Monday, June 16, 2014

Cow Hollow fire burns memories

When we drove Aunt Alice to Duschesne, we were very near where the Cow Hollow Fire is burning right now.

Courtesy of Forest Service

Cow Hollow holds a special place in the Clement/Jenson family memories.

This was the last place for the Clement sawmill operation.  They were in Cow Hollow from 1943 until 1946.  This is a picture from that time period.

Glen's father, Jordan Jenson, carved his name into an quaking aspen tree while in Cow Hollow on August 6, 1943.  He was 15 years of age.  I am taking pictures of pictures from Ted Clement's book, "Time and Chance."  It is not the best way to get a great picture, but the book is so thick that it is also hard to make a scan.

Arlon Jensen took these pictures when he hiked in to Cow Hollow in 2003.  When he went with his mother, LaPreal Moulton Clement, in July of 1982 he also carved his name into a tree near Jordan.  Glen was saddened when he first heard of the fire last night.  He knew that his father's work might be no more.

Arlon writes the following story which I think that the family will enjoy.  It is also taken from Ted Clement's book, "Time and Chance."

Since I spotted Jordan Jenson's name on the tree, I've wanted to know the year he carved it.  From family members familiar with Cow Hollow, I narrowed the possible years down to four.  After a careful examination of my photos and video tape, the year became obvious.  Remember how Jordan spaced each letter, wide apart?  He did the same with the date.  According to his system, the unreadable rectangle only contained the first three numbers of the year,  and I already knew those.  It came down to reading the key number, on the extreme right, in the fourth space.  The year could only be 1943.

The fifteen-year-old boy, Jordan, asked LaPreal for another dish of ice cream.  It tasted good to him on that hot summer day in early August.  He figured he deserved an extra helping.  After all, he'd helped to make it.  His arm still ached from turning the crank on the ice cream freezer.  It was easy at first, but became more difficult as the creamy mixture began to freeze.  He had even gathered some of the ingredients.  Early that morning he had picked the fruit which gave the ice cream its distinctive flavor.  Only the ripest, juiciest apricots had been selected.  The apricot trees in Aunt LaPreal's back yard in Duchesne were descendants from Darius Salem Clement's orchard in Fairview.  Darius was Jordan's great grandfather on his mother's (Della's) side.

All week Jordan had been looking forward to Friday.  A picnic in the mountains, with some of his many Duchesne cousins, was going to be fun.  He had heard about the new sawmill site that his uncles had, in Cow Hollow and this was his first opportunity to see it.

Jordan was feeling fine.  It was good to have a full stomach, especially with an extra scoop of rich ice cream topping it off.  The day had gone by too fast.  Preparations for the trip home would soon be under way, but there was still some time left to enjoy the mountain scenery.  A sense of relief had overcome Jordan when the sawmill was finally shut down for the day.  He was able to appreciate the beauty of Cow Hollow now that there was some peace and quiet.  Exposure to the awful racket, day after day, had to affect your hearing.  It was a wonder his uncles hadn't all gone deaf.  The diesel engine fumes had dissipated so the air was sweet and fresh again.

Taking advantage of a few leisure moments, Jordan explored the forest of thrifty quaking aspen surrounding the sawmill.  One particular tree caught his attention.  The tree had a smooth, scar-free section of bark at just the right height.  He reached into his pocket and withdrew his knife.  Unfolding the sharpest blade, he plunged its point into the soft white bark.  After a few minutes of careful carving, Jordan had outlined a capital "J."

1 comment:

RoeH said...

I wonder if it's still there.