Friday, November 15, 2013

The Family Home - Part 3

My parent's bedroom.  The bed is from the Naturalist Home Furnishings company.
That bedding is actually the same bedding that Wes and I used in our very first apartment when we lived in my grandma's basement.
 My parents became associated with Milo Baughman in the late 1960s.  Milo was a modern furniture designer that was most famous for his association with Thayer Coggin, Inc. of High Point, North Carolina.  More on this unique story below.  
This recliner was designed by Milo Baughman and was in our home for several years before my parents decided to recover it in the green velvet fabric that came from the old church in Tooele.  These long drapes are also made from this fabric.
This antique piece once held drawers of yarn.  My mom filled it with her vintage coin purse and clutch collection, ribbons, laces, notions and in the bottom drawer she displayed several pairs of baby booties.  My kids loved looking at the contents of these drawers.

I did not take a picture of the view of the yard out of their bedroom window.  But my mom loved this view.  Towards the end of her life, when she spent more and more time in bed - she wanted the curtains open so she could look out into the yard.  When she finally was transferred to a hospital bed by hospice home care, they originally placed it at the end of her current bed facing west.  She complained about this new orientation and wanted nothing more than to have the bed positioned so she could look out her bedroom window.  The bed was moved and she had her favorite view for the last few days of her life. 
 This and other pine furniture pieces were store fixtures for The Naturalist Gift Company.  Gary Collins designed the piece and Fred Dennison was the builder.  There were 1-2 of these in every Naturalist store that opened.  My dad said that it was really the first time that so much pine was being used in furniture pieces.  There is chicken wire in the cabinet doors.
My mom added this vinyl quote just a few years ago.
It was through Gary Collins that my parents met Milo Baughman. Milo was a designer for Thayer Coggin Inc. the leading manufacturer of contemporary furniture in High Point, North Carolina.  Through this association, The Naturalist was invited to display their furniture in one of Thayer Coggin's showrooms in High Point.  It was great exposure for my parents' company and they eventually had a showroom space of their own at High Point.  Milo joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shortly after and opened an office in the dark green and brown home on the north side of Center street in Provo.  He designed some furniture pieces for The Naturalist - frequently designing more than they could possibly manufacture.  My parents ended up with 2 of these chrome and fabric chairs designed by Milo.
The painting of Timpanogos was done by my grandmother, Florence.
My parents kept this brick at the base of their door to keep it open as it would often blow shut as wind would sweep through the length of the house.
These two art pieces hung in my parents' bathroom.
My short stature was a concern for my parents for quite a few years and this door frame outside of their closet was where they kept track of my height.
 My parents had this light fixture made by having individual bulbs wired into a piece of weather wood.
This chest of drawers came from my grandmother Florence's home when she was a child.  On Florence's death, my mother ended up with it.  
My mother kept her jewelry displayed beautifully on top of this chest.
My dad said he was always a little nervous about having this rock wall in the bathroom - in the case of an earthquake!  My parents never had a shower in their bathroom.  My mom loved to take baths.  I remember taking baths as a child in this tub.  My mom would always add a little Calgon to the water and then my dad would often squirt some dollops of shaving cream on the edge of the tub for me to play with.
This is my parents' walk-in closet and was my bedroom until I was 10 or 11 at least!  I was the caboose of the family by 8 years and there was no where else to put me!  My crib was here and then eventually one of Shawn and Kip's twin bunk beds was put in the right corner.  I never thought it strange that I shared close living quarters with my parents.  I think that is one reason why I feel so close to my parents (I actually spent many nights sleeping in between them!).  They never made a big deal out of it and even let me have sleepovers here!  A cot would be set up next to my bed.  My friends and I would often play here.  I remember one particular time I was playing with my best friend Liz and when she took off her shoes, she had very smelly feet.  In order to mask the smell, we sprayed my mother's expensive Georgio perfume all over the room.  To this day - when I smell Georgio perfume - it is mixed with the smell of stinky feet.

This is where my bed sat.  I even had a bed side table with a lamp.  Ranger Rick posters and a "Word of the Day" calendar hung on the wall above my bed.  My mom's clothes hung over the bottom half of my bed.

One of my mother's bridal pictures.
My mother's office - located in their master bedroom.
She spent many mornings here organizing, planning, making phone calls, etc.

My mother kept and filed everything that was meaningful or important.  Her files are extensive, detailed, organized and most of them remain intact.  

These large pine shelves were originally in the Naturalist gift shop and held quilts.  I peeked one year and discovered that my Christmas presents were hidden in those bottom cabinets.

My mom had this collection of unique and antique toys sitting on her desk.  I have childhood memories of that tiny black and brown turtle.
My parents put these "Neighborhood Watch" stickers on two of the doors in our home.  I never really knew what they meant but I thought the man in black just looked like he had a big open mouth and a protruding chin.  I just read the text for the first time!
My parents' collection of books on nature, plants, herbs and flowers.
Books and Moqui marbles.
This map of the United States hung at the top of the stairs to the basement.  Tiny red pins marked places in the world family members had visited.

One of my favorite childhood games was tossing a ball up and own these stairs.
This was my sisters' bedroom until I moved here in my early teens.  Finally I was out of my parents' closet and I had my own room!
The basement window wells were a frequent source of excitement for our family.  Skunks and raccoon often got trapped in these window wells.  My dad made a "skunk ladder" specifically for these occurrences.  The window well was a scary sight with spiders and cobwebs.  I rarely opened the blinds.  
The second basement bedroom was where the boys slept.  There were bunk beds here when they were young.  The bedding matched this fabric on the wall and was the same bedding that was used on my bed when I lived in my parents' closet.  I have always referred to this room as "Kip's room."
Kip's window well.
The laundry room.
The basement/storage room.  My friends and I used to make haunted houses for each other down here.  We also had a club where we would do arts and crafts.  One of the crafts was collecting the different colors of lint from the dryer and layering them in a quart mason jar.
In the 1970s my mom put together a "History of Fashion" presentation that she did for different family, ward and other social gatherings.  She had elaborate costumes made for different fashion periods (including Roman, Greek, Medieval, Renaissance, etc.) and she discussed how fashion changed through time and why.  These are all of the leftover costumes from that presentation.  Most of them have fallen apart but there are a few that remain intact.  We have used them for Halloween over the years.  There was a Marie Antoinette gown with a tall white powdered wig, a Southern Bell costume with a large hoop skirt, an Egyptian dress and many others.
These shelves were always full of bottled peaches, bottled apricots, apricot jam and chili sauce.  Also stacked in this room would be tons of ski equipment and winter clothes.
In these boxes are heirloom clothing and other items that belonged to my mother and her mother.
The old freezer that stood here when I was a child was the source of much drama, tears and frustration for my mom.  My mother spent hours making different types of food that would be stored in the basement freezer - peach pie fillings, raspberries, meringues, Homespun tomato soup, barbecued beef, among other things.  The freezer door did not stay shut very well so inevitably when someone (most often my dad) went to get something out of the freezer for my mom, the door wouldn't shut all the way.  On one or two occasions, the freezer door got left open so long that everything in the freezer melted.  When my mom would discover the tragedy, the weeping and wailing that followed was as if someone had died!  She would eventually calm down and start over preparing her freezer foods when only 6-12 months later, it would happen all over again.  It happened once when I was an adult visiting home.  I couldn't believe after all those years - they were still having this problem!  I got a dishtowel, marched downstairs and tied the freezer door to the shelves - assuring it would never be left open again if they always used this safeguard.  It worked!  They never experienced that crisis situation again and the old freezer was eventually replaced by this new one - and the door works like a charm!  
Food storage.  Really old food storage.

Back upstairs for some more random indoor photos.  This is the inside of what I called the "fabric closet."  This picture was taken after the fabric had been taken out and distributed.  This was also the linen closet and you can see the white labels where she organized her different sheet sets into twin, queen, double, etc.
Like all the other closets in the hallway - this one is lined with some fabulous vintage 1960's fabric.
 This chair belonged to my great-grandfather Walter Robinson.  The willow table was made by my brother Shawn.  More on that below.
A couple of my mother's lovely botanical art pieces.  I loved how she not only incorporated the leaves and flowers, but also seed pods, roots, and in this case, slices of English Walnuts.

 The mantel decor was frequently changed according to the season and the holiday.  My mother often decorated the mantle herself but also used my father's input.  My father created these stunning displays in the past year.  The large clay art piece came from Mexico and the small Navajo pot was made by Lucy Leuppe McKelvey - a well known potter in the Southwest.
I love how my father used the rice grass, the tree branch and the sunflower head to accent the lovely art pieces.
The fire laid and ready to light.
The patio.  Sunday dinners, extended family gatherings, neighborhood parties, birthday parties, baby showers, bridal showers, art shows and neighborhood plays all happened here.  And of course - numerous summer mornings when hundreds of violets, Indian paintbrush, wild roses, bluebells, and other wildflowers were pressed here by the "pressers" (siblings, cousins, friends and neighbors).  This is where my job was to lay out the blotters and then to pick them up when they were dry.  It was a family affair for years. 
The Adirondack chairs were made by Terressa's husband Steve.

Note the stack of orange chairs sitting on my parents' deck.  Those chairs were designed by Milo Baughman and were in his Provo design office.  They originally had orange and white striped cushions that would slide over the back and tie onto the seat.  I love those orange chairs.
 My older brother Shawn developed an interest in building willow furniture when he was in college.  My parents took him to see a man in West Jordan who taught Shawn the technique.  Shawn became a willow furniture craftsman and even turned it into a small business.  Willow furniture was also incorporated into The Naturalist Home Furnishings Company for a while.  This is one of Shawn's willow chairs.  Note the use of the deer antler between the chair legs.
 This love seat was actually built by the man who taught Shawn the craft of building willow furniture.
More on the tire swing below.
Unique shells and rocks collected by my grandfather and members of our family over the years.
Before those wood pallets were placed to create the different levels, there were just areas for bedding plants.  Every year I would help my parents plant marigolds, petunias, snap dragons, geraniums and more.  It was a huge undertaking when I look back on it.

In the more recent years, my parents resigned to just plant impatiens and begonias in these planters.

Looking down towards the garage.
The back hill - covered with plum trees and violets for groundcover.  And rocks.  Lots of rocks where potato bugs could be found and collected for the "Potato Bug Olympics."

 My parents bought 3 Paolo Soleri wind-bells at one of the gift shows they were at with The Naturalist Gift Company.  Soleri was an Italian-American architect who studied under Frank Lloyd Wright at Taliesin West in Arizona.  He was also well-known for his ceramic and bronze wind-bells and by the special way that he used silt to cast them.  My parents kept these 2 wind-bells outside their deck.  I can still remember their sound.  The other one was hung outside the front door.
This entire wall of the house used to be covered with ivy.  I remember one summer a bird built its nest in the ivy and laid eggs there.  It was so fun to watch the development of the eggs and the baby birds once they hatched.  However I was traumatized when our cat Scruff caught one of the baby birds and ate it right in front of me before I could stop him.
The story of the tire swing:  Back in the 1960s my parents were driving through a small town in Utah when they saw a tire swing similar to this one hanging from a tree in the yard.  My parents asked the owners about it and they said my parents could have it.  So they brought it home and found a way to have it manufactured to be a product for The Naturalist.  They packaged it in a big brown paper bag with "The Tire Swing" silkscreened on the bag.  It was a hit!  They sold some to Bloomingdales in New York City where the tire swings hung in their display windows all along 3rd Avenue. Tire swings were also sold to Neiman Marcus in Texas.
Another fun detail about the tire swing was that my mom was invited to be on the game show What's My Line? as the producer of tire swings.  She and my dad were flown to NYC, wined and dined and then she appeared on the show.  
The tire swings were eventually discontinued when tire manufacturers started using metal inserts in the tires and the swing became impossible to make.
For many years there was a gazebo that stood in this spot.  Gary Collins designed the gazebo to stand in front of The Naturalist gift shop when it was located at 400 N. University Ave. in Provo (where The Banana Leaf restaurant is located now).  When the shop closed my parents transferred the gazebo to their yard where it stood - pretty much unused until it became so dilapidated and had to be torn down.
My dad built this rock wall and had to constantly hound the grandkids about staying off of it.  The entire driveway in front of our house was covered with rocks.  We would always know when someone arrived at our house by the sound of the crunching rocks as the car pulled in.  And it was so nice to always have plenty of parking spaces!

The yard south of the house.

Apricots and apricot trees will always be a huge part of my memory of the home and yard.  There were close to 10 trees on the property before my parents built the house.  They were told that most likely these trees were planted from apricot pits by the early settlers of Oak Hills.  They had to cut down 3 of the trees in order to build the house and 2 more died shortly after.  But the rest of the trees thrived and we had more apricots than we could possibly use.  It all started in the spring with the bursting of the fragrant apricot blossoms - it was like a dream!  Then during the summer we would bottle apricots and make apricot jam.  There would also be apricot nectar, apricot tarts and apricot leather.  We would pick lugs of apricots to sell in front of my grandma's house on 9th East.  One summer my dad remembers selling 100 lugs of apricots!  We would also allow "pickers" to come and pick their own apricots.  Over the years, people became less interested in apricots and perhaps as the trees got older they produced less - and the selling of apricots went by the wayside.  But there was still plenty for our family and of course plenty that fell on the ground.  My dad would pay me a nickel for every apricot I would pick up.  So I went around with a plastic bag on my hand and a bucket picking up the smashed apricots.

When a huge limb fell off this apricot tree my parents commissioned Lane Phillips, a local wood turner, to make bowls for each member of the family out of apricot wood.  The one I own is stunning and is such a treasure to me.
Looking back towards the living room windows.

The path leading to the garage.
As a child I was always so confused by this complex web of hoses and valves.  I could never remember which valve went to the swamp cooler and which one went to the hose. 
Shawn built this bird feeder and my dad nailed it to the top of an oak branch.  We always had a bird feeder outside our kitchen window.  It was either this one or the red plexiglass one that Verl Allman made for us.  It was my first exposure to bird watching and I absolutely loved it!  I could sit and watch the birds for hours!

The legs of this bench were cut from timbers from the old Tooele church.
 The back hill was covered with 4 different varieties of volunteer plum trees.  My mom would make the most delicious plum jelly!  But most would fall to the ground so I got paid a nickel to pick those up at the end of the season too.  There were also volunteer black walnut trees and grapes in the yard.
 My parents used these large crates in the garage and basement for storage.  They were stacked up 3-4 high and made such great shelving!  They purchased the crates from an army surplus store in south Provo.  The crates were originally used for gun barrels.  It was at this same store where my dad purchased the material to make a large airplane cockpit for Shawn and Kip when they were little.
I was surprised to learn that of the piece of property that I always called "the field," my dad only owns 15 feet of it!  That means that all those years we were building forts on the Liechty's property!  Oops!  It turns out the lot is actually a wedge shape - 110 feet deep on the north end and only 15 feet deep on the south end.  Originally my dad with his friends Karl Snow and Ray Hillam bought 2 lots and divided it into thirds.  My dad is the only one that ended up building on the property.  The other two men eventually sold their lots. 
Summers were spent building forts in these trees.  And I don't even remember my dad complaining that we were using his tools.  One time we needed a couch so we hauled the third seat from our old red and white Suburban into the field.  I think it sat there for a while.
It was only after I left home that my parents started planting a large garden in the field.

What a spectacular view!  I remember my mother telling me the legend of Squaw Peak and being so fascinated.

 This is a corn planter that my dad picked up at an antique store.  He hung it from barbed wire against the outside wall of our house.
This tiny trail originally led all the way up and connected to the "Monkey Trail" the trail that used to go up the hill behind our house.  Now the trail leads to the "Hillside Hide-away."
Wes built the "Hillside Hideaway" when Addie was 2 years old and I was pregnant with Isaac.  We were living with my parents for a summer and this is how he spent some of his spare time.

 Back inside for a few more details I missed earlier.  This is the kitchen half bath.  My parents framed this mirror in a sliding door panel from a cabinet.
The tree painting on the block was done by Gary Collins.  The illustration of the teapot was done by Dennis Smith, another Utah artist.  It was through the BYU art seminars that my parents met budding young artists like Dennis Smith, Trevor South and Micheal Coleman.  They used work from all 3 of these artists for Naturalist products.

The vacuum closet.  This is also where we kept kittens when we had them.
This is a close up of the make-shift light switch/lever that my dad jimmy-rigged for the kitchen.

The walls of our home were either wood or plaster.  Both of these surfaces meant easy maintenance and no fuss when putting nails in the wall.  

For years my mom hung her baskets along this beam.

“Family rituals and traditions are the gifts of the heart and home 

that parents can share with their children.  

They are often the key to providing the happiness and love that so

 many children –and parents too - yearn for.  The children’s 

accumulated memories of family traditions go with them through

 their lives.

With traditions go love and companionship, dignity and peace, and

 a heritage children will work hard to preserve.

Traditions help children to grow and develop by giving them a sense

 of security and vivid memories which they will treasure for a

lifetime.” (Family, Faith and Fun by Monroe and Shirley Paxman)


Julie said...

I have loved reading about your house, and I adore all the photos. I have learned so much I didn't know!! Very interesting!

Harlin Quincy said...

This house looks very beautiful. Those doors have a pretty dark look, the golden yellow shines off of the furniture.
Phillius |