Lavenia McCoy

Title

Lavenia McCoy

Date Created

2004-02-23

Subject

Bayfield, Colo.
Lavenia (Morgan) McCoy
Hazel "Ann" (McCoy) Harrell
James "Jim" Frahm

Description

Historical interview of Lavenia McCoy by James Frahm on 2 23 2004, courtesy of Pine River Valley Heritage Society uploaded by Pine River Library.

Publisher

Elizabeth vonTauffkirchen
published via YouTube.com

Source

http://youtu.be/SOyG9Zhs6Jo

Date

2018-03-26T19:19:40.000Z

Date Submitted

2018-03-26T19:19:40.000Z

Transcription

Speaker 1:
[00:00:30] And McCoy, about the McCoy clan and we're getting
[00:01:00] a shot here of Lavenia's stove.
LaVenia: Look and they have neither the place nor the money, so Dee's dad and mother took it. It was moved several times before it finally came into this house when Dee and his dad bought this house. It's been here for several days. I had an awful time
[00:01:30] learning to use it and once I did, boy it was my stove.
Speaker 3: That was, you and dad got married August, what, 1940?
LaVenia: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Speaker 3: It's been moms stove ever since then.
LaVenia: Yeah, there's no doubt. When we were married Dee had built a log house here right against this house and it was bought by Floyd,
[00:02:00] Floyd and Marjorie.
Speaker 3: Sour?
LaVenia: Mm-hmm (affirmative), Sour. It's the house that's still the main house over there, you know, just north of Cecil Sours house, where the Ross family lives now. Of course, Marjorie added onto it several times. They built two houses there at the back and the garage was remodeled into the house and then they built a little house. It was lots of fun [00:02:30] watching them move that old house out.
Speaker 3: And when mom came here, she lived in the house to the South
[inaudible 00:02:40] Barnes.
LaVenia: Mm-hmm (affirmative), I boarded with Barnes', and then I made a big move, right across the fence.
Speaker 3: Mom and dad tell this wonderful story about throwing snow balls at each other across the fence and that's how they met,
[00:03:00] but it really depended on which one of them was telling the story who threw the first snowball. For sure, mom had a, what did you call her, like a, she took care of you, she looked after you, she made sure you didn't break the rules.
LaVenia: Oh, that was Louise Owens.
Speaker 3: Like a chaperone.
LaVenia: Mm-hmm (affirmative). That's the first thing the superintendent did, was told me
[00:03:30] I didn't know the community. That was a Mr. Webber and Louise was born and raised here. Remember her father was the Black County Treasurer for years. Therefore I was to ask her, before I dated anyone or accepted invitations out to homes and things of this type. Louise lived in, well she was boarding there, with her Aunt, Mrs. Townsend,
[00:04:00] in the house just North here. She was teaching out at Missouri Center. The Missouri Center was a part of the Bayfield school systems before they ever became a joint united district.
Speaker 3: Mm-hmm (affirmative). I didn't know that.
LaVenia: Yeah, it was the Missouri Center and the school district on to the West, up there where Harry Pearson was.
[00:04:30] Those two districts went together first and then they joined with joint district number four, because Bayfield was four before it became the bigger district that encompassed all the way up to the merge in the county line. That line was drawn so that the
[00:05:00] Bayfield district could get part of the railroads taxes, because you know when you get clear over in there by the Animas River, lots of people don't realize that this district goes that far, but it was drawn clear over there so that the Bayfield district could get part of the, that was the joint united district, could get part of the taxes from the railroad because at that time it was the largest tax payer in the County.
Speaker 3: I want
[00:05:30] to bring you back to this story about mom and dad. Louise told mom that dad was the local bad boy.
LaVenia: Well, your dad had gone with Louise older sister and then that broke up.
Speaker 3: And telling mom no, still not the thing to do.
LaVenia: That's a come on instead of a stop it. For some reason, I think
[00:06:00] I have some children like that.
Speaker 3: Nope. Nope. Nope, because dad's Aunt Laura told mom one time that we, moms children, could not possibly have gotten our stubbornness from her because she still has all hers.
LaVenia: She was a wonderful old lady.
Speaker 3: Aunt Laura was married to Frank McCoy
[00:06:30] and in that family, in my dad's grand, dad's parents, the generation that was like dad's dad and uncles and aunts there were 12 kids. They all had enormous families, except one girl, I think. In dads generation among the first cousins there were basically 100 of them.
LaVenia:
[00:07:00] That was a long time ago. I expected the older ones.
Speaker 3: I don't even know who's a McCoy.
LaVenia: Uncle Fred, lives up on North, no West ...
Speaker 1: South Texas.
LaVenia: You call it South Texas, had nine children that lived. There were several still births. Then Uncle
[inaudible 00:07:25] of course out here just across Pine, there
[00:07:30] were just four, two girls and two boys.
Speaker 3: Mm-hmm (affirmative), and who knows how many kids Frank had.
Speaker 1: Where did the McCoy's come from?
LaVenia: They came from Virginia originally, and they settled down there around Farmington first. There are several of those families,
[inaudible 00:07:54] are one.
[00:08:00] That are McCoy progeny, because there were six boys and six girls and quite a lot of people knew Uncle Charlie because he was the horse trainer.
Speaker 3: There was Orville and ...
Speaker 1: Claude.
Speaker 3: And Claude.
LaVenia: Yes.
Speaker 3: We're not even getting close there.
LaVenia: Uncle Claude had the Dyke property
[00:08:30] for a long time and then he moved over around Montrose.
Speaker 3: Really?
Speaker 1: Canyon City, wasn't it? I don't know.
LaVenia: He was at one time, but the last time is that Aunt Laurel was writing to Mrs. Claude McCoy, she was near Montrose.
Speaker 3: There's Lynn.
LaVenia: No, Lynn was a cousin. Aunt Dora married Lynn, but Lynn was a cousin of your
[00:09:00] grandfather Roy.
Speaker 3: From my perspective and I may be wrong, Levi Alan and Julia McCoy came here and settled in the old part of South of the state line. I think they were pretty hard on their neighbors, but their neighbors just didn't want to fight. Levi Alan got his brother James to come here
[00:09:30] and then they were just right back in feuding heaven. They had somebody who knew how to live right. That kind of tradition of, feuding is the only thing I know how to say, lasted I remember when I was a little kid going to Durango with mom and people would say hello, we would be all friendly. Then I'd go to town with dad and I'd say
[00:10:00] hello to somebody and he'd say, "sh", or people wouldn't say hello to me when I was with dad and I'd be pulling on his pant pocket saying, what's wrong. Then Robert and Lenora and some of the other cousins and daughters just got tired of that. Now we have family reunions and hundreds of people come from all over the country.
LaVenia:
[00:10:30] It is, it's really fun to go. Too often though what happens is the folks will come from a long way are disappointed, because there are people right here and they're not interested.
Speaker 1: They didn't come, huh?
LaVenia: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Yeah, the Baird family, Francis and her children Buzz and Bill and ...
Speaker 3: Rick and Charlie.
LaVenia: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Very rarely ever come. Uncle Charlies
[00:11:00] family down south,
[inaudible 00:11:03].
Speaker 3: And this will be what, the second year, that we'll have the reunion on the old McCoy ranch that's down Pine river just south of the state line.
LaVenia: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Speaker 1: That's where Harry Lee lives?
LaVenia: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Speaker 3: Mm-hmm (affirmative). Harry Lee's to the West a bit.
LaVenia: It's really over where Orville's family is. Orville's, Uncle Charlies [00:11:30] older boy, and Harry Lee is the baby of the family and then there was a girl Mildred, I can't remember her married name.
Speaker 3: Is she Goyer?
LaVenia: Yes.
Speaker 3: Lester just loves to say if you're really, really quiet along the river and listen to the leaves rattle you can hear the voices of
[inaudible 00:11:54]. I look at it and think that every grain of sand down there has a McCoy stamp on it.
LaVenia:
[00:12:00] They've been great to help with family reunions, but the family reunions are really thanks to Rob, because it was Rob out there on 510 that used to come out and he had dug the pit and fixed the meat and went to great lot of effort to make it a successful reunion. Lenore did a lot of family history and she's given that all to Patty now.
[00:12:30] The oldest daughter of the Robert McCoy family.
Speaker 3: She has books and books and books. It's really wonderful, the work that she's done, so that we kind of know who came first.
Speaker 1: That'd be quite a job just to sort through that.
Speaker 3: Enormously, seriously ever year, well for a while it was children of Frank McCoy and now it's
[00:13:00] grandchildren and they come to the reunion and say we heard about this, is it true? Variably it's true.
LaVenia: Two years ago we had the Patterson girl that came and she didn't know until after she was married and had children of her own that her ...
Speaker 3: Grandfather.
LaVenia: Yes, that she was a Frank McCoy child, because of the man who raised her she
[00:13:30] always thought was her father. She was very happy to meet Francis Baird. I guess the only legal Frank McCoy child, I don't know, the only legal one that we know and family at the family reunion. She came and we went out to the cemetery there, what is it South and East of Ignacio, she got a picture of her fathers grave and things of his time. [00:14:00] I guess her children now know about their biological parents. She was a wonderful young woman and I truly enjoyed visiting.
Speaker 3: I've learned a lot about this family on memorial day, used to be decoration day. That's when you went to the cemetery and made sure all the graves were clean and taken care of. Mom and
[00:14:30] Aunt Laura did a lot of work replacing stones in the
[inaudible 00:14:34] cemetery and we always went to the Farmington cemetery.
LaVenia: What's the one?
Speaker 3: Aztec and ...
LaVenia: Out there East?
Speaker 3: East, Aztec?
LaVenia: No, before you get to Aztec, half way to ...
Speaker 3: Oh, Floravista. There are bunches of McCoy graves at Floravista.
LaVenia: Yeah, the older McCoy's were pretty well at Floravista.
Speaker 3: And the Hoods and McCoy,
[00:15:00] who married a Hood several generations back. Those graves are there. Dad would always tell us a different set of stories every year, it was a great way to learn about my family. Dad really lived in the oral history generation, he didn't remember things by writing them down and looking them up. Information
[00:15:30] from him came from people talking to each other. One of my favorite stories was about when they lived on the dry site and they hired somebody, I think on shares, to mow the hay. He never came and asked for any money for mowing that hay or never got a share of the hay. He did cut off a couple of his fingers in the process
[00:16:00] of mowing the hay, in the
[inaudible 00:16:02] he cut off his fingers. Then grandpa Roy found out that there was a quart jar of white lightening missing that had been in the field. Their speculation was that he probably drank it and that's why he lost his fingers. It was so valuable that he figured that was worth more than his fingers or the hay. Dad
[00:16:30] said it wasn't that they were criminals or intentionally doing anything illegal. Dad's words were that they had to make whiskey to make a living. It was so desperately poor.
LaVenia: That was one of the few things from which they could get money, otherwise it was all train. The story that I get the bang out of about over there on the Dry site. He went to school with Edna Graves, who
[00:17:00] was Edna Baird at that time. In the fall, when the local sheep men brought his sheep down he just turned his burrells loose, well the kids would bring their burrells around the school house and ride them, and then they used to say and yes that's how I got lice.
Speaker 3: Dad told us about when they were just little kids they were
[00:17:30] bringing the cream into town that they've saved for weeks and that count of cream was going to be their Christmas and he and his brother, it was just dad and Uncle Roy, so we're the very smallest part of the family. They were scuffing in the wagon and tipped over the cream, so Grandpa Roy just turned around and went back home.
LaVenia: He told them no money, no need to go and at that time they were up here on the
[00:18:00] West side of the river.
Speaker 3: Is that where the big barn is, the Smith place.
LaVenia: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Speaker 3: That's where they had the little kid goats and they let them in the house, my grandmother, their mother didn't know about it and the kid goats ate their waist curtains. Those boys were in trouble.
LaVenia: That's where they tell about, so it was a heavy winter lots of snow and they lost
[00:18:30] a Billy goat. They hunted and hunted and hunted for him and couldn't find him. I supposed it was like this year, where wet snow and it all slid off the barn and that goat had got caught between the barn and pinned in there by the snow. He was lost quite a while and eventually when he came out he was still alive.
Speaker 3: Dad said he was in there about three weeks.
LaVenia:
[00:19:00] Dee talked about, one year when it was so cold the oak brush leafed out and then froze and they had to put the cows in the field, because if the cows ate that frozen oak brush you had a bunch of dead cattle.
Speaker 3: I wonder if it ...
Speaker 1:
[inaudible 00:19:27] poison.
Speaker 3: Oh, okay.
[00:19:30] Enough fiber left with it ...
Speaker 1: Well, it's just a poison.
[inaudible 00:19:39].
LaVenia: Then of course that didn't help the hay crop. Being cold, of course, the hay was frozen anyway and finally when it did grow they had a wonderful crop, then it began to rain and it rained so much they never could get the crop out of the field.
Speaker 3:
[00:20:00] That's one of the things that I think dad was really proud to have done was to have worked on
[inaudible 00:20:08]. He said so many times what a fantastic difference that Dan has made to this valley. Obviously it can't stop rain from ruining crops, although we haven't had that problem for a while. It just provided a steady source of water and spread
[00:20:30] the ability of growing predictable crops so much wider. He was the first guy who worked there. Not necessarily on their register, because I think that it shows his cousin Chip as the first employee. Dad and his family were living on the Scott place, which is Coolwater Ranch now. Their house was down close to the river, but an engineer in a car,
[00:21:00] which was really a big deal, was headed up the river to survey. Of course he got stuck, dad just happened to be working with the team right there so he pulled the guys car out and got him on up to what's now the dam site and from then on dad had a job.
LaVenia: He was the first surveyor when they started surveying. You know, they talk about the dam started at a certain time. Well, that's when they actually started work. Of course, the surveying
[00:21:30] and the buying of all the places around there for the water to be stored, that took several years before the contractor let work started.
Speaker 3: I think dad had said things like 1915, that surveying ...
LaVenia: Some of it started, but this was in the 1930's when your daddy pulled the surveyor, Gene Walton out of the mud. That was his first job was to get the
[00:22:00] surveyor up there. He worked for Gene Walton for several years. It was the Bureau of Interior and the Indian division Walton was working for BIA when he was and then later he went to Bureau of Reclamation after the actual work started because reclamation lead to contract but the BIA had
[00:22:30] done the surveying and the planning and digging of the test pits and that type of work. I don't know who did the acquisition of the land.
Speaker 3: Me too.
LaVenia: I don't know if Dottie Warlick ever got into that because you see Mr. Dunsworth would have been ...
Speaker 1:
[inaudible 00:22:50].
LaVenia: Mm-hmm (affirmative), one of the people who had to sell lands.
Speaker 1:
[inaudible 00:22:54].
Speaker 3: Oh, wonderful. She has such a wealth of information. I bet David Sullivan
[00:23:00] might remember about who did the land acquisition.
LaVenia: Yeah, well Bruce was his Uncle or great Uncle.
Speaker 1: Uncle.
Speaker 3: Uncle.
LaVenia: If we could get Charles Sullivan to dig it up, he wrote a good term paper on that.
Speaker 3: It's at Center for Southwest Studies, it's available.
LaVenia: Oh, it's available? Great. I knew that the college had the first property.
[00:23:30] You see, his wife is a Decker girl.
Speaker 1: They're living back down there now.
Speaker 3: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
LaVenia: Oh, they built a beautiful home down in
[inaudible 00:23:41]. It's gorgeous, I got to go to the opening. There were two Deckers very definitely involved with sold land. Sullivans, Pearsons, Francis Sour, Francis Pearson Sour, her folks have land up
[00:24:00] there.
Speaker 3: I don't know.
LaVenia: We probably know some others, but that's all I can think of off hand.
Speaker 3: Dad and Guy Binder were childhood youthful men who were friends, life long friends. The things those two got into. No matter how bad the circumstances were neither one of them ever told the other one, no I can't help you. Together
[00:24:30] they never failed to make even the bleakest bit of awful plumbing, be something to laugh about. They were good buddies. Ted and Guy Morrison, who their home, when I was a little kid and we won't talk about when that was, was on what's called North street. South of Pearl, between
[00:25:00] Pearl and Pine. I think.
Speaker 1: What was that? Next door to, was that the Williams house, they lived next door to?
LaVenia: Could be. Williams house is where Pryors are now, it was also Knickerbockers place.
Speaker 3: I don't know. I don't know, anyway. They helped dad a lot. They would come and just help do the office things, like they hand dug the septic tank out here.
[00:25:30] All of this is just clay and ...
LaVenia: River rocks.
Speaker 3: Yeah, he called them river biscuits or worse.
Speaker 1: Dan
[inaudible 00:25:40] did dad's septic tank when we got electricity. Gosh, he must have been a hundred years old.
Speaker 3: They were so unafraid to do that kind of hard
[00:26:00] work. I mean, I would look at needing a hole that size now and say no I don't think so.
Speaker 1:
[inaudible 00:26:09]. You did what you had to do then.
Speaker 3: And they just did it.
LaVenia: Look when we watched Norman dig over here, people who had basements early always had water in them.
Speaker 3: At least in the summer time.
LaVenia: Yeah, so Norman dug up really a well just over here
[00:26:30] North and East of the back porch. He spent two years doing that and you'd see him over there that wind just getting the big old river boulder waters out of the bottom of that. I hope to gosh he's got a well from that.
Speaker 3: He did. He put a complete french drain around that house.
LaVenia: It's a lot of hard work. Dee and Guy built two
[00:27:00] boys camps in this area. The first one was for Groves and Little, over on the Florida and it was in that old dance hall.
Speaker 3: Coney Grove.
LaVenia: Yeah, the old Coney Cove dance hall is where we lived.
Speaker 3: It's just such a pet peeve because some real estate company has come along and changed the name of that to Forest with one R and Grove with no S. It was
[00:27:30] Mr. Forest Groves.
Speaker 1: That's where my first job after I got out of high school was to work for Groves for three weeks.
Speaker 3: That might have been long enough.
Speaker 1: It was, for both of us.
LaVenia: Then Groves and Little bought it and then Little came up and bought all the old Bruce Sullivan property that they had at the Pine there where the Pine empties into the reservoir. Then
[00:28:00] your daddy and Guy started all over again, building another ...
Speaker 3: They started with standing trees and turned them into log buildings. In the early '80's, just after I bought the Pine River Times. I was driving around, just you know early in the spring to see what was going on and what I could scare up for news and I just went across to the old boys camp. The fellow who owned it then, five branches, no I
[00:28:30] can't think of his name. Was out there pounding on the back door, what I thought of as the dining hall. He was just cussing a blue streak. He was pounding and he said I'd like to meet the er who did this. He had no idea I was standing right behind him. I said, well that was my dad. He about jumped through the door the other way. We had a wonderful conversation about those
[00:29:00] buildings and two of them they had tried to move with bulldozers, like pull them off and they couldn't. Then they tried to cut them in sections and move them and they couldn't because daddy and Guy had put so many huge spikes in those logs. Eventually they burned them, because that's the only way they could get rid of them.
LaVenia: They were the dormitories for the boys camps.
[00:29:30] Later, Carl Browns dad furnished a lot of lumber for them so that the infirmary and the office building ...
Speaker 3: Framed.
LaVenia: Framed, well and the little home that was built over there right on the Pine was a framed building.
Speaker 3: I think two of the buildings that dad and Guy built at what's now Forest Grove ...
LaVenia: Was back
[00:30:00] over on Florida.
Speaker 3: On the Florida are still there and I think they're homes now. I keep meaning to drive down in there and check them out, but I just get so angry at the sign that I go on by.
LaVenia: The gentlemen that spoke at the Presbyterian church, two weeks ago, came in in a wheel chair.
Speaker 1: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
LaVenia: He is a Fred Groves grandson, and
[00:30:30] Betty Ann and I had quite a visit with him. He was kind of anxious to learn about his father, Aaron Dickinson, when he was coach here. Freds oldest daughter ...
Speaker 1: Cynthia.
Speaker 3: Mom wondered if it was Cynthia.
LaVenia: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Speaker 1: Yeah, I can remember, I don't remember whether I was in school yet then or not.
[00:31:00] I think Ellis was, but it was in high school.
LaVenia: I know that Aaron was here in '39, '40 because that's the first year that I taught in Bakersfield.
Speaker 1: I don't think he was here but a couple years.
LaVenia: I don't think he was here very long.
Speaker 1: He went back to Ft. Collins and started raising pigs.
LaVenia: I don't think he came back for the '40-'41 year. His home was up in Northeastern Colorado, somewhere around Ft. Collins I think and he and Sylvia
[00:31:30] went there.
Speaker 3: Harold has always been one of my favorite McCoy's. Harold never fails to see things from the bright side.
Speaker 1:
[inaudible 00:31:46] does make a point in seeing things ...
Speaker 3: Please, please do. His wife is ...
Speaker 1: Gibbs.
LaVenia: Gibbs.
Speaker 3: They've been here for ...
LaVenia: Well then Harolson then calls
[00:32:00] Fred child. He's about the third boy, maybe the fourth. [inaudible 00:32:09]. I guess Harold's the fourth cousin.
Speaker 1: He must be
[inaudible 00:32:14].
LaVenia: Earl and Chad and Orville and then Harold.
Speaker 3: And then Audrey and then Dale?
LaVenia: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Speaker 1: Then Audrey and Ted.
Speaker 3: Oh, Ted too and
[00:32:30] Dale. Don't forget Dale.
Speaker 1:
[inaudible 00:32:33].
LaVenia: Dale, Audrey and Ted. Ted is the baby. Audrey's still living and I guess Teddy's the only son still among the
[inaudible 00:32:46].
Speaker 1: Is Ted still ... I thought Ted
[inaudible 00:32:47].
Speaker 3: Ted's in Durango.
LaVenia: Well Teddy and Harold.
Speaker 1: We'll have to get them both together.
LaVenia: Yeah. Teddy's there in Durango.
Speaker 1:
[00:33:00] Someway or another I had it in my head that he was
[inaudible 00:33:04].
LaVenia: Harold's mom is in Durango.
Speaker 3: Rex died not long ago.
Speaker 1: He must have been one of the older brothers.
LaVenia: Yes. He lived over on Florida mesa.
Speaker 3: It's kind of scary having the McCoy's there.
LaVenia: That's why you don't ever want to talk about the McCoy's because it's just like when you were at the guys back right
[00:33:30] behind him.
Speaker 3: Yeah.
LaVenia: They're everywhere and they've done a lot of hard work.
Speaker 3: Well, Uncle Earl was REA. He and Guy Binder worked on that project and who else? I don't remember.
LaVenia: Harold worked for the REA before he went to work for CDOT.
Speaker 3: They put the first power line to Pagosa.
LaVenia: You know people,
[00:34:00] very few of them around here realize that we have electricity before the REA came in here.
Speaker 3: In Bayfield.
LaVenia: Yeah, and agency and Ignacio also got electricity from the power plant just right across the river here. That's something Sullens family had it when I first came here.
Speaker 1: I think they started it.
LaVenia: Did they start it?
Speaker 3: Is that the same Sullens who was the drivers license ...
LaVenia: A brother.
Speaker 1: He was a brother.
Speaker 3: Everybody else was afraid of the
[00:34:30] drivers license guy, but he was good to me.
Speaker 1: He was the one that had the power plant with Carl, and well I don't know, maybe his father was, but anyways Dolph was the guy
[inaudible 00:34:54] drivers license.
LaVenia: Very
[00:35:00] few people realize that there was an electric plant here in Bayfield before the REA came in.
Speaker 3: Some of those very old pictures, there's one with the snow in your families corner right here is very clear in that picture and their power lines.
Speaker 1: Yeah, there's some power lines there.
LaVenia: The original wiring was somewhat interesting too. It's a wonder there were a lot more fires, because I know
[00:35:30] the light that was up here. It was a heavy copper wire and they had just separated to strip the outside off and hooked it up there. It wasn't even, no, it was just hooked over. Why there weren't more fires, when
[inaudible 00:35:54] rewired this house after Dad and I moved into this house. He and Dee laughed
[00:36:00] many a times, of course it didn't take too long because there weren't many wires to start with.
Speaker 3: Mom found out recently that this house was built in ...
LaVenia: 1900. Is what the assessor put on, you know they gave us a year for everything. Dee and I supposed it was built for Roy Gibbs and his wife, was she Maybell that had the first drug store?
Speaker 1: Yeah, that's Maybelle and then she divorced
[00:36:30] him or he divorced her or something and she married the guy that had the
[inaudible 00:36:34] mansion.
LaVenia: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Speaker 3: That reminds me of another story.
Speaker 1: Good.
Speaker 3: Henriette Harrison, who is a Baird and dad were little kids together and remained life long friends. We were sitting down there on the ditch bank one day and they were just going on and on about how awful these kids are and everybody's running around and somebody getting a divorce and changing
[00:37:00] mates and pretty soon they're talking about the old days and it's the same story.
LaVenia: Just fewer people and everybody knew it.
Speaker 3: I said to him, so what's the difference except a few years and a couple generations. Well, that was just different.
Speaker 1: You ought to hear Henriette tell that to her ancestors, coming out of Mexico.
Speaker 3: I heard some of those stories.
LaVenia: Yeah,
[00:37:30] well they went down to Mexico because that was during the days when evidently some of the elder Bairds had three or four wives. Utah was saying no, you can't do that here. They went to Mexico. There are part of those families yet in Arizona.
Speaker 3: I get totally confused about that family because everybody has at least one nickname
[00:38:00] if not two. Some people call, same person, this group of people call him one nickname, this group of people calls him another nickname and then they have a name that's on paper. I don't think McCoy's are quite that ...
LaVenia: I don't know of nicknames, they're pretty well.
Speaker 3: Formal, I would say.
LaVenia: Well, what about your daddy though he did too though.
Speaker 3: He was always Dee, nobody knew him as Lyle Delmer.
LaVenia: Mm-hmm (affirmative), so I guess we can't talk about
[00:38:30] anybody else.
Speaker 3: He didn't like that name and he didn't want anybody to call him that.
LaVenia: Very few people ever knew. What was it one time I had to establish that Dee was Lyle Delmer and I went down and got Dorothy Mullen at the post office, because with the mail she knew. Who else did I have help, I had to have two people. It was when Dee was ready to retire ...
Speaker 1: And get his birth certificate.
LaVenia: Mm-hmm (affirmative), and I had to
[00:39:00] make the connection between his going to school and people knew him as Dee and his name on his birth certificate, Lyle Delmer.
Speaker 3: Uncle Earl was always Earl.
LaVenia: He was William Earl, but he never did use William and Kenneth is William Kenneth. That's ...
Speaker 3: Pulled that one out of school didn't you.
LaVenia: That's not all, Chet was William Chet.
Speaker 3: He's probably William Chester.
LaVenia: All right,
[00:39:30] you're right.
Speaker 3: I wonder where the William came from?
LaVenia: I don't know, is that what we found on the stones down there in New Mexico.
Speaker 3: I don't remember mom. We'll have to go back this year.
LaVenia: Yes, we need to make the same trip this year.
Speaker 3: Aunt Cynthia, whom I've never quite figured out. I think mom knows how she fits in.
LaVenia: Aunt Cynthia Keith, married Bill Hills father.
Speaker 3:
[00:40:00] Anyway, she built what I thought of as the Stocks house and it's where Troy Yates, Troy and Molly and their family live.
LaVenia: No, you've got the wrong girl.
Speaker 3: Not Molly.
LaVenia: It's Faith and ...
Speaker 3: One of the Roberts girls, and her husband and family.
LaVenia:
[inaudible 00:40:22].
Speaker 3: Just South of
[inaudible 00:40:25] on the other side of the road. She built that for a hospital.
LaVenia: Where PL Stocks
[00:40:30] lived for years and Cynthia Keith is the one that built it for a hospital.
Speaker 3: She was just one of those kind of people her home, she didn't take no for an answer. If it needed to get done, she got busy doing it.
LaVenia: Her second husband, what was he named Keith, was the teller in Farmers and Merchants bank
[00:41:00] here in Bayfield. Remember which opened in 1911, in today's library not tomorrows because it's going to move quickly.
Speaker 3: Very quickly.
LaVenia: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Speaker 3: To move books I am going to drive the 1954 Chevy truck, that Dave has restored that belonged to
[inaudible 00:41:29].
LaVenia: Weyland.
Speaker 3:
[00:41:30] It'll haul a lot of books and I think
[inaudible 00:41:37] would be proud of that.
LaVenia:
[inaudible 00:41:41] reserved a lot of history out there because if you went to that farms sale there were some very interesting things and it took two auctioneers all day.
Speaker 3: And half the night, yep.
Speaker 1: I don't think they ever sold anything, did they? [inaudible 00:41:57] when they bought something new.
Speaker 3: I think it
[00:42:00] was all there.
LaVenia: There's still an awful, is it a trash machine sitting out there or what?
Speaker 1: Is there? I don't know.
Speaker 3: I think that
[inaudible 00:42:09] got that furniture. I think that's the one that's sitting by his fence under rainbow road.
LaVenia: It was there for a long time.
Speaker 3: I got a pair or her shoes, not that I think I can fit in them.
Speaker 1: Might not want to.
LaVenia: Although a lot of
[00:42:30] wonderful stories about
[inaudible 00:42:32], busy lady.
Speaker 3: I think I would love to be as good a business person as I think she was. I think I'd like to have that much farm, but I don't know if I could stand the work.
LaVenia: Well, now your daddy said that she could toss a bail of hay and feed cows with any man too. She could do a lot of things.
Speaker 1: I wouldn't be surprised.
Speaker 3: I did.
[00:43:00] Uncle Earl had the first T.V. that I remember. I think her
[inaudible 00:43:08] was probably ahead of them a bit in the technology in general. I'll never forget leaving school one afternoon and going to Uncle Earls house on South street, it would be about across from
[inaudible 00:43:24] still lives. The end of what's now the mid-school the west
[00:43:30] end. We all gathered around and all you could hear was sh, and all you could see was snow but it was so exciting. I've never seen a T.V.
LaVenia: Well you had never seen a picture come on on a box before.
Speaker 3: I had, because when I was in second grade, my second grade summer I spent a lot of it in California with moms parents. I was a spoiled child. I was the only grandchild
[00:44:00] and I could do what I wanted and I came back and told my classmates about T.V. and watching T.V. They absolutely did not believe me. Looking back I think it was because I also told them that I could stay up as late as I wanted every night. That just wasn't the way life was here then. I think I was in eighth
[00:44:30] grade then and I must have been a sophomore when we got T.V. in this house. Remember I had before a lot of people.
LaVenia: Oh, yes.
Speaker 3: Guy Binder loved to come watch football games. He was a football fan and played football in high school. I think that was still six man, they played six man football til past you.
Speaker 1: We played, I think for a year or two past when I was there.
Speaker 3: I think Doreen
[00:45:00] McCoy and Jim Sour and that were still played six man football.
LaVenia: Were the last of the six man football.
Speaker 3: That was '54. Well they graduated.
Speaker 1: I think they played prior to World War two I think they played 11 man football. I think, I don't know.
Speaker 3: Guy loved football. He would come and on this very floor tip one of the kitchen chairs over so that it made kind of a
[00:45:30] lounge here on the floor and that's how he watched his football. It usually took a couple of glasses of whiskey.
LaVenia: Well you had to relax.
Speaker 3: Those guys knew how to have a good time.
Speaker 1: They had different moves playing football like those boys too. Chewing tobacco and spit in another guys eye.
Speaker 3: It was pretty brutal.
Speaker 1: Throw
[00:46:00] sand in their eyes. It didn't
[inaudible 00:46:03], grass came down there, goat heads and sand.
Speaker 3: I'm sure they had a good supply of goat heads too.
Speaker 1: I can remember picking the goat heads out of my knuckles.
Speaker 3: They wreck bicycle tires, they're horrible pains.
LaVenia: You don't get them out you just buy a new tire. I know that story.
Speaker 3: For sure.
[inaudible 00:46:37]
[00:46:30] and Donnie would each be good people to visit with, Uncle Earls part of the family. Grandpa Roy was, I never got to know him at all. He died as a very young man and I think he was ...
LaVenia: He was dead before I came here, he must have died in '36, '37.
Speaker 3: At my grandmothers funeral everybody talked about
[00:47:00] grandpa Roy and it was just really wonderful to hear those stories and apparently he was a hail
[inaudible 00:47:07] and saw very few bad days. I don't remember all of the stories, but I remember the feelings very well. He ran sheep and cattle the best he could. They were desperately poor, but they certainly weren't alone
[00:47:30] in that.
LaVenia: They talk about going to the community dances like at the Columbus school team and a sleigh and you covered up good. You put a bunch of rocks in the oven and you got them warm, put your feet on the rocks. I don't know how they warmed them up at Columbus to get home, well maybe if you had enough whiskey you didn't need them. I don't know.
Speaker 3: He didn't care on the way home.
LaVenia: That didn't help the kids. The kids slept on the desks, they pushed the desks back
[00:48:00] against the wall and the kids would go to sleep. They had a wonderful community there.
Speaker 3: I remember, I was just little, 2,3 and I remember going to dances in what was
[inaudible 00:48:16] hall. It became apartments and where I had to
[inaudible 00:48:20].
Speaker 1: Go to the fight and dance would break out?
Speaker 3: Sort of.
LaVenia: Mm-hmm (affirmative).
Speaker 3: When we were leaving one night and Kenneth was
[00:48:30] carrying me down the stairs, so he must have been kind of a big kid at the time and just a board nailed up along the stairway down into the garage and I was craning my neck to see what was down in there and he turned me and ran with my head to the wall side, which I'm sure was much more secure for him. I was so angry at him, just wouldn't let me walk. I think I probably had a pretty good nap on a pile of coats
[00:49:00] in the corner that night. He will, and I'm sure you do remember playing basketball, right?
Speaker 1: Yeah, we played that too. I played the first team that played in the new gym in '48, '49.
Speaker 3: That was the year before I started school.
LaVenia: What people don't realize is that they just altered the ceiling joice to put up the baskets
[00:49:30] on that old dance floor. If you practiced up there you knew from what point you could throw the ball and get to the basket rather than in the rafters because if it went in the rafters it was out. Then the other ...
Speaker 1:
[inaudible 00:49:44] could shoot the flattest ball you'd ever seen.
LaVenia: It wasn't until the Colorado High School Activities Association said to Bayfield, you either get a standard floor
[00:50:00] or you don't compete with the other schools. They didn't care how long you'd play basketball up there but you couldn't compete with those in National. At that time it was ...
Speaker 1: Most of those schools didn't have anything better than we had.
Speaker 3: That's probably where all the gyms came from.
Speaker 1: Yeah, it's
[inaudible 00:50:23] told Aaron Baker that he wanted to quit
[00:50:30] lending the gym to him and that's when it really started.
Speaker 3: So that they hadn't opened it then.
Speaker 1: Then Aaron Baker called a meeting with a bunch of the fathers and a bunch of the business men and that's when it started.
LaVenia: The only real gym for years was down the agency at the Indian school.
Speaker 1: Durango's gym was in the old
[inaudible 00:50:55]. It wasn't all that great, you know, the balcony up there
[00:51:00] you could reach out and knock the ball down.
LaVenia: So true.
Speaker 1: Pagosas was in a, could have been a swimming hole. It was tiny.
LaVenia: Yeah, what about Silverton?
Speaker 3: Do I remember that it had a ...
Speaker 1: Yeah, Ignacio didn't have hardly anything.
LaVenia: What about the gym up at Silverton.
Speaker 1: Silverton had a good gym.
LaVenia: They had a good gym, but remember it was down and if you came in there after your feet were wet, remember how it'd ice up and ...
Speaker 1: It has a tile floor.
Speaker 3:
[00:51:30] Everybody who didn't live in Silverton was convinced that if Silverton was behind at the half time ...
Speaker 1: They'd open the doors.
Speaker 3: And ice that floor up.
Speaker 1: We had a
[inaudible 00:51:43] at the half one time.
Speaker 3: Really?
Speaker 1: Yeah, Bakers threw in the towel because the floor was so slick we were just, going to kill somebody going to get hurt.
Speaker 3: That's really not in the building, because Jake Candelary told me it was there when he was in the third grade.
Speaker 1:
[00:52:00] Oh, yeah. It was there.
Speaker 3: Jake is no child.
Speaker 1: He's not as old as I am.
Speaker 3: Really? I'm sorry.
Speaker 1: It was there a long time, they had a good gym for a long time. It always had that tile floor as far as I know.
Speaker 3: It was scary.
Speaker 1:
[inaudible 00:52:19], their gym was short.
Speaker 3: I don't even remember.
Speaker 1: They had a line painted out about the first free throw line and you had to get across
[00:52:30] that then you played the whole floor.
Speaker 3: Oh, wow. It's like an accordion floor.
Speaker 1: Yeah, you had to get across the line out there a little ways, ten feet or so and then after that you played the whole court.
Speaker 3: Wow, and they've got all that flat land out there.
Speaker 1: They had their, you know right after World War two they really got
[inaudible 00:53:00].
[00:53:00] That's when, they went about a year after.
Speaker 3: I think after the war a lot of communities had more activism where people, more ...
Speaker 1: They had big crop of beans for a good price.
Speaker 3: That would really help, it must have been a little bit longer before beef happened. Absolutely. Dad started to school at
[inaudible 00:53:30]
[00:53:30] and I have a wonderful photograph that we think is
[inaudible 00:53:38] and dad and there's another little boy.
LaVenia: Bogs. Clay Bogs' dad.
Speaker 3: None of them had any shoes and rag muffin little kids and big grins all over.
LaVenia: The teacher would let them out for recess when the train came through and if
[00:54:00] the kids were real lucky somebody had a candy bar to throw out.
Speaker 3: Dad said that the guys on the train never threw enough for everybody, because they wanted to see the kids fight over it.
LaVenia: I guess the engineer was pretty good about announcing that they were coming, so that the kids could get outside.
Speaker 3: Get ready.
LaVenia:
[00:54:30] He always said he and the other little Indians went to school down there.
Speaker 3: Uncle Earl must have been about the right age to start school when they were biting off the rocks into the river and it's still a problem with people driving down there and broke his arm.
[00:55:00] There was no point even looking for a doctor because his arm would heal by the time we got to one.
LaVenia: Well and
[inaudible 00:55:08].
Speaker 3: Yeah and they didn't have enough money to pay a doctor anyway. Grandpa Roy set Uncle Roy's arm.
LaVenia: He went ahead and put a binding on it.
Speaker 3: I never heard about him swimming after that.
LaVenia: No and swimming wasn't a popular
[00:55:30] sport in that time either.
Speaker 3: No, they didn't like water and they didn't like rattle snakes. Makes me think they're pretty smart.
LaVenia: When you're talking about Uncle Earl, Uncle Earl was the first lineman in this area and for a long time Earl got a telephone post and put it back here in the backyard. He spent many a day with those cleats learning to ...
Speaker 1: Practice in there.
Speaker 3: He hated it. He really did not like to do it,
[00:56:00] but he made up his mind that he was going to.
LaVenia: That was one of the few good paying jobs and he had three youngsters to take care of and Earl was unhappy when they went in with Durango because there was a union in Durango and there wasn't out here. They said you had to have two people on the truck always and things of this type, which really are good safety measures, but Earl would get up and do days
[00:56:30] work before he got down here at eight o'clock, so he got a lot more done without following the rules. They were hard working, they were hard working men, both of them.
Speaker 3: I don't think that they bested your days much, you've worked a lot mom and given a lot to this community. What's this, your 53rd, 54th year on the library board.
[00:57:00] Mom and Grandma Mac, you have to say her proper name for me, because I never knew it.
Speaker 1: MacMillan?
LaVenia: Yeah, Grandma MacMillan.
Speaker 3: Were the ones who put this library on the Dewey decimal system, the foundation of the system that's still in use. Carried books, helped carry it into the library district.
LaVenia:
[00:57:30] That buildings changed a lot, because it's been a post office and then the post office needed more room and built the other one up there where the drug store is now.
Speaker 1: Yeah, when they first started that it was a post office and the library was just a little cubby hole back behind the post office.
[crosstalk 00:57:51] office was next door.
LaVenia: The
[inaudible 00:57:53] was put on the back for coal house. Then the town didn't have any place
[00:58:00] for town hall, so the town offered to have the town clerk be the town clerk and the librarian in order to have a place for the town meetings. That was true clear through after Lawanda Mars went to work, because Lawanda was both the librarian and the town clerk.
Speaker 3: I remember when Geneva, I was a kid when Geneva ...
LaVenia:
[00:58:30] Geneva Rhymes, same way. It was Geneva
[inaudible 00:58:32], if people are used to the family background.
Speaker 1: One time the town made a deal that brought the post office,
[inaudible 00:58:46] train station.
Speaker 3: Oh, on the corner.
Speaker 1: I don't know how long they did that, but I know they did it for a while for town hall, the city clerk was in there
[inaudible 00:58:59].
LaVenia:
[00:59:00] Then there's up there in the barber shop, Mr. Lemmings barber shop the town hall was. I think Mr. Lemming was mayor and she was the town clerk.
Speaker 3: That'd make it pretty handy.
LaVenia: Well at least they knew where to find some records and help pay for your water.
Speaker 3: When I was a kid there were no street names, there was just so
[00:59:30] and so's house or and most prominent person would name that street.
Speaker 1: The main drag and the rest of them.
Speaker 3: Right, it was main street.
LaVenia: The highway.
Speaker 1: They may have had names back there, but if they did I didn't know what they were.
Speaker 3: They were named and somebody dug out a little plaque.
Speaker 1: Judging from the names that they have now, I would say that they probably were named by the plaque that they laid out in '98 or whatever it was.
LaVenia:
[01:00:00] The whole lot, if you wanted to know about this town you walked down past Jims mothers house and visited with her.
Speaker 3: Or Mr. Schiller.
LaVenia: Yes, Ms. Schiller and Jims mom could tell you more about town than I guess she should have, because they were here quite a while.
Speaker 1: She came here in '98,
[inaudible 01:00:26].
Speaker 3: Yeah.
LaVenia: Well, wasn't your grandfather
[01:00:30] one of the very first businesses in Bayfield? The Trading Post.
Speaker 1: That was his brother that had that store, the building on the corner of Mill and the highway. That was the first ...

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“Lavenia McCoy ,” Pine River Library Digital Archives, accessed May 25, 2019, https://prlibrary.cvlcollections.org/items/show/34.