Sunday, July 14, 2013



March 1976

Couples return from Europe

taken from the Rexburg Standard Journal

By Myrtle Clay

Archer Correspondent

Archer – Mr. and Mrs. Afton Hansen and Mr. and Mrs. Jess Sutton recently returned from a trip to Europe. In London, England, they had had 24 inches of rain in three months. Bright yellow forsythia, daffodils and crocus were in bloom everywhere. They rode the subway and visited landmarks in London including Hyde Park, Westminster Abbey, Thames River, Changing of the Guard, Buckingham Palace, Museum of Natural History and Windsor castle.

They also took a two hour bus drive through the countryside to the Canterbury Cathedral where services were being conducted. They visit at the sex bedroom Ponday home built in 1600. The barns had thatched roof and the farming operation included about 160 acres and had 80 landlords. They stayed in Kent and saw a stained glass church. William the Conquerors brother was the founder and the first vicar was sustained in 1142

They flew to Paris and saw the Louvre with its famous paintings and works of art and the Eiffel Tower, Joan of Arc statue, Military academy built by Madam Pompadour, Napoleon's burial place and other places of interest. They also went to the agricultural exposition which is the biggest in the world.

They went to Montreux, Switzerland, the Castle of Chillon, Interlaken and visited a farm in the Seminole valley. They rode a ski lift to the mountain top but because of the clouds couldn't get a clear view of the alps. They said people are not allowed to build any buildings that would detract from the quaint atmosphere of the country and that they do not have any unemployment.

They went to Bern and Weisbaden, Germany. They said Germany, just like America, is highly industrialized. Many of its buildings were destroyed during the war and new modern buildings built in their place. They spent all one day visiting farms and farm homes. They mayor of one city invited them to the city hall and told them about their area. They said downtown in the middle of the city was a barn filled with cattle, pigs and a horse. They said the most outstanding cathedral they saw was at Cologne. When they left Germany they rode a boat down the Rhine River and saw castles built high on the ledge above the river.

In Holland they took a boat ride through the canal waterway system and toured a windmill. The giant press wheel inside the windmill was pressing peanuts to render the oil for cooking and the residue for animal foods. They also saw wooden shoes being make. The farm they visited had only been reclaimed from the sea for 10 years. They spent one morning at the worlds largest flower market. There were acres of green houses in Holland that supplied the flowers.

Returning home, Mr. and Mrs. Hansen flew to St. Louis to sped several days with their son, Dale Hansen, and his family while Mr. and Mrs. Jess Sutton flew to Idaho.

Sunday, June 23, 2013


                                                                         hawaiiIn Feb. 1978  Ruth, Afton Hansen Jess and I went to Hawaii. Spuds weren’t a good price but Jess knew how badly I wanted to go. We toured five islands in ten days. The weather was perfect and I thought I would like to spend the winter months on the Island of Maui. Jess laughed and said, “You can’t be away from home for two weeks without getting homesick.

hawaii flowers

                         One night the hotel notified us that we were to call home. We were terrified. Our first thought was our sons and grandchildren. We knew something was wrong. It was Stanley, Jess’s brother, calling. He told us that Rachel, (Jess’s mother) was in the hospital with cancer. I will never forget that night. Jess and I sat on the edge of the bed and cried and talked. Rachel hadn’t been feeling well but we never thought it could be cancer.

     The doctor said that Rachel only had a few months to live. She lived over a year but it was endurance rather than living. I think if the choice had been mine I wouldn’t have had the surgery Rachel, had. I hope I would have the gumption to say “no to treatment”, if I had cancer. I wrote that in 1978. When I got cancer in 2005, I had chemotherapy and radiation. It was hard for Jess to see his mother suffer. Rachel was deadly ill with chemotherapy. Toward the last she was on morphine and had terrible hallucination. The hardest thing on earth is so see a person you love suffer. The family gathered around her bed and prayed that she could be released. She died that night, March 1979.

Jess in the Hospital

                                                         When we got home from Europe Kent was playing in an Explorer Olympic tournament. When his game was over Jess couldn’t stand up. He couldn’t breathe. Some men from Archer helped him outside to fresh air and I took him to the hospital. The doctor said he needed to stay in the hospital but Jess wouldn’t. He wanted to go to Idaho Falls to Dr. Krantz, who immediately put him in the hospital. Jess’s lungs were filled with fluid. His heart wasn’t strong enough to move the fluid.

      I marveled that Jess had gone to Europe when he was so sick. I have wondered through the years how many things Jess did that I wanted to do, when he would have rather stayed home. Jess was only in the hospital for a few days but he was never well after that. The doctor started talking about surgery, to repair the leaky valve in Jess’s heart. Jess set his jaw and said he would not have the surgery until it was a matter of life or death. The doctor warned him he had to have the surgery while his body was strong enough for surgery.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Super Good Guy Award

good guy


March 1977

   My dream had always been to go to Hawaii and Jess promised me when spuds were $10.00 field run we would go.   Spuds were a good price that year and when we read about a European farm trip we went there instead.  Adding to the enjoyment of the trip, Ruth and Afton Hansen went with us.  The Rexburg newspaper even printed the details of our trip, so that shows you tEurope 001hat few went to Europe.  

   We spent two days at London, England, one day at Kent, England, three days in France, three days in Switzerland, two days in Germany and three days in Holland.  I could write a book about sights and experiences we had.  Jess was sick on the trip.  One evening a group decided to go for a walk.  After walking around the town and headed back, Jess had trouble breathing.  We told the rest of the group to go ahead and Ruth and Afton stayed with us.  Jess rested for awhile and then was able to walk again.  He spent the next day in bed. 

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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Fitness for Life

 gwen running The winter of 1976 I took a Fitness for life class at Ricks.  It was a turning point in my life.  The first thing we timed, how long it took us to walk or run a mile.  I had to walk most of the way.  We had a choice of various things to do, to improve our physical fitness and we had to do it four times a week.  At first I walked five miles in an hour, but I didn’t have an hour to lose so I decided to run two miles.  That wouldn’t take as long.  At the end of the class we again ran or walked the mile track.   This time I made it in decent time.      We weighed each class and my weight did not change.  Jim Lamph measured us for body fat.  He said mine measured the same as a gymnast.  I hadn’t lost any weight during the running because my body had not stored any fat previously.     I decided a long time ago I wasn’t going to be fat. 

People say that I am lucky that I don’t gain any weight.  I’m not lucky, I work at it.  I watch what I eat, and don’t eat any sugar when my Levis get tight and I drink a lot of water.  

  It took me eight months to run two miles without stopping.  At first I would run the distance between two telephone poles and walk for three.  Later I walked one and ran one.   The first time I ran one mile I had the feeling of floating.  I had a high from running.    The next year I didn’t run for 5 weeks and when I started again it took me a week before I could run two miles.  I am angry at myself when I don’t take time to run.  I enjoy it.  It is my time to meditate and sort out my emotions.  It is impossible to be discouraged or blue, when I run regularly.

Flood Help

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When I heard about the flood, I knew there soon wouldn’t be any electricity. I completely filled the bath tub and many containers. We never did run completely out of water but we did pack water from the canal to flush the toilet. We had an auxiliary power plant run by gasoline, that we used to unload spuds at planting time. It was in great demand by the dairy farmers who did not want to milk their cows by hand.

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We did everything we could to help. Jess sent in a tractor and Ruth and I took clothes home to wash. It was frustrating we couldn’t do more. I baked bread every other day and took it to friends who still couldn’t use their kitchens. One of the worst things was the personal records and personal treasures that were destroyed. We tried to dry some of these papers. It was a long time before the area was back to normal.

Archer ward had a supper every Saturday night for the flood victims. Kendall Davidson would pit roast beef, potatoes, carrots and onions and the ladies in the ward would bring salads and homemade bread. The crowd was tremendous. People who had worked all day scrubbing mud, would come out for a good home cooked meal and a chance to rest and visit.