By the time Becky turned three, we were living in a little town on Colorado's eastern plains, Akron, where she told her first joke. It went like this:
It seems there was a family of monkeys. A daddy monkey, a mommy monkey, and a baby monkey. One day, a crocodile ate the daddy and mommy monkeys, but the baby monkey ran away. A hunter appeared and shot the crocodile. The daddy monkey jumped out of the crocodile and said, "Ha, ha, ha! I got out." The mommy monkey jumped out and said, "Ha, ha, ha! I got out." the baby monkey walked back to the scene and said "ha, ha ha! I never got in.
Becky heard that joke from somebody in the Tumbleson family. The Tumblesons were three girls--Marcia, Marla, and Malva--and a boy, Vaughn. They lived in the house across Bent Avenue from the basement apartment we had in Mary Ellen and Pax Baker's house. Since Becky was too young for school, she spent the day in the care of the Tumbleson's mom, Jackie, a joker in her own right. Jackie did stuff like stashing rubber cheese in the sandwich she made for her husband's lunchbox. Jackie was a cute redhead who kept an immaculate house, but didn't have a stick up her butt about it. There was always a lot of fun going on at the Tumbleson's. Lucky for Becky. Her babysitter could have been crabby Mrs. Coleman, who lived next door to the Tumblesons. Mrs. Coleman always lunged out of her house, screeching and waving a broom, whenever any of us strayed into her yard. "Why don't you kids go play in your own yard!"
We did. We went clear to Ogden, Utah to play. In December 1961, Gen married Doug Kershaw and his family of three boys and two girls. Instant Mormon-style big family. The Kershaws denied being Mormons.