In January 1959 the snow blanketed the ground in a heavy layer of white. Our family decided to avail ourselves of the wonderful snow cover. We loved the outdoors, and as was so often the case, we could have great fun without any strain on the pocket book.
It was early Saturday afternoon and our family drove up Provo Canyon to go sleigh riding. We drove past Vivian Park to a nice sloping hill on the north side of the road. The sleigh riding was in close proximity to the car, and that was important, because, little baby Stacy who was about ten months old, would remain in the car with an older person most of the time and that older person was Mother. In the vehicle it would be safe and warm for both baby and Mother.
As soon as we arrived at the hill, the children hurried up the incline and began to slide back down. We had a sleigh and an inflated inner tube to use in the sliding process. We had five children: Tafta, our only daughter was nine years, Robert, our oldest son, was seven years, Wesley was four, Kerry three and of course little Stacy.
The hill was a favorite winter spot and the outside edge of the sleigh run was tramped and firm from people going up and down the hill. Walking back up the slope did not seem so hard for the children because Robert and Tafta were always willing to help their younger brothers get back to the top of the hill. Robert was a sturdy, strong little boy and a good role model for his younger brothers and they all loved each other. Tafta, ever willing to love and help her brothers, did
all she could to assist.
The hill had been totally ours for over an hour. Then a teenage girl, her boyfriend, and her younger brother, who would have been about twelve, arrived on the scene. However, that was no problem, at all, because the sledding hill was nice and large and we all had plenty of room. It only took about three minutes to slide down the long hill. The slope was about two hundred fifty feet long from top to the bottom. Where the hill leveled off, the sleigh ride gently came to an end.
Wesley continued to say, “Let me go down the hill by myself. I am big enough. I can do it! I know how!” He kept this up for the greater part of the sleigh riding time. Finally, the twilight of the day began to approach. It was our last run down the hill and time to go home. The slope was empty and we decided to let Wesley go down the hill alone. We could not see or anticipate any problem or danger.
Dad placed the sleigh in the middle of the 50 foot wide run. He headed the sleight straight and true and Wes laid down on the sleigh. He was off. Wesley proceeded about thirty feet down the hill when his sleigh began to pull slightly to the right. The further he went, the more the sleigh pulled off the track to the right side.
Just at that time, the twelve-year-old boy appeared on the outer north edge of the sleigh run. The young man was swearing and yelling at the top of his lung capacity. The root of his anger stemmed from the fact he had pulled the sleigh up the hill and then big sister and boyfriend took the sleight away and the two of them went sailing down the hill together.
As the angry boy trounced along, we could see an accident in the making. The sleigh, carrying Wesley, was going to the right on an angle and it was obvious the boy and the sleight would intersect at the same point. Bob began to yell at the angry person to warn him. Bob was putting real effort into the warning and making all the noise he could possible muster. He also started to run down the snowy incline to help prevent a collision.
However, the angry young man did not hear or he did not pay attention to the warning and the dreaded inevitable happened. Young Wesley ran right into the back of the angry, flouncing fellow. Wesley, sleigh, and the big mad boy, all ended up in a pile on the snowy hill. The young man got up and went swearing and running on down the incline. He was well gone when Bob got to the collision site.
By the time we got to the car with sleighs, and the children, the three young people had gotten into their car and disappeared. There was nothing left to do but load all of us in our car and head for home. On the way home I asked, “Wesley, what did you say to the young man when you ran into him?”
I just said, “Why don’t you watch where I am going,” Wesley innocently replied.
“And what did the young man say to you?” I further inquired.
“Oh, he just yelled and said naughty words.”
Dear me I said, “I hope angry young man was all right and sustained no injury.”