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Utah Historical Quarterly

know Mom first as "the English teacher" and second as "the historian." Every place outside of the circle it is the other way around. While she was teaching at Dixie College in St. George her classroom was on the third floor in the northwest corner of the Education Building. This location suited her ideally. It kept distractions to her students from outdoor activities to a minimum. It reduced unjustified student traffic. (If someone wanted to see her enough to climb all the way up there they really needed to see her.) And the climb up the stairs provided the exercise she felt she needed. Even the restrooms were two stories down. She often told about her very first day of teaching in this room. As I remember, it was the first class of the day, and the students had arrived and taken their places. Mom had called the roll and found one student missing. " W e l l , " she thought, " T h a t isn't unusual for the first day of school." She had just begun on her prepared material when a movement at the rear of the room caught her eye. Focusing her attention there, she saw what appeared to be a human hand gripping the window sill. Her first thought was that it had to be a fake; somebody was playing a prank on the new teacher. Then the fingers moved! "This is impossible," she thought, " I must be seeing things, after all, this is the third floor!" Then the mate to that hand grabbed the window sill. In a moment a face, definitely not a pretty face, with a big jack-olantern grin and badly crossed eyes, appeared between the hands. Now she knew it could not be an apparition. Then this person adroitly jumped into the room. With great dignity he brushed the dust from his clothes and took a seat in the front row. It was Milt Walker who had so startled her. He had climbed up the rainspout to make his unusual and dramatic entrance. She was to learn that Milt was inclined toward the unusual and the dramatic. From this introduction Milt became almost as a member of our family. Some years later, primarily through Mom's encouragement. Milt had the operation performed that straightened his eye alignment. It was a tribute to her that he insisted that she remain at his side throughout the operation. I feel that I must set the record straight on one thing. It has been said that Mom did her writing in utmost secrecy because at that time it was not thought proper for a mother with small children to spend her time writing and that she kept a pile of clothes to be ironed nearby to cover her typewriter with if some unexpected company should come to the house. True, she did keep the clothes nearby and did on several occasions cover her typewriter with them, but it was not on account of

Profile for Utah State History

Utah Historical Quarterly, Volume 55, Number 3, 1987