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COVINGTON'S HAPPY VALLEY RANCH
Owners 1922-1934 
​Junius G and Florence A Covington


GETTING TO KNOW GRANNY
(Dorothy Delilah (Hickman) Pectol)

The following is a number of observations, remembrances and facts concerning our loved ancestor Dorothy Delilah (Hickman) Pectol.  “I call it getting to know “Granny.””  Granny was the name she was affectionately called by her Grandchildren.

The compilation of the paraphernalia below was prepared and are in the words of Golda (Pectol) Busk, daughter.  To her we are most grateful.

“The following are some incidents and memorabilia of mother and her life. They reflect her personality and traits which have greatly influenced her character giving her the strength she needed to cope with the trials of pioneer life and the transition into modern days of living, which she did with ease and confidence:

Through her love and good taste for the finer things in life, she learned the amenities of entertaining in a lovely comfortable home. We always ate our meals over a clean white table cloth, three times a day. We ate from good dishes and with silverware.

My mother was courageous and forgiving. A very sensitive, tender and emotional woman. One who kept busy with her own affairs as well as helping others less fortunate. She was not frivolous, but she loved fun, and was the instigator of many parties and activities filled with laughter and fun. (Dad was more serious, but supported her in whatever she did.) Because of her fun loving, happy, caring disposition many people loved her, as we, her children do. I am sure she was spoiled by her parents, especially her father who was always concerned about his little "Dot". Everyone was so kind to her and all of us, after Dad's death. I found a little card of sympathy made by the Torrey school which was sent to her after Dad's death, signed by the children with Nona Lee as their teacher.

Mother was a practical Joker. She could see the funny side in most any situation, which was a blessing and saved her many unpleasant situations. One time, I remember, when I was a little tag along anywhere child, I witnessed one of the funniest things I ever saw her do. Following the footsteps of her parents, I presume, she rented out rooms in her home to travelers passing through town. I don't know what promoted this episode, but she talked Dwendon Lee, a neighbor's boy into letting her dress him up like a girl (he was such a good looking boy!) and took him across the street to his home and asked his mother if she had a spare room she could rent to this young girl, that night, as hers were all taken. Mrs. Lee was so accommodating, polite and sweet to this girl that it was almost more than I could do to keep a straight face. Mother had dressed him in one of her dresses, necklaces and ear rings, lavished make up on his face and eyes, styled his hair with her most beautiful switch (hair piece), and had him talk in a quiet falsetto voice. Mrs. Lee did not recognize her own son! He looked beautiful, suit case and all. After arrangements had been made, bantering back and forth, just as she was about to show him the room, this farce broke up. Mrs. Lee was too timid to get verbally angry with mother, but I'll bet she could have killed her with her thoughts. I doubt mother did that sort of thing again.There were other times when laughter proved to be the best medicine.

Mother was a seamstress, a fastidious woman, who always took pride in dressing her little girls up in white starched dresses, white stockings and shoes, as well as that big white bow of ribbon in their hair for Sundays and other special occasions. All this was done under pioneer conditions. I am sure it was a test for her, but she loved to see them looking pretty. She not only did her own sewing, but sewed for anyone who need her help.

She was fashionable in her dress and when "going out" she had to look just right with her hat, purse, gloves, always the latest fashion in jewelry, hair combs, and nice shoes. She was never without a front apron when she was working. I have always wondered why Devona and Leona carry a large purse filled to the brim stuffed with so many things, but in reminiscing, I remember mother's purse always looked like that too.

Mother always whistled as she went about her work...not a tune, but a sweet airy sound. I remember her one Sunday at the organ in the little log church house. She didn't seem to play the hymn as Dad thought she should have. He was directing, so he stopped her and said: "Dot, that's not the way it goes." I was so embarrassed for her I could have died.

I think one of her favorite hymns was "Each Cooing Dove." Mother could sing also. As she went about her work, I can hear her sing or hum phrases of two of her favorite songs, Red River Valley and Whispering Hope.  She enjoyed hearing Stiner sing Lay My Head beneath A Rose. The song, Roses, was a favorite only as Leslie Behunin, Ephraim's brother could sing it, which was done as a recording at her funeral. Her favorite flower was the "Red Rose".  (Note from Gene, I couldn't find the song Roses by Leslie Behunin but I did find a video on you tube with him on it and added it below so you to can enjoy the man who used to sing to Granny in Torrey, as an added treat Leslie's son Buddy Merrill joins in at the latter part of the video)















Everyone jokingly called her "Second Gear Dottie". She never could drive a car very well. She would turn on the key, gun the motor, put it in low, somehow get it into second gear, and take off. Sometime, by the time she stopped, it would be in high gear. I think the Torrey people were as afraid of her driving as grandma Hickman was of Dr. Steiner's car. Dad was her driving instructor. Not a good teacher-pupil combination at all!

A joke was good medicine for mother. She was especially happy when any one of her sons-in-laws would take time to tell her one they thought would make her laugh. Her answer would be, to  Stiner or Loren and say, "Oh, you nasty thing, do you know any more."

Her slang phrase was "Oh, Goddard." Lordie Lordie there were the strongest in her vocabulary. Never did I hear her use a swear word. I am sure a number of times she could have twisted her tongue into some stronger words to express herself when she was upset, but she was a lady. I never heard my mother gossip.

Along with all the lovely attributes she possessed, she was, at times, a little feisty. Dad was more submissive and stubborn (a Dane). Her adrenaline always seemed to be at the surface. Her energy and vitality always amazed me. As soon as one project was completed, she began another. She loved to make quilts and did crocheting. Then, there were the little log cabins built west of the house. This was another one of the her money making projects. I wish I had a picture of them. They faced east along the west fence which was a driveway to our corrals, the freight storage building, our old granary, and our out-door toilet. They were the old log pioneer one room type, no running water, no inside toilet. I can see the wash-stand with the granite water pitcher and basin. I can feel the comfort of the good beds mother was always so proud of. We had electricity at this time, but the light was hung from the ceiling on an electric wire and turned on with a switch by the globe. That was alright. People didn't expect all the comforts of camping like they do now. Oh, how I hated to clean those cabins. It seems that every time I visited her in the summer it was cabin cleaning time. That was one of the joys of going home, though, to be with mother doing anything.

 “Mother was a carpenter. She engineered, designed and finished three bedrooms upstairs with pasteboard boxes, which she used as wallboard. I think Walt Lee helped her some with the wood partitions. They looked lovely when they were wall papered and painted. Yes, SHE did it. Those rooms were cold in the winter, but they were private. There were four rooms upstairs. Ephraim got one of them. Stiner helped her change the stairway when he put the bathroom in for her. However, she supervised the remodeling.

Lorraine Holt, Mack's wife, gave me a clipping from a paper which she thought was typical of mother. If she could have lived alone these would have been part of her ways of life. It reads:

 "Now in my own little house, if I felt faint I would go and lie down and no one would bother me by fetching the smelling salts. If I wanted only mush and milk for supper, that's just what I would have, and no one would harp on why I should have a balanced diet. If I felt like getting up at five o'clock I would get up without fear of awakening anyone else. I would go stocking footed when I've a mind to, and wouldn't listen to anyone tell me I'll catch cold. I love my children and am sorry they feel hurt because I would rather be in my own home; but honestly my children are such naggers. I wonder if I nearly drove them to distraction in their childhood when I controlled them the way they do me now with their well-meant suggestions and their, don't do this and don't do that sort of conversation."

I've heard her say: "My false teeth! Oh, how I hate to wear them. They hurt my mouth because I have had so much surgery on my jaw bone. They cannot be made to fit properly. I only use them in my proud moments.'

Mother was a beautiful, petite girl, and was still a nice looking women even with the wrinkles caused from so much illness. Her eyes always had a spontaneous twinkle. Fontella says that Mr. Henry Callahan from Loa told her that as mother and Dad drove through the Loa lane on their way home after their marriage, the way the sun shone cast an aura about her that made her look like an angel.

Dad says that she contributed much to his success and caller her his "noble wife". He appreciated her wise counsel which gave him strength and purpose in his endeavors. Her ingenuity saw them through many financial difficulties. She always had a little stash of money here and there for a rainy day which was quite often needed. I think Dad sort of realized this, and didn't worry for he knew mother would come through with what was needed.”

These memories are a most valuable family treasure. Thank you Aunt Golda (Golda (Pectol) Busk) for all these great insights into our beloved ancestor Dorothy Delilah (Hickman) Pectol, Granny.


Leslie Behunin
(brother to Granny's son,
 Ephraim Behunin Pectol) 
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