Beulah Scott Fry

JohnFryFamily2The life (as I knew it) of Beulah Scott Fry: Beulah was the daughter of Noah and Phoebe Duty Scott, and sister of several including our Grandfather, Andrew L. Scott. She was married to John R. Fry who was foreman of the Mill for Magma Copper Mining Co. in Superior, Arizona. They lived in a nice home on a hill that looked down to the town. The home they lived in had a nice screened in porch on three sides of it. They lived there all of their married life and had three children, John Jr., Scotty, and Betty Ruth.

Aunt Beulah was one of those born cooks, I think. She really knew how to cook and to bake wonderful pies and other desserts. She was active in the Presbyterian Church early on, but later became Baptist. When the children were older, she became very active in the Baptist Women’s Organization of the state of Arizona. Like all of the Scotts I knew, she was talented, kind, a good mother, and a true Christian.

When we visited them, maybe once a year, we all would sit out on that porch after supper, looking south and watch dry lightening. I had never seen it before as a child and hadn’t known there was such a thing. In the summer when it was very hot, the boys slept out on that screened in porch so they could feel the cooler air of the night.

Uncle John took me to the Mill once and showed me where the trains came up out of the mine loaded with rock. His men then separated the rocks and began processing them. He gave me one little rock. The copper rock was blue and had sparkles of gold color and green and other colors. It was very pretty.

John Jr. grew up to be a large boy as a teen. He was in the military during WW2, and caught a serious tropical disease. Then he was in the Navy hospital in San Diego for a long time. He lost a lot of that weight and was very thin. The disease would never be cured and would come back on him off and on through his life. His first wife was a Music Teacher. They had two or three boys and then had a daughter named Christina. She was a real joy to them. But one evening the family was ridning in the car, John always drove a bit fast, and it was very foggy. Some drunk truck driver had parked his huge rig in the one lane and gone into a bar. John crashed into it. Christina, about 8 ( or 18) months old was killed, and Betty was severely injured and was in the hospital for a very long time. The boys in the back seat were okay. John had an interesting and very national life which I wrote about in an earlier blog on this site if you want to read it.

Scotty grew up to be a school Principal in Phoenix. He married his high school sweetheart, Francis, and they lived in Phoenix and raised their family there. Scotty was an avid golfer for his recreation.

Betty Ruth went to college in Arizona and fell in love, but somehow that fell apart and broke her heart. So she came to live with us and attended San Diego State College. She attended our church and married a young man who was also active in our church. They had four children when I last saw her. One of her daughters had a severe reaction to the Red Measles and it affected her brain. She could not take care of herself. She lived about 16 years I believe.

I have introduced you to Aunt Beulah and her family. There is more to this story which I will write on this blog tomorrow night. I will include a picture of the Fry family tomorrow night. It includes the five of them, and Wee John, as John Jr.’s first child was called. Wee John was the first grandchild of John Sr. and Beulah.

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Andrew Gallant was a friend of my parents.  He taught music in Pacific Beach Elementary School when my Dad was principal there.  As a child , I never thought any more about it.  But that man on the sidelines of my life was a friend to me and our lives kept intercepting.  Now as I think back about this I wonder how many others might have influenced me also whom at the time, I took for granted as a friend.

When I was four years old, Mr.Gallant brought me a gift of my first kitty.  Tinker was black and white and I loved him .  And I have loved cats all of my life because of this one incident that taught me unconditional love.  I still have cats and couldn’t bear not having them.

My parents visited Mr. Gallant  off and on with my brother and I.  We visited after he got married.  We visited when his wife died leaving him with two small children.

When I got to elementary school I played bass drum in the small band, but I wasn’t terribly excited about that. 

When I got to Junior High I was in Girl’s Glee Club and he was our teacher.  Often when we came to class he was sitting at the piano, playing and singing something softly as we filed in.  One day He was singing, “For it was Mary, Mary, sweet as any name can be”.  It made me sad because I knew he was sing about his wife whom he loved who had died.  I didn’t say anything to the other kids because I felt it wasn’t right to do so. He must have influenced my love of singing, because I sang in a Mixed Chorus in High school and a mixed double quartette also in La Jolla High School.. I have sung in choirs all my life.

While in Junior High I also practiced signing his name exactly like he did.  I got so good at it and showed it to him.  He was shocked and probably was afraid I could use it to sign passes for other kids.  Well, I could have but I wouldn’t and didn’t.

After that I went to high school and college and didn’t see him.  I heard of him occasionally just like one hears of many people who move in and out of their lives.  That’s just how it is. I knew he had remarried  and I remember meeting his new wife once or twice.

Then the notice of my wedding was in the newspaper with a picture.  I guess my parents probably sent him an invitation.  But a few days before my wedding, Mr. Gallant showed up at our door and he was carrying a gift for me.   I was very surprised and grateful  to see him and that he brought me another gift.  ( The first being my first kitty.)

I moved away and never saw him again.  But now as I am older I think of him as a very kind man, a good teacher, and a person who did influence my life in positive ways.  Since I am now 82 years old, I am sure he has gone on to his reward, as many in my life have done.  But as long as I am alive he lives with many other good people in my heart.  He was one of many who influenced my life, but every one goes on in my memories.Pacific beach todayPicture of Pacific Beach today.

Posted in Band, Cats, Community, Family, Life in our times., Memories, Music, People | 2 Comments

A Woman of Faith, A Woman of Valor, My Mom, Prudence Scott Dugger

She was a pretty woman and she was a smart lady.  She won a full scholarship to the university of Arizona when she graduated from High school.  But she chose to marry her high school English teacher instead.  The man she married was the son of the Presbyterian Church Minister in Superior, Arizona.  Therefore they knew each other outside of school also.  When they dated, they went for rides in the desert with Dad’s sister, Marguerite, as chaperone.  Aunt Marguerite used to joke about it because she didn’t really want to go with them, but there were rules about teachers and students at that time, and they played by the rules.

At the end of the school year, my Dad made a trip to California to interview for a new job in teaching.  He stopped in San Diego to visit a friend, on his way to San Francisco to interview there.  The former classmate also teaching asked him to talk to the school Superintendent of the San Diego City Schools.  At the end of their discussion, he asked Dad if he was married.  Dad said “no, but if I get this job, I will be.”  The superintendent said, “you’ve got the job”.  So Dad went back to Arizona and they set their wedding date for mom’s birthday, June 10th.  But then for some reason, they didn’t want to wait that long so Grandfather married them on June 6, 1930.  They then set off for San Diego across the desert on the wooden highway, the remnants of which were along side of the concrete highway that went in later.  They honeymooned in a cabin out over the ocean off of Ocean Beach and Mom always had fond memories of that place, although the cabin did wash away in a storm some years later.

So Dad taught English for one year, before he became a Principal.  Mom started San Diego State College.  (She had an English class with Art Linkletter as a fellow student.)  But alas, she got pregnant with me and was too sick at the beginning of her pregnancy so she dropped out of college.  Thirteen months later she had my brother so she never got back to college.  When I was a couple of months old, Dad was assigned to be the Principal of Pacific Beach Elementary School.  We moved to Pacific Beach, next to La Jolla and seven miles out of downtown San Diego.

The years went by and many of their friends were other school Principals and their wives.  Mom used to say she felt so bad with them because they all had college educations and she didn’t.  I always told her that they would never know that unless she told them because she was a very smart lady.

When World War 2 began, things really changed but that is another story for another time.  However Mom went to work at Consolidated Aircraft Co. and was hired as a stenographer because she could type over 80 words a minute.  She was very happy about that because she get a higher salary for that job.

Time went on and my brother and I grew up and we both graduated from College and began our own lives.  Dad was proud of her and let her do whatever things she wanted to do and she did.  Years later, Mom fell and broke her hip or broke her hip and fell.  The doctors never knew which.  She had Alzheimer’s by then and my brother and I both spent a lot of time with her in the hospital, and then finding a place we felt was the best for the care she would need from then on.  Dad had passed away about six years earlier.

One day the Pacific Beach Presbyterian Church held a special ceremonial meeting to honor Mom.  She was taken in her wheel chair to the service.  There she was given a plaque with her picture and a list of her accomplishments during her years in San Diego and in the church.  I wanted to copy it for you, but Jim and I were kind 0f afraid to try to take it out of it’s frame and I wouldn’t know how to shrink it down anyway.  So I’ll quote from it.

Prudence Dugger,  Woman of Faith, A Lifetime of distinguished service to Church and Community.  Then it listed her achievements.  First Woman Moderator of the Synod of California.  First President of the San  Diego Presbytery, Organizing President of her local Women’s organization, Two terms on the General Assembly Board of National Missions,  President of the United Church Women of San Diego,  President San Diego Board of Welfare, and she had received the San Diego Woman of Valor Award.

This plaque was presented in our home church of Pacific Beach Presbyterian Church, 1995.  She died two years later in 1997.

I’m writing this tonight particularly for her family in Arkansas because many of those nieces and nephews and their families really didn’t get to know her that well.  My brother and I are very proud of her.  One of her treasures all of her life were the awards she won in spelling contests at her grammar school In Figure Five, in Van Buren, Arkansas.  She was always proud of her Arkansas upbringing and her family there.  My brother kept her medals.  I will put a picture of her below. The second picture is with Dad on a family celebration of their 50th wedding anniversary.

Prudence Scott Dugger my momPrudence and Dean Dugger's 50th Anniv.  Cake made by Steve Marion. 1980

Posted in Christian Faith, Community, Family, Geneology, Life in our times., Memories, Organizations | 2 Comments

WHO AM I AS 2014 BEGINS and who are we all?

Tonight 2013 departs and 2014 takes over.  All over the world people of every country and race are saying goodbye to the past, and looking for new and better promises of a new chance to begin again.  Actually every new day is a new page and everything before is the past.  But this is the big one, the once a year one.  Tonight I’ve been thinking a lot about the past and the good and happy memories that built up to today.

I could say I’m an old woman and by the standards of those who aren’t there yet, that could be true.  But in my heart I am still the little girl who ran though fields of wild oats, and would plop down hidden to others to watch the white puffy cloud roll across the blue skies and imagine what those clouds looked like- a puppy, a bird, a tree maybe.  I am still the little girl who ran to meet her Daddy every night when he came home for being the school principal. I am still the little girl who watched her world change with world war 2 in a city with huge Navy and Marine bases.  The girl who in the 5th grade had four teachers because the men got drafted and we had women substitutes.  That same year we girls learned to knit in order to make squares for blankets for our servicemen.  She watched the Japanese who had beautiful truck gardens in our community, taken away to internment camps, never to get their land back.  And after the war, men in the service and women who came to work in factories so the men could go to war, liked our climate and moved out to the coast permanently.

I feel like the young woman who stood at the alter in a lovely white wedding gown, holding a white orchid on a white bible, saying, “I will” to her favorite young man who said the same.  This was before many, many friends in the church in which she grew up.

Then again I remember the feeling of holding my babies when they were new, thanking God for them, and watching them grow up into fine adults for which we could be very proud.  Later came the indescribable love for each new grand child, and still later the great grand children.

I am still the person who was the wife of a minister in National Mission Churches in the Midwest.  Career opportunities came along in which I thrived as my same dear husband left the ministry for the War on Poverty, later becoming a state auditor in Iowa, and still later a comptroller for some large companies like Sears, Pepsi, Sunbeam, Silor Optical of Florida, and then retiring to Microsoft until he was 73.  My jobs included Teaching in High Schools, and Junior High,  Being Director of Daycare Nursery schools in three different cities, sales, and finally an employment counselor.  I loved all of those jobs and enjoyed most of all, the wonderful people I got to know and work with: co-workers , parents, and clients.

I am indeed still the person who was working at jobs I loved and the memories are still a part of me today. But changes come with age and situations.  Since we have retired we love to watch the wild birds and Hummers who enjoy our patio.  I enjoyed quilting, but am now doing some knitting and then may try some crochet that my grandmother taught me.  I am working on a book of family history for our children and future family members.

All of us older types are in the same boat.  We are not just what we look like to strangers, but an accumulation of memories that define who we are today.  We are slower.  Some of us have health problems that show themselves as we age.  But we are able to remember the good things in our lives.  We are still alive: many didn’t get as far as we have, in age.  We love and are loved.  We have been blessed and especially if we can block out any less happy thoughts.  And even for us, the new year, 2014, brings a clean page to add to our whole.  But in our hearts, our love, our minds, we are still all of the things we were and our mind is does not feel what the mirror tells us.  God bless you all and Happy New Year.

PS: My husband and I celebrated our 60th wedding anniversary in the year gone by.100_0533

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Is This Man My Cousin?

It was the strangest phone call.  This woman, a Chiropractor from Arizona was searching for her Father-in-Law’s birth mother.  He was ill and had always wanted to know who she was.  This lady had started with his birth certificate and been searching for a long time.  She finally found that his real mother had been born in Kentucky, had been a school teacher in Globe, Arizona, and was a good friend of the lady who adopted him.  He was born in a home for unwed mothers near Tempe, Arizona.We talked for a long time trying to put things together.  First of all I was sure this aunt couldn’t have had a child.  She was the daughter of a minister, a musician, a very lovely and talented woman.  She had passed away some years ago in San Diego, California.  The lady who called said she believed that my aunt had her baby and let her friend and husband adopt him.  The Baby’s name was given by his birth mother and it was William Joseph.  (I’m not using his last name in case his own family might not want it out.)  My aunt’s grandfather was William Jasper, and his wife, her grandmother, was Josephine which was also this aunt’s middle name.  A lot of things seemed to be clicking in that long conversation.  She sent me some pictures in e-mail to see if I thought he looked like my Dad or brother, or other family members.

I remembered my aunt telling me once that a gentleman had begged her to marry him but she just couldn’t because she had been born with some deformities and her parents were afraid they could be passed on to her children.  Years later we four nieces and nephew thought about this when we were about to have children, but medical science had more information then, than they had in the very early 1900’s.  Most likely the umbilical cord had pulled too tight across her face which had effected one eye and the other problem of being born with too many fingers which was corrected with surgery. This was probably caused by gas given in dental care which is known to cause birth defects if occurring in the first trimester of pregnancy.  Grandmother had bad teeth and had false ones before we knew her.

Well we continued to work on the puzzle for awhile.  Then we decided there was enough evidence to warrant a DNA test.  She got his in his hospital room and I did mine at home using the material and instructions sent from a special lab that does that kind of thing. Then we had to wait about six weeks to get the results.

In the meantime Jim and I had our 50th wedding anniversary.  Our children had a big party for us and many relatives came.  The women were especially interested in this new twist.  Did we have a cousin that we had never heard of?  Did Dad or her parents or her sister know?  But they had all left this orb so we couldn’t ask them.  It was a big mystery.

Finally the letter came.  The chart showed all the matching and close genes we shared.  Their verdict was that we were first cousins.  There were some markers that just run in families.  But unfortunately we never got to meet him.  He died three days before we got the answer.  His daughter-in-law said it was no fair.  She did all this work for him and he found out who his mother was before she did. (smile)  We both believed that the family in heaven greeted him.  I hope when my time comes that I will meet him.

I am putting two pictures of my Dad, his uncle, and tow of him, and one or two of my brother so I’ll be interested in what you, my readers, think.   I think I see resemblances between the men, but also some to me.

So this is how we learner of a cousin we didn’t know existed.  We did go to Seaside Oregon that summer to meet my cousin’s son and wife who started the search and their children.  That was special.


My DadCousin,  William JoesephEllis and me.Bertie09Ellis, Alison, and Duane at Matt's wedding.

Posted in Christian Faith, Family, Geneology | 1 Comment

Angel, Miracle, or What? (a true story)

It was Easter Sunday morning around 1962.  My husband was pastor of two churches, 25 miles apart in Iowa.  There had been many services that week, both in our churches and in our communities.  As we were preparing for the morning my husband said he was so tired, he was worried about getting through both services.  I told him that since his day off was Monday, if he’d hang together for the two services, I’d make arrangements for our family to get out of town that afternoon and the next day, which I did.

That afternoon we loaded our five young children in the car and headed out of town.  I drove so he could rest.  We headed west to Winterset, south of Des Moines, and then headed south into Missouri. When we reached the first major highway going east, there was a motel.  I went in and asked if they had an accommodation for our family.  They had a mobile home which had two bedrooms, one of which was in the north end of the trailer, and at the south end was the living room area with a TV.  Jim slept and the kids watched TV far away enough not to bother him.  That night I put four of the kids crosswise on the double bed and made a little nest in the closet space for the youngest with a sliding door to keep him from falling out.  Perfect.


The next morning we headed east in Missouri not knowing where we were headed.  We saw a sign advertising the “word’s largest cottonwood tree”.  Jim said, “Let’s go see that.”  So we kept going as it was quite a way ahead.  Somewhere along the way, our middle son said, “Mom, I’m carsick”.  I pulled off the road fast fearing the worst.  As I did a car came over the hill at high speed trying to pass a string of cars going west on the high way.  He was in our lane.  We had just missed a head on collision.  Jim and I gasped as we realized what a near miss it was.  I then turned to my son to tend to him, and he said, “I’m not carsick anymore”.  And he wasn’t. 


We continued to the turn off to the big tree.  We had to walk a long way to get to it.  But we did and took pictures.  Then we headed back home.  Now I ask you was it an angel, a miracle or what?  Something saved our lives.  I have thanked God ever since.  It could not have been coincidence in my mind.  What do you think?

Christmas 1962

Posted in !960's, Christian Faith, Family, Memories, Travel | 4 Comments

An Unexpected Visitor, and An Ironic Twist at the End.

This happened to us, in Sigourney, Iowa, somewhere around 1963.  It was a cold winter morning with snow on the ground. Our young children were dressed, fed, and waiting for time to leave for Elementary school.  Andy, our youngest wasn’t old enough for school yet.  We were all in our living room together when the doorbell rang.  Jim opened it, listened to the man there, and invited him in.  They were sitting and talking when the children at the front window were looking out and got all excited, telling us that the police car was coming down the street.  Then louder they yelled, “and he’s stopping here”.  I was getting nervous at that point because I knew that there had to be a problem somewhere if he was coming this early in the morning.  Then they yelled that he was coming to our door.

Sigourney was a relatively small town (the whole county was about 1800 population at the time).  We pretty much knew most of they people and Jim was the minister of the Presbyterian Church there so the majority if not all, knew us.  Jim went to the door and the officer, said something to Jim and Jim said yes he thought he should take this man.  That also surprised me.  So the middle aged (maybe in his 60’s) policeman led the man to the police car and was helping him into the back seat, when the man broke away and ran off in the snow.  The Policeman ran after him for about half a block, and then yelled “halt or I’ll shoot”.  The man turned around with his hands in the air and said, “ you wouldn’t shoot me.  I’m Jesus Christ”.  But he let the policeman take him back and settle him in the car.  They drove away.

We sent the children off to school.  I asked Jim about why he told the police to take the man, because usually Jim did everything he could to help anyone who came for help.  Jim said there was obviously something wrong with the fellow mentally. 

An hour or so later we got a phone call for the police department.  They said that earlier they had asked the man to leave town and followed way behind to make sure he did.  The officer saw him go into our home. After they got back to the station, the put him in a cell and checked him out.  They were told he was an escaped mental patient from Alabama and very dangerous without his meds which he did not have with him.  The Alabama authorities had been searching for him and would send some one to bring him back.  They told us to be careful, because if the man did get out he would come right back to our home. Now that was a bit of a concern for us.

Nothing else happened as far as we were concerned.  Later we were told that the irony of the story was that the policeman had cancer somewhere in the area of his hip.  Because the gun in holster hurt his hip, he had it locked his gun in the glove compartment of the car and couldn’t have shot the man.  Thank goodness, or rather thank God, the man had heeded the warning to stop or this might have had a different ending.

Mental illness is sad but it does happen, and some of these people can be dangerous,especially without the meds that help them.  I was so happy the man didn’t get angry when our children were so excited that the policeman was coming to our home.

This is one of several unusual happenings in our lives that I will relate in the coming days.The Glass family in the 60'sThis picture is in the living room of the manse.Mike and Andy in front, and Debby,me, Jim Jr. and Peter in back

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