Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Oliver Guy Johnson--Part Four

Later Years and Travels

In 1947, I was ordained a High Priest on April 27, by Ambrose Call, who was ordained a High Priest by Joseph E. Cardon, who was ordained a High Priest by Rudger Clausen, who was ordained a High Priest by Wilford Woodruff, who was ordained a High Priest by David Witmer, who was ordained a High Priest by Martin Harris, who was ordained a High Priest by Joseph Smith, who was ordained a High Priest by Peter, James and John.

Oliver and Vilate (about 1958)

Oliver and Vilate, (California, 1958)

Oliver and Vilate with Brent, Michael, and Linda Somers (California, 1958)

In June of 1962, Vilate and I went with Jim and Jessie and Vicky and J. D. to Seattle and to the World’s Fair. This was of course the first World’s Fair that we had ever seen, so we took it all in and really enjoyed it. We stayed with Nyman and Carl and Roberta. They were all living up there at that time. 1962 was the year for trips I guess. We also took a trip to Hawaii. Vilate and I, along with Melvin and Jennie Schvaneveldt went by air and even flew to the islands in the Hawaiian group. We had such a good time and enjoyed every minute that we were gone. Hawaii is really a beautiful place and the people over there really know how to show you a good time.

On Sunday, July 28, 1962, I joined a Farmers from Utah, People to People Tour to Europe. There were 35 farmers from Utah. Uncle Rich Roskelley from Smithfield, also went on the tour. We were gone 17 days. All the details were taken care of before we left. We flew from Salt Lake to New York then to England. From there to Brussels, Belgium, and spent a couple of days visiting some of their farms. We then flew to Amsterdam, Holland, then to Moscow, Russia. We stayed at a big hotel and went out each day and visited some of their farms. We then flew down to southern Russia to a city called Krasndor and spent about three days there visiting some of their large collective farms. We then went down to a Black Sea resort for a couple of days. I went wading in the Black Sea. We then flew back to Moscow and then to Budapest, Hungary. We lived in a hotel on the banks of the Blue Danube River and spent a couple of days visiting some of their big farms. We then flew to Warsaw, Poland, and saw some of the bombed out buildings from World War II. We also visited some of their farms. We then took a bus and went to East Berlin and through the wall and into West Berlin. You could sure see the difference. The people were different and more friendly and happy, and the stores were stocked with all kinds of goods and the streets were filled with automobiles. When we went through the Berlin Wall, this was the only time we were held up to have our passports checked. We then flew to Frankfort, Germany, and then to Paris, France. We saw the sights of Paris then we flew to Brussels, Belgium. We stayed at the Plaza hotel, a bus came for us at 4:30 p.m. and picked up about two thirds of our party and we went to the L.D.S. Sacrament Meeting. It was sure a thrill and the Saints were happy to see and talk to us and make us welcome. We had to talk in the sign language, but it was the same church that we go to at home. They had one of our group, George A. Christensen talk with an interpreter. He was a Stake President and President David O. McKay was a member of his stake. He sure gave a wonderful talk.

Postcard from Oliver to Linda Somers (1962)

We then took a jet to Montreal, Canada, then to New York and on to Salt Lake City. It was a wonderful trip and when I got off the plane at the airport in Salt Lake City, there was just about all of my family to greet me, even the little ones.
In 1958, I had rented the farm and the cattle to Reed and started to receive Social Security. In 1964, I sold the farm to Reed and then I semi-retired.

In 1966, Vilate and I went with Jim and Jessie on a trip to Southern Utah. This was the first time we had ever been down there in that part of the country, other than to pass through on the train. Our first stop was at the Big Rock Candy Mountain, and that is really what it looks like. No trees or grass, just rock and every color. It really looked like candy and good enough to eat. We saw the Manti Temple for the first time. It was very beautiful and we even got a piece of rock of the kind that the Temple is made of. Then we saw Bryce Canyon. This is really something to see. We stood at the edge and looked down and out over the canyon. All you see is color and lots of color. You cannot go down into the canyon by car but have to stay at the top and look over it. There were tall pinnacles of every color in the rainbow.

We visited in St. George with Jessie’s Aunt Isabell. Then she went with us and showed us around St. George. She took us to visit Mrs. Anna Wulffenstein whose husband was a sort of relative of Vilates. Then we visited the Brigham Young winter home. This home was very beautiful and was furnished in the pioneer period. We were in the basement and saw the hooks where they would hang the cured hams and bacon. We saw clothes of Brigham Young and his hat and cane. The hat was black and flat and had a big, wide rim. We saw the Silver Reef Mine. This is nothing but a ghost town now but we could see what is left of the Wells Fargo Station. Then we took in Santa Clara and went through the home of Jacob Hamblin. This is a fine two-story house and is furnished in the pioneer period. It had lots of real fine antiques. The caretaker of the home is a granddaughter of Jacob Hamblin. On the way home we got into Salt Lake City early in the day, so we went out to Bingham Canyon and saw the open pit copper mine. This was the first time I had ever seen that and it was sure interesting. We had a wonderful time on the trip and we went over so much country that we had never seen before.

We then took a trip to Peoria, Illinois, in 1966, to visit Karl and Beth and family, who were there for the summer. Karl was working in the Caterpiller Tractor Factory for the summer. I was a guest at the factory and I saw how they make Caterpillar tractors right from the ground up. Beth and Karl showed us all the interesting places around that part of Illinois. We visited the Amish City which was very interesting. We also went to Springfield and went through the Lincoln Memorial. We visited Nauvoo and saw the Joseph Smith home, the Mansion House, the Temple site, the Brigham Young home, the Heber C. Kimball home, and the Wilford Woodruff home. We also visited the Carthage Jail. It was all so interesting to see all these places from our early church history.

Oliver and Vilate (1967)

Next installment: Nyman Johnson’s post script.

1 comment:

  1. When Grandpa went to Russia I suppose he sent every grandchild a postcard. I remember when he came home he had gifts for everyone. He had printed scarfs for the older girls. I vividly remember the string shopping bag that he gave my mom. When they went to Hawaii, I remember their suitcase overflowing with gifts too. Shell necklaces and much more. When we went to visit them when they got home, Grandma was in her mumu and grandpa in his Hawaiian shirt. In the 1960s there would have been about 15 or more grandkids, several of them being born in the 1960s.