A YANKEE IN THE WEST INDIES

My 3 children, (and I) were quite young when my husband (at the time) ) decided to go on his first overseas job.

there was so much to do! Rent out the house, sell the car, get rid of clothes, toys, furniture, etc. Also…..get shots,get passports, PASSPORTS! I did not have sole custody of two of my children.

That worked out, I did it by writing to their father and I got the paperwork for the adoption by return mail. It is amazing what you can accomplish when under pressure and when you are excited about a new life venture ahead.

The adoption was finalized, the house was rented out, the car was sold, the injections were given, and my husband decided to go on ahead of us and start his job. So I was left with 3 children all under 8 years old, and it was my job to make final arrangements

American Pipe Co. was a great company, as I remember. I was sent 4 1st class tickets for Port of Spain, Trinidad, West Indies, and we were soon off. The only thing I can remember about the flight is that the stewardess offered my young children wine with their dinners, after all, it was a first class flight. I, of course, declined, but drank some myself.

I can remember staying in the Trinidad Hilton, as guests of American Pipe co. for a time, until we were transported to the town of San Fernando, where we stayed in a hotel until we found a suitable house. The house we found, was on a form of stilts, and the rooms were grossly painted in bright colors, such as yellow, green and purple. Our landlords were of East Indian nationality, and their religion was Hindu. Apparently they were low casts, because when the Mrs. came to visit, she was accompanied by a low casts young girl who carried her purse and packages. It was certainly a new life for me !

We found a school for the children, but it was some distance away, so we had to hire a driver to take them and pick them up. Quite often, they were very late getting home and it did worry me. We eventually found out that the driver we had hired had TWO families, and the reason he often ran late was because he stopped to visit his (other) family.

I remember we were invited to a New Year’s Eve party by my husband’s native union leader. He also had two wives, and I was quite interested that the new, young wife took care of the children while the older wife danced with the husband.
This was also very strange to me….me, who is descended from a Mormon polygamist with several wives and many, many children.

Yes, then we were transferred to Port of Spain,  where we had a much nicer house, and schools were available for the children. We had a maid in San Fernando, named Agatha. I was quite fond of her and invited her to come and work for us in Port of Spain. I cannot remember the details, but it didn’t work out;  so.  after a time, we had to let her go. We had quite a time finding a good maid, but finally found Dorothy, who had 11 children, but she was afraid to go to the dentist. I remember I had an old sewing machine and was trying to learn to sew, and Dorothy happily took all my hopeless articles I tried to make. I often wonder what happened to Dorothy. I wrote to her for a time, but eventually lost track of her. I do remember she thought I looked like Doris Day.

There was a young Trinidadian teenager of East Indian descent, who my husband befriended while working on the pipeline. His name was Premnaut. and he visited our home quite often. For a time, we considered bringing him back to the U.S. with us, but eventually decided it was not a good idea. He was heartbroken, and I have always been sad about the outcome of his life, and I wonder if we made the right decision.

WHERE WERE YOU      NOVEMBER 22, 1963 ????

Where were you when you heard the news that President John F. Kennedy was assassinated?  I was visiting friends who had a home down on the beach.  We could not believe it and  we were all devastated

Unlike the millions of American living in the U.S.A., we could not watch the news about the assisination,  but we have seen parts of it since we have been back.

CONCLUSION

My children and  remember (faintly,) our years in Trinidad with fondness.  There were some great times and we had some great friends.  I have to chuckle when I remember the accents my little girls came back with.  How I wish we had video cameras in those days!

Thank you for reading my post about living in Trinidad.  I have enjoyed writing it, and it brought back many happy memories.

Janice Gustafson

May 29, 2019

BRING YOUR HIKING BOOTS WITH YOU TO MOAB and GRAND COUNTY, UTAH

BRING YOUR HIKING BOOT WITH YOU TO MOAB AND GRAND COUNTY, UTAH


MOAB AND GRAND COUNTY, UTAH

I am a premium member of Wealthy Affiliate.  As such, I was required to choose a nitch.  I say “nitch”  The Canadians say “Neetch”.  I have chosen my home town of Moab, Utah as my passion and my nitch.  Therefore, this is another post about Moab.

A LITTLE HISTORY

In the 1920’s, my family, Utah cowboy Buck Kirk and his wife, Neva,  ran cattle on the Book Cliffs in northern Grand  County, Utah.  The depression brought an end to this endeavor, and around the time of my birth, in 1932, Buck was driving trucks for the Moab Garage Company.  He eventually became the owner of acreage and grazing rights in Brown’s Hole, an area which could be considered in the La Sal Mountains.  Brown’s Hole is in San Juan County, close to the town of La Sal.

Brown’s Hole Cabin
GROWING UP IN MOAB

Moab   was, (and is) a perfectly wonderful place in which to grow up.  Hiking was the preferred activity for all young Moab residents.  (I wonder if it still is.) If you re a hiker, don’t forget to take your hiking boots with you when you visit Moab.

The school (the only school in Grand County), was efficiently run, with good teachers),  and most of us completed our 12 years, and learned enough to become good citizens.

One of the best things about growing up in Moab was the lifelong friends that were made.  With a small population at that time (less than 1,000,) we were all engrossed in the town, and many of us were related.

THE NEW MOAB

Moab is now a bustling, busy, tourist destination.  Visitors from all over the world line the streets.  Arches National Monument, Canyonlands and Dead Horse Point are the main attractions,  but Moab itself has become a very popular destination.  Hiking and mountain biking are known activities,  and don’t forget your hiking boots.  There are now many motels, which is very different from having only the old Moab Hotel.

I can’t  help but wonder what the youth of the town do for entertainment.  Do they hike?  Do they dance?  Or are they only on their computers and cell phones?.  I know there are some drug problems there, but I hope the problems are not excessive.

Since I no longer live  in Moab, it is my hope that the small town experience is still prevalent there.  It was such a wonderful, unique town at the time of my youth.  I would be there still, but life happens, and life has taken me to Arizona.  My 3 children also live here, and several of my grandchildren are Arizona residents.  My son, Kirk, (of course I would name him “Kirk”) also loves Moab, and has researched the history.  He has composed a CD about the Wilson family, called “Left for Dead:”,  and it is available on Amazon.

My Grandson, Spencer Hawley, is also a very interested in Moab and its history, and Spencer keeps us informed of our heritage.

Moab now has a population of 5,000, which is much different from the population of 1,000, as it was when I lived there.

I do not plan to return to Moab or Grand County, but the Old Moab will live on in my memories.

Thank you for reading my article about Moab, Utah.

Janice Gustafson

5/25/19

SMALL TRAVEL TRAILERS REVISITED

 

The bathroom is TINY.  Since I am handicapped, I cannot shower or even dress in the bathroom.  It is a physical impossibility for me to step over the tub and get in the shower.  This is impossible,even by sitting on the toilet, (which is right next to the tub,) and swinging my legs over.  I almost made it, but then I couldn’t twist my body enough to get out.

Okay, that is enough about that.  The following link shows an item that  has been purchased through my Amazon Link, and when I noticed it, I researched it.  Since our Coleman Lantern Trailer has an outdoor shower with hot and cold water.  I believe this could be the answer.  If we can position it right next to the, shower, it could work ideally.  I will continue to research these outdoor showers.  I believe they are avaiiable in several sizes colors and price ranges.

In the meantime, I will continue to compare our small travel trailer to others, and I hope we made the right choice.

ENGAGING SOCIAL NETWORKS

Hi:  My name is Janice Gustafson and I am a member of Wealthy Affiliate.  This  post is aimed at engaging members of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.   I am already a member of each of these social networks, but I am seeking friends.

I am a native of Moab, Utah, and Moab is my niche.  I  do not live there now, but it is my hometown and my  memories of it (the way it used to be), are vivid.   I was raised on a cattle ranch about 20 miles from Moab.   Moab is in Grand County, but the ranch was in San Juan County

Many of y.ou are familiar with Moab, and many of my friends are current or former residents.  Aren’t we lucky to live or have lived in such a beautiful

As I stated before, this post is aimed toward  meeting and engaging new friends.  You are invited to comment and/or ask questions;

.I would like to invite you to comment on my post, and please feel free to ask questions.  I will be very  happy to get back to you.

Thank you.

Janice Gustafson, May 4, 2019,  moabmemories.com

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LIVING IN AUSTRALIA

It has been 30 years since I lived in Australia with my family.  We loved living there, and the memories we have are still active and alive for us.

THE FLIGHT

We were met in San Diego by my cousin, Mike Woods, (since deceased).  Mike and I were very close, even though we were distant cousins, and he was serving in the Navy there.  We were also joined by friends Jean Morley and children. The Morley family were good friends from Phoenix whose husband and father. Dick Morley, was also employed by the same company.  The boys were Tom and Troy.  My children (now, of  course, adults, ) were Jo, Kirk and Tarie.

We were traveling with five children, and it was challenging, but fun.  We had a day’s stopover in Honolulu and we used the time for sightseeing and the children were well behaved and we enjoyed the time  there.   We were, however, greatly relieved when we reached Canberra, and we were anxious to get settled there.

Bob, of course, already had many friends.  He had hired the chef away from the hotel where he had been staying. The chef was Axel Nielsen, and he and his wife Jo, became very good friends, and I miss them to this day.  I am friends with their son Mark, on Facebook and I really enjoy communicating with him and reminicing.

THE FIRST WEEK (The Dinner Prarty and the big goof)

I was settled in  a few days, so I hosted a dinner party for some Australian friends and the Nielsens, who were from England.  Sometime during the meal, we began talking about the rodeo which was going to take place soon in Canberra. 

 At the time, I was a big rodeo fan, but was beginning to have sympathy for the mistreated animals.  I made the statement, “I plan to go to the rodeo and ROOT  for the cowboys.”  Well, I got some very strange looks and it was explained to me that “root” in Australia is the worse word you can say, and it is like the “f” word here.  I was quite horrified, and it was my first introduction to Australianese.

A YANKEE IN AUSTRALIA

 

Much of this post may be redundant and irrelevant, since my life in Australia occurred many years ago, (1968, 1969,1970, 1971).  My children are now adults, with children and grandchildren of their own.

But my life in Australia is still vivid in my memory, and I am confident that writing a post about it will make it remain even more vividly.

THE FLIGHT

My children and I  were joined in the flight by my good friend (deceased) Jean Morley and her boys, Tom and Troy.  The long layover in Honolulu was pleasant, and we spent it entertaining our children with sightseeing and shopping.

CANBERRA

The 7 of us  arrived in Canberra, exhausted, travel worn and jetlagged, to find that my husband, Bob, already had a long list of friends and a busy social life.  Why was I surprised?

That night, (the night of our arrival) Bob had a dinner planned at the hotel where he had been staying.  He had hired the chef from the hotel, Axel Nielsen, to be the office manager at the project.  Axel and his wife Jo, became very good friends.   I am now friends on Facebook with their son, Mark Nielsen, and we chat quite often.

I sort of “collapsed” during the dinner party and had to be taken go my room, due to exhaustion.

THE DINNER PARTY   and my gaffe

After the first week in Canberra, I was settled enough to plan a dinner party for our new friends, and our old friends, the Morley’s.

Our conversation during dinner turned to plans for attending the coming rodeo.  I made the statement that “I was going to the rodeo to ROOT for the cowboys.”  There were giggles and raised eyebrows all around the table, and I was informed that “root” was absolutely the  worst word that could be uttered in Australia.  It was compared to the “f” word in the US.  I was quite horrified and my  husband was not amused.  My first lesson in Aussie language.

By this time we were settled in Canberra and my children were settled in schools.

Canberra is (was) a beautiful city;  it is the capitol of Australia, and it is well-planned and well-managed.  As an example, when you buy a new home. you are furnished plants and shrubs by the government.

I am basically a confirmed conservative, but I will admit that the free schools, free medical and other socialistic offers, were rather nice.  But, I remain a conservative Republican.

Our life in Canberra consisted of social gatherings with our friends, some nightlife with dancing, picnics, trap shooting and horse races.

NAIVE RACEHORSE OWNERS

We were part owners of a horse, “Chips” or “Woodcut” was his racing name.  If I remember correctly, we leased him with 4 others.  He was a great horse and he won some races, but we found out the trainer was rather shady and we were naïve owners.  We had a good reason to have him lose his license, because he raced  him in Sydney under his own name.  but a lawsuit was expensive and the other owners declined to participate, so we let it go.

We still loved the horse races.  We were members of the racing club and attended often.  I always wore heels, a dress, and quite often, a hat.  Those were the glamorous days!!

One interesting note about the jockeys in Australia.  They are like movie  stars or rock stars in the U.S.  Everyone knows their names and most Australians seem to know their various “standings” in the records.

HAY THERE !

As we became settled in Australia, Dick Morley and Bob became very interested and quite proficient in trapshooting.

Arrangements were made for us to attend the Nationals in the outback town of Hay, and reservations were made for our families at a hotel.  The trip to Hay was long, but interesting.  We saw a few trees and quite a few kangaroos.

THE HOTEL

We were quite dismayed by the hotel. It was quite old and not very clean.  The bathrooms were down the hall.  We sat at the same tables for every meal and we were expected to use the same serviette “napkin” for all meals, no matter if it became soiled.  I believe it was “The Commercial Hotel”.

BUT the 5 children loved the hotel.  They could run through the halls with no problems and make all the noise they wanted.

THE PICNIC

         

At this time in our lives, we were heavily into playing bridge, and we spent many hours with the Morleys, playing bridge and smoking cigarettes.  Note:  I have not smoked for 40 years….just sayin’.

We spent our time at the lovely picnic playing bridge while sitting around a big empty spool,  The chlidren were playing peacefully and life was good.

THE COMPETITION AND THE CAR

Bob and Dick Morley were entered in the trapshoot for the winning of a new car.  They shot for what seemed like hours,  and Jean and I were constantly buyinb and bringing them more shells.  They eventually won the competition  and I cannot remember the year or the make of the car.   I do remember they sold it and split the money, and we all came out quite well.

SUMMARY

We spent 4 1/2 years in Australia.  We bought a home, started a rental business, became permanent residents, but homesickness for the USA prompted our return. The kids and I returned on a cruise ship (that is another story), and Bob and the dog came later.

We loved living in Australia and will forever cherish our memories of our time there.

.Thank you for reading my  post.

Janice Gustafson  , May 31, 2019.