My Memoir: My Daddy, Floyd O. Spencer, Pt 3

 

dad-collage
Family Collage includes Dad’s mom, and him as a boy (in glasses)

  Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it.
Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.
Begin it n
ow.”

~Goethe~



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*Continuing where we left off in Part Two of “My Daddy” :

The year was 1958, the setting our home in Hurricane, Utah — The place: Around our average-sized family room fireplace. While the flames flickered and leaped, warmed and lit our cozy little living room, we, then eleven Spencer kids, huddled around our parents on the colorful rag-rug Mother had crocheted.

I was twelve then, second to the oldest, and seventeen months younger than my oldest sibling, Doris — one of my rivals! While sixty-three-year-old Daddy sat situated on a high stool with a towel wrapped around his neck and shoulders, talented and artistic thirty-seven-year-old Mother was at her routine task of trimming his white hair, employing the clippers he’d bought for this purpose.

As was often the case during such times, we kids were once again peppering Papa with personal questions about his intriguing boyhood, family, life … and white hair!

” I discovered my first gray hair when I was only fourteen years old!” Daddy explained. “Gray hairs really stand out when your hair is pitch black like mine used to be!”

My siblings and I were further enlightened when Mother got out Daddy’s scrapbook and a photo album so he could explain the pictures and keepsakes in them. There was a picture of my paternal grandmother dressed to the “T” in the high-fashions of the early 1900s:

My mother was a socialite,” he opined disapprovingly. “She was more concerned about her appearance and joining social circles than she was about being a good mother. She always decked herself out in the latest grand styles of the day — as you can see in this picture,” continued Daddy, pointing to a photo of his attractive mother in a hat.

As an aside, I never got to meet my paternal grandparents, nor Daddy’s aunt who raised him. Daddy was about fifty-two when I was born. I was around five years old when, in her nineties, his aunt died. She lived in Michigan, and we lived in St.George, Utah, at that time. Lack of money and means precluded Daddy’s going to her funeral.

Back before she died, I recall how elated he would be whenever a letter arrived from his aunt. Sometimes she would include a photo of herself, so I at least got to see what she looked like as a ninety-year-old woman … And I recall, too, the tears in Daddy’s eyes (a man who seldom showed any sign of tears) when he read the letter that said she had died.

One of the many disadvantages of having a father old enough to be your grandfather is that his parents die before you are old enough to meet them — that is, if he even kept in contact with his parents at all — which Daddy did not.

Continuing with Daddy’s pictures, now: In another photo, his handsome “half-breed” entrepreneur mother stood on the porch in front of a wooden building. And Daddy recounted:

“My mother owned a little motel or boarding house. I helped her with the work there, oftentimes — sweeping the big porch, fixing things, and helping at the front desk. 

“In my free time, I loved to create things that really worked … like miniature model windmills I carved and devised myself, where the blades of the windmill could actually turn if you blew on them … or there was wind.”

He was very proud of his ingenuity and creativity — the things he was amazingly able to come up with and make, though only a young boy — a child … things nobody else around him devised, not even adults. He loved to draw, too — funny caricatures and so forth.

“I also loved to design and create things like tiny little wagons and cars with wheels that could roll — and even little houses and buildings.

“And I loved to carve whistles, wooden ducks, dogs, and other toys that had wheels on them so they could be pulled around with us wherever we went — which was how we made our toys move, back in those days. 

My dream was to be an Engineer — How I longed to be in the driver’s seat of a train and to work on trains. Trains were the big thing — just coming into existence when I was a young boy.

“It was back when most people did not own a car, and Model-T Fords were barely becoming the big rage among the rich. 

“One of the first cars accessible to the masses was the 1908 Model T, an American car manufactured by the Ford Motor Company. I was thirteen years old when that car came out. Henry Ford was my idol! I loved that he was an Inventor. I wanted to be an Inventor, myself — to design and create things like Ford and other Inventors of my day.

“If I could’ve had my way and I’d had the advantage of money ‘n’ a good education, I would’ve been an Engineer. But instead of goin’ back to school ‘n’ workin’ for years to get the education I needed so as to go to college ‘n’ get an Engineering Degree, I married ‘n’ had a bunch of kids — to help build up God’s kingdom. Then spent my time workin’ to raise ‘n’ support my families — my first family with Eva, and now this one.”

Then Daddy changed the subject:

“As a youth, I never liked to sit around wastin’ time, nor to play silly games like the rest of the kids … Liked to put my time to good use … to create things. Silly, noisy kids got on my nerves. But being an only child was a very lonely life. That’s one reason I chose to have lots of kids when I got married.” 

Explanation: Daddy was an Introvert — a creative like me — only one of a number of traits I inherited from Daddy’s side of the family. If you do not know the characteristics of the different but unique, special Introvert brain and personality, there are a number of good books on the market that explain this valuable and wondrous trait.

And if you are related to Floyd Otto Spencer, and other such, chances are you or/and some of your children and posterity are also Introverts.

So here are titles of three spectacular books you may be interested in reading or at least skimming. If you can’t find some of these in your library or online, there are other books on the subject.

But the following books are the ones I have read and can highly recommend if you are able to get them:

1- “The Introvert AdvantageHow to Thrive in an Extrovert World,”  by Marti Olsen Laney, Psy.D.

2- “Party of One: The Loner’s Manifesto,” by Anneli Rufus

3- “The Highly Sensitive Person: How to Thrive When the World Overwhelms You,” by Elaine N. Aaron, Ph.D.

(*Continued in My Memoirs: My Daddy, Pt. 4)

 

6 thoughts on “My Memoir: My Daddy, Floyd O. Spencer, Pt 3

  1. Wow! I have read all your blogs, it has interested me. It has helped me to understand who my grandfather was. Yes, I did skip around, only because I found your blogs not to be organized. I appreciate what your stance is concerning the fundamentalist group. I’m very greatful that I was not raised in it. Sorry if I hurt your feelings, I just really hate what they did to my grandfather. That is why I feel the way I do, about fundamentalist people. I would like to hear the story about what really happened to my grandfather, when he was killed. I keep looking through all your blogs, and maybe I’m just missing it. There is a blog where you do say, my grandfather was killed in 1963, maybe it was a type error. Another reason I have so much disinterest in these kind of people, is I feel they are invading my town, and all the towns and cities, I ever go to. Is it because, Colorado City, no longer exists? They are just everywhere, including in my neighborhood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Jada: It is so nice to get your feedback again. My next Friday’s blog expresses a little more about how badly I feel about my uncles converting Daddy to polygamy. But fundamentalists are the type of people, rather like autistics, who stick to one trend of thought, such that everything has to be and remain exactly the way it started out — no changes allowed!!

      Mormon fundamentalists cannot accept all the changes that have been made in the Mormon church by its leaders that have followed since Joseph Smith died.

      I, myself, respect all those changes. Every single church ever started in this world has had lots of changes made, to make the religion more palatable, by normal people, because the person who started the religion was often not very educated, often a Con and/or schizophrenic. And that self-proclaimed prophet’s followers who believed in him or her, still believed in their testimony of the gospel that religious and creative genius/Con or such started, but they had to make it more reasonable so they wouldn’t lose followers — and so they could stay with the religion, themselves.

      I do not know if you are LDS or what. But I suspect perhaps some of even today’s present Mormon leaders do not believe everything Joseph Smith’s taught, but they believe it is best to keep people in the church by telling them not to search out the mysteries — In other words, don’t read old early Mormon writings and books — like the Journal of Discourses, for example … and so on.

      I, myself, know how bad it feels to wander in the wilderness forty years because you have lost your faith and therefore your purpose and meaning in life. I don’t want that to happen to anybody. They who leave their religion are not always better off, in the end, when they lose their faith and therefore their family and friends, traditions, and who knows what else.

      You, yourself, can see what happened to your grandfather after he was converted to Mormon orthodoxy. It ruined his former family, and was by no means a better way to live, to make a long story short. Nonetheless, I do believe polygamists need to leave their religion under all costs … And ASAP!

      Darn, I could go on and on. As in my blogs, though, I try to keep things shorter, as I am trying to do now. In the end, it leaves holes and misunderstandings, et cetera. But to make a long story even shorter, I am not proud at all of what my mother did when she broke up Daddy’s family. But Mama believed she was carrying out Joseph Smith’s teachings. And Daddy thought Eva was going to go along with his new beliefs. But she couldn’t take it after around six months … and I don’t blame her in the least!!!! Furthermore, she did the right thing to not stay in polygamy, and to not raise her children in that terribly barbaric slave and belief system!!

      What Mormon fundamentalism does is absolutely horrid, wicked and evil. But it’s headstrong, God-fearing followers believe fervently that what they are doing is what Joseph Smith commanded them to do!

      If you call me, I could tell you a whole lot more. I am rather jumping around in my comments. Suffice it to say, the reason you are being inundated by polygamists/ Mormon fundamentalists is that they have grown absolutely exponentially, due to all the wives and kids they have. And it’s only going to get worse and worse!

      They now have enough people of their kind, in some areas, that they represent a Voter Block — in other words governmental power! They darn well know this. (I posted a Face Book post, that you can check out on my Facebook site (under Steph Spencer) where one of them, Darger (I believe his name is), among others, is now running for City Mayor — though he publicly makes it known he’s a polygamist (i.e., a law breaker, and such people are not supposed to be allowed to hold public office — He should be in jail, instead). However, this Plyg preaches polygamy, instead, right along with running for Mayor.

      Fundamentalists are licking their chomps for they see they will soon be able to vote polygamy in as legal. If nothing else, this will bring polygamy back into the LDS church — exactly like LDS leaders have told their people will happen; i.e., “Polygamy has been removed from our church presently … But it will be lived in another dispensation … Or at least in heaven!”

      Yes, I did somehow type that Daddy was killed in 1963 — probably partly because the subject of how it all happened upsets me so much that I lost my head! Thank you for reminding me that I need to go back and recheck all blogs that mention Daddy’s death, so as to correct that oversight!

      I have not posted the blog yet that tells how he died. The reason is that I can only tell a little, and post a little, week by week, in my blogging. And part of the reason for this is I was stalling: Trying to decide if I ever wanted to publish a book, or just put my Memoirs online. And another big reason I have stalled is I could be killed for telling the whole truth! Therein lies the truth!!

      There are plenty of fanatic fundamentalist followers who would like to do away with me for outing certain things. Enough said on the subject, for right now, other than to say there are things I may never be able to publish … till after I die. If you call me, I could tell you more, but that’s about it for now.

      I am impressed that you do a lot of reading, and that you want to know more about your grandfather, despite all that happened to your most unfortunate family! Take care, Stephany

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    2. Stephany,
      When will you blog more about my grandpa? I’m interested in hearing more about his life, it has been helpful in getting to know more about him. Are there any books out there that would be worth reading about my grandpa? How are doing?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi, again, Jada:

        Your last sentence was not quite clear — like did you ask how I am, or what? Just to be safe, I’ll assume that was your question, and thank you for inquiring about me. I am doing quite well, considering. And how about yourself?

        I am so honored that you have taken time to read my blogs, then given me more valuable feedback. You asked when I would next Post more about your grandfather. To be honest, I started my online Memoir with the intention of telling my own “mostly” miserable memoirs of growing up in a Mormon fundamentalist cult and polygamy — I especially intended to tell my experiences as a polygamist’s wife, my escape from the cult, and how I managed to succeed once I was out on my own, all alone with my little girl, and little else.

        But once I started my memoirs, I realized I needed to give some backstory about where and how I started out in life. I had no idea this backstory would become so involved — No idea I’d end up writing practically a book on Mother and Daddy before I would ever get to my own story. I had no idea I would have so much to say about them.

        Actually, I was not going to say nearly so much. But people contacted me and asked me to tell more about their father, grandfather, grandmother, great-great-great grandfather and grandmother … Well, you get the idea.

        As far as I know, the only books on the Spencers are the ones I have listed on my Media site, under “Famous ‘n’ Infamous Relatives.” As far as I know, I’m the only one who has even begun to write anything about your grandfather.

        I am now in the process of deciding what to do — like whether to post more online; and if so, what can I safely post that will not harm my parents’ progeny … The progeny that is extensive … and growing
        Exponentially as I write.

        I see that blogging consumes the time I need to get my book written. But then, my story is so tenuous, and trying to get published so much trouble and work, that I question whether it is worth it.

        For one thing, I did not want to write my story if I could not tell the whole truth, as I see it and experienced it: The truth that sets people free … but will also set a few on edge!

        If you think what I have written so far runs our family name through the mud, I can only tell you: Be grateful I have kept the best of the worst to myself. However, I’m an intellectual who wishes somebody had told me (as I was growing up) the truth … about the skeletons, etc., in our closet, if you will.

        Instead, my parents and everybody else around me pretended to be saints: They were careful to cover up any little — or big — thing that would let me know they weren’t perfect. Had I known the truth about a whole lot of things, as a kid, I wouldn’t have been so brainwashed.

        But most of all, I could have been myself, had far fewer hangups to overcome — and could have left the Mormon fundamentalist cult without fear, and even much sooner than I did, at least in my own mind … They would not let me escape — till I managed to do so at age twenty-one — with my child, no less … And my life … and little more.

        Therein, hangs a tale, as they say. And I still intend to tell it. But maybe you could help advise me as to how much I should tell. How much do you really want to know, or do you only want to know the good stuff? For all I know, that may be all I should put in print — especially on the Internet.

        But I’m at a standstill, also, because I kind of wonder if I’m better off only putting my story on the Internet/ on WordPress.com, rather than going to all the trouble to try to publish a book — a book I may not finish before I die.

        Or maybe I’ll write a book I will publish after I die, for those who want to know the whole truth — and even for those who don’t want to know it! However, I’m not even sure why I am writing my story — especially if it is going to leave people downhearted and discouraged. But it’s bound to, to some degree — if I tell my truth!

        Anyway, it has made me happy to know I am letting Daddy’s relatives know something about this special man … including his children who never knew him because he died while they were too tiny to remember him or to get to know him.

        As in the case of many writers who write a book, my book is turning out to be totally different from what I set out to write. Your input has certainly changed my book. For example, now I realize my Memoirs must include much about my mother and father. For I have relatives, after seeing what I wrote about Daddy, asking me to also tell about Mother. In fact, that is the only reason I started the blogs on “My Mama.” Before I got the requests to also write about her, I was going to start writing my own story — the one I had intended to write before I got off on the stories about my parents.

        Now I have found that, to properly tell a little about Mother, I must also tell more about Father. You can see that happening as you read the blogs on “My Mama.” My intention is to now intersperse into my memoirs many more tales about my father, as they involve him, because you have asked to know more about your grandfather. In other words, within my own Memoirs I will soon start writing — though I’m not sure I will continue to post them online — I will tell a lot more of my experiences with Father — a lot more than I had intended to do to begin with, anyway.

        Actually, I could write a book on Floyd Otto Spencer, alone, now I see there are so many that would really like to know more about their wonderful and amazing father, grandparent, relative. Who knows? Maybe I will do that once I finish my own Memoir. We shall see how things unfold as my muse continues to carry me along in places I had not even dreamed of going when I started my Memoir blogging a year ago.

        I hope you will continue to give me feedback, as it does influence and help guide what I shall write, as time goes on. It’s a whole evolving process, and you can thank yourself for being an influence in that process.

        But to change the topic a little, may I ask who your parents are? I would love to know other things about you, also, should you want to tell me.

        Now, till I hear from you, I will sign off, once more thanking you for your most important feedback — good or bad — as well as your encouragement. Please continue to let me know where I am off course, have made any mistakes in spelling or dates, etc.

        For one thing, perhaps you could clarify the following for me: In a genealogy site, Daddy’s first wife’s name is spelled “Ava.” Did she use both spellings or what? I only know that “Eva,” is pronounced “Ava,” in Latin languages.

        Regards,
        Stephany Spencer

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  2. This man you speak of is my grandfather. The woman you speak of is my mother. I really wish you would get some facts straight. Some of the crap your putting out there is not true facts. The reason I know is because my mother has related a lot of stories to me. Please stop dragging my family name through the mud. I may not have known my grandfather, which is your father, but I don’t think you have all your ducks in a row. My grandfather died in 1965. Eva is my grandmother, and what I know of her, she is a very outstanding woman. She suffered some very difficult times, because of your fathers choices. That was not right that he took on another family, when he had a family with Eva. At that time there was 9 children involved, in this nightmare he created. I absolutely hate, that my good known name and birth right is related to this poloygismist group. I resent you kind of people, I’m surrounded by you all every where I go. I hate it, why do you people live a life of breaking the law?

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    1. Hi, Jada. I so appreciate your feedback! As a writer and Memoirist, how well aware I am there are as many sides to a story as there are people and their own experiences/ memoirs. That’s why it’s recommended, if people don’t like what one person writes, they should write their own experiences and versions of “what happened.” I would love to read your memoirs, for example.

      I write to enlighten and inform, to learn, and to grow, myself — among other things — and I write because I am a born writer. The problem with blogging, rather than writing a book where everything is all laid out right there in one organized volume, is that people who read my blogs don’t begin from my first blog; and they skip around, among my blogs, besides, so get many wrong ideas.

      If you would read my latest blog, Part 13 of “My Mama,” that I posted yesterday, June 9, 2017, and if you also will read next Friday’s blog, which I’ll post June 16, you will see that I am in total agreement with you about all you say as to what happened to your poor, dear grandmother, Eva, and her children — my eleven half-brothers and sisters.

      If you check my Facebook site (at “Steph Spencer”), you will get an idea of how I feel about Mormon fundamentalism, polygamy, its outlaws — that and much more!

      For example, you would learn how badly I feel about having been born into Mormon fundamentalism and a cult … and also to a man old enough to be my grandfather — which meant he would certainly die while my little brothers were still babies and would never get to know a father.

      Furthermore, you would learn how awful it feels to be raised a Mormon fundamentalist and to be constantly persecuted by LDS Mormons. (For starters, I recommend you read my blogs about how “I Won and I Lost,” for some ideas of all this — if you have any interest in me as a relative, and an honest and sensitive human being.)

      Please read my Posts that tell about me on my “Home” Website. You are blood related, and we shouldn’t be so antagonistic toward each other. I would love to talk with you on the phone. My phone number is 818-363-7664.

      Sadly, I never got to know any of Daddy’s other children, other than Marion and Eleanor. I am not sure, anymore, how they spell their names — only remember how beautiful they were. I only knew them a bit, due to the whole fiasco of polygamy and my daddy womanizing and going off with my mom. (I explain some of that in my last blog I mentioned to you … and explain more in my upcoming blogs.)

      I do need you to tell me the names of who you are talking about when you say “the woman I speak of is your mother.” I’m confused about what woman you think I am speaking of, among other things, for I don’t recall speaking of any of my half-sisters — only of that wonderful woman, Eva, my father betrayed to live polygamy … due to the 132nd sec. of the Doctrine and Covenants — where Joseph Smith commanded his people to be polygamist or be damned.
      (Your grandfather, Floyd Spencer, truly believed that commandment and all that Joseph Smith taught.)

      BTW, thank you so very much for catching my big faux pas: Your grandfather, Floyd Spencer (my father), definitely died on April 18, 1965. When it comes to any other mistakes I have a made … or seem to have made, we must be aware that we only know our own experiences and the stories we are told by others … and their stories may not be any more valid than mine or yours.

      That’s just how life is — though you say much of what I am writing is “a bunch of crap,” and I am “running the Spencer name through the mud.” I am open to any corrections wherein I’m running our family name through the mud.

      I am intentionally shooting from the hip, trying to tell the whole story, as I experienced it. I am trying to also be sensitive to all Daddy’s progeny — many of whom want to think of him as a Saint and a great man … especially those grand/great-grandchildren of his, and other such, who were raised in polygamy, and still can’t or may never be able to see through Mormon fundamentalism. (I was lucky and saw through it long ago, in 1963, at age 17.)

      I fled polygamy and Mormon fundamentalism the first chance I got, at age 21, in 1967 — thus, finally escaping the dangerous Mormon fundamentalist LeBaron cult headquartered in Colonia LeBaron, Chihuahua Mexico.

      I am impressed that you have found and are reading my blogs. I look forward to you reading each one of them, so as to get “all your ducks in a row” so you will have a more full idea of where I am coming from, etc.

      Also, please keep in mind that I am only telling a small portion of the story in each blog — a story that will take countless months to finish telling. The jury is still out on what I may say — till my story is completed.

      I probably will not tell much more of my Memoirs online, but will publish a book, instead, due to the problem of most people not even reading the Introduction to my online book/ Memoirs (which I posted on my blog site) let alone do they read blog by blog. By skipping around, they come up with totally incorrect judgments and opinions of what I have said and what I believe. Furthermore, it would take many more months of blogging to fully express what I believe.

      I shudder in my boots because many people, such as you, are either misreading what I say, or are coming to conclusions after having read only one or but a few of my blogs. They don’t take into account that by only jumping around in my blogs, they are coming up with misconceptions due to not having read the beginning or the end of the story, let alone the middle.

      Take care, Jada! I hope you will continue to read my blogs and give me feedback. If I don’t have the full story, then only people like you can fill me in when I go wrong.

      Cheers,
      Stephany Spencer, one of your many relatives.

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