Our answer outraged Gen even further. She wanted the perp to be somebody she could control, and that wasn't Stephen. He was just out of basic training and in pretty good shape and anyway, Gen didn't know him well enough to challenge him. She raged that we were shifting the blame for this crime to somebody who wasn't there to defend himself. Finally, Bill stepped up and confessed just to put an end to it. Gen, placated, stomped off to hers and Doug's bedroom to read the newspaper while the rest of us resumed preparing dinner.

Home life was violent and unpredictable. I remember once when Stephen and John took Bill, Larkann, and me with them to Salt Lake City. After the trip as we approached the house, I thought "I don't want to go home." It was so much fun to be away from the fights and the tension.

The Army sent Stephen to Germany and we never really saw much of him after that. John went off to college in Denver. That left Doug and Gen with just six kids. Margaret was now the eldest, a high school junior, followed by Sue, Bill, Larkann, me, and Becky.

Gen let up on Doug for a while and began picking fights with Margaret. Margaret escaped by moving to Texas with Miss Turley and completing her high school senior year there. Miss Turley was Ogden High School's orchestra teacher. She gave violin lessons to Margaret, Larkann, and me during the summer in exchange for cleaning her immaculate basement apartment. Miss Turley, for unknown reasons, returned to Texas after a year teaching in Utah and took Margaret with her, with a legal custodial agreement from Doug.

Bossy MargaretI puzzled over Gen's problem with Margaret. Margaret was annoying and bossy, always threatening to smack us with her "friend," a spatula, but she took good care of the house, got meals on the table when she was supposed to, didn't sneak out at night, taught us little kids how to do things, read stories to us, and completed whatever household chores were assigned to her. She made decent grades in school, although she couldn't play the violin worth a damn. I think Margaret was not the problem.

After Margaret left, Gen tried to start in on Bill. Trouble was, she couldn't really pin anything on him. Bill was--and still is--a saint. He was polite to his elders, a good friend to his sisters, always did his chores, didn't lie, cheat, or steal, and had a job. Bill coped by spending all his time in his bedroom, studying and working on electronics projects, or by working lots of overtime.

The only time Gen ever got Bill in serious trouble was when he came home after 2:00 a.m. from a date with his girlfriend, Vivian. Bill had joined the Mormon Church by that time. Vivian was a Mormon herself. Doug and Gen accused Bill of performing all kinds of shenanigans even though they had absolutely no proof nor any hint of misdeed in any of his past behavior. Bill continued to hole up in his bedroom and at work, biding his time until he graduated from high school. He escaped when the LDS Church sent him on a mission to Samoa.