Sunday, December 13, 2009

Summer 1973

These pictures were taken in early July 1973, in St. Johns, AZ, on the occasion of the funeral of my great-grandmother Mary Ann (Chapman) Richey, who had passed away a few days earlier at the age of 101 years. The event served as an impromptu family reunion -- I'm certain it was the first time in a number of years that our entire family was together in one place. The photo on the left shows my four brothers and me (L-R): Kelly (19 - two months before he started his church mission to Taiwan), Robin (23 - serving in the Air Force and stationed at Holloman AFB near Alamogordo, NM), Jeff (20 - also serving in the Air Force and stationed either at Kirtland AFB in Albuquerque or Cannon AFB near Clovis, NM), Roger (23 - going through his "hippie" stage), and me (14 - in between 8th and 9th grades, and, coincidentally, deep in the throes of an unrequited crush on Dorine). I had jettisoned the photo-gray plastic "aviator" glasses by then, although I still used them for basketball. I was already approaching 6'0" in height; I hoped to grow to 6'5", but it wasn't to be. The photo on the right includes Robin's wife Karolyn (in turquoise), their son Todd, Jeff's (first) wife Karen (lavender pants), and their daughter Pam.

Looking back, this would have been only a week or two before the tragedy at Yellowstone National Park that claimed the lives of four members of our ward (who perished from hypothermia after having their canoes swamped during a storm while on Yellowstone Lake -- only one person who actually went into the water survived). I remember going for an exhilarating motorcycle ride with my brother Jeff (with him on his Honda SL-350 and me on my Honda CL-70) out in the Four Hills subdivision, then coming home and having Kelly tell me what had happened. If I hadn't only recently turned 14, I might have gone to Yellowstone with the group of Explorers/Venturers who made the trip; needless to say, I'm still happy I didn't go.