My first room was in an apartment that once been part of a grand old Salt Lake house. It was small and had french doors. It was probably intended to be a study instead of a bedroom for two little girls. The closet in the corner had stairs leading up to it. It was originally the entrance to the attic. Our room was small with just a twin bed and a crib for my sister, Susan. I don’t remember having any toys in my room. In fact the only toys I remember are a wooden rocking horse that our landlord Johnny Farrell made for me, I was terrified of it when I got it, and a small red piano. My room had dark green wall paper on the walls. One night I noticed that a tiny piece of the wallpaper had flaked off. I picked at it a little and it looked like the moon. Every night I would pick at it and turn it into different things, a dog, a tree, a rainbow. It grew and grew. Each night it became something different. I would work on it until I fell asleep.
My next bedroom was in a small house in the Rose Park area of Salt Lake. It was also small with two wooden twin beds that used to belong to my uncles. Still no toys in our room, just the beds. We each had a drawer in the bottom of my parents dresser in their room. I remember the sheets on those beds, they were embroidered by my grandmother and I loved it when I got the one with a patch. My mother always put the patch near my feet and I liked running my toes over it while I went to sleep.
We moved from there to another apartment. It was the same set up. This time I remember toys in our room, Barbies! We also had new turquoise chenille bedspreads. I loved their bumpiness.
I guess we moved a lot. After I witnessed a knife fight during the first weeks at my new junior high school, my parents quickly relocated to Bountiful, Utah to get us away from the thugs they believed attended West High School. We lived in a duplex in a nice neighborhood. My new bedroom was equally small. This time we got rid of my uncle’s wooden beds and were all modern with metal “Hollywood” bed frames. Still, not too much in our room-just clothes in the closets and we inherited a desk from my grandmother that my mother painted antique white.
Our next move occurred because our landlord sold the duplex we lived in and the man who bought it, Brother Adams, was in our ward. I remember that he took Susan and I aside one Sunday and tried to explain why he was kicking us out of our home just before Christmas. He was moving his elderly mother in so she could be close to his family. A very good reason, but it has always felt like we were thrown out at Christmas. My parents found another duplex to rent that was a bit run down and it was still the same little bedroom, with the same beds and chenille bedspreads, the same desk and the same little girls who were growing bigger. I think we may have actually gotten a dresser from somewhere this time. I was a little OCD in this house and always had to have everything in it’s exact same spot before I could go to sleep. This was my last bedroom in a house with my sister and parents. I graduated from high school while I lived here.