Background facts as they were recorded in my 3rd grade genealogy workbook (my relatives are free to correct any errors or omissions): Glen Jackson Fox was born November 17, 1932 at his Aunt Rose's home. His parents were Owen Fox and Elva Jackson Fox. He learned to swim by being thrown in the Ogden River. He didn't complete his formal education, and was married to my grandmother, Arabella “Arabell” Campbell on August 28, 1950. They were married in Elko, Nevada, in what I have always assumed was an elopement. My grandfather worked for the Union Pacific Railroad from the time he was 17 until his retirement. He also had other jobs including working as a carpenter “He worked for Big D back when it was just me and Big D” he told me once. (Big D is a major construction presence in Utah.) My grandparents had four daughters and a son: Christine (my mom), Susan, Linda, Lori, and Frank. They purchased a home in a new development 3309 Adams Avenue in Ogden where my grandmother still lives. They divorced when my mother was 16 and Frank was 2. Shortly after that, he married Mildred “Mickey” and they lived in a condo at 4539 S 1800 W in Roy, Utah until his death.
My grandpa always lived life to the fullest. At some point when my mom was a teenager, he had a speedboat and would take them water skiing. He also took them snow skiing. He once had an airplane, which he crashed on his last flight after selling it. He traveled frequently, summering in Utah and wintering in Yuma, Arizona after his retirement. He took trips to visit family around the country including his sister, Jean in California, Frank in North Carolina, me in Connecticut, and also trips overseas to Paris and Ireland.
When I was very young, we visited my grandfather on Father's Day, his birthday, Christmas Eve, and a few times during the summer to swim. At these visits, the family hung out mostly in the basement family room. My grandfather sat in his chair smoking long brown cigarettes, and the kids paid little attention to him. There were great toys in the basement: a sit and spin, one of those wheels on a stick for doing stomach exercises (we used to hold onto it and wheel around the room like one of those flying monkeys in
One Christmas Eve, my grandpa gave my brother and I electronic fireman hats, complete with sirens. These were one of the coolest toys I ever remember receiving. Someone, Grandpa I guess, asked Michael “Are you going to be a Lover or a Fireman when you grow up?”. We wore the hats on the drive home in the station wagon, and I never saw them again. (I can't really blame my parents for that, I want to disappear lots of Jackson's toys.)
At some point in my childhood, my grandfather gave up smoking. He said nothing about it, and my mom and aunts whispered that there must've been a medical reason but no one knew what it was. He seemed to just go cold turkey--smoking at his birthday, but not that Christmas Eve. Mickey told me much later that he had been to see either an accupuncturist or a hypnotist to stop. Around that time, there was also a fight between my father and grandfather at the Christmas Eve party. I don't know what they argued about, but we left in a big hurry. I remember loading up into the station wagon in the dark. I think we visited less often after that, but we still made it out for the 3 holidays.
My parents separated the summer after my 16th birthday. As we settled into our new routines, my mom told me that I needed to go and visit my grandpa. She said that if I visited him, he would take care of me. So I visited, he took care of me, and that's how we began to have more of a relationship. My grandpa who wasn't much for sharing his feelings said a few times something to the effect that he was making up for the kind of relationship I had with my father and the relationship he'd had with my mother when she was younger. After that, he started calling me “Daughter” more often than he called me “Granddaughter”.