A Resourceful Friend

Alicia lived with her parents and four brothers in a Frank Lloyd Wright-esque house up on Taylor Avenue in Ogden's east bench. The house seemed modern to me with its flat-roof, bedroom windows high on the walls, a huge living room, and kitchen windows with big panes divided up into squares by wide mullions. Alicia's mom kept fancy glass bottles of colored water in most of the panes. Very cool.

I thought Alicia's parents were wealthy. The house was always orderly and clean. They had a Siamese cat. Their living room had original art on the walls, as well as a fireplace. Alicia had her own bedroom. In 1964, they threw a big birthday party for her. They took at least 10 of Alicia's friends out to do something like swimming or bowling. She had a store-bought cake that had "Happy Birthday Alicia" written on it in gold frosting (peanut butter-flavored).

Furthermore, Alicia was smart, pretty, and had nice clothes. Everybody liked her and she was friends with cool kids (like Wes, who bleached his hair in junior high, surfer-style), even though she wasn't Mormon. That Alicia could achieve a degree of popularity, in spite of being a gentile, tells you that she is charismatic.

During the summer before our senior year in high school, Alicia's parents moved the family out to North Ogden, to a house with a swimming pool. That was plenty of evidence for me that she had to be rich.

I know now that Alicia's parents weren't rich, at least not in the monetary sense. Instead, they had a huge wealth of resourcefulness. They entered every sweepstakes and contest they found, earning merchandise and travel that way.

The Rambler

Alicia entered a recipe for the 1965 or 1966 National Chicken Cooking Contest. Her recipe was selected and that summer the family packed itself into their Rambler station wagon and drove off to Delmarva for the cook-off. That's a long drive from Utah, but the kids had ways to amuse themselves. Whenever somebody saw an animal along the way, that kid would make the noise of the animal until a different one appeared. Then the noise of the new animal took over. I'm not sure how Alicia's parents tolerated five kids barking, quacking, mooing, chirping, whinnying, meowing, oinking, clucking, braying, and honking for the 5,000 mile round trip.