|My Dad (far left) and I, Uncle Clifford (middle), |
Cousin Elaine, my brother Jay, and my Aunt Elma (far right)
The photo op above shows my father, a 13 year-old me, my Uncle Clifford (Dad's brother), my cousin Elaine, my brother and our Aunt Elma, Clifford's beautiful wife.
I sure loved my Uncle Clifford and Aunt Elma. They were marvelous people. Uncle Clifford served as a Bishop for many years, and later became a Stake Patriarch of the LDS Church in the small town of Durango, Colorado where they lived. He was a good man. He and my dad were from a large family. The oldest son of ten children, Clifford sacrificed his own education and went to work at an early age to help his little brothers and sisters. As a child, my father benefited from this sacrifice.
|Uncle Clifford with my dad on his shoulders and Uncle Norman in the background|
(I'm guessing this was taken in 1927 or 1928?).
I remember on one trip to Durango for a family reunion, my dad needed to cash an out-of-state check (we lived in Arizona at the time). There were no ATMs in those days. My father dashed into a local grocery store for this, as it was either a Saturday or after hours and the banks were closed. My mom and I waited in the car.
When my father walked out of the store later, he had the strangest expression on his face. We asked him what was the matter. He explained that the manager of the store had been hesitant to cash the out-of-state check until he saw his name printed on it.
"Evensen, huh? Are you related to Clifford Evensen?" the man demanded.
My father meekly answered he was Clifford's brother. "Clifford is the most honest man I know. If you are half the man your brother is, I'll happily cash this check," the man said. My Dad was overcome with emotion at this statement.
My Aunt Elma played the organ for church services for 70 years. She liked to play things with a zippy tempo! She would play the hymns so fast you really had to concentrate to be able to sing all the words properly. A great musician, she taught piano and organ too. I remember her being so thrilled to turn 80 years old, as she was the first in her family to ever reach that august age.
In her later years, Aunt Elma received a beautiful letter from the LDS Church Music committee in Salt Lake City recognizing her many years of musical service to the Lord.
My Dad, his brother Clifford, and Aunt Elma have all passed from this life, but they each left a beautiful heritage of faithful service to God and their fellow beings.