Written History of Ralph Emanuel Whitney
Us kids liked to play in the flood water too. One time we went down where the two washes came together. I remember Calvin taking my hand, and I would go out in the water up to my neck. Luckily Dad and Mom came to see what was going on. I don’t remember them being angry with us but explained what could happen to us. I know we never did it again.
When I learned to drive and got my driver’s license, Dad took me out to the car and taught me how to change a tire. He said if I was going to drive, I needed to learn how to change a tire. I don’t think I ever had to change a tire by myself until about 10 years ago and was glad that I knew how.
Dad liked to tease us. But it was never cruel teasing or never put us down. I remember when I had my fingernails painted red. As I walked by him, in all seriousness he said, “What did you do to your fingers; they are bleeding.” It wasn’t long before I gave up finger nail polish.
I don’t remember if the boys and Dad built the raft we had on our pond, but we had many hours of fun on that raft. We had swings from cottonwood trees that probably the boys put up, but Dad and Mom supplied the rope and direction of putting it up.
We usually went to the mountains each year in the fall to gather pine nuts. One time that I remember was when we gathered the cones form the trees before the squirrels got the nuts. Dad had made a roaster out of an old muffler from a car and mounted it on a stand so we could turn it with the handle. Those roasted pine nuts were the best I think I have ever eaten.
Mom and I think Bert built a fireplace outside so we could cook outside in the evenings. As we didn’t have electricity for a cooler this was very enjoyable to eat outside.
I always used to think I was Dad’s favorite, but in the past few years while reminiscing with my sisters, they thought the same thing. He knew how to make us feel special. He knew how to teach so we would remember by telling us the why’s and why not’s and also by example. Honesty was one of the many of Dad’s attributes.
We had a lot of good times with Mom and Dad while growing up on the ranch. Bert liked to be our leader when we would go hiking up the “big wash” and jump from one cliff to another and up and down the sides. We sometimes spent all day there without food or water.