History of Hazel Johnson Christensen


High School

I went to a Church school for my high school.  The Academy still stands.  It was the Oneida Stake Academy at first and then it was just the Oneida Academy.  It’s been renovated to make it safe. [Since this was written, it was saved again from the wrecking ball and was moved to another location in Preston to be made into a museum.] My favorite teacher was my brother-in-law, Harrison R. Merrill.  He taught religion.

When we were going to high school, I enjoyed going to the dances.  We had a dance at the high school once in a while, and we’d quite often draw names for partners.  We had Saturday night dances in town at the opera house; I always went to them.

I really didn’t have a steady fellow except Joy, and he was just by mail.  Ruth Carpenter and I went to the dances together because we didn’t have boyfriends then.  I had two or three cousins that danced with me, and the kids at school would dance with me.

Ruth and I never went alone.  We either went with my brother Howard or with her brother Douglas.  They were always willing to take us until one night she wouldn’t dance with Howard when he asked her.  She told him, “I’m not going to dance this     time. I’m going to just sit it out.”

That made him mad.  Howard wasn’t a good dancer, but he was good enough to take us over to the dance.  The next Saturday night, she called me and asked, “Can Howard take us tonight?  Douglas can’t.”

“No, Howard won’t take us anymore because you wouldn’t dance with him last week,” I told her.

My brother Floyd hollered downstairs then and said, “I’ll take you dancing if you want to go.”  So he took us that night.  He was a good waltzer.  On New Year’s Eve we always danced the old year out and the new year in; we danced for about fifteen minutes or so.  He danced with me one year.  I enjoyed that.  I’ll remember it as long as I live.  It was so long and he was such a good dancer.

I had one fellow when I was in high school who lived a mile and a half out of town, Orlando Peterson.  He had a buggy and a horse, and we would go for a ride in that, through the country.  Always on Sundays the group of us would go to somebody’s house, maybe my house, and sit and talk.  Then we would end up at the ice cream parlor and eat ice cream.

One time we decided to get some roses-steal them.  This one fellow I was with said, “I know where there are some pretty roses.”  It was at his grandfather’s place, and he was the one who went in and got them.  I guess it wasn’t too serious a crime.

In high school I had another dear friend, Aleatha Olsen.  I graduated in 1918.  Another girl and I tied for giving the valedictory.  Part of the teachers wanted her because she was a cousin of the principal, and they were hoity-toity.  It was that kind of town.  I was just common old Hazel Johnson.  Harrison and a couple of the other teachers thought I should have it because we had the same number of A’s and B’s, but I had a few more credits.  Before anybody knew who was going to give the valedictory her cousin said to me, “You’re going to give the valedictory, aren’t you?”

“Oh no, I’m not.” I replied.

“Well, I bet you are,” she answered.

Finally we drew names to find out who would give it.  We had an assembly every day for fifteen minutes, and one day during assembly we drew for it.  I drew her name and she gave it.  Her cousin told me, “You know that makes me so mad, because she has gone through this whole four years copying off me.”  I was surprised.  I had thought maybe Carol would be the one to give it.  At the time I was glad I didn’t have to.

At school we took Book of Mormon and the Old and New Testament and then Church history.  We came out pretty well versed in the gospel.

After I graduated I went to Albion to normal school.  It was close to Pocatello.  I went on the train.  The family took me to the station.  I was planning to go for nine weeks so I could get college credit for it, but I got sick and had to come home.  I had been there for six weeks, and  you could get a one year teaching certificate if you went to normal school for that long.


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