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Ellwin Rogers: My History as I remember It by Ray Rogers

My History as I remember It by Ray Rogers

Jun 16, 02:36 PM

My History as I remember It
Elwin Ray Rogers
The First Five Years

As might be expected my memories of the first five years are few and sketchy. However, there are some things that I remember very vividly. I was born October 11, 1941 the first child of Ellwin Hosea Rogers and LuRay B Dodge. I was born at Hailey, Idaho in a small hospital clinic on the second floor of the Fox building which was owned by Doctor Fox. The first floor was a pharmacy, a real old fashioned pharmacy with a soda fountain. The second floor was Dr. Fox’s medical offices and a small clinic hospital. I guess that the reason I remember this building at all is mainly because at age five I contracted polio. I came down with it on thanksgiving day. It had been one of those family thanksgiving days. There had been uncles, aunts and cousins. The tables were loaded with food and all had enjoyed themselves. The uncles, aunts and cousins had all gone home and I had gone to the table to get something else to eat and as I reached up to get it my legs collapsed and I was unable to even get up. I can remember being taken to Dr Fox three or four times a week for the next six weeks. I had to be carried everywhere. Not a fun time for an active five year old. I gradually recovered and a couple of months later I was recovered. It was assumed that I had contracted a light case of Polio. This left me with a weakness in my legs which has plagued me for my entire life. It also left me with an inability to hold my breath for very long, which hampered my underwater swimming. However, I was blessed to recover and be able to use my legs and live a normal life. Another person in our town had Polio and had to use braces and crutches to get around.
The first six months of my life I lived in north Richfield, Idaho where my dad was employed by a farmer named Pierson. On December 7, 1941 I was taken to church to receive a blessing. When they got home they turned on the radio and heard that the Japanese had bombed Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and World War Two had begun. My dad and uncles went to enlist in the armed services. The recruiter sent my dad home and told him they needed farmers as much as soldiers so go home and raise food and his child. My uncle Norman had a hernia and was rejected for medical reasons. Uncle Willis and uncle Roy and uncle Bob joined the navy and uncle Russel joined the army. My mother’s brother uncle Earl was drafted into the army and Uncle Gene joined the navy.
Dad moved us to a rented farm, south of Carey, Idaho, owned by a man named Griffen. My memories start at about age three. Needless to say these memories are connected to the war. The most vivid memories are of family gatherings at my grand parent’s home to read letters from the uncles. I think the fear and concern for their welfare that the adults had made it more vivid to me. Letters that came from such places as San Diego, London and Okinawa. I didn’t know where these places were but my uncles were there and fighting a war. I didn’t understand what war was but I got the sense that it was bad and frightening.
At this time my mother’s parents lived about four miles east of Carey in a two bedroom house made of lava rock. It had a basement/cellar underneath that you got to by moving the kitchen table and lifting a door in the floor. There was also a real neat shop with a forge for heating and welding metal for machinery repairs and horse shoes.
Though my early memories are sketchy the things I do remember are vivid. Most vivid are the war memories but like all the rest of my memories of this time they are the memories of a very young child and of the things that interested and were important to that child.

Ray Rogers