SUNNY CAL JOURNAL - Wandering From The Fold, Guns Came Out

By Bob Weaver 2023

My dad Gifford was a stalwart, dependable, hardworking Christian and wonderful father. He was a church goer and prayful man. The same can be said for my mother.

My dad married Myrtle Gertrude McCoy in 1933, and spent his adult life in the Village of Hur.

In the 1950s Giff was suffering from yet another firing from the State Road Commission because of his politics, lapsing into severe depression, and then obtaining a job as manager of a new chicken processing plant built on the NYA grounds near Grantsville.

While there, he engaged in an extra-marital affair with a Grantsville woman, to my knowledge only wandering from the fold a single time. That affair came to an abrupt end one dark night at our house in the Village of Hur.

Sitting in our living room watching "Death Valley Days" on our small black and white TV, a vehicle stopped in front of the house with its horn blowing. Customarily, folks got up and went to the road to see what they wanted. He did. Within moments we could hear loud voices, and my mother and I creeped outside to the corner of the house to see what was wrong.

Shortly my dad ran past us, saying he's got a gun and he is going to kill me, continuing into the house and to get his loaded shotgun. My mother and I turned the lights out and embraced him in a frenzy to stop him, likely the only time in my life I "stood up" to him.

We had lowered the venetian binds as the man was circling the home. My mom went to the grapevine to call the switch operator. In a small crack through the binds we could see the mans legs. He had yanked the phone life from the house.

We had a seconary grapevine line down the wooded hollow that was connected to the Hardman manor house. She wired up that line and called the State Police and some neighbors who came with their shotguns. Before they arrived, he sped off.

Neighbors told us the man had a long time drinking problem. Officer L. L. Haynes came to the house and a warrant for Wanton Endangerment was issued, the man was arrested and taken to jail.

The next morning my dad went to the jail to discuss the issue. I have no idea about the conversation, but he dropped the charges and he was released.

To be sure he and my mom had some serious conversation about the matter. I have no idea what they said to each other, but there was a definite reconciliation that maintained their 52 year marriage, my mother dying young at age 69 in 1985.

My dad went on to marry Georgia Stemple, their marriage continuing to his death at 87.