“When I got home from my mission, the first job that I got was working for the father of one of my friends.”
It was P Day and Elder Hall was wearing jeans and his blue “Building Contractors” tee shirt. He was talking to a branch member who had just finished changing the oil in our pickup.
“He had a big truck and hauled various loads around the country. He told me he was taking a load to Nevada and would hire me to go with him. I got to his house about 10 in the morning.
He had a big pile of Lodge Pole Pine corral poles about 20 feet long. He told me to load them into the truck. I piled them nearly as high as the cab of the truck. It was about 5 in the afternoon when I finished.
My employer came out of the house and asked if I was ready to go. We climbed into the truck and drove to Twin Falls. He pulled up in front of a building and stopped the truck.
‘I’m singing in a Barber Shop Quartet program here tonight. We will go when it is over.’
I sat and waited. The program ended about 11 PM.
We drove south out of Twin Falls to Nevada, through Elko, through Winamucca, and then south to Fallon, Nevada. We got there about 7 the next morning. There was a Forest Service Office there. They were going to buy the corral poles. We sat and waited until the office opened. After we unloaded the poles, my employer bought me breakfast. It was the first meal I had eaten since breakfast at home the day before.
We drove along a railroad track. The railroad workers walk along the track and tap each tie with a metal bar. If the tie does not appear to be solid, they pull out the spikes and pry the tie out so that it can be replaced.
The ties were scattered along the track. My employer drove along the track while I loaded the ties into the truck. It was after dark when we finished loading the truck. We drove all night back to Wendell. We did not stop to eat. My employer dropped me off at my house and gave me thirty dollars.
He said he was taking out another load the next week if I wanted more work. I didn’t go back.”
Elder Hall paused for a moment.
“My brother-in-law offered me a job next. He worked for a company that installed heat ducts and plumbing. They were remodeling a house and needed to put heat ducts under the floor.”
The listener looked puzzled.
“Why do they need heat ducts?
To get heat in the house.
Why do they want that?
It is cold in our country. We need heat in our houses about six months of the year.
In new construction there is a two foot foundation wall around the perimeter of the building, so there is plenty of room to work under the floor. This was a remodel and there was only about 12 inches under the floor.
I inched along on my back, putting in the duct as I went. But the house had been added on to. When I reached the end of the older part, there were two concrete foundation walls blocking my way.
I took a shovel and dug under the concrete. When I thought it was deep enough, I edged my head and shoulders into the hole. When I got as far as my chest, I got stuck. I couldn’t move forward or back. My head was stuck in that dark hole.
I panicked, and it seemed like I swelled and was stuck tighter. I finally had to force myself to relax. For about twenty minutes I forced myself to lie still and breathe slowly. At last I was able dig my heels into the dirt and bit by bit drag myself out of the hole.
I finished that house, but I didn’t go back to that job either.
What did you do next?
I went back to Mackay where my parents were living then. Cloy Jones, one of my missionary companions, came to see me and talked me into enrolling in college. I went to Rexburg to Ricks College. It is called BYU Idaho now. I met Sister Hall there.”
I think we owe Cloy Jones a really big thank you.