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Hal B. Heiner

Interviewed by: Adam Christensen

00:00 / 50:22



July 15, 2010

Interviewee: Hal B. Heiner

Interviewer: Adam Christensen, Weber State University student

Place of Interview: Hal B. Heiner's home - 610 E. 100 S. Morgan, Utah

Subject: Como Springs Resort Experiences

Transcriber: Cissy Toone

Edited by:

Adam Christensen: Okay, I’m here with Mr. Heiner. He was telling me about the old merry-go-round that was there, if you want to continue to tell about that.

Hal Heiner: Okay, they had this merry-go-round and a train, a steam engine train. Well, when I was a kid I used to ride 'em both…

AC: Yeah.

HH: … in the '40s. Uh, let's see I was born in '38, yeah, I would ride those. The merry-go-round… I guess '46/'47 so I'd only be 10 years old then but anyhow, I remember riding that merry-go-round. A guy by the name of Holy… oh boy, his dad is Lorence Holyoak, Kurk (or Kurt?) Holyoak run the merry-go-round when I was riding.

AC: Okay.

HH: He worked… he was a shirt tail relative of the Heiner’s and he worked for the Heiner’s of course. His dad took care of the foxes over at… They had a fox farm over in Como. You’ve probably heard that.

AC: Yeah.

HH: They had the fox farm over there. Anyhow, the merry-go-round… Well, I got interested… Well, it come out in the paper, and I’ve been looking for my information on it, I haven’t found it yet. I’ll find it eventually. It came out in the paper that it went to Rexburg, Idaho from Ogden and so I was up to Rexburg a week ago. I went and seen it.

AC: Oh, did you?

HH: Yeah, uh huh, I went and seen it. They’ve restored it completely.

AC: Oh, wow!

HH: They bought it from Ogden, and they got it restored and running in a park up there, a water park.

AC: Oh really?

HH: Uh huh. Well, they give me a little pamphlet about it, course they didn’t know it came from Como. They thought it was in Ogden all the time.

AC: Oh really?

HH: I told the girl, I said, "I know a little bit about this merry go round that you probably don’t know," she said, “Do you?” So she gave me her name and number. I’m going to do some more research and get it up to her.

AC: Oh, that’s cool!

HH: Because there really isn't a history of it, you know?

AC: Uh huh.

HH: They have a sign on it that it was made in 1926 and my grand-dad bought Como in 1920, see?

AC: Uh huh.

HH: So anyhow, that’s been kind of interesting to me, so that’s why I went to ____________ to see if he could remember. Now, have you talked to Mable Welsh?

AC: I haven’t yet.

HH: She put this piece in the paper that RaeDell (Heiner-Giles) has. Have you got a copy of that?

AC:  I just saw RaeDell had it; I’ll have to get a copy of it.

HH: Okay, but anyhow, now some of those dates in that can’t be right.

AC: Yeah.

HH: But anyhow…

AC: That's what Dick (Richard "Dick" Sommers) was telling me.

HH: So anyhow they had the… and the train… After the war there was a guy that came through here by the name of Alvin Laush and he was kind of a blacksmith. Well my dad… the story I get on the train that they lost a part going around the track. They never did find this part, important part that made it run. And then the other thing and Dan (Sommers) said the same thing, after the forties or after the war they had to have a licensed engineer to run that train. Have you heard anything on that?

AC: Yes, that’s what they told me.

HH: So that’s why my dad had this guy cut the firebox off of it, and put a gasoline engine on the back of it, big mistake!

AC: Really?

HB: Yeah, I mean it ruined it. All this way he puts two arms into the two ____________  beams down there, and got them in there and said, “fasten this engine on the back.” I used to run it then, I remember being a kid.

AC: Yeah.

HH: But when they would offer, I’d just run it because they let me run it. Oh man, you’d have to be really careful or it would jump the track, and then to keep the track up was something else. Around that pond and, uh… So anyhow, they just quit. They sold the merry-go-round and quit running the train. And this Laush guy, this Alvin Laush, he built this airplane ride. I got picture or that. I got it from Linda [Smith]. I’ll make you a copy of that. But that’s why I… Well, I used to go up there and swim but I called RaeDell and she says she doesn’t remember when she run the airplanes. I was either eleven or thirteen when I started running these airplanes that the kids ride, see?

AC: Uh huh.

HH: So anyhow, well, besides swimming and… The guy built the airplane rides so I started running the airplanes. He run them for the first year, matter of fact, he ran two rides. He had one ride. This other one was smaller than the one that I ran. He cranked everything up and those airplanes could swing straight out from the chains so fast and going like hell. I rode them once at that speed, oh my goodness, it was amazing. He had to have a lot of faith in his work that he did that, man that was something. Then he made this other ride that was a bigger ride, course it couldn't swing out that far, and it was bigger. But boy, that first one he cranked it up and it went straight out from the pipe they was hanging on, on chains. I mean that was a ride let me tell you. He didn’t take all the public like that but he took certain kids that were on there. So anyhow, that’s what I did, I run them.

Oh let’s see, if I was twelve, that would be 1950. I'd be about twelve in 1950 to 19… and I started running the boat in '58. So I run them 8 years. I would set in there and I would see every dime I collected from the people had to come out of mother and dads pocket to ride those airplanes. But the teenagers had their own money, and I thought if I had something up here the teenagers would ride why I could make some money. One thing I looked at to get was those flying saucers that you guided those airplanes that were guided and they’d swing way out. I looked at that and I thought well that would be a ride to put up there and it shouldn’t be too expensive if I could just find one, you know?

AC: Uh huh.

HH: I thought about that and then I thought… and then I had the boat… My dad had a boat that was built in 1937 in Stoddard in a guy's bedroom.

AC: Oh, really?

HH: When he got it built he had to tear the wall off to get it out of his bedroom. My dad had it to fish up _________ Lake, and would also run this boat to give rides at Como, and it had a ten horse motor on it. Well, when I got big enough to drive why that would be in '54 or '55, I started to take that boat up there and give rides too. It was just a slow boat to go around the pond.

AC: Yeah.

HH: And I thought, "Boy, if I had a boat that would be good to give people rides." So I was going to college up at Logan. The guy said… in this business class and he said, "I want you to think of a business to go into and tell all it would take to do it and get it going and everything." So I… same with those airplanes running, I thought about this boat ride, running the boat around the pond. Well, before I could run a pass with the boat on the pond I had to clean it out with a backhoe. So we had Rex, he would go up both sides. My uncle worked with me, Rex Heiner worked with me real well. We didn’t even tell my dad what we was doing.  We just started doing it. His dad, we didn’t tell him what we were doing. We just went up there had _________ come down and started to just scoop the mud out of that pond. We went up both sides of that with this backhoe, it took us ten days and I think we used three dump trucks to dump it. We’d haul it up on the hill and dump it, and get more mud. That made that pond big enough that I can run this boat in it and… So I bought the boat. I bought the other boat, the one I was building up, we ordered them and when they come I thought, "Boy, there too big to go in that pond, I need a sixteen foot one." So this Don Elkin’s (?) had, had this boat. See there wasn’t many boats back in 1955. It was too expensive to buy a boat. That was pretty close after the war and that was just an extra luxury. There wasn’t the money that there is today that everybody has, but anyhow this guy from Coalville bought this boat and he was a gas man here in Morgan. He showed it to Bob Hartman in'58, I guess it was '58 when Bob Hartman… I bought it from him because I knew the others were too big for the pond, see?

AC: Yeah.

HH: So I started to refinish it to get it ready to run in Como and it needed to be refinished. So I worked on it after work. I'd work at the garage for about nine hours then it had a shop in the back. I could go back and work on this boat. It come down to the last day and I went down there at eleven o’clock at night and stained the deck. I got up at 4:30 the next morning it was Memorial Day. I got up at 4:30 the next morning and went down and put it together and I had it up there about noon.

They’d dug a place right where I start and I knew there was a piece of dirt but I'd been all night. I thought I had to get up plenty early in the morning to get that dirt in the pond, that high spot in the pond. So anyhow, I headed up there and got that thing together and I had the motor turned. That boat went across onto one of the cement pillars that hold the slides. It knocked a hole about that big around on opening day. I had about 8 kids there. I heard it hit that and so I stopped and when back there and seen the water coming in the hole so I thought, "Well I…" So I turned it right around behind the building, the old café, and just jumped up onto the bank and got the kids out and handed them over the fence. Just as I got the last kid out and turned around the water was coming over the back and the back of the boat sunk right down. It was deep. It sunk right down and the top of the motor was down under the water. The water stuck up that high on it. It was 6:30 in the morning so it was __________. It was murky. So anyhow, that was my opening day with my boat.

Oh boy, I was so upset that I just found a place in Salt Lake to take it to get it fixed. They knew how to patch a hole in a boat. I took it down there and they fixed it and I brought it back up and put it in and started to run it, giving kids rides. I did that from 1958 to 1973. In '73 my dad got sick and so I was kind of tied to being at the garage and running the dealership. At the same time the business at Como was going down too because everybody that wanted to play and swim in my opinion, was buying a boat and going to the dam's water skiing, see?

AC: Yeah.

HH: So anyhow that’s about… besides that, that was my Saturday and Sunday job. Then I’d roller skate. I'd go roller skating after people quit riding the boat when it got dark. I'd roller skate every night in the roller skating rink there. I didn't swim much after I started working because I just didn't want to go up there at night. My brother was running that swimming pool. I found out he was cleaning that pool by himself so I went up to try to help him with what a little skinny kid could do. Anyhow, that's about my life at Como Spring's

AC: Yeah.

HH: And if you got anything you might want to ask me and I'll see if I can answer it.

AC: Yeah, I've got a few questions here. Let's see, so how were you connected? Was your Dad…

HH: My Granddad owned Como Springs, that's John Heiner.

AC: Okay.

HH: His name was John Heiner. He bought it in 1920.

AC: Okay.

HH: He had a son named Leo (Heiner) and if he'd been around there would be a different Como.

AC: Really?

HH: This guy… a lot of people owned stock in Como I guess. He went around and gave them the stock. He wanted to get control of it so they could do what they want and he went around and gave them some stock. Did Dan tell you anything about this?

AC: Uh huh.

HH: Well anyhow, he went around and gave out the stock and then they took this… There was a guy by the name of Tom West that came in there and he owned… I don't know how he… He was interested in Como and so he bought forty-nine percent of the stock and he was the manager. He may have been the one who got this little train and the merry-go round because this guy was a goer. He'd go to do something and my Granddad wouldn't let him do it. If my Granddad would have left him along you would have seen a different Como up there no problem because… Well, I'll tell you what this guy did. He was a good friend of my Dad's and he went to my Dad and he says, "I might as well sell out and get something where I can do what I want to do because your Dad won't let me do what I want to." See, and that's where it lies. I mean, I didn't know that much about my Granddad but anyhow… But this guy sold out to Como and he went to Boise, Idaho. I don’t know if you've ever hear of Lehi Bottling Works soda water.

AC: Uh huh.

HH: Okay, Lehi Bottling Works; he bought that or started in in Boise, Idaho and when he got through he had five soda water plants around the world. He spent his time traveling around the world at company expense. How smart can you be?

AC: Yeah.

HH: You know, but that's the kind of guy…

AC: That's interesting.

HH: He came in here one time just… I don't know what he was doing. He was taking some people on a tour in a big Greyhound bus and he came in here and unloaded them at Como. Of course, because I was Jack Heiner's boy… I don't know, he took a likening to me and he had me… He liked to let boys be boys. We loaded up on that bus with all these people and he let me set up on his lap and we went up the highway. He let me drive that bus. I mean, I was just setting on his lap because he could grab it if I didn't keep in on the road; he'd correct it, you know.

AC: Yeah.

HH: That was really an experience for me let me tell you.

AC: Wow!

HH: I don't remember a lot of things but things like that I do remember, you know?

AC: Uh huh.

HH: Yeah, if that guy… If Granddad would have left him go you would have seen another… He would have surpassed Lagoon I'll bet you.

AC: Hmm.

HH: But he just wouldn't let him, let him go.

AC: Let him really develop better.

HH: I went… Well, when I was up there and doing the boat ride I could… You're sitting up there and you're waiting for people to come ride the boat and have time to think and I'd look around and… Oh, I've seen that hill above Como. I could see half of Como up on that hill.

AC: Uh huh.

HH: With the expansion and everything, I could see the day when they'd have to have that field over there where they got the… across from the fairgrounds...

AC: Uh Huh.

HH: …they'd have to have that for parking.

AC: Yeah.

HH: When I… Oh, I didn’t tell you about me Key Boying. I was Key Boying at the swimming pool.

AC: Okay.

HH: That's where you have a key and, go open the locker to let people in and, they get their clothes.

AC: Uh huh.

HH: I was Key Boying at the swimming pool before I ran the airplanes. It was a hot 4th of July and they had just made that new pool, separated into three pools. It used to be one big pool and they had to fix it for chlorination and, it was a lot different deal than it was. In the old pool I swam in the water came in a pipe this big around in one end and _____________, no chlorination, nothing. I walked down that center sidewalk between the three pools and I thought _______________. I thought, "If someone else came to get in this pool what would they do?" The people would go in there just to cool off. I mean it had to be one-hundred, and five degrees. They'd go get in the pool just to cool off and they was in there just-they couldn't swim, too many people. I just said, "I wonder if someone else could get in this pool if they'd come to _______________" The busiest part was about three, or four o'clock in the afternoon. Cars, well they had that parking lot in front of the bowling alley and then they parked across from the motel. That would be full where the trailer park is…

AC: Yeah.

HH: …that would be full of cars. Then they'd be parked up that back road that came up over here. I mean, it was a going place too bad it happened.

AC: Yeah.

HH: It did happen.

AC: Tell me about some of the day to day events at Como like, if I went up there on a weekend what would I see?

HH: Okay. J.L. Terry; the high school band teacher, he went up there and he says, "Hey, I'll bring that band up and we'll let them play for an hour in the park." Music was _______________ and that was one of the things that was good, you know? They had the band there playing, the high school band. This guy was good I mean, I don't know how he ever did it because he talked most of the time but when he got through he had those kids playing and they were good. Then well, that's about it… In the '40's when I was a kid, boy if you had a nickel, if you could get a nickel from your Dad to buy a soda pop that was a big thing to have one soda pop.

AC: Really?

HH: Oh yeah. I mean… I never seen the depression or the war. I lived through it, not the depression but I lived through the 2nd World War but hell, my Dad had, well he had… He couldn't get cars to sell. See they took and made Jeep's and tanks in the car factories prior to war so he started selling tractors. So he took on the Case tractors and started selling tractors, and plows, and bailers, oh them bailers, those wire tie bailers. You ever heard of a wire tie bailer?

AC: Uh huh.

HH: Two guys would… They had a tractor seat back on the bailer and two guys would set there, one on each side and push the wires through to the bails as they come back here and then one guy would have to tie it, all dust and dirt. They finally made some hoods to go over it so the fan would blow the dust away from them. Whoa man, those wire tie bailers were bad news. Let's see, and what else would you see? They had the band up and there and then at night they had dances in the skating ring, when they were finished with skating and that was a big thing way back in the '20's. Dean [possibly Dean Rock] was telling me about the dances yesterday, the dances and then… Well, some people would bowl, it was hotter than heck, no air conditioning and they go in there and bowl without air conditioning. Nobody had air conditioning, they didn't even have air conditioning in the '70's they just fought the heat, you know? Well, the swimmers could fight the heat… The people from Salt Lake come up here because it was twenty-degrees cooler.

AC: Uh huh.

HH: They'd come up from Salt Lake, a lot of people, that's why they came up here because it was twenty-degrees cooler than the heat. They found that out so they'd come up and spend their weekend at Como. ________________ and people would… They had benches along the swimming pool they'd be full of people just watching people swim…

AC: Yeah.

HH: …I mean, that was an entertainment its self. Then the… of course, there was the airplane ride and then they bought another train that drove on rubber tires. It was like a stream liner, it was a little engine stream liner and I took care of that and run that too along with the airplanes and the boat. They'd hire people to run those and I'd run the boat. That's what they did, they'd take the kids, some of them, and take them swimming. Some of them wouldn't want to swim on weekends so they'd take 'em up there and ride the trains, and the airplane, and the boat and, give 'em an ice cream cone and that's what they'd do.

Some people would come up… They had fifty cabins, did you know that?

AC: Yeah.

HH: Okay, they had fifty cabins and people would come up and stay overnight. They had central rest rooms and people thought that was out dated but they had the same thing in Yellowstone. I stayed in one in Yellowstone when I was a kid and went up there…

AC: Yeah.

HH: …and it was the way it was.  You had a little place to get away and a place to go to the rest room and get a shower if you wanted to go in a public shower to shower.

AC: Yeah.

HH: But uh…

AC: So did that rest room have public showers, did it have that?

HH: Como?

AC: Yeah.

HH: Yeah, uh huh. They had a public shower for these cabins so they'd go in and shower. Well, they had that… The first swimming pool I don't think had any…I can't remember how many showers. See you were supposed to shower before in the pool…

AC: Yeah.

HH: …and then shower when you got out. Oh man, but that first one I don't think they had any showers. I'll have to ask Dan that. He'd probably remember that but I don't think it has showers. It was you get in the pool to get clean.

AC: Yeah, take some soap in there with you.

HH: Oh man, but the people, they'd watch them swim, and skate, and they'd watch them bowl, the people that didn't do it. And then the people…everybody would watch, other people would bowl, and swim, and skate; you know?

AC: Yeah.

HH: And that's what you'd see. You'd get a hotdog or a hamburger, and a drink. Now Dean said that they had things like...oh, back in his day they had games…

AC: Yeah.

HH: ... the bingo thing.

AC: Yeah, he told me a lot about the games that used to be there.

HH: So they had that kind of stuff. But it was a break from farming.

AC: Yeah, I've heard a few people say that.

HH: So you'd go up there and just relax.

AC: Do you remember any special events or activities that were held there? Like the Red Cross thing...

HH: Yeah, I remember that Red Cross...

AC: ...that was a big thing. Do you remember...

HH: ...teaching kids to swim. I was in that...

AC: Yeah.

HH: ...and if you mention it I remember it. For me to remember it, I can't do it because I'm just not that memory... Oh, people say, "You remember this, you remember that." I can remember it but boy, I couldn't have thought of it myself.

AC: Yeah.

HH: Yeah, the Red Cross came up there and taught swimming lessons, uh huh, and then... Where'd I read that? Probably in a paper RaeDell gave me, I just read it. The Tabernacle Choir came up here.

AC: Yeah.

HH: You've heard about that.

AC: Yeah, I have.

HH: Way back in the 20's.

AC: Yep.

HH: That was quite the thing wasn't it?

AC: They rode the railroad up from...

HH: Yeah, they rode the train up from Salt Lake, uh huh. U.P. [Union Pacific Railroad) gave them a half of a ride to come up.

AC: Yep.

HH: Well they had a bowery, what they call a bowery over by the swimming pool.

AC: Uh huh.

HH: I think a band used to play in that.

AC: Yeah.

HH: It was shaded and... Did anyone else mention that?

AC: Yeah they have.

HH: And then when that burnt down or fell down why they played out there in the park just out in front of the swimming pool.

AC: Uh huh.

HH: Right there behind the hotdog stand is where they played in my day, uh huh.

AC: Yeah I've interview a few people that actually played in the band.

HH: Oh have you?

AC: The _________ band, yeah.

HH: Oh that's pretty good.

AC: Ardath Peterson, she played in the band, and then I don't know if you know Marilyn Lofgreen.

HH: Marilyn...

AC: Yeah.

HH: ...sure, she was in my class.

AC: Yeah, she played in the band too over there. Let's see, why do you think Como was such a popular resort? What made it successful?

HH: There was only that, (Como) and Lagoon, and Saltaire (?) to go to.

AC: Uh huh.

HH: There was only three places to go to and Lagoon was always more money to go to. This (Como) was no gate charge,...

AC: Yeah.

HH: ...and close, and cooler.

AC: Uh huh.

HH: Boy, I'm telling you people... they had a lot of reunions up there, family reunions.

AC: I've heard that.

HH: Then Hill Field would come up and have a Hill Field outing. Matter fact, they wouldn't let the colored people swim in the pool.

AC: Yeah, I've heard some of that.

HH: You've heard about that?

AC: Yeah.

HH: Matter fact, my brother got in a fight. He was running the pool and he got in a fight with a white marine because he says, "Well, they're good enough to go over and fight, why aren't you going to let them go swimming?" He says, "I'm sorry, it's our policy. He says, "If you'd like to pick another day I'll open it up for them."

AC: Uh huh.

HH: Hey it's a different world now.

AC: Yeah.

HH: And it was a different world back then...

AC: Yeah.

HH: ...and that's the way it was. The people I enjoyed the most coming up there was the Japanese people.

AC: Oh really?

HH: Oh man, they were so clean and they kept those little kids spotless. I mean, that was my enjoyable day when the Japanese people would come up there. They'd have an outing up there.

AC: There'd be like an outing of just Japanese people would just come up?

HH: All weekend, yeah. They'd have an outing up there and man, those little kids were dressed up clean and you talk about... Well, I used to notice that you know?

AC: Uh huh.

HH: Course I found if they kept their papers picked up around the pool over there people wouldn't throw them down. If you had a can there for them to put them in, popsicle papers and stuff like that, people would use them.

Well, my brother when he run the pool his job was to get up at five-thirty and clean up the papers in certain parts of the park. I don't know who helped them back then. Go home change his clothes and go open the swimming pool at ten-o'clock and be there until ten that night. I mean, and this is seven days a week stuff.

AC: Yeah.

HH: They didn't have any shift work like Subway does, you know what I mean? This is the same people running it. Well, by the time Labor Day come you was ready to shut that place down.

AC: Yeah, I bet.

HH: It was just like a farm but it was something a little more enjoyable work of course.

AC: Yeah.

HH: Yeah, but that's why it was- And then that swimming pool was, that water was eighty degrees when it came out of the spring and it was natural. You didn't think it was that warm but just jump in the river...

AC: Yeah.

HH: ...and you'd know it was. Let me tell you I did that one time. I jump in the creek by the fish hatchery. Oh, I never- I didn't know water could be so cold and not be ice, yeah.

AC: Okay.

(End of tape, side A)

(Side B)

AC: Okay, is there anything else that made it successful you can think of? Basically just, it was cooler.

HH: Had good food in that café.

AC: Good food?

HH: Yeah, my uncles served a good steak, and good halibut, good shrimp. Yeah, he was-he didn't care about making any money in that café. He just wanted to serve good stuff.

AC: Yeah.

HH: Yeah, good food and- Well, that thing [recorder] you might shut it off because this isn't about the County but they spent all that money to bottle all that water and it didn't fly so they was just down the tube. Bought it in '90 and... oh man! Before in the 50's when they'd go to do something why they had my Dad, [John L. Heiner] and Dan's [Sommers] owned the mink ranch and if they was tarring a roof up there, or putting a roof on why they'd gather up the help from the mink ranch and go over there and get the roof tarred. They it did all themselves. My uncle bought his own tar pot. You know this Clark kid [Brent Clark] with the burnt face?

AC: Uh huh.

HH: Well his Dad borrowed our tar pot, my uncle's tar pot to tar his house, Rich Clark. That's how that kid... Tar got spilled on that kid...

AC: Really?

HH: ...tarring that roof and it was bad news. Anyhow, you just got to be careful, really careful _____________________________________________.

AC: Yeah.

HH: So they just... their credit was... and, then they... These kid's thought they could borrow money from people and make all this money on this bottled water and it didn't fly.

AC: It didn't work?

HH: So it went to a Sheriff's Sale in an auction.

AC: What do you think are some of the reasons that Como's not here anymore? Why do you think it died down and eventually we just don't have it?

HH: Well, one of my opinions was, at the time that I seen when boating came into being and people wasn't afraid of water... The people weren't afraid of water bought a boat and went to the dam to water ski. I seen that effect the Como business but the thing of it was they didn't advertise it enough. They didn't advertise it enough for people to know. They needed people to know it was there. The older people knew it was there but they didn't advertise ____________________________.

AC: Uh huh.

HH: One year I bought the fireworks myself...

AC: Yeah.

HH: Dad about had a fit because I knew that when they had fireworks on the Fourth of July we had a lot more people at Como.

AC: Yeah.

HH: So I bought them one year. I had some posters made up and I distributed them myself down through Roy, and Layton, and Ogden. I'd go in and see if I could put it in their store. And well, I think my Dad got the County to pay so much on those fireworks that year.

AC: Yeah.

HH: I spend five-hundred bucks for fireworks. I mean it was just a… These fireworks you see now I bet they spend anywhere from two to five thousand for them _______________________


AC: Yeah.

HH: …and uh well, we was up to Jackson on the Fourth of July weekend and they had a twenty minute show and they were going off ___________________________. I bet it was five thousand bucks’, I don’t know. If I ever go up there again I’m going to ask one of those people in the Chamber of Commerce. Have you ever been up to Jackson Wyoming?

AC: Uh huh.

HH: Jackson Hole.

AC: Yeah.

HH: A going place isn’t it?

AC: Yeah.

HH: Yeah, and see if they didn’t put that on the map as a park a lot of people would just go to Jackson and forget the park.

AC: Yeah.

HH: There’s much more going on there.

AC: Yeah.

HH: Yeah, there’s a car auction over at Teton Village on the Fourth of July, two days, antique cars, older cars; I mean newer cars like fifties, and sixties, and muscle cars, that kind of thing.

HH: Yeah, it was just management [the reason Como isn’t here anymore.] Just like… We had a guy come in here from Ford Motors and he said, “You can have the greatest product in the world, if you don’t promote it, it will fall flat on its face.” They had a great product, the swimming pool and if you don’t promote it, it will fall flat on its face. See I didn’t go to much college but I learned a lot.

AC: Yeah.

HH: I’d go to these Ford meeting’s that Ford put on because I was a dealer for twenty-five years…

AC: Yeah.

HH: …and they… to be successful and keep it going… This guy charged a thousand dollars an hour to put this meeting on back in ’72 it was and, then they taped it. They taped the one in Texas and I bought the tape. I said, “That’s neat if I could just remember everything.”

AC: Yeah.

HH: So I got the tapes, the one’s broke but if I could get those fixed I could maybe send it to you to listen to those, it’s pretty neat.

AC: Really?

HH: Have you ever of, “Earl Nightingale Leave the Field?”

AC: Uh huh.

HH: They’re some good tapes. That guy’s got his oars in the water (?) _______________. Dan…I had a set and it got away from me before I divorced. Dan Sommers’ got a set, he listened to them. I really should go buy another set, they’re about fifty bucks.

AC: Yeah.

HH: But man that’s good, it’s called, “Leave the Field” by Earl Nightingale. He’s got his oars in the water, (?) it’s good for young guys like you to learn from, you know?

AC: I’ll have to look into that.

HH: Okay, did I answer that question right?

AC: Yeah, I was just wondering….

HH: Between the boating and not promoting enough… Well, I run into a lot of people, I go down there two nights a week for sure. I over to the Senior Center and I asked these people if they know about Como, who are my age…

AC: Uh huh.

HH: …and some of them have never heard of it.

AC: Huh.

HH: And a, they’ve lived here all their life. Advertising cost so much but you don’t know how much good it does.

AC: Yeah.

HH: That’s the trouble with advertising, you don’t know how much good it does but it does good. I mean it’s almost like paying rent, it’s just like putting money into a home because you don’t know if…well, I don’t know, it’s always been that way. Boy this…some of these people are overboard. All this junk mail you get in the newspaper...

AC: Yeah.

HH: ....I mean, oh man! Okay, what else do you need?

AC: What attempts were made to try keeping know, once it kind of started to slide or people kind of quit coming where there any attempts made to keep it going, or to give it a boost? Can you think of anything?

HH: I can’t, he…. let's see my… I’ll tell you this to tell you the truth; my uncle, if he was a worker not a manager… Tom _________________ was the Manager. Leo would have been manager but _______________, his brother _________________ actually, he died at the age of twenty-three and so did my brother.

AC: Uh huh.

HH: He died of a cerebral hemorrhage. They both had heard problems…

AC: Uh huh.

HH: …and so my Dad lost a brother at the age of twenty-three and a son at the age of twenty-three and… But the thing that could have gave it a boost would have been better management and put the money back into it, put so much back into it after they'd…

AC: Re-invest it.

HH: …but it wasn’t that way. Just like me, I paid for the boat so I’d take the money for the boat.

AC: Uh huh.

HH: They paid for the train so I turned the money for the train into Como. Actually, my uncle got ________________________________________. This friend, he went into the snowmobiling business for the winter. He started going on trips where he'd always have a pocket full of money and he’d just buy everything for people and that’s what he did with his money. And that's the way it was with Como of course, he worked there all his life, he should have had so much money but he didn't... It [Como] was just poor management that didn’t keep that thing going. Yeah, if they’d spent the same amount of money they spent on that Bottling Works and put a swimming pool in there...

AC: Yeah.

HH: ...a year round swimming pool, it would have flew, I think.

AC: Yeah.

HH: But this is… I don’t see that through, there was a lot of things done. I’m a hindsight guy. __________________________ that hindsight but that’s the way it was, you know?

AC: Yeah, that’s how it is.

HH: Uh huh.

AC: Did anybody ever drown up there?

HH: Oh yeah, you bet; I know of two people.

AC: Two people.

HH: Uh huh. Have you ask anybody else that?

AC: I have but nobody is sure, everybody is kind of like, “Oh, I think so but I’m not sure.”

HH: Do you want me to end the message? __________________________________.

AC: Yeah, it’s up to you, yeah.

HH: _________________________________________ there was a guy that drowned up there. I don’t know the circumstances but he was… His name was Robinson, he was from the Robinson family over in North Morgan or Stoddard.

AC: Uh huh.

HH: I don’t know whether he got drunk or what happened but he drowned because I run across a letter that this guy wrote my Dad and back then well, that’s why…my… Anyhow, a Robinson guy drowned now turn that off, I’m going to tell you something about it. Okay, so the Robinson boy drowned. I don’t know how old he was and then Eddie Taggart drowned up there. They both had to go over the fence. Both these drownings were not during swimming.

AC: Okay.

HH: They was after hours, I’m pretty sure. Now the Robinson I’m not sure but I know with Eddie, they went over the fence and were swimming against the law and they were drinking and he drowned. That's Eddie Taggart, he was Dewey Taggart, and Stan didn't know the Taggart's... Do you go to Taggart's Café up there?

AC: Uh huh.

HH: Okay, there's a picture of three little kids, Dewey, and Tonya, and Stan in there...

AC: Okay.

HH: ...and this Eddie was Dewey, and Stan's younger brother, yeah, Dewey's younger brother I'm sure. There was two families' up there, Howard Taggart, and Dewey Taggart, and then Dewey was a son also. He was probably... He was a friend of mine. He's right there in that picture on that mantle...

AC: Okay.

HH: ...and he had a bad heart and didn't take care of it so he got up one morning and went into sit on a chair and died, 68 years old. Anyhow those people, that's how I know them. Matter of fact, I was life guarding. All them life guards are up there sitting and I'd go up there Sunday morning and sit by the pool to get a tan, and watch the kids. I looked out in that baby pool and here's this little baby bent over, face in the water, and I just high tailed it out there and grabbed her and picked her up. Her mother got to her about the same time and that was... I mean those kids...that's why you see so many kids getting backed over. This watching kid's is a full time job...

AC: Yeah.

HH: ...I mean its twenty-four, seven. I mean that's the way it is and these people just don't... that's why so many kids are getting killed like they are, backing them over and...

AC: Did that baby drown?

HH: ...accidents... Oh no! No, that baby hadn't even been over... She was okay, she just barely bent over. Matter fact, if you're sitting right there and all of a sudden right in front of me I had... I mean two jumps and I had her out of the water, her face out of the water you know?

AC: Yeah.

HH: I then there was... I think there was a drowning in the ditch. I don't know who that was but a kid fell in that ditch and they got him out and I don't think he made it. That ditch...they should have covered that ditch...

AC: Yeah.

HH: ...but they just didn't. They didn't spend the money on things like that.

AC: Yeah.

HH: People watched their kids and you didn't have to. You know, people kept them away from the ditch and having that ditch run through Como and it didn't matter.

AC: Yeah. I was wondering if maybe you knew some of the closing dates when it closed, do you know that? All I know is that the resort closed in...or maybe it was the swimming pools closed in, around '85 for good.

HH: Boy I don't know.

AC: And then do you know anything... Because the newer café it kept going for a while...

HH: Well yeah...

AC: you know around when that closed?

HH: That closed when it... the creditor's... Oh man, I don't know that. That closed... Do you want a drink or something...

AC: I'm okay...

HH: ...soda pop, or anything...

AC:, I'm okay, thank you.

HH: ...punch? I meant to ask you that when you first got here. I don’t know whether that kept going when the... Let me see... I got so much stuff; I got that big shed out here...

AC: Uh huh.

HH: I got better than half of Como's stuff in that.

AC: Oh really?

HH: Oh yeah, and this trailer sitting out there, that belongs to them and he didn't want... They had just had it, when you lose forty acres and your life's work why they just moved to Las Vegas and started over.

AC: Yeah.

HH: His mother was down there, Tuff's mother is down there and they just moved down there. Oh man, well okay I built this shed... I had this shed moved over here in the 70's, no, 2001/2000... I got a picture of that guy that moved that shed, 2000 or 2001, and right after that why I talked to Tuff and he says, "If you can store this stuff it's worth some money," you know?

AC: Uh huh.

HH: I got twenty-eight of those post that you hook trailers up to, plug into meters.

AC: Oh yeah?

HH: I got twenty-eight of them out there. I don't know what else is out there, I'm going to have to go look. Oh man, I'm ashamed of that shed. It was behind the dealership and I had to hire a guy to clean in out. Well, Dewey cleaned it out for me, and he knew what to save, and what not to, and then we moved it over here. Wendell Pentz moved it over here and we cut it in two, right in to two pieces.

AC: Oh really?

HH: It's eight bays, eight cars you could park in it and... but anyhow, I look at it and thought it's... Well, if the County came by they could have a big auction here, get rid of everything that they can; if I don't, that's the instructions for my daughter. The boys have got all they got from me. They got all they got, they wanted in their hands before I died so they took it. Oh man, but no, I could do some reminiscing and maybe call you.

AC: That’s alright, I can ask...

HH: I think the taxes...I think the County Assessor could tell you that just like that.

AC: Probably...

HH: Yeah.

AC: ...I'll have to go over there and talk to them. Do you know who bought it from the Heiner's? Who owned it after the Heiner family, or if they were from Morgan or what, you know?

HH: No they weren't form Morgan.

AC: They weren't from Morgan?

HH: No. Let me go out here and get my book.

AC: Okay.

HH: I might have it wrote... Let me just say, just one thing I might mention to you that back when I was growing up most all the kids had a job. They either worked on their dads farm or else the ___________________ kids worked in the grocery stores. The _______________ Tom Welch and Morris Durrant, their dads worked at Williams' so they got a job at Williams'. Their dad's would show them how to do things and pay them out of their pocket just to keep them busy.

AC: Yeah.

HH: But everybody else had a farm and worked, you know?

AC: Uh huh.

HH: Let's see, your dad is...?

AC: Rob. [Robert Christensen]

HH: Rob.

AC: Yeah.

HH: Okay, your Grandpa was the one that died of cancer?

AC: Yeah.

HH: What was his name?

AC: Dee. [Christensen]

HH: Yeah Dee, that's right. I remember them both, yeah. Yeah, they would come into the dealership. But they had farms and there were things to do on farms. Did you ever get to work there?

AC: Yeah.

HH: Yeah, and that's the way it is but the kids that were going to Como made their own money. They'd go up there and roller skate. There was a group of kids that roller skated, Allen Carrigan, the guy that owns this Dodge dealership.

AC: Uh huh.

HH: There was a group of kids that went up there roller skating every night, oh my hell. And they just had their own party there every night roller skating.

AC: Yeah.

HH: Uh huh. Has anybody told you to go talk to Jack O'Driscoll?

AC: I talked... I actually had an interview...

HH: Did you talk to him?

AC: When I talked to Marilyn Lofgreen I was going to talk to both of them at the same time...

HH: Oh did you?

AC: ...but Jack got, he had something happen. He had to go to the hospital the day before...

HH: Oh, I see.

AC: and so I wasn’t able to...

HH: For himself?

AC: Yeah, something was wrong with him but...

HH: Oh my word!

AC: ...I mean, I think he's fine now but I haven't been able to get back to him.

HH: I see. See he lived back there and...

AC: Yeah, that's what I was told.

HH: ...set pins and, well they set pins, there was him and Stuart Murdock, and Kenny Worden and who was the other one? They had four pin setters set pins and those guys made pretty good money but that was work. I set them in the winter with them. My brother started running _____________________ in the winter up there. See, that place was cold in the winter for nine months/eight months...

AC: Yeah.

HH: know? But my brother decided if he...while bowling was going, he got them going and I'd go up and set pins for him to make a little money. Yeah Jack...those four guys that would set pins they was making a little money. I mean, money isn't everything it's just the way it had to be at the ________________________. Well you know growing up a boy yourself you got a place where you can make some ____________________ and don't have to ask your parents for it all.

AC: Yeah.

HH: ...and then you can do what you want see.

AC: Yeah.

HH: See while I was... How did I buy that boat? I saved up money. I was working at the dealership and Como. I was working seven days a week all the time I was growing up from the time I was eleven until the time I was...oh, until my dad died in '75. I was working seven days a week in the summer and roller skating in the winter. And I was not spending like most kids did. I could go skating and it didn't cost anything see.

AC: Yeah.

HH: I was not spending it so I had my money I spent and that's why I could buy a boat to put in Como and I didn't pay for the... Well, that's something else... Turn it off.

(End of tape)

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