Ken McCarty

Ken McCarty’s Lifey (browsable video life history). Below is a transcription (more or less) of Ken McCarty’s Lifey video.

Memories Of My Childhood

Our Family Sealing In The Idaho Falls Temple

One of the things that I was excited to participate in with this Lifey is to share my first memories in life. One of the first memories that I have is of white shoes, and the reason I have this white shoe memory is my parents were sealed in the temple shortly after I was born, when I was about two years old.

And I remember driving the car- we were going to the Salt Lake Temple and I remember parking out front and then we found out the temple was closed, and so we had to go to the Idaho Falls Temple to complete the endowment for my parents to be sealed, and for Bruce and I to be sealed to them. And I remember being dressed in white and looking at these white shoes and thinking that is so cool that I got white shoes.

I don’t remember everything about the actual sealing, but I do remember being dressed in white. I remember feeling at peace. My mom said that I normally cried anytime somebody would touch me and I was very protective, but in the temple I seemed to be very peaceful. And so that was one of the first memories that I had in my childhood.

Grandpa Beach & The Cement Block Machine

The other memory that I have of my childhood experience and one of my first memories was of my grandfather Bruce Beach which was my mom’s dad when he would work in the yard he had a block maker which is the kind of blocks you would see that you build buildings with, that have the three holes in them. In a block machine he would actually make cement blocks. and I have this memory of and the memory of the smell of cement and sitting on these blocks while they were drying and watching my grandpa run this block machine so I had to be only two or three years old at the time, so I just have a memory of him and him being nice to me, and so those two early memories had a great impact on my life.

Trip To Roseburg, Oregon (Inspired Prayer That Saved Us From A Head On Collision)

We were traveling when I was quite young. I think I was probably about four at the time. We were on our way to Roseburg. We were moving there as a family and we were driving down the highway down these roads between Coosbay and Myrtle Point and the roads were quite windey and my mom- as we had left we left early and so we evidently had forgotten to have our family prayer- and so she asked dad if we could pull over and have our family prayer.

So we pulled over on the side of the road and we took a moment and we said a prayer and then continued on our journey and just moments after we had started our journey again a huge logging truck full of logs ran off the road right in front of us and my dad went down and Bruce- they went down to help him out- he was okay, but he was white as a sheet- he said I have been all over the road for the past 10 minutes and if you had been another few minutes up the road from where you had been right now, I know I would have run you off the road and hit you head-on and probably killed your entire family.

And I’ve always thought as I’ve heard that story and remember the experience, how not holding the prayer could have cost a whole generation. I think of my mom and dad- they now have 60 or so grandkids and 120 posterity between grandkids and great grandkids- and all of those would have been eliminated with that one head on collision with a logging truck if my mom hadn’t stopped for that prayer.

Roseburg, Oregon

Hunting A Pheasant As A Child

When we moved to Roseburg one of the things that we were able to do was my dad was working with Western Auto as a manager and he was having a store there- but a few memories that I have of our lifetime in Oregon was I remember my brother Bruce and I were walking in some fields out behind our house and he wanted to go bird hunting. But we were bird hunting with rocks and there were some pheasants out there that were actually edible, but we didn’t have a gun or anything and we were young- I was about four and he was about seven or eight.

And so we were out there walking through the field and here was a pheasant. And my brother picked up a rock, threw that rock and got that pheasant so that he was able to get the pheasant for a meal (with a rock, which is unbelievable), but it just happens to be one of the things I remember and I remember that we decided to operate on the- I don’t know if we were trying to save her or what- but we were trying to operate on this pheasant. And the one thing that I do remember was the windpipe- I remember that it looked like a straw- it was quite vivid in my mind. I remember this little straw, the windpipe that this bird had.. so just a faint memory of growing up there.

Crying Watching A Peter Pan Play On TV

The other memory that I have growing up in Roseburg was we had black-and-white TV and the TV show that one evening we were excited to watch was Peter Pan. It was not a comic/animation, it was the actual play of Peter Pan, and so it was live people who are performing. And when it came to the time that Tinkerbell died I remember I was laying on the back of the couch on the top part of the couch and I was just laying there across the top of that and as we were watching I was so sad that Tinkerbell had died I remember I started to feel tears in my eyes. I was crying. I was so embarrassed to be crying about something I remember rolling off the back of the couch to hide behind something until they clapped and Tinkerbell was able to be raised from the dead. But it was just one of my first memories of emotion that I remember. I felt such an emotional tug from seeing this play that it reminded me of Roseburg and one of my early memories of life.

Idaho Falls, Idaho

Sledding On The Idaho Falls Temple Grounds

Our third home was in Idaho Falls– it was 540 I St. We had to memorize that for safety. And 540 I St. was the place we lived and it was a nice little home near the school and not far from the temple. And the two memories I have of Idaho Falls: one is of going up to the temple to sled on the lawns. They had this nice big lawn and in the winter the snow was perfect and we could go up and slide. But I do remember someone in temple security coming out and telling us that we weren’t supporting supposed to be sliding on the temple grounds, but I remember that memory.

Coal Shoot Story & Finger Injury

And the other one was we were in our home we had a coal furnace and the coal furnace was kind of cool because it really was- if you remember the movie the Christmas story with a BB gun- they talked about a coal furnace in that show and that was life for us, you know. We had a coal burner, we had a hopper that would fill up and we had a coal bin where the truck would come and dump coal into our basement and when they would come because there was so much coal dust they would leave the door open when they left and then my dad would close it when he got back.

But it was a big cast iron door and I remember when we were down there playing and my brother started chasing me and so I ran up the coal and went up the coal shoot. I went up the coal shoot first and as I went out, the prop that held the door open got bumped and it fell down and mashed my big brother Bruce’s finger terribly. In fact he still has a mark on his finger nail today from that little experience in Idaho Falls, so that’s the coal shoot story.