behind the skating rink.

LS: Okay.

KW: I rented that one. I also rented the cabin number thirty-eight before I moved into that house. Bruins also lived…well, we already discussed that. They lived in the house behind the skating rink.

LS: So they lived there probably first?

KW: Yeah, they were first. Wayne Bates lived in there next, and then I lived there next.

LS: Oh, okay.

KW: There was also a family named Matheeney. I can’t give you any real details of husbands and wives. They had a daughter named Vada.

LS: That’s good to remember the daughter.

KW: Hammonds lived there.

LS: Okay.

KW: Are you familiar with any Hammonds? (possibly Hannum's)

LS: There was…down in Milton, the Hammonds down there?

KW: No Hammond…

LS: Oh no, no I’m not.

KW: H-a-m-m-o-n-d

LS: No, I’m not [familiar].

KW: You know Shirley (Creager)… He was a trapper up in North Morgan and died recently?

LS: Allen?

KW: No, he lived in Sid (Sylvester-also called Sil) Heiner’s old home.

LS: Shisler? (Shisler actually owns the Sydney Heiner home-2011)

KW: No, Sid Heiner; that sandstone home, the white one right there across from the church. (Sylvester Heiner's home-concrete block made to look like sandstone)

LS: Oh, Sid Creager?

KW: No.

LS: Don Creager?

KW: Don was his name.

LS: Yes, Don Creager lived there.

KW: Don Creager. Well, do you know Shirley Creager?

LS: Yes, uh huh.

KW: She was a Hannum.

LS: Oh, okay uh huh.

KW: Her sisters were Phyllis and Jolene [Hannum].

LS: Yes.

KW: She had one other sister…

LS: Nancy.

KW: Nancy, and you know who they married.

LS: Yes, and they lived up there [Como] - their family?

KW: Yes, they lived there.

LS: Okay.

KW: There was a Peterson that lived there. He was known as Pete Peterson. He had a son named Dick. They lived up in cabin thirty-eight, along the river. He was - I think he was retired at the time he was living there. He was a real good guy. And there was a Larouche family, that’s L-a-r-o-u-c-h-e. I don’t remember - they were an Indian family. They were from South Dakota. They had several kids. I only remember two of them - Annie and Derby [Larouche]. They had several kids and the unfortunate thing one of them drowned.

LS: At Como?

KW: Yes.

LS: Oh, really?

KW: They lived in cabin number forty-four, which was right up on the very top near the back, above the river and he fell in the river right behind the cabin.

LS: Oh dear!

KW: They found him within a hundred feet of the cabin caught in the brush.

LS: How old was he?

KW: He was very young. I would say in the vicinity of two years old. They was pretty torn up after that. They had no transportation and Dad drove them back to the reservation in South Dakota.

LS: Oh really?

KW: He took the whole family and drove them back. [They were] very good friends.

Then there was the Wilsons, his name was Ted. I don’t remember the rest of the family. They had a daughter which was friends with my sister, Jackie - but I can’t remember her name. I think that they mostly came only in the winter – I mean the summer time. They lived in cabin number five, which was on the sidewalk through the middle; it headed right up to the bowling alley across that little foot bridge.

LS: Oh, uh huh.

KW: It faced right to the sidewalk and they had two fighting dogs. They used to take them to Mexico and fight.

LS: Did they have like a kennel or something to keep them in so they didn’t…

KW: They had a fenced in area right across from the cabin next to the ditch so they could get water and what not; most of the time they wore muzzles.

LS: They never bothered you kids?

KW: No, matter fact us kids could go and talk to them and it seemed like it was okay but as a precaution they just kept them pinned up and…

LS: Muzzled.

KW: Of course they warned everyone to stay away from them. They was quite the family.

Then there was - when we first got there, there was a family of Larson's. Again I don’t remember his name or his wife’s name. He worked as a security guard. Do you know where Military Springs is down where the Job Corp is at the mouth of Weber Canyon?

LS: Uh huh.

KW: That was called Military Springs.

LS: Really?

KW: During the war years he worked as security there. They had a small watch post above where that wind tower is, right up that ridge. He had a son and he would take me and his son to work with him now and then, and we’d play around while he was on guard duty. He was later chosen to go to work in Los Alamos on the Manhattan Project.

LS: Oh really?

KW: That’s about the last we knew of him.  I think he visited us one time after the war.

LS: Uh huh.

KW: Jackie maybe will remember that. Now there was another family. Tom West was the head of that family. I don’t know if you ever toured around Como up there. Did you ever notice that there was one cabin that had a picket fence around it?

LS: I’ve seen the pictures of it.

KW: It was on the back row.

LS: Okay.

KW: That was Tom West’s cabin.

LS: Hmm.

KW: I don’t know if he bought it from them or leased it from them but nobody ever lived in it except Tom West…

LS: Hmm.

KW: … and his family. They only lived in it for periods of time throughout the summer -they’d come. They lived - I think he had a bottling company up in Idaho, and they would come and vacation and what not. I remember on one occasion he brought a bus in - loaded up every kid he could get, and he took us on a tour up around Echo reservoir, up to Wanship; came back down, stopped in Hoytsville and bought us all drinks and treats. He was a pretty good guy - a real good guy. And basically that’s about all I can remember right now.

LS: It sounds like Como provided a service that we don’t have now, and that’s housing.

CW: Yeah.

LS: We don’t have apartments or small, you know - like you had there that provided a great service for people.

KW: There was other people there that I can’t remember that lived where O’Driscolls lived. There was one guy that lived all by himself - he was a little old guy - before O’Driscolls moved into that house and I can’t remember who his name - in fact __________.

LS: Oh, well you’ve got a wonderful memory to remember these cabin numbers.

CW: To give you kind of an idea - that was back with all the families that were living there – that is a mix of all the kids.

(Curtis shows Linda a photo - a copy of the photo was made)

LS: Oh my goodness!

KW: That photo was in 1942, 43, maybe 44.

LS: Have you counted how many is on here by chance?

KW: I tried and I think I got to thirty-seven.

LS: Really, and are you on here?

CW: I’m there. I can’t identify with myself…

LS: Oh really.

CW: I’ll be one of the little ones at the bottom.

LS: Oh, okay.

CW: Ken - Ken’s got some though; the one is Barbara [last name?] and Jackie [Worden]. Ken identified himself, and Richard [last name?].

LS: Well, what I’ll do is, I’ll copy this and then blow it up and that might help.

KW: Can you see the date on that [photo] up at the top?

LS: 1965.

KW: Well…

LS:  You didn’t have it developed for a while?

KW: No, that [photo] came off from the 5x7.

LS: Oh, okay.

KW: The original was a 5x7 and I took that with a 35mm. I took the picture of my picture.

LS: Uh huh.

KW: The original is around somewhere, either Beverly [maiden & last name?] or maybe Barbara [maiden & last name?] has the 5x7.

(Ken shows who is in the photo)

KW: This would be Barbara [last name?] over here, yeah.  This is me, and this is Richard [last name?].  Jackie says this is her, and this is Barbara.

LS: Okay.

KW: One of these down along… “Shin kickers” here is…

CW: Me, and Robert [last name?] should be there too.

LS: Well, you must have had a lot of fun up there with that many kids. That looks like a lot of fun.

KW: We did. We always had a lot of activities going on and playing. [We] got a lot of playing in, from the time I was - well, when we moved in I was seven. When I was eight, I started as a key-boy.

LS: Could you explain what a key-boy is on the tape?

KW: Yeah. All the lockers - there was a hundred I think there - men’s and women’s. The women’s was on the side toward the O’Driscoll home (North West) and the men’s was on the side towards the mountain. (South east) All the locks were the same. We just had one little two pointed key and I was the only one that had it other than John Heiner - old John [John L. Heiner]. In the morning I’d get up at about six o’clock and go gather bottles and cases. I’d get ten-cents a case picking up bottles.

LS: Bottles that the people…

KW: Yeah, the people that would buy them and ______________[discard them].

CW: _______________

KW: So we’d get ten-cents a case for picking them up. At seven o’clock I had to report to the swimming pool to sweep out all the lockers - pick-up all the scraps and everything else. Then when they opened the pool I would be the key-boy for the rest of the day and that would last until ten o’clock at night usually.

CW: The key-boy was - they would lock whenever they’d change their clothes - they’d lock - and then they’d go swimming. When it would come time to get back in their locker the key-boy had to open the locker for them.

KW: They would just yell out, “key-boy” and you’d run and open the locker.

CW: They never got the key to their own locker.

LS: It was the same. It was, “key-girl” then and, “key-boy.”

KW: Well, they didn’t have a key-girl.

LS: Oh, they didn’t? So you did the boys and the girls?

KW: I done all of it …

LS: Did you at that time?

KW: ...except to _____________ when it was busy. At one time they finally did hire a second one, but it was another boy.

LS: Yeah, see in my era which was way down, they had a key-girl.

KW: So we’d stay there until, like I said ten o’clock at night and, at that time John [John L. Heiner] would have a silver dollar, and paid me.

LS: A dollar?

KW: A dollar a day.

CW: Always got paid one silver dollar even I did when I was key-boy and life-guard, and swimming instructor. I pretty much did all of them but the pay was always one silver dollar a day, it was always a silver dollar.

KW: And on the days when the pool had to be cleaned once a week it would go until one/ two o’clock in the morning.

LS: And you still got a dollar?

KW: One dollar.

LS: How did they clean the pools?

KW: At the original time they had the sandy beach there you know.

LS: Okay, and that was for the big one pool or were there two?

KW: Well, it was one pool at that time now.

LS: Okay.

KW: One big pool and people setting in the sand and everything of course, it got on their suit. When they’d dive in it would go into the pool. So on the day of the cleaning, they would start draining it at about two o’clock in the afternoon and it would take until just about dark to finish cleaning - I mean finish the draining. Then we’d go out there and start sweeping and shoveling the sand back out onto the shore. It would take hours to do it.

CW: [We] just had hard bristled brooms that we’d get out there and scrub…

KW: Steel bristled brooms.

CW: … any of the moss, or any kind of debris, the sand and everything. We would just have to scrub it all down, then hose it and scrub it until it was clean.

KW: It would get real mossy so you had to get that off.

LS: So then after you got it cleaned then it had to be filled. Would it take…?

KW: Usually by the next morning it was three quarters full…

LS: Okay.

KW: …so people could start swimming in it.

LS: So then you were there when they made the kiddie pool and the other pool that was the slide pool.

KW: Oh yeah.

LS: So do you remember when that was -how old you were?

CW: I got to say they put them in - in about 1958 - wasn’t it?

KW: It was - no, it would between 1955 and 1958 because I was in the service when they did that.

LS: Oh, really?

KW: I know I was in the service when they done - that’s when they also built the motel.

LS: Okay.

KW: They built all that while I was in the service for three years. That’s when John D. Heiner died when they was building the motel.

LS: So John D. was the one that gave you the dollars…

KW: No.

LS:… or John L.?

CW: John L.

KW: No, not John L. - old John.

LS: Okay, get me straight. Who is this? They go from John…

KW: John L. was the owner of the Heiner garage.

LS: Okay.

KW: John D. was his son - Hal B’s [Heiner] brother.

LS: Oh really, and he’s the one that paid you the [dollars]?

KW: No, John - old John, the senior.

LS: Oh, so their father, John D’s father?

KW: No…

LS: John L’s father?

KW: John L’s father.

LS: John D.’s grandfather - okay, I got that.

KW: Yeah, he was rather elderly at the time I was working there. At that time the suit stand was only - not much bigger than this room right here. (8' x 14') It was very small - just had the turn style after you paid your money you could walk through a turn style and go in.

LS: Oh, okay.

KW: I worked as key-boy there for two to three years. During that time the Red Cross came in every summer to teach life-saving and swimming classes. During that time the flag pole on top of Como Peak would have a red cross on it. (An official Red Cross flag) They would post a flag up there for the week or two that they were there.

LS: That’s what that pole was for?

KW: Yeah.

LS: Did they have the American flag there other times?

KW: Oh yeah, from before that they were flying the American flag. How it got bent, I really don’t know. Somebody had to maliciously do that.

LS: Is the pole still there?

KW: Yeah, the pole’s still there but it’s bent.

LS: Okay.

KW: But they was real nice people that done the Red Cross classes there. Matter of fact, the one leader of it told me to go swimming and I says, “I don’t know how to swim.” I didn’t. He says, “You will be learning to - you will learn to swim before next summer or I will throw you in the pools."

LS: Were they teaching kids, adults - who were they teaching?

KW: They had people in from everywhere.

LS: Oh, it wasn’t just local?

KW: No, people from Ogden or any place.

LS: Okay.

KW: They taught classes every year and brought in the whole group.

LS: What do you remember about the skating- rink. What are your earliest memories of that? Was it the dance hall - I heard it was the dance hall first.

KW: Yeah, I worked as a key-boy there. After I done away with being key-boy [in the swimming locker room] I worked as a key-boy on that [skating- rink]. They had clamp-on roller skates.

CW: The roller skates were all clamp-on so you had to just put them on, and then clamp them down to your feet. (using a skate key) You’d always - just like a person was fitting you for shoes and that. You’d set there and they’d put their foot out and you could fix their skates.

KW: Of course, your other duties there was keeping the place clean, sweeping it out, and dusting everything and what not. It all had open windows all the way around with just screens.

CW: It used to be the skating around the outside this way. Then there was a chain around and the middle of it was kind of the dance floor.

KW: They’d take the chains down, pull the posts out, and make the whole thing a dance floor. But then for skating, you’d put the posts back in so they’d have to go around the outside edges.

LS: Pretty versatile.

KW: Yeah, it was quite a job. Then of course, you had to keep the dance floor kind of polished and cleaned. It was all varnished and nice.

CW: It kind of had a band stand back there - a platform that the band would play.

LS: How often did they have dances?

KW: Usually once a week in the summertime.

LS: Oh really, they were well attended?

KW: Pretty much, yeah. I would say the skating-rink was really a very good money maker. They did at one time - [Frank] Whitey Little  more or less ran it I know for one year. Then they leased it out to a guy. I don’t know what his name was but he really messed things up because he used scrubbers - floor scrubbers on the wood skating surface - and it warped all the boards. We ended up having to sand it all back down to get it smooth enough to skate on it again. He only had it one year.

End of tape (side A)

(Side B)

LS: We’ve covered the skating and dancing. How about the merry-go-round? Were you there when they had that beautiful merry-go-round?

KW: Yes, it was a shame that they took that out and replaced it with the swing ride that they had in there before they went to ponies. They had a regular swing type airplane ride deal in there for a while and then went to ponies; it was interesting.

CW: I think that [merry-go-round] ended up going to Lorin Farr Park, didn’t it?

LW: It did and from there it’s up in Idaho now. It’s gone up to Idaho and I can’t remember exactly what town. I’m going to go up and take some pictures of it, but that’s where it’s at.

KW: Do you remember?

LS: Okay, they had the bowling alley, they had the skating rink, what about the train, what do you remember about the train?

KW: I remember it was fun to ride.

LS: Okay.

KW: Yeah, that’s about it you know, before they went to the gas operated one, you know the old…

CW: They actually had the chug, chug, chug [train].

LS: Okay, then they had… were you there when…?

KW: The boat ride.

LS: Boat… Okay the café, now the picture you’ve got, the café was on this (west) side then there was the counter, and the bowling alley was kind of on the back.

KW: Now at that time there was no café on it.

LS: Oh, they didn’t have the café on it then?

KW: No.

CW: No.

LS: So this was built first?

KW: It was strictly bowling and billiards and the bar in front.

LS: Okay, and then the café came after.

KW: They had slot machines in there.

LS: Oh, that would have been okay. So do you have any fond memories that you would like to tell us about the bowling alley and the billiards?

KW: I used to also set pins after I quit working in the skating rink. I went over and set pins for a couple years. At first they had four of us, one for each lane. Of course at that time, they even had duck pins.

LS: What pins?

KW: Duck pins, they was only about that big-tall, and they had a rubber…

CW: A small ball.

KW: They had rubber around the pins so that the ball wouldn’t hurt it. So you had a small ball about that big around that you just threw free hand down the lane. They had them and they called it duck pin bowling.

LS: Okay by that big around, we’re talking about…

KW: Six-inches.

LW: Six-inches, okay.

KW: They stood about eight inches tall. They was shaped like a regular pin but they had that rubber ring around the outside to protect them.

LS: What was the purpose of those from the…just something different?

KW: Yeah.

CW: Just another style of bowling.

KW: And they was hard to knock down really because the small ball hitting them and deflecting off the rubber and everything else. It was unique. Not too many people was interested but they had them there so they could do that.

LS: So what did you get paid for setting pins?

KW: When I first did it, it was a nickel a line.

LS: Now by a line, do you mean for when they…

KW: Yeah.

CW: Each person.

LS: When they played a game?

KW: Yeah, each person per game.

CW: So if there was four of you bowling, for the whole game you’d get forty-cents for it.

KW: ______________ a dime.

CW: You got a nickel, when I set them I got a dime.

KW: Well I eventually went…

LS: You got a dime, you were…

KW: Yeah, I eventually went to the dime so I was in the transition period. Then they went to each one of the stalls and they cut a groove, a walkway between two alleys so that one pin-boy could set two alleys. They could just walk from one to the other one without having to jump over a wall.

LS: So did you get paid more or the same?

KW: No, got the same pay but you really had to run and of course there was also the chance of those pins flying through there and hitting you up one side or the other. People always seemed to throw as hard as they could.

LS: (At Curtis Worden) You did the same thing [worked as a pin-boy] but then later?

CW: Right, all of these chores that he says, the key-boy, the swimming, life-guarding, setting pins; I did all that along with the general clean-up of the grounds. You know the garbage detail, hauling garbage to the dump. A matter of fact…

KW: They had their own dump.

CW: ...way before I was old enough to drive a car, I was driving their dump truck to haul the garbage up to the dump which was on top of the hill, just above Como.

KW: The dump sat as you come out of Como towards South Morgan on the old road. It’s just right at the top of that hill was all the dump, down on the right hand side.

CW: Then it was on the left hand side above that gully up there.

KW: Well that’s later on after the one got full then they’d go up the gully, going up above the pump house and had to dump it there.

LS: They got houses up in that area now, don’t they?

KW: Yes, well just above where the old dump was.

LS: Interesting.

KW: But yeah, there was forty acres of shade; so with forty acres of shade you had forty acres of leaves every fall too and believe me it was a job raking that place. Most every kid in Como got a chance to do some raking. There was a lot of leaves. So there was a lot of smoke, and fire, and everything too. We’d burn them.

CW: I think of the old bottles that are up there buried in them old junk yards.

LS: Maybe we’ll have to make a trip; that’s interesting. Out of town people that came - was there much problem up there - did they have…?

KW: I would say that there was fights but there was not a lot of fights. Actually some of the more fights that I seen there used to be kind of a tendency of the kids from Layton - did not like the kids from Morgan and we would have fights. I remember one big one that was really a bad one.

CW: But per say, I think the resort itself was not known to be too rowdy, it was pretty …

LS: Family oriented.

CW: It was from what I remember of it.

KW: We used to get large groups of police that would come up there from Salt Lake and have big parties and reunions up in the groves and what not. I know it was kind of common for a lot of us kids to try to swipe a watermelon or something, and usually end up getting chased around.

LS: Uh huh.

KW: That was pretty interesting.  Then of course we had the prisoners of war. They would bring up the Germans and Italians to have a day out on the mountain.

LS: They would?

KW: Yeah, they’d bring them up to Como and give them tickets and what not to buy hotdogs, or hamburgers, go swimming, and things like that. So they’d bring them up from down in Ogden, Clearfield area and what not. I never had any trouble with them.

LS: And that was during the Second World War?

KW: Yeah, and __________ they was probably some of the more generous people around there. They’d give us their tickets or something to all of us kids so we’d go get a hamburger.

LS: Uh huh.

KW: They was all… I never seen a problem with the prisoners.

LS: That’s interesting. I’m just thinking about our guys over there.

KW: Yeah, there was no comparison from what I’ve seen.

LS: What about the little hamburger stand. Was it always there, can you always remember it or …?

KW: It was always there as far as I can remember, yes.

CW: I’ve always remembered it from the time I was there.

KW: They didn’t always have the back end open. They always [had] the part towards the sidewalk, not the part towards the swimming pool. The back part that was shuttered toward the swimming pool was closed most of the years. They only opened the front part and served hotdogs and hamburgers out of there, and specials. Their special was a hamburger with a hotdog on it.

CW: But it [the hamburger stand] actually had openings all the way around…

KW: Oh yeah.

CW: …they just never utilized them while we remember.

KW: Then they had the other one that was a refreshment stand that was on the skating rink that wasn’t opened.

LS: Oh, okay.

KW: They finally opened that in later years. Vance’s [Heiner] daughter opened it and ran a thing out of there.

LW: What was her name - Sharon?

KW: Sharon Heiner, when she decided she wanted to open up a little concession stand there in the skating rink we had to clean that (area) out. It was stock full of coolers, old coolers, gumball machines; everything you can think of was jammed in there. Surprisingly enough a bunch of the gases were leaking out but it was pretty much confined in there. So when we opened the door you could just get that gassy smell in there. It took us probably a couple weeks to get that thing cleaned out because you’d just hold your breath to get in there and get stuff out. I do remember…

LS: Now did that open to the outside or just to the inside - that snack [stand]…

KW: Both.

LS: Oh, both.

KW: It opened into the skating rink or on the very front part facing towards the (north) O’Driscoll’s.

CW: Because the train ride could come right…

LS: Just to the side of the door entrance to the skating rink, it was setting right next to and it would open up with shutters just like the hot dog stand.

CW: You know, thinking now, it was more... I can’t remember in my time but you probably do but out over the boat pond there was the buildings out there that housed some concession or something. ..

KW: Well, that was a café, that other building right next to the [skating rink]…

LS: Is that the Heiner lady that did that - Mrs. Heiner?

KW: No, it was before her time.

CW: That was back when the old original pool was there and the high slide was there.

KW: I remember the cook - he was a guy - had glasses on; he done all the cooking there.

CW:  It was just a restaurant out over the pond.

KW: Well, part of it was over the pond. Matter of fact, when we got flooded out of the other house many times we would go over there and sleep on the tables in that place. We had to wade in, and wade out but the tables would be elevated off the ground so we could sleep in there.

LS: Why did you get flooded out - from the river?

KW: Yeah, many times we got flooded out - I know three or four times.

LS: Especially in 1952.

CW: Yeah, that was when I mentioned …

KW: 1949 also, and you know …

CW: ...riding the boat around out there in the parking lot.

KW: That’s the main time when we slept in the café - most of the time in 1952.

CW: The winters was far harsher that we ever see now. I mean the snow - it was just… To me it was not uncommon to see three feet of snow around.

KW: Yeah, all the winters way back then were a lot worse that they are now.

CW: And of course the river freezing over as I mentioned the other day; every winter it would freeze solid. The boating pond that was there - we always used to play hockey out there on the pond, and sleigh ride and you name it.

LS: Did the school bus come up there for you or did you…?

KW: Not all the time when I was a kid.

LS: But all the time for you?

CW: Always for me.

KW: Most of the time we walked down through the Francis’ mink ranch. At that time Clarks run turkeys down there where the Wilkinson field and all that is now.

CW: Where the school…

KW: There used to be turkeys and we’d go through the field of turkeys and everything to get to the elementary school. We walked winter and summer for a long time. Going back to cleaning that place out in the skating rink - we got gumball machines out of there, bunches of them. We just broke them. We’d throw them out on the concrete and what not. We found out just…mostly me and one other kid. We found out that they still had money in them. Most of it was just pennies but I came out of there with a baseball cap full of Indian Head pennies.

LS: And you spent them?

KW: No, Hal B. Heiner talked me into him buying them from me and he gave me penny for penny. That was a lot of money for me at that time, fifty dollars. As far as I know he’s still got the pennies.

LS: He may have.

KW: That was quite a deal. We finally got it cleaned out. A bunch of us got sick cleaning all that stuff out of there. It was ammonia gas that was in the coolers at that time.

LS: Oh, that’s what the gas was coming from.

KW: Yeah.

LS: Oh.

KW: They used ammonia gas in the coolers so it was strong.

LS: Yeah, I can imagine. What part of Como do you miss the most? I mean everyone misses it. What do you miss about it - just that it’s gone?

KW: Yeah, just the activity of having a place to go. I enjoyed everything about it. Of course the swimming pool - everyone’s got to be swimming. Skating was pretty close to the same as the swimming pool. You know - just all the activity, the excitement of people coming and going, the variety of bowling and billiards.

LS: You didn’t have to go out of town.

KW: I don’t think any of us was ever really bored. There was just so much to do.

LS: You had something to keep you occupied.

KW: You know there was just so much to do.

CW: Yeah, kids - we was always activities and playing and …

KW: Kick-the-can and everything else that we did in the park.

CW: We didn’t have time to go get in trouble.

LS: Well, I’m trying to think of some a…do you remember any of the employees that worked up there that were…? What about D.A. and Cliff Grover, what do you remember about them?

KW: They done the same. They’d come up and collect bottles all day during the day or do odd jobs. They’d fill coolers; have to go down in the basement and get [bottles] out of the coolers.

LS: The basement was where, which building?

KW: It was in the…

CW: ...the bar.

LS: Oh, there.

KW: Vance Heiner had his room behind the bar and it had a stair case in his little office there. It went down to the indoor - big coolers in the basement and you’d have to carry them [bottles] up the stairs and fill the coolers.

CW: Then they [D.A. and Cliff] set pins themselves for years and years.

LS: They were there for a long time. I just remember a lot of times people treated them mean but a lot of people treated them very nice.

CW: For what their handicap was, yes.

KW: I don’t know. I always got along with both of them; more D.A. than Cliff. Cliff was more of a reclusive type person himself. You’d see them walking together or whatever but a lot of times you’d see D.A. out there doing more work than Cliff.

LS: How about the prices through the years? What did it used to cost to go swimming?

KW: The what?

LS: The price - how much did it cost?

KW: Oh.

LS: It wasn’t probably very much.

KW: No, I don’t think it was.

CW: Twenty-five cents is what I remember.

KW: I really don’t…

CW: The earliest when I can remember - of course, I threw them all away but when they tore the old suit stand and that down some of the old knee length swimming suits with straps on them __________________.

KW: They was all wool - grey and black wool.

CW: All kinds of stickers in there, you know for Como.

KW: We still rented those out when I worked as key-boy there.

LS: Oh really, they rented the suits. Today they wouldn’t think of wearing a rented suit. So they had them for the boys and the girls?

KW: Yeah, well in a lot of cases they looked like they was both wearing the same one.

It’s true.

CW: There was stickers I remember in there that said, “Swimming 25 cents,” I do remember that.

KW: I know candy bars was a nickel, drinks was a nickel and an ice cream cone was a nickel.

CW: Of course the later years the prices started to climb after the 1960’s for certain when they rebuilt the pool.

KW: You know, I really don’t remember spending much money. I don’t even know what really happened with the money I made. I just have no recollection of money. It wasn’t really an important thing to me at that time it seems like. I don’t know, it was something to do I guess.

LS: Uh huh, it kept you out of trouble.

KW: I caught a lot of fish out of the canal where the - it went behind the cabins, down through the cabins there and everything.

LS: Now what canal was that for? Was that for the...?

KW: It’s for irrigation, it still runs there.

LS… the city ditch?

KW: Yeah.

CW: Yeah, I was wondering if they ever still irrigate out of it but I honestly don’t think they do.

LS: Interesting.

KW: I think they do.

LS: They probably use it but they have secondary water too now.

CW: Most of the water that comes down now they’ve piped it down out of Fry Hollow over here, didn’t they?

LS: I don’t know.

CW: They put the big line down through the…

KW: Did they pump it out for the secondary water you’re talking about, that comes out of the river? They pump it from the river up to the pond.

CW: Okay the big line they took out of Fry Hollow goes down the old South Morgan road.

KW: Yeah, but they pump it out of the river right down there where the water from the lake comes into the river, right on that corner behind the fairgrounds.

CW: Uh huh.

KW: They pump it out of there all the way up into Fry Hollow reservoir and then they use the reservoir for pressure.

CW: Okay, I thought there were springs there on Fry Hollow.

KW: Well there is but that isn’t for that.

CW: Okay.

LS: Any other really great memories of Como?

KW: Well, a lot of rattle snakes.

LS: There were?

KW: Oh yeah, they’d come right down into the park. Matter of fact, I stepped on one’s head one day while I was swimming. We used to have a trail come down off the hill and you’d run down off the hill and dive into the pool. I was coming down off there one day and there was just a small baby rattle snake crossing the hill. As I seen it, I just made one hit on its head and into the pool. We used to catch a lot of rattle snakes up on Como peak there.

LS: Really, did anyone ever get bit?

KW: Yeah, Lewis Frongner.

(wrong name mentioned - should be Dr. Ivan Frongner which is Lewis Frongner's brother)

LS: Doc?

KW: Doc, yeah he stuck his hand into a sack of rattle snakes there in front of the bar, he got bit.

LS: Doc was Doc.

KW: That was Doc. Yeah; he’s the only one I know that got bit. Well, Don Gamble got bit up in Round Valley.

LS: Oh.

KW: He was climbing the cliffs up there above where Harding’s lived - the old house up this side from Rees’. He was climbing cliffs and got bit by a rattle snake there. We found a lot of snakes up there. Matter of fact, people from a college up in Wyoming would come down every once in a while and try to catch them. They didn’t have much luck and they’d hire us to catch them for them.

LS: Good.

KW: Paid us twenty-five cents a snake.

CW: When they was re-doing that road back there behind the pool, up over the top, they uncovered a den there and there for a while there was rattle snakes everywhere.

LS: About when would that have been?

CW: That had to been in the 1960’s. Anyway I remember a lot of people were up there shooting them all the time. They’d go up and park on the road and set there and shoot because there was just rattle snakes everywhere.

LS: Do you remember any - besides this one little Indian boy drowning - were there any incidents in the pool that you know of?

KW: It seems to me I can remember one in the pool but I really can’t give you any detail on it because I just don’t remember it that well.

LS: Now, I know now days they have to qualify to be a life guard did they back then?

KW: Yeah.

LS: Oh, you did have to qualify?

KW: That’s where I took my lifeguard.

CW: It was Red Cross and you had to be certified and you had your little patch there from the Red Cross certified lifeguards.

KW: I didn’t get mine until oh, it was about the time I was getting out of school; probably was getting around seventeen - eighteen years old that I finally got my lifeguard.

LS: Did you ever have any incidents that you actually had to jump in and help someone or same them?

KW: Oh, I had a few kids in the baby pool.

LS: Oh really?

KW: Yeah, people would turn their backs for just a second and a kid would go face down, you know and start struggling and [I’d] jump in and grab them really fast they was usually okay.

LS: Never had any of the older kids in the bigger pools have problems?

KW: I remember one case of a person going off of the diving board and knocking the wind out of them self. There was people right there to jump in grab him.

CW: I don’t have any particulars but I do remember saving one that was a bigger type kid that got over in the deep water and couldn’t swim. I had to get him out of the deep water but I can’t remember any specifics other than that I did it.

LS: As a lifeguard what did you do? You had the higher chair to set in? Did you have to go around the pools every so often, or check them? Was there kind of a routine that you had to follow?

KW: Yeah, pretty much just walk around. I had a chair that sat right in between; the slide pool was on this side, the baby pool on this side and the main pool. You’d set on the chair right in between the three of them.

CW: And then just walk around.

KW: Walk around from time to time.

LS: Was there more than one [lifeguard] on at a time or just one lifeguard?

KW: I only remember one at a time. John D. Heiner lifeguarded for many years there.

LS: Did he?

KW: Yeah, he was the tannest kid in Morgan. John D. did a lot of it.

LS: Before we knew it caused cancer.

LS: That’s interesting.

CW: John D. almost died the one year when the chlorine from the pool got loose and he went in there to set the tanks down and that and they ended up having to carry him out and resuscitate him.

KW: They had a room at the end of the pool down by the diving boards. That’s where all the chlorine tanks were, [where] you done all your adjusting.

LS: And the water really was warm?

CW: Eighty…

KW: Eighty-two degrees usually.

CW: Boy, there were a lot of people that would come in there and they’d insist, “That water no way could be eighty.” You’d go out and drop a thermometer in there and, eighty degrees.

KW: It depends on their temperature whether you feel hot or cold.

CW: Well your body temperature is ninety-eight.

LS: So it would seem cool.

CW: You get into and it naturally feels cool; It did, it never got cold.

KW: The indoor pool always felt colder than the outdoor. It was the same water but it was shaded all the time, had no sun on it.

LS: Did they have a lifeguard for that or…?

KW: No.

LS… was there any restrictions on the indoor pool at all?

CW: You’d make your loop in there.

KW: They really didn’t have a lifeguard during most of the younger years. When I was key- boy we didn’t have a lifeguard. They didn’t have a lifeguard until later years when the laws required to have them. They never had one, I don’t think any years that I was ever key-boy there.

LS: So the indoor pool - I can see them using it on colder day. Is that necessarily what it was there for or during the winter? Why did they have the indoor pool?

KW: I really don’t know. It was there all the time that I was there.

CW: I just assumed that early on, it was when bad weather was there you could just swim on the indoor pool.

KW: I’m sure their season was much longer in the earlier years.

LS: So did it probably go from Memorial Day to Labor Day, was that basically it?

KW: Yeah, that was basically the same deal.

LS: We’re just about out of an hour tape. Is there something that you’d like to add?

KW: I don’t know.

CW: [We] pretty much covered everything I can think of - just in general growing up was always very pleasant and enjoyable. [I] really had a good time being raised in there.

LS: Great!

KW: Yeah, I don’t believe anybody really had a lot of ill feelings towards Como.

LS: Any idea why it was closed? I’ve heard a lot of speculations - don’t want to point any fingers.

KW: Yeah.

LS: Okay, I want to thank you all for coming in. This is really, really valuable information so great appreciation for it.

(End of interview – end of tape)

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