My Mother had a craving for a few sweet items. Her favorite ice cream was Lemon Custard or Maple Nut. Her favorite chewing gum was Double Mint. She seemed to always be chewing on some gum, and when she offered you some, it was half a stick. I didn’t care for Double Mint Gum, nor Lemon Custard or Maple Nut ice cream, but another of her treats that she loved was Switzer’s Licorice.
She would love to have an occasional treat, so she would buy one and put it in the cupboard where she kept her “nice” china. One day when I was in college, I discovered her hidden treasure, and soon ended its existence. Well, it became part of me. Mom never said anything, but the following week, I again found a licorice, hidden in another place in the cupboard. It too disappeared. This went on for several weeks, with a licorice or two disappearing each week. She tried to be clever in where she hid them, but I was sneakier.
One day the licorice wasn’t hidden too well. I was disappointed that the hunt wasn’t harder, but, oh well. I took a bite of the licorice, and – well, “yuck!” It tasted terrible. It was still sealed. That can’t be. I took the licorice to the Island Market and told the owner, Floyd Saltern, that the licorice was rotten. He gave me a replacement, which I devoured.
When mom came home from work I told her about the rotten licorice. She was almost in tears laughing. You see, we had never said a word about the missing licorice. My mother then told me that she had used a hypodermic needle and injected the licorice with Cod Liver Oil. I don’t know who the joke was on. Me? Mom? or Floyd Saltern, who replaced the “rotten” licorice. By the way, I quit snitching her candy after that.
This has been an exciting and busy year for the Abersold Family. Most of this blog will be in the form of photos from our few adventures away from home. We were away from home only 64 nights. We were fortunate enough to travel to the Phoenix area two times; one time in March and then again in October.
I had a lot of fun in March, I got to go to the hospital and spend a couple of wonderful and memorable days after surgery. I follow a long line of Abersolds who have thyroid problems. Mine required the removal of both sides and I became radio active for a couple of days.
We didn’t wait long for me to recover, and we were off on a big adventure. We flew to Helsinki Finland and started the fun.
After two days in Finland, we took a ferry to Tallin Estonia. An incredible place.
After two nights in Estonia, we took an overnight ferry to Stockholm, Sweden. Another fantastic city.
Two nights and two very active days and we were off to Copenhagen. We flew to this beautiful city.
Our adventure continued as we rented a car and drove to Berlin, where we met up with Mark, Liz and Claire. Five wonderful days in the capital of the world.
From Berlin we took a day trip to Dresden.
We said goodbye to Mark, Liz and Clair and drove to Leipzig, where we visited our dear German friends, Hans and Ruth Shult, and Jan Kessler, a missionary from our ward. We then drove back to Copenhagen and returned home, via Paris. Long flight, wonderful memories.
In July Leslie and her family visited us in Washington for two weeks. that was really fun. We/they did a lot of day trips and fun adventures. One of the highlights of the trip for me was a weekend camping at Zion’s Camp.
Our Grandson Hayden Oliver, didn’t come with the family this year as he is serving a mission in Spain. He has been there almost 18 months.
In August, we took a trip through the North Cascades National Park,
and spent a couple of nights in Yellowstone. Then on to Logan where we spent a couple of nights with my sister and brother-in-law and saw two musicals and an opera. On To SLC and Tooele, arriving in Cedar City for a Shakespearean play and another play. We also visited Cedar Breaks, Red Canyon, and Bryce Canyon and Zions, and took in a musical in St George.
Kurt was kind enough, or should I say, mean enough to make us think we could go on a hike. It was a tremendous adventure and the view incredible – Mt Elinor.
We have thousands more pictures, but that will do. On our October trip to Phoenix, we flew to San Diego and spent a couple of nights, the drove to Peoria.
In October, Mark and Liz went to Peru and we had the wonderful opportunity to be with Claire for almost two weeks. During that time, we celebrated Halloween.
Our latest adventure was a trip to Hawaii, where we did a do-over from last year. I was really sick and didn’t enjoy it as much as I could have, so this year it was lots of fun.
For those who think I have put on too much weight…
I love to set goals for myself, and I’ll be darned if I don’t achieve them. This year I set a goal to ride my bicycle (including stationary bike) 3,650 miles – 10 per day. I exceeded the goal several weeks ago and currently have 3,746 miles. That required sitting and pedalling 440 hours. If I worked so hard, why am I still so fat?
Janet rode more with me this year that in the past few years. Since she doesn’t ride nearly as much as I do, why does she look so much better?
This was Janet’s Birthday, but we didn’t have too much time to celebrate. We had things to see. This was also our last full day in Berlin, so we were off to see the sights. Mark led us to the subway and around the city. Our first stop was to the Charlottenburg Palace.
When we lived there we visited this area often. The Palace is very well taken care of and a beautiful place, outside, inside and in the gardens. That day we spent outside and in the gardens. Mark and Liz were more ambitious and wanted to walk well into the gardens, so Janet and I stayed in a shaded, grassy area with Claire while her parents explored.
We took the subway again to the area around the Zoo and Kurfurstendamm. We didn’t have the time nor the desire to go into the zoo, but we spent some time in the area of the Gedaechtniskirche.
This was a church bombed during the war, but left as a reminder of the ruins of war. It was being repaired, but not to rebuild it, but to keep it from falling down. There was a fountain and a bunch of kids right nearby and we sat there and watched the kids play in the fountain.
We took the subway to the Brandenburg Gate area next. We walked by the Russian War Memorial and found a bench to sit on while Mark and Liz went searching for a ‘binky’ for Claire. She had lost hers and is a much happier camper with a plug in her mouth. We walked by the Reichstag, which is the current Capitol building for the country.
While in the area we walked by the Russian War Memorial and were again at the Brandenburg Gate.
Janet and Liz wanted to go to the Dahlem Museum. I wasn’t as excited as they were. We got there late in the afternoon and it was near closing time. They decided not to go in as it was fairly expensive. We were near our old stomping grounds. The Dahlem Dorf subway station was popular to our kids, as you might guess from the photos.It was also very close to our church that we attended for three years.
We walked to the church, with Mark leading the way. I felt sure we were going the wrong way, and we may have been but we go to the destination. It was fun seeing the old church, where I had served as Bishop for the Servicemen Ward. While we were near the church, our phones started beeping, indicating that new data had been received. We found it was much harder to get internet in Berlin than the other places we have visited. We found out that the churches throughout the world must have the same wifi logon as we all received into.
We took a bus and then a subway to another section of the city. We had Janet’s birthday dinner that wasn’t quite up to my standards, and mine aren’t that high. Our final stop for the day was the Ritter Sport Chocolate store. It was a fun visit and we bought a lot of stuff. If you have an hour, they will make a chocolate to your request. Add ingredients to your specification. We didn’t have the time, but we had a blast.
We went back to our apartment for the night. Mark and Liz had to pack up as they were leaving early the next morning.
We left Berlin for the day and headed for the beautiful city of Dresden in our little rental car. We had some traffic jams leaving the city, but soon we were going just fine. Our old GPS was working fine until it told us to exit the autobahn and take this other road. The autobahn signs said that Dresden was straight ahead. We went straight and soon the GPS showed us in a green field. I guess that section of road was newer than the GPS maps. Claire slept a bit along the way but was tired of being in the car seat when we arrived. We drove towards the city center and found a parking place. Dresden is a beautiful city that was badly destroyed during the war. When we lived in Berlin in 1989-92, much of the city was still in rubble. That has now been rectified. The destruction took place at the end of the war and locals think that the allies should have been prosecuted for war crimes.
We found a nice place for Claire to crawl around and play during our long walk through the old town. We saw the Opera,
the Palace, and the Frauenkirche. They had started rebuilding this magnificent church the last time we visited, 10 years ago. In 1992 it was still a pile of rubble. It is an amazing building now. There are many other historic and beautiful buildings throughout the city. We ate our lunch and had an ice cream snack on a bit of grass. Claire loves to crawl around and had a blast doing it. Mark and Liz don’t get too upset if she gets dirty.
We walked back through the city on our way to the car. Dresden is indeed a fantastically beautiful city. We started on our journey home. The roads were getting heavy and it took us much longer than the 2 hours Google Maps had said it would take. Regardless, it was a wonderful day and the weather was fantastic.
We weren’t finished yet. We got back to our apartment at 4:15, dropped off our stuff and parked the car, then took public transportation to the Olympic Stadium. We got there right before they closed down and they charged an admission fee that we considered too high, so we didn’t go in. Mark and I have been there to see an NFL preseason football game in 1991. We continued to Spandau and visited the Zitadell. We ate at a sidewalk restaurant and enjoyed Spargel, (white asparagus). We were exhausted by the time we returned home.
We slept in until 7 as yesterday was really an active day. (Dale writing) I walked to the store on the corner for breakfast goodies. It was again a rather warm day. We went off with Mark, Liz and Claire on a walking tour. Well, we took the U-Bahn to various places, starting at Checkpoint Charlie. It looked much like it had, but the actual checkpoint had a different trailer – much like the original 60’s version. They had “American” MPs there, but they were Germans in American uniforms, charging people to have photos taken with them. That ticked me off. There were probably many who thought they really were American MPs. The haircuts and the shoes were dead giveaways, not to mention their inability to speak English.
We walked on to a “Topography of Terror” display which displayed the history of Nazis in Germany.
It was really hot and sunny, so we took Claire in her stroller and walked to a shady place and waited for Mark and Liz. There was also a museum there and a long stretch of the Berlin wall. We walked on to an old guard tower, and we couldn’t tell if it was in the original place or not since all signs of the old wall have been removed.
We walked on to the Potsdammer Platz and there was a guy with a speaker going on about politics – bottom line, if we don’t go back to the old politics of Germany, we are doomed.
We walked to the Holocaust Museum. It wasn’t open the last time we were in Berlin ten years ago.
We were then near the Brandenburg Gate where we walked around a bit.
We were entertained by an organ grinder. We visited the Museum Island, spending time in the Pergamon, my favorite.
After visiting the Museum, Claire needed a little break, so she got on at the nearest area with grass.
We had Doner Kebabs for dinner and Janet enjoyed a vegetarian one.
We also visited the Nickolai Viertel and saw the Rottes Rathaus and the Berliner Dom.
It was a long ride home on the subway but we were really tired, again.
We got up early again and we all ate breakfast in our room. When we were ready for the road, we did indeed go by car. Our first stop was the Botanical Garden and it was easy to find.
The weather was warm but okay. I don’t remember the garden as well as Janet and the kids do as they went often without me. We spent a lot of time in the big greenhouse. Claire was an angel in her stroller. Mark was disappointed that there were no longer turtles there. After walking a long way in the garden, we returned to our car and drove to our former living area. We found a place to have lunch in a park near JFK School.
After a quick lunch we went to the school. An assistant principal was at the gate and he welcomed us to walk around the school since Mark is an alum. It was a lot of fun for Mark to walk around and refresh his memory of the place.
We went by our former home on Leuctenburgstr and I rang the doorbell, hoping to gain entry to the yard. That was the house where the governing mayor moved into when we moved out.
We drove around the area some, and visited Krumme Lanke and walked by the lake.
It was beautiful and there were still bodies with no clothes on, as we remembered. We drove by our home on Kleiststr and viewed our old home. Again, I rang the doorbell, but no answer.
Next we visited nearby Mexico Platz and had ice cream. After our first course of ice cream, we ordered a spaghetti Eis, and it was yummy.
We drove to Potsdam and visited the Neues Palais, which is still under renovation (for at least 10 years and counting).
Janet wanted to walk to the Sans Souci, so Mark walked with her and they took Claire in the stroller, Liz, and I went in the car. There was a big rainstorm as we were driving. It was hard to find a place to park, and I did some illegal things to park, but eventually got to a legitimate parking area and walked to meet up with Mark, Claire and Janet.
It rained for a bit but eventually quit when we dashed to the car. We drove back to our hotel to feed Claire and get ready for a dinner invitation we had. We got in traffic and were a bit late as we got to the Rakow’s street but didn’t know the house number. I had to go door to door, but found it. Holger wasn’t there yet and the Grunewald’s joined us for a lovely evening and dinner.
It was really hard to find a place to park at the apartment when we returned. Mark Liz and Claire got out and Janet and I drove around for about 20 minutes before we found street parking.
Janet woke me up early on this Monday morning – saying “It’s almost 5 a.m.” when in reality it was almost 4:00. We slept for a while, had breakfast and then got on the Metro towards the airport. Although there is only one route, we had to change trains due to construction. We got to the airport just fine and got the keys to our rental car. We had to walk a long ways to the garage with the cars and once there, we realized that we needed a car seat for Claire. This meant walking way back to the office and then return to the garage. This little delay caused us some concern as we had to meet a ferry to Rostock. We came close to not making the ferry, but as luck had it, we made the connection with all of 5 minutes to spare. We were one of the last cars to drive aboard.
The ferry was very comfortable and we found some nice seats and enjoyed the view and had something to eat. We talked to an older couple from Sweden, and there were on their way to Italy for vacation. It was only two hours to cross to Germany and we were soon back in our car and driving on the German Autobahn. We navigated our way just fine with our old GPS, stopping twice for potty breaks. We were very pleased to find our accommodations with little difficulty. We parked our car along the street and moved into our room. There was a food store just down the street so I went there to shop. While walking around I heard some say, “Gutten Tag” but I ignored it until I saw a baby in a stroller who sure looked like Claire. We had our room on the 3rd floor and Mark and Liz on the 1st floor.
We were all hungry so we chose a place from the Rick Steves book and Mark led us there using subways. The place was crowded but the food was excellent and inexpensive. I had a good German meal and would have been happy to eat there every night. We returned to our apartment and planned the next day out with Mark and Liz and called it a day. We had been cool or even cold prior to this day, but it was warm. I only brought one short sleeved shirt. Big mistake.
I have been thinking about how grocery stores were when I was younger, and how they are now. I started in the grocery business when I was eleven years old, but got my first job at a store, not owned by the family, when I was 16. I worked at Cleve’s Foodland during most of my high school days. My job included, stocking shelves, bagging groceries and checking out customers (no, not that way!) Of course we didn’t have scanners for the groceries, so we had to manually enter the price for each item. Some items, such as soup, were priced for multiple items, for example, Campbell’s Tomato Soup was 3 for 39 cents. Vegetable soups were 4 for 45 cents, and the expensive meat soups were 3 for 55 cents.
Sales tax had to be added at the end of the order, but it was easy in those days. Utah charged 2% for most everything. If the order totaled $8.45 I would multiply the dollars by two and then add a penny if it was over 20 cents, or 2 pennies if it was above 70 cents. Therefore, tax on the above was $0.17.
We had to memorize the price for produce and then weigh it on the scales at the counter. Bananas were 19 cents/pound. We would sell watermelon for 3 cents a pound, and sometimes on sale it was 2.5 cents. And we had a “plugger” so we could “plug” the melon for the customers to make sure it was ripe.
Soda pop, as we called them sold for 6 for 49 cents. Most sodas came in 10 oz bottles, but Coke was 7 oz. They introduced the 12 oz bottles when I was a teen. I liked to drink pop, but they were a pain at the store. We charged a 3 cent deposit for each bottle. The empty case, or shell we called it, was 28 cents. So if a person bought a case of 24 sodas, the deposit was $1. That part was easy, but getting the dirty bottles back at the store was a pain. We would get them at the check stand when people were paying for their groceries. We would have to haul the “empties” to the back room and at some point, sort the bottles based on the distributor. Ugg, touching all of those bottles, knowing that people had put their lips on them.
When I worked at the Island Market, we had two check stands, but only one cash register, Each check stand had an adding machine, so we would total the order, then use the cash register to input the total, deposit the check or cash, and make change. Floyd Saltern, the owner was either very trusting or lazy as he would only “balance” the register every week or so. It would have been so easy to steal money, but he only hired those who he knew really well.
I worked for Floyd through my senior year and my freshman year at USU. After my mission I again worked there until my senior year at college. I came in almost every day after school. I replaced a day time worker. One worker was Meryl Olsen, Merlin’s mom the NFL hall of famer. After I came in each day she would do her shopping. Upon checkout, she expected me to carry her groceries to her car. Heck, Meryl was big enough to carry her groceries in one arm, and carry me with the other.
After working two summers in Grace Idaho on a farm, I decided there must be a better way to make a dollar. As soon as I arrived back in Logan, I applied at Cleve’s on 1st West and 2nd North. Cleve offered me a job and I started immediately, making the incredible amount of $0.85 per hour. I typically worked 20-30 hours a week, several days after school and all day Saturday. Initially I was a shelf stocker and grocery bagger. Later I did other things such as produce, checking out customers and I even helped in the meat department a few times.
Cleve’s son-in-law, Glenn Covert, was the meat manager and sometimes he asked me to help him. One day I was slicing lunch meat on the big old slicer, when I noticed my finger was in the wrong place. The back of my pointer finger had a nice slice and it was bleeding. I tried to finish the job, wrap the meat for the customer, without showing blood. I put a big gauze bandage on the finger and kept working. Later that day I was grinding a big batch of hamburger. We would first cut the meat into cubes, then do the initial grind, then put a smaller die on the grinder for the final cutting. About 3/4 of the way through the batch, I noticed that my bandage was gone. I had two choices to make: admit that the bandage was in the 40 pounds of ground beef, or not.
We workers would get bored from time to time, so we pulled pranks on the “new guys”. Cleve often hired college students, but more often than not, they only worked one day. I’m sure they were disappointed as many were married. Didn’t stop us from pulling pranks. One old favorite was the Twinkie race. We would doctor up a Twinkie with shaving cream inserted in the bottom. The race was with a new guy – the last to finish had to pay for the Twinkie. The new guy would stuff the whole cake into his mouth and about the time he would swallow the taste of the shaving cream hit him and he would spit it out. New guy, pay for the Twinkie, you didn’t finish.
In those days, we had bulk vinegar in the back room. Customers would bring empty gallon jars to the store and we would fill them with either white or amber vinegar. While working we would get warm, so we would drink a cola and put it in the rear cooler, so sometimes in the freezer, to have a slushy drink. Unfortunately, the amber vinegar was the same color as the soda. I was a perpetrator of this prank very often, but I did acquire a taste for vinegar as I drank it so often.
You would think that no one would be gullible enough to fall for this, but we sent many a first day worker to another store to retrieve our “sack stretcher” which we had loaned them. Some of the guys would go to the first store, only to be sent to another, and perhaps a third before they caught on. One person never came back at all. Probably still looking for the stack stretcher.
Cleve and his sons took long lunch breaks, so this was the time to raise the devil. One day I told a new employee that we were going to put new tile on the floor, so he needed to count the number of tiles. He wasn’t smart enough to count in one direction and then the other and use multiplication. He was tapping his foot on each tile. He was almost to the end of an aisle, when we came around the corner with a large hand truck – making him lose his place and he had to start over. It is amazing I kept that job for two years.
One block away from our home on Center Street was a large park. Our family and I in particular, used the park a lot. There was some really old playground equipment. I think it was old when I was young. There were two slides, one higher and longer. They were not safe by today’s standards since it would have been very easy to fall off. There was also a swing set and a pole, with chain hand holds attached. Kids would grab onto the chains, and run around and swing out. If we had a kid for each of the chains, sometimes it would get going really fast. It was also extremely dangerous if a kid let go, the chain was flying around, at face level. I’m sure that many teeth were broken as a result of this equipment.
On the northeast side of the park was a big grass covered area and two baseball fields. We played a lot of baseball there, and during football season, we played touch football. Sounds innocent enough, but there was a lot of contact, particularly if you were relatively small compared to the others in the game. Often there were some really large kids, like future Hall of Fame football player, Merlin Olsen. He lived just across the street from the park, which has now been named, “Merlin Olsen Central Park.”
That same area was used each summer for a “fish scramble”. The park was flooded to about a foot deep and hundreds of trout were released. The area was divided for different age groups, and then as the siren went off, we “scrambled” into the water attempting to catch a fish with our hands. I only remember catching a fish that way one time.
This area was also used as an ice skating rink in the winter. The parks people would spray the field with water each night until there was a thick coating of ice and then the rink was opened to ice skating. Everyone in the area had their own ice skates, usually used and not in the best condition. As soon as elementary school was out each day, we would race home, put on our skates and walk to the rink. Park staff Joe and Rulon would run the place and would play music as we skated away under the lights. At 6:00 we would go home for a quick dinner and then we were back until it closed down at 8:00. Too bad Logan is not cold enough to do that anymore. We would often have skating from early December through February.
Another lesser known and short lived attraction were some “rides”. My dad’s company made the rides for some event, but they were moved to Central Park and later to the Drive in. For a dime you could ride. One of the motorized rides consisted of an “airplane” suspended by chains and it simply would go in circles. The planes were old war surplus airplane external fuel tanks that had been cut open to allow two small seats in them. The other ride was similar, but the airplanes went up and down as they went around the circle somewhat like the old “tilt a whirl” rides did. When I rode in them I always chose the green plane with the “Abersold Equipment Company” label on the side. I was very proud of this ride and the fact that my Dad’s company had built them.