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Jack O'Driscoll

Interviewed by: Linda H. Smith

00:00 / 1:42:36



October 5, 2011

Interviewee: Jack O’Driscoll

DOB: September 19, 1935

Parents: Gale and Ida O’Driscoll

Interviewer: Linda H. Smith

Subject: Como Springs Resort

Place of Interview: Morgan County Library Community Room, 50 W. 100 N. Morgan City, Utah.

Transcriber: Cissy Toone

Edited by: Linda H. Smith

Linda H. Smith: I think it's (the recorder) going so if you would like to state your name and your parent's names.

Jack O'Driscoll: My name is Jack O'Driscoll. I was born September 19, 1935. My parents were Gale and Ida O'Driscoll.

LS: The purpose of this interview is to get your memories of Como, as I understand your family lived there for quite a few years, is that correct?

JO: Yes.

LS: Okay so let’s start, what are your early memories? Do you remember when your family moved up there or was it before you were born?

JO: I moved there in 1946. I lived there until 1957. My mother lived there until approximately 1986. She was there forty years.

LS: So when you moved up there was it your entire family, do you have other siblings?

JO: No.

LS: You’re an only child?

JO: I’m an only child.

LS: Oh great, and did both parents move up there with you?

JO: Yes.

LS: What was your father’s name?

JO: Gale (O’Driscoll)

LS: Gale, and your mother’s name?

JO: Ida (O’Driscoll)

LS: Okay, what is your earliest memory that you can remember of Como?

JO: Well, I guess my earliest memory is, I was not excited about moving there because even though a few Morgan people went up there for fun that was, in my opinion considered kind of the other side of the tracks. The Morgan people weren’t involved with Como like all the rest of the world was. They would often go up there, set on the benches in front of the swimming pool and watch the people swim. Not very many of them swam.

The other thing I remember is as you left Morgan to go to Como right at the corner where the fairgrounds is now, right where the turn is there was this huge sign over the road. It said “Como Springs.” It showed people swimming and etc. That was always a big draw. The other thing is the swimming pool, even back that long ago was not like any other swimming pool that I was aware of because it had a sandy beach. It was fun to lay in the sun and warm sand then go jump in the water, and back and forth. That was really great until the state decided it wasn’t sanitary anymore so that’s when they poured all the cement and poured a new swimming pool at the same time.

LS: So was it just one big swimming pool when you moved up there?

JO: Yes, (outside.) (There was also an indoor swimming pool with a big, enclosed fireplace, so the room could be warmed.)

LS: Just the one big one; did they have one for the little kids at all?

JO: I don’t think so.

LS: Okay, just the one large one. (pool)

JO: It had a shallow end certainly for the little kids. As I remember, it was about one-hundred feet long and about seventy feet wide. The place between where I lived, which was between the swimming pool and the bowling alley, and the swimming pool was all enclosed with a high fence around it. That’s where they hung out all the swimming suits and towels that they washed that they rented for re-use. So there was a lot of washing done there.

LS: Really, that's interesting; that’s something we haven’t heard on any of our other interviews so I appreciate that. Do you remember what they charged to go to Como, or to rent suits?

JO: Well, there was no entrance fee like at Lagoon. There was never a charge to go to Como. I think it was - I’m not sure, either fifty or seventy-five cents to go swimming. Then of course there were all the other things to do. It was just an adventure land.

LS: So you weren’t excited about moving up there, where did you move from?

JO: South Morgan.

LS: South Morgan?

JO: Uh huh.

LS: How long did it take before you liked it up there or did you ever like it there?

JO: Oh, it was a very short time until I thought I had died and gone to paradise because it was everything that an eleven year old boy would want to have: swimming, roller skating, bowling, billiards, boating, fishing, a merry-go-round, a train that went around the lake, two big groves, one behind my house and one behind the skating rink, that were covered with grass and picnic tables, and ice skating in the winter because the lake froze over. It was perfect, everything I could imagine.

LS: Were there other kids living there during those years?

JO: Yes, as close as I could tell from a couple of notes that I had, we had about twenty-five or more kids that caught the bus to go to school every morning.

LS: Oh really?

JO: So the bus would go up to Round Valley, pick up four or five kids, one including our previous Sheriff, Gene Ercanbrack. Then when the bus would come back down, coming to Como (it was) essentially empty. Where the bus stopped at the old post office (east corner of Commercial Street and 125 N. Street) in town Morgan, almost all the people who got on the bus had to stand up because we had filled the bus at the Como stop.

There were fifty cabins there roughly; the numbers went up to fifty. I never did figure out that there were actually fifty, but a lot and there were lots of families there. Some of the families had five or six children living in these cabins so they were bigger than just…I don’t know, I don’t think there were any bigger than two bedrooms, but there were two bedroom cabins.

LS: And they lived there year round just like you did?

JO: Year round just like I did.

LS: Then were the other cabins for seasonal use?

JO: Uh huh. Anyhow, there were [three] other families who lived there full time. There were the Worden’s, who lived down in the house west of the parking lot. There were the Bruin’s who lived in the house that was right by the south end of the skating rink. One of the Bruin girls married my cousin. (There were the Smith's, who had four girls, and two sons.)

LS: Oh, so did you form lasting friendships up there?

JO: Well, they would have lasted, but all the people that lived up there except the Worden’s moved away. The friendships I really developed were with the other pin-setters that I worked for five years with setting pins at the bowling alley.

LS: So how old were you when you started working (at the bowling alley) for them?

JO: Eleven.

LS: Eleven, oh okay, and what was it that you did?

JO: Set pins in the bowling alley.

LS: Can you explain what that was like?

JO: Well, there were no [automatic] pin-setters like there are now. Whoever was in charge of that alley when the pins were knocked down, they would jump down in the pit, pick up the pins, put them up in a rack, and send the ball back down the chute, jump back out of the pit, and wait for the second ball to come if it wasn’t a strike. Then they’d put the rest of the pins out, push the rack down, reset the pins for the next person, and send the ball back.

LS: So if you didn’t get out of that little pit you got hit by a ball or pins so you’d have to be quick?

JO: Well, they were supposed to be watching to make sure you were out of the pit.

LS: The bowler?

JO: The bowler. Some of the people got a little inebriated; if they did, you got hit across the shins with a pin or the ball or both. [If this happened] The standard procedure for the pin boys was we’d fill the three [finger] holes with grease for when they threw the ball back up the alley; coarse that would cause some consternation. The man of the group would usually come down to tell us what he thought and what he was going to do to us for doing it. There were four of us, four alleys, and we would just stand up on the back of the pit, each one of us with a bowling pin in our hand and tell him, “Come on ahead, come.” We never had one do it but…

LS: So where was it that you put grease? I don’t understand, what did that do?

JO: Well, as soon as you put your fingers in the holes to bowl again…

LS: Oh, in the bowling ball holes, okay.

JO: Then when they went back [to bowl again,] the ball went back[wards] instead of frontwards, back into where the people were sitting.

LS: Okay, so who were some of the other pin-setters with you?

JO: Well the four that… let me tell you how that… there was so much [of] a demand for that job that when I first went there you had to get to the front door of the bowling alley a half an hour before it opened. Then the kids that were there would race to the back of the bowling alley to see who got to the four lanes, and they got that work for the day and the rest of them didn’t get work, for the day.

LS: So you weren’t hired then, it was just on a day-to-day basis?

JO: Right, but eventually that all shook out. The people who worked there were myself, Stewart Murdock, and Larry and Bob Brower, brothers.

LS: He married my sister. (Bob Brower married Vera Joyce Head)

JO: Oh really?

LS: Bob, uh huh, now they would have come from down here in South Morgan, the Brower’s.

JO: They lived in the last house on Commercial Street before you came to the bare place, before you got to the fairgrounds; they lived in the last house. (64 S. Commercial Street)

LS: Okay, so they were close.

JO: Then eventually Tye Little built a house after that so the house they lived in is actually the second house from the end.

LS: So you had a lot of fun setting pins did you? Pretty much would wear you out wouldn’t it after a day’s work?

JO: Well, it put you in good physical shape number one, and secondly it paid. For the times, and for our age, the pay was extremely well. It paid ten-cents a line, ten-cents per each game played.

LS: Oh really?

JO: So an eleven year old boy could make about eighty-cents an hour, which was about two or three times what you could make working on a farm picking up potatoes or whatever. It was a very good paying job.

LS: And you did that for how many years?

JO: Five.

LS: Five years, and you started when you were?

JO: Eleven.

LS: So until you were about sixteen.

JO: Then I graduated and became the… I don’t know, it didn’t have a title - the grounds maintenance man and garbage man. Went around and picked up all the garbage every morning, mowed the lawns, trimmed the trees and that kind of stuff.

LS: And that paid better I assume.

JO: It paid better, uh huh. My father convinced me that the big benefit of that was some of the kids at that time, or soon after were working down to Hill Field. They were making a lot more money, but they were spending their time and money to commute. I lived right inside Como so my commute was one-hundred yards one way or the other.

LS: That’s good, who did you work for?

JO: John D. Heiner. (He was two or three years older than me.) It was the old gentleman that was there when we first moved there. John Heiner was the man, he was the owner.  He’d work every day even though… he looked ancient to me. I don’t know how old he was. He would open up the swimming pool and if I was working hard out there raking up garbage and etc, he’d come out and rake up garbage with me. John D. Heiner was his grandson; he was Jack Heiner’s oldest son (John L. Heiner,) Hal B. Heiner’s brother. He died very young. I think him and his wife Elizabeth ended up having three children, and then he died very young. He was the real heir-apparent to running Como.

LS: Making a real improvement with it?

JO: Making it work, yes.

LS: That’s too bad. You mentioned the skating rink; do you have memories of the skating rink that you could share, who ran it, who operated it?

JO: Rex Heiner ran it. (He was John Heiner's son.) It was a great place to skate. Either it was dust or they put a powder on the floor to make it so it wasn’t slick. There was always a little dust in there that bothered my hay fever a little bit, but it was so fun to skate. We got to skate free so the pit- boys had all their own skates that they purchased in a fancy suit case and we probably skated three or four times a week. We could do all the tricks and skate backwards and all that stuff, that would impress the girls, and very fast.

The center of the skating rink, you were not allowed to skate in there. The floor there was always polished instead of powdered, and that’s where they held all the dances. There was a bandstand in there for a live band. When they had a band they took the chain down that made the oval. You danced on the inside oval, and skated only in the outside ring.

LS: So did they have dancing and skating at the same time?

JO: No

LS: They separated it, okay.

JO: Usually Saturday night, I think, were the dances. They finally stopped having them because people quit dancing. It was very fun, we used to just be tall enough that we could stand on the outside and peek in and watch them dancing.

LS: So you actually moved up there after the war then?

JO: 1946

LS: Yeah, you weren’t around there when they were having any of the dances during the war. Now I failed to ask you before, you said you worked all day, what were your hours when you were doing the pins? I’m sorry to go back.

JO: Oh, when I was setting pins?

LS: Uh huh

JO: Let’s see how I want to answer that…

LS: It wasn’t always the same?

JO: No, it was never the same. On Saturday’s and Sunday’s people started showing up somewhere between noon and two o’clock in the afternoon. On the weekdays they probably would start really showing up at about four or five o’clock. It wasn’t unusual for me to walk over to my house a few hundred feet away at one o’clock in the morning. There were a lot of people, to give you some idea, on a good Saturday or Sunday the parking lot in front of the bowling alley would be full of cars. The whole parking lot on the other side of the [bridge], between the canal and the river, towards Worden’s house would be full of cars. The overflow would be parked over across the river bridge in the fairgrounds, and by the River Lodge.

LS: That many?

JO: There would be solid cars. When I was flying in the 1970’s, I was flying all over on the job I had. I would meet people on the airplane that had been to Como Springs. One of them was married there and had a honeymoon there. This was not a little place; this was a well known resort.

LS: In the country [USA]. Did they have a concession stand in the skating rink, and who operated it?

JO: They had a concession stand in the skating rink that sold candy, popcorn, and pop. Then of course they had the hamburger stand in the center of Como. They sold hamburgers, hotdogs, a special, we called it. (A special was a hamburger with a hotdog sliced lengthwise, on it too.) Three or four different kinds of ice cream, popsicles, and all that kind of stuff.

LS: Okay, we have talked about those. Do you have any memories of the merry-go-round, the train, or the boats?

JO: Yes, the merry-go-round was beautiful. I never did see the Heiner’s paint it so it must have come that way and stayed that way. It was really beautiful and it was fun to ride. I don’t know whether they ever opened it on weekdays. They always opened it on weekends but I don’t remember someone sitting over there running it during the week. It was a real delight and of course they sold that to Lagoon, that’s the one that’s down in Lagoon now.

LS: I will talk to you about that later, we know where it is now.

JO: It had a screened enclosure all the way around it, it had a huge thing up on top, a roof on top and was all enclosed as you go in the gates.

The train that went around the lake when I got there was a steam train on rails. I still have one of the rails. When they tore it up I took one of the rails for a souvenir. That was great because of all the sound effects, the steam, whistle, and all of that. Later on I guess they decided that was too much maintenance so they completely gutted the little locomotive and put a gas engine in it and rubber tires on all the cars. It still went the same place it just wasn’t like riding a train anymore. It had a little trestle that went across the lake right by the deep end of the swimming pool, so for little kids you were looking off the trestle probably six or eight feet in the water which was a real thrill too. That’s where we did all of our fishing. There were sunfish, perch, and carp in that lake. The carp, I estimated were three to five pounds, but the little perch that we caught were only about so big, three to five inches. We fished there almost every morning and we had some of the greatest discussions just sitting there catching fish in the lake. We always threw them back so we could catch them again.

LS: So was that you and your friends?

JO: Uh huh

LS: So did they stock the pond? They didn’t, they were just…

JO: Back to the swimming pool for a minute. People that didn’t know what they were talking about thought the pool was dirty; it wasn’t. The pool was completely drained scrubbed and refilled every Monday; and the water was going in and out of the pool during the whole week. This was highly charged, concentrated mineral water, so algae grew in it so the bottom felt slick all the time and it smelled because of all the minerals and chemicals in it. It wasn’t dirty, it was wonderful and eighty degrees. That’s why there were so much algae and everything growing in the lake because the water was draining out of the pool into the lake. People used to come up there with tubs and big containers to fill full of water; part of them drank it for health reasons, then part soaked their feet in it for health reasons. It came out of a pipe, about a six inch diameter pipe into the pool and Mr. Heiner just let them go in there and fill up whenever they wanted and take it out. A lot of people did that. There was a big sign right out in front of the pool that listed all of the minerals and chemicals that were in the water [naturally].

LS: Oh really, that would be nice.

JO: I think I have a picture of that, I’m not sure but I think.

LS: I’d love to see it and get a copy possibly. What’s something about Como that you would like people to know? If there was something you handed down that you thought maybe no one else would tell, what would you like people to know?

JO: Life was so different then. I lived there ten years essentially, and I think I only saw three fights in ten years. When people got inebriated they got friendly. If they were ever robbed, I don’t know about it, it just wasn’t done. People came up there and had a good time. There was never any...for example, I’m eleven years old, and I’m working until 1 o’clock in the morning. There was never any concern by anyone including my parents about whether I was safe or whether I would make it home. There was never any of that. It was just a great place to live.

LS: Was it a great time?

JO: A great time, yes, and people just came in by the hundreds. They had the two boweries, one just north of where the bowling alley was, and one between the skating rink and the lake. People reserved those every Saturday and Sunday for weddings, family reunions, and family parties. They were big, I don’t know how big, fifty by one-hundred feet maybe, and screen enclosed. No windows, there was always fresh air going though them. People just loved to come there. Of course they would get on the rides and stuff while they were, there but it was just a wonderful family place. In all the groves where the big trees were there were concrete picnic tables. There was never any charge for any of those so they could come up and have a picnic and do whatever they wanted. If they wanted to spend money they could and if they didn't they didn't have to.

LS: It's quite different now days, very much. Do you ever remember any accidents that occurred up there?

JO: Yeah, I remember one, I’ll probably think of some others. I don't know whether it was when I lived there or whether it was after I left, but some young men climbed over the fence and went swimming after dark. One of them came down the slide, as I heard the story, on his knees so that when he got to the bottom of the slide he could just go out and into a dive but something happened in that process and it broke his neck and killed him. That was one of the Taggart boys who lived up to Taggart's.

LS: Oh, okay

JO: I don't remember his name, I think Howie (Taggart?) but I'm not sure. Accidents while I was there, one of the things I did was I studied and went through the course to become a life guard and one year I worked quite a bit as a lifeguard there. I never could relax because with three swimming pools you had to be paying attention. I don't ever remember anyone getting to the point where a lifeguard had to save them from drowning or any of that business. I don't remember any of that.

LS: So was there just one lifeguard on duty at a time?

JO: Yes

LS: You said you took a course, where did you take the course, did they provide it?

JO: Yeah, the Red Cross sent people up to Como Springs to provide the course.

LS: Did you have to pay for that yourself or did they?

JO: I don't remember. You had to be able to swim sixteen lengths of that big swimming pool in order to qualify, (about one-third of a mile.) You had to hassle with the instructor [in] the deep water with him acting like he was drowning and you were trying to save him. There was one other accident…what was I going to tell you?

LS: While you’re thinking this (tape recorder) is saying were going to run out of tape, I'm going to shut it off and turn it over.

(End of side A)

(Side B)

JO: One friend that I didn't think was too smart, Buddy Bruin; one day I went down to see him. He lived in that house on the [west] side of the skating rink, and he had this bandage on his thumb. I asked him what he'd done and he had taken his .22 rifle and he...I don't know what he was thinking but he put his thumb over the end of the barrel and pulled the trigger. I don't know... it didn’t stop the bullet; it went right through his finger nail.

One thing probably some people haven't told you or maybe they have: When I moved there I had a trap-line and that trap-line was catching rats. There were gray rats, brown rats, and black and white rats. I had three or four traps sitting around the hot dog stand and different places besides, and my traps were full every morning; so I caught a lot of rats. Back in the dark ages there was a bounty on magpies. There were so many magpies in Como that I used to wake up in the morning, my parents had already gone to work and I poked a small hole in the screen of my bedroom window and I would shoot magpies out of my bedroom window before I ever got dressed or came out of the house. There were just hundreds of them; we used to just kill them by the hundreds. We got ten cents for each one and it took five magpies to by another box of ammunition. So that’s how we paid for our ammunition was by shooting the magpies.

LS: Where did you turn them in, and what did you turn in?

JO: At the courthouse, you cut off the legs, put a little piece of tape around them, and you got ten cents for every pair of legs.

LS: What about the rats, did you get anything on those?

JO: No, I just trapped them for fun.

LS: Just for fun

JO: To give you some idea; I went down one day with my good friend, who was the same age, Kenneth Worden, to the courthouse and he had two, two-pound coffee cans full of magpie legs.

LS: That's a lot.

JO: That's a lot of legs.

LS: Yes, there's very few around now.

JO: Everybody thought that was the thing to do because magpies ... There weren’t any other birds around much because the magpies ate all the eggs for all the other birds.

LS: That probably made a good difference. What about the lockers, were you there when they made a lot of additions in buildings or anything, in the lockers?

JO: I was there when they built the café. They built it on the side of the bowling alley and that was wonderful. Rex (Heiner) was an excellent cook, his rib eye steaks were just loved by everyone. I never had a tough one, they were tender and flavorful. He was really a good cook. He ran the café. Him and his boys eventually, and Vance (Rex's brother) and Leone (Heiner) ran the bar in front of the bowling alley. They usually hired someone to run the bowling alley; one year that was Kenny Nelson, one year it was Kent Murdock.

LS: Any other fond memories you have of Como?

JO: Well, for someone who likes the outdoors it was perfect because Como Springs was bordered on one whole side by the (Weber) river. On the other side of Como, on the back end of it was Como Peak, which was a boys dream. On the other end was the lake, so you could do anything you wanted. If you didn't want to go hiking, and you didn’t want to set down on this little island in the river that we could get out on and just relax and have a drink or whatever and talk, or you didn’t want to fish in the lake then you could bowl, play pool, or go skating (for free.)

LS: Yeah, it was wonderful. How about rattle snakes?

JO: Now people don’t agree with me completely on this, they all agree there was one, but I think there were more, groups actually that came up in buses. When they got off the bus each of them had a snake fork and a bag. They had contests; they went up on Como Peak and actually had a contest to see who could bring back the most rattle snakes. I went up there a lot. In the summer it was fun, in the winter we hunted rabbits up there. You get up on those big grey cliffs at the top and you could see Morgan Valley, it’s an incredible view. Now they have it posted… someone, I forget his name, has it posted so you can’t go up there. In all my experiences up there I never did see very many rattlesnakes, but we had one in the swimming pool. We had one actually crawl into the bowling alley. They were around and I guess everybody just knew they were there.

LS: They didn’t cause any problems. I've heard a couple of people make some mention, and I'm wondering if you ever had any experience or heard about things like spooks or anything like that at Como, strange happenings?

JO: No, I don't think so.

LS: Okay, I see you brought a book, was that for this interview?

JO: Well, this is my personal history and I just thought I might refer to a couple things just to refresh my memory, not to read.

LS: Oh, okay

JO: I don't know whether you've ever had anyone mention it to you or not but we use to have a lot of outings come up from Hill field. A division or department or whatever would come and there’d be two, three, or four hundred people at one time. I remember this one time, I don't know why, but they brought some black people with them and they weren't allowed in the swimming pool. It looked like there was going to be a real brawl over that and this is my memory sixty years ago, but they had a long talk and as I recall they never did get in. They just didn’t do that sixty years ago.

LS: Another person mentioned something about that. They said that John D, (Heiner) I guess it was, talked with them and told them if they'd come back a certain night or something that he would open the pool up just for them. Do you recollect anything like that?

JO: That does sound familiar.

LS: It sounds familiar, okay so they were allowed to enjoy it but just not with everyone else.

JO: Yeah

LS: Now things have really changed.

JO: Two of the real fixtures that were in Como Springs from the time I moved there until long after I left were the Grover brothers, Dee A. and Cliff. They were mentally challenged. They sat pins; they did a lot of odd jobs for the people up there like filling the coolers with pop and all that kind of stuff. They were kind of a laughing stock and they would be in the bar, Dee A. especially, not Cliff but Dee A. would be in the bar and you’d hear these guys joking about the fact that you know, “You can offer that guy over there a choice, you could tell him he could have this quarter in this hand or this dime in this hand and he’s so dumb he’ll take the dime.” So of course the guy had to try it, so they’d call him over and say, “Here Dee A., what do you want the dime or the quarter?” and he would take the dime. So one day, of course I lived there and so did he practically, so one day I said, “Dee A., how come you do that, how come you take the dime instead of the quarter?" and he said, which proves he was smarter than the guys he was dealing with, he said, “If I took the quarter they'd stop doing it.”

LS: Well yeah, I do remember them. After you left living at Como do you have any experiences of going back there for outings or anything, do you remember?

JO: Well, it was a heartbreaking experience for me to see them bulldoze the house down, but they were bulldozing everything else down too, the cabins. You know they took all those beautiful tables I was telling you about and put them in the swimming pool. I don’t know… a hundred or more of them in the swimming pool. Then what that didn’t fill up they covered with dirt and planted grass over it so there’s absolutely no evidence now that the swimming pool ever existed or that house either. So that's hard you know, to see someone try to make the place where you grew up like it never happened.

One of the biggest, one of the most lucid memories I have about Como and I’ve already talked to you about, in 1952 the flood. Now the flood got up high enough so that there was about a four inch step in front of our house and then four inches up onto the porch. So you had about eight inches from the ground to the floor level.  The water got up to where it was at the bottom of the floor, it never did come up through the floor, but it was up almost touching the boards. So the water was roughly four to six inches deep there. I could get in my kayak that my father and I had built and I could take that kayak from my front porch clear across the parking lot, across the canal ditch, across the other parking lot, and as close to the river as I dared to get because of the way it was rushing. That whole area, that whole Como was buried in water and the fairgrounds as well. We took turns at night working on the bridge to pull the trees, limbs, and stuff out to keep it from pushing the bridge off of the abutments. The water was running right over the top of our feet as we were standing on the bridge, so the water went right over that bridge that’s there now.

LS: So did you ever have to move?

JO: No

LS: No one had to leave there because of the flood?

JO: I think there were some people that had to move temporarily out of some of the cabins but we didn’t.  I don’t remember whether the Worden’s had to get out of that house or not but water was everywhere.

LS: That was quite a lot of water.

JO: Yep, it was a lot of water.

LS: Well, with a kayak it sounds like you made fun of any circumstance.

JO: I used it in the lake and they had a beautiful… it must have been a Chris Craft because it was a wooden motor boat that was on there that they took people for rides on the lake in this motor boat.

LS: What do you think happened to Como? There’s been a lot of speculations.

JO: Do you want me to put that on tape?

LS: Well, we can shut it off if you want me to if it’s something you’d rather not have on the tape, without mentioning names or anything.

JO: The mentality got to the point where, “We want to take, but we don’t want to put in.”

LS: Okay

JO: So if you do that all the time things just gradually go down. The cabins lose their maintained quality and the skating rink wasn’t as good as it was before. The lanes on the bowling alley weren’t quite as good, then of course they had the fire that burned down the bowling alley.

LS: Oh yes

JO: Well, it burned but it wasn't destroyed so it was there for awhile. They tried having it so you could just play pool in there but not bowl because the alleys were destroyed. That didn’t work so then they just closed it off and they had the café there. And people I guess just quit skating, I don’t know.

LS: Well, there’s been some speculations that because of health standards that the state made regulations and then with transportation becoming so easy to other areas. Do you think that played a part in it?

JO: Well, I heard rumors that… I want to emphasize this is just a rumor, that with the new regulations the insurance on the swimming pool got so high, that it was no longer economical to have it.

LS: That sounds reasonable.

JO: I never could figure out why it was economical for Coalville to have their public pool but it wasn’t economical for Morgan.

LS: Oh okay, is there anything else that you can think of you’d like to add?

JO: The Heiner family always treated the O'Driscoll family wonderful. They trusted me. They would give me a job and tell me what  to do and never did come around and check to see if I was coming along the way I should, or doing it, or anything. They hired me to work, I worked, and they paid me, it was a good arrangement.

LS: How did you receive your pay?

JO: It must have been cash because I don’t ever remember a check.

LS: I’ve heard mention of silver dollars.

JO: Well, silver dollars were a common thing then and so were fifty cent pieces. The pay I got for setting pins, I got paid every night before I went home. They counted it, if I had eighty cents coming or six dollars, they paid me that night. A couple of things that kids may not remember, all of the soda water and beer was in bottles. There was a two cent return payment of pop bottles. Well, I worked at a resort so that wouldn’t be fair, so I went around every morning and gathered up all the bottles and they gave me twenty-five cents a case for picking them up. So I would gather up, depending on what day it was, between two and six cases of bottles a day. Coke bottles then were six ounces and [Lehi] were a little bigger, but none of them were as big as soda-water being now of course.

Then there was a catalog out with the premiums they gave for returned Popsicle wrappers. So normally that would be hard to do, but living in a resort I just walked around in the morning and gathered up all the popsicle wrappers because I was raking them up anyways. I still have a pocket knife that I got from sending, I don’t know, two hundred, or three or four hundred popsicle wrappers in and got this free pocket knife.

LS:  How fun!

JO: Yeah

LS: That is interesting.

JO: They always hired drop dead beautiful girls to work at the hot dog stand, at least that’s what the pin boys thought. They were always two or three years older than us so we spent a lot of time just with our chin in our hands looking up at the girls in the hot dog stand and spending all our money over there.

LS: About the same as they do today.

JO: Same thing, yep.

LS: Do you remember any of the other kids that worked up there? You say the girls, give me a few names of people that worked up there.

JO: Carol Brower, she was gorgeous until the day she died which was this year, I think, wasn’t it?

LS:  This last year.

JO: Yeah, Marlene Francis who is married to Larry Peterson and then slightly later, Donna Rogers, Donna Mae… let’s see, oh heaven’s sake, I forgot her middle name, anyway she married Rex (Heiner). She became Rex’s spouse and they had three or four boys. Her sister was Gaylene and they lived right close to me in South Morgan. She (Donna) lived down there and then she worked up at the hot dog stand and her and Rex finally got married.

LS: Oh interesting, do you know of any other romances that kind of got their start in Como?

JO: I had one experience that was not pertaining to that, you’ve probably heard it. RaeDell Heiner then, Jack Heiner’s daughter and I were standing out on the new cement by the new swimming pool and a rain storm came up and RaeDell got hit by lightning. It went right in her left… I was standing closer than I am to you, two to three feet away, it went right in her left hip and out the bottom of her foot. It had to of been a little tiny lightning bolt because normally that would be fatal. She just pulled up her swimming suit just far enough to show me this big red splotch on her hip and then she put her foot up and showed me the red spot on the bottom of her foot where it came out. I didn’t feel anything but I just felt kind of a hissing ya know, when it hit. That was really scary to have lightening hit someone that close to you.

LS: Really, that would have been very. Well you’ve given us some really great information. Sounds like it would have been wonderful living up there.

JO: It was

LS: Must have been a great experience. What do you think the kids are missing today without having Como?

JO: Well, they’re missing someplace locally to do anything, there’s nothing to do in Morgan. If their parents would allow them to associate in Como, was everything to do. You could do whatever you wanted, and it was a big. I think, looking back on it, I think it was a huge boom to Morgan’s economy. It brought in a lot of money and I never did figure out why they decided to just completely obliterate it like they did. Lagoon tried to buy it once, made a serious offer to buy it once but that didn’t go. I really believe that if it had that Como today would be like, almost like Lagoon is now because I think there were as many people going to Como then as there was Lagoon.

LS: Really?

JO: I think so.

LS:  Okay, well I want to thank you.  I really appreciate you coming in and, like I said as soon as we get this typed up we’ll get you a copy of it and, we’ll run you a copy of the tape, you’ll have that. Do you have anything else you’d like on the tape?

JO: I did see… when you really think about it, I did see one real seed of violence. Only one I think. This group came up from some place, and this guy in the bar got drunk and of course like some drunks do, he took it out on his wife. So he went out looking for her and found her out in the parking lot and he knocked her down; hit her with his fist and knocked her flat on her back. She got up and he knocked her down again.

Well this fellow that the pin boys held as a hero, his name was Chet something, lived in one of the cabins and he was a tough guy. We were looking out the window of the bowling alley watching this. We were just kids but he wasn’t. So he walked out, tapped this guy on the shoulder and when he turned around he knocked him flat on his back. The guy had, I think a jack handle in his hand, he didn’t hit the woman with it but he had it in his hand. He got up and Chet knocked him flat on his back all the way from one end of that parking lot to the other. He kept getting up and Chet kept knocking him down all the way across that parking lot, and everyone was just cheering

LS: Okay, well from what you’ve said it sounds like the local people didn’t have any problems. It seems like when people came in from out of town that they had some difficulties.

JO: Yeah, once in a while you’d have a disagreement, a serious argument, but very seldom any fist work.

LS: Okay, well thank you, I appreciate it.

(End of side B)

Note: From information provided by the Heiner family, the merry-go-round was sold to the Lorin Farr Park in Ogden, Utah. It was then sold again, (1952) and is currently (2017) in the Porter Park in Rexburg, Idaho.

Note: Square [brackets] are used to indicate corrections.

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