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Lyle & Kimlyn Porter

Interviewed by: Adam Christensen

00:00 / 1:12:25



Interviewees: Lyle Porter and Kimlyn Porter (daughter of Lyle and Sharon Heiner Porter)

Interviewer: Adam Christensen (Weber State College Student)

Subject: Como Springs Resort Experiences

April 5, 2010

Transcriber: Cissy Toone

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

Adam Christensen: My name is Adam Christensen. I’ll be interviewing Lyle Porter. The date is Monday, April 5thand we will be doing the interview in his home. (352 N. 700 E. Morgan City) And we’ll be talking about the Como Springs Resort.

Adam Christensen: How were you connected to Como? Did you have jobs, did your parents take you there, how did you get to know Como?

Lyle Porter: First off my parents took me there. I’m trying to think of my age. I know I was young enough that we used to always make sure we wore a pair of shoes with a good sole because they had clamp on skates that we could put on. Also we always liked to bring a little fish hook because I spent a lot of time catching little, tiny fish out of the boat pond, just by putting bread on (the hook.) They were just small fish.

AC: Oh really?

LP: I had to be probably eight, nine, or ten years old when I first was going up there with my family. At that time there was sand around the pools for the kids. There was a period of time when about the third grade, I came down with rheumatic fever so at that time they wouldn’t let you go swimming – at least they told you not to go swimming.  So I spent a lot of time outside watching because I couldn’t swim. That’s why I’d go fishing and stuff like that. There was a big slide that came down into one of the pools and the whole back side of Como on the far side was covered with wild roses.

AC: Oh really?

LP: Yeah, that side behind it. Then the lockers in there were wooden lockers. That’s my earliest recollection of going up to Como, and more so I remember roller skating. They had a key girl, or key boy that would put them on for you. He had a key to tighten it up, you couldn’t do it yourself. Then when I got older, that’s where I met my wife. A bunch of us guys from Layton would come up here to Como. We’d come up sometimes, a couple times a week.

They had these cabins – they had some cabins - I guess they had been there for years, there was probably at least a dozen or more. We used to stay in them. We’d get a bunch of guys and go up and probably stay.  It opened on Decoration Day (Memorial Day), that’s how the season used to go. It would open on Decoration Day (Memorial Day) weekend, run all through summer, and close on Labor Day that would be the last weekend. We usually, somewhere around the first of the season, would go up and spend the night in a cabin. That’s my first recollection. That’s when I really started knowing more about it. That’s when I started going myself with guys my age. We were probably juniors and sophomores.

AC: How did you meet your wife there?

LP: Well, her dad - at that time they had a bar stand which they served pop and beer, and a bowling alley that was hooked right behind it. He ran that part. That was his part, mostly the bar stand, he had candy and that. She worked there and that’s when I first met her. I don’t know so much that he ran the bowling alley but someone there was running the bowling alley. He was pretty much just over the - his sister, that would be Nola Sommers, they ran the hamburger stand that was there. They probably told you about it. I got married in fifty-five, and I moved up. We moved into these cabins. Prior to that time they had started to build the motel that’s there. I remember helping Rex (Heiner) put the roof on the motel so that was done around that time. It had to of probably started it earlier than that because it was to the point where they were putting on the roof.

We lived there for a couple of years. There was a house behind the bowling alley and I’m trying to think of the lady’s name. She had twin girls that married a couple of my friends from down in Layton but I can’t think of her name but they did all the laundry work for the swimming towels and suits.

There was an old building that went out partly over the pond. It was a restaurant. Maybe someone told you about this. Some family member (Esther Heiner) ran a restaurant up there and it wasn’t in operation at the time when I went in fifty-five but, I remember going in it. They used to have some dances in there. I think I can remember going in there and dancing. Then we moved from behind the motel over into that white house.

AC: Oh.

LP: They had a little train that went around that pond. There was a garage out the side of that house where they kept the train. But they just about discontinued that prior to the time I moved around there. It was probably two or three years before because they quit running that train. They bought a little train. It was on regular wheels, and it just had some cars behind it. They bought it from someone and ran it up there for a little while. There was also a little building that had an airplane ride. I don’t know if anyone told you about that.

AC: Yeah.

LP: Then Hal B. (Heiner) put a boat on the pond and took kids for rides in the boat around the pond. There was the Baird family, they was good friends with Vance and Leone, (Heiner) they brought up some Shetland’s (ponies) and had on the weekends for the kids to ride.

AC: Oh.

LP: There was a house there and I think Grandpa Sommers used to live there in the summer time but they didn’t live there when I moved up here. That was prior to my time. And the (Gail & Ida) O’Driscoll family lived there, Jack O’Driscoll who lived in Stoddard. They must have built the Café prior to when I got married because I know it was there when I was dating Sharon (Heiner). It was pretty new. I think they did that in conjunction when they built the motel. There used to be a wooden restroom for men and women right there where the canal goes through, between where the bowling alley and hotel was. There was a couple of big boweries out the back that people could rent. There was an area out there big enough that you could even play softball.

AC: Oh really?

LP: Yeah, and there’d be a lot of people there. That was a busy place at that time, especially on weekends. The parking lot out in front would be full plus there was a parking lot on this side of the canal. There was a little house there that the Worden's lived in. Prior to that time Grandpa Heiner used to have a fox farm there, right by where the Worden’s house was. Then they moved the fox farm over on the hill where the Como Fur Farm is now. It was a fun place, everybody went there.

AC: Yeah.

LP: At one time they bought a little miniature golf course and put there, out in front of the hamburger stand. I think there was a little popcorn booth, just a small place. I can remember when we used to go up there. We used to date quite a few of the girls up there, and sometimes my wife would be working in the popcorn stand or she’d be working in the bar, or she’d be back in the bowling alley. There were things there to do. It was a fun place to go.

AC: Always busy. Let me ask you, what was your favorite attraction there, what do you think?

LP: As I got older the swimming pool.

AC: The swimming pool?

LP: Yeah, we basically went there, that and the roller skating rink.

AC: Why do you think that attracted you?

LP: Well, you know roller skating was big in that time. I remember when they had that roller skating rink. I think the demise of Como, when it finally got to where it wasn’t doing as good is because house trailers and campers on trucks came into play.  People could go further for their entertainment. It just seemed they had other places they could go; otherwise it was kind of limited.

I can remember when I was smaller when we used to come up here and stop down at what they called White's Crossing or something. Where the bridge goes across the railroad track (Horseshoe Bend/Devil's Gate in Weber Canyon) before you get to where the first dam is there was a little park right there. It had a little café (The Gateway) and three or four cabins. That was a place we usually went to because they didn’t let you travel very far. Cars were not that good. You could go up the road another five or six miles to where the (Mt. Green) First National Bank is now. It used to be another place you could camp, The Wheel is what it was called. They had a little motel and a big meeting bowery. That was really good if you went that far. To go to Como was really special. That was back when I was small. Then we got to where we could drive to Como and that’s where we always went.

AC: Do you remember any of, maybe some special activities or events held there?

LP: At the time, there were some events like all the mink ranchers - sometime during the year when Como was open, would have a Field Day. They’d bring their mink up to compare with each other’s mink and one thing and another. And at that time a lot of the fur dressers (fur dress and tannery companies) would come to solicit your business and send your mink to their dressing place. They’d hold meetings where all of those people would show up with a lot of the mink ranchers. They would have it out in the bowery. That was a couple of the things done. A lot of people came up for reunions and stuff like that at the bowery. Most generally it was just to go up to swim and skate in my time.

AC: I’ve been told a lot and I’ve read a little about the 4th of July celebrations up there.

LP: They did, they used to have - behind Como up where the road goes up around on the hill. I think Whitey Little had a lot to do with it, and Rex (Heiner) bought and would have fireworks up there.

AC: And shoot them off the hill?

LP: Uh huh, that was probably the pre to the firework displays they have now. That was basically where they had the fireworks on the fourth. I don’t think there were any other fireworks that went off. You know, I don’t think they had them before I moved out of there; they probably did but not too much longer. After that it became part of the town (fireworks) shot off at the High School rather than up to Como.

AC: You kind of talked about this a little bit but maybe you can a little more if you think of anything, why do you think was so popular?

LP: I think it was popular from the fact that it was probably least expensive than going to Lagoon. I think people did a lot more picnicking then than they do now. You could hardly find a table up there because people came out just for a picnic. I mean the kids would like to swim but the older people would just set around and talk. It was a simple easier life.

AC: Yeah.

LP: It would be a lot - I keep thinking from down below - a lot of the farmers would take the opportunity just to come up and have a picnic and let the kids do something because it was just that space in time. There wasn’t a lot of other things to do.

AC: Yeah. How was it price wise for the average Joe to come up there? I know they charged money for some things.

LP: I was trying to think because you could buy a bottle of pop for a quarter then. Another thing, most of the pop was in bottles and kids could go out and gather up the bottles. Some kids would come there to the stand and get a case so they could put bottles in it and go out and gather bottles. They’d get five-cents a bottle to bring the bottles back in. That’s the first thing some of the kids would want to do is see if they could gather up some bottles. No, it wasn’t that expensive. I’m trying to think what it would cost you to swim, I can’t even remember. All I do remember that the hardest part of that deal for me was they had to clean the swimming pool once a week.

AC: Oh really?

LP: Scrub that baby, because at that particular time I don’t think they had a lot of chlorine. That became a family job. When I got married that was part of my job to clean the pool. I keep thinking it might have been on a Sunday night because I’m thinking they wouldn’t drain that pool for people. It started taking that pool down, then when it got down about a foot and a half you started scrubbing them walls trying to keep up with that son of a gun. That was hard work, I mean that algae on there. They even tried to put like a floor buffer, put some steel brushes on there. That worked awhile then. Them little steel things would break off then, once in a while people would get them in their feet so that didn’t work too good. I remember Grandpa Heiner used to leave us a couple of bucks for doing that.

AC: Oh really?

KimLyn Porter: It used to cost $1.50 to swim, and then it went to two-bucks because I worked in the swimming pool and it was fifty-cents to rent a swimming suit.

AC: A $1.50 to swim?

KP: To go swimming for all day.

LP: See, that was in her day and I don’t think it was that much. I think it was more like sixty-five or eighty cents.

KP: Well, it probably was back then but this was when I was there.

LP: Yeah, I don’t think it was cause you could get French fries for twenty-five cents.

KP: I knew it would never be more than two bucks ever.

AC: You rented swim suits for fifty cents?

KP: You could rent a swimming suit for fifty cents.

AC: See, I never rented a swim suit before.

KP: Well, they did away with that before.

LP: Well, you know we never took swimming suits, they just…

KP: They’d wash the towels. You could rent the towel and swimming suit then they had the showers and the… They washed them in the back.

LP: Oh, they had an indoor pool.

KP: Yeah.

AC: Yeah, I learned about that.

LP: Matter of fact, they told me they used to baptize in that indoor pool.

AC: Actually two people I’ve interviewed were baptized there so yes, they used to do that.

KP: That’s where Mom (Sharon Heiner Porter) was baptized.

LP: Probably.

KP: I know because I remember too.

LP: The only thing I ever did see and they said they used to do it all the time, was they used to skate on that pond. But it never got cold enough, and I thought it got pretty cold to freeze that hard enough that anyone ever went out when I lived there.

LP: They say they used to ice skate on that.

AC: I visited with Camille Wilde and she said they used to go ice skating (late 1930's/1940's).

LP: Yeah, they told me they ice skated on that all the time.

AC: Okay, another question: What do you think are some reasons Como is not here anymore?

LP: Well, I think the one thing was liability insurance got tough for just the three months that they had to do it. It cost a lot of money. Like I say, people just… Well, other places opened up. I mean when people could get a camper or a small trailer, they’d head up the Mirror Lake way. There just wasn’t that many. In my time, in the fifties, fifty-five, sixty right through there, you couldn’t find a place to park on a weekend.

AC: At Como?

LP: At Como, then during the week it was slower but still the front part would all be… Practically every kid in Morgan would spend the evening up there.

KP: Well, roller skating was a big thing.

LP: Yeah. Skating, and I mean bowling, playing pool; it was a center for the kids in Morgan principally. I don’t know of a kid who didn’t hit there some time or another.

AC: Yeah.

LP: Especially during the summer, that was like a baby tending place for a parent. You’d give the kids a season pass and they were there all day long.

AC: So you talked about how it was a good place for the kids to go. Do you think something like that is needed in town today, what do you think?

LP: You know if a swimming pool wasn’t so costly, and if we had enough people I think it would be great.

AC: Yeah. Why do you think a resort or pool for the kids, why do you feel that’s important?

LP: Well, they could stay here and not have some place else to go.

AC: Down below?

LP: Yeah, and there was a show house here for quite a little while, then after that it was gone.

KP: There was miniature golf up there, and all sorts of stuff to do.

LP: It was a good, clean place to take your family.

AC: Yeah.

LP: We spent a lot of Easter’s up there. Even after it was closed, we’d still go up there at Easter time.

AC: Yeah.

LP: It was a busy season. They took a lot of time getting everything prepared for the opening. I can remember one year it rained every weekend. For some reason it just rained every weekend. That was probably one of the worst years they had before they finally decided it just wasn’t worth it - just the liability for insurance for the pool.

KP: Well, Morgan City wouldn’t help pay for any of the liability.

LP: Yeah.

AC: During the winter what went on up there, nothing?

KP: It closed on Labor Day.

AC: Okay, did the families stay there during the winter at all, or did anyone stay in the cabins.

LP: Well, see Rex (Heiner) lived there. They built a house in connection with the motel. Then they had the café and that was open.

AC: The café was open during the winter?

LP: Uh huh.

KP: And the bowling alley.

LP: Yeah, that was where the first bowling league was. I can remember when I first moved here they had bowling leagues. There were only eight little alleys but they had leagues. It was only one night a week I think. I don’t think there was a ladies league, there might have been but I don’t recall one. That was one thing opened during the winter.

KP: But the O’Driscoll lady (Ida O'Driscoll) and us, we lived there all winter.

LP: Oh yeah, and the Wordens lived there all winter.

AC: Okay, how big were the cabins that you lived in.

LP: There were single cabins that were just one room, and there were some that had two rooms. The one we lived in had a combined kitchen and front room, a small (room) in between, where we had the bathroom, washer and dryer, and one bedroom. I don’t know if anyone else told you but, I think there was a family that was with Grandpa on that to start with or at least they stayed there in the summer time. I don’t know if they just had a cabin that they stayed there all summer long. Terrys, wasn’t their name Terrys?

KP: Yeah. Oh, they were there for a long, long time. They lived in Salt Lake and they just came up.

LP: But I think they had something to do, maybe not… because I don’t know how Grandpa really did come by that to tell you the truth. Maybe someone told you, I don’t know how.

KP: I think RaeDell (Heiner Giles) knows.

LP: I do know that they had - there was a well, what they called the pump house that supplied a lot of the water. In connection with the cabins, they had a bath house with showers in it.

AC: Oh really?

LP: You could go in there and shower because there wasn’t any shower facilities in the cabins. There was a time there, like when we lived there that they were rented permanently for two, three, or four years. Betty (Beverly Joye Heiner) Crouch, the one who died here a little while ago, and Mac (Douglas "Mac" Crouch) they lived there for a long time. There was a Mrs. Abbott - she cooked pies for up there. Then my wife’s mother did a lot of cooking up there. They had the best halibut, shrimp, and chicken around.

AC: Really?

LP: Yes.

AC: Do you remember if a lot of… obviously you did, you were from out of town Layton but, do you remember a lot of other out of town people that would travel the distance to come to Como?

LP: Most people in that area knew about it and would come up and visit. Besides the Lions Club, they had JC’s (Junior Chamber of Commerce) for a while and they used to hold a lot of conventions in the roller skating rink. I guess previous to my time, they had a lot of dances there too.

KP: Well, when I’d do (home purchase) closings for people I would say the majority of the older ones that were fifty or older, they all knew about Como. Everyone from down below came up, Layton and Ogden. There were very few people I did closings with that didn’t come to Morgan. I mean very, very few.

AC: Huh.

KP: That are a little older. When I tell them I live in Morgan they say, “Oh do you know Como Springs? We used to go there all the time as kids.”

AC: Yeah.

KP: So it was big, big, I mean a lot. That’s just within the last few years that I’ve done closings for these people.

LP: I think someone said they used to have concerts up there.

AC: I’ve actually, have learned some things where they’d have live bands come in and they’d dance. The skating rink would be the dance floor.

LP: Yeah, they had dances there in the skating rink when I was there but I never knew anything over to the pond. I know my mother… and I wasn’t old enough to remember because she said my dad, he used to like to dive off the diving board. At that time it was over against the hill, in my time it was down on the end.

AC: Yeah, okay.

LP: It was just kind of like - I guess similar to Lagoon but not quite as much.

AC: Okay, so talking about Lagoon, what would you compare as maybe more popular between Lagoon and Como Springs?

LP: I think Lagoon probably always was more popular but I think Como was more affordable.

AC: Okay.

LP: I think the people that came to Como were probably people that didn’t have the money to spend to go there. That may have been one of the reasons why things declined because as people got better incomes they started moving out and they could do other things. Or it would take more money to do what they had to do and they couldn’t afford it. I think the swimming pool was one of the biggest attractions, and the skating rink.

AC: Do you remember any other things that were maybe in northern Utah that may have been competition for Como and Lagoon? We know those two are big ones, can you remember any others that maybe rivaled them?

LP: No, as a kid living in Layton, I don’t recall… The only other big event I used to enjoy was the Pioneer Day’s Rodeo, and Parade. That was a big event.

AC: Yeah.

LP:  Sometimes they’d have the small rodeos, not as good as the ones they had when I’d come up here but they did have some smaller rodeos. There weren’t a lot of things to do. I went to Lagoon quite a little bit when I got older but, when I was younger, I don’t recall ever going to Lagoon too much. They had the Bamberger that ran there but I don’t remember my parents ever taking me to Lagoon until I got older and could go myself.

AC: Huh, so it would probably be fair to say that Lagoon and Como were the spots in northern Utah.

LP: Yeah, I would think so until you got down into Salt Lake, like Saltair, or Saratoga or, whatever it is down there because there weren’t any other resorts that I can think of.

AC: Okay.

LP: I don’t know if a lot of people came because of the natural warm springs and minerals. To me it didn’t make that much difference but maybe to older people it might have done.

AC: Yeah.

LP: A lot of things that might help them with their health. It was supposed to be eighty degrees but when you jump in water at eighty degrees it still feels cool. After you’re in there it’s okay but when your body is ninety-six and you hit eighty it’s…

AC: … still kind of chilly.

LP: Yeah.

KP: But they never ever heated the pools ever.

AC: They didn’t heat the pools at all?

KP: Nope, there was never any heat. It was all natural from the spring.

LP: Yes.

AC: So they just used that same water for the indoor pools and outdoor pools?

KP: Yes.

LP: It just constantly ran in. They had the springs, and one was over here to the side of the hill by where the gravel pit is. I think there was also one over - well; I’m not sure - one behind.

KP: Where the _______________

LP: One behind, yeah. It just run constant, it was always going out in the boat pond.

AC: What kind of fish do you remember there?

LP: Well, I know there was carp but, I never did catch any carp. They were only a small fish. I can remember when we lived in Layton; there was a pond above my place by the Valley View, the company pond that we used to go up and do the same thing. They were just little tiny fish; they didn’t get very much bigger than that. I don’t know what kind of fish they were.

AC: Really?

LP: These here was the same way, they wasn’t much bigger than that.

AC: You’d catch them on bread?

LP: Yeah. When you’re a little kid and you’d just tie a Popsicle stick on a thing and - I mean I was excited to do that when I was little. I couldn’t wait. I thought, “Man, I’m going to go catch some fish.” That and the roller skating because I wasn’t able to go swimming at that time. That was fun.

AC: Last question: can you remember any other special memories or things you did with family, funny experiences, anything like that happen up there?

LP: Yeah, there was one time when we had my sister, she had twins, and we all came up and was having a picnic out behind there at Easter time. As the road went around behind there was a little incline that came up out of there so we went up and was rolling Easter eggs down for the kids. My sister was out helping the kids roll Easter eggs and all of a sudden she done this fancy dance. She had seen a little snake. We had a lot of good family parties up there, a lot. It seems like a lot of grandmas and grandpas came with the families.

AC: Really?

LP: Yeah, I don’t know if that’s what they done in their lives was - picnics were a big thing. So almost all the time when you seen a family there, you’d see the grandma and grandpa with them. It would be a whole family deal.

AC: Is there anything else you can think of?

LP: Just the time of putting that roof on that Como, I know I smashed my thumb real bad.

I just had a good time because that’s where I spent a lot of time dating my wife and it was a special place for me to go.

AC: That’s nice.

LP: We used to have sacrament meeting at night.

AC: Really?

LP: So we would go to church in the morning, then come up here during the break, go back down to the church, and come back up after.

AC: To Como?

LP: Yeah.

AC: Which church did you go to?

LP: Well, if I stayed up here (in Morgan) and didn’t go back down (to Layton) I’d go to the North Morgan one here. Most of the time the group that we was with, we were all pretty active in the church; we’d all hustle back down and go to our meeting then turn around and come back up. I don’t think we kept the Sabbath day too holy but I’m sure glad I didn’t because I wouldn’t have met my wife.

AC: Yeah, that’s good, that was a blessing huh?

LP: Yeah, the best blessing in my life.

AC: Well good. I think that’s about it, I don’t have any other questions.

LP: There were a couple of tragedies at Como. A couple of guys drowned in there.

AC: Really, no one has told me about that.

LP: Didn’t one of the Taggart kids?

KP: Well, let’s see, there was a couple that died. There was even some in my time when I was up there life guarding that died. RaeDell (Heiner Giles) got hit by lightning up there.

LP: Yeah.

AC: Really?

KP: Uh huh.

KP: She’s the one you really need to talk to.

AC: I sent her a letter.

KP: Yeah, she’s…

AC: I’ll give her a call.

KP: She did get hit by lightning and lived to tell about it. She was swimming. We used to have skaters come up that could really skate good. I mean they were good, good roller skaters.

LP: All the family was, all the Sommers' family. All the kids in Morgan were good skaters.

KP: Yeah.

LP: Holy Talito.

AC: Really?

KP: We always had to work on the holidays though, all of us, and we couldn’t swim or skate on the holidays because there was always so many people.

AC: It was busy.

KP: But there would be people that would come up that would really start to skate, like kind of the figure skating dancers on TV with roller skates. I know Scott and Sheila, (Heiner) - well, Sheila was usually the one to call and say, “We have to meet over to go skating because these guys think they can skate.” There would be Scott (Heiner), Roger (Heiner), Sheila (Heiner), me, and MaryAnn (Heiner) when she lived up here. We’d all get our skates on and go skating and show them how to really skate. They were really good until us guys got over there then it was like “oh” then they got to where they wouldn’t let us do that.

LP: The center of the skating rink was a dance hall so it was just a wide track all the way around but then they opened it up after a while. When I first used to go up there the center used to be closed, you’d just go around the outside.

KP: But then they opened the whole thing.

LP: The kids would get inside and get a whip going. They were lots better skaters than I was by far. They’d come and just the rail there.

KP: Yeah, there used to be a rail around there you’d get going really fast and you could do a somersault over the rail and then just head right back on the floor. We kids would all take turns working for the miniature golf.

LP: Juanita, that would be one of the sisters, one of Grandpa’s daughters, they lived down below but they’d come up on the holiday and weekends and help.

AC: Really, it was so busy.

LP: Yeah.

KP: They had the Shetland pony rides.

LP: Yeah. I mean Sharon, she was a drum major and on the fourth of July they’d go down and march in the parade (in Ogden) and have to come back up and go to work. They all worked all summer long, especially on weekends.

KP: We even had to when we were kids.

LP: Yeah.

AC: Did it make a lot of money? Did the place overall make money or did it just break even?

LP: I think it was good in the hay day.

KP: Yeah.

LP: It was towards the end when it got to where there just wasn’t enough people. I think if it hadn’t of been so much for the liability insurance going up so bad. It just took too much.

AC: Yeah.

LP: It was a lot of up keep. I think they had to keep the liability year round and they only stayed in business for three months. It’s too bad they couldn’t have figured out a way to build an over-head for an indoor swimming pool so they could have used it all year long.

AC: Yeah. Do you think something like that would be successful in Morgan today, as far as not worrying about the money but just up keep? Do you think it would get a pretty good crowd?

LP: You know, with swimming pools, when they made that Roy Recreation Aqua Center -

I mean swimming pools are a big gamble. They are expensive, like the one at Clearfield High, they took that out. Layton, I always read in the paper where they have a hard time and have to subsidize too. Swimming pools are up and I don’t know how the one up to North Summit works out. I would think it would be great if we had the money to finance it. I think we need a facility. We need a youth facility up here.

AC: Yeah.

LP: I think we’ll need it more and more as we get more people. It [Como] served its purpose at its time and it was a popular place.

AC: Alright.

LP: I know even at the end Rex (Heiner) was trying to sell stock to keep so he could goose it up but no one wanted to gamble.

AC: Yeah, that’s too bad.

KP: Lagoon did want to buy it at one time though.

LP: They thought about it, didn’t they?

LP: Yeah.

AC: Really?

LP: That’s what I understood.

AC: Huh, I wonder what they would have done with it.

LP: I don’t know.

KP: I think they didn’t like the competition really.

AC: Really?

LP: I don’t know who got the water rights. I think they probably sold those water rights to whoever bought that; I don’t have a clue, I really don’t know.

AC: Huh, that’s interesting.

LP: I know downstairs, my father-in-law had a cooler. The stairway was pretty steep because it was a trapped door. Behind the bar he had a little office, just off the one side, not very big, maybe six by six and it had a trapped door there that went down stairs. So they’d take all these bottles that came from mostly Utah Bottling Works. They’d take that down stairs and put it in the cooler so it would be cold. Then you’d have to feel that back up, and walk back up-stairs to them coolers. There was two gentlemen here, that was Cliff and D.A. Grover, Vivian Grover’s brothers. They set pins up there. That pretty well took care of them guys, as far as keeping them working. They were a little on the retarded side but they’d carry them bottles up and down there and I would help them a lot sometimes. That son of a gun was not fun. You’d have to fill them coolers up three or four times a day on a good weekend.

AC: That was to supply the concession stands?

LP: At the bar there, yeah.

KP: When you say bar, it wasn’t like a bar. It was pop and stuff.

AC: It wasn’t a booze bar.

LP: Well they sold beer.

KP: They did sell beer, it wasn’t the…

LP: Candy, that’s where they had candy and that, then they had…when I was younger before they done all the slot machines out, there used to be slot machines.

AC: At Como?

LP: Oh yeah, at Como. That’s where my Grandma Morgan would always come. That’s what they liked to do was play the slot machines, no kidding.

LP: I don’t know when they banned them; it was before I got married because they wasn’t there then.

KP: In the back where the pool tables were they also had skeet, that skeet game.

LP: Oh, shuttle board.

KP: Shuttle board?

LP: Shuffle board.

KP: Yeah.

AC: Huh.

KP: That was played all the time.

LP: Well, the pool tables were always full too.

KP: Oh yeah, they did.

LP: Then they had that other thing in Morgan that if they sold beer on Sunday, they had to sell it in a paper bag. You could take it outside and drink it but you could not drink it inside.

AC: Really?

LP: Yeah.

AC: So you could sell beer on Sunday but it had to be in a bag?

LP: Yeah.

KP: And they had to go outside.

LP: You could take it out back where the picnic table was but you just couldn’t set at the bar and drink it.

AC: That’s interesting.

LP: That didn’t last too long, I don’t remember, like two or three years it was that way.

AC: Anything else?

LP:  That’s from my recollection and that was from the fifties and down. I don’t know how it was before that, it had to be a booming deal before that too.

AC: That’s good. You gave me a lot of good stuff. Tell me about the special.

LP: Okay, I remember Earl Butters that used to own the store. Him and his wife (Farrel Butters) used to come every Sunday evening and get a special. A special was a hamburger, and she (Nola Heiner Sommers) took a hotdog, and she sliced it on both sides so it laid out flat.

KP: And grilled it.

LP: I try to do it all the time and I cannot get it to not fall apart. She could slice that thing so you’d lay it out, then she’d just lay in on top of there. That was a hamburger and a hotdog and it was called the special.

KP: She’d grill the hot dog so it was grilled on both sides, kind of like the hamburger patty.

AC: Who was this that made those?

LP: Aunt Nola, (Heiner Sommers) that was Dan’s mother.

AC: Okay.

KP: Aunt Juanita would help her a lot. Them two would work in the hamburger stand. After that then, Como the restaurant made a Como Special but it was bigger. It was like that big around. It was really, really big. They had the same thing, a hotdog and hamburger. Lots of people would come up for that Como Special because it was like… The other one was just a Special and that was the Como Special.

AC: Extra large.

KP: Oh yeah, it was like a Big Ben only bigger.

LP: See, that’s why at the rodeo you always buy a special. Everyone would say, “What's a Special?” We tell people and they say, “You put a hotdog on a hamburger?” Yes, try it, it's good.

AC: I do that at home because that’s where I learned it over at the rodeos. My wife asked me the same question, “Why do you do that?” Now I know why it’s famous.

LP: I don’t know where Aunt Nola got it from.

KP: I don’t know either but that’s from when I was tiny, it’s just always been a thing.

LP: I never heard of it when I was down in Layton. I don’t remember seeing it any place until we came up here. I think a lot of people came to get that too.

KP: I know a lot of people that just came to the restaurant to get the Como Special, the big, honking hamburger, that and Grandma’s shrimp.

AC: Good shrimp huh?

LP: Oh!

KP: People would come from all over to eat that. That would be one of the things when I’d close people who'd buy a house. Like I said, they’d see I was from Morgan and talk about coming and eating the shrimp, and chicken.

LP: That’s when they had good, big shrimp. They’d flatten them out and they’d be big. The batter she put on them… Well the shrimp, if you have them out of Utah, is about the way they used to do it but they don’t have that big heavy shrimp.

KP: It wasn’t greasy.

LP: That’s one thing we lost too because we haven’t got her recipe. I don’t know where that went.

KP: They used to make homemade fries because we kids used to do all the potato’s and cut them.

AC: Oh really?

KP: Yeah. They had a thing mounted to the wall and they would sort of half way peel the potatoes or wash them good then us kids would have to put them through the cutter. They’d fall into a big bucket on the floor.

LP: For a couple years when I was up here, they used to raise their chickens over to the farm and kill all them chickens. That was a job and a half. I was glad they quit doing that.

KP: They used to have all sorts of banquets up there.  We used to help out with banquets sometimes. Us kids used to set pins for bowling.

AC: You would have to go set them up?

KP: Oh yes. We’d set them up in the back then we’d play dare. We’d set in the pit until the ball came half way down the alley, right before it hit the pins we’d have to dive out so we didn’t get hit. We did that for a long time.

LP: Well, it was easier to have someone set. If D.A. and Cliff wasn’t there to set you had to have someone set pins for ya.

KP: Yeah, so they’d pay us sometimes and sometimes that was just our job.

AC: That was just what you did.

KP: Yes.

LP: It was pretty much a family operation.

AC: That’s cool.

LP: Joan (Simmons Mortenson), Cordell’s (Mortenson) wife; her mother (Velma Voss Simmons) ran the skating rink for…

KP: …a long time. She was a skater.

LP: She was always there when I went. I don’t know when I was little but from the time I met Sharon in fifty-three, and fifty-two that was her job. She run the skating rink every night.

KP: She did skate.

AC: So do you think she would be valuable to talk to?

LP: Oh yeah!

AC: I will have to send her [a letter.]

KP: There when… What are they called? The rollerblades started coming out, that was clear back in the sixties, well seventy's probably. Como, they got some of those.

AC: Rollerblades?

KP: Yeah. They didn’t call them rollerblades. What did they call them? Anyway, they got a whole bunch of them. You’d rent them out and people would come up and try to skate on those instead of the regular roller skates.

AC: Huh.

KP: They didn’t have the thing to stop you. You had to… I learned to skate with them. We kids that worked up there all the time or lived up there, we could skate on them pretty good. They were just the neat thing out. They were fun because the other skates had a stopper on the front, well, they’d go to stop and just go right down. They didn’t go over as big as they thought they would.

AC: Huh.

LP: Yeah, she spent a lot of time repairing skates in there.

AC: Who was that?

LP: Joan’s (Simmons Mortenson) mother (Velma Voss Simmons). You know, the bearings would go out, they’d have to take them… It was a lot of work.

KP: Yeah, because all of us kids learned to do all that.

AC: Huh, anything else you can think of?

LP: I just loved the music. The music was playing all the time.

AC: In the resort?

LP: Uh huh.

AC: Did they have loud…

LP: You bet, two speakers on the outside of the bowling alley.

KP: The swings were fun because you could go way high on the swings.

LP: That and teeter totters – but them teeter-totters were killers.

KP: Yeah.

LP: Somebody would jump off them and it would drop ya. Its funny people didn’t get hurt on them. They were big teeter totters, from here to the wall long.

KP: Oh yeah, they were and you get five or six of you on each end, and if one of them went off you just went flying in the air.

LP: Yeah, most the family learned how to keep from getting hurt on them because… They were a big round frame about yea high and that long and man, you’d go on them.

KP: Then you’d get to where you’d walk on them, and then run, and it would slide down. You’d have to hurry down before it flipped you off.

KP: They had the train. I don’t know if Hal B. (Heiner) still has that little train or not.

LP: I don’t know what they did with that.

AC: I’ve seen pictures of it.

KP: The train, the airplanes.

LP: They used to take it over to the fairgrounds around the fair sometimes and take people for rides.

AC: Uh huh, that’s what the pictures are from.

KP: They used to take people for boat rides in the pond. There used to be that eating place that was right in front of our house.

LP: That was the old restaurant. The music - see that was the days when they had the juke box going and every time they’d bring… because Vance (Heiner) was real good friends with Weber Music. Weber Music took care of all those things. Bert Dickson worked for them and they’d bring all the records up, then they’d leave a whole stack of ___________ ________________ so people would play these record. That juke box was going all the time.

KP: I know I had my favorites.

AC: What were some of the favorites?

KP: Well, mine was “Blue on Blue” Bobby Vinton, and Red Velvet Jacket” (possibly meaning "Blue Velvet Jacket"). They are way old ones but yeah, they would play all the time.

LP: Oh yeah, that was always going. If somebody wouldn’t put money in then Vance or Rex (Heiner) would put money in so that was going all the time. That’s the first thing you’d hear when you’d pull in the parking lot.

AC: You could hear it outside?

LP: Oh yeah, they played it all the time.

AC: Huh, that’s funny.

KP: They always played music in the skating rink. Well, most of the time.

LP: Yeah, it would close down about ten or ten-thirty.

KP: Yeah.

AC: About ten-thirty at night?

LP: Yeah, they’d start saying, “You guys better get home.”

AC: One thing I just thought of. What could you tell me about… They turned that building into water bottling company.

LP: Oh!

KP: Yes they did.

AC: Can you tell me anything about that?

KP: They decided they’d bottle that water and, if you ever tasted that water, it was gross. Oh, it was horrible! Grandpa Heiner used to get thinking it would help his rheumatism. They’d put it in the fridge to try to get it ice cold but it still…oh, it was not good.

LP:  It had a lot of minerals in it. Matter of fact, they used to have it listed on the wall in the dressing room there of all the things that was in that water.

KP: Yeah, so then when all the bottled water started coming about they decided they would bottle that so they did turn it into a bottle company. They called it Annie Heiner’s Bottled Water - Annie’s Bottled Water.

LP: Annie’s Spring's, wasn’t it?

KP: Yeah, Annie’s Spring’s and it was…

LP: But they only made a little bottle. It was only about that big. It wasn’t a big bottle.

KP: It was kind of like - they put carbonation in it. I couldn’t stand it. I think that’s why it wasn’t a great seller. If they hadn’t of carbonated it they could have flavored it a little bit better.

LP: I remember one bottle I seen it.

KP: I tasted it once and thought, “Oh, why would anybody want to buy this?”

LP: I know we took all the tin off of that skating roof because it got leaking a little bit and they re-tarred that whole thing. They had their own tar thing that melted the tar. We took all that tin - a lot of the mink farm sheds were built with the tin that come off of that.

AC: Off the skating rink?

LP: Yeah.

KP: So they did that water thing for about four years and they did sell it more down below but up this way it didn’t go well. Then they turned the swimming pools into tropical fish [ponds].

AC: Yeah, I learned about that.

LP: Oh yeah.

(End of tape #1)

(Tape #2, side A only)

KP:  They did those and they sold a lot of them-a lot. They did pretty well with that and they sold them to pet stores in Salt Lake (City). They also shipped them outside of Utah because I remember Roger (Heiner) telling me about that.

LP: I didn’t listen to much of that when it was going on.

KP: Yes.

LP: I know there was a time here, probably in the sixties I was over to the mink farm and it was raining hard. I didn’t think much about it but when I left to come back at noon over to Como there was a flash flood. It must have been right behind the cabin, up behind the canyon (possibly Fry Canyon) because the rocks came down across the road and down into the back part there. There was about five inches of water all over Como, from the swimming pool over to the river. It was just five-six inches of water. People just had to walk…

KP: We had pictures of that somewhere.

LP: That’s the only time I can remember. It only rained for maybe an hour, or an hour and fifteen minutes. But that must have been centered right out of that canyon because it washed right across the road and put rocks down behind that house that was there and in where they played ball back there.

AC: Are the springs still active? Is the water still warm up there like in the lake?

LP: Yeah, I’m sure there’s still a line that goes across the river from this line here and the one in the back. The water still runs into that pond, that’s why it stays full all the time.

AC: Is there still fish in the pond?

LP: I don’t know.

KP: Um, I don’t know.

AC: Huh, I saw someone fishing there the other day when I walked, we went down there.

KP: I don’t know that I’d want to eat anything from in there.

LP: They're probably carp, I’m sure.

KP: But yeah, the water would have to be warm because that’s where it came from are the springs.

LP: I remember Hal B. (Heiner) when he was trying to run his boat there. A lot of that moss grew up in there. He took the wrecker and ran a line across the wrecker and tried taking one of the old hay forks that used to loosen hay with at the time and tried to drag it through there to get the moss out.

AC: Did it work?

LP: It worked for a little bit but it was a lot of work.

KP: I know they made that road around the pond for the train. The train would go all the way around the pond.

LP: Yeah, I used to ride that when I was a small kid but, like I say, it was done away with by the time I got married.

KP: No it wasn’t.

LP: Wasn’t it, did you ride it?

KP: Yes, Dad, think about that. We kids rode that all the time.

LP: That’s right, they stored that in that garage by the house but, it stopped during the time that we was there after they got the other one. I think the engine went out on it or something.

KP: We rode the train all the time. It would come out, go around where the airplane thing was, out and around by our house, around the lake, and come back and stop there by where the restaurant used to be. Yeah, we rode that all the time as kid’s Dad.

LP: I can’t remember.

KP: So they didn’t do away with it before because… that had to be in the sixties.

LP: Yeah, because they didn’t buy the other one until I moved out of here, I don’t think.

KP: Well, and they still rode that for a while and the planes all worked then too.

LP: Yeah, the planes.

KP: Because I was old enough to work in there.

AC: Huh, did the train go around the swimming pools or did it come across…?

KP: No, it started in front of where the skating rink was, then for a while it started right there by the - well, our house was here and the train started right before our house.

LP: It just went around the pond.

KP…and then went around the pond.

AC: So in between the pond and swimming pool there was a wall built there, the train went over that?

KP: Yes, there was ___________ there.

LP: Yeah, there was a space between the pond and…

KP: …the swimming pool.

AC: I just seen the old pictures, it looked like the pond and the swimming pools are right…

KP: No, there was a walk way.

LP: Yeah, it was close.

KP: When we kids were little, well not little, we had to be - oh Scott was probably - we were in High School. We were playing, jumping off the high dives - well, maybe we weren’t in High School because we weren’t jumping off the end. We would jump off the side of the diving boards. So we were probably in Elementary School but Scott was up on the high dive and he jumped off. I was in the water because we was trying to jump on each other. He jumped off sideways but he missed the water and hit the cement.

AC: Uh Oh.

KP: From the high dive, he fell right down to the cement and I remember thinking he was dead. It knocked him out, and then he came to and was fine. He didn’t break anything. He didn’t do anything.

LP: Them guys used to be nuts. They used to get up there and stand on the thing. It had railing went out so far, they'd stand up on that then jump off that on to the diving board, then…

KP: We had no fear.

LP: Not me, I didn’t do that.

KP: You know I don’t know why we didn’t get killed and I don’t know why Scott didn’t die that day because that was on the high dive.

AC: How high do you think that was?

LP: Probably ten feet.

KP:  Yeah, at least and he jumped off and…

LP: He could have had a low dive, they had a low dive.

KP: Yeah, they had the low dive and it was off the water probably six or seven… It was probably more like fifteen feet from the water.

LP: Well, I mean when you first go on the diving board though it was probably three feet off the ground, the water was below that, but the other one was up; it had to of been ten feet. There was at least ten steps up that ladder.

KP: Oh yeah, so I mean you was up there along ways. He was on the high dive and like I said, he jumped off the side. We’d jump off the side a lot to try to jump on top of each other while we was in the water and he didn’t come out far enough. He jumped right on to the cement.

LP: Almost everyone in the family took life-saving. They all took their turn life-saving.

KP: Yeah, I used to lifeguard all the time.

LP: That’s what my wife did, she used to lifeguard when I first met her. She and RaeDell (Heiner Giles) well, almost all the young gals did lifeguarding there.

KP: On holidays we all had to be out there.

LP: Yeah, watching the little pool.

KP: They wouldn’t let us swim, we could just lifeguard.

LP: They had a baby pool. It was only probably a foot and one-half deep.

KP: If that.

LP: The one that came off the slide was probably three feet.

KP: No, it was more than that; it had to be about…

LP: It didn’t go over my head - about four feet.

KP: It came almost to your neck, to your shoulders.

KP: Yeah, probably four feet deep.

AC: Huh.

KP: The slippery slide would be so hot because there was no water running down, it would just be…

AC: Just a normal slide?

KP: Oh, it would burn yeah.

LP: I think there used to be water but it didn’t work.

KP:  Yeah, it didn’t work very good. You’d get a couple sprayers out.

LP: But you know they always had a lot of people setting on the benches, the older people setting on the benches just watching the kids. It was more of a relaxing place I think, for people to go with their families and kids could swim or skate and they could just socialize.

AC: Where as Lagoon was more of an entertainment, going, doing, and all that kind of stuff.

LP: Yeah, it was expensive because everything you did cost money down there.

AC: Yeah, but here the kids could still go and do, and parents could sit and relax.

LP: Yeah.

KP: They had old wooden lockers that you used to put your…

LP: You had to have a Key Boy, or Key Girl; that was part of the jobs too. That’s what they did when they barely started little.

KP: Yeah, that was our first jobs.

AC: Did you do that?

KP: Oh yeah.

LP: Key job was a first deal. You’d come out and yell, “Key-Boy” then they’d run around and open your locker for you.

KP: You’d have to get a key. What it reminds you of is an old outhouse. A square thing with a bench and that’s where you’d put your clothes and change.

LP: It was about a four-by-four, wasn’t it? It wasn’t very big.

KP: Yeah and (change) into your swimming suit. They’d be lined up for rows and…

LP: Oh heck, there was a lot of rows of them.

AC: You’d change in there?

LP: Yeah.

AC: It was like a dressing room?

LP: Yeah, that was the dressing room.

KP: You’d leave your clothes in there, lock the door so no one could get in to steal anything, then they’d have to call us to come open them to go back in them.

LP: That was the oddest thing about that whole thing, I never seen any place like that.

KP: They’d have the showers that you could go in and shower and wash off. They’d have the towels if you needed towels. It was the Key-Boy and Towel-Girl(Key-Girl).

LP: Yeah, they had the ladies side and the men’s side.

AC: Huh, wow.

LP: That was kind of a boring job, wasn’t it?

KP: Yeah.

AC: Just sit there and wait for someone.

KP: We’d play around a lot. They used to have a - before you walked into where the swimming pool was you had to go through a metal thing that had a tooth thing that would turn.

LP: Yeah, a turn style.

KP: You’d have to go through the turn style. We could be mean sometimes I guess because we could make it so it was hard for kids to get through. We played a lot there.

LP: They had a big rubber raft in there like a big boat. It was a big one.

KP: Yeah, kind of like you go down the rivers with.

LP: Yeah, it’s one of the river rafts. That would be the battle station. Every time we’d go up there we’d get guys - we’d tip it upside down so you could get up on top of it and play Man- of-War.

AC: You did that in the pool?

LP: Oh yeah.

KP: Yeah.

LP: They’d sometimes say when it was real busy, “Knock it off a little bit!”

KP: Yeah, they wouldn’t let us and not everyone could do that; just us that were there.

LP: As long as it was the group that came from Layton we’d do it but if we got going with the guys from Morgan against us, it got a little mad.

AC: Some rivalry going.

KP: You used to have to get permission to go in the indoor pool when we was around, so we would swim in there most of the time waiting for the Key-Boy or Key-Girl. We’d swim in there.

LP: Yeah, not a lot of people went to the indoor pool. It would be a little cooler it seemed like in there for some reason, I don’t know why.

KP: Well the sun…

LP: Well, because the sun didn’t hit it. You’d go jump in there and oh, it was a little cooler.

KP: All of us family kids and there was a lot of us so when all of us worked there was probably - well, I don’t know, Scott (Heiner), and Russ (Heiner), me, Mitch (Porter), and Kerry (Porter), Sheila (Heiner), and Ruth Ann (Heiner). Ruth Ann didn’t do it as long because she was older. Mary Ann, (Heiner) and John Clark would always be there. There was probably ten or twelve of us there all the time.

LP: Plus a lot of local kids that helped too that was there.

KP: Yeah.

LP: I wish I could think of what that lady’s name was that done the towels.

KP: Well, the O’Driscoll lady.

LP: No, but I mean the house that we lived in that - was it Bruins? They had twin girls. One married Calvin Wood and one married Donald Prigmore that used to come up all the time with us.

KP: I don’t remember Dad. That was before my time.

LP: I can’t think of anything else except sometimes when it got pretty hairy they’d go out and top the trees. They built kind of a big tripod deal. I didn’t get involved in that but they’d have to top the trees off because they’d get big and start falling down. They didn’t do that too often but I remember them doing that.

KP: I remember having to pick up them stupid pop bottles. We got a nickel a piece for them though.

LP: They used to put a cable across between the end of the bowling alley over to the thing so people could drive out back. They didn’t like it a lot, but they let them go out there with picnic supplies sometimes or if they had a party. You’d have to go out and open it up so they could go in and come out. Most the time they made people park out here so they wouldn’t go back in there. There would almost always be a reunion - a lot of family reunions.

KP: We used the bowery back there by the river all the time too.

LP: Yeah, they’d rent them, then they could use the ball diamond out there. There was always a lot of people out back. They charged for the bowery but they didn’t charge for them to go out back there and I don’t think that was very much.

KP: That’s where the teeter-totters were - killer deals.

AC: Well good, that’s it.

(End of interview and recording)

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