Thursday, February 7, 2013


It was wonderful to see the green valley and to be with my folks again. We called on my Uncle Joseph Sharp who had paid nearly half my missionary expenses, my brother Fred and his family; William H. Westwood, whose wife, my sister Gladys, had died during my absence, and others.

The economic depression was in full swing and it was very difficult finding any work. The Deseret News, my former employer, in the persons of Joseph J. Cannon, editor, and James M. Kirkham, manager, said they had no vacancies in sight.

On the morning of July 14 the father and sister of Elder Clare B. Christensen called at 145 4th Ave. I was impressed by Bernard N. Christensen, the father, but fascinated by his daughter, Maurine. I could tell that she had lots of energy, joy of life, and good breeding. She looked healthy and she was beautiful, in short, the person I wanted for my wife. This decision occurred in a matter of minutes; they invited me to come down to American Fork in several days. I accepted.

I spoke in my ward, the 18th, the next Sunday, enjoying this experience much and being rushed by many good looking girls in the ward. I was corralled to teach a teen age Sunday School class and sang for a while in the ward choir under Joseph Prows.

I enjoyed very much my first visit to the Christensen home in American Fork and liked the mother, Maud Driggs Christensen, immediately. She was always gracious, stimulating and helpful. Paul, Kathryn and Owen, along with Clare, were enthusiastic and good company.

Maurine has told you of my visits there and our outings up American Fork Canyon. We also went hunting rabbits and cutting cedar posts over at Cedar Valley. Each time I would help with the farm work and try to pull my own weight, but I was most interested in Maurine.

She soon was wearing my fraternity badge. My folks were shocked to hear this, because I had not confided in them, considering that they could read between the lines.

At October General Conference they had counted on being asked to the South African Missionary reunion, having attended this in my absence. I did not realize this and took my girl, Maurine. I was made chairman of the committee for the next reunion and had Clare sing, accompanied by his brother Paul.

Early in January I won employment with the Salt Lake Tribune at the salary of $20 a week. I had been getting $15 a week as copy boy at the News before leaving for South Africa. My first assignment was covering the State Farm Bureau annual convention in the Newhouse Hotel. O. N. Malmquist was the city editor who hired me. We had known each other attending a class in logic at the U. of U. Florence Ray, who then was a freshman, later had been married to "Quist" as he was known. I had done a little work for the Tribune visiting voting places and arranging for the election judges to phone the results to the Tribune office.

I worked about 12 hours a day minimum and six days a week. After the Farm Bureau convention was over they gradually had me work more and more. I worked hard and conscientiously and they appreciated this. Finally my ten to fourteen hour work days ended after President Franklin D. Roosevelt instituted the eight hour work day and the forty hour week. Extra hours were worked in some cases where we earned “overtime” pay.

My dear Mother contracted phlebitis soon after and died May 12, 1933, at the age of 69. This was a great loss to me, but I am sure she wanted to be with her husband who was loved deeply by all of us. I had helped tend her during her illness, but did not realize the end was so near.

Soon I was working night rewrite (assistant to the city editor) each Tuesday night until 2 a.m., night police each Wednesday night, and covering the north run which included the Church offices, Hotel Utah and many other offices the other four days.

That was my schedule when we were married. As Maurine has told you in her story, she had asked Elder David O. McKay to perform our ceremony. I confirmed this with Brother McKay, who also was a favorite with me. Soon after, President Heber J. Grant, who had brought my father to Salt Lake and who had performed the marriage ceremony for my brother Fred and his wife, told me that he had heard that I was going to be married and he would be happy to perform the ceremony. I had to tell him thanks very much, but we had already asked Brother McKay. Also soon after that Brother George Albert Smith, (who succeeded President Grant as president) also offered to perform the ceremony, and was told the same with thanks much.

The ceremony itself took place on November 14, 1933 and was a wonderful experience. Brother McKay recited nearly all of I Corinthians 13, beginning, "Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not charity," but instead of charity, he said, that word meant love. He counseled us to always have that same love for each other. I was almost walking on air after hearing him!"

Clarence and Maurine (Fawzie/Muzzy or Fawz/Muzz as they were called by their posterity) raised two girls and two boys in Salt Lake City.  Clarence worked all his days as a reporter switching between the Salt Lake Tribune, the Deseret News, and the Church News.  He covered the 1947 Centennial Trek of the Sons of the Utah Pioneers and wrote the pamphlet: This is the Place: Utah Centennial, 1847-1947 published by the Centennial Commission.

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