ELVIN BUNKER (1903-1995)
AUTOBIOGRAPHY

Elvin Bunker was born August 21st, 1903 in St. George, Utah. He was a twin to his sister Elfine Bunker who was born minutes before him.

Elvin's twin sister Elfine Bunker Turner related:

I remember one thing my mother told me many times about my grandmother McQuarrie. She was a midwife in Bunkerville and all the country around. It came time for my father and mother to have their first baby. My father used to go over and help grandmother a lot, rub her back and her hands and arms and help her be more comfortable because she was very sick and ill. She had to spend most of her time in bed. She took a look at my mother one day and said, "Ezra, you've tot to take this girl to St. George, she's going to have her baby anytime and she is going to have two. We just can't handle a double birth in this area, you'll have to take her to St. George." So that's how we happened to be born in St. George, Utah. I was a perfect full term baby with a lot of black hari and pretty good sized. Elvin was quite premature and very small and very tiny, but they worked with him and worked with him and he finally began to make it and come to life. She had quite a time raising the two of us right at first. However, we are healthy and strong and thankful for the opportunity we had of being born together.

I can remember when we first came to Delta. I think I was about four years old.

Elvin's twin sister Elfine Bunker Turner related:

The first thing I remember was moving from Bunkerville, Nevada up to my grandfather's ranch (The Beaver Dam Wash and Hannah Leavitt Terry's home). My father had gone up to Delta, Utah to find us a new home and to work. We statyed with my grandmother for a while and while we were there we had a big storm. A big flood came down the river which was probably a quarter of a mile from my grandmother's home. The flood was so bad that it came clear up to the porch of the home.

It fascinated us children, of course, very much. We were about five years old. We saw a duck coming down the flood waters and trees falling down. It was very exciting. We got to playing around too close to the edge of the porch and my Uncle, who was about 18 years old, kept getting us back from the edge of the porch. He herded us around and got real out of patience with us.

My grandmother had an old trunk sitting on the porch. My uncle said "I'm going to put you children in this trunk and put you out in that flood if you don't behave yourselves." That really frightened us. We went in the house right away.

Soon after this, I remember, our first wagon trip into Medina where we went to take the train to go to Delta where father was. Uncle Jed our second to the youngest uncle, took us in a covered wagon with hay in the back of it. We children were to sit on the hay and be comfortable and play while Mother sat up in front with Uncle Jed and the baby. Virginia was a baby then.

We traveled through the old bumpy roads. Mae want to sleep, she was just about two years old, while the rest of us were playing and looking out the front of the wagon a lot of the time. We turned around and Mae was gone. We couldn't imagine what in the world had happened to her; she was gone. We began to scream that Mae was gone. So my uncle turned the wagon around and started back. We went quite a little ways. Finally, we saw her sitting in the middle of the road, all dusty and dirty and crying as hard as she could cry. It was quite an exciting trip to take a train to Delta. It had purple velvet seats in it. We children rubbed them until we thought we'd wear them out, they were so interesting to us. Father met us at the train and took us to our first home in Delta which was a boarded-up tent. He was working on the church house. They were building a church right close by where he had his tent pitched. They just had the foundation started and they were using a crapper and scrapping out the dirt with the horses to build a foundation of this church. It was very interesting to us to play in all this dirt on all these high little hills they made. We were really excited to be there with them.

I remember one night when some friends that Dad, that had made by the name of Munster, came in to see us. They stayed quite late in the evening because we were going to see a comet up in the sky. We children got really scared because we didn't know what a comet was. We kept talking about it and talking about it. Finally, it came time for the comet to show and we all went out and looked at the comet, but we children looked in vain, because we never did see the comet. We really expected something. When summer came, and the work on the church, that Father was to do had been completed, he got a job way out in the country with the Munsters. We lived out there for a while with them until it was bout time for us to get ready to go to school. We had to move back into Delta. We moved into one big room that had a loft in it. We had a boarded up tent by the side of the house for our kitchen. This is where we lived when we started school at Delta in the first grade.

After school had been going a little while, we were to put on a program and Elvin and I were to sing along together. It was quite a cool morning when we went to school. Mother went with us to hear the program. I had a scarf tied tight around my head. We were sitting up in front and she kept motioning to me to take off the scarf. Finally, our part came on the program. We got up and sang our song and I still had my scarf on. Mother was quite embarrassed to think that I didn't take the scarf off.

When Christmastime came we had our first Christmas party. I especially remember this because our little brother Neil was born on the 19th of December and this program was to be on Christmas Eve. We had been practicing and we were to be a man and wife and we had a little baby. We had our rocking chairs and we stood there and we talked about it being Christmas. We talked about the Christmas tree. We were supposed to go to sleep and Santa Claus came and brought a lovely gift for us. We were so excited about it. I don't think we turned out to be very good actors. We thought it was really fun to be on the Christmas program. The think I remember most about that evening was walking home with Father. I think there were four of us who went to the party. As we came out the moon was shining so big and bright and it had snowed. The snow had frozen over the top and it was all crusty and as you'd step on the snow you'd sink into it and the moon made the snow sparkle so pretty that it was just a memorable evening for us. I never will forget that first Christmas in Delta.


We lived out on a farm in what is now known as Sutherland. The people out there were very friendly. We used to play along the ditch bank.

On my eighth birthday, my father and another man took me and my twin sister out in a canal and baptized us. Then the next Sunday we went and were confirmed into the Church. We had lots of fun in Delta. There were quite a group of us, about 20 or 30 of us used to have parties and plays. We had a lot of fun. There was not much to do. We used to catch the groundhogs and cut their heads off and take them into the place and get bounty on them. Sometimes we'd have as many as forty or fifty. They'd give us about two cents apiece. We thought we were getting rich when we got a dollar for the lot. We had rabbits and pigeons and horses and lots of cows. We had to milk the cows.

We moved into town when I was about ten years old. We bought a place. We had to carry water from a deep old well. We had a wooden bucket on a rope. It was about forty feet down to the water. We'd let this wooden bucket down and then pull it up full of water. That water was awfully good.

We lived right next to the grandstand and the racetrack. We used to go over there and watch them play ball every night. They had a fence around it, but we were smarter than the fence, so we were always in the ballpark. My father used to play third base. We thought it was great to watch him play ball. Delta used to play Hinckley, Deseret, Oasis, and those different towns. We used to have lots of fun.

Elvin's twin sister Elfine Bunker Turner related:

One thing I remember about Delta was my first glimpse of an automobile. We had a nice big grandstand and a ballpark and a race track where we would have entertainment and horse racing and things like that. We went to the program, one day, over to the grandstand. A man came up with his first automobile. It was quite different from what we have now. It had large wheels and it didn't have a top. It had quite a long engine and everyone was so excited about it. We watched this man drive it around the track. It was quite a thrilling sight to see that first automobile. Of course, it wasn't many years after that until our Uncle David was about the first one in the area to get an automobile.

While we lived in Delta, Dad contracted with a fellow to haul straw to a herd of cows one winter. We had two teams and two wagons. I was to drive one team with a load of straw and Dad would drive the other. I would follow him or he would follow me. We had to load, haul and unload several tons and it was quite a job. On one trip, I was sitting there with all the straw piled up behind me. All at once, I felt a strange feeling moving up my back. I reached up behind my neck and underneath my coat and found a mouse.

Elvin's twin sister Elfine Bunker Turner related:

I remember one Christmas when Elvin and I wanted to go up in the mountains and get a Christmas tree. It was quite stormy, but we got our horse and buggy ready and we went into the mountains about 15 miles to Oakcreek mountains. We hunted around and hunted around and finally found us a nice pine tree. Elvin kept picking at the trees and getting nice branches. I didn't know what he wanted with these branches. He was getting more branches all the time and getting them in the buggy. We finally got home and got the Christmas tree ready. Elvin fixed it on a stand and got it in the house. Then he went and got the branches he had gathered and put them all around the house and decorated the walls. He fixed them all up with tinsel and things and they really looked nice. I think that's about the most memorable Christmas that we ever had. Elvin was so artistic about fixing up the house.

Mother was always getting after the kids. Dad would just sit there and let it go in one ear and out the other. He would never correct the kids until he had to. Usually, thought, when Mother would try to get him to help she would say, "Ezrie, did you hear me?"

He would say, "I heard you."

"Well, what are you going to do about it?" she asked.

"Nothing," he would reply.

On the fourth of July we would have races. Then Delta got a high school. It had only two years at first. After I had two years in High School, we moved up to Provo. But Delta was always a place to go out to. It was a big, windy, open country but there were lots of good people down there.

I can remember in the first year of High School one of the teachers that impressed me the most was Judge Reva Beck Basone. She was known as Miss Beck then. She wasn't married. She took quite an interest in me. We used to write stories. I think she used to kind of favor me. We had a variety show. She was the one to put it on. She got me in a quartet, believe it or not. I was the tenor of the quartet.

We had this show in the only picture house in town. They turned it over to the school because the school didn't have an auditorium. We entertained the town. The girls danced. They had a little skit and show. Between the show we came out and sand "A One Horse Town." I think we made quite a hit. Miss Beck, she was quite a gal. I know she didn't stand for any boys to put anything over on her. She always stood pat. She was as good a teacher as she was a judge. That was about the time we left Delta.

Elvin's twin sister Elfine Bunker Turner related:

One thing I especially remember was in High School; we didn't have a very big High School, but we very often had very good teachers come to Delta. A first year teacher came down to teach and took care of the music program. She wanted to have some quartets and music performed in some programs. She got a lot of us together and we sang and we tried out.

Elvin and three other boys formed a quartet. It turned out to quite a hit. These boys sang and they really brought down the house. They were really good. Our principal was really proud of them, and said: "What that woman can't do with children. I didn't know those boys could sing anything like that." But they did and performed quite a few different times for the public.


Then we moved to Provo. I came up there first, and we settled on a little ten acre piece of ground and stayed there two years.

I can remember once Dad rented the Bishop's farm, eighty acres of the finest land you'd ever see. We had beets and had to thin them. We kids herded cows and had 14 acres of beets. I did the plowing; they did the hoeing and cultivating: just the kids---Elfine, Laver, Mae, Virginia, and myself. We kids lived in the house, all by ourselves, all summer.

One Christmas, we all got up and ran to the Christmas tree. When we got there, we found nothing but a big note that read, "Santa has ordered Christmas from Sears and Roebuck and it will be here in a few days."

We had to milk cows, and had a lot of horses. Old Maggie was an ex-trotter from a track. We just kept her around. One day I was going to mutual. Why I was alone I don't know. Usually all the kids went together. The road was dusty and I had old Maggie on the buggy. I was down in the barrow pit. Old Maggie was sauntering along, when a couple of drunks came along with a nag and offered to give me a race. I reached down on the dash and picked up the lines and said, "Maggie!" and she shot out like a bullet. We had to make a bridge. It was just narrow enough for one. Old Maggie made the bridge ahead of the drunks. She was in the height of her glory. She was the finest buggy horse you'd want to see, but if you got on her back with a saddle she was up and down. She'd almost through you up and down when she trotted. Old Maggie liked to go on the buggy, but she was never a work horse. One cold, snowy morning Dad hooded her and another little horse up on the wagon to take us kiddies to school. There was about six of us in the wagon. Dad got out in front and Old Maggie layed down. She wouldn't pull an inch. She wouldn't move. She was balky, and didn't want to go to town or the school. Dad wouldn't let us get out of the wagon. We were scared and bawling.

He went down to the barn and got a piece of baling wire. He walked up to Old Maggie and grabbed one ear, and started to wrap her ear with the baling wire. He started right at the part of the ear that comes out of the head and wrapped it tightly right out to the end. Then he jumped in the wagon and took the lines and away we went! That night Mother said: "How did you know that would make Old Maggie go?"

He said: "I didn't know, but I know that a horse can only think of one thing at a time."

Dad loved horses. We always had horses. We had a horse, and he hadn't had a saddle on. We rode him bareback. We went out across the river to our cousin's place and they had a saddle. They wanted me to put this saddle on the colt. So, I saddled it up and cinched it up tight and we started off to the picture show. I guess the cinch got too tight. He started bucking and threw me off. We couldn't ride him any more with the saddle. He was alright without a saddle, but not with one.

We'd go out to Uncle George's. One time four boys and my brother and I and two cousins were just sitting. Up a little ways were a bunch of girls. There were a whole flock of them. We decided to go up there and have some fun. We'd go up there and scare these girls! My brother Laver and Antone and Carlisle went to the back of the house and started scratching on the screen and I jumped out of the front door with a red handkerchief over my face. The girls started to screem, and the guy next door came out. "Who are they? Where are they?"

He had a gun and I dashed one way and the other boys dashed the other way. I crawled across the road and down through the weed and went about a mile and a half. I never got back for about an hour. When I got back to Uncle George's the other two boys were sitting there just as calm as could be. Everyone was wondering where I was. Lindsay Steele and the neighbors were all looking for me with a gun. Boy, those gals were sure squealing! They never did find out who the Mexican was that jumped out in front of the door. We had our day.

Dad loved to read. Usually, when Mother and Dad would get into bed, Dad would read. All of us kids would gather around the bed while he read stories and sometimes even books to us. He would get hoarse from reading but we wouldn't let him quit.

Elvin's twin sister Elfine Bunker Turner related:

I especially remember when Father had to go away from home to work during the winter time to keep us in groceries and things. He'd go down and work on the freight down in Lund, Nevada. He used to go nearly every winter and do a lot of freighting and make a little money for us to live on and then in the summer time he'd come back to Delta and work on the farms and around in the area.

We moved to Provo. I think it was about 1920. We loved Provo; it was really a nice place and we enjoyed it so much. The boys got some work around there. Elvin went to high school at the Lincoln High School. I went back to Delta to finish my high school there, but I came home for Christmas and didn't go back because I was lonesome for my family. When spring time came, I worked in the strawberries and enjoyed Provo a lot.


The first car Dad ever bought was when we lived in Vineyard. It was about 1923 and Dad came to Salt Lake and bought a Ford car. It was a used car. The lot we lived on in Vineyard was a big one and about half of it was orchard. The gate into the fruit buyer's orchard was about a block from the house. It was the gate the produce men would use when they would come. Between the road and the gate was a little bridge over a stream of water. When anyone would come, our two horses would always run up to that end of the lot.

When Dad returned home with the car, it was late at night. He had to leave the road and get out of the car to open the gate. Dad then drove through the gate, stopped the car and got out to close the gate. While he was at the gate, one of our horses came running by and kicked out one of the car headlights.

When we lived in Vineyard, LaVer was working for Elmer Holdaway milking cows. At night, they would play basketball at a hall across the street from the church. There was a fellow by the name of Burton Scott who always thought he was pretty good, but LaVer was better. He was quick like Dad. Everytime they would play, they would put LaVer on Burton Scott to guard and LaVer would always take the ball away from him. Burton would say, "You go guard someone else." LaVer would say, "No, I'm guarding you."

Elvin's twin sister Elfine Bunker Turner related:

The boys finally went to Salt Lake to see if they could find work. Elvin and LaVer found work at a foundery. When they found work, Father wanted us to move to Salt Lake. We lived in the 5th/6th Ward where we first became acquainted with President Harold E. Lee. He was the bishop of that ward. Father got acquainted with him and he liked him so much. I think it was while we were in this ward that the welfare plan was started by President Lee.

We moved over into the Sugarhouse Ward and I remember Father used to work on the farms they had started for the welfare plan. He used to hoe beets and hoe the garden that they were getting ready. We lived in Sugarhouse for probably two years. I got a job at the telephone company and I worked there steadily. I think it was probably sixteen years that I worked at the telephone company.


During the Depression, Dad, LaVer and I went to work in Idaho. After our work ran out, LaVer and I came home, but Dad stayed on for the winter sorting potatoes. One time, he sent home a check for $75.00. Someone put it up with some other papers. After school, Mae came home and cleaned the house and took the check with the papers and burned it. We had to send to Idaho for another check which took about a month.

Elvin's twin sister Elfine Bunker Turner related:

We moved from Sugarhouse over to a little house on Quince Street, north of the temple. We stayed there for quite some time, probably two years. Then we moved over on First West and Second North, in a big home and lived there. Soon after this, Elvin was called on a mission.

The next job I think I had was when I went out on the D & RG bridge gang. We had a bunk car that moved around from one place to another. We were up to Shoulder Summit, Price, Eureka, back to Salt Lake and then out to Magna and all over. We worked all one summer down on what they called the Marysville branch, down through Salina, Ephraim, and Mt. Pleasant. We were putting culverts under the track, or working on the track or where they loaded the cattle. Anything that needed to be done we did it along the track. I went out along because LaVer got a job over at the American foundry. Then when I was on a mission, he got married and went down to California. He was working at the foundry trade when I went down to the Boulder Dam, years later.

I worked out there from about 1925 until about 1928. I saved up about $900. Then I went on a mission. I spent the $900 on the mission. I went on a mission in 1928 and came home in 1930.

My mission president was President Charles A Callus. He was a little short, kind of heavy set, kind of bald headed man. He was in the mission field for 28 years: The Southern States mission. He said they had to give him a better job to get rid of him. He was a pretty schrewd little guy anyway. He was smart as a whip. He learned to be a lawyer working in the coal mine up around Coalville or someplace.

Elvin's twin sister Elfine Bunker Turner related:

Elvin went to the Southern States Mission. While he was down there he met my husband in the mission field. As time went on, they didn't see each other for quite a long time. Then Elvin married and lived in Provo. He married Katherine Hansen. Their first child, Karl Eugene, was born and she passed away about a day after the baby was born. He came back to live with us there on First West.

After I came back from my mission, in three years I got married. Then in two years Karl was born. That's when the depression was on the worst. Then I went down to Boulder Dam. I worked 1935 and 1936 at Boulder Dam. Karl stayed with Grandma Bunker.

Elvin's twin sister Elfine Bunker Turner related:

About this time, Marvin Turner, decided he wanted to look for a wife, so he came to Salt Lake to find some of his old friends that he had met in the mission field. He had met a girl in the mission field that he wanted to see again. He was quite disappointed in her when he came to Ogden to see her and so he came down to Salt Lake.

It was Christmas time, the fact is, it was Christmas Eve. He came in on the bus that day. He got out his little address book and began to look up his old friends from the mission field. He saw Elvin's name and we lived close by the bus depot. He walked up to hour home.

Mae and I were putting up a Christmas tree and we had the Christmas lights all strung around on the floor. When he knocked at the door. The night before Mae's husband to be, Earl Hill, had given her a diamond ring. I was feeling badly that she had a diamond ring and I didn't even have a boyfriend. So she thought she'd cheer me up so she came in the kitchen and said, "Elfine, why don't you go in and fall for him; he's not a bad looking fellow?"

So I went in and he was introduced to me. He stood up and said how do you do and we talked a little bit. I went back in the kitchen and said, "I don't see much about him to be excited about." He spent the Christmas Holidays with us. Before he left, we made arrangements for me to go up to his home in Montana and meet his folks. It was up there that we became engaged and it was the next fall that we were married, in November.


Once Marvin Turner got to Salt Lake, he looked in the phone book for any names he might recognize and saw "Bunker." He remembered me and called on the phone. I invited him over to the house. He stayed with us for awhile and met Elfine and that was all it took. I always thought she was such a pretty girl.

Then after I got done with Boulder Dam in 1936 I came up to McGill where I worked for about a year and a half. That's when I married Elva, before I left McGill. That was September 1st, 1937. As for Carpentry, I worked at it before my mission. Then when I got married the first time, I ran my wife's mother's place for a year, down in Provo. It wasn't a very good place and I didn't make anything out of it. Then I worked for Uncle George for about 6 to 8 months on his place, in Vineyard. After my wife died, I came up to Salt Lake. I got on the W.P.A. and worked about 2 or 3 months. Then I went out to Nevada and worked out there on the Railroad again, on an extra gang, putting rails and times in the track. Then when I came back along about the next March I went down to Boulder Dam.

At Boulder Dam I built forms for the concrete. Carpenter's wages were about $6 a day. That was pretty good money for the Depression times. A lot of people didn't have work.

Out at McGill we were repairing houses that were there. During the Depression a lot of the houses sunk on one side and it was our job to straighten then out. We were paid by the Copper Company. It was just like Magna and Garfield out here, it was a company town.

After we left McGill we came back to Salt Lake. My first job was with John Eardley. He had some little repair jobs around town. Then I helped Matt Asper remodel a house up by the Capitol. Then my next job was up at Logan, to the Logan 5th Ward. I was up there about 3 and months for John Haslam. Then they moved me from Logan over to Fielding, that's in Box Elder County near Garland. I stayed over there through the next winter, about six months.

Then LaVer called and I went down to California and I stayed maybe six months, down in Los Angeles. Larry was about six weeks old when I went up to Logan. We worked on two or three houses. Then the War came on. We were in California when Pearl Harbor was bombed. Before Peral Harbor I got a job over at Santa Anna, on some defense work. I was over there about three and months on some houses. Then I moved from there up to Victorville. I worked about three months up to Victorville on some other housing. I think we were there in 1941 when Pearl Harbor happened.

Well, after that we came up to Las Vegas. We stayed in Vegas from 1941 until the fall of 1942. Then I came up to the Geneva Steel plant, when they were building that. In Las Vegas I was working on the Basic Magnesium Plant. The Plant was half way between Las Vegas and Boulder. I worked Geneva from September until February. Then in February we came up here, and bought this place in Salt Lake. At Geneva I was building forms for bases for machinery. We poured concrete that was about 20 feet square, by about 20 feet deep.

When I came up to Salt Lake, I got a job out to the Navy Base, where I worked from 1944 to about 1951. It was a good seven years. We built cages for security, or repair or general carpentry work. We built an officers club and several buildings. We built about 50 small warehouses, that were about 40 feet wide and 100 feet long. They were all pre-cut, they came all bailed up. I think the Navy ordered about 100 of them, all at one time. We put those together. There were all kinds of jobs to do. If the timbers would break in the top of those warehouses then we would replace them. I worked on that for about six or eight months. I quit there in 1951.

Then I went to work for Okland Construction Company. I worked for them mostly for about three or four years. I build bridges and houses. I was down in Kayenta, Arizona all one winter with them, for eight or nine months. I flew down once. That was the only time I had ever flown. It was about a four passenger plane.

I worked for Okland for about three or four years, then it was just one job after another. I went out and worked on Cottonwood High School for about a year and a half. I went out and worked on Skyline High School for about a year and a half. Then I did odd jobs around for different companies. I worked on the Federal Building on State Street and First South for a couple months. I worked on the 6th South Viaduct for about 6 or 8 months.

When Larry was born, we started up to the hospital and the old car wouldn't go up the hill, but we got up there, up to the LDS hospital. Mother had a lot of trouble, finally he arrived. He had a lot of hair. It was right down in his eyes. The name Larry was a name we just liked. When Tom was born we decided to give him the Thomson name. Mother liked the name Garth and it was another name to go with Thomson. Elva's brother Garth Thomson was away in the service; that was one thing. I liked the name tom, Grandma Bunker didn't but I did. Her Father's name was Thomas and they called him Tom Terry and she didn't like Tom. Grandma Bunker suggested the name Gaylen and we thought it was quite nice. Mother heard the name Kim, and she liked that so that's how we came to Gaylen Kim.

Remarks at Gaylen's Missionary Farewell (1965):

The young missionary opened the gate, and he walked up three flights of stairs and onto a Southern porch. He was scared; this was his first time out. His companion said, "Now you go to that home, you knock on the door, you tell them who you are, you give them your message and leave them a tract."

He was scared, but he tapped on the door. Nobody answered. He was about to leave and he heard footsteps. The door opened a little ways and he heard a woman's voice say, "Well, what do you want."

He stammered and he stuttered, composed himself and said, "I'm, I'm a, a missionary."

"You're a what!"

"I'm a Mormon missionary."

"You're one of those missionaries, I thought I knew you! Look at you; what do you leave your home in Utah for? Don't you think we got religion out here? We got a church or our own, we don't need you. You fellows are going around town here, leaving all this nasty literature, leaving your tracts and everything. What's the matter with you? Why don't' you stay home where you belong?"

The boy just stood there, his knees were shaking and his teeth chattering. He didn't know what to say, so he backed away. Boy, of boy, he wished he were home.

As he turned to leave, that forbidden home - on the veranda of the porch was a beautiful fern. It was in a little carriage, with leaves around it. The leaves streamed over the side, down almost down to the ground; it was a beautiful thing. He paused a minute and he said, "That's a Favonian fern."

The lady said, "What!"

"That's a favonian fern. That grows in India. We have one at home like that. It doesn't do as well at home as it does here. You see, it's this was mam, you live in a damp country. They tell me it rains about 60 inches down here and that's more like its native land. But at home we grow ours up in the house. You see I live in Idaho, and we have to grow them in the house because the winters are long and cold, there's lots of snow and we can't grow them outside like you do here."

The women opened the door and she said, "How come you know so much about ferns."

"Well, you se mam, it's this way - my mom had ten boys, and I was the runt."

"You was the what?"

"Well, we raised pigs and the smallest one was always called the runt and that is what my brothers called me. My mother kept me in the home. Oh, I learned to make a batch of bread, make a bed or sweep the floor or put out the laundry---I could do that pretty good. But, my brothers were bigger that I was and they worked on the farm."

"Well, if you're a momma's boy, how come you could leave your momma and come out here?"

"Well, mam you see it's this way. My momma believed in missionary work and you know five of my brothers went on missions. They got together and they decided that I should go on a mission. That's the reason that I'm here."

"Your bothers sent you out here."

"Yep, that's it."

"Well, you didn't have much in common in your home. You say you were a momma's boy."

"Yes, that is what they called me in High School---a Momma's Boy, a Panty Waist and everything else. But I was so dog-gone little I had to live with it. So I just went a long with it. But you see we did have something in common, you see my mom was a good church member. She often played the organ in church. She taught all then of us boys to sing. Once a month we would be at home and gather around the piano. I can remember when I was 14 years old and my mother had an old fashioned organ. They told me and my younger brother to take my mother to town, on Christmas day in the sleigh and to keep her there. When we got home late at night, there sitting in our parlor was the nicest piano you ever saw. I can remember how my momma cried and cried and she said she wanted that all her life."

The woman had come out and the harsh look on her face was gone and she said, "Boy, I believe you're homesick."

"Yes, I am a little bit home sick." He said as he started down the steps.

Then the woman said, "What did you say you was all sellin'." He paused and he looked and didn't know what to say. Then the words came---they weren't his words, but the words of somebody else. He looked up into her face from the steps and he said, "I'm selling the gospel of Jesus Christ." The woman said, "You just give me one of them there papers, I'm going to read that, and how would you like to come and sing me a song."

"Oh, I can't sing very good alone. I have to have somebody else." He said and went down the steps to the gate. The woman turned to go, went to the house and opened the door and opened the tract. There is said, "The Plan of Salvation."

As the missionary stated down the sidewalk the clouds had turned into rain. As it rained he started singing, "I get the blues when it rains, the blues I can't loose when it rains, each little drop that falls on the window pain, always reminds me of the tears I shed in vain." He reached his senior companion who stood waiting for him.

His companion said, "Well you done pretty good, for your first time."

He said, "Oh, I don't know we just talked about the fern up there."

"Did you give her the tract?"

"Yes, she finally took one." He said.

"Do you think she will read it?"

"Yes, I believe she will."

So as they went down the street the companion said, "Well brother, I believe you're going to be a fine missionary."

Elvin Bunker passed away in Salt Lake City on March 24, 1995.