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.

my-dad-1
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.”

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.

Basic Hutchings Family History for Dummies

Find out more about the history and background of Calvin and Margaret Hutchings.

CALVIN HUTCHINGS

Calvin was the youngest of six boys born to Joseph Nephi and Elizabeth Hutchings. Cal had a wonderful childhood growing up on the family farm with his brothers. He was taught early the value of hard work and laboring with his family for a common goal.

Cal was a senior when Pearl Harbor was attacked in 1941. Knowing that he was prime for the draft, he enlisted in the V-1 Naval program, which permitted him to continue his education. His parents strongly encouraged and sacrificed for their sons that they might have college educations. Calvin graduated from Jordan High School in May 1942 and entered Brigham Young University in June. He chose to study pre-med which would qualify him for entrance into dental school. It was while he was in Provo that he met Margaret Clark. Cal and Maggie fell in love and were married December 28, 1944, during the turbulent years of WW2. They spent 4 years in Iowa City where Cal attended dental school. He graduated in 1948. They had two children at the time, Karen and Clark. They moved back to Utah and Calvin set up a dental practice in Riverton, they lived at 11917 Redwood Road not far from Grandpa and Grandma Hutchings.  Kenny joined the family June 4, 1950.

That same year Cal received a letter calling him up for active duty, due to the Korean conflict. Calvin reported to the naval base in San Diego,  February 1951. The family loved the 2 years they spent in California. By the time they returned to Utah, Margaret was pregnant. They didn’t find out until a few months later, that she was having twins. Jeff and Jenny were born in April 1953. Back in Utah Calvin and his brother, Stanley decided to go into practice together; they set up their office in Midvale at 80th and State Street. In 1955 Margaret and Calvin moved to Cornell Drive. Joseph joined the family two years later in 1957 and Julie in 1965.

MARGARET CLARK

Margaret was the daughter of James Cecil and Laura Clark; her entrance into the Clark family was a rather dramatic one. She was born on Sunday October 11. Her brother, DaCosta’s was having his missionary farewell that day. If that wasn’t enough, the house caught on fire and the fire department came on the scene. But despite all Margaret arrived safe, sound and healthy.

Margaret was raised in a large household with eight siblings. Her Father, whom she dearly loved, was a doctor, overworked and seldom at home. James Cecil passed away in 1938 when he suffered a major heart attack, Margaret was only 12 years old; J.C.’s death was a great blow to the family, Margaret took it especially hard.

The next great shock to the family occurred three years later when the United States declared war on Japan following Pearl Harbor. With the dawning of World War II, a major change took place in the Clark household. Margaret’s four brothers -R.G., Kyle, Albert, Grant  and her brother-in-law, Harry joined the military. These were difficult years. This situation left the Clark women alone to fend for themselves.

Margaret, who was 16 and in high school, took on additional responsibilities at home.  She also found a job at a department store in town. Margaret met Calvin in 1942, while he was attending Brigham Young University in the Pre-med program and Margaret was in high school. They courted for 18 months before they were married.

San Diego: The Farmer’s Market and Point Loma

While fulfilling his time in the Navy, Calvin Hutchings took this video recording when the family briefly lived in San Diego, California between 1950 and 1952. Karen, Clark, and Kenny were the only children at the time.

In the first half of the video, the family is spending the day at the Farmer’s Market. Once upon a time, these markets actually had rides for the kids. Later, the family spent time at Point Loma, a scenic outlook on the coast.