Ford I. Gano History Ė Tape 7 Side A
Darlene was born in Yuma Arizona on [May] 31st XXXX [removed for privacy]. She was a sweet little girl, and we really enjoyed having her around. She was one of the best helpers I had on the farm, when we got on our own farm later, and she had quite a few merry incidents in her life, which were kind of important as far as her life was concerned. One of them was, shortly after we moved from Yuma up to Phoenix Arizona, there to Mesa, taking a job with Western Farm Management Company, and were living out on the Emery Ranch south of Mesa. I was put on there as the foreman of that particular ranch while working with WFM. But while there, Darlene wasnít very old, in fact she was just a small baby yet, we were living in kind of very sordid conditions, the old Emery house was just not much up to par. Nellie hated to use it, to live in it, but we just about had to because that seemed to be part of the bargain with WFM; the operator of that farm had to use the facilities.
[Phone rings Ė break]
I hope Iím not trying to record this over the first part I started out on this tape. Iím probably making a real mess of it. To continue on from where I thought I wasÖ
The Emery House was a home there on the Emery Ranch there south of Mesa, and the manager of that 400 acre farm was supposed to be living in that house, so thatís where we were living. We didnít have any modern facilities in that house, we had to go out back to the outside, stool, outside toilet, and we didnít even have a shower. We had to rig up our own, which Nellie insisted on that we could take a bath without climbing into a tub. I had accepted the job there at WFM whose headquarters were Phoenix. It was just a big management company that had several farms in that area, up in the mountains too, that they oversaw, watched over. It was their responsibility to take care of them. They were paid by the owners for so doing.
But anyway this Emery House was not a very nice place to live in. It was a nice looking house, but it was an old-time house without modern facilities. Thatís where I was located at this particular time. Darlene had a very bad illness right at the beginning of her, while she was a baby. Neither Nellie or I knew what to do about it. She was having spasms, and so we called up the hospital in Mesa and made arrangements to bring her in there. So we rushed her in to the Mesa hospital. It was really an awful feeling in my old heart, when I would look over and see Darlene in Nellieís lap there, as those spasms were prevailing.
Well, we got her into the hospital, and the hospital got the spasms calmed down, got the spasms under control, and they said weíd just have to leave her there that night. Weíd have to leave her there for a while so that they could check her out and find out what was causing the trouble. Well, it was very hard for us to go off and leave that little baby there in the hospital, and go back to the farmhouse to live. But of course we found it necessary to do so.
We came back the next day, and the doctor told us, youíd better leave her another day, weíve got her spasms under control now, and itís a matter of her diet that brought this about. So we left her there another night, with very tearful eyes, and went back to the farm. We got her the next day, and brought her back to be with the other two girls. Well, so much for that incident in our lives.
Iím going to skip several years now, and bring Ďer up to Mesa Arizona. Well, weíre not far from Mesa now, but I had moved from the farm into Mesa, city of, and was renting a house there for us to live in. Darlene got a bicycle for Christmas, and she just zipped it around town and to school and anywhere she wanted to go. She was a very energetic young lady. But one street she had to cycle on coming home from school had gravel on it. She got going a little too fast, going around a corner, and the wheels slid out from under her, and Darlene went skidding out across the gravel. She was really a kind of a bloody sight for a while until we got that taken care of.
The first thing that I knew she was a senior in high school, and I guess it was the year after she graduated. She took up debating in her Junior and senior year, she was on the Debating team. She learned through that effort, she was also on the band, etc. etc. etc. she probably got the most good from the school out of the debating exercises.
Öeast about 5 or 6 miles. Darlene brought Hollis in, and they were acting very, you might say, kind of coyly, they were holding hands. And Darlene said: "Hollis has something that he wants to say to you." So Hollis came up then and said, "Well, I would like to marry your daughter. We would like to get married." So I asked Hollis how he was going to support her, and he said they were going to school. Well, I guess Iíll just sort of jump that story up all together. Hollis was [break]
Hollis had been going to college at Ames, and was majoring in electrical engineering. Darlene had been going to school out at BYU, and while they were home that summer, this event came by, and they decided that they wanted to get married. So when I asked them what they were going to do, Hollis told me what he was doing, that he would graduate that year from the college of engineering there at Ames, and Darlene was going to, I think finish up her education at BYU that year also.
Well, that looked like a good situation. Except for one thing that Darlene knew that I didnít like, that I didnít want, and that was that Hollis was not a member of the Church. But she had worked on Hollis, she had converted him, and had told him that if he would convert over to the Mormon Church, that she would be able to marry him, and that she would like to go to the temple for that marriage. Well, believe it or not, Hollis wanted Darlene badly enough, and he was a good man in college engineering, EE was the degree that he obtained there, electrical engineering.1
Well, forgive me Elizabeth, Iím getting all mixed up here. You could probably tell me more about what Iím talking about than I can myself. My memory is just beginning to fail me something terrible, and Iíve kind of got mixed up there when I was ready to start moving from Yuma, up to the Mesa, up to Phoenix area. Iím going to stop the babble I was going on there, about Hollis, who of course you know, was your dad, and you probably know more about the history of what all I was saying than I do. I canít remember all the details of what was going on. So Iím just going to quit right there, quit that part of my history right there, and maybe bring it up at a later date after Iíve got some of my facts straightened out.
But I accepted the job with Dave Heywood in Phoenix, while Darlene was being born down in Yuma. That entailed a move from Yuma, from one city to another. Well, so much for that,
We had moved I donít know how many times now, and I guess Nellie, your grandmother, was willing to move again because thatís what I wanted to do. So up to Phoenix we went. I should say, Mesa, rather than Phoenix, because Western Farm Management, although they had their Headquarters office in Phoenix, had farms scattered about over the valley there, as well as in to other areas of the state, up in the mountains and etc. These farms, they were responsible for their operation, the income that came from them, and the expenses that were involved with them. So it brings me up to the fact that I was assigned as a foreman of a ranch by WFM, which was located just south of Mesa about 7 miles, in between Mesa and Gilbert Arizona. We found out when we moved in to it that the house we had to live in was not modern. There wasnít any way I could get along at that time except to talk Nellie and family into moving into that old time house. It was a very nice looking house, it just wasnít modern. So with all the un-modern facilities, we took a whack at it. We were promised by Mr. Heyward and company that we would soon be able to do something about that. So on that promise we moved in. To describe some of the facility, Nellie had to do her washing by hand, with a wringer washing machine, and then take the clothes outside on the washline to get them dry. Well, it wasnít hard to get them dry, in the Arizona sun. There wasnít any shower in the house, so we rigged up one of our own, there was a big water tank up overhead not far from the house, which would be filled by a windmill pump, and I rigged up a temporary shower under that tank that the windmill pumped water into, and made us a facility that we could have protection in and take our baths in. Well, it was a lot better than trying to take them in a tub in the kitchen or something, which I had to do of course when I was young, and I suppose Nellie had to, too. But nevertheless, we thought weíd outgrown that kind of life. So it was a real step-back there. Well, we made out the best we could. And I went about my responsibilities and Nellie took care of the girls right there at the farmhouse.
And that was the incident that I first got into with Darlene, in which she became ill one night and we rushed her off to the hospital in Mesa, to find out enroute that she had a spasm; she got stiff, and her arms flailed out and her eyes rolled back, which just scared the daylights out of me. Nellie held her and hugged her, and held her still until we arrived at the hospital and there the nurses took over. Well, we found out that these spasms were caused by some particular item in her diet, or lack of items, or something, but we had to leave her there all night, and that was a real problem for us. To have to go off and leave that little girl there by herself and go back out to the ranch, which we did for a couple of days, until she got to feeling better.
OK, so much for that. Now, [break]
The ranch of which I was foreman was devoted to alfalfa, so my responsibilities there was just simply to get the hay, the alfalfa irrigated and harvested property. It was a new role for me [laughs]. But we hired all the labor that was needed, and which was mainly Mexicans that could come up across the border and were used as cheap labor for farm work. Many of them would come in there without being able to understand English very well, so I had a little problem in that particular area, trying to get the alfalfa cut, mowed down, laid up into big windrows, and then bailed by an enormously big bailer. It laid eggs, the big bails, out behind it, then a trucker would come by and pick them up and haul them in to the milling company or stack them up there on the farm. So that was my primary responsibility. The fun was trying to get Mexican help that did not understand English to do the job that I wanted to have done, and act as a foreman for them, as a boss for them. Boy, I learned some Mexican words there that I had never heard before, which I donít dare repeat at this particular time. I also enjoyed, you might say, teaching those Mexican laborers how to operate a tractor, how to operate a baler, and how to pick it up and how to stack it. One of the places it was stacked was over at the farm outlet, which was Western Milling Company, which provided an outlet for all the farm products of Western Farm Managementís business. It was about 5 miles away from where I was located. Well, Iím not going to try to describe my motions, it was highly interesting, to keep the driver on the tractor in the right gear, and three or four laborers on the bailer behind, trying to operate the bailer so it would bail the hay up, stringing out bails out behind the machine.
I did not think that the job was I was having here at the Emery Ranch was a very learning proposition for me, although of course it was a new experience, working there on the flatlands and borders. In the fall of the year when there wasnít any hay on the ground, we rented out the hay land to sheepherders, and they would bring their sheep down from the mountains and wherever they were running them there in the summertime, and they would bring them in for grazing. Although I never had to do any tending of them, the sheepherders would have to get up early each morning and go along the borders of that alfalfa land, and get any old ewes who had turned over on their back there, the borders of the alfalfa field were so big the ewes couldnít get back up again. So theyíd lay there with their feet stuck straight up in the air, until the herders came along and got them straightened out, and got them turned over and got them going again.
Well, that was another thing I learned there. Well I protested, I was kind of at odds then with the company because I was kind of wanting to do something more than what I seemed I was progressing at there. So they had another idea in mind, and later on when the Western Milling Company manager quit them, or was getting ready to quit, they propositioned me about working with management of the milling company. Now that was purely a different situation there. After Iíd sat in the office for a while, and learned all the details from the manager who was a very able young man named Stanley Fagg, we had made several trips back east, and over different parts, and out west too, to the California coast, to the areas where we marketed the farm products that we had there at the Western Milling Company. I decided to take that, and it was offered to me at a little better salary, and a chance to move from the Emery Farm into Mesa itself. We did that, and I tell you, we were a happy family to be able to get back into regular housing again.
I had to drive back out to the Tremaine ranch, which was the name of the area the Western Milling Company was located on. To describe it, it was simply a place where big barns and hay and equipment were stored, cattle corrals, cattle feeding areas, and all that goes with the operation of such farm business. The big barns are just open barns, with a roof over the top with all the equipment in them, where they had grinding mills, and hay from the farms ground up, and put in the sacks, again by Mexican labor, trained this time for this purpose by the former management company and by the Mexican foreman who they had there for this particular situation. I didnít have to deal with them much except put a mask on in order to go into the milling company, grinders, that were making a lot of dust, etc.
Most of my work was there in the office there at Western Milling Company. Everything from all the farms was weighed there, we sold the gasoline for all the equipment there from the pumps we had, and we had big scales there that did the weighing, and we hired usually two girls in the office, or three girls, and a bookkeeper, to take care of the business there at Western Milling Company. Mine was purely the job of managing it, taking care of the company, to make it a profitable operation. I realized at that time that I was given a chance to own part of the company for part of my salary, still maintaining a part of my salary equal to what I had as a foreman in the ranch. So I was glad to have that incentive there to take up and learn that business. I never did try to learn bookkeeping very much, that is to say the operations of it, because we had a very capable individual doing that in the office. We also had the girls there that took care of all the correspondence, typing, and filing of everything that needed to be done. Well, everything but signing the checks. I signed the checks.
Stanley and I had made trips both ways at least twice. Most of the time it was by plane; one time it was by a car. We came back east on that particular trip, and ended up in Baltimore. New York and Baltimore, and decided to take a boat, a steamship down the coast in order to get down to New Orleans. All of these were marketing areas that our products [tape ends]
1 Hollis Edward Hervey married Darlene Gano on 3 July 1963 in the Mesa Arizona temple.