Memories of My Brother, Joseph Clair Orrock I have no memory of Clair living at our home at 358 North 1st East in Richfield, Utah. Clair was married and out of our home when I was very small.  I was probably three to five years of age.  Those who know his date of marriage (approximately) would know.  However, let me say in the outset, that all, and I mean all, of my memories of Clair as I was growing up were positive. I was always very proud to say, “Clair is my brother.”  I might add that anyone I met who asked my name and who I was related to, when I said, “Clair Orrock is my brother,” they would respond, without hesitation, what a fine man and good neighbor he was. Never once did I hear him raise his voice in anger to anyone.  Though, being human, he must have expressed his anger to someone. One thing that helped him cope with irritating or possibly angering situations was his great sense of humor.  I remember on one occasion he had a “confrontation” with his mother-in-law.  She had put together some concoction which required so much salt (sauerkraut or something).  Clair noted that it tasted quite salty and he stated as much to her.  She said, “I followed the recipe exactly as it was written.  Here on the can it says, ‘1 pound net weight’.”  She was holding up a coffee can.  I would guess that coffee was about ½ to 1/3 the weight of salt.  Clair merely laughed it off, although he still tried unsuccessfully to reason with her on the matter, a good example of his patience. You can’t think of Clair without thinking of his sense of humor.  There are two classics which have become legend. Number one: When Lila, Clair’s wife, died, Clair was making funeral arrangements and the issue of perpetual care at the cemetery came up.  After the sexton explained the program and cost, etc., Clair said, “In the event of an early resurrection, do I get a refund?” Number two: I once asked Clair how he was feeling.  Clair’s response, “I think I have a case of the natural causes.” Some of my recollections are quite vague and perhaps say very little about our relationship, but they may have some value as they fit in with the memories of others.  For example, he must have worked in the mines in Park City because I remember he sent home to us a wooden packing box filled with mining tools and accessories: miner’s caps, etc.  I also remember some candle holders which had a place to insert candles with a spike attached with which it could be forced into the wall of the mine. I remember he rode a motorcycle for a time.  I think it was while he worked at the local poultry co-op.  Also, while he was working at the co-op, I used to enjoy watching him assemble egg crates and “candle” the eggs.  The eggs were candled (put up to a light source to determine if there was any blood in the egg, which would indicate that the egg had been fertilized).  He would manipulate two or three eggs in each hand and quickly rotate them in front of the light source.  He seemed to do it so fast and with such ease and dexterity. Some of the thoughts I recall have nothing to do with me personally, yet they manifest his character and general mode of dealing with life.  For example: He was in the National Guard for some time.  During one summer training camp at Camp Williams, he and his cousin, Boyd Rasmussen, decided to go AWOL.  I don’t know what prompted the decision to do so, because they surely knew that they would be discovered and returned to camp.  Sure enough, they were discovered in the foothills above Richfield.  Clair was very ‘laid back’ and casual about the whole thing (and cooperative).  However, Boyd was very belligerent and uncooperative.  As a result, Boyd was placed on KP and other unpleasant punishments, but Clair, because of his attitude, was given slight, if any, punishment.  In fact, his main duty from then on while at camp was to play in the band (trombone, I think). These thoughts and memories I present in no particular order, but as they occur to me. Let me give you an example of his gentle and sensitive nature.   I recall one Sunday afternoon, while he was visiting in Richfield at our home (between the time of my army experience and my mission), he suggested that he should hurry home because his girls may want to have the car to do some visiting with friends in the area.  I remember that at the time, I was impressed with his concern for them and their right to some pleasure. Another example of his patience with my stupidity: I was probably in junior high school or high school at the time.  I was about 14 or 15 years of age.  Clair had entered his young bull in the county fair (Kow Kownty Karnival).  He asked me if I would feed and water his bull before and after school each day.  I was glad to help him out.  He described the location in the pens where his bull was housed.  I assured him I would carry out my duty.  The fair lasted about a week.  Somewhere in the middle of the week, Clair came to the house and asked me if I was really taking care of his bull and if so, was I feeding him enough.  I assured him that I was very diligent in fulfilling my responsibilities.  A day or so later, we went through the same scenario again.  On the last day of the fair, Clair called from home in Joseph and asked if I would go to the stock pens and lead his bull home and he would come by later and pick him up.  I asked if it was safe to lead his bull home with a chain hooked to his nose.  He assured me I would be in no danger. I went immediately to the stock pens and hooked the chain in the nose of this huge, beautiful beast.  I also unpinned the blue ribbon (1st prize bull) off the gate and led the bull home.  When Clair came by later to pick up his bull, he said, “That’s not my bull!!  You had better get that bull back to the fairgrounds before you get busted for cattle rustling!!” In fear and trembling, I hustled (not rustled) the bull back to the fairgrounds as fast as I could. Since I hadn’t been gored or attacked from the fairgrounds to home, I was fairly sure I could return him without incident, unless the rightful owner and the police were investigating the crime scene when I got there.  And oh, yes, after placing the blue ribbon back on the gate, I located the “right bull”.  I’ve never seen such a hungry looking, scrawny bull in my life!   With no feeling of pride at all compared to my first trip home with the prize winning bull, I almost seemed to tip toe my way home with my head and the bull’s head hanging in shame. Obviously, Clair was disappointed, but he never raised his voice nor did he suggest that I had let him down. One memory I have isn’t particularly complementary or positive, but it is a memory.  Clair and some of the locals his age enjoyed brewing a cheap grade 3.2 beer.  Some no doubt used it for bootlegging purposes.  Clair did it purely for home consumption.  One night, while I was visiting in Clair’s home on South Main Street in Richfield with Mom and Dad, Clair shared a bottle with me.  I must have been 5 or 6 years old and not quite able to “hold my liquor.”  I became sick and threw up all the way home. As I grew up, it seemed to me the middle son had no advantages.  Both Clair and Bill had them all.  For example, Clair was given (or earned) a .22 rifle.  The rifle was accidently fired through our kitchen ceiling.  Therefore, I was never allowed to own a .22.  Clair had a Model T Ford, which he wrecked while on a date in the country.  As I recall, the accident occurred as he was trying to cross some railroad tracks on the highway.  The car frame was lying across his neck.  He later said that he could feel the life leaving his body.  Some passersby came to his aid and lifted the car off his neck, thus saving his life.  Others may know the details of the experience better than I.  Suffice it to say, Dad wasn’t too eager to have me own or drive a car. Clair had a horse.  He made a bad trade and lost his horse, so of course, I didn’t get a horse. I always wanted to have piano lessons.  Dad said he couldn’t take the pounding anymore.  All the girls had had the opportunity; too bad for me. As I look back with a more honest perspective, I realize that I have shared these last anecdotes for shock value and humor, my own brand of warped humor.  The fact is, I never wanted a .22 rifle.  My Red Ryder BB gun was plenty good enough for target practice with cans, bottles and sparrows. I didn’t really want a horse, either.  However, Dad and Mom sacrificed so that for Christmas when I was about 14 or 15 years old, they bought me the best bicycle in town.  It was a 2-speed (back before the age of 10-speeds) and the envy of all my friends. And I did own a car for a year or so.  Dad paid eighty dollars for a 1928 Desoto.  I sold it a year or so later, because the wooden spokes on the wheels were wearing loose and would squeak as I would turn corners.  I wish I still had it. Clair was always good to me.  I enjoyed working in the potatoes for him (for just one year, I think).  I and another neighbor of Clair’s about my age, 16 or so, would load the sacks of potatoes onto the truck for hauling to the potato pit.  I think Lila was the driver.  I only worked one year, because at about the same time, I was hired by Alvin Jensen to work in his butcher shop in the back of Christensen’s Grocery Store. When I told Clair where I was working and how much I was receiving in pay, he showed his philosophical side by saying, “Get what you can and can what you get.” There was another side of Clair, which I didn’t experience personally but what I think might be of interest.  It also shows that he and I had some things in common.  Dad liked us boys to be with him while at work on the farm or hauling wood from the local foothills.  On one occasion, while riding out to the farm on the old beet rack to work and later bringing home a “jag” (a small load of hay for the animals), Dad said to me, “You’re as bad as Clair. You hardly speak to me while we work together.  Why, sometime ago, Clair and I were riding in the wagon to the foothills to gather wood.  On the whole trip he said nothing except, ‘There goes a rabbit’.” Another thing we had in common: neither of us milked cows while we were at home.  I think that Clair did later, but I never did.  I tried a few times, but Dad would scold me and say, “You’ll never learn how to do it.  You will ‘dry up’ the cows.”  Dad loved his kids but wasn’t very patient (especially with me).  Therefore, there was a lot I didn’t learn about farming and caring for animals, etc. I always enjoyed going over to Clair’s and Lila’s for Sunday dinners and other special occasions. I always felt comfortable and welcome. During a semester or so between 1968/1970 (I can’t recall exactly when), Clair invited me to stay at his home in Salt Lake City, since I had to stay over during the week while taking a few classes at the U.  I remember I was always welcome and well cared for. Clair had long since left the farm.  I don’t know why, but I do remember that he started driving truck, hauling uranium during the rush of the late ‘40's and ‘50's. Later, he moved to Salt Lake City and drove truck (on construction as I recall). Clair began having health problems but always remained cheerful and gracious. I think he didn’t always take good care of himself.  For example (and this may not be a very significant example), at one time in his life (and maybe for a long time), he was in literal heaven if he had a stick of baloney and a jar of mustard in his hands. The last two or three times I visited Clair was at Beverly’s home.  The very last time I saw him alive was when Dawn and I visited him in the LDS hospital some time before he died.  When Dawn and I entered the hospital room, there sat Clair in a chair under the window and next to his bed.  If we hadn’t have known for sure that it was Clair, we would both have sworn we were in the presence of Mickey Rooney.  I can’t remember anything that was said, but I am sure it was a pleasant and uplifting experience. So in conclusion, as I look back on all my memories and reflect on them, I see in my mind’s eye a handsome, humble, gentle giant of a man, a man who demanded little but gave all he had to his family and friends. by Scott Gottfredson Orrock Note:  Dad's oldest brother, Joseph Clair Orrock, died in 1987 at the age of 79. He was the fourth of nine children. Clair was 19 when Dad was born as the eighth child. About 15 years after Clair's death, when Mom and Dad were living in American Fork, Clair's children asked Dad if he would write something about their dad. Other than letters, this is the only thing we have that Dad wrote.