I am deeply grateful to my parents and grandparents for the part they played in my life, and also the part they played in building up this great land. I feel a great sense of peace and safety here in Farmington, nestled at the foot of a beautiful mountain with the magnificent Great Salt Lake seeming only to be about “two stones throw” to the west. I feel that even though there are wars and rumors of wars, pestilence, earthquakes (and we live right on a fault), and also flooding, that if there is one place on earth that I and my family can be safe, it is right here in Farmington. I am grateful also to my ancestors for coming to this barren desert many years ago to help build up the Kingdom of God and my being able to enjoy living in this beautiful Utah. I want to write a brief history so that my children and grandchildren might find something of interest and also that I might connect the generations together.
I was born on December 17, 1938, the third child of Frederick Henry Riding and Martha Leona Davis. My parents had seven children, but the oldest child, Joy, died of pneumonia when she was nine months old. My brothers and sisters are, Frederick, David, Benny, Katherine, and Douglas.
After my parents were married they lived for a short time with my father’s mother, and then they bought three acres adjacent to her property in Mapleton, Utah. They built one small bare room, moved in, and finished it as they could. My father was a pretty good carpenter and worked at it as a trade for a while, and therefore was able to build this home, and also his next one. It was here in this first small home in Mapleton that I was born.
By the time I can remember anything, my father had added one other room. My first recollection was living in these two rooms which we used as a bedroom and a kitchen. My mother was a very clean, neat housekeeper and I remember everything being neat and clean. We had a few animals that my father and mother took care of. I remember them milking a cow to provide milk for all of us. Also I remember a pig pen because I played house on the almost-flat roof of it, so we must have had pigs. I used to visit with my Grandmother who only lived a short walk west and also my cousins who lived about the same distance to the north. We had a great big tree with a treehouse over a wide irrigation ditch on the north and I loved to climb up in it and just enjoy the peace and quiet. My father planted an orchard between our house and Grandmothers and we really enjoyed the peaches, pears, cherries and apples. We also had a walnut tree by our bedroom window. When we outgrew these two room, my father cut down the big apple tree with a swing right next to the kitchen and added another living or bedroom.
During the depression and the early forties, when I was real small, my father found it very difficult to find a job to support his family. He hauled coal and did carpenter work and moved around doing different things but I only remember living in Mapleton.
Daddy was drafted into the army during World War II and left my mother all alone with four little children under the age of 7, and also eight months pregnant with Katherine. I can’t remember too much about him being gone, or missing him but I’m sure that I did. I’m sure that his going changed all of our lives a great deal more than we realized. I can remember when my Uncle Frank brought my mother home from the hospital with our new baby sister and how happy all of us were. My mother sent a nice photograph of us to my father in the Philippines.
One of my first recollections is going down to Springville shopping with my mother. I must have been real small because I remember that I held on to just one of my mothers fingers. She told me that I could have something special and we went to the toy section of J.C. Penneys. There I found a little purse with a shoulder strap but also a little plastic toy telephone. I debated for quite some time between the two and it was very hard to make that decision: Telephones were really something special in those days and there were only about a half-dozen real ones in the whole town! But I do recall finally choosing the little purse.
I went to kindergarten in Mapleton for 6 weeks in the summer and then that fall I started first grade. We rode the bus back and forth to school. I guess my best friend in those years was my cousin, Shirlene Riding. I remember once I missed the bus and she stayed back to go find me and walk home with me. She was two years older than I and quite protective of me. She was very upset that I missed the bus and got a little cross with me that afternoon.
I can only remember one Christmas and one birthday in this home before I was seven. On the Christmas I remember that I received a “Cupie” doll and a little highchair. On the birthday my mother invited my aunts and cousins to a party in my honor. I remember three of the gifts. Someone gave me a little figurine of a fawn that I just loved. My Aunt Dot gave me a little white hanky with a flower on it and my father gave me a little metal easter-like basket filled with perfume, powder, bath salts and oil in it. It was a very happy occasion because we children were not spoiled with an abundance of material things!
Just before the Christmas of 1945 my father was discharged from the army and came home to us. The next spring we sold our little home there for $3,000. We moved to Roosevelt, Utah where my parents purchased 120 acres of farmland with a small log house for $10,000. Our new home consisted of a bedroom and kitchen also. Out back we had a little one-roomed house with a coal heating stove in it that us kids slept in. This little “white house” kept us warm and cozy on those cold, cold Roosevelt winter nights. I can remember at times the five of us kids all sleeping together in one bed while my mother and father and the new baby, Dougie, sleeping together in the other bed. I’m sure we did this to conserve fuel during the winter. We lived three miles from town and rode the bus back and forth to school there also. We had to wait at the end of our lane for the bus, and when I think of cold mornings, my mind automatically goes back to my waits there!
We had a big coal stove in the kitchen which we used for heating the house, and also for heating the water and cooking. It was the children’s job to chop the wood and make sure the coal bucket was full. We also had the job of “fetching the pails of water” from our well close by. We always used the outside “John” and never did have an inside bathroom even to the day that I was married. I remember a boy coming to our home to take me to a dance, and because he was early I was still soaking in the old metal tub sitting in the middle of our kitchen floor! I had to sit there very quietly for the longest time until my mother could get him to change seats in our living room so I could sneak out, get to my bedroom and get dressed!
Our closest neighbor was about a block away then, but they were an older couple with older children. The only girl my age was Alice Patry who lived about two miles away. When I wanted to visit her I had to saddle up the old gray mare that we had and try to prod her into taking me there. Often she would get scared as she crossed over a wooden bridge and refuse to go any further. So, disappointed, I would head back home. When I got a bicycle I rode down to visit with her in the summers. My life was spent very simply in those days. I learned to sew on a treadle sewing machine and sewed most of my own clothes. I also liked to read romance books which were not too good for me and I listened to our little radio. My favorite song was “Pretend You’re Happy, When You’re Blue.”
I was lonely and blue in those days. My father had yearned for a place of his own and to be “his own boss”, on his own farm and he really enjoyed this kind of life. My mother is a very intelligent, creative person but was stifled out on the farm helping my father haul hay and milk cows. I missed being close to my grandmothers, aunts, uncles and cousins. We had very little to entertain us and no family or friends close by. My parents struggled very hard just to buy the place, improve it and take care of their large family. My father was a dear, sweet kind man who was honest and peace-loving. He smoked very heavy and wouldn’t go to Church because he didn’t want people to look down on him. He was shy around people and was afraid maybe he would be called upon to pray! We children attended Primary and Sunday School most of the time and while my father was in the service, my mother always dressed us up and took us to Sunday School. I attended Mutual until I was about 14. Here my father and mother were, trying to raise six little children in a small house with very little money and without Church classes or teachings to strengthen them. I was a sensitive little girl who generally felt sad and lonely but I’m grateful for those early Church teachings that I did receive.
Things were not always good, but they weren’t all bad either. We had fun on several occasions when we could pack a picnic lunch and go swimming to Lake Boren. Usually about once or twice a year we would all pile into the car or sometimes the front seat of our pickup truck and travel down to Salem or Springville to visit with our relatives. These trips were rushed because we had to leave early in the morning after milking the cows and then be back at night to milk again. I really enjoyed visiting with my Grandmothers and cousins. When I was a teenager I would live with my Grandmother Riding for about 3 weeks in the summer and pick cherries to earn enough money to buy school clothes. I loved being back in Mapleton during those summers!
I entered high school at the new Union High School in Roosevelt and unfortunately spent most of my time concerned not about studies but about boys and clothes. I was popular and had plenty of boy friends and dates but I’m ashamed to say that I became very worldly and couldn’t find time to attend any Church activities. I was active in extracurricular activities of all kinds. I twirled baton in the marching band, marched with the “Cougarettes” at the half-time of all games, represented our school at the FHA convention in Salt Lake, and worked in several different clubs. I loved to dance and belonged to the dance club which performed at various functions. I was a cheerleader in Jr. High School and would have liked to be one in High School but by that time I was married and planning for my first child.
When I was 15 I started working at a little confectionery store in Roosevelt, named “Marion’s”. I worked there from 4 until 11 every night after school, and all day on Saturdays and Sundays. In the summer months I worked full time making 60¢ an hour. I used my earnings to buy clothes, etc. By the time I got married I had saved over $200 from my small wages. In February 1956 when I was 17, I met Gayle Williams in this little store. We were married in July of that same year and Jeff was born the next year in August after I had graduated from Union High School. Immediately after graduation we moved to Salt Lake City and lived in a small duplex at 333 South 900 East where the Salt Lake Clinic now stands. It was here that Jeff was born. I loved that little baby so much! I sure wish that I had been older and wiser when I had him because I’m sure that I made a lot of mistakes, but he is a fine young man today.
In the summer of 1958 we moved from that home to the “Stadium Village” at the University of Utah. We lived there less than a year but that was the year that I met Ray Hintze.
While Gayle was taking classes at the “U” I went to Beauty School and started working at Darrell’s Beauty Salon. I worked there until July 1961 when my second son, Scott, was born. I was hoping to have a little girl but when I first laid eyes on Scott it was instant love and I wouldn’t have traded him for a thousand cute, little girls! By this time we had bought a little home on a pretty lot on Millcreek Way. We had the creek in our back yard and 13 apple trees in our yard. It was a real cute little two-bedroom house which we painted pink with a white fence around it. We planted lots of petunias around and it was a fun, bright, cheery home. The kitchen was a turquoise blue with white cupboards and floor and we turned the garage into an “Early American” style family room next to the kitchen. I loved that little home but we had to move when I became pregnant with our third son, Todd.
I had only planned on having three children all-together so I really wanted this child to be a little girl. I was only disappointed for a second because when I laid eyes on my third son, again it was instant love! People would act a little disappointed that I didn’t get my little girl but I sure wasn’t. I thought I had three cutest little boys that were ever born and I really did spoil them. Todd was born in April, 1963 and that winter we moved to a new home which we had built at 5711 Glenbrook Street. This home was larger with a basement which we finished and decorated. I loved to decorate, sew, and fix things up. I used to be so energetic and organized that I could have the house all cleaned up, breakfast over with, the kids dressed and be outside sunbathing by 10 o’clock. Oh, the “good old days”!
On a beautiful spring morning in 1966 we had our first darling little baby girl, Kimberlee. She was a beautiful little baby and I felt so blessed to have her. I felt a much stronger responsibility for her, either because I was older and more mature, or maybe because she was a little girl. I truly wanted to make her feel loved, cherished and secure. When she was little she was very tired and irritable all of the time and we finally found out that she had a VSD or a hole between the chambers of her heart. Later on when she was 8 years old she had surgery to correct it but for many years this was an area of fear and concern to me.
I started my own beauty salon in this house and built up a big business which I later moved to the Cottonwood Shopping Center nearby and then eventually to Ivy Place in Murray. It is still a thriving, growing business with 5 other operators and I work there 3 days a week.
During these years everything looked rosy on the outside but deep inside I was still that little love-starved, insecure, unhappy girl of yesterday. I finally realized that things were never going to change unless I changed them. I didn’t love my husband and I realized that I could never become really active in the Church and go to the temple to be sealed to someone that I didn’t love. Our marriage had been a mistake and although there was dread and terror in my heart at the thought of what I must do, I knew that I must. The only way that I ever got through the next few months was with the help of my Father in Heaven. I turned to Him in prayer many times and was able to stay strong not only for myself but also for the sake of my four children. It would take a book to relate the feelings of remorse that I feel for bringing hurt and pain into the lives of my innocent little children.
We spent the next summer alone but we belonged to the Cottonwood Club about a block or so away and we enjoyed swimming, tennis, and fishing there. Jeff was eleven at the time and he had a junior set of golf clubs that he used every day! We also had a horse, named Dolly, that we had bought for Scott and he would ride her around the stable at the club. We finally had to move the horse and we moved it to Farmington and began riding horses in the hills with Ray.
Ray and I were married on a beautiful, fall morning on November 12, 1969, in Elko, Nevada. My whole life changed with this union and sometimes I feel that the Lord gave me the trials of my first 30 years so that I might enjoy and appreciate the next 30.
I and my children moved to Farmington to live with Ray. We had many obstacles to overcome besides the ordinary trials of living together as husband and wife. We were also trying to join together two sets of children and hoping that they would love us and each other as brother and sister. With my four and Ray’s three, Kathrine, James and Bonnie, this brought seven children all under the age of 14 into our home. We tried hard to do everything that we knew how to do to help this family feel close and loving to each other. Our own little Suzanne was born on May 24, 1971. Oh how all the children loved and cared for this little one!
When the children were growing up we did lots of fun things together but I think the thing that the children enjoyed the most was the annual outing at Snow Canyon on Easter and the boat trips to Lake Powell. We also traveled with them throughout most of the United States but they loved being around Aunts, Uncles and Cousins; the very same thing that I had enjoyed so much when I was a youngster!
Our home soon became too crowded for all of us and we were able to enlarge it considerably. We became very comfortable in five bedrooms, each with it’s own king-size waterbed, a music room with a sectional sofa and a coal stove for emergencies, poolroom, three bathrooms and a living room. Right off of the kitchen we have a large family room with a big triple-sized couch and lots of plants. We have a large lot with room for a vegetable garden, fruit trees and a trampoline. A far cry from the small, homemade, one-room home that I was born in!
The thing that I recall most vividly about those first years with Ray, was the spiritual awakening that we were both feeling for the first time in either of our lives. We were both finally gaining a testimony of our own and not simply living the way that we wanted to, but the way that we knew would make us happy and bring us together in the Celestial Kingdom for all eternity. We were married and sealed to each other in the Salt Lake Temple on June 3, 1974. Suzi was sealed to us on that same day.
Our children have all loved sports such as baseball, football and wrestling. They also love to snow and water ski. All of the children have had the opportunity to take music, dancing, and gymnastic lessons. We are all active in the Church and have worked in various capacities in different organizations. Three of our boys, Jeff, Scott and Todd have served missions for the Church. A few of my callings have been to teach Sunday School, Primary and MIA. I have been the work director and secretary in the Relief Society, and the Young Marrieds leader. I am presently serving as the president of the YW and truly hope that I can help these young people avoid some of the mistakes that I made when I was young.
In 1978, Ray and I visited the detention center one Sunday morning and our hearts went out to the young boys who were there. Some time after, we were licensed to be foster parents and we have had more than 25 different boys living with us at various times. We are still in contact with one of these boys, Paul Androwsky, who is very special and we love him like our own son.
We value the teachings of this gospel and the knowledge that it brings to us above all else. We hope that our children will be married in the temple and receive those blessings. I want to be a good example for them to follow and I hope that Ray and I can inspire all of our children and grandchildren to be valiant young men and young women.