Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Lost Plane Chapter 3..."We The People!"

A Letter Arrives From New York City...
According to my dad, the publicity Grandpa Mel received for locating the crash site, and the "hub-bub" which followed the lawsuit over the reward, made him a minor celebrity in the tiny town of Alpine, Utah.  The reward money, and the salary he received while working for the Airline on body recovery was enough for the family to live a little better than they had in the previous few years. 

If you recall, Grandpa was able to buy a radio so he could listen to the news without having to leave Fort Canyon to get the news at the local store.  Radio was the main entertainment for people all over the country...with soap operas, game shows and sporting events along with news and weather.

All in all, life was getting back to normal for the Devey family...until January 1938 when the letter from "We The People" arrived in the mail.

"We The People..."
One of the most popular radio shows of the day was called "We The People."  It was a talk show from Phillips H. Lord Inc. Radio Productions. Mr. Lord is the gentleman on the left.  The program billed itself as "truly a cross-section of American Life." All races and ages appreared on We The People...some examples:
  • A 91 year old Negro slave.
  • An eyewitness to the Chicago fire.
  • Indian Chiefs.
  • The granddaughter of Charles Dickens.
  • Mary and her little lamb. (I am not making this up)
  • The man who owns the universe.
  • Casey Jones's fireman.
  • A man who assisted Pasteur in the first innoculation against rabies.
The list goes on and on.  Would Grandpa Mel be next on the list? 

"Dear Mr. Devey," read the letter, "Would you be willing to come to New York and appear on the radio with us, if all your expenses were paid?" The letter explains a little bit about the radio show, then continues, "We would like to know whether you would be available for a possible broadcast some Thursday night in the very near future necessitating your arrival the preceding Tuesday."  They then asked him a lot of questions about the Lost Plane and asked him to send them the information as soon as possible:
  1. What were you doing on December 15th?
  2. Did you notice the plane in the air?
  3. When did you first hear of or see the wreck?
  4. Exactly when did you first reach the plane?
  5. What first met your eyes?
  6. Were there any survivors?
  7. Give us a full description of the wreck.
  8. How many persons were killed?
  9. How many people were in your party?
  10. Where did you take the victims?
  11. What was done with the wreckage?
  12. Were you the first person to reach the wreck?
  13. What are you doing now?
Since the Radio people had kindly sent Grandpa a self-addressed stamped envelope for his reply, Grandpa sat down with a pencil and paper and painstakingly answered the questions.  I can picturing him giving the pencil lead a lick to get started, then getting to work, bent over the paper in the dim light of a single bulb hanging from the ceiling.  But I can't help wondering, since I have those handwritten answers in front of me now...did he send them in?  Maybe he made another (more legible) copy to send to "We The People."  I am sure he was excited about the get his own bite of the Big Apple.  But life is a funny thing sometimes...

The Glitch...
Here's the of the sponsors of "We The People" was Western Air Express...the very airline who owned the doomed aircraft that crashed on Lone Peak.  He would be flying in the same type of plane and Grandpa Mel's expenses would be paid if full if he were to fly to New York on Western Air Express.

But Grandpa had gotten his fill of airplanes, working at the crash site.  He knew what burned and twisted metal looked like. Could he please travel by train? After some negotiations, the sponsor backed out and Grandpa did not get his trip to New York.  He would have nothing to do with flying for many years.

There is still more of this story to tell.  Tune in again...same time...same station.

As an old-time radio announcer might say...

"This, then, is the program which Mr. Lord has originated.  It is truly the heartbeat of America, for there is more drama, more action, more startling stories in real life than in all the fiction of the world combined...when WE THE PEOPLE speak!"

Monday, January 23, 2012

More Things For the Shower!

Getting Things Ready...
Amber's shower isn't until Saturday, but I have things piled up on the table to make sure I haven't forgotten anything.  I found the cute red and white tree at Hobby Lobby for 90% off...$2.  It was in their collection of Christmas decorations for sports fans.  I'm excited to now have a Valentines tree!

Treat Boxes...
I love painting and decorating papier mache boxes.
The pink ones above were in Target's dollar bins...already pink!

These will be filled with chocolates and small trinkets.
I'm doing door prizes...I hate stupid shower games.

The red boxes are also for door prizes.
Favors are Sweethearts boxes (not shown) decorated with a cute valentine tag on the front.
I'm making smaller versions of the treat boxes for the little girls who'll be there.

Valentine Garland...
The beauty of a Valentines theme is that I get my house decorated for the holiday at the same time.
A quick and easy garland with printed valentines and aqua rick-rack. 
I added a few heart-shaped buttons.

A close up of some of the cards.  They are about 8" in length.
I have to say again...I am so glad that Valentines Day is a "red" holiday!

I will be so glad to back to blogging more regularly.  Do you ever feel that you have lost your "Blogging Mojo?"  I'm doing a lot of crafting...but not a lot of what I would like to head is bursting with ideas, but I have to get this wedding thing over with.  It's all good, though.  I can't wait to see my daughter happily settled down with the right person this time.

Go check out Hobby Lobby for those trees. 
Ours had a lot of red/white ones left a few days ago.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Aunt Jane's Valentines!

The Scrapbook...
Aunt Jane is my dad's only sister.  She also lived in the old farm house in Fort Canyon.  When she was in grade school she kept a scrapbook full of the things she loved the cards from exotic places, small sketches,  and pictures of puppy dogs.  She must have wanted a dog of her own...even the cover is a picture of a noble collie.

She loved dogs, but most of the pages of her precious scrapbook were filled with valentines from her class mates.  It was the 1940's when she got these cards and I have been in love with them from the first moment I got the book.  I found it in Grandma Zetta's things when we cleaned out her house.  I tried to give the book back to Jane, but she said I could have it.  So I have had years of fun using the cards and images in my Valentines crafts.

These framed cards are one of my first projects.

I've given many of the cards away to friends and family...especially Jane's girls so they would have one of their mother's cards.  I have scanned a few to share with you...

I hope you will enjoy them as much as I do.

Haven't posted much lately...some family dramas and all know how it is!
Have a Lovely Friday!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Blog Book and More Wedding Projects!

Finished at last!...
My goal for today was to finish printing my blog and putting it in the binder.  I had only been blogging for 4 and a half months at year's end, so I was able to fit my entire blog in a 3" three-ring binder.  I like the ones with the clear pockets on the outside so I can decorate it how I like.

Divider Pages...
I made some divider pages for each month.  This year...I will make fancier ones since I will be printing the blog posts from each month as it ends.  Since this was an experiment, I don't think it looks too bad.  Everything is neat and tidy in page protectors.





I kind of lost interest in embellishing December.  (My grandkids came over.)

 Wedding Projects...
The picture on the left is something I pinned on Pinterest.  It's found on  I'm working on this for Amber's wedding on February 11.  It's been fun doing the decorations.  It's just a small affair, since Amber has been married before.

My version...
It looks a little busy up against the book case...but I'm liking it a lot.
Thank you, Christmas tag swaps, for teaching me a few tag techniques. Lol!
A few closeups of tags...

The frame and letters are white glitter cardstock.
I painted the little clothespins and sprinkled them with glitter.

I'm making scrapbook pages to sign...rather than a guest book.  
She can put the pages in her book. 

We're having a Valentine's Day theme for the shower.  I'll post more of the decorations, etc. in another post.  Thank you for letting me share some of the projects I've been working on.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Finding The Lost Plane...My Father's Account!

Tad's Story...
When I wrote about the Lost Plane a few months ago, I was writing the story for my grandchildren to read.  My information came mostly from newspaper accounts, my grandmother's scrapbook and stories Grandpa Mel told me.  My father, Thomas A. Devey (TAD) was only a toddler at the time of the crash.  A few years ago, he sat down and began writing his personal history which included a chapter on the Lost Plane.  We had never talked about the crash...I would have liked to have heard his version of what happened.  Here are some excerpts from his account:

" a Hollywood drama..."
Tad writes, "...After several weeks and still no sightings, the crash was beginning to play out like a Hollywood drama, complete with romance, suspense and mystery.  The stewardess had recently been involved in a romantic triangle, some of the passengers were socialites and the plane was rumored to have carried a very valuable package in its cargo of mail.  And on top of all of this, the plane seemed to vanish into thin air.

Thin air is an appropriate term.  The actual crash site was at about 11,000 feet in elevation.  The plane hit the top of a granite ridge, only a few feet below the summit.  The force of the impact destroyed the plane and most of the parts bounced over the top and down into Hogum Canyon, a distance of about 500 feet.  There it was immediately covered with several feet of new snow.

Sounds in the night...
My family was living at the top of Fort Canyon above Alpine [Utah].  In those days most rural houses were not equipped with indoor plumbing and ours was no exception.  My father, Albert Melvin Devey, was making his nightly trip to the outhouse when he heard a plane fly over.  It was overcast and he could see no lights.  It was not unusual  for a plane to fly directly over what we called the North Mountain [Lone Peak], however in those days it usually happened during the day.  Dad had noticed that when a plane flew over the top of the mountain, the sound of the engines gradually faded.  In this case, the noise ended abruptly...[it appeared]to be coming from slightly east of the house in Fort Canyon.

After returning to the house, he told my mother what he had heard.  The next day, the newspapers reported that the airplane was missing.  When the plane had not been found within a few days, Dad became curious [about] the plane he had heard.  He had a chance to talk to several other people who also claimed to have heard the plane fly over and he became more convinced that the plane he had heard and the missing plane were one and the same.

The picture, from Zetta's scrapbook, is of Will Healey and Frank Bateman who found some mail from the plane.

Tad continues...
"...With the arrival of early spring, searchers made their way up Dry Creek Canyon to an area where many springs surfaced forming a bog.  Traces of oil were found floating on the water in the bog, [bringing] renewed interest in the area.  [Unfortunately] the traces of oil proved to be naturally occurring vegetable oil which is found on the water in swamps every where.  The increased interest did pay off however.  Two men from Alpine were searching in Dry Creek Canyon when they came upon letters which obviously had been carried aboard the plane...[proving] the wreck was in the general area.

 Now the search began in earnest.  The airline set up camp in upper Dry Creek.  They hired men and horses to carry supplies and to conduct a complete search, even going to the extent of having lines of men armed with long metal poles probing the snow banks of the area.

Dad and his friend Emery Andrews were both farming on their respective properties in Fort Canyon.  As the trail got hotter, their interest grew.  They decided they would pool their knowlege of the area and of the circumstances surrounding the crash.  They would each go on the mountain on opposite days, reporting where they had been and what they had seen...After a few weeks of looking into all the nooks and crannies of the lower elevation...they came to the conclusion that the wreck had occurred high on the mountain.

Dad went over the published reports of the accounts of witnesses and he talked to several local people who claimed to have heard the plane...and came to the conclusion that the crash mush have occurred somewhere around Lake Hardy.

Panoramic shot of Lake Hardy taken by Nathan Terry.

The wreckage is found...
"It was the first of June and most of the snow had melted from the lower areas.  Lying in bed, he decided that when he went back on the mountain, he would search the mountain above Lake Hardy.  Two days later, he arrived at the summit of the ridge north of Lake Hardy.  On the top of the mountain was a scar where the plane had hit, and some small pieces of metal showing through the snow cover.  He picked up a piece of metal and proceeded down into Dry Creek where he located an airline official.  They returned back up the mountain.  On the way they met another man from Alpine.  He also was carrying a piece of metal from the plane.

When they reached the summit, the airline official confirmed that the area was definitely the crash site and that Dad had been the one to discover it.  This was important, because there was a posted reward of $1000 to whoever could locate the wreck.

"Now $1000 does not sound like much, but in 1937 it was a fortune!  Dad decided that he would split the reward four ways...equal amounts to the two men who had found the letters, to Emery Andrews, and to himself.  This may have sounded like a good plan, but someone else had other ideas.  The other man who had found the piece of wreckage the same day, claimed to have be the first one to find the plane.  It took a court hearing to determine that the other man was employed by the airline and that employees of the airline were specifically excluded from sharing in the reward."

To be continued...
My father's account continues with recovery efforts and life after the discovery of the wreckage.  I will continue his story in another chapter.  I'm so glad my father took the time to write down his stories.  I can't wait to share more of them with you.  I was prompted to post this today because two bloggers I follow, A Vintage Chic and 521 Lake Street have inspired me this week with their family stories. 

Thank you!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Valentine and Bridal Shower Projects!

Blue Bird Candy House...
Amber's bridal shower will be held at our house on January 28.  I'm working on a Vintage Bride theme for the wedding dinner, but I decided to go with Vintage Valentines for the shower.  That way I can craft to my heart's content and still be ready for the party. Yesterday I finally finished the first project...a pink and blue Valentine house decorated with blue birds and candy hearts.

This was fun!  I usually make these into gingerbread houses.
If I were to do this again, I would use red glitter glue around the windows.
They look better than the picture shows, though.

I've always believed that the back of a house should be just as cute as the front.
(I wish some of the people in town had thought of that...I hate boring expanses of stucco!)

Blue Bird Invitations...
Yes, I know these aren't Valentines per se...but I did stick to the blue bird theme.
Since I've been learning to make tags...I decided to make tag-like invitations.
The papers are loosely layered, though.

Blog Books...
I liked the idea of having a blog book printed...but when I saw it would be almost $100 just to print 4 1/2 months of blog...I am making my own.  I just cut and paste the posts to Word.  It keeps the format and looks pretty much like what you get in the Blog Book.  I've been making individual folders on Word for each month.  When a month's worth is pasted, I print it...put the pages in sheet protectors...then put them in a 3" three ring binder.  I am making cute divider pages for each month and decorating the outside of the binder as well.  Once I am finished with 2011...I will simply print each month as it comes...easy peasy!  I got this idea from another blogger...I sure wish I remembered which one, so I could thank her personally.

Thank you, Bloggers-I-Follow, for the inspiration you give me every day.
I want you all to know that I (try to) read every one of your posts!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Provident Living...Emergency Car Kits!

On the road...
Disasters can happen any time.  We've all been taught to have disaster and evacuation kits prepared.  We've learned how to deal with prolonged power failures and what to do in the event of an earthquake or devastating storm.  But what about when you are away from home...on the road somewhere?  I've read stories where people were stuck in snow storms or stranded in the desert when their cars broke down.  Many of the stories had tragic endings which could have been prevented by having an emergency car kit.

Having a well-stocked car will give you a lot more peace of mind and help you to stay calm and focus on what needs to be done.   Prepare your car now, by keeping your gas tank above half-full, check the weather and road conditions before a trip and keep up on the car's maintenance.  You may not have the chance to return home for your 72 hour evacuation you may want to keep a smaller version in the trunk of each of your vehicles.  I started with a medium size duffle and a couple of milk crates that will fit across the back of the cargo area of my SUV.  The car kit pictured is from Emergency Essentials

Car Kits might include...
  • Emergency car tool kit which includes battery cables and a small air compressor. 
  • Road atlas 
  • First aid kit.
  • Windup radio/cell phone recharger.
  • Flashlights, headlamp and extra batteries. 
  • Auto Buddy tool...this is a light, flasher, window breaker and seat belt cutter.  I keep this in the driver's side door.
  • Folding shovel, window scrapers, lock de-icers.
  • Jack, lug wrench, tire gauge and a fix-a-flat product.
  • Gallon each of windshield washer fluid and anti-freeze.
  • Bottled water and 3600 calorie food bars.  (Coast Guard ones are good)
  • For warmth:  hand and foot warmers, 10 hour heat candles, water proof matches, extra hats, gloves, and ear warmers.
  • For rain:  umbrella, rain jackets.
  • Quilts or blankets.  I have a heavy denim one.
  • Extra cash (small bills and coins).
This is just a basic list...what I started with.  I am sure there are other things to if you are traveling with children.  It's hard to prepare for everything...but you can prepare for the most likely.

Don't let this be your next family vacation! =D

"Prepared...Not Scared."
My new motto for provident living.