Monday, March 2, 2015


Here's a rough draft, working document that may lead to some semblance of a life story…maybe, someday. So, if you note things that aren't finished, help me see them!

If there's anything you want clarified or explained, note it in the comments and I'll try to make changes to the document itself. Note the version!  

Elder Craig Lenhard


I was born at 8:47pm on the Pioneer Day Centennial July 24, 1947, exactly 100 years to the day that the pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley. I was a breech baby and my mother had a very hard time time with the birth. After my birth, my dad went down south of the tracks in Flagstaff, Arizona. There he celebrated in a Mexican bar and got himself thoroughly loaded. He ingested and spit out a cockroach that had crawled into the beer.

I have very strange impressions visually of being born, but frankly dismiss them as products of my imagination.

The doctor who had been scheduled to deliver me could not be reached and an on-call doctor by the name of ----delivered me. Eventually the entire Kitteredge family became very close friends with my parents.

My father worked as a Wage and Salary Analyst at the Navajo Ordnance Depot which was about 12 miles west of town. We lived in Belmont Homes in a small apartment at the south end of one of the large apartment buildings. I believe the kitchen and living room were one open area with a tiny bathroom separate.

Hotdogs with cheese. Cheese sandwiches. Appy-dappy.

I can remember as a youngster blocking my mom out of the building during a very cold snowstorm and only opening it after the mailman had promised me in front of my mother who is outside threatening me, that I would be okay and would be punished if I let her in.

I remember being outside playing in the coal bin.

My dad assisted in blizzard temps to fight a fire at Belmont.

I recall starving deer during one horrible blizzard. They're at the apartment building

I remember putting rocks in a painters bucket and him being very nice to me explaining that that wasn't a good thing to do.

I received one of the live batches (very bad) of Salk polio vaccine, I believe, but was spared getting polio. Georgie Cruz, A friend of ours did develop polio.

Going to the Orpheum for movies.

Grabbing shot glass of whiskey off highchair.

I remember having my tonsils out and wanting ice-cream for days. And I remember my mom being operated on (later) as well as my dad having appendicitis.

One of my favorite things to do was to have my dad go through magazines and tell me stories.

Some of the Christmas presents I recall included a Little drummer boy and a doll which I named Andy, as well as a green tractor.

When company came over, kids were to go outside and play, to "be seen and not heard."

When I was younger there I can remember having my dad read the Saturday evening Post and explain what was going on. He saw also told me many stories about the jungle.
Again as a youngster I remember my mom being with a lady with us in a restaurant and my choking on an ice cube. Someone told them to get me to drink some hot chocolate or coffee to melt the ice cube.

I remember playing basketball one year for a basketball league in a white school (Laura Kinsey?) and first grade in downtown Flagstaff. I believe I sat on the bench most of the year but I did score one basket for the other team during the season.

One teacher was Mrs. Schram (?). I remember playing Farmer in the Dell and in kindergarten or first grade at the elementary school, I fell off the top of the slide onto the concrete playground and horribly sprained my ankle.

Man in iron lung.

I can remember having a toy gun with which shot suction darts that could stick to the wall. I shot my mom in the eye.

Getting new shoes, Buster Brown, and going into Safeway store and running up and down wiles; hugging dark-skinned boy. Mom said some young woman was smoking marijuana!

Saw the Harlem Globetrotters.

While living at Clark Holmes I can remember my dad suffering from asphyxiation because of a gas heater being improperly vented. I can remember my dad walking along the outside of the building grasping for air and my wanting to know what was wrong with them. He was taken to the hospital and resuscitated. It was a tiny two-bedroom public housing apartment that cost perhaps $40 a month for my parents

 I can remember my grandfather Henry coming to visit  and being so excited over Christmas that I began sleepwalking into look at the Christmas tree.

I remember also breaking a neighbor's window and being in serious trouble for it.

Having wars by throwing cinders at other kids there in the neighborhood.

I remember being terrorized by a much larger kid that I ended up trying to hit one day to get them to leave me alone only to knock a toy helmet that was on top of his head back behind his head and because the strap was still under his chin he had to struggle for a few seconds to keep from being choked seriously. As I recall he left me alone.

Near Clark Holmes were we lived was a campground where an Indian powwow would come around the Fourth of July. We would walk over there and see the Indians and watch their dances and attend the bonfires.

I can also remember how cold it would get in the wintertime. Memories of being in a wooden garage type area to the campgrounds with my dad as he and another gentleman tried to keep the engine block swarm on their car so they wouldn't crack. It was bitter bitter cold.

Can remember that I rarely miss school which is a school very close to where we live a rarely miss school.

It was there that I made my first friends with mostly Indian boys who came in off the reservation. This was a designated federal school. Some of the names I remember were Raymond Coin and Michael Yazzy. At recess I rarely wanted to be a cowboy and I asked to be an Indian. I learned to wrestle with one of the young Indian boys. Some were Navaho and others were Hopi, Apache and Zuni.

At recess one of the games I always played was Red Rover - Red Rover. I could usually be found at night my cowboy boots on.

Indian boy with a Feather growing in his head.

One of the first songs that I ever sang that really touched me was the Battle Hymn of the Republic.

At seven or eight or nine we loved to go and visit Peter and Michael James and I think there was a daughter named Beth. We had wonderful times playing make-believe.

Another time and Clark Homes I recall being outside and at the other end of the four apartment building the kid threw something orange at me and I stood there watching it thinking it would pass me and hit me right in the face it was a fresh orange which I only knocked me down but covered me with orange juice I was hit so hard. The follow-up to that one was going into the house crying and cursing telling my mother what rotten people the kids were and my mother just happen to have a number of neighbor ladies over for the afternoon and they were drinking coffee and talking.

Another time when we lived at Clark Homes I went down with someone else to a park and got on the merry-go-round and got so dizzy while the kids played going around and around for what seemed forever, I got more and more dizzy. My mom had to come to find me and I couldn't still walk.

Also recall being at my dads back as we go to sled down part of Mars Hill.

When I was really tiny I can remember being in some ice caves west of town with my dad and we actually got lost. I think it might've been one of the James kids or someone else who came in with lights and found us.

Remember beautiful rainbows ware in the spring and summer it would rain many times in the mountains there every afternoon for a little while. That helps the beautiful Coconino pine trees furnish there in the mountains. Flagstaff is still known for its beautiful fragrance of pine in the area.

I can recall my mom being able to look at her feet into shoes using an x-ray machine. My mom frequently had quite a bit of problem with their feet.

I also had a reaction to penicillin one day in an office a doctor's office. 

I had the chickenpox, measles and mumps

Lake Mary

I can recall assisting my dad collecting pine knots. deep snow. neighbors to the east of us after we built our home named Buchanan's and a Mexican family Borjorcus. Behind our house there were snakes and Pollywogs.

I recall starting a forest fire that burned 11 acres and my dad had to help the fire jumpers with the fire control. He didn't want to accept money because he knew I'd started the fire with some other boys that were already Boy Scouts. I was never encouraged to join the Boy Scouts after that.

Some of the foods that I loved to eat were French toast and mashed potatoes. I detested eating cream of wheat and usually threw up when required to eat it.

I ran free in that area, even down to Lake Mary. I recall playing with what we called horny toads. I was in a large remain in the middle of an area called Skunk Valley before the area where the prairie dogs were, I heard a noise, came up to the top of the gully only to see two pronghorn antelopes jump right over my head.

We heated our home primarily with propane gas and had a "Heatolater" fireplace that could get so hot to clear the house in the winter

I rarely missed any school to sickness. I remember one time after a shower playing a radio in getting a terrific shock

Basketball goal

Dad pushing over a tree

While our home was being built I remember we sat on top of the house and watched two bulls fighting with each other, a true bullfight.

I remember my dad could hit the baseball left-handed for what seemed to be a mile.

After school I could get onto the back porch, but wasn't permitted to go into the house until both my parents came home from work. My mother usually worked for the local newspaper which I think was the Coconino Daily Sun.

Around age 6 or seven, I encouraged the milk man who delivered milk to the houses in the area to allow me to ride down the street only to have the milk truck turnover. It provided me with a couple of gallons of free chocolate milk so that I would not tell.

There was a neighborhood tramp dog whom I nicknamed Bruno who looked almost like a wolf; very nice. I can remember Bruno coming around one time with his nose, tongue and lips full of porcupine quills. My uncle Andy Lenhard physically pulled them out while sitting on top of Bruno. There had been talk of shooting Bruno. I am glad Andy refused to allow that to happen.

Bill and Harriet Buchanan who lived across the street to the east were very good friends of my parents. They had two children, Susie and Joseph.

I Loved Show and Tell

I remember mice I remember gophers in fact one go for the drowned during a downpour was coded by me sewn up with needle and thread and taken to show and tell: totally grossed out my teacher.

At nine or 10 years old I got a Charlie McCarthy ventriloquism dummy which I frequently took to school for show and tell where I entertained the other students. Also quizzed class on Boxing rankings.

Loved a radio show named Big John and Andy.

My dad secured from the depot ammunition boxes which he arranged in such a way as to build a wood shed for the pine knots we collected which burned in the fireplace

Between the woodshed and another outside shed, I can remember BB gun fights which got me into terrible trouble.

Another time I remember being pushed off the house under construction.

I remember staying with the Buchanans and discovering lime-flavored foam-green desert which I ate until I was sick. It was many years before I could eat such desserts again.

My parents house just off Lake Mary Road was made of cinder block. It had two bedrooms, a small kitchen, a living room and a bathroom. While we were there I don't believe our shower ever was hooked up but we washed in front of the sink.

Fireplace so hot we had to open all doors and windows.

Remember us having a garden while we were out at Lake Mary Road of the first things that I ever grew was potatoes that I actually remember eating my first batch of small potatoes and loving it.

I can remember the first time we had television in our house and the only stations were from Phoenix Arizona where the broadcast time was only a couple hours each day. About all you could do was to see movement on the TV that we called snow and I can remember my dad frequently being on top of the house having to change the antenna's position so we could see things.

When about the third or fourth grade I remember getting in a fight with the kid in the classroom and I literally pushed his head into a large Kool-Aid punch bowl. I got a tremendous trouble for that. My Dad soon thereafter showed me how things could be corrected.

I can also remember that a goose wandered away from some neighbors on a very cold night. It fell into a large septic tank hole which he had behind her house that had been hooked up yet. We brought the goose into the house to try to save its life, but it died anyway.

I can remember a bull running down the hill one day when I was on the cinder road and I was so dumb and bold as to stand there thinking that the bar bar France would protect me. It did but it wasn't because of anything other than pure luck that allowed that to happen.

Visiting in Phoenix and pjs falling down.

Television included the Mickey Mouse club, Friday night fights. I remember meeting as youngster named Zora Foley, a professional fighter in Phoenix with my dad.

I can remember in fifth grade being treed by wild dogs while at school. I actually thought that my little pocket knife could save me if I did have to come down out of the tree.

I remember being told never to eat the snow during wintertime because of microbes. I knew the rule was never to throw snowballs and proceeded to throw one after school and hit the principal smack in the face and I remember the paddling I got right before the bus came.

Went to dumpsite where dad shot pistol.

remember going down to the creek canyon waiting around and having fun some of the time in my white underwear instead of a bathing suit trips to Phoenix and terrible sunburns and diving underwater to get coins thrown in by my uncle Andy which got me used to going under water.

The rule in the family was the only thing I desired to have I had to wait a couple weeks before I could even talk about it. If I still wanted it I then had to come up with a plan for how much I would have to pay for it or how much I would have to pay with my my parents paying the rest. For example, it took me months to save up enough money from doing chores and things to acquire a black-and-white bicycle.

Another thing that I desired to have was a Boy Scout knife complete with a knife and fork and plastic laminate siding. It came and I can recall being with my mother and having been warned to treated differently from other pocketknives where we would play the games of scratch with pocket knife I was warned not to use this as I might break it and I probably broke it within five minutes after getting it and was in tears when I had to go in with my mother into the hotel Monte Vista for lunch.

I can remember listening to the radio on Saturday nights that was before we had television and we would listen to Gangbusters and the Amos and Andy Show, and Phantom.

Neighbors to the north of us were named Heckathornes. I recall that he had terrible arthritis.

Car accident with passengers pinned.

While living in Arizona I remember at least one trip, perhaps to the California one involved the death of my mother's grandfather, I believe.

I remember a camp out for several days with our friends Calvin James and wife Shirley and children were we went to Lake Mead. I think it was 1956 or 57. On the Easter Sunday of that trip to our northwest at Lake Mead atomic bomb test took place which I later think was named the Teapot Dome test I can but I might be wrong. My dad also caught an 8 pound large-mouthed bass. During that trip I got in much trouble for playing with a Gila Monster.

Many of the photographs that my dad would take ended up being on slides. When friends came over and family came to visit the slide machine usually came up and we would sit and watch and talk about what had been some trip or so vacation or outing there on the slides I was terrified of a couple of slides of effigy cowboys being hung; it absolutely terrified me.

I remember being at the Kittredge home playing with friends and breaking a window inside by throwing something and being very frightened that I would be disciplined but they they didn't tell my parents about it.

I remember my dad teaching me how to box. I had tiny little gloves and he would kneel and would encourage me to try to try to hit him in the face. The one time I caught him when he wasn't looking and smacked him in the nose which brought tears, I felt horrible that I could have done such a horrible thing.

Once, Dad allowed me to "drive around our 3.5 acre property" in old grey truck. I steered while he handled the gas and brakes.

I remember playing marbles with the older kids and I was fairly good and had quite a collection. After getting off the bus one day, one of the older boys who lived down the street from us challenged me in front of everyone to play him for keeps. He shot his marble 20 or 30 feet down the gravel-cinder road and dared me to hit it. I did not want but finally did… I got to keep his marble but was afraid I would be beaten up for having done so.

This same high school bully manipulated me into fighting several times with neighborhood friends. I never walked away beaten.

I can remember playing at the Diehls who had a pet skunk that had been fixed so it didn't stink. It was quite tame and cute to have around. They also had an dog that would drink beer and get drunk. And when I would play with their kids sometimes we played the game of climbing up in small pine trees and seeing how many pine trees we could climb through without having to go back down to the ground.

We had to walk from our home about the equivalent of three or four blocks to get from our home up to Lake Mary Road to catch the school bus. There was a covert under the road near that bus stop which we sometimes got in because it was so cold and snowy.

One wintery morning at the bus top, I went up to meet a new kid in the neighborhood and he immediately kneed me in the groin; I was hurt quite seriously. After that day anyone from the state of Oregon was my automatic enemy because this new boy had moved from there. An older girl who referred to herself as "Long tall Sally" was not very nice.

Man died, many kids looted his house.

In those days it was not unusual to make ice cream out of the snow which was on the ground for five or six months year. I remember being in the forests hearing the beautiful sounds of snow falling out of trees; it actually had a metallic tinkling sound which I can remember to this day. The snow was so perfect that there were times we could play outside without gloves and flannel shirts and really not get wet at all as long as the sun was out we were fine.

I recall finding an old cabin that had fallen down somewhere between our house and the actual Lake Lake Mary.

How many of the kids in our area found pottery shards and other artifacts, I never found one. I never saw a rattlesnake. But I saw horny toads and I saw tarantulas. Behind our house there was little pond with water snakes and polywoggs by the hundreds. I have since wondered how those snakes ended up there in the summer time and if they stayed in the mud during the winter. I'm still not sure.

One of the times my parents went to Phoenix, Arizona I listened to a Bill Haley and the Comets record which included the song, "Rock around the clock." If I'm not mistaken, it was one of the first rock 'n roll tunes ever produced.

I can remember being at Buchanan's one evening and leaving late during a whiteout. we almost missed finding our house; all we could see was 2 feet in front of us.

I remember going to the movies and another time when my mom had her tonsils out.

Beautiful sunsets in the area.

One time I got sick, I can remember being in my bedroom on my metal bed bouncing a ball off the opposite wall and catching it. I had the measles. I fell behind in my reading group and was devastated. Within a short time, I was back in the top group.

Remember one of the games we used to play was called King of the Mountain. Being dirty was part of the fun of being that age. I also played using a roller-skate  as a car or tank.

Frequently my favorite kind of shirt was a flannel shirt.

I frequently had to wear galoshes to school.

My chores included shining my dad's shoes that even allowed me to get a shoe shine kit which enabled me to save enough money for that bike I mentioned earlier.

My dad loved to watch boxing which typically was on Friday night and sometimes Wednesday nights. We would go over to someone's else's house to watch the fights.

One of my best friends was a young blond-haired boy named Michael Cox.

Another of the trips while visiting California, with my Grandmother Henry, was spent the night in Needles California right after a thunderstorm which brought out millions of insects and bugs. The first place we stayed had scorpions and spiders everywhere and we refuse to stay there.

I remember climbing under a pay toilet to get in because we had no money. And on that trip going to Los Angeles to remember the smog was almost orange and unbearably difficult to breathe.

1 comment:

  1. Never heard most of these, daddy--can't wait for you to expound on all of these memories! Really cool!