Friday, July 31, 2009


My parents had several houses. My dad loved the country life with its quiet, fresh vegetable garden and fruit orchard. They also owned business buildings and other rentals both next door and across town, for income. They had their house in town on Lester Street and after they retired they moved into the back house [that used to be used by their teen-age boys]. They added on some rooms and fixed it up. Then they rented out the front house. They also had a 6 house Court on Forgeus Avenue. It was located about a block away from their Tucson home. They rented out the Court, which had a separate laundry facility and a big pool.

This pool was built by my Dad. He wanted a pool that was different that any other pool in town. He had ideas and he wanted to invent or bring them into fruition. I saw the re-bar that he put into the sides of the pool for strength. It was an official lap swimming pool. It didn't have a diving board because it was not deep enough. It was totally fenced with a 6' concrete block wall. It was about 6 1/2 feet deep at the drain. Dad installed a pre-shower facility and a huge filter system. Yes, I was one of the lucky ones to 'get to' skim the pool of leaves and so forth. I also put in the chemicals for many years to keep it sparkling blue and not green with mossy stuff floating around. Yuck!

So far it doesn't seem unusual, right? Well, it got written up in the newspapers, as a dynamic idea. This idea was later used in places like Sea World, Disney Land and Disney World.

He investigated the weight of water on glass. He had many tests done to get the perfect math quotient. Finally, he got a special glass forged to hold the weight of the water on a 4' x 4' size glass. He had this installed in the south side of the swimming pool. Literally in the wall of the pool. He added stairs from the top of the pool to go down under the ground for people to look through the window at the swimmers. Around the stairs he built an enclosure of brick with a roof and door to protect the glass from too much heat. Out front of the enclosure he made a cute Irish Leprechaun that was fishing and had water shooting into the pool. There was also a 'huge light' installed under the water, on the east side of the pool, to see the swimmers at night.

I remember one night I invited some girl friends over for a sleep over and to go swimming . I knew we could see well in the pool and around the pool were also a set of bright lights. It was winter and although Tucson doesn't have cold winter weather, it was slightly misty on top of the water. It was so cool! It was like swimming in the Scottish lake with the Lockness monster lurking somewhere, eek! We had a great time and it was safe. We walked back to my parents house to finish the sleep-over. Aren't week-ends fun, when you are with friends?

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Verna Louise Buskel Conlisk

My Mom was a pleasant woman who did all the things that society required of her. She was raised in Indianapolis, Indiana. She and her sister, Janice Mildred, did a lot of things together, even double dating. Janice was a little larger boned than Verna and for some reason Verna always thought Verna was fat. Verna weighed in at 110 in High School and went on to Nurses training school and graduated. Verna was 5'2" in High School and grew 3" by the time she was 21 yrs old. Janice was always 5'6" or 5'7" tall. Like me Janice grew early. I was 5'5" in the 6th grade.
Their brother was Charles Alfred Buskel, Jr.

When Verna grew up there was a rabbit barn plus a garden to attend to in her back-yard. Her father, Charles Alfred Buskel, was a judge for the State Fair for Rabbits. Verna was picked to help her Dad with the rabbits. She changed their water and feed them and palled around with her Dad a lot. Hazel Mildred Wildey Buskel, was Verna's mother. Hazel was a multi-tasked and trained woman. Hazel used Janice in the kitchen for most of the cooking and chores. Verna claimed, later, that she didn't even know how to boil water in the kitchen. Lester Conlisk agreed and had to teach her how to cook, after they were married. During the time that Verna was in Nurses training, they decided to get married. However, they couldn't live together because of the rules at the Nursing school. It was difficult.

Hazel also was a beautician, knitted sweaters, crocheted throws for the bed or couch, tailored clothing commercially, worked with her husband in a candy factory and bakery, and ran most things. She had a quick temper and believed that all children should listen to their parents and JUMP UP whenever called to assist. She was an avid gardener and had prize roses. At her Tucson home, she had a pink-grapefruit tree and a Myer lemon tree. Myer lemon has a thin skin and makes the best lemon-aid and lemon meringue pies. She usually had a dog. I remember a Chow and several Poodles. Hazel was the one who made by prom dress. It was a lovely pale blue with white lace around the bodice. The sleeves were capped and the bow in the back was very large. I wore it for both my Junior and Senior prom. My mother, Verna, did not know how to sew. I always wanted my g-ma Hazel, to teach me what she knew, but it never happened. I learned to sew in Junior High and High school in a sewing class. The rest was experience and taking out stitches to redo a problem. I often gave myself little time to finish a project. I would rush and rush and then wear whatever I had finished. I always look chic!

Verna taught Sunday School when she was first married. The Southern Baptist Church did not allow their teachers to dance or appear to be having fun. They must be straight laced, so to speak. Verna didn't dance with my Dad while she taught the children. She and my Dad were excellent dancers. When ever they got on the dance floor, everyone else got off and just stared and looked and then clapped. My Dad learned every dance step when he was young. I think it went along with learning poetry and prose to spout-off, working hard, and impressing the ladies.

Verna was a quick learner. She followed any and everything that Dad wanted her to do. I'd say very obedient. She told me to do whatever my husband wants to keep him happy and at home. Verna said that this is what her mother told her to do, too. At church functions she would be the one who stayed last to be sure everything was cleaned up and put away. She also did this at any other function she attended. I had to stay with her often to complete these tasks.

When my Dad, Lester Conlisk, joined the Tucson Jaycees, Verna joined the Jaycee-ettes. She held many offices there and was once the President. Verna never tasted or drank liquor. Verna played the role of 'Carrie A. Nation' when she was in plays at Old Tucson. Remember, Carrie was one of the women's sufferage society that went into the bars and smashed everything -- against prohibition. Verna's father, Charles, had her sniff whiskey as a young girl, while telling her of its addiction. Because of his advice and the burning inside her nose, she couldn't stand the smell.
I had the same problem with beer - I couldn't stand that smell either and threw-up immediately after smelling it. I have never had any beer. My brother Sidney tried drinking and he also threw up when he tried to taste any of it. He actually swallowed. My other brother, Lester Charles didn't seem to have that same problem. I think he thought that drinking was a social event.
After his divorce, from the woman he loved so deeply, he drank too much.

The Tucson Jaycee-Jaycee-ettes did many county and city functions for charity. they had the Christmas gift buying event for the children whom the schools listed as those who couldn't afford it. They had the "Welcome Traveler". They would stop a car, with out-of-state license and invite them to a party and free hotel - to stay for the week-end in Tucson. This was usually done around February. The Tucson Rodeo and Parade was at the end of February. My Dad was the Rodeo Manager and my Mom was in charge of ushering. She had the other Jaycee-ettes to assist her and also me. After ushering, I got to sit in the bleachers and watch the Rodeo. My first strange event was when I was using the bathroom. I was asked to come with these two ladies to their place. They said they would take very good care of me, pay me money, and that they needed me. I quickly went out and found my Mother and told her what they said. They were arrested for trying to solicit porn with youngsters.

Verna was also the President of the "Women's Business Group". They met weekly, had lunch and discussed business and how to achieve their goals. They awarded her a gold bracelet for her significant service, just before she died, but she never received it.

Verna was one of the envelope stuffer's for the March of Dimes drive. She would take a room full of paper and envelopes and we ALL would help her stuff them. Verna also volunteered to make animals and puppets for the children in the hospital. She brought home cloth and a pattern. I helped her cut them out and sew them up. She helped with stuffing and putting on the face. One thing I learned from my Mother was to keep busy and you can get so many more things done.

Verna also took oil painting classes with her mother Hazel. They both painted a Sonora Arizona Cathedral Mountain picture.. I have them both handing over my stair case. Of course there were many other paintings done.

Verna, Hazel, and Janice went golfing together. I never was invited. I don't know how well they played. Hazel said it was good exercise. Hazel also had a kiln for pottery. She hand-made and fired and then painted many items. Her garage was full of paint powder and pottery molds, when she died. Verna took them to her home. I don't know what happened to any of it.

Verna also taught dancing to the women in the Jaycee-ettes that wanted to perform. they danced the Can-Can at Old Tucson and on parade floats. I also was on the parade floats; once as an Indian, once as a Hawaiian, and many times dancing the Can-Can on the floats. They always won first place when I was on the float. Probably because I never stopped dancing - even if my sides were hurting. They even went to Mexico and around the cities of Arizona with their floats in many parades. I was usually there with my parents. Once they had us perform at the Military post. That was different. More eyes on each dancer. I kicked off my leg band for them.

Verna did the bookkeeping for Dad when he was Lester Construction Company in Tucson, Arizona. She had about 7 file cabinets full of papers for employees and payroll. I think she fitted in her bookkeeping work around all her other social events.

Verna had many friends. One of them was Mary Brees, who lived across the street. I will write about Mary later.

Verna and Lester also rode horse back. They owned three horses. When they bought the home at 2570 E Lester Street, they had horses in their back yard. With the building of the city, they moved their horses to Ft. Lowell, where there was a riding stable and Homer Cummings.. One of the horses was named "Little Britches". That is the horse that I rode. My brothers usually rode double on their horse. They would come over real close to my horse and whack it in its flanks, so it would buck. I got real good at hanging on, but I often fell off and hit the ground. I would get up, stamp my feet, and say I'm getting right back on. My dad was always proud of me for getting back on. My first incident with a horse was when I was 3 yrs old., My Dad put me on a stallion and he reared. I hung on, for dear life, and I didn't fall off. My Dad smiled and said I was the best rider he had seen. What a compliment! I have many pictures of my parents on horses.

My parents also joined the Square Dance and Riding Club. There were many square dancing events and even the horses were taught how to square dance to perform during the Rodeo's.
I remember doing the dance "Put Your Little Foot" with many of the male-parents, while my own parents were dancing together. I loved to dance.

Another thing that my parents did was to decorate the house -- inside and out-- for Christmas. Dad would spray paint the yard green. Pull the tall trees by the front door together for a huge bow. He painted and sawed out Santa and the Reindeer for putting on the roof. Of course, he added Rudolph with his blinking nose. Mom had a creche over by the tall pines with a star that shown for blocks, up into the sky. They had music playing. There were carolers, too and lots of candy.

The front room was strewn with crept paper billowing from one end of the room to the other, with stars, bells, and candy canes. there were always two trees. One was a tumble-weed that my Dad would go out into the barren land and find the biggest one there. He would paint it white and decorate it with blinking lights. Mom's tree was always at least 6 foot tall and over in the corner near the baby-grand player piano. It would have every light, bobble, and glittery thing that she packed away and then added to each year. We had hot apple cider with spices and orange slices. We had fruit cake, egg-white puffs, fudge, and many other delicacies.

Pies were always baked for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Home baked bread was my job and some of the pies. Mom would always do the turkey or ham with a vegie plate and pickles. Aunt Janice would bring the mac-n-cheese and g-ma Hazel would bring the cole-slaw and German potato salad. What a feast was had by all. Dishes were immediately done after eating - due to Hazel, who wanted everything in its place ASAP.

My Mom was always looking at her figure. She would jump up-and-down in her room to get exercise. She would get on a bike, out in the back yard, and peddle it until she got tired. Of course, she danced with my Dad at all their meetings, and danced the Can-Can with the ladies. She wanted to be 110 again. She made 125 just before she died, however, she usually weighed in at 140 lbs. My daughter June is about her same size, except she is lighter. Verna would look at the other ladies and see how nice they looked. Then she wanted to look at least that nice. Of course, my Dad would always say "how nice" those other ladies were looking. I think this bothered her a lot. She didn't want any competition.

Verna bought many clothes from 'Rumage Sales'. She wanted to have many changes of clothes, and not have to pay much to get them. She knew just the right areas where they had the best buys for the highest priced clothes. She always looked real nice. Verna had her hair long, all her life. Lester insisted of her keeping her hair long. He said it was sexy. She went to the hair schools to get her hair done every week. She would have her hair put up in barrel-rolls on top of her head and pull the sides off her face. She also hired maids to clean her house. In the last few years of her life, I did my Mom's hair. When she died, I re-did her hair in the same style that she always wore and those viewing her said, 'she just looked asleep and beautiful'.

My Mom and I lived together for the last few years that she lived. My husband had died in 1985 and then her husband died in 1986. She was lonely and missed Lester very much. She didn't want to live without him. I did the most I could to be with her during her last years. She and Janice, and I went out to eat at the Buffet on Speedway. We had so much fun talking together and going every where together. We became great friends and family. When Janice died she left me all that she had in her will. It was too bad that my brothers sued me to get it from me.

Our family has been filled with great women!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


My wonderful and talented parents. Always doing the impossible and inviting others to enjoy it all. My dad, Lester Conlisk, was an incredible man. It is hard to start to speak of him because it is so wide and various. Pick a subject and he had some input into it. He had only a high-school education but he was incredibly smart. He had a sense of humor, told stories, and had a quick response to any quip.

He memorized many sonatas and published prose. He could recite them, at will. He could draw animals on paper or your back, and did even on my own children's backs. He could wiggle his ears, nose, eyebrows, and blow smoke out funny. He studied under a magician as a child and could do many slight-of-hand tricks--including draw a quarter out of your ear or a flower from his coat. He was a hunter and fisherman.

He hunted for animals to catch and donate to the growing Arizona Sonora Desert Museum. It was located outside of Tucson, near the Old Tucson Movie site on the north back-side of the Tucson Mountains. As a child we would go there every week-end. Lester was the Mayor of Old Tucson, before it became a movie set. He enlisted trick riders, indian tribes to dance, musicians to play for square dances, Jaycees-to act out shoot-em-up scenes in the streets, the women (Jaycee-ettes) to bake pie and pastries in the pie shop and other stores for food, art work, carvings, jewelry and caged animals to study.

The indians built bread ovens near the square-dance site, to sell for the onlookers. Of course, there was a 5 and dime store to pick out souvenir's and get some food. He would have us collect the glass coke bottles and turn them in for a cold drink. Each week hundreds of families would come for a picnic-type fun event. Lester put a donation box at the front gate and families put their donations (of any amount) in them. He would take the donations and buy clay, straw, and dirt to build the adobe bricks. Then he would take the bricks and construct old looking buildings. The original spot, called Old Tucson, was a fallen wall of adobe bricks. The entire rest of the city, including the famous church, water tower, and street buildings were built by Lester and his Jaycee friends. It was like a family project. all of them had children and they wanted a safe place for them to play. The buffets were huge lined with parents and children.

As a child Lester enjoyed the wealth of his parents. He had opportunities that most men only dream of -- and these came about because he thought everything through and worked hard. When no work was available except ditch digging, Lester dug ditches for money. He would work longer and harder than the other men, who would complain about their circumstances, and the boss would pay him something extra.

Even as a young child, when his parents would send Lester off by train, to visit cousins in other cities, he would remember what he was told and then he did it correctly. His mother put a string around his neck with his stop location on it to be sure he didn't get lost. She called him 'sonny-boy'; his friends called him 'speedy'. He grew tall late in life. He was very short in high school. The basketball team teased him about his height. He said it made him tougher. My mother, Verna, also grew late in life. She grew from 5'2" as a young student to 5'5" tall after she reached age 21. Even her size 5 shoe size changed to a larger size. Verna had legs and long hair.

During the depression his family, like others, ate from their gardens. They had planted turnips and onions and potatoes. He said he would have gotten tired of eating them but the alternative was to go hungry. He also ate bread with milk on it for breakfast cereal. He said eating hard bread, or wheat grains, will keep your teeth hard and strong. He had no cavities until he was about 74 yrs old. The dentist said his teeth were so hard he broke several drills trying to fill the small cavity.

His mother, Blanche, bartered with neighbors - that means you trade one item of equal value for a different item that you need. Blanche would baby-sit the neighbors children and receive eggs, flour, butter, or meat. She would weed someone's garden for part of their produce, or help pick fruit from trees and then help them can or bottle them for receiving a few bottles for her family. When she lived on the farm she would take her home-grown garden items to the store and trade them for other items that she needed to make supper.

Blanche would also take out the stitches of old clothes and either make a new item or use the cloth for a quilt square. Blanche was an accomplished pastry chef. She could put on a great spread that would cause you to lick your chops! She would mop the floors every day and always have the beds made. He home was immaculate. When someone had a birthday, friends and family would travel to their home with homemade foods or constructed items that they thought the person would enjoy. It was all about sharing and finding happiness in the little things. She had a big heart and gave away many things to others, as she got older. One person came with two empty suitcases to get her share, when Blanche lived with my father. Blanche loved jewelry. The bigger the diamond the better.

Arlie was busy and educating himself, all the time. Back in those days they had a mud-room porch so you could get out of your dirty shoes, hang up your coat, even wash up before dinner (supper). The men would come home and expect hot food on the table. Women didn't work outside of the home in offices or factories back then, until the War.

Arlie was an inventor. One of his inventions was a harmonica that played all the wind instruments in an orchestra. Why, Arlie said, any one could play the harmonica - even kids!
I have some newspaper articles about this invention. He studied all the time. He learned about crops and rotating crops for the best yield. He would buy up a failed farm and turn their crop all under, then plant a new crop for sale. The yield would be superior. He also planted with the moon. Plant above ground seed-crops when the moon is reaching full. Plant below ground crops when the moon is dark with no light. This is a secret that people have forgotten. I even personally called the scientist that found Pluto in our universe and asked him about the plant cycles and he said YES! Planting crops with the moon will bring the greatest yield.

Arlie (born 1886) became a real estate investor. Then, because of the farmers complaints, he became a lawyer. He had a lawyers license in 7 states. He didn't stop there. He was a Medic in the Army-Aircorp in WWI. He was a pilot (like his son Lester Abraham Conlisk). During the 1918 Flu epidemic Arlie used homepathy remedies to cure the soldiers. These remedies he learned from his grandmother Mary Williamson Thompson, she learned from her father, Levi Williamson (died 1892). Arlie saved many lives, however, the military wasn't happy, due to the fact that their standard prescription was to take 2 asprin and call in the morning.

Arlie and cousins also ran the wheat combines across the plains of America, during harvest seasons. They obtained the huge machines and made arrangements with the farmers to cut.
Arlie liked the nice things of life, because he worked very hard to obtain the finances to purchase them. His wife, Blanche, however, said he had a stubborness and temper that caused their marriage to crumble. You can guess that Arlie wasn't home every night, like most husbands. He was working or studying. Back then, the man got the divorce. The woman didn't have the rights.
The vote came in the early 1900's for women. Women before that, couldn't even own land.

Arlie built large buildings, office buildings, hospitals, telephone buildings, electric buildings. He and Lester built houses, too. when Lester was 16 years old, he decided to tell companies that he was Arlie and he built two large buildings in San Antone,Texas. Once they were comleted (he said it took lots of work and learning) he could give his own name for the contractor of the buildings he would build. Lester built most of the beginning of Tucson, Arizona. He started in 1944. He checked out Tucson for opportunity and climate, and moved his family there in 1945. He and Arlie built San Manuel, Arizona. It was there that Arlie died in 1954. Lester worked with several partners in his building career. He also had his own contracting buisiness and had Sidney work as his Superintendent. It was Lester Construction Company. Lester's other son, Lester Charles became an Accountant. Lester A. always wanted his children to assist him in running his business. Sidney was the only one who worked with him.

-I'll continue this story on the next blogg -


I want you to know that I love each and every one of you.
It doesn't matter if you are or were an "A" student or not.
I know that deep within each of you is the POWER to be MAGNIFICENT! You are born from a 'King'. Christ is your older brother, also a King. You will live forever; you have lived before in the pre-existence and will live again after this life. We were sent to earth to gain a body and to overcome obstacles, trials, hardships, and to learn everything we can while here on the earth. We take back with us all education, knowledge, intelligence, family, filling our lives with love, kindness, goodness, and beauty that we obtain while here. The commandment is LOVE ONE ANOTHER AS I HAVE LOVED YOU, in the scriptures. Love is BIG! It means ALL! Even EVERYONE!

All of our ancestors were very religious. They came from many different religions and from many different countries - mostly Germany, Ireland and England. OK, one French, Scottish, Canadian, Netherlands, maybe more places?? They all loved America - land of the FREE!

You come from a family of super individuals. Many inventor's - They didn't just sit around, they read, studied, learned, prayed, and thought of new ways to have "whatever" they needed personally, or they realized that they could sell this item on the open market for money.
Always look for new ways to improve a product or invent one that works for you and can be sold.

Some ancestors were farmers - but not just farmers. They started the market for shipping their produced product across the country. Another had a secret gold mine claim and instead of going for broke and spending it, they used only what they needed for their daily living. Many were pilots, contractors, medical persons, military, writers,poets, attorneys, realtors, artists, musicians -most played the piano and at least one other instrument, one opera singer that I know of (Ilia), some professional dancers, a few magicians, one clairvoyant, all were very hard workers. No slackers in our family. All were beautiful inside and outside. All intelligent!
I know that our family has a high IQ (Intelligent Quotient). Most over 126, 138, and above.
I always wanted to be invited into the MENSA society. I needed an IQ of 136-148 as a child.
Alas, I never had mine tested. My brother was 126 in High School. John was 138 in 2009.

It was once said that Irish heritage brings the laughfter, the light and spirit, the play, the hugging, the stories, and the family closeness to a family - as their origin. They are the artists, the painters, the writers, the singers, the poets, the actors, the story tellers that bring life to LIFE! Without them, life would be dull! The English bring in the seriousness, the sticklers for what is right. They become the lawyers, policemen, the accountants, the intricant house keepers, where everything is in place and all children behave. The Germans are the hard workers, the cooks, the gardeners, the farmers - with animal husbandry, the horticulturists, the agriculturists, the doctors and the scientists.

I have NOT written all of the family histories. I wish I had them all ready for you to read. I think they would give you the confidence, inner-peace, and valiant willingness to succeed at any and everything that you do. Let me tell you, YOU CAN!

I want you to rise above the rest of your friends. I want you to be more intelligent. I want you to work hard--not be a slacker. I want you to always be nice to others, but be careful not to be deceived into lending money or anything else to others. I'm sorry but they just don't return any of it. I have lost my retirement income due to lending money to others for opening a new business, purchase of a computer, home or car repairs, loans they couldn't pay off, child support they owed, IRS owing to prevent garnishment of income, clothes they couldn't buy so they would look good for the job interview, etc. My heart has always been too BIG and I careed TOO much for others. This is my weakness. I am giving you a warning NOW so you will have money that you earn legally to use for your own retirement. After working for 45 years, I have loaned away my retirement, but I'm not stopped. No Way! I am still working.

Learn more and more. Be greater in the eyes of God as you live on the earth at this time period.

Friday, July 24, 2009


Utah is not known for heat. It is known for snow. The snow here is soft and light. Not hard like you would make a snow-ball out of. They say because it travels over the Great Salt Lake it becomes light and dry. The light snow is the best for skiing in most of the world. There are many lifts with equipment rentals to enjoy skiing down the choice mountain sites that are located here.

This is the year that our air conditioning stopped working. One repair man said it must need oil, because it rattles. Another said, I will do a free look and then charge you to fix it. Heat doesn't bother my husband, because he is from Australia and it is very hot there - just like Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. I left the HOT to get cool. I want to sit under a nice cool blow of the working air-conditioner. OK, I'm spoiled. I worked for many, many years under air-conditioning. By the time I got home, it was cooler and evenings are usually nice. By ten p.m. it is cool out on my deck. However, one won't sleep on the deck all night - hum-mm bugs, mosquito's, strangers not invited. Yes, I'm chicken!

An outdoor person is not what I grew up to be. I sent all my children to boys/girls camp, so they would be able to do the outdoor thing. I like building the wood fire and roasting hot-dogs or marshmallows. I don't like sleeping in a tent, or on the ground. I don't like to carry a pack. I don't like anything around my waist - like a belt with various things hanging on it. My feet have had many surgeries, so have my knees, my hips are often out of place...OK, so I got old and hiking and camping are not my thing. How does the saying go - my camp site is the Hilton!

Even when I was younger, I would camp with a camper (RV)- sitting on top of a truck bed. It had a kitchen, a fridge, a stove, utensils and plates to use and then wash in the nice sink. A nice mattress to sleep on, with covers - if I needed them. A place to change my clothes, shower, and pee. There was also a big cupboard to store food in cans, bags, or containers and lights. Not carry on your back to the site. Even games to play, books to read, pictures to draw - all packed under the eating table in drawers.

I remember the last camp I went on with my two grandsons. They wanted to camp-out in a tent. We set up the tent and I (of course) slept in the camper on a nice soft bed. We instructed them to NOT take any food into the tent and to turn out the lights at night - to not attract the animals. They didn't listen. During the night I heard the huffing of a breathing bear outside the camper. I listen carefully as I lay very still. {a bear can rip a camper shell wide open and forage for food}, then I thought of the boys in the tent outside the back door of the camper. I got up quickly and silently and then yelled loudly- "get in here right now". They both whipped open the tent door and ran past me into the camper shell.

I questioned them about the food. They had saved some sugary chewable to eat while they lay in the tent. They had also heard the bear sniffing around the tent. Adam said he threw out the box of candy and lay real still. They were quite scared to move. They didn't know what to do until I yelled at them. They must have felt the danger. We rolled all the windows shut, so the bear couldn't smell inside the camper. Then we waited. The bear moved away from the camper. The boys slept the rest of the night with me on my soft mattress, inside the camper.

Another strange thing happened the next day. Tyler was playing silly and took a rope and wrapped it around himself and then walked around the tree, by the road, to secure himself fast to the tree. He talked about Indians and cowboys. Adam and I were playing a game on the card table. When I looked up at Tyler, I had this terrible feeling. I felt he was in danger. The spirit tells us of danger if we listen. I said, Tyler get untied and come over here this minute. Tyler didn't like me ordering him around, but he obeyed. As soon as he got to the area of the table where Adam and I were playing, I looked up and there was that BEAR. The bear was walking slowly toward our camp. We had our garbage tied up off the ground, not thinking that bears get on their hind legs and that they are very BIG. We had seconds to get inside the camper. If the bear had decided to run towards us, we would all have been goners. I got the boys in first and we sat on the bed and I told them to be very quiet. We waited quite a while. Tyler began to shake with fear. Then we looked out the window and the bear (after having shred our garbage sack, was walking away from the camper. I guess toward some one else's camp-site.

When we talked with the Park Ranger, he said the bear is in its habitat and it goes where ever it wants. We are camping in his yard. Then he said, that bear has never clawed anyone yet. I was glad that we knew how to get out of its way, so we weren't the first clawed campers.

Sunday, July 12, 2009


Lester built a rock house for his wife Verna just before I was born, in Austin Texas. They had two boys [Sidney Arthur and Lester Charles] and I made three. My cousin Verna Warwick writes: Christie was an adorable, cuddly, Blonde-haired baby girl who was the "apple of her daddy's eye." By the time Christie was 3 and the family was leaving Texas, Christie was walking, talking, and stealing every one's heart away. In 1954 when grandfather Arlie died, Verna Warwick attended the funeral and said, Christie was a 12 year old going on 20-very active.

I remember driving away in a big-round black 4-door car. I got to ride on the back window, as my brothers didn't want me in the same seat as they were in. We arrived downtown and rented an apartment there. It wasn't long until Lester got his feet in the door of construction and he began building again. We moved to lester street in a yellow painted house. Lester got a dog named Penny for the children. That dog followed me around everywhere. Mom would find the dog first and then me. Tucson was wide-open back then-dirt streets and a small city. Lester began building. He came across Sam Witt, who had assest and they became partners. The city began to explode with houses and shops. They built them in sections of 100's of houses. Each one had a name, so they could advertise the open house sales.

I remember one open house that was furnished. It was all the NEW styles. The kitchen had a stove that slid out towards you with the burners. The oven part-separated into two ovens just above the stove burners. The dining room had a wood table that could stay near the wall for two-four persons and then would unfold into a long, very long, table for dinner parties. The kitchen table was a tiny oblong top with two sides that folded out for a quiet couple to eat upon. When I bought an older home in 1988', it had that same stove type in it.

My dad was always saving money for the construction company. He would work nights to develop plans to make small changes in the homes they were building, to develop the neighborhoods with different looking houses outside and inside. He used hard plastic-see through templates. He showed me how he would turn them over or move them around the plan, to develop a different look for the home. He had the ability to see a two-story house on paper and see it in his head with one level over the top of the bottom level. He found many mistakes in other peoples plans with that gift. Besides the house design, there were plumbing, fireplaces, water, electric, gas, and other pages to complete the plan for one home. I used to look over his shoulder and watch him draw the plans. I had to be quiet though. No one made any noise when Dad worked. I wanted so MUCH to be an architect when I grew up, just like dad. I called him Pop. He started me rubbing his back when he'd come home and clean up after supper. I loved my Dad and admired him with all the things he knew how to do. I think I thought all dad's could do all these things.

My dad was a fisherman. He built a cabana in Cholla Bay, Mexico and we took week-end visits to be at the beach. He had a small cabin cruiser that he took out into the ocean and would usually catch 500 pounds of fish for a party he was going to throw at home later. Mom had a 25 foot freezer that would be loaded down after the trip. Mom would plan the food and I would help her make it. I got really good at making potato salad in 40 pound bowl-sections. Mom also used me to cook for other events and parties. Dad would have the native people clean the fish and put it in big ice chests for the trip back home. Lester would always bring them bikes, chairs, clothes or whatever they asked for him to bring on his next trip back. He became very well know and friendly with the people who lived there in Cholla Bay.

My dad was a hunter. He hunted game for the Arizona Desert Senora Museum. It is a huge and fantastic museum. He would catch them, put them in pens in our back yard and later he would donate them to the Museum. I can remember, 7 red fox, 2 racoons, a badger, a skunk, a porcopine, big cats, owls, homing pidgeons, even an elephant. His favorite was a Lynx Bob Cat. this cat was under the ramada in our back yard. It was quite large for a cat - more like a big dog size. when it would get out of the cage it would hunt down the neighbors doge and whack them around. Dad would just laugh. Dad's hands were so touch from lime and cement over the years that the cat rarely cut into his flesh wit its claws. It had been raised to hunt game with its master. However, one day the cat turned on its master and tore part of his arm off. Dad wasn't worried about that - he just kept him well fed with horse-meat. It was a pet for Lester. He had the University of Arizona come out and take pictures of the cat and they made our cat the Mascot for the teams. Lester would get into the cage and play rough with the cat. It make for great photos. The one thing that the cat, sylvester, liked to do, was to jump on the back of any woman who was wearing a dress. Not pants, only a dress. It would scare them frightless. That is what happend to one of my girlfriend Linda Campbell one day. I didn't know the cat was out of the cage and whap--it jump onto her back. She screamed, dad came over and got the cat off. It didn't claw her at all. It was only playing! I saw the cat jump from the ground to the high roof of our house in one swoop. I was amazed at the strength and dexterity of the animal. It of course, bite through my fore-arm one day when I had guests over. They thought it would be fun to let it out, without my permission. I picked it up to put it back in the cage and it didn't want to go there. I carefully said, "nice kitty-kitty" and slowly put it back on the ground, so it would take its teeth out of my arm. I went to the hospital and got a tetnus shoot. The hospital called it in to the pound and they proceeded to come out and take the cat. What a messy sight.
You guess the rest. Dad was angry they abused the cat.


It was suggested by my son, John, that I should write something about my dad. He was an awesome, social, adventurous, hard working alpha male. I will break him down in shorter writing chapters, if I can.

Lester was born to Arlie and Blanche Conlisk in Sapulpa, Oklahoma in an Indian Tepee. Arlie was on site as a contractor and his p.g. wife was there with him too. Lester's parents taught him about love, and then they had incidents, that I figured were fights. Blanche said Arlie shook her one-time by the neck. Blanche left and went to visit her daughter and Arlie divorced her in about 1909. I have a letter to Blanche from the courts answering her inquiry as to whether Arlie had divorced her. I found this strange.

Arlie was a contractor and was very successful. He also had many talents [more later].
As Lester grew up, during those incidents, Lester was sent on train rides to visit other relatives. Lester was given a string with his destination around his neck, so the conductor would know when to put him off the train. Lester became known by lots of family members. He spent a lot of time in the summers with his grandfather George Conlisk and g-ma Emma on their farm near Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Lester also had many luxuries growing up, In Tulsa, Oklahoma, his dad Arlie built a 10-room house on a hill. Lester had a pet raccoon there. The raccoon lived in the tree. It was the biggest house in the neighborhood. Lester and his older sister Ilia were great pals, there was a bond between them.

In the cold winters men and women wore fur coats. He also bought new cars., In those days they were called things like Zephyr, Austin Martin, Duesenberg, roadsters, etc. Arlie was a very well educated man. He had music talents with most instruments. He was a a Realtor. He was an Attorney in seven states. He was a pilot. He was a contractor. He learned farming from his father-in-law and rode the wheat turbines from Texas up to Canada. He wrote poetry. He was a Medic in the Army during WWII. Arlie also was filmed in Long Beach, California doing tricks on a bi-wing plane. He worked hard and never stopped. He died during a construction job in San Manuel, Arizona. He and Lester buildt the entire city, including the kiln to harden the brick. On week-ends Arlie would sleep in the trailer parked in the long driveway at Lester's Tucson, Arizona house on Lester street.

During the depression, men worked digging ditches - if that is the only work there could get. The crash of 1929-31 was devistating to families in our country. Lester got several jobs, cything weeds or cane, digging ditches, whatever work was available. Lester decided to dig faster and because of his efforts he was paid more money. When most men were earning $6.00 a week, he was earning $9. Lester at age 16 decided to be a contractor like his father. He didn't have an education or degree for the trade. In those days, younger men were taken in by an older person and were trained as an apprentice. when my brother Sidney worked as an apprentice, it took four years of training.

Lester was courageous. He knew how to read a plan. In fact in his later years he was an architect and contractor - working days and nights to earn an income. Lester decided he could be a Foreman and work others who knew their trade. He applied for a big job. First a telephone company and later a hospital. These building took in blocks of area. He hired workers, had regular meetings, and walked throughout the entire structure daily, more than once, to be sure everyone was working and getting the job done right. He wore out 30 pair of shoes, by getting holes in the bottoms; he was successful and the buildings were finished. Once he had the reputation for building these two buildings, he began to tell businesses his name was Lester not Arlie. He was a shoe-in for future work and never had to worry about not having an income.

Lester had two ideas in his mind -- Work hard and play hard. He was a man's man. While in Austin, Texas he applied for the job of changing the light on the top of the state building. No one else applied, it was very dangerous. Plus, one had to go up many flights of stairs, walk out on the roof area and change the light using a long pole. Lester decided to make it fun. He walked backwards up the stairs, then he ran backwards up the stairs. He got the leg muscle strength to run backwards faster than anyone else could run forward. He challenged many persons for a foot race and he never lost. When he met Verna Buskel, she was a runner finalist in school. He challenger her and he won. She was embarrassed by his running backwards and because it offended her ego. She became his greatest cheering squad. They met when she was 14 years old.

Lester dated many women. He said the rich ones were too snooty and had no skills, for his was of life. Many rich ones wanted to marry him because he was such a hard worker, dressed well, drove fancy cars, and was a lot of fun. He wanted a woman to work beside him. His Granddad told him that the German women were hard workers too. Lester remembered that Verna was German and went back to date her again. They married when Verna was in Nursing School. They kept it quiet, as in those days a woman studying to be a Nurse was to be single-only-or they had to leave school. Verna graduated but never worked after they were married, except to give the neighbors shots and home medic service.

Lester's grandmother Emma lovingly instructed him to write her letters only in poetic form, choosing the cadence and banter with rhyming endings. He got very good at writing and he could toss in a few puns [that could be taken either way], just to get you 'going'.

Monday, July 6, 2009


I was thinking about some of the things that happened to me as a child and how those experiences totally changed my life. I want to say to my g-kids that childhood teaches and points you toward the ideas that your parents have outlined for you. Should you change any of the factors that were suggested for your growing up, before you transport off into the real world -- you may have tugged against the wrong rope. Another resolve is that you had a strong desire to become something totally different than your parents may have designed for you. The latter is OK -- if you have the drive and money to pull it off. Finally, you may have seen the occupation that tugs against your heart strings, whether your parents communicate that idea with you or not. If so, then make a plan, set your goals, and revisit often how you are proceeding.

As you grow from childhood to teenager, your parents have a sense of what you are capable of. Perhaps they didn't drive you hard enough to be a straight "A" student. Perhaps you couldn't care less about school [which I might add is one of the most important places to learn, other than a good library]. Nevertheless, your parents have a clue about your personality, by now.

A good proactive parents will be thinking about what fields they have succeeded within and if your personality would fit in that mold. Sometimes a doctor, lawyer, or scientist may know that you have all the necessity attributes to continue their field or profession. If you feel their work is ultimate to your life, than of course, you will continue to learn their trade- even enlarge it.

For me - I always wanted to be an Architect, like my Dad. He was both an architect and a partner in several Construction companies. I would stand around his drawing board and watch him work. I had to be very quiet, while he thought the plan out. Dad wanted me to be a secretary and accountant. He wanted his children to work for him in his own company. I became what he wanted me to be, without giving it much thought. I always had that nagging unaccomplished tug in my mind that I really wanted to be an Architect. I even offered my kids the idea of architecture. They became excellent at drafting. June started a class and didn't finish. John learned to be a Cad drafting engineer and changed his employment when he moved out of town. John also became a contractor and salesman. Patti drew on things as a child, but became a great cook, home decorator, and a prison security officer, with a gun.

My Mom was trained as a Nurse. She also dibbled in oil painting like her mother, as a hobby. My Mom also did the bookwork for my Dad's business. Mom also was in Multi-level marketing in Amway and other businesses. I love education. It feels good to learn and know. I can answer peoples questions abut many things. In High School, I took all the required classes to graduate. I took many other classes during the summer months. When I started college I took the Nurse college classes that would bring me a Nurse degree. However, I didn't like zoology. I have a very sensitive nose and formaldahyde is not pleasant. I even worked a summer at the hospital - to be sure I liked that style of work. I didn't. Talking to the patients was fun, but I don't like germs and bed-pans are not my idea of a good day. I was very sick as a child and youth with alergies.

Then, I cracked my pinky-finger playing volley-ball in Phys-ed [I couldn't write, type or do short-hand] and dropped out of school. Now, I know that I should have gotten permission to continue later from home, from the school administration, which would have saved my tuition, but I was young and foolish. I began the next semester taking business classes - like my Dad wanted. I wanted to be what was expected of me.

I took speech. My Mom was always having me hold the microphone at her Jaycee-ette and home dinner parties to welcome guests, so I took speech class. I also signed-up for all the business classes required. In the middle of the semester I got married. My husband's mother [who was also a Nurse] was against me having a college degree -- since her boy didn't. They would show up during the time I was studying and interrupted me all evening. I couldn't do my homework. She was very critical of any and everything I did for her boy. They made it impossible for me to attend school; e.g., I got pregnant and had bad morning sickness. OK, you got it, I also didn't take those classes by finishing at home either. I resigned myself to doing what his parents wanted me to do; e.g., take care of "the boy" and my new child. Gee Whiz, where was my resistance? Was I back-bone less? I was always trying to please others. I never thought of myself. Everyone loved me because they always got what they wanted, and of course, they never thought about what I might want. Most people have become self-indulgent. Internally yelling - It is all about me! I wasn't, I was helpful. I think it is inbred into me, somehow.

My girlfriend, Kathleen in high school, and I wanted to take the Architecture classes in High School. The school wasn't offering those classes to girls UNLESS the parents signed permission slips. I talked with my parents and they said no, stay in the regular college preparatory classes. Kathleen got in the special classes and now makes really GOOD MONEY, and lives in a beautiful home, she designed herself. I still sit around and draw house plans. I look for them in the newspaper and I re-design them in a way that I think would work better for Feng Shui and me, of course. I have saved them in my file cabinet. My Dad had templates that he used to design house plans. Bedrooms are an average size for an average house and bigger for a more expensive house. The appliances are average costs for an average get the picture. The more you spend, the bigger and more luxurous a house can be suit the buyer.

I was very good at baseball, voleyball, and field hockey in High School. The golf instructor [who said I had a perfect drive with the clubs] watched me play field hockey and told me they needed me on the city team. Of course, I had to have parental permission. No, I didn't get it. The teacher said, I was the best she had ever seen. I often wondered why the girls in class always ran away when I hit the ball. Center halfback in field hockey is the neatest - because you can run anywhere on the field and whack that ball as hard as you can towards to goal fence. I could run like the wind, then. My parents were both athletic runners in school. My Dad could run faster backwards than anyone could run forwards. He could run upstairs backwards, too.

The morale to this story is that you MUST have a plan when you are a young person. You need to go to the library, in the business area, and read about companies. What pay can you receive, and what are the qualifications to work in that field? If you have parents that have a profession, learn about them. Talk to them about what they do, then listen to your inner-voice and check-out if that would give you the drive to do the same thing. If your parents are in Network Marketing, learn about the process. There is big money to be make with your big efforts! Is this for you, are you self-motivated, do you know a lot of business people, or would you rather be doing something else?

Are you a writer, a clothing designer, a sketch artist, oil painter, a singer, or a musician? What are your hobbies? When you have nothing else to do [besides watch TV, play x-Box or Wii], what do you do? What makes you smile? When you finish a project - what brought you joy? Remember that what ever profession that you choose, you will need to keep learning. In today's world there is the possibility that you will change locations or job titles every 2-7 years. This is not a grounded, secure area for you with any job. Every job has continued education, even if they don't tell you that secret. The "retirement with a watch and pension fund"doesn't exist anymore. It went out with my parents. Life is a bit harder now, but you are tough.

The JOB really means...just over broke. Most people with Just-a-Job are living, pay-check to pay-check. Barely making the house, car, and utility payments. They have to scrape to save. If they don't save they won't retire well, neither will they enjoy the finer things of life.

Robert Kiyosaki states this: There are 4 ways to live. Picture a square cross on the paper. Left-upper, left-lower, then right-upper and right-lower. Each of these fields explains a life style. Left-upper is the J.O.B. You work for someone else. They tell you what to do, when, how, and how much you are worth. Left-lower is the self-employed. The lawyer, Dr., therapist, dentist, real-estate agent, yard work, etc. These people work FOR themselves. If they don't work, they aren't making money. If they are sick or traveling, no money comes in. They usually work long-hours. It is often expensive. Most require college and state licensing.

Then we move to the Upper-right. These people have a business enterprise. They have employed workers (or independent contractors) who work for them. They may do their own finance or bookkeeping or they may hire someone to do that. They just 'over-see' what is going on and can take a vacation, when ever, or how ever -- as long as the employees are working for the assigned J.O.B. Lastly, is the Lower-right. This is the Investor area. They have taken their pay and invested it in high-interest finance. It may have been Real-Estate, high-yield stock, bonds, bills, or security loans. They paid attention to the market and the economy. They may even have hired someone to give them the details they need to make their own decisions. They are their own "person". They are responsible for their own success. They made their money and they have learned how to make their money--make even More Money. This is a dream for most people. It is beyond high-school education. Finance is not taught in High-school.

To get here you must PLAN. If you can see it and believe it, you can do it! The only thing that can grow is the thing that you give energy to. Emerson. It is all up to you. How do you want to live? What are you willing to do to get to where that is? There is always a cost: #1 less TV, newspapers and games. More study, reading, thinking, planning, phone calls and more meetings.

I learned all of this by reading--not watching TV. Of course, I didn't have the information early in life. This is why I am writing to you NOW. Get the info. Change your life-- to have high standards, high integrity, high principles, high spirituality, and be high income producing.
God does not want people in rags. It was the love of money over family or others that is wrong in the scriptures. The more money you earn, honestly, the more you can give to family, church, life structures and be able to live your dreams. And don't forget your g-ma!!

When you first start working, have a plan. As soon as you start earning money, put away $100-$200 per month in savings. As soon as that amount grows, invest it in high-interest Money-Market or Mutual Funds in the 10-15% interest accruing range. As you mature to an adult, increase the amount of money you set aside. Start looking for Real-Estate or other investing areas that will bring you a "Return on Investment". Pay attention! Do the study and the work that gives you the answers. Rely on yourself, or those who are honest that you hire. Talk with your parents and grand-parents about what you are doing. Get their ideas - then make your own decisions. Be willing to walk "the fire"! If you make a mistake, you are to blame, and you have to "Dust yourself off, pick yourself up, and start all over again".

Remember Trump, Robert Allen, Hughes, Bob Proctor, and tons of other investors have failed and started again and won. Eli Whitney failed multiple times before he got the light bulb to work. The secret is to keep moving forward. With goals set, your future dreams and plans on the horizon, Remember, You can do it! You can do it! You can do it! g-ma says You Can Do It!

I love you!