Friday, November 6, 2009

Glenn and Helen Rex Frazier, Part 6

Helen Rex Frazier and daughter Susan, Spring 1952.
In 1951 Glenn began driving truck out of Provo, Utah. He moved his family into a little brick home at 657 West 5th North in Provo. Their youngest child, Susan, was born October 20, 1951 in the hospital in Provo.

Susan and Bessie, Provo, Utah, Spring 1952.

Helen, on the right, with sisters-in-law L-R, Verla Madsen Frazier and Dorothy Tipton Rex. A backyard Sunday picnic, Provo, Spring 1952.

Work moved Glenn and family to Salt Lake City, Utah where they first lived on 3rd West, and then moved to 134 East Oakland Avenue. A couple of years later Glenn and Helen were able to begin buying the home at 166 East Oakland Avenue. They lived their the rest of their lives.

Glenn worked construction and drove a cement truck for J.B. and R.E. Walker for many years. He always drove a truck. Even after retirement when he helped his son fix up and manage rental units, Glenn drove a truck.

Helen was a fine homemaker. She baked, cooked, canned, and was a lovely seamstress, teaching her daughters to sew as girls. The family attended the Kimball Ward, in the South Salt Lake Stake. Helen was the stake Junior Sunday School Coordinator, and Glenn was called as a missionary in those early years. In about 1955 Helen began working in an assayer’s office, then for the City of South Salt Lake. The city offices were on State Street, just south of the Oakland Avenue corner, a block’s walk away from home. She would work there for seventeen years; as the water billing clerk, in most other city related work, and serving on the Planning and Zoning Commission.

For just short of forty years the Fraziers lived on Oakland Avenue in South Salt Lake, Utah. The children attended Madison Elementary School, across the street, on Oakland Avenue and State Street, Central Junior High School, and they each graduated from Granite High School. Glenn and Helen were always involved in their children’s lives, the Church, and the South Salt Lake Community.

Family, reunions, and gatherings were anticipated with great excitement. Over the river and through the words, applied to every holiday, as they traveled. Whether Woodruff, Randolph, Huntsville, or Marion, Utah, they ever sang the lyrics of that song and other favorites on their treks.

Through the annals of frequently recalled family stories, the following account is a favorite: Soon after the family moved to 134 East Oakland in about 1955, Helen had taken Susan with her as she drove to pick Glenn up after work. It was a new neighborhood, but Helen was comfortable leaving Rex and Bessie (ten and eleven) home alone, and instructed them to stay inside. Sometime after their mother left they heard a sound they had NEVER heard before. The loud wail of an unfamiliar siren penetrated the air. It reached through the walls and windows of their little two bedroom home and paralyzed them. But, not for long. It was such a persistent, urgent call, they determined it must be a blackout siren. They had never heard one before. But it fit the description of the sirens their parents told them of, calling for blackouts, in Oakland, California after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor in 1941.

They knew what to do. They closed all of the blinds and curtains they could, and hid, huddled together in the center of the house. They worried. This house didn’t have blackout curtains. After a long time the siren stopped. And they waited longer. When nothing happened, they snuck to a window and peaked out. Nothing seemed changed, the people and cars they could see appeared normal. They cautiously awaited until their parents returned home.

They had moved into a community with a volunteer fire department, and had heard the siren for the first time. The fire station was part of the City Complex on the corner of Oakland Avenue and State Street. They became well acquainted with that siren’s call, it becoming a reassuring sign that help was being summoned for someone in need.

Madison Ward Bishopric, about 1961. Front row L-R, Counselor Brother Christensen, Bishop Frank Fox, and Counselor Glenn Frazier. Others unknown.

In the 1960’s Glenn served as a counselor to Bishop Frank Fox in the Madison Ward Bishopric. Glenn served in seven bishoprics, usually as the ward clerk. During the years they lived on Oakland Avenue they watched commercial enterprises slowly encroach their community. It began with the construction of Interstate, I-80 a block and a half north of their house in about 1960. They attended the Kimball, Madison, Burton, and Central Park Ward, and two different stakes, without ever moving from Oakland Avenue.

Helen is on the top row, far right. The other women are unknown.

(To be continued.)
Pictures and history from Glenn and Helen Rex Frazier collection.

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