Dear Ms. Steele,
How wonderful it was to be introduced to your book, ‘Soda Springs’, by my favorite aunt, also from Soda. I should mention I still own 40 acres there, intended for summer retirement. The book was good, and the ending was great. I really appreciated the history, something I am engaged in myself. I’ve had many good times at Grey’s Lake, our family owned until the ’90’s 480 acres adjacent to Al Lindstrom’s upper 120. on Bridge Creek and Tincup flat. In the early ’70’s my brother and I approached the family about purchasing this property; they wanted $120 an acre. We wondered at the time, how we would ever make it pay out. Orren Munro and his three oldest sons purchased it from the Turners’ in the early ’40’s for $7 an acre; his children, including my dad, sold it for $750 in the early ’90’s. It is truly magical country. I was fortunate, growing up at Bailey Creek on 900 acres, and then at age 8 moving just over the hill to Eightmile, where my grandfather had accumulated 800 acres. I worked for Dick Torgeson for three years, who had 2000+ acres in one pasture just south and east of Grey’s Lake, and then a few years for Roy Corbett, who had some 4000 acres just south of Dick’s, and west of the highway. I can further identify with your characters having used teams and sleighs and wagons to feed and haul hay and skid logs in winter and summer at Eightmile and north of Soda at Dick and Arlene Torgesons’. The last I worked out there was for Charlie Collins one January, just before he passed away. The snow out there on the north end of the valley was five feet deep. The Grey’s Lake kids always were sent home first when there was a blizzard; they usually missed 2 weeks of school a year. Some of them stayed in town during the winter.As an LDS missionary, Leroy Stoor was one of my companions; Don Sibbett, also a fellow wrestler, was a mission housemate.My dad and his family attended the Grey’s Lake dances in their younger days; one of his brothers married a Grey’s Laker, Venice Peterson.
Thanks too for the picture of ‘Vern’s Store,’ as we children called it in the mid-’50’s and early ’60’s. We would sometimes have to go over there and but some cinnamon bears (two for 1 cent) to sustain us through our war games on the school playground at Hooper Elementary. Every other month we had to wait 45 minutes after school for our bus, as Bailey Creek shared it with Alexander,as it had to run two routes after school. I take pictures of the country near Soda; I have hundreds of them-but none of ‘Vern’s Store!”
Oh, Ken! How lovely to read your note! You mentioned so many names I recognize from stories of my parents! My dad grew up in Grays Lake, and I spent so many summers there for family reunions! My dad used to play the saxaphone at some of those dances! What a delightful connection! Thanks for writing in!
Hi Carolyn, your book, Soda Springs caught my eye at Deseret Book and decided I really needed to read it.
I grew up in Freedom, Idaho in Star Valley. My parents had some good friends in Grays Lake and a member of our ward in Layton, Utah, Mike Humphreys is from there and goes there often to take care of his family place. When I was quite young growing up in Freedom, our dad would take several glass gallon bottles and go to Soda Springs via Tin Cup, and bring back soda water. He would squeeze fresh lemons, add just the right amount of sugar, and voila! we had the best lemonade ever! That was many many years ago and I can still taste that awesome lemonade my dad made!
Oh, Diane, your comment just made my night! I love looking at the photos Mike posts of Grays Lake! I traveled through Freedom many times on the way from Soda Springs to Star Valley to visit my aunt and uncle there with my family. Such lovely memories! Oooh, lemonade from Hooper soda! I think we always just used Kool-aid. Lemonade would be delicious!
Carolyn, I totally forgot to thank for such a great book. I really enjoyed it and had a hard time putting it down to go to sleep at night. Thank You for a great read. I now should get your other book Willow Springs.
Sorry for the slow approve and reply, Diane! But thank you for your kind words! I’m thrilled you enjoyed Soda Springs! I look forward to hearing what you think of Willow Springs!
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