Sunday, November 1, 2009

Glenn and Helen Rex Frazier, Part 4

Helen, Glenn, Frank, and Emily Frazier
visit San Francisco about 1940.

When Glenn and Helen lived in Oakland, the Oakland Stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints grew from 3,700 members in 1935, when it was organized, to 9,000 members in 1946, making it the second largest stake in the Church. The shipyards in Richmond attracted thousands of people to the Bay Area and the various naval bases brought many more. Helen was in the Oakland Ward MIA Presidency. Glenn was called as a stake missionary in 1946, and again in 1949.

Helen worked for Montgomery Wards, and one summer got her younger sister, Flora, work there. Her brother Maeser stayed with them for a time. Sister Winifred was with Helen when her first baby, Bessie, was born in 1942. And a year latter, soon after their son Rex was born, Helen’s father Percy Harold Rex was able to visit.

Helen with her new baby, Bessie, Christmas 1942.

Glenn drove laundry trucks for his Uncle Bill [William] Rufi. He also worked for a furniture company. Rubber was scarce and he drove truck for a company that contracted to pick up all of the tires in Oakland and San Francisco during the war. They stored them in large warehouses in San Francisco. People were permitted to keep only four tires on their cars and one spare during the war years.

Glenn was up for the draft, however he was rejected because he was bothered so with eczema, especially on his hands. He dispatched trucks for an Alameda, California company that sent specialists (carpenters, pipe-fitters, machinists, etc.) to Mare Island Naval Shipyards in the San Francisco Bay to repair boats during the war. He also worked for a company that had the contract to rebuild or fix large passenger ships for war duty.

Glenn and Bessie upon his return from work 1943.

After the war Glenn worked for a refinery that picked up 50 gallon drums of used oil from service stations. The drums were agitated with air. Sludge was dropped to the bottom, further processing produced oil that was better than new. They then sold it to service stations, and for use on large ships.

“These jobs aren’t in order as I worked them,” Glenn explained, as he listed all of the jobs he could remember when he was eighty-one years old, for his son-in-law.

Rex and Bessie

Glenn and Helen had their dreams in California. They purchased an orchard in Walnut Creek [west of Oakland]. The farmer in them pruned, cultivated, and sprayed their budding trees. They harvested almonds. We were still pealing the outer coverings off of their last crop of almonds while were we were living on the Woodruff Ranch.

The work in Oakland, which was plentiful during the war, decreased. The opportunity to return to Woodruff and ranching presented itself. Glenn’s brother and his family were leaving the Frazier Ranch. Glenn and Helen and children would be welcomed. They could move into a home there. It had no indoor plumbing, except the kitchen sink. Saturday night baths were in a galvanized tub in the kitchen near the coal stove. There was a wash stand with a pitcher and basin against one wall. There must have been real compelling reasons, never fully understood by children, that altered their earlier dreams. The chance to live nearer loved ones. Steady work. Building there own place. Helping their folks out!
Glenn and Helen packed all of their earthly belongings in Frank Union’s farm truck. Tucked their two children between them on the seat, tied a suitcase with trip necessities on the cab top, and moved from Oakland to the Frazier Ranch in Woodruff, Utah. They traded a sea breeze, fog horns, and bay weather, and no steady work, for Northern Utah’s sub-zero freezing winters. They loved being nearer their families. There was always work!

The sun streams through the kitchen window
onto Rex and Bessie in their
4130 Terrace Street, Oakland, California apartment.

That's Glenn spraying the trees in their
Walnut Creek, California, orchard.

Bessie and Rex Frazier with Uncle Bill [William] Rufi
in front of his, and Aunt Mabel Rufi's,
Oakland, California apartment.

(To be continued.)
An Ensign To The Nations; History of the Oakland Stake, Evelyn Candland, published by: Oakland California Stake, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Chapter 4. Pictures from Glenn and Helen Rex Frazier collection. Emily Frazier's penny post card shares the family news, and shows us how to get the most out of one penny.

1 comment:

  1. I love the pictures of you with your dolls. The side view picture of your mother and you at Christmas has a look of Susan. I remember watching something on PBS about the navy and an island by San Fran. Maybe it was Mare Island. Your dad worked hard for his family.