Hangin' with Friends

Becky was a popular girl. She buddied with the neighborhood kids and had fun doing it. One of her pals was Robert, who lived a half-block away up 23rd Street. Robert was the Bad Boy of the 'Hood between 23rd and 24th Street from Taylor Avenue to Custer Avenue, including Cahoon Street, where two or three of his partners in mischief lived. Robert and a couple of other boys broke into the LDS wardhouse on Cahoon so they could play basketball in the gymnasium that wardhouses have, causing a major stink. Except for setting a big brush fire up on the mountain, Robert never into any real trouble; he just always acted like he would. I thought all the boys in the neighborhood were obnoxious, rude, and downright mean, but Becky got along with everybody. She still does.

Kate from HuntsvilleBecky's best girlfriend was Kate, whose family was part of the Unitarian fellowship that Gen's spiritual explorations led us to. Kate lived with her sophisticated and permissive parents up in Huntsville. Huntsville is located in the Ogden Valley (not to be confused with Ogden itself, which lies over the mountains and through the canyon, down in the Valley of the Great Salt Lake). The girls had access to a horse, a reservior, and the ease and safety of a tiny Mormon village, along with freedom from our combative household. For two summers, Becky spent every minute she could in Huntsville, where Kate's folks welcomed her. Sometimes Doug and Gen would decide that Becky was having too much fun up there, or that she had committed some infraction, so they'd recall her to Ogden.

Then there were the Olsens.