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Black Hills Ordnance Depot

LaVonne Nelsen

Thoughts of Igloo and Provo High.

LaVonne Nelsen Cavanagh Class of 1947.

Dagny Bauer's daughter - half sister of Dave, Diane and Debbie.

Igloo was a unique place - a city that popped up almost overnight in 1943.

Living quarters, except for the size of the family, were all the same. Same old black iron cooking stoves. In fact, we were all alike in many ways. No special status symbols were present at the beginning. Most all of the Iglooites got along very well.

We had a general store, where you could get almost everything you needed. Including the pharmacy & malt shop. Yum Yum.

We had a lot of special things at Igloo. The cinema, where we got all the current movies. The community Hall where a lot major activities took place. It even had two gyms. A special chapel where all denominations worshipped at separate times.

The Army all had their own facilities: mess hall, officers club and living quarters up on the hill. This included a medical center with a hospital, dental clinic, eye doctor, etc.

Provo High School where I went to 4 years of school. We were privileged to pick the school colors, the Rattler mascot, the school paper and year book names.

We were kind of mean to the freshmen class on initiation. They all had to wear long johns to school & wear a sign on their backs that read - "I am a green freshman". The girls had to part their hair in the middle and have one half curled and the other half straight. Can't remember what the boys did with their hair. They all had to wear different colored shoes. Wow????

I do remeber some of the teachers too. Mary Ferraro was the best business teacher ever. George Bain was our first coach and taught history. And of course, the music & chorus with my Mom and the operettas we put on were a lot of fun.

School dances were really great. They were held nearly once a month. I was in the baton club at school too.

I remember in the summers after supper, we would go play in the parking lot or street in front of our house. Captain may I and Red Light - Green Light were some of our favorites.

I also remember when Italian prisoners of war were in Igloo awaiting assignments to other POW camps. I know when they were in the line outside the Community building waiting to be fed, they would whistle at all the girls. Some folks were allowed to have certain prisoners over for Sunday dinners. It was all done with mixed emotions at that time.

I remember when Mom bought a new Bendix washing machine. They were suppossed to be bolted down; but we could not do that to the governments floors. So when it started spinning, Mom & I would run quick & jump on it to hold it down.

The big new swimming pool at Igloo was a great place to hang out and cool down in the summer. We also went to Hot Springs to the Evans Plunge, which was neat with the warm hot springs feeding it. We usually did some shopping in Hot Springs too.

Edgemont was where we first lived while the housing on base was being finished. I remember the carnival in Edgemont that was held in the summer, which was fun. We also shopped a lot in Edgemont. Once a friend & I walked from Igloo to Edgemont and back. Very tiring and I do not recall what we did there.

The guard gate was pretty cool. I remember you could not get into Igloo without a ID or a pass.

I remember one time, Mom and I were cleaning the house & looked for David. He took off & was going to the store. We panicked thinking about the little guy crossing the main steet by himself but he made it okay. Whew

Another time David asked if he could play with David Campbell and we said, "sure". Then they disappeared. The boys had walked to the Provo corner to join the Army. When they could not figure which way to turn at the junction, they came home. They caught a little dickens then too.

All in all, Igloo was a good place to grow up. Provo High School was one of the best & I have fond memories of those years.


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