1928 -                        INDEX      PEDIGREE

Doris June Miner


Marriage: 24 January 1951
Place: Mesa, Maricopa, Arizona

Birth Date: 22 October 1928
Birth Place: Long Beach, Los Angeles, Calif.
Death Date:

Alan Reed Harker
Janice Harker 
Nancy Harker
Jay Douglas Harker



Melvin Douglas Miner
Barbara Jean Miner
Mary Jane Miner 
Doris June Miner

Frustrating Experience with the Car
My First Paying Job
My Grandparents
Winning and Losing
My Father's Work
Pot Pourri
Early Romances
Child Rearing Philosphy



A Frustrating Experience with the Car
This incident occurred New Years Eve about 1963 or 64. Louise was coming to spend the night with Janice so we went to La Canada to pick her up. Alan was parking cars at the church to earn money for the Scout Troop. We must have gone across the upper road to La Canada and returned the lower route through Pasadena.
When we arrived in the very poorest section of Pasadena, one which I was not very familiar with, our big old white Dodge with fins ran out of gas. Remember, this was before cell phones. Alan volunteered to help, but I "ordered" him to stay put. While I was thinking about what to do, I noticed in the rear view mirror the lights of a huge old Cadillac full of six big black men. Now I was really scared.
Two of the men came to my window, which I rolled down two inches, and asked if they could help. I told them my plight, and they offered to get gas for me. I gave them Five Dollars. We sat and waited, not really knowing that they would come back. They returned, put the gas in the car, and we were on our way.
There were a couple of lessons for me. First, watch the gas gauge, and I am still not very good at that. And yes, it always pays to be cautious, especially with five kids in the car. But more important, there are some wonderful people out there. Those guys knew I was in desperate need, and they took care of it.
My First Paying Job
    Baby sitting and tutoring were my first jobs, but my first job working for a company was at the Pharmacy in Belmont Shore. It was the summer before I started High School, and I was 14 and 1/2. MJ had a job as a sales girl at the same pharmacy selling cosmetics, cough drops, etc. They needed a soda jerk, a job too demeaning for anyone who could get another. (This was during the war years, so jobs were plentiful, and there was no requirement that I be 16 years old.) Anyway, MJ volunteered my name, and I got the job.
      Pharmacies, then called Drug Stores, always had a soda fountain which sold Ice Cream, Cokes, etc. This pharmacy had a more extensive menu, and was a favorite spot in Belmont Shore for breakfast or lunch. I learned to make Coffee in the big urn, but someone else usually did it. They said when I didn't taste it, I wasn't likely to get it right, and they did not want to be selling bad coffee. We sold a lot. I did make sandwiches from the trays of stuff already prepared, plus the drinks to go with them. There was also a short order cook, and I served up whatever he prepared. Yep, Grandma the hash slinger.
      I can't remember what I was paid an hour, but I wouldn't be surprised if it were only fifty cents. I remember that MJ made about 25 cents an hour more than I did, because she was older and had the more responsible position.
      Belmont Shore is a suburb of Long Beach which is along the beach, but as far east as where we lived. Sometimes we walked to work, and sometimes Mom would drive us. It was a long walk, but I don't remember ever minding the walk. Transportation was not plentiful, and we were used to walking everywhere.
      MJ got me my next job too. The following Christmas, she was a salesclerk at Spring's Formerly Gumps. (Gumps was a very famous store in San Francisco, so they wanted to use the name.) It was a leather goods store, and MJ sold luggage, purses and wallets, etc. and I got to work at the wrapping desk. It was a neat job, and a posh store. I especially liked break time. Every afternoon, I went next door to Buffum's Coffee Shop and ordered a piece of Chocolate Cream Pie and a glass of milk. I'm not sure anything has ever tasted as good as that did.
     One of the other soda jerks was an amateur diver. After High School, she went to the Olympics and married her coach. I was able to follow her career for awhile, until she faded into obscurity. It was fun to know someone who made it that far in her field.
My Grandparents
     With respect to a memory of my grandparents, I only had two grandparents instead of four. My Grandfather Miner died in 1901 when my father was six years old, so I could have no memory of him. My Grandmother Christensen died of Cancer when I was 4 1/2, so even though I saw her, I do not remember her.

Grandpa Christensen lived in Richfield, Utah. I remember going to visit when he was a widower. Uncle Harve and family lived with him, so it was not easy to get a feel of Grandpa, or his home. He had a typical small town Utah home. It had a very small living room, a large kitchen and a master bedroom on the first floor. There were two bedrooms upstairs. The picture of my grandfather with the volunteer beet, is taken on the front porch of that home.

My best memories of Grandpa are from his visits to California. While he was a widower, he came every winter and spent a month with us. My mother loved and respected her father very much, and I learned from her to do the same. He was not as polished a man as I was accustomed to, but he was kind. He spent his time at our home going to the Pike (the amusement park) area where the "Spit and Argue" Club had discussions every day. Grandpa liked politics and liked to discuss the subject. He also played solitaire in our living room.

My favorite memory of Grandpa was one day in the car. I was sitting on his lap in the back seat. As I folded and unfolded his fingers, I inquired about the yellow stain on his index fingers. Grandpa smoked cigarettes, and he "rolled his own" using tobacco from a cloth sack and cigarette papers. This effort saved money, but it created the stain on his fingers. Grandpa explained what the stain was from, and told me that smoking was a filthy habit, and that I should never take it up. It was a memorable confidence between us.

My paternal grandmother came from Richfield to live in Long Beach in the early thirties. By the time I can remember, she lived in one of the little houses on Gardenia Avenue. (Dad built our first Long Beach home on Gardenia. Then he built two small rental homes in front of that property.) Grandma lived there with her youngest son, Theone, whom we called Chris. I remember visiting her one day when she could not find her glasses. I told her they were on the top of her head. We laughed. Yes, our memory skills fade, as we age.

Sometime after Doug was married in the summer of 1935, Grandma came to live with us, because she was not well. This is where I really became acquainted with my Grandmother. Grandma and I shared a room, and Barb and MJ shared a bedroom. Grandma was also my sitter. When everyone else would go someplace, I was left with Grandma. I suspect that MJ was sent to be with a friend, so that Grandma did not have too much responsibility. Grandma had a bad heart, and could not do very much. In the daytime, she sat in her rocking chair in our living room and read her Relief Society magazine. She used a large magnifying glass.

I have two great memories of the evenings with Grandma. We usually played rummy when we were left alone. Grandma was not competitive like I am. Before she would "go out" with her last card, she would ask me if it was alright for her to go out. She did not want to leave me with too many negative points. I'm sure that my grandchildren know that I did not learn that lesson very well. And Grandma knew that I did not learn the lesson either. When I would "go out" and leave her with lots of points, she would say "Oh, sh-sh-sh shugar." I was grown, before I knew what sugar stood for.

It was during one of those evenings playing rummy that Grandma told me that she had seen every prophet except Joseph Smith. It was a very memorable moment for me. In a sense she was giving me her testimony. Since Grandma was born in 1870, and Brigham Young died in 1877 she had the opportunity to see him when she was a young child. Heber J. Grant was the prophet when Grandma died in January 1940.

As I write this at age 73, the difference in opportunity for health is amazing. My grandmother died at age 70 from heart failure. She could not read without a magnifying glass. Today, heart problems are managed with diagnosis, medicines and surgery. Eye problems are corrected as well. We have come a long way in extending the quality of our physical life.

Winning &Losing              December 23, 2001

Dear Family,
Since last week's message alluded to competitiveness, I might as well finish off that topic this week. How do I feel about winning and losing? I am reminded of my favorite Brian story, which was retold at Dad's birthday party.
We were visiting Alan and family in Oklahoma. One morning Brian asked Dad to play water guns with him. They had a good session out on the lawn. In the afternoon, Brian asked me if I would play water guns with him. I explained that I was not as kind as Grandpa. I always played to win. I was forewarning Brian, so that he could decide whether or not he still wanted me to play with him.
Brian understood the challenge well. He went and asked Julia to assist him, figuring two against one would help. It didn't. They both chased me around the yard, and everytime one of them got close enough to shoot at me, I would turn and shoot water in the middle of his or her forehead. They both got pretty wet.
Brian, the thinker, evidently mulled that one for awhile. In the middle of dinner, out of the blue, Brian looked at Alan and said: "You know Dad, Grandpa is not very good at water guns." Thank goodness Reed is not as competitive as I am. Such a marriage would be a disaster.
But I think it is also important to know how to lose.
My favorite game to play with the grandchildren has always been "Memory". The reason I like it is because the children have a natural advantage. Their memory is better than mine, and they can win by their skill. It seems to me that type of winning helps build a good self image. Remember how proud Alan and Jay were when they finally beat me at Ping Pong?
The last bit of my philosophy on winning and losing comes from practicing law. In Court there is always one winner and one loser. Using the law of averages, we all should win contests 50% of the time. So it is O.K. to lose, and it is important for other people to win also.

My Father's Work                                                                                    December 30, 2001

In my childhood, my Dad was an Electrical Contractor. He worked for one or two contractors when he first moved to Long Beach in December 1919, and then started his own business. Dad was not a big risk taker. He was happy with hard work and a steady income. That was a big improvement over anything he had ever known as a child.

Our second car was a Ford pick-up truck for Dad's work. In those days, pick-ups were small compared to the trucks we now drive. The truckbed was always filled with tools and "materials" - boxes of rolled wire, ceramic tubes for insulation through the wood, pipe, etc. We also had plenty of materials stored in the garage on shelves, on the floor, and in the walkway to the backyard. I enjoyed playing with all of that stuff, as well as playing in his truck, when he was home. I would sit in front of the steering wheel and pretend that I was driving. The rear window was made of Isinglass. It had begun to crumble, and I was fascinated by the way it came off in layers. I probably sped up the demise of that window. (I just looked up how to spell Isinglass. It was also called Mica, which I thought was a mineral. The dictionary says it was made from gelatin from the bladder of fish. Weird!!)

On the day that I was shot, Dad was home for lunch, and he had pulled his truck into the driveway, but not all the way into the garage. Therefore, my trip to the doctor's office was in the truck. I can still remember my parent's tension as we drove.

Dad worked long hours, probably more than eight hours a day, when there was work. During the depression, there was not always work. Dad had a wonderful vegetable and flower garden behind the house where he later built the Rumpus Room. He enjoyed the gardening, and was very proud of the wonderful vegetables and beautiful flowers that he cultivated. Needless to say, the veggies were very important to our well-being. He also raised chickens in a coop behind the garage. He had a chopping block near the garden where he butchered a chicken from time to time. He brought the eggs in every day and put them on the sink for Mom to put away. We had brown hens and sometimes black hens.

Dad was also on the City Electrical Examining Board which gave tests for the various levels of electricians, beginning with men who wanted to be journeymen. He may have secured that position through Uncle Jack Barton, who was on the City Council, but I do not know that. I don't know whether he received any pay for the work or not, but it did get us discount rates on the golf course - 10 cents for me, instead of 25.

When work in the building industry became really scarce, because of the war, Dad went to work at the Terminal Island Naval Base as Assistant Electrical Superintendent for Jackson and Pollock who were constructing the base. They invited him about a year later to superintend the electrical work at the Port Hueneme Naval Base up the coast. He lived up there during the week, and came home most week-ends.

Dad was ripe for the post-war construction boom. He bid on a contract for a housing area called Los Altos being developed by Lloyd Whaley. (Alan may remember going to Doug's home in Los Altos.) Whaley was so happy with Dad's work that he gave him contracts for the rest of the areas he developed without competitive bid. This was an interesting time between Dad and Doug, because Doug was the innovative risk taker, and Dad the careful detail man. Doug would talk Dad into some new designs, etc., and Dad would make sure that they were feasible and economic. It has always seemed a shame to me that they could not see that they had great synergism. Instead, I think they only saw what the other couldn't do.

Dad learned his "trade" in Utah working for Telluride Power Company. His first job for them was patrolling and repairing lines on skis. Then he wired new towns in Southern Utah, placing the switch in the central office for a lightbulb in each home to come on at dusk. He worked out of the office in Richfield where he met Mom. The company offered him a more permanent job in Gunnison, when the folks decided to move to Long Beach. I have always appreciated the daring of that move, because it gave me so many opportunities like fantastic schools and a good education.

Pot Pourri                                                                                         Sunday, January 6, 2002

It is actually Wednesday morning, because I missed writing last Sunday. This memory is precipitated by a conversation with Janice last evening about Concord. Jan asked if Jay Markham were related to Helen Markham. She has a patient who is a friend of Jay's.
Helen Miner Markham was the daughter of Albert Uriah Miner, the brother of my grandfather Martin Miner. Helen and her husband Don moved to Long Beach when Don finished Dental School at USC. They lived on 6th Street across Park Avenue, which was west down 6th Street from our home. I baby-sat for them a lot for their first two daughters, before they purchased a home and moved across town. I felt very close to the family.
I am surprised that Jan remembered my talking about Helen, but she did. Don had a brother, Ira Markham, whom I met when I first went to Berkeley. The two brothers looked so much alike, that I asked Ira if he were related to Don.
The first memory is of the wonderful 24th of July celebrations at Concord High School. This is directly across the street from where Jan's office is now on High School Avenue. In the early 50's Concord was not only a small town, but very rural. The High School was all by itself, nothing around it. Ira Markham was the principal, and he arranged for the Berkeley-Oakland Stake to have the 24th celebrations there. (No big deal about church & state then.) We had use of the swimming pool, tennis courts, ball diamonds, etc. We picnicked on the great expanse of lawn. We spent the whole day, and had an opportunity to do lots of visiting with friends. I believe I took Alan one year, while Reed stayed home to study.
That memory precipitated our telling Janice that our first date was also to Concord. During Spring break in 1950, I had a term paper to write, so I stayed in Berkeley instead of going home. Joanne "Somebody" lived in Concord - out in the sticks. She had a barbecue at her home for all the Institute kids that were still in town. When she telephoned me, she suggested that she get Reed Harker to bring me out to Concord. I said Reed was committed to Margy Kimber. She told me that was off, and she would arrange it.
So our first date was a not so blind, "blind date". We went, and we conquered. I had been dating, among others, Doug Ream. He was at the barbecue, and suggested that I dump Reed and ride home with him. I declined. I knew where my preference was. I had been attracted to Reed since my freshman year at BYU.
To complicate the story further, Doug Ream is the man who recently married Dad's old girlfriend Anne Wood Widtfeldt. Some of you will remember staying with the Widtfeldts in Pennsylvania on our way to Europe to meet Alan. We left our car with them, and they took us into the New York airport in a motorhome. And yes, Anne's daughter Dorothy (Dof) is married to John Zackrison. Wow! What a web we weave.
See you all soon. Love, Mom

Early Romances
I was looking for a light and easy topic today, but maybe this won't be so light, and it may become long. I feel that my relationship with boys was a big part of my education. I feel that I was very lucky to have had so many good friends who were boys, while I was growing up.
My first crush was on Bobby Webster. I was 7 or 8. He had black hair and very brown eyes. He was my second cousin, (and a first cousin to Mary Kasteler Zackrison). I thought he was the most handsome boy I had ever seen. I have always wondered how much his looks influenced my final choice.
Next came Donald DeWitt in the sixth grade. My friend, Joanne Shanley liked his friend Dick Osborn, and we had a foursome. Don took me to the movies once. His father sold Lincoln cars, so they picked me up in a new one. His Dad dropped us at the movies, and picked us up when it was over. It was a first class date at a very early age. When my parents had their 25th wedding anniversary, they had a night out at a night club for the family. Mom called and made arrangements for Don to go with me. I don't remember a thing about that night. I was too young for such a big shindig.
In the 7th grade my boyfriend was Ray McCoy. He found me, because I could play paddle tennis, and he wanted me for a partner. We played p.t. after school, and he came to our home several times - mostly when everyone else was gone.
In the 9th grade, I began to settle down a bit. Richard McNeeley was a very fine person. We never had a date that year, but he walked me home from school nearly every day. We talked. We learned a lot from each other. He belonged to the Brethren Church, and we had a lot of common values. His father transferred him to Poly High the next year. I guess I was a threat. After the 12th grade, Richard called and took me on our first and only date, to play miniature golf. He wanted to say good bye. We did not see each other again until the combined Wilson-Poly 40th reunion. He came up to me, and said "I knew I would find you here." I said - "Can I give you a hug." That occurred in front of his wife and Dad. We were very lucky to have had such an unromantic boy-girl friendship. He had become a Brethren minister.
In the 10th grade I found a Mormon. Dick Anderson came to town with his Army officer father. He was in the 11th grade. We had a wonderfully fun year together, lots of dates to movies, dances, the beach - everywhere. I helped start a political party that year, so that the Sororities and Fraternities could not capture all of the student government offices. I recommended Dick for Jr. class president, and he won. I got to go to the Jr/Sr prom with him. The only thing wrong with Dick was our age. We broke up sometime during my Jr. year, because I did not want to be tied down. One of the guys who filled in after that was Robert McVicar. Again, he was attracted to how much money he could win when I was his golf partner. Janice Roudebush and Dick Alguire filled out the foursome.
Let's see, I should not forget Merle Fahrens from Fort Collins, Colorado. Virginia Price and I went to the Pike (amusement park) and picked up two guys. (I always did things I would not otherwise do, when I was with Virginia.) Merle (Lefty) was visiting his sister for the summer. He was a nice guy, and we dated a lot, and he was at our home a lot.
My senior year, there were a stream of servicemen. We had MIA dances every Tuesday night, and the guys came and went. I was never serious with any of them. Also Johnny Schoen came often on week-ends to stay with his Uncle and Aunt next door. He called me "funny face". We had fun. He was from Minnesota.
The summer after High School, I dated Virginia's brother, George. I thought I was in love with him. He was 6 years older than I, very good looking, and very charismatic. Fortunately for me, my personality is not taken in by his type for very long. He married a friend of mine from BYU, and she had a rough time.
Freshman year at BYU, I went back to the nice boys. Homer Jensen from SLC was about like Richard McNeeley. I don't think we ever had a date, but we talked together a lot. He was a good friend. There were a stream of guys that were nice, but did not matter. One day I had a date in the afternoon, and a date in the evening. We went hiking in the afternoon, and did not get back. My evening date picked us up in his car on 8th north and took us to the dorm. How embarrassing! The Mat (matinee) dances were wonderful for meeting guys.
It was that year that I first met Reed Harker. I saw him often when he came to the dorm to visit Rhean, who lived across the hall from me. I remember one time that Reed came to see Rhean because she was sick. He was allowed to go to her room, if the door was left open. I saw him sitting next to her bed talking to her. I was impressed at his thoughful ways. I wished then that I could date him, but I knew who the girls were that he was dating. I considered him all booked up.
My sophomore year was memorable for two reasons. First, I took a guy's ring. Howard Link was talented. He played the violin, was very smart in math and science and fun. I was swept off my feet. But he was unstable. I gave the ring back after 2 days. Next, I started dating Jess Udall. That was a wonderful time. He was a Viking, so we did all of the BYU social whirl. At the same time, he was a very fine person. We did not have a sure understanding before he left on his mission and I went to Berkeley, but we both had inclinations toward a permanent relationship. We wrote for a while and drifted apart. In my heart of hearts, I believe I thought he was not smart enough for me. That is a funny thing to say, when his cousins who were both Senators from Arizona were very smart.
We had a great time at Berkeley. I dated at least half of the guys at the LDS Institute at one time or another, and found a few non-mormons to date too. My first year I spent a lot of time with Jay Linderman. He was an engineer for an oil company refinery, and studying law on the side. I can't remember how we drifted apart, but he was in the San Marino Bishopric when Dad was Bishop of Pasadena Ward. When Jay Harker was born and we were talking about naming him Jay, Dad asked if we were naming him after Jay Linderman or Jay Welch. My answer is obvious, or his name would not be Jay.
It is significant to me that two of the Institute guys that I dated for several months, tried to dissuade me from Reed. Emery Ranker was a med student at Stanford, but lived near Moraga. He told me that I should drop Reed because he would never be wealthy. His reasoning was that Reed, like his father, was too honest. I thought that was a very good recommendation for Reed. The other guy was Doug Ream, who more recently has married Anne Wood Widfeldt, and who suggested that Reed was not as much fun as he (Doug). Obviously Doug did not know Reed very well.
Well, I think your mother is very clever (and lucky) - to have chosen your father so carefully. He is good, he is smart, and he is fun. I feel very, very lucky to have had such a wonderful husband. Especially important to me has been his great patience with me. He has allowed me the time and the space to grow up and to develop into my own person.

Child Rearing Philosophy
When you kids were little, my stated philosophy was to support you in anything you wanted to do. I am sure that I was not always able to live up to that, but with hindsight I still think it was a good plan.
My rationale was that each child was a unique individual with his or her own ambitions, likes and dislikes. My generation was reeling from fathers and mothers who wanted their children to do the things that they wished they had done. My generation reacted to that philosophy by letting children have more say in what they were interested in. The reaction is probably too simplistic also, because we certainly set up opportunities for you as well as letting you choose.
After the fact, I think the greatest gift we as parents gave to our children was the ability to problem-solve. I am not aware of how we achieved that, nor were we aware of teaching it. But each of you is very masterful at problem solving. It is a joy to watch you. We are happy that each of you can adapt so well to whatever life brings to you.
Love, Mom