Monday, July 18, 2016

Sue Williams


Sue Williams -  Some of my favorite memories of growing up in the Glendale West Ward

I was born in Glendale, California on January 18, 1947 to Osmyn and Gertrude Williams at P & S Hospital (now called Glendale Memorial Hospital).  I was the youngest of four children--Barbara was the oldest, Judy was 18 months younger than Barbara, Osmyn (Ozzie) was 5 years younger than Judy, and I was 5 years younger than Ozzie.

I can remember on Mother’s Day in Junior Sunday School when I was a very young little girl, we honored our mother’s by singing to them.  They put very large and colorful flower petals around our faces, and our faces were the center of the flower.  They had a special elevated platform in the chapel so everyone could see us and we sang songs like “I have a Garden a Lovely Garden” and “I help Mommy with the Dishes just as often as She wishes”.  I think they loved it!!  It was a lot of fun for all of us too!

I can also remember June Pettit was the Jr Sunday School Coordinator, and she used to stand at the front at the little pulpit, and to get us to be quiet, she would drop a pin, and whoever heard it first would raise their hand.  I think we all got pretty noisy because we always had so much fun together and were excited to see each other!

I also remember being in Primary when Katey Ragsdale was the Primary President.  It was so much fun!  It was such a treat when they did the Primary Children’s Hospital Fund Drive and we got to drop pennies in the little red replica of the hospital.

When we graduated from Primary and went to MIA, we were so excited!  I remember Florence Hansen being the Dance Director, and it was sweet Florence who taught us how to dance.  We had such a great time with her.  As we got older, we danced in the big Dance Festivals.  I remember one year, my partner was Bryan Pettit.  It was such a wonderful experience for us to learn so many different dances!  I still love to dance because of all the years of dancing and fun we had in the Glendale West Ward.

In our high school years, we were allowed to have Record Hops, and boy, did we have fun.  My brother, Ozzie, would let me borrow his huge stack of 45 rpms and we would dance the night away!!  Our Record Hops started out small, and over time got bigger and bigger because we had so much fun. I remember Vernon and Clifton Jolley and Steve Stone and their singing group performing at a couple of our Record Hops.  They were really good and everyone enjoyed them!  Over time, as we got older and later in high school, the word got out about how fun our Record Hops were--especially after football games, and the crowds got bigger as many non member teenagers came.  Sadly, some boys were caught in the men’s restroom smoking, and that was the end of our Record Hops.  That was a sad time for all of us, but we had made great memories together dancing.

Girls Camp was great fun in Mutual!  We had such a great time and usually won the “skit” competition.

Road Shows directed by Ruth and Nathan Hale were always outstanding and our Glendale West Ward usually won.  I remember being in them when I was a very young girl and then later as a young teenager.  The singing and dancing was such a great experience for all of us and such great fun!!

I can also remember as a younger girl, the Relief Society Bazaars and how much work went into them by our mothers and how much fun we had going to them.  If  I remember correctly, they were to raise money for the Building Fund.  There were beautiful quilts for sale, yummy breads and treats for sale, many other sewn items were sold, and the food was delicious!  What an example our mothers and all those wonderful women were to all of us.  I have never forgotten them and never will.  They taught us a beautiful standard of excellence and fun.

One year, New Year’s Eve was on Sunday, so they held a special fireside in the Glendale Stake Center on Wilson that evening about 9pm that was nice, and then our whole Mutual Class went to the Rose Parade.  We camped on the parkway of a residential neighborhood with our sleeping bags and had a great time!  In the wee hours of the morning, a photographer from the Herald Examiner stopped in front us and asked us who we were and where we were from.  We told him that we were a Mia Maid class from the Glendale West Ward of the LDS church.  He took our picture and said it would be in the newspaper that morning.  We enjoyed the Rose Parade very much, but I remember poor Tina Wickman fell asleep during the parade because we were awake most of the night!  After the parade, we rushed to buy the Herald Examiner!  Much to our surprise, we were right on the front page!!  When we said we were from the Glendale West Ward, the reporter thought we said Westwood, but that was the only error.  The picture also appeared in the Deseret News in Salt Lake and my sister, Judy, called us and told us she had seen it!  We felt pretty special!!  The girls and advisors that attended were, from left to right, Ray Kilgrow, Tina Wickman, Eileen Kilgrow, Deanna Jonkey, Margie Weatherbee, Barbara Brown, Cheryl Finney, Melody Owens, Marsha Fretz, Sherry Cornwell, Dely Zayas, Darlene Smith and myself.

In our Senior year, we had a beautiful Gold and Green Ball that we will never forget.  They decorated the stage with flowers and bird in cages, candles and grass. We were introduced individually on the stage and were escorted down the stairs by our Dads, and we danced with them.  Mike Reeder was my date and all of us had a wonderful evening.  In the picture from left to right, are the amazing and beautiful friends I have.  They are Dely Zayas, Donna La Valley, Carolyn Baker, myself, a girl from Elysian Park Ward, Cheryl Finney, Jane Riley, Sherry Cornwell, Stephanie Bruske, Tina Wickman, Melody Owens, another girl from Elysian Park Ward, Jeannie Griffin, and Susan Peters.  These wonderful women have all been lifelong friends to me, and I don’t know how I would have made it without them.

The saddest experience of my youth was when Paula Callister passed away unexpectedly at 16 years old (I believe).  I was 14 years old at the time.  I remember how much we all loved her and admired her sweet and gentle spirit.  It was the first funeral I had ever gone to and it was very hard for me. My heart ached for Bishop and Noreen Callister and their family. We have all missed her through the years.

We were all so blessed in the Glendale West Ward to have Bishop Reed Callister as our bishop for so many years followed by Bishop Homer Reeder.  These fine men mentored all of us and taught us to be better members than we could ever have been.  Many leaders came out of the Glendale West Ward to go on and continue to bless the lives of others.  We also had wonderful leaders of the auxiliaries and exceptional teachers who we will never forget.  May we all go forward in our lives loving and serving others as the Savior did being blessed by such a rich heritage that we will never forget.




Ray Kilgrow, Tina Wickman, Eileen Kilgrow, Deanna Jonkey, Margie Weatherbee, Barbara Brown, Cheryl Finney, Melody Owens, Marsha Fretz, Sherry Cornwell, Dely Zayas, Darlene Smith and myself.

Dely Zayas, Donna La Valley, Carolyn Baker, myself, a girl from Elysian Park Ward, Cheryl Finney, Jane Riley, Sherry Cornwell, Stephanie Bruske, Tina Wickman, Melody Owens,  Karen
'Saxelby' Lozano, Jeannie Griffin, and Susan Peters.