This year we had the opportunity to spend Halloween with my parents, they were passing through town on their way to a funeral in Ramah, New Mexico. This Halloween turned out to be extra special because my dad had brought a very special “treat” with him. He told me that years ago he had found some old 8 mm film at his mom’s house and his thought at the time was “ I better grab these before something happens to them and they get ruined or lost”. Well in my parents recent move to St. George, Utah the film was rediscovered. My dad had taken the film to Costco and had it transferred onto DVDs. My dad had brought the DVDs with him and we were able to sit and watch them together.
Let me just give you a little bit of background on my family, my Great Great Great Grandfather Andrew Smith Gibbons was one of the first pioneer natives of St. Johns and my Grandfather John Elwood Gibbons was born and raised here in St. Johns. As we watched the DVDs I got to see my grandfather who I have never met. He passed away when my dad the oldest of 4 children was only seven. I have seen pictures of my grandfather but to see actual live footage of his life filmed right here in St. Johns was amazing. The film is from the late 1940’s and the 1950’s and contains footage of my grandfather and several other people from the community.
My husband Ty and I were so intrigued by these old films we wanted to obtain more information about who the other individuals in the films were. Last night we took the films over to Ted and Julie Raban’s house where we all watched them together. Ted Raban knew my grandfather and was one of his roommates at BYU so he was the first one I thought of when I was trying to figure out who could help me find out more information about these films. Ted and Julie Raban were able to identify Lee Waters, Ken Pulsipher, and Lavon Thurber in the videos. We have several other individuals that we think we may have identified but we are not positive. The footage on the videos contained old downtown Saint Johns, Main Street, and what is now the Pulispher house where my grandfather was born and raised. It was so fun to sit there with Ted and Julie and see their faces as they watched these old films and hear some of the stories and memories that came rushing back.
As I sat there with them, I was so thankful that I was able to experience these moments and hear some of these old time stories. It gave me a better understanding of my grandfather and the type of man that he was. Before this experience, I never gave much thought to Family History, now it seems to be something that I can’t stop thinking about. It is so exciting to learn more about my family and my ties to the wonderful town of Saint Johns. I am so thankful for people in our Community like, Ted and Julie Raban, who are willing to help me in my endeavors to do family history. Without people like them, a lot of our family history and some of those precious stories would be lost. Elder Boyd K. Packer said “No work is more of a protection to [us] than...genealogical research. ... No work is more spiritually refining. No work we do gives us more power. No work requires a higher standard of righteousness. Our labors...cover us with a shield and a protection.” I am so thankful for the recent opportunity I was given to learn more about my grandfather and what a wonderful example he was to me. I am looking forward to learning more about him and his life in the wonderful small town of Saint Johns Arizona.
Candice Gibbons Bond
Candice Gibbons Bond