Friday, March 27, 2009

This Is Confidential You Know ~ 19 Mar 1901

Mid-March, 1901 was still snowy and cool at the Logie home in American Fork, UtahCharles Logie and his son, Walter, had hauled manure into the garden to fertilize the peas, but on the morning of March 19th, snow had covered the ground again.

His wife, Rosa, rarely if ever wrote letter or notes of any kind, but rather relied on Charles to handle all of that activity for their family.

Issues with school teachers were again a source of discussion in the Logie home.  Their boarder, Frances Gailbraith, was a school teacher who seemed to struggle with her students much to the amusement of Charles.  In this letter to his daughter, Beatrice, you can “hear” his wry smile as he wrote that Miss Gailbraith observed that “she was beginning to find that she couldn’t believe everything her students said”. 

Charles was famous for his sharp wit and humorous insight into life’s foibles and peccadillo's by those around him.  He cautioned Beatrice to keep his comments to herself as he was sure they would upset the tender Miss Gailbraith.

William Barnes Smith’s wife, Harriet Harrington Smith had died a few days earlier and was buried on the previous Saturday.

Charles, though ill with cancer, was preparing his garden for the coming growing season as we enter this letter.


Lehi Cooperative Store

American Fork Mar 19/01 (1901)

Dear Beatrice

I thought I would Send you a few lines in answer to your letter which duly arrived to & found us the same as usual.  The weather Seems verry Changeable this month.  The ground was white with snow this morning when we woke up & it don't seem to be the right time to plant the garden yet a while.  We had a warm day last Saturday & me & Walter hauled several loads of Excrement (wheel barrow) on to the place where the peas ought to grow. 

I am in the habit of asking the dame what she wants to Say but I find no change in her.  She allways says I don't know of anything.  There is no news So I have to hush up the items & do the writeing.  

Well there seems to be gran dues among the Teachers lately.  They seem to be verry discontented all at once.  I believe the Trustees have been makeing them an offer to teach next term & some of the Dirgs Girls & passible some others would sooner have a change. 

So poor Miss G. is in another peck of trouble.  She has heared that Johnson of Alpine the Whitby woman wants to come hear to teach & poor G_h is afraid that Johnson might be put over her & another thing.  She says if the present teachers leave it is verry likely their places will be filled with a lot like Graver. 

Gal says that Cora is going on a mission but I verry much doubt it.  Then there is another calamity.  She told us at noon that there are sixteen of her Students absent today & she is beginng to find out that She cant believe any thing that they say. 

It is fine amusement for me because a while ago She used to tell us that she had her children under such splendid controle so far superior to Will Robinsons gang up in the cock loft. 

This is confidential you know for the good Lord knows where Id be if She knew I was telling you this kind of news. 

Mother says she hopes you will be able to pay us a visit on conference time.  Long time we no see you.  I got a letter from Georgenia the other day they have both been kind of under the weather some but was getting better.  We heared from Eliza too & She talks of coming over on conference time. 

I suppose you see the papers W.B. Smith buried his Harrington Wife last Saturday.

I will now close. I am kind of poorley myself.  Mother seems first rate.  Hoping this will find you quite well.

I remain your

afect Father

Chas Logie




Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Choices ~ Consequences

Choices. Consequences: They never sleep.

From the time we are born, we make choices and enjoy the consequences of those choices.  We often associate the word “consequences” with something bad, but it also represents something good happening in our lives. The “good” is a result of a choice or choices that are building blocks or enablers of positive positioning and positive results in the experiences of life.

My father was not known as a leader in the community, in business or even in his neighborhood. Rather, he was an activist who quietly and often anonymously improved the lives of others. His choices were usually simple, yet always consistent. He actively looked for a way to improve the life or outlook of others and rarely failed to immediately act on an opportunity. Frequently, his actions consisted of only a few kind words spoken to address an area in the personality of his contact that was shunned or ignored by others. On some occasions, he gave all the money he had to those in need. A pair of shoes for a twelve year old. A ride and tank of gas for a stranded traveler. He even gave his vehicle to a widow who was struggling to feed her three small children.

Over the years, many new people came into his circle of “friends”. They were from all levels of the social strata. Some were wealthy, some were movie stars and others lived in shacks hidden away along the river or in an orchard. However, most of them were just ordinary people who only needed the polishing of a few kind words or acts to help them reveal their nobility.

The term “Pay It Forward” was first introduced into his vocabulary in 1962 when his vehicle stalled in the center lane of a bridge in Seattle during the evening rush hour. Cars honked, people said things out of their windows and others shook their fists in frustration, but one young man stopped to help.

After years of quietly helping other people, he received a return payment for his way of life. The vehicle was easy to fix. The carburetor was only vapor locked. The young mechanic poured some cool water over the hot fuel system and the vehicle started easily. Dad tried to pay him for his help only to receive the words, “Pay It Forward” to someone else in need”.

Like ripples from a rock thrown into a peaceful lake, the good deeds of a lifetime had reflected off the far shore and had come back to help in a time of need. It was time to send them out again and continue to “Pay It Forward”.

During the visitation at his funeral, our family was astounded to be greeted by hundreds of people from all over the western United States who had come to pay their respect. We didn’t know most of them but the visitors all had stories to tell about how they were helped by our deceased father and husband.

Many of the visitors had only met him once, but the interaction had established a life-long feeling of friendship. They came from all walks of life. There were mayors, truck drivers, waitresses, a man on parole, a bank president, an attorney, and hundreds of other occupations. Their stories were as varied as the personalities telling them. Enthralled, we listened for hours.

One ‘friend’ was a police officer whose life had been saved, another had driven 16 hours non-stop from northern California to make it in time for the funeral. He explained that he received a hot meal when he was at the ‘bottom’ from a fellow who quietly walked over and sat by him. He said that he was now a successful husband and father and that his life had turned around after talking to the man at the counter in the bowling alley that day. Retrieving his wallet, he showed the worn, tiny slip of paper on which he’d written the name of his benefactor, saying that he often looked at it when life threatened to harden him.

The stories were new. The impact of repeatedly choosing to perform small positive acts resulted in consequences never imagined. Ripples were almost waves.

Choices. Consequences. They never sleep.

It has been said that the gate of history turns on small hinges, and so do people’s lives. The choices we make determine our destiny. -– Thomas S. Monson

"I shall be telling this with a sigh
somewhere ages and ages hence;
two roads diverged in a wood, and I,
I took the one less traveled by,
and that has made all the difference."
-- Robert Frost, poet

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