Pat Greer Remebers her Mother, Hiedi

Prescott -White House


After several years in the stone house at the Country Club, we got the chance to move to a larger (3 bedroom, 2 bath) home at the bottom of the hill as you come down into the club. I cannot imagine how happy mom and dad must have been to get 2 bathrooms. (with three daughters, that must have been marvelous).

There were lots of things I remember about that house. One of the most important is the yard. I’ve often wondered where I got such a love of gardening. I can remember working with mama in the yard of that white house. She planted 2 small blue spruce trees on either side of the front walk, and had lots of flowers and a nice lawn. There was a swing seat with a cover on it that was wonderful for napping. Digging Dandelions seems a wonderful memory - but I bet I thought I was being punished at the time.

One time daddy got hold of a lot of live chickens. He brought them home (in the family sedan) and we proceeded to prepare them for the freezer plant. Dad hung them upside down on the clothes line so the blood would run to their head, then he slit their throats and they flopped and flung blood all over. I thought this a much better method than the axe that the Fain’s used on their chickens. Bobbie, Sheila and I got the job of dunking them in very hot water and plucking them. Then mom took them and cut them open to clean them and cut them up for packaging. She could clean a chicken faster than anyone. She tried to show me how many times, but I never could get it as neat and fast as she could.

One year it snowed! I mean really snowed. We skied on the hill in front of the house and hoped the cars would stay off it. We also went out to Wolf Creek and skied there. That same year (I think) we went up to Flagstaff to ski at the snow bowl. The snow was piled so high in the center of the street that people tied flags and ribbons to the top of their antennas so others would know they were coming.

My favorite game was “Run, Sheep, Run”. We played long, complicated games during the long evening twilight hours of the summer. Whoever got mama on their team was inevitably the winner. I wonder if people ever hear the echo of that cry “Run, Sheepy, Run” in the still night air at the Hassayampa Country Club today? It was a wonderful childhood.
During the summer, we lived in the swimming pool. Today’s doctors would probably have some kind of fits to know what long exposure we had to sun, chlorine, water in the sinuses, etc. I remember Bobbie’s hair would almost turn green from chlorine. Mine just got sour when I was too lazy to take the braids out and dry it. As if we didn’t get enough swimming during the day, we would occasionally slip down at night for a “skinny dip” after all had gone to bed. I might be remembering this wrong, but it seems to me that mama taught us how to do this.

One of my favorite friends was Nancy Coulsen. I’m not sure how, but mama and daddy were good friends with the Coulsen’s who lived in Tempe. He was in charge of a citrus packing plant and they had a girl Bobbie’s age, Nancy who was my age and a younger girl. They had a cabin in the Mountain Club area and would come up to spend time during the summer. Then, we would go down to Tempe and stay for a week or so. When we were in Tempe, I got to go with Nancy to Tempe Beach Swimming pool and swim with the Tempe Swim Team. It was hard work, we had to swim lots of laps, practice turns and dives. Also a lot of fun. The way that they added chlorine to the pool was to dump in buckets of dry powder and have us swim around in it to mix it up. (Uck).

Mama joined a local drama group (can’t remember the name) and they put on some plays. She really enjoyed doing it, and it seemed such fun that when I got into high school and had the opportunity, I also got involved. I remember one fun character I played was that of a sassy old maid in a James Barrie play.

I guess we all were involved in drama. I remember when Sheila was very small, she played a major part in the Christmas play. This play was done every year and was a community event. During the play, she fed a bowl of “gruel” to the lost man. Mama made a bowl of her famous fluffy tapioca for Sheila to take to the play. I was sooooo jealous!!! Sheila got to eat all that she didn’t serve on stage.