Ernest Wesley Fowlke

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History of Ernest Wesley Fowlke

Written by His Mother

Pearl Jolley Fowlke  


So God created man in His own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

 

And God formed out of the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life:  and man became a living soul.

 

God blessed the home of Durmont H. and Pearl Jolley Fowlke, on October 9, 1947, with the arrival of their first son, Ernest Wesley, named after his two grandfather’s; Ernest for his grandfather Fowlke, and Wesley after grandfather Jolley.  He was born in the American Fork Hospital at 10:16 a.m.  Upon arrival he weighed 7 lbs. 8 oz., and had blue eyes and red hair.

 

This new little baby was almost born on Grandmother Jolley’s birthday, which was October 8th, but he decided to have a day all of his own, much to her dismay.  Ernest had an older sister, Alaine, two and a half years older.  She was thrilled with her new little brother.

 

Ernest was a darling child, with his red hair, and eyes that I always told him looked like “cracked ice.”  He was a very active child and full of mischief.  When he was a small child he lived by his Grandmother and Grandfather Jolley in a charming little white house trimmed with red shutters and a white picket fence.

 

Grandfather Jolley and Ernest were particularly close.  His grandpa told him stories of Indians and bygone days; and Ernest loved this make believe world. 

 

When our boy was about six months old, we discovered that he had a stiff thumb, and then at times it became extra limber and pained him.  When he was five years old it was operated upon and then he had no further trouble.  When about seven or eight years old, he got a bacteria in a sore in his forehead.  It was operated on several times but it still did not heal.  The doctor finally made a large triangle cut, going down several layers of skin, which finally got rid of the bacteria.  It left a scar however, that became a mark for his identification.

 

Our family lived in a small house by Grandpa and Grandma Jolley until he was about one and a half years old; at which time we sold it and rented a two-room house by the Second Ward Church in Pleasant Grove.  We only lived there for part of a year until a home was built in Lindon on some Fowlke property.

 

Joseph and Hazel Christiansen lived across the street from the house in Lindon.  They didn’t have any children of their own, so they quickly took Ernest and Alaine under their wing.  Joe let them take turns driving his tractor (when they were old enough to do so, but they were still very young) when they were raking up the hay, and then they would sit on the bales and ride them as they were lifted to the top of the barn.

 

When Ernest was about four years old, he was visiting Hazel one hot summer day and she was complaining about the heat.  Ernie said, “Why don’t you take off your blouse?”  Hazel said, “Oh, I can’t do that.”  His quick reply was “How come, ain’t you got a “Zir” on?”

 

A little dog named Shoestrings, saved Ernest from drowning when he was only two and a half years old.  Ernest went down into Horace Gillman’s barnyard, a next door neighbor, and fell into a big irrigation ditch that was full of water.  The little dog held onto his overall suspenders until Etta Gillman heard him calling “Mama.”  He had been completely immerged under the water.

 

When very young, he pulled a can of grease that had been rendered, on his head; luckily, it had cooled enough that it burned him only slightly.

 

Many people used to ask Ernie where he got his red hair and he would reply, “Oh my Dad, he left me in the sun, and I rusted.”

 

One of Ernest’s and Alaine’s favorite Sunday morning play was putting pillows over the foot of their metal bed and using them for horses, with a belt tied around it for reins.

 

When Ernie was in the second grade, he would enter the school room and kick off his cowboy boots.  His teacher said, “Ernie, your Mother will never get your socks clean.”  He said, “Oh, that’s ok, my Mom uses Tide.”

 

I was PTA President about that time, and I guess that Dad got a little tired of  it.  Ernie went to school and told his teacher that his Dad thought that PTA was a bunch of “bull shit.”

 

Ernie’s best friend when he was a small boy was Jimmy Fryer, son of Sam and Afton Fryer.  Since they lived only half a block apart, they spent a good deal of time together.  What one didn’t think of the other one did.  One day they caught a water snake and put it into a paper sack.  They knocked on the neighbor’s door (Senna Brendt) and told her that they had a present for her.  I think that she felt like beating both of them.

 

When Ernest and Jimmy were only about seven years of age, Afton and I took them to Provo to play at the Pioneer Park while we did some shopping.  A short time later, when we went to pick them up we could not find them anywhere.  The police were notified and a search began.  We called their Dad’s and they started towards Provo to join in the search.  As they were traveling through Orem, they found the two little lost boys walking towards home with their shirts stuffed with cans of beer that they found in a ditch on their way.  The two had seen a car pass by the park that had looked like Jim’s mother’s car, and since they decided that we had forgotten them, they started to walk home.

 

When Ernest was eight or nine years of age, he got Rheumatic Fever, and the doctor ordered that he stay in bed and not even to walk to the bathroom.  At the time, we were operating a small produce market, and I was trying to tend the store and also take care of my little son.  The market was at the side of the house, so I thought that I could keep a pretty good eye on him.  It was quite a job for me, however, to carry him to the bathroom.  After a length of time, I discovered that when I left the house, he would get up and run around.  His Aunt Lucille gave him a pair of Indian gloves if he would do as he was supposed to.

 

Two food dislikes of Ernie were raisins and liver.  I discovered that when we had either one of these items at a meal, he would pretend to eat them and then would shove them down a head register that was under the table.

 

I shall never forget our re-headed son strolling down the road on his big horse Chief.  It was a one man horse, but Ernie could do anything with him.  If anyone else tried to ride him, they were usually dumped.  Ernie rarely used a saddle, and often lay down on his back and rode in that manner.

 

When he was older, he would ride to Orem to take his cousin Jane Fowlke for a ride on his horse.

 

Ernest was also fond of his cousin, Ruth Madsen, daughter of Paul and Alice Madsen.

 

Many older girls had a crush on that good-looking lad with orange-red hair, and an outstanding personality.

 

Being very generous was also one of Ernest’s finer traits.  He loved to take fruit over to Etta Gillman when he was just a little tyke.  When Alaine got married and had children, he would always give her a Mother’s Day gift, and tell her how much he loved her, and that she was like a second mom to him.  Ernest also earned money to buy his Grandma Jolley a new dress and shoes.  I’m sure that all of his friends would admit that he always went more than his share.

 

Alaine tells of how sweet he was at ward and school dances; always asking her to dance with him, and what an excellent dancer he was.

 

Ballet lessons were given to Ernie when he was between three and four years old, but this didn’t last very long.  When he was sixteen years old, he took ballroom dancing and also played in a dance band.  He also played the trombone well.  He had the opportunity of piano and vocal lessons from Marguirite Jepperson.  He had a beautiful voice, and could have played the piano well if he would have liked to practice.  He was also good at printing and painting.  I have a framed picture that he did in crayons when in the third grade.

 

Ernest loved the family trips that were made to Mirror Lake with the family and horses.  Those were days with precious memories.

 

Going with his Dad on fruit peddling trips was a favorite thing for Ernie.  His Dad would let him sit on his lap and would drive for miles in this manner.  When he first got his driver’s license, his Dad sent him with a hundred lugs of cherries down to Panguitch to sell and then to bring back a load of lumber, Denley went with him (his younger brother) on this excursion, while I sat home worrying myself sick.

 

When Ernest was only thirteen, on a Saturday night, when his Dad and I were not at home, he got Denley in his Dad’s big truck and took off across the busy highway and into upper Lindon for a joy ride.  Luckily, he ran out of gas before he had gone very far, or it is hard to say what might have happened.

 

At age 15, Ernest and his friend Dennis Gurr decided to strike out for some new adventures.  In the middle of the night, they sneaked out of their homes, thumbed a ride to Provo and then caught a bus that would take them to Los Angeles.   We found out the next morning from some girls where they were headed.  We called the police and they were picked up by them when they stepped off the bus in Los Angeles.  They were greatly shocked and disappointed.  They were put into a detention home until we could forward them some money to come home by plane.  They were so worried, that they were the last ones getting off the plane in Salt Lake City.

 

Ernest started working at the Big Dollar Market when he was very young.  This was a produce market owned by his parents, at the side of their home in Lindon.

 

He was pleasant to the customers and loved to help little children back across the street after they were thru shopping.

 

Ernest started going with Linda Christiansen while attending Pleasant Grove High school.  He became very serious about her the latter part of his Senior year.  They were married on October 15, 1965, at the Christiansen home, after which a lovely reception was held.

 

After marriage, Ernest and Linda lived in Lindon and then later moved to Pleasant Grove.  A baby girl, Kimberly was born to them on _____________.