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view from the top : Numerous trails of Mount Naomi lead through some of the most spectacular alpine scenery found in the intermountain west./ Photo by Melissa Kamis
Today's word on journalism

Tuesday, September 7, 2004

"The First Amendment gives everyone -- including nuts -- free speech,
but free speech has a purpose: that the people may judge for themselves
and bury the nuts with indignation. We fail our founding fathers if we
let blowhards rage on talk radio, in little magazines and in nasty
books without delivering counterattacks.

   -- Barron's, Aug. 9, 2004 (Thanks to alert WORDster John Mollwitz)

Beet farms, rock quarries, and nine decades of life in Cache Valley

By Julie Oliver

March 6, 2004 | PROVIDENCE – Opal Naylor, 86, recounts her life experiences in Cache Valley from her childhood until today in her home at 649 S. 400 East. Naylor feels many of the pains and sorrows every widow faces, but she wears a smile from ear to ear and laughs with great ease.

Opal and Albert Naylor were sealed in the Salt Lake Temple on June 15, 1938, and Opal has been a widow for 11 years.

"We got married and I was too young," said Opal with a smile. "I didn't look at the calendar," said Opal regarding the day of her civil wedding. It just so happened that the Cache Valley Office closed on Saturdays, but a man working said he would perform the ceremony anyway.

The next day Opal and Albert traveled to Salt Lake City.

"We stopped right in front of Tabernacle Square," said Opal. Moments later President Heber J. Grant approached the car door and asked, "Would you two young folks like to come to a meeting in the basement of the Tabernacle," said Opal.

"He put his arm around me and put his arm around my husband," said Opal with tears in her eyes. President Grant escorted them to a class where the teacher's lesson revolved around Joseph Smith. Opal remarked on what a wonderful day that had been.

Around 1926, before Albert and Opal's marriage, Albert made a living by hauling rock out of the limestone quarry. The hauling method used involved horses, but the invention of trucks made this a much easier process. Albert became the first person to receive a truck for hauling because no one else wanted to change hauling methods.

As a child Opal and her sister made a living by cultivating and furrowing farmland, which they learned on the family beet farm in Millville.

"We did so well that the neighbors had my sister and I clean up their fields," said Opal.

She earned $90 over the period of seven years, which is equivalent to $900 today. Opal put her money in the bank for safekeeping and did not use it until many years after her marriage.

Albert and Opal's life together began on 40 acres and "a four-room shack" built and shared by Albert's parents in Providence. Many years later Albert began building houses out of lumber gathered from the Canyon. He found his trade as a building contractor and began Naylors Construction Company.

Albert supervised the construction of the Second and Third Wards, which have been remodeled two or three times since their creation. Albert also built many houses in Providence that remain intact today.

"The day he died he went up on the roof," said Opal. It was October and Albert wanted to patch the roof before winter. Opal had received an impression to tell him not to go up on the roof, but she shook it off. Later on she heard a hammer fall when she was weaving and realized Albert wasn't coming inside.

"I quit weaving and I said a prayer," said Opal with tears welling in her eyes.

While playing the piano "I sang, I Need Thee Every Hour," said Opal. A couple of hours later her son came over and found Albert on the roof. The family later discovered Albert's death was due to a heart attack.

Opal shared a poem she had written about her and Albert's life together.

She read the poem with difficulty because of her failing eyesight, but she read it as if she'd done so a thousand times before. Each word passed her lips with love, devotion, and deep emotion. Her poem encompassed their life through the good times and the painful memories of Albert's death. Opal's sweet smile emerged after she completed the poem and said "I want this read at my funeral."



Copyright 1997-2004 Utah State University Department of Journalism & Communication, Logan UT 84322, (435) 797-1000
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