Ogden's Methodist ChurchThe Kershaws were Methodists, so we adopted that faith in Gen's first branching out of her exploration of Christianity. The church consisted of three buildings--the sanctuary, an addition containing an auditorium, kitchen, and Sunday school classrooms, and a big old three-story house that had served as the parsonage at one time, but anymore was used only for vacation Bible school.

The sanctuary building smelled of old wood and the wood polish used by industrious congregants to maintain the wooden pews, carved rails, paneling, pulpit and the big chairs around it, alter, organ case, floors and stairsteps, frames around pictures of Jesus knocking at the door to your heart, doors to the mysterious offices and secret places behind the pulpit, frames announcing the order of hymns--there was a lot of wood in that church.

There were stained-glass windows, of course, and one entire wall held the organ's enormous pipes. Red carpeting lined the squeaky floors of the aisles and the steps. The basement had a gathering room and kitchen of its own, lined by Sunday school classrooms and restrooms. This was Ogden's only Methodist church back then, but wasn't a small church. Although Mormons predominate in Utah, Ogden also had a congregation for every other popular western religion and a few eastern ones as well. The non-Mormons could amass a lot of people on Sunday. Ogden, being a western town with plenty of Latinos and Native Americans, naturally packed plenty of Catholics into their huge sandstone church downtown, but Methodists followed right behind in number.

So Gen continued to get us to church after we moved to Utah, but there was a difference. She made sure all of us were clean and dressed, put us in the car with John, the oldest brother who could drive, and waved us down the street. I suppose she and Doug found some way to enjoy themselves in the quiet Sunday house after they got rid of us.

You can bet that it was indeed a noisy house when everybody was home. Although Stephen, Doug's eldest son, left for the Army within a few weeks after our arrival in Ogden, that still left seven kids, ranging in age from four to 17. Five of us played musical instruments. Margaret played violin, Sue played flute, I sang and played violin, Larkann played bass violin, flute, clarinet, and violin, Bill played drums. Doug liked music and always had a radio going, tuned to KSL. John ran the Kershaw's LP collection of theatrical sound tracks on the record player. Everybody was either practicing or listening to something all the time. Nobody considered forming an ensemble, so the house rocked with pre-concert tune-up music.