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Dan Sommers

Interviewed by: Adam Christensen.

00:00 / 59:50



May 11, 2010

Interviewee: Dan Sommers

Interviewer: Adam Christensen

Subject: Como Springs Resort

Transcriber: Cissy Toone

Edited by: Cheri K. Jensen & Linda H. Smith

Adam Christensen: Today is Tuesday, May 11, 2010 and I’m going to interview Mr. Dan Sommers about the Como Springs Resort at his home here at Morgan.

(905 N. 700 E., Morgan City)

So the first question I have is - how were you connected to Como? Did you have a job there, did your parents visit there, and did you visit there? What were you doing at Como, why were you there?

Dan Sommers: My grandfather owned Como and from my earliest recollections I spent a great deal of time there as a small boy. I earned my first nickel there. All soda pop used to be in glass bottles and you’d get five cents a case for going around the park and collecting those bottles, they had cans for them but people would throw half of them on the ground. That’s my first … my real first recollection I guess. There was a home there that my grandfather and grandmother stayed in the summertime. They would just live right there and we’d go up there and that was a great outing for us be able to go there and stay with them. They had bunk beds in the back bedrooms and I can remember getting up in the morning and grandmother had breakfast for us. So I’ve been connected with Como that way and I worked there. The only place I never worked in Como was in the kitchen. They were smart enough not to let me in the kitchen. So I spent a lot of time there growing up. Even after I got out of High School I still worked there a bit, and spent some time there.

AC: Tell me some of the jobs that you did, and what you had to do for those jobs.

DS: The first was, as I say, the first nickel I ever earned was gathering up bottles. I remember they were in wooden cases and there were twenty-four of them in a case. I remember I was small, eight years old something like that, before that maybe and the Coke bottles were only two-thirds the size of the other bottles. I don’t know if you’re familiar with the old Coke bottles or not. They were only two-thirds the size of the rest of the pop bottles so I'd always look for the Coke bottles because they were easier to carry. You’d have to put them all in the case then take them back to the stand. They would send them down to Utah Bottling [Works] or somewhere, then they’d wash them.

The next job that I sat there and had a job was a Key Boy at the swimming pool. The swimming pool had individual lockers, men and women, and they had one large one for when it got too crowded. Then they just had the small lockers where you dressed in a common room then you’d put your clothes in and locked them up. Every locker had a lock on it so they’d have a Key Boy there all the time the pool was open so that they were locked. When people were ready to get out they’d come to the stand or holler at you to go un-lock it so they could go and get out of their suits and into their clothes. That was my first job.

The next thing I did on a regular basis was put on roller skates. They had old clamp on roller skates where they had a strap go across your ankle and on the toe on your shoes. They had clamps that a key would fit in there, and it would tighten them to hold the skates on. I remember putting on skates where I’d have blisters on my fingers, and thumb.

That used to be an active place, this was back probably beginning of World War I - through World War I and afterward. I set pins at the bowling alley in the early 1940’s before the war. They had a pop stand and beer stand in front of that and the bowling alley. There was no automatic pin setters in those days. You’d go down there and pick up the pins, push the rack down, and get the balls and roll them back to the bowlers. I did that a lot of times after we closed the skating rink. The bowling alley stayed open as long as there were people there. The swimming pool would close about ten o’clock. The skating rink would close at ten-thirty and the bowling alley would stay open as long as there were bowlers. So if there were bowlers and the guys would be sitting pins for a lot of hours, a few of us would go over there after the skating rink was closed. Then I ran the skating rink, not on a daily or nightly basis but a lot.

AC: Yeah.

DS: It never opened much in the day time other than Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays.

AC: What would you tell me about some of the day to day events at Como like if you just went there on any summer day what would you see?

DS: Early on when I was very young they had all kinds of activities there. At one time Como rivaled Lagoon. That’s hard to believe but it did. In fact Lagoon tried to buy Como for several years. My recollection was the fact that they were there. There was a little train, regular steam engine train that ran on tracks all the way around the pond. The swimming pool drained into a pond, then into the ditch, and then into the river. There was a restaurant built out over that pond - delicious food. My favorite was chicken noodle soup.

AC: Really?

DS: I’ve never forgotten that. Then of course the skating rink, and I spent a lot of time at the skating rink. They’d be so crowded - they had a board that lighted up whether it was all skate, reverse, gentlemen only, ladies only, couples only. There were so many skaters out there that the inside was all chained off. It had four inch pipe with chains between them going all the way around the skating rink with a band stand in one end. You didn’t skate in there where they held - then they’d pull that up Saturday nights and a few holidays - they'd pull that out of there and drop little steel plates in there and every Saturday night they’d have a dance with Pat’s Orchestra. Crowded - people from mostly from the other valley would come up to the dances, a lot of local people but a big crowd. You’d have to - back to the skating briefly you'd have to have someone out there on a lot of occasions to slow people down. There was always somebody that wanted to you know, hot rod out there. In fact, they wouldn’t let you skate in Levis.

AC: Really?

DS: They would not let you skate in Levis because people dressed in Levis were the ones that were the most rowdy. They didn’t care how many times they fell down, mop up the floor and knock other people down, so they wouldn’t let you skate in Levis for many, many years.

AC: Huh.

DS: The reason was because they didn’t care they would just go out there and - anyway I skated along to try to slow people down when they got going too fast. I wasn't the only one they had a lot of us do that, different people, different times. I remember the first time I ever skated there. My cousin, John D. Heiner same age as I was, we begged and begged my uncle, Rex Heiner to let us skate. They were in there cleaning before they even opened - all the winter dust on the floor. We got out there and they finally put them on my feet were so small the clamps wouldn’t even touch my shoes, the smallest skates they had. So they had to strap my front - my toes on to the skates. I’d skated on the sidewalk and on the steel a little but so we got going around there, we raced. We had a little race going on between John D. and I. They had the floor pretty well cleaned up by then and - went around those pipes, around the band stand and down the straight away, and I got ahead of him a little bit and looked around to see where he was. Before I knew it I was knocked out cold on the floor. I turned like this and ran into one of those pipes.

AC: Oh!

DS: Knocked me out. They had a great a time with gents only, that was hectic. We didn’t get so rough house that much. The best time skating was just local guys before when there was no one else skating. We used to just go up there and clean the place, then go to skating and have a tag - tag was great. I learned a lot about skating from those older guys. I split my eye and my lip a few times going into the corners. The rest rooms were just wood and I ran into a few of those. I tried to stay away from the pipes after that though.

AC: Yeah, I bet. What kind of like special events or special activities do you remember there - being held there? Like I know one was the fourth of July was pretty big, is there any other special events or parties?

DS: The fourth of July thins was one was - I can tell you there were so many people there. They parked them across - they had parking all down just as you come across the bridge. By the way I don’t know if anybody's told you - foxes - my Grandfather had foxes. He bought the first fox industry and they were located right there, just across the bridge. They moved the foxes over under the "M" and parked along there. There was so many people they’d have to park along this side of the bridge, the fairgrounds side of the bridge and park along there. You’d go to swim and our Grandfather - we couldn’t swim on Sundays or holidays because there were too many people.

AC: Oh.

DS: I've seen it where you couldn’t swim. All you could do is just jump straight up and down, it was that crowded.

AC: That was a big pool too.

AC: It was. It was a single pool well, I take that back; there was one large pool at that time and then a baby pool, a small one just probably eighteen inches - the deepest from a foot to eighteen inches and that would be packed. They had sand around it - sand at that time. People would lay in the sand and suntan or just enjoy the sun and the sand. They had the indoor pool. I was baptized in the indoor pool. Most of us around the county were baptized in that, well most people that I knew were baptized in that pool.

My grandfather went on a mission to Germany for three years when he was younger and I never knew what that was for until I got baptized. I’d been in there, I’d seen it but he had a big stove back there where he could put either coal or wood or - and I thought, "That’s kind of great there." [I had wondered] what the stove was there for in the summer time to keep warm. But on either side he had eight or ten lockers with a special key. You couldn’t get into those lockers with the regular key that you could get into all the other lockers, it had a special key. Well I found out on one side it was the lockers for the girls to go get dressed - to go be baptized and the other side was for the boys to get dressed and the men to - and then they'd have a fire there to keep them warm. They didn’t do that much right in the summer. They might have done a little but a lot of it was after Como was closed (during the winter) that they did a lot of the baptizing.

There were special events of course; there were all kinds of reunions. There were two boweries up there plus, “The Grove” they called it, with swings and teeter-totters, and a softball park and - They had - that was full. The reservations for that was full almost every weekend...

AC: Really?

DS: ...early on, with family reunions there with people; the majority of them from out of town.

AC: Huh.

DS: Then they had a - they called it a, “Summer School” with the mink. This little valley right here had more mink ranches in it at one time than any county of the United States. There were thirty something, thirty-six - thirty something like that, ranchers in the - and they’d have a Summer School. Well, they finally got it to come up here for two, three, or four consecutive years. They'd have the bowery there and a - two bowery's and they’d fix a big - fried chicken, and corn, and salad, and rolls - feed a few hundred people.

AC: Wow!

DS: That was - people from all over the world...

AC: Would come for that.

DS: ...would come to that. The auction houses, both New York Auction and Hudson’s Bay Auction Company, and Seattle Fur Exchange, they would all be here along with Europeans and it was a big event.

I’m trying to think of other major events that took place there as far as other reunions. Oh, there’s one thing I mentioned here - During the war there was a CC Camp. That was a - I don’t know how to say it, you'll have to find out what that is. Civilian Corp, they did a lot of work in the depression that Franklin Roosevelt initiated in his term - on of his terms as a president during the - to get people employed for jobs. They did a lot of road work, they did fencing, they did whatever they needed to do and when that - When they came out of the depression and then the war started, the CC Camp was still there so the army filled that with soldiers for training. (CC Camp/Army training was located in the area of the school bus garage, 94 S. Commercial Street)

AC: At Como?

DS: At the fairgrounds. They would get - after they were there for a little bit they'd let them come up into Como on - sometimes in the evenings but mostly on Saturdays - early Saturdays. They’d filled that park with the - they were - other than the sergeants and the officers and that, they were all Negros.

AC: Really?

DS: They filled that skating rink. They couldn’t put skates on fast enough to - we’d run out of skates. That’s the first time I ever knew - I didn’t understand it but I knew about it, integration. My grandfather wouldn’t let them swim. They could do anything else at the park but they couldn’t swim. I didn’t understand that.  I stood there one day when there were some angry people. He said you know, “They were good enough to fight for the country but they weren't good enough to go swimming.” He said, “If I let one of them swim in there, the rest of the people would get out of the pool. The reputation would be here. I would lose so much business I couldn’t keep open.” That’s the way it was back then.

AC: Yeah.

DS: He told them, he said, “You could come after I close tonight or, anytime I’ll let you swim but I can’t do it while I have people in the pool.”

AC: Yeah.

DS: But that's the first - I did not really - even at that time I didn't understand - I knew what took place but I didn't understand why it was taking place but that was my first experience with…

AC: That’s interesting.

DS: …integration. That was an interesting thing in my life to be exposed to that. They were there for probably for no more than a couple of summers and - different ones would come in. They weren't the same people. Different ones would come in and take the basic training that they had to have to be in the service.

Right now I can't - maybe in a few minutes here but I can’t think of anything other - any other thing.

AC: That’s fine.

DS: We started out with the train and the restaurant but there was also a merry- go-round there, a merry- go-round that was magnificent - all enclosed under a nice roof, wooden columns, fencing around it so kids couldn’t get into it when you walk into the _______, and it was a great attraction.

They had a - this was the thing that took place at a lot of carnivals, circuses or whatever you might go to, fairs. They had the Smith brothers - You would throw baseballs. Baseball was a big time thing back in those days and they would throw baseballs at these cats or whatever they might be. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen that, knock them down...

AC: Yeah.

DS: ...and you’d get a prize for it. There was that out in front of the hot dog stand. Hot dogs were a nickel and hamburgers were a dime. Then on the back side of that stand was the pop stand. They never had refrigerated coolers. They’d get ice, break up the ice and put the pop in the coolers, and different pop in different ones and sell it across the counter in glass bottles. Then they had the cabins. The cabins were - weekends the cabins were always full. They had enough business my grandfather’s brother and his wife, for many years, ran the cabins in the summertime. They were that busy.

AC: Do you know how many cabins there were?

DS: Oh, off the top of my head I couldn’t tell you, but I would guess that there…

AC: Well I found somewhere around twenty-five.

DS: I was going to say twenty something so I think that’s a pretty good estimate. I lived in one of them. Many of us grandchildren, we all started out - After Como slowed down considerably and the cabins weren’t - they weren't used that much. Not that many people would spend that much time in them. Camp trailers and different things took over and then they built the motel up there. After that there wasn’t much cabin business so there was probably a half a dozen of us that lived in them - started our marriage - lived in the cabins. Lyle [and Sharon Porter] over here was one, my brother Dick, (Richard (Dick) and Pat Sommers) ___________ Gamble - several around. It wasn’t just the family there were several other people that lived in the cabins, in fact a few older people lived there, _______________ they lived there. They rented out the home that was there just as you went into the swimming pool. My Grandmother and Grandfather stayed all summer and would come back down in Morgan in the winter time. They rented that out to (Gail and Ida) O’Driscoll’s. They have a son, (Jack O’Driscoll) that lives down here. (in Enterprise, 1940 W. Old Hwy Rd.) They were there, they must have been there for twenty years. My Grandmother and two of her daughters came down. There was a little - it had a kitchen and living room combined, and a couple of bedrooms, and a bathroom. They stayed there all summer - ran the hot dog stand in the summer time from when I was very young, I had forgotten that.

It was an active place. A lot of out-of-towners came there on the weekends. The bowling alley was active after it was built.

AC: Okay, why do you think Como was such a popular resort? What made it successful back then?

DS: Number one was the swimming pool because no one had these little private [personal home] pools which they’re not much for swimming anyways you needed the cool water and that’s about all you can do. Not many of the communities had the swimming pools. While we’re on swimming pools, back in the mid to late forties they had epidemics of polio throughout the country and in the state. They were frantic and didn’t know what to trace it back to. I don’t think they do today. They made a big change. If you had a public pool you had to do “x y and z”. One was you had to have enough fresh water going into and out of the pool, the top had collection troughs at the edges, you had to chlorinate in the troughs to take (I don’t know that it ever did any good) anything that would collect in the top of the pool.

In the late forties when they changed the pool, you couldn’t have sand anymore. They made the pool smaller so they could change the water that collected. It turned it into a small pool for children, a medium sized pool; most of that was for younger people to go in and have a hectic time if they wished, then they had the ten foot with two diving boards. They had a slide. It took the place of - they had a - it must have been four or five stories high structure toboggan type thing. They were rafts probably three or four feet wide, six or eight feet long. You could get on those and ride them down into the - that was when there was just one big pool. When they switched it to the other pools, they did away with those and put a slide in. The pool was the main thing.

AC: That brought the people?

DS: Second was the Saturday night dances, dancing was a big thing during that time. They had an orchestra, Pat’s Orchestra from down in Ogden would come up and play.

(Side B)

DS: …another place you could do that type of roller skating. The bowling alley - it was active but I would place it down at third or fourth as far as attracting people to Como.

The park itself (was an attraction) to be able to get out and get away with the cooler area up here in Morgan with shade trees and the bowery for reunions or for whatever they may be used for - just a park where you could go have an ice cream. They had a place there, the ice cream stand we used to call it. There were floats, malts, milk shakes, sundaes, banana splits, and ice cream cones. It was attached right onto the building where the skating rink was. By far the swimming pool was the main attraction. I think I mentioned there weren’t many swimming pools around.

AC: That was big, I’ve seen pictures that was a big pretty good sized pool even for today.

DS: Yes. Then there was an indoor pool, other than the baptism one. (There was only one indoor pool which was also used for LDS baptisms) I don’t think I mentioned that, which was nice. The main thing about Como was the water. It was seventy-eight to eighty degrees. Almost perfect swimming where you could swim all day long. If the water is too warm it gives you out. Some of these pools now days that they heat, if you get in you give out. Maybe that’s a good thing that you got to get out. Anyways, the water was almost a perfect temperature to swim in even in the cooler evenings or the colder weather. Once you got down in the water you were warm, you never got cold as long as you were in. When you got out, you might have got cold, but it wasn’t so warm that you couldn’t swim in it for hours at a time, or swim for an hour. Whatever you wanted to do you could spend the day there. It [Como] was a wonderful place to swim.

AC: What do you think are some of the reasons why Como went out of business? Why it’s no longer here? Maybe your opinions of maybe why that happened.

DS: Well certainly the main thing that happened was people used to come to keep Como going from the other valley. You didn’t have boats, campers, or trailers where you’d go fishing, outings, or travel where you’d go to other activities similar to Como with your truck, trailers, or whatever. They did not modernize to keep up with the interests of the people such as Lagoon did with their rides and activities. Eventually even Lagoon closed their pool down. There was no pool at Lagoon for I’m thinking forty years. It probably wasn’t quite that long but it’s been a long time since that pool.  A pool is not a great money maker. First of all insurances went up out of sight. That was one thing that really - without the pool bringing in a revenue, roller skating faded out, dancing as far as resort type dancing drizzled out quite a bit. The thing of it is the facilities were still good as far as swimming, dancing, and roller skating. The bowling was only a four lane bowling alley so it was no money maker after the first fifteen, twenty years.

AC: Yeah.

DS: The cabins were no - they were old time and no longer attractive to attract them to come up and spend a weekend. You had too many places in competition - more modern facilities as far as cabins were concerned. I would say trend, but most of all having the capital and not modernizing the facilities as far as what would attract younger people. Families with children that couldn’t go out and do on their own as camping, fishing, boating or things like that. Things that attracts people to Lagoon - there was no longer the train, the merry-go-round. The area was there, they had the ground to do it on. They could go clear over on what we called the flatted ground, the “M” over there. (Flat bench area below the "M" owned by the Heiner family was often referred to as Como Flat.) They could have gone over there and done all of these things. They just didn’t keep up with what attracted people and it was hard to compete with Lagoon. I don’t think people – look there’s no Como left but people don’t realize they were competitive with Lagoon and the facilities, and activities they had. It’s hard to keep up with it when you’re trying to compete with something that’s right on the Wasatch front that people have to drive only ten or fifteen minutes to. But they could have, it’s cool up here. I think people would still come to it if there would have been something there to attract them.

AC: Maybe a little bit more attractions, modernized a little bit.

DS: Yeah.

AC: Okay, now the last part is just any special stories or memories that you have up there -any experiences of just being up there at Como.

DS: Oh, I had a lot of good ones. Some of them I'm not going to record. You know we were all young once.

AC: Yes.

DS: I can remember with regard to the swimming pool. We had a lot of great times there with friends swimming and diving. They used to have what they called a bandstand over at the old pool and every Sunday afternoon Morgan High School band would come up there in full dress (uniforms) and play for an hour or two on Sunday afternoons.

AC: In front of the pool?

DS: In this band stand over in the back corner. It got so the band started getting larger and they couldn’t fit them all in (the band stand) so they started setting benches up for them and they would play for an hour or so on Sundays. They were no longer in the band stand, but the people were closer to them and I think they enjoyed it more, when they could just gather around and stand there and listen to them. That was a great attraction, the band was good and it kept them together. They played all summer long.

There were a lot of good swimmers, good friends, and good people. My grandfather’s brother had three daughters. There might have been a fourth one but I don’t recall. Two of them were somewhat older than I was. I thought they were old but they were young women and I was just a kid but they were great swimmers. One fellow a - they were attractive beautiful girls - chased around here trying to catch up with one of them. They were there swimming and this boy challenged her to a race across the pool and back and she said, “Okay.” He said, “How much of a handicap do you want me to give you before I start swimming?” She said, “None.” She said, “We’ll just go.” So they got up on the - dove off into the pool, swam across, came back, and she was ahead of him down and ahead of him back. She got back to the other end and jump up on the - was sitting on the bank waiting for him.

DS: Several of the local guys and younger people were good swimmers and divers. The Mortenson twins there in town were good swimmers and divers, Beverly, and Barbara Francis. Beverly, Gordon Bond’s wife now, Beverly Bond. Florence Mae Richins, she was a Fry, outstanding swimmer and diver.

I guess one of the experiences that I always remember and sticks out in my mind - I don’t know how many years prior to my recollection. I can’t tell you the dates and when they quit doing it. I think they did it all the way up until shortly after the Second World War of 1945, 47, 48 somewhere in there they quit. The Red Cross came in there and had training. They would stay over in the cabins and they would come over to the swimming pool and have an early morning session of training. They had row boats and canoes. They would teach them water safety - young people. That took place for all the years I was growing up. I can’t recall right now when they - it was the mid 40's I think they were still going. I know they were still going somewhere through the war.

AC: Did you participate in those?

DS: No, I was too young at the time to do that. There was several of them - there were some of them would stay - had a time to relax, and they would stay in the pool. I remember some of them helped me in with swimming and diving.  I took advantage of that, and a little safety thing, you know.

AC: Yeah.

DS: It was very educational, I enjoyed it. There were some good instructors and some good people there.

AC: Do you have any memories of the skating rink?

DS: Oh yes, when I got to where I could skate a little bit and - early on I had several pairs of shoe skates that I outgrew then. For whatever I might have been doing my Uncle Rex (Heiner) bought me the best skates made in the world - Chicago roller skates with needle bearings and jump- toe stops. I enjoyed it and we had a good time doing it. I guess one of the things that I remember the most during the war and the military was in and they’d come up there to Como on Saturday afternoon. The pipes and chains were still in protecting the dance floor so you had to go around and around. I don’t know how it evolved but I got to where I was racing those guys. They’d clear the floor on their own with race. The new comers coming were the guys that hadn’t skated many, they’d bet. They’d go out there and maybe they'd have a few beers in them I don't know. They’d bet on me - the guys that knew me they'd bet on me; invariably, I would win.

AC: Against some of the military guys?

DS: Oh yes, that was the only time that took place was with the military guys and it wasn’t a lot of money just more for fun. They’d always give me most of the winnings. I probably made more money there than I did most any time.

AC: At racing?

DS: At racing. I even race some of them going backward as a handicap and still beat them. But the roller skating was - and they moved - the dancing got to where it was nothing so they'd open it up. It was much more enjoyable not to have the pipes in there as far as skating. They danced a little bit afterwards but not - messed up the floors - you got to put a lot of wax out on the floors before you could dance awhile it had been skated on.

The swimming pool, we used to swim - there were times when Como closed at a reasonable hour. There were times when just a bunch of us would go over there and swim at night and that was - a lot of the times it was in the indoor pool where we could turn the lights on and enjoy it as friends and family.

AC: Yeah. Do you remember - I kind of asked Lyle Porter a little about this but I - for the dances and stuff do you remember, because obviously I wasn’t there, I don’t know what kind of music was played. What kind of music, or do you remember any of the popular songs that they danced to over there at the - for the dances?

DS: The majority of that was before my day, before I was old enough to dance.

AC: Yeah.

DS: The crowds and that I can remember - the dances- I’ve danced there don’t get me wrong but I never had much for dancing, never great for music either.

AC: What type of music was there?

DS: Nothing like today’s music, you know; old time the slow music. I can tell you more of what they used to skate to but they danced to the same thing. They had a record on all the time you was skating.

AC: In the skating rink?

DS: In the skating rink you skated to music. Music for dancing was always live.

AC: What was the name of the band you said came?

DS: Pat’s Orchestra. I can’t tell you his last name.

AC: Pat’s Orchestra - I will have to look that up.

DS: “Don’t sit under the apple tree with anyone else but me.”

DS: I can remember that. I don’t know if that’s the name of the song but that was a line out of that song. I’m trying to think. That was one of my favorites to skate to. I skated with a lot more girls than I did dance with.

AC: There you go.

DS: Most of the people that came up to the dances on Saturday nights were -they weren’t old but they were not high school or college age, younger people. They were a little older people, even some young married. A lot of older people came, so ninety percent of the music was slower. They weren’t the jitter-bug type dancing, which was prevalent in those days that there was a place for. In fact, even after that I went to Lagoon dancing with big name bands and there wasn’t much of that type of…

AC: Really?

DS: It was evening dancing and - most of the music I can’t tell you.

AC: That’s fine.

DS: I just don’t - hopefully somebody can. I don’t know that much about music, I can’t even think of the music they danced to.

AC: That’s fine. You said a lot of out of towners from the other valley came down. Did it get good support here locally?

DS: Generally or specifically?

AC: Just Como.

DS: Como, I would say not great support...

AC: Really?

DS: ... locally, No. Those who came there for skating, swimming, or bowling, they were good support. If you’re looking at the overall population of Morgan County no, it wasn’t the greatest. Those who came for the specific reason they were great supporters, but those that were well, for instance my age. Since talking to you since you wrote the letter I thought a little bit about this there were, out of the forty-six, forty-eight, or fifty people in my class alone, without a lot of extracurricular activities to do.  A lot of them I know they worked hard, they worked on the farm or ranches, but there were a lot that didn’t and say there’s forty-eight or fifty, forty-six of us graduated. There was probably four or five that came there on a regular basis, and I don’t think there were over eight or ten that ever came there. The majority of them I can’t ever remember coming to Como for any reason. Generally speaking, I don’t think it got great local support.

AC: Really? Do you think that was perhaps one of the reasons it fizzled out?

DS: When I was young ninety plus percent of the people that would come up there, some not intending to swim but they would swim. Ninety plus percent of the people never had swimming suits. I mean were talking about pre-World War II times, even some during and shortly after World War II. So the suit stand where my Grandfather spent his summers for I don’t know how many years, he did it until he passed away. They had suits and towels for people to use. They didn’t have to give him the size. If they didn’t know their size he would just have women step back, and he’d look at them and he'd hand them the suit that would fit them. The men early on and the women, they were the suits that had shoulder straps, all the women did of course; one piece wool suit. Grey, all of them were grey, all the same color – one piece suits. They had - on weekends and holidays they always had one or two women in the back building behind the suit stand even before gas and electric dryers came out, they had lines back there that they would hang them on, and wash them. They were washing suits. As soon as someone would bring suits in they’d get a batch to - they were washing suits and towels. They couldn’t keep up with it. There were people that would put on - on big holidays the suits weren't dry they'd put on wet suits as long as it was washed. They'd put on damp - they weren't necessarily completely wet but they weren't completely dry either.

AC: Yeah.

DS: And it was interesting to me, I’ve never forgotten that; that they didn’t know what size suit that - Some of them probably never had a swimming suit on before I don't know, and what size suit - they should have known I guess, what their same size - I don't know what suits came in but anyway he'd say - they'd just step back and they’d say, “Do you think that will fit?” and he’d say, “That will fit you.” I don’t ever remember anyone returning them and bringing them back because they didn’t fit.

AC: He was good.

DS: It was interesting that way.

AC: Any other memories?

DS: There was a young man that came there and stayed all one summer in the cabins. They let him stay for nothing; it was nothing because he worked.  He was an artist that painted. He painted with oil. He painted pictures on every post that went up in the merry-go-round - scenery. I can remember the pictures now. I’d say they all involved water, green trees; most of them pine trees, meadows, oceans, rivers. He painted pictures - large pictures that they hung all the way around, at the time, at the dance hall and skating rink. They were later moved into the restaurant. Wonderful-wonderful artist! He painted my grandfather a - he’s painted several people pictures that probably still have them around town.

AC: Do you remember his name?

DS: I don't know his - I'm trying to - I couldn't tell you his name. I don't know that I could even tell you his name or anyone in town could tell you his name, Hal (Heiner) might. I don't know if RaeDell (Heiner-Giles) could, I doubt it. My cousin that passed away here a couple years ago, she could have probably told us his name. He put them on this - on the train too - on the sides of the - They had little cars that had steel wheels and they faced front and back, two people to a - four to a car, two in each seat. And on either side of the cars were these pictures that was painted, and on the little merry-go-round; the one that was a full size nice merry-go-round. It had a player piano in it...

(Interview ends abruptly - End of recording)

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