I wrote the following a few weeks ago:
I was most recently telling you about the Miller family who lived here in Thompson Springs for about 40 years, from the 1940s to the 1980s. Ted and Nana were like my other parents while I was growing up. Wonderful folks they were! I’ll never quit missing them.
Oh … Where to start? Way back I guess, before I ever knew them since I wasn’t born yet, of course.
If you have a good memory and have been keeping up with this series of stories about my uncle, Nate Knight, you will remember that he was a man who grew up in the Book Cliffs of southeastern Utah back in the 1920s and ’30s. I believe that spending enough time amongst the lonesome ridges and canyons of the Book Cliffs Mountains can give a person a special understanding of nature’s ability to hide her beauty right under your nose.
I’ve been telling you some stories about my Uncle Nate Knight over the course of the past couple months. It’s the year 2020 now and my dear uncle would have been 100 years old on March 27. He lived a good, exciting and interesting life in many ways, but also lived a life so challenging that most would find it unbearable.
When I was a youngster, quite a few of the adult men in my life flew airplanes and some of them owned one. My Dad got his pilot license in 1946 while working as a line boy at an FBO over Denver way.
I’ve been planning to try to cram the rest of my recollections about my uncle, Nate Knight, into this third part, but I know it won’t work. As mentioned in my last column, I have been getting a lot of help with the facts and the timeframes from Uncle Lee Stocks, who still resides in Moab and who spent a lot of time working with Nate in the years from 1945 until 1960. These brothers-in-law were always close and lived across the street from each other on 2nd North in Moab most of their lives.
First, let me apologize about the fact my column has only appeared infrequently the past few weeks. Sometimes it was because the editor did not have space to run it, and lately it’s because I’ve been tied up on a big project out here in Thompson Springs that has consumed all my time. I like to have my stuff printed every other week in The Times-Independent, but it just can’t always work out that way.
My uncle, Nate Knight Jr., was born in Moab during the year of 1920 and was living with his family near Sego, Utah by 1922. His father, Nate senior, was working a small coal mine in Thompson Canyon just over the ridge from the larger Sego coal mine.
Kathy Hurt is a very interesting lady from Fruita, Colorado. She is an author and historian, to boot. I first heard of her when a friend loaned me a copy of a book Kathy wrote in 2011. It’s called “Way Points Along the Book Mountains.”
I stayed in Moab with my grandparents, Len and Laura Stocks, for the six or eight weeks that comprised kindergarten in the summer of 1958. The schools were running double sessions at that time in Moab because there were too many children and not enough schools.
I’m thinking I’ll continue with some more family stories of Thompson Springs in the 1950s. As mentioned in the last column, things were kind of spicy and dicey due to the influx of uranium miners and the assorted commotion they were causing out in the hills and when they came into town to wet their whistles.