Tuesday, July 1, 2014

A baby boy

"1958 Dave and me" from back of photo
When my Grandma Stricklan was 42, she was hospitalized for an illness. She had some blood clots in her legs and was receiving treatment. Before she was released, she told her doctor, a longtime acquaintance, that she was pregnant as well. "Impossible," he said, and sent her home to finish her recovery. About nine months later, my dad was born. When my grandma saw that the baby was a boy, she asked my Grandpa Stricklan what he should be named. She had named the girls, and Paul would name the boy. Paul, at 48, was a terse old farmer and rancher with strong opinions. "Dave," he said. And that was that.

At the time, the Stricklan family lived in a place called Darlington, Idaho in Butte County. It is not a town or village, just a "populated place," officially. The house they lived in still stands, if only just barely. It looks much older than a house that could have been home to a family in the 1950s; you would maybe think pioneers. But no, just a hardy Idaho midcentury family, raising sheep and cattle working and living on a plot they half-owned.

Dave was the fourth baby born in the family, but the first boy and much later than anticipated.


  1. I tried to write this before, but the internets ate it. Or something. Ada was being treated for blood clots (big long, deep ones) and the treatment was strong medicine. Really strong medicine. After the treatment, she was still feeling nauseous and the doctor couldn't figure out why. She asked for a pregnancy test; he scoffed, but finally gave one. When the results were positive, he tried to talk her into ending the pregnancy. His reasoning was the medicine she'd been taking was so strong that it had to have affected the baby. Ada refused. She had prayed for priesthood in her home (and Paul wasn't interested), and she somehow knew that if she was pregnant, it was with a boy who would hold the priesthood. So she went home to wait for his birth, hoping that her feelings were correct and he would be fine. And he was born, and he was fine, and he holds the priesthood.

  2. Well holy smokes, how about me not even getting the story right at all. Sorry.

  3. You got the story right. There were just some details you didn't know. The basic outline of the story is correct! And aren't we glad Ada went home and waited for that baby? Yeah, man!