Written History of Doris Elizabeth Nay
I also remember Father taking us to see our first circus in Flagstaff that summer. My what a thrill that was. I’ll never forget it, especially riding on the merry-go-round. I also remember what a thrilling experience it was going to town and to the Babbitt store with Father to do our shopping. I will always remember the wonderful smell when we got in the store. It had so many good smells all mixed together it’s hard to describe them. Father always bought me some stick candy. He was always such a wonderful thoughtful father.
When fall came of that year 1911, and the weather began to get cold, Father decided to go south. He never liked cold weather, the heat didn’t bother him. Mother loved the mountains as she was raised in them. Father wanted to go to the Salt River Valley country, near Phoenix, and see if he could get us a large farm. That country was just opening up at that time. Father was a good farmer and loved to work the soil.
We left in our large covered wagon, with old Dick and Nancy pulling it. We also had a two wheeled trailer to carry the feed for the horses, hitched on behind the wagon. Father let us bring our dog Fanny and her two puppies that we children loved so much.
This trip stands out in my memory as the most wonderful trip or journey in my childhood life. I was 9 ½ years old at that time. I don’t suppose it was an easy trip for mother with a young baby and six other active children to keep fed and clean, with only a covered wagon for our home, but we children loved it. The trip took about two months to get to Phoenix. We camped about where the town of Mesa now stands, for a week or two. I remember when we went through Phoenix, we children wanted to see all we could of this big city, our first one to see, so we were all peeking from under the wagon cover. This embarrassed mother and she tried to get all of us to stay back in the wagon with the cover down until we were through the city. She told us to keep our heads in and not be looking out and acting like regular hoodlums. I don’t think we minded her very good, as we were just too excited and didn’t want to miss a thing. Father drove through on the main street and the big beautiful stores and buildings thrilled us through and through.
Mother didn’t like this vast large open country and so father didn’t try to find a place to live. He had a cousin living in Mesa. We visited with them and she had children our age to play with.
We soon started back for Southern Nevada. It was almost Christmas by the time we got to Needles, California. We camped on the Colorado River, about a mile out of town Christmas Eve. I remember Father walked into town to get presents for us children, he carried them back into gunny sack on his back. There was something for each of us, and we had a different but a wonderful Christmas.
We traveled on to the Moapa Valley. It was about March 1912, and too late for us to go on to Alamo to finish that year of school. We four older ones missed all the year of 1911 and 1912 schooling, but made it up the next two years. Father leased some good ground just above the little town of Logandale and raised cantaloupes that summer. He made good money and in the fall moved us back to Alamo. We still owned our home there. We were all happy to get back and go to school again with our friends we had left before going to Flagstaff.