Reflections of Father: Calvin Hutchings, Part 2

Now another story, I know is going to sound strange. When I was a kid I loved going to the dentist office. I wasn’t a bit afraid, like my friends were, how could I be, my dad made it so much fun.

“Okay Sis, hop up in the chair and we’ll have a look in your mouth and see if you have any cavities.” Dad would say. Then he would poke around my teeth with his pointed explorer.

“Yep, I think you have a couple of cavities hiding in there, have you been brushing your teeth?” He’d ask with a questioning look. He knew I had been, although he was never a stickler about it.

“Well what would you like to have today, Snow White or Cinderella fillings?” He would ask smiling at me. That meant silver or gold. Then he would blast me in the face with his air gun and I would laugh. I didn’t even mind the drilling; it was all part of the event.

Dad taught us to appreciate hard work. As a youth he participated in all the rigors of farm life. On the weekends and before and after school, Calvin was responsible for milking the cows and doing other chores. He never had time to participate in school sports, although he would have liked to. During the summer he worked in the fields with his brothers and helped with harvesting in the fall. Farm life was difficult during those years. Dad and four of his brothers went to college and obtained graduate degrees so they could have a better life for their children. Only one of the six boys eventually moved back to the farm. Dad wanted us to have some sense of what farm life had been like for him, so in the summer we went to the family garden on the farm to weed beans, corn and tomatoes. We, of course, complained a lot. When we were older Dad showed us how to clean his dental office. Each Saturday the family would sweep, scrub and mop the tile floors together at his work place.

My father had the “common touch,” meaning he related well to almost everyone he met. Dad was a people person, although I don’t know that he would agree. He could size up people pretty quickly and know the right thing to say to help and encourage. He had a special ability to reach out and touch the hearts of the youth and served for many years in the scouting and young men’s programs of the church. He was always easy to talk to. You could tell by his comments that he was really listening. I can see him putting an arm on many a youthful shoulder and speaking to them eye to eye, during the course of an activity.

Calvin and his kids: (top left) Kenny, Calvin, Karen, and Clark at Torrey Pines, California about 1952; (top right) Julie and Calvin at the Daddy/Daughter date 1976; (bottom left) Jeff, Joe, Calvin, and Jenny on bikes about 1963; (bottom right) Joe and Calvin at the MTC about 1976

At one time he was the merit badge councilor for bicycling. He would plan marvelous excursions around the valley. He was also a councilor for archery. The young men would congregate at our house. Dad had set up an archery range in the gravel play yard where our swing set stood. Here they would practice, joke around, tease and eat hotdogs. The last event of the archery course was an evening rabbit-hunt. This was the highlight they had all looked forward to. Dad seemed to have a way of encouraging these young people in the course of rubbing shoulders and they knew he cared about them.

A couple of the guys really got into the sport and would come over to Dad’s workshop where they learned the art of crafting arrows. His hide-away was in the basement under the front porch. It was a tiny place with barely room enough for two or three people. It was always cooler in his tiny shop and smelled somewhat musty. I liked to watch Dad when he was working on a project. He would kid and joke around with us as he worked. In his arrow shop, I remember the smell of paint, and hot glue, but mostly I remember the awful aroma of burnt feathers as Dad fletched the arrows. Dad’s homemade arrows were something to behold and every bit as nice as the store bought variety, if not better.

Dad liked creating things with his hands. From life size Tiki-gods that adorned the yard, to toys and Christmas decorations. Just give him a pattern or picture and he could reproduce it. One summer he made our children, a sit on digging shovel contraption, with handles and pulleys to play with in the sandbox. Of course, Dad had five other children with families, so whatever he made he massed produced. Dad loved doing things for his children and with them. When I turned fifty, I told him I wanted a decorative birdhouse to hang in the yard, so we went out to the workshop and built one. I teased him that I had to wait until I was fifty before I could get my dad to build a birdhouse with me.

Dad was a kid at heart and wanted our growing-up years to be as filled with as much fun as his were. When I was in fifth grade, he built us a swimming pool in our backyard. It was the center of many family parties and fun filled events. I remember the day it was completed, Dad poured a cement sidewalk, and in that wet cement, he had us place our hand prints, and baby Joseph’s footprints. Then I watched him as he wrote the date with a stick: 1957.

That same year he heard about a wonderful new theme park in California called Disney Land. He sat us down and told us all about the different rides and activities. He was so animated and excited. The more he talked about it the more he wanted to go. When the decision was made, he began giving us a weekly allowance for the jobs we did around the house and we started to save up money for our tickets. I remember the day we arrived at Disneyland, Dad was just as excited as we kids. He was eager for us to enjoy the magic of this special place where the imagination could soar to new heights. During each ride he watched our expressions and wanted to know how we liked it. I remember going on the “Jungle ride.” Dad warned us to watch out for the wild animals or we might be their dinner. From then on it was his favorite spot in California.

Dad loved to see the country and gave us the advantage of travel. California was always a favorite destination, I remember several sweltering trips over the unbearable Nevada desert taken during the day. There were no air-conditioned cars back in those days. We tried everything we could to cool off. We sucked on ice cubes, my mother would chew them, to this day I can’t stand the sound of someone biting into an ice cube, ooh! We also wet our face, neck and arms with water, then let the air blowing through the window cool us off. It was refreshing, if only for a few moments. Eventually we opted to travel back and forth during the cool of the evening. I recall traveling that vast expanse in the middle of the night, sitting up front with my mother, to help her stay awake. It was such a struggle to keep my eyes open. Every part of my body longed for sleep, my mind kept trying to shut down. My legs were jittery and ached to stretch, but there was no room to even move. I thought I would go crazy before we stopped.

Most summers we visited different places, Oregon, Washington, Canada, New York, Washington D.C., all of the western states and many in the mid-west. Dad and mom enjoyed showing us the natural wonders in the world around us. I’m sure that is where I gained my appreciation for the beauties of the earth. Dad had a keen interest in history. We traveled to several church and national historic spots.

When campers first came out, we were one of the first to own one. Dad took us camping in the great national parks of Utah and other states. I remember one trip, camping in the beautiful, high meadows at Beaver, Utah. It was night, and Dad turned on his big flashlight, the beam reached out across the huge meadow into the surrounding trees, everywhere bright eyes began to appear as the deer moved into the meadow to feed in the safety of dark. We were enchanted.

On one occasion we traveled to San Francisco. I remember the people on the streets just staring at us. I think it was the first time they had ever seen a camper. I was riding in the top looking out the front window. I remember how scared I was as we came down those steep hills. I’m sure I had to hide my eyes.

My dad was a great lover of the out doors. He took us fishing several times, although I never saw him fish. He spent hours setting up our poles up with hooks, sinkers and bobbers, fixing our tangled messes when we crossed lines with one another, which happened often, and repairing the fishing reels that always seemed to be gummed up inside. At the time I didn’t realize he didn’t like fishing, I only found that out years later. By the time I was in high school, Dad had purchased an 18-foot motor boat. He thought it would be great to have for fishing and then we could also learn to water ski.

When he was younger he and his friend went deer hunting each season, which brings up a rather sad memory. I was six years old, at the time, my dad had taken off to go deer hunting for two or three days and left my Mom with five children under the age of six to care for. The youngest were twins only six months old. By the time he got home she was hopping mad and she let him have it. It is one of my worst memories, Mom and Dad fighting. Dad was so angry he snapped his thick leather belt in half. I was so surprised, I was afraid too, because he said he was leaving. Clark and I were both crying. Soon my Uncle Stan and Aunt Velma came over. I remember uncle Stan talking to Dad a long time in the bathroom with the door shut.   After they left Dad and Mom seemed to be somewhat better. It is amazing the impression that can be made on very young children in a traumatic situation.

When I began high school and those dating years, Dad was always there to guide me. We did a lot of talking back then. I remember his calmness, and his genuine concern. The spirit he so richly possessed reached out and pulled me to a higher level of understanding. Over the years he became my friend and confidant. He was a person after my own heart. The same things that were vital in his life became important in my own. We understood one another at a new level. I knew from the way he conducted his life that the gospel and the church were everything to him. I remember hearing his warm, earnest testimony on many occasions and it sank into my heart. Whenever we traveled to Salt Lake City and passed the temple, Dad would ask:

“Are you going to be married in the temple, Sis?”

I would answer, “Of course, Dad.”

Reflections of Father: Calvin Hutchings

“Let’s go see Mr. Whiskers,” Dad said. My brother Clark and I followed him outside to the back of our white house. There in a rabbit hutch was our large white bunny, Mr. Whiskers.

Dad, Calvin Hutchings, had grown up on a farm in South Jordan, Utah. His parents were Joseph Nephi and Elizabeth Annie Bird Hutchings. Cal was born 12 September 1923, the youngest of six boys, and two twin sisters who passed away soon after birth. Being a farm boy, Dad loved animals and had wonderful stories about his furry and feathered farm friends. Dad had a way of mesmerizing us kids with his tall tales. Let me tell you, he was a master story teller! I recall many nights sitting at the table after dinner begging Dad to tell us a story. They were usually about the made-up characters he had fabricated out of his little boy imagination. We would push the plates out of our way, and then get comfortable, putting our elbows on the table to rest our head in our hands. We were a captive audience for Dad. His stories seemed to revolve around the animals he had encountered growing up on the farm. One of our favorites involved the adventures of a tiny character named “Honey Bee.” Our imaginations would soar as the sound of Dad’s voice carried us into another world.

“Do you want to hear about the time, Honey Bee traveled to Egypt and visited the pyramids traveling in the ear of a camel?”

And then there were the adventures of “Snowflake the Wild Stallion.” His stories often included vivid accounts of his own boyhood adventures. He liked to imagine himself as Robin Hood with his homemade bow and arrows. His best friend was the boy next door, Dez Shields. The two of them would concoct some interesting schemes. One time these two archers decided they would send messages back and forth to one another’s yard via arrows. This went on until Dez shot an arrow that narrowly missed Nephi, Cal’s father. He immediately put an end to such shenanigans. Cal also liked to pretend he was Tarzan as he swung from ropes tied in the trees over the canal and jumped into the murky water below.

I don’t recall all of the stories, but I do remember the sound of my father’s voice as it rose and fell with excitement or sadness as the story developed. I remember his demeanor, his animated facial expressions, how he raised eyebrows and widened his eyes during the suspenseful parts. He pulled us in and made it seem so real, as if it were actually transpiring. Once he brought home the Call of the Wild and read it to us each night after dinner. I felt like I was really there. In his own way he taught us to love literature.

I remember very clearly when Dad arrived home at night. There was a distinct medicinal smell from the dentist office that wafted through the house. I grew to love that aroma because it was tied to my dad. When we were very little, Dad let us “climb the mountain,” as he called it. Facing Dad and holding his hands, we would climb up his legs and when we could go no higher, he would swing us back down. I was disappointed when I grew too big to do it any longer.

Kenny, Calvin, Karen, and Clark at Torrey Pines, California in 1952

I recall our days in San Diego when Dad was finishing up his Naval tour.  We made regular trips to the beach. It was one of our favorite spots to play. Dad would take Clark and I by the hand, and lead us out into the small breakers, as the waves became higher, he would lift us up by our arms over the water.  Playing on the beach, I recall the squishy feel of sand beneath my feet as I stood in the water. Little ripples swirled in and out around me, the sand washing out from under my toes and heels causing me to sink deeper into the wet stuff. The bright sun glared off the water and caused me to squint my eyes. The only part of the beach I dreaded was the rub down Mom gave us with the towel. It scratched and hurt so because of the sand and salt on our bodies. Regardless, it was great fun. Some days we would pack a lunch and head to Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo. This was another favorite spot. It was a large beautiful park with a number of museums on the grounds. The zoo was such a large place that we often rode the touring bus around. I recall the driver always stopped to throw bread to the bears. Dad especially loved watching these furry critters with their amazingly long tongues. He told us they used their tongues to get inside a beehive and lick out all the sweet honey. Then he would tell us to stick out our tongues to see if they were any where near as long as those bears. My dad was always a fun-loving, character. He liked to kid around and tease us. He could tell you a fictional incident so soberly that you weren’t sure if it were true or if he were only “pulling your leg.” I was so gullible that I always believed him. He got quite a kick out of his own antics. I can hear my mother now,

“Oh Cal, why do you do that?” she would say shaking her head. He would only smile at us and raise his eyebrows. Sometimes he would come up behind her in a playful way and try to hug or kiss her, but Mom would seldom let him get away with it.

A glimpse of his fun-loving personality is shown in a short note he wrote to us just before Christmas one year, it begins —

“Dear Weber Family,

Ho, Ho, Ho, Santa here,

Newsflash – Unable to make trip to Merino, Colorado this season.

Team trouble – Donder has a tech of arthritis in his antlers and Blitsen says he’s too old “to mount up” and fly over the Rockies. Dain govt won’t give me enough gas for my old “gas guzzling plane” — So to be sure you hear from the Utah bunch – uncle Samy promised he would deliver early — Mom and Dad,

Thank you Love Santa”

That was my dad, always a character.


Memories of Mother: Margaret Clark, Part 2

Mom taught us how to work!

When it came to discipline Mom wasn’t one to wait for Dad to come home. She took things into her own hands. I recall several spankings, the ones given with a willow stick hurt the most. I know Mother must have felt overwhelmed by all of her responsibilities, and especially when Clark, Kenny and I would fight with one another. Sometimes it made her cry and then we felt awful. We were exasperating kids at times, Mom would call to us, absently we would continue with what we were doing until she finally yelled to get our attention.

Mother insisted that her children learn how to perform household chores. We were taught to fold the laundry, vacuum, dust, clean the bathrooms, make a proper bed, do the dishes, clean the kitchen, mop the floors, and on occasion we even washed walls. When I finished a task, mom would check it out. It seemed that no matter how hard I tried, she always found something I could improve upon.

We had a large family of nine so there was always plenty that needed to be done. Each of us had Saturday chores we were expected to do. She would often repeat, “A job worth doing, is worth doing well.”

Occasionally, in the summer Dad would pile all of us in the station wagon and take us over to Grandpa Hutchings farm where we would help weed the huge vegetable garden. That was back breaking work. I remember my brother Kenny complaining about all the jobs he had to do. Once he told Mom the only reason she had kids was to do her work. That comment didn’t go over too well!

When we were older, our parents determined to expand our responsibilities. I guess they thought we were too lazy. They decided we could all clean Dad’s office on the weekends, instead of hiring someone. Oh my, did we groan and complain. I remember scrubbing those old tile floors on our hands and knees, Mom and Dad working right along side us.

Mom always liked it when we worked together to clean and didn’t complain. She often said that was the best gift we could give her.

I know I took for granted the fact that Mother was always there when I came home from school. I would call to her as I came in the front door, “I’m home Mom.”

She would answer back, “How was school today?” It was comforting to know she was close by.

Mother was a tireless worker; she insisted that we all help her in the kitchen with the cooking. We also had a weekly dish night. I usually helped prepare dinner if I didn’t have too much homework. I think I peeled a pan full of potatoes every night. My Dad was a “meat and potato” guy, no casseroles for him. It took me awhile to catch on to the peeling process. In the meantime, I cut the skin on my thumb more than once. I recall how it stung and bled all over the potatoes. I have the scars to prove it.

Oh how well, we all remember the days of canning peaches and pears. All hands were enlisted to help prepare the six bushels of peaches and later six bushels of pears. We spent long, tedious days in the kitchen peeling, cutting and filling jars until the last quart was processed and stored on the shelf. Of course, we loved eating the delicious fruit.

Mom taught me how to make an angel-food cake, first whipping the egg whites into stiff peaks and then gently folding in the dry ingredients. Under Mother’s tutelage I learned to make different kinds of salads, cakes, cookies, and candy. She taught me the art of making perfect gravy and white sauce.

Mom made her wonderful cinnamon rolls for trips and outings to lagoon. She covered the kitchen table with the delicate rolls, their aroma filling the house. I can taste them now, so soft and delicious with cinnamon sugar, raisins, and icing. I would pull them apart and plop chunks into my mouth. How I wish I had one right now. Umm!

When tacos became popular that became one of our favorite meals. Eventually we converted Dad too. Always diligent and concerned about our health, Mom prepared three meals a day. She adamantly insisted, even when we were in high school, that we eat breakfast before we left for school. At dinnertime we always sat down together as a family I remember it being a special time of the day. But even then Mom was always up and down from the table seeing to our needs.

I don’t recall doing a lot of yard work. Occasionally we weeded the flower beds for Mom, but no matter how often she tried to teach us, we continually pulled up flowers with the weeds, I think she finally decided against our help. When my brothers got big enough they started to mow the lawn for Dad. We also swept the large patio and driveway. During the summertime Mom was up early in the morning watering her flowerbeds. Once in awhile we would sneak up and squirt her with our water pistols. She would return fire with the hose, then we would run to the front yard and get the other hose. War was on. We always enjoyed it when Mom would play with us. She was always so busy taking care of her house and big family.

It seemed to me that Mom never stopped. When it was evening and we were all on the couch relaxing, she was still going. I asked her once if she ever got tired? She said, “Sure, but it needs to be done.” I didn’t understand at the time, but I do now.

One of the few times I remember seeing her relax was when we went on vacation.


Getting ready for a vacation was an exciting time. I always enjoyed going on these wonderful jaunts, even when I was older and in high school. Of course, Mom bore the brunt of the preparations. First, there were clothes for nine people to wash and pack, often a quick trip to Salt Lake to purchase a couple of new outfits for each of us. At the same time mother was preparing food to take. When every last item on Mom’s list was finally packed and ready, we squeezed into the car, body to body, with nary an inch to spare. With our luggage stacked and tied on top of the car, we were quite a site. We made many a trip to California and Disneyland in the wagon.

I have vivid memories of traveling down the road, while Mom, in the front seat passed out the tiny boxes of cold cereal for our breakfast or put together sandwiches and snacks for us to nibble on.

In later years, on boating trips, she would make us huge Hoagy sandwiches with lots of meat, cheese, lettuce, tomato and mustard. They were the best. Of course we were hungry teenagers then. I have never seen Mom so happy as when she was away from home on a trip and she could finally relax.

After we bought the camper, Mom was in heaven! Mother would stock the cubbies so full of can goods, that Dad was afraid we would have a flat tire from the weight, and we did on occasion.

To a kid, eager to go on a trip, it seemed to take Mom forever to get everything in readiness. The only thing I can compare it with, is waiting for Christmas Day. I was the oldest and so I tried to help Mother as much as I could, but no matter how much I did, there was always twenty things more that needed doing. The evening before we left, Mom was up most of the night packing and finishing up last minute details. We all breathed a sigh of relief as, jam-packed, we finally backed out of the driveway and off to our adventure destination.


Memories of Mother: Margaret Clark

By Karen Hutchings Weber

“Why do I have to wear leggings?” I asked sourly.

“So your legs will stay warm in this cold weather I don’t want you getting sick.” My mother retorted.

“They take too much time to get on and off. Did your mom make you wear leggings to school?” I continued.

“Yes, she did and long stockings too just like yours.” Mom answered.

I hated to wear leggings, but when it came to discussing how we should dress when going out of doors, Mom always won. There was no sense fighting it, she persisted until you gave in. Mom had an over active sense of what it took to keep us healthy. She was positive that if you didn’t dress warm enough you were destined to be sick. Maybe that came from having a father who was a doctor or maybe her mother was the same way. Whatever, it really bugged us kids. I can still hear her say:

“You had better put a scarf on your head, the wind is blowing and you don’t want to get an earache.” She would chime.

The funny thing was Mom was usually right. Once when I didn’t wear a scarf, I did get an earache and had to go to bed.

The winter boot ordeal went right along with the rest. No matter how hard I pushed and pulled I couldn’t get my heel to go down into the boot. It was frustrating. Mom’s answer was to use plastic bread sacks. I put a bag on each foot. It worked wonderfully, holding the back of my boot and giving a little push, my foot slipped right in.

Now I was ready to head out the door dressed in long socks, leggings, plastic bread sacks, boots, sweater, coat, hat and mittens. I was a sight to behold. At school I had to struggle in and out of this cumbersome winter paraphernalia at recess time. Most of the other school kids were in the same boat I was, but not all of them had to wear leggings. I let Mom hear about that too, but it did no good. She stuck stubbornly to her guns. Mom didn’t relent even when I was older. It was always,

“If you’re going outside put on your coat, hat, and gloves!” She called from the other room. I swear she had eyes in the back of her head.

One night I was heading out the door to attend Mutual. There was a dance that night and I was anxious to be on my way.   She took one look at me and said, “You’re not going anywhere, you have the measles!” She exclaimed.

“What!” I retorted in shock. I ran to the bathroom and looked in the mirror. Sure enough, I had red spots all over my face. I was miserably disappointed.

Regardless of how well Mom cared for us, we had the normal number of colds and childhood illnesses. When we were ill, Mom always knew the right thing to do. If we had a cough or cold, she rubbed a healthy layer of Bengay on our chest. Whew, it had a strong smell and a burning, tingling sensation. Depending on the severity of our cold, Mom might even set up the hot steam vaporizer and add a strong smelling medicine. She said the steam would break up our cough and help us to breathe easier.

Mother insisted we stay under the covers even if we were burning up with a fevor, but as soon as she was out of sight, I would throw back the covers. That didn’t work for long because she was always running in to check on us.

If we had a prolonged illness, Mom made a bed for us on the couch in the living room or down the basement, where we could watch television. When we suffered from tummy ailments, Mom prepared ample amounts of gelatin and applesauce for us to eat.

There were times when our illnesses required a visit from Dr. Wright. When Mom announced his visit, we children went into a panic of tears and fussing; this of course didn’t help our cause. A visit always meant a shot from the doctor or Aunt Velma who was a nurse.

At our home when one of us children came down with a bug, it wasn’t long before we all had it, and poor Mom, here she was home with a bunch of sick kids. I’m sure she felt like pulling her hair out some days. She was a devoted nurse and always took such good care of us.

The Meeting: Cal and Margaret

Calvin Hutchings was attending BYU, majoring in pre-dent when he met Margaret Clark. He was living with the Hansen family in Pleasant View; this was close to where the BYU stadium stands today. Three young men had lived with the Hansens, but they liked Cal the best. Brother Hansen was a geology professor at the university. He had a daughter named Carol who was a good friend of Margaret’s younger sister, Bobby.

One evening Bobby went to stay overnight with Carol; together they plotted how to get Cal and Margaret together. Carol had a crush on Cal and was always sneaking friends in to see this good-looking guy. The girls told Cal that Bobby had a cute older sister and he should consider taking her out. Cal seemed willing, but wondered how to go about meeting her. They told him Margaret was a clerk at Firmage’s department store in downtown Provo, and set him up to go there. In the meantime, Bobby and Carol had been telling Margaret about this cute guy staying at the Hansen’s house. They kept encouraging her to meet him and Margaret was interested.

Calvin went to Firmages to check out this girl he had heard so much about. He followed Margaret around for a while and then finally introduced himself. Cal asked her to go out with him. Margaret was a junior in high school at the time. When her Mother found out she said, “You can’t go out with him, you don’t know anything about him.”   Margaret replied, “He’s staying at the Hansen’s house, you can call and ask Mrs. Hansen all about him.”   Her Mother did just that and was given a beaming report on Calvin.

Cal and Margaret dated for two years. Calvin had previously enlisted in the V-1 Naval program in 1942 following graduation from High School. This program allowed him to continue his education without being drafted. After he finished his pre-dental courses at BYU, he was called up to report for duty to the naval base in Seattle, Washington. While there, he met Margaret’s brother, Grant, also in the navy, and they became good friends.

During this time, Margaret graduated from high school and went to work at the telephone company. Cal was in Washington at the naval hospital for nine months waiting to get into dental school. During this time, he and Margaret corresponded frequently. When fall came, he was sent to the University of Iowa.

It was a lonely time for Calvin who was far away from home and his girl. Just before Christmas, he called and proposed to Margaret over the telephone. Margaret hesitated, she wanted to wait until spring, but Cal said, “Now or never!” So she said, “Yes.”Calvin & Margaret

Calvin flew into Salt Lake the day before Christmas, his parents picked him up at the airport and took him home. On Christmas day he drove to Margaret’s home in Provo and they immediately began making wedding plans. They decided to be married on Thursday December 28th, that day the Salt Lake temple was having a special session for servicemen home on leave. Margaret recalls it being a busy, but exciting time. The day after Christmas they rushed around, first they went to get their blood tests and then a marriage license. This was followed by an interview with the bishop for a temple recommend. With so little time to prepare, Margaret’s Mother, Laura, called the Dixon-Taylor department store and arranged for someone to open up that evening just for Margaret and her mother. That night the two of them went shopping for some of the necessary items Margaret would need to set up housekeeping.

The big day arrived: December 28, 1944, Calvin and Margaret were married in the Salt Lake temple surrounded by loved ones from the Clark and the Hutchings families.

The ceremony was beautiful. Margaret wore a white skirt and blouse she had purchased for the temple. She recalls that the sleeves were short, so the sisters at the temple put something over her arms. She tells how her dear sister, Cecil, had stayed up the night before, sewing her a burgundy skirt and top for the wedding breakfast that would follow the temple ceremony, and then she drove to Salt Lake the next day.

DaCosta, the only one of her brothers home at the time, arranged for a wedding luncheon at Hotel Utah for the two families. Mother remembers the lunch being very lovely. She said, the wedding cake, which was made in the hotel bakery, was beautiful and had a lovely taffy candy ribbon around it.

That evening, Calvin and Margaret returned to Provo and stayed at the Clark home. Margaret recalls, “We had just fallen to sleep when the furnace started smoking. The snow had been falling all day and water seeped into the coal causing it to stick together. I had to get out of bed, go down to the basement and stoke the furnace to get it going again.”

Their was no time for a honeymoon for the very next day Margaret and Calvin took a train back to Iowa City. The cars were packed full of servicemen traveling to the east coast where they would be shipped overseas to the war front. Margaret was the only woman onboard and even though she had paid for a ticket, the train conductor said all the seats were for servicemen. During the trip, Dad or one of the other men would let her take their seat for a time, but when the conductor came around she had to sit on her suitcase. The trip took two days and a night. There were no sleeping cars open so they sat up all night.








Pearl Harbor

“Elizabeth and Nephi were very concerned. German warplanes were bombarding the southern portion of England. Germany was trying to blockade England’s ports in hopes of starving the country into submission. German U Boats were raiding cargo vessels in the Atlantic and Caribbean.” Elizabeth was naturally concerned about her family members in England.

Many changes were happening in our country as factories geared up to produce war materials. “Our battleships were convoying fleets of cargo across the Atlantic with orders to fire upon enemy vessels that interfered.” The United States was in an undeclared war.

JN,Elizabeth,&Calvin Hutchings
Calvin in his naval uniform with his mother, Elizabeth Bird, and father, Joseph Nephi Hutchings

“Stanley and Velma moved to Downey, Idaho where Stanley had secured employment at the high school to teach aeronautics and other subjects. They were expecting their first child. Calvin was a senior at Jordan High. He was 18 years of age. In the event of war both Stanley and Calvin would be subject to the first draft. ..”

“On October 17th German torpedoes sank the destroyer Kearney; two weeks later they sank the ship Reuben James. A total of 115 lives were lost. On December 7, 1941 at 7:49 a.m. Japanese warplanes bombed Pearl Harbor. Seven battleships were damaged or sunk. One hundred and eighty eight aircraft were destroyed; 2,403 lives were lost and 1,178 people were wounded in the attack. America was shocked. Roosevelt asked congress to declare war against Japan. He said, ‘Yesterday, December 7, 1941, a date which will live in infamy…’ Then he rallied the nation with these words, ‘With confidence in our armed forces, with the undoubting determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph. So help us God.’ On this dark and gloomy day, Velma gave birth to Dennis.”

As the armed forces recruited men, Stanley was deferred since he was teaching aeronautics. Calvin enlisted in the V-1 Naval program, which permitted him to continue his education. He graduated from Jordan High School in 1942 and entered Brigham Young University in June. He chose to study pre-med which would qualify him for entrance into dental school. When he finished his studies at Brigham Young in the summer of 1943, he was ordered to go to Portland, Oregon to attend dental school. He and the other midshipmen had to find their own living quarters as the navy had no facilities in Portland. After six months Calvin was transferred to the University of Iowa in Iowa City. He was on the V-12 program as well as a dental student…”

Read about how World War II affected Calvin’s future wife, Margaret Clark.