Monday, January 19, 2009

Married Life with Beula and Children, Part 2

Written by Kimberly Eden, Heath's Row: A History of Herman and Beula Heath

Herman and Beula spent the summer in Greeley going to school again. Beula returned to school at this time in her life. She had been a high school drop out, but she explains her change of heart- "We were living in Grand Junction, Colorado where I worked as the assistant bookkeeper and file clerk to a doctor of veterinary medicine. That was a real learning experience for me and I guess gave me the incentive to alter go back to school where I finally earned my degree and teaching certification." She attained her GED through a correspondence course from Scranton, Pennsylvania International Correspondence Schools on October 23, 1958. In 1960 she attended Colorado State Teachers College while living in Greeley. The next year she attended the College on Eastern Utah in Price and had her associates in arts by 1963. She worked at the Blue Flame Gas Company for six months during this time. Her major included Spanish and elementary certification. Beula stated, I have always been interested in the processes of education and am never happier that when I am in the classroom or working with the curriculum {sic}. I am very fond of teaching foreign languages and world and getting to know about them and their customs and ways of life." She continued to explain her desire to immerse herself in the language and customs she taught by actual experience. She enrolled in a study abroad program in La Universidad de Las Americas in Mexico City, Mexico the summer of 1963. She also said,"A language is of little value in and of itself whether in English, Spanish or whatever. The language, the people, the culture, and their world should never be isolated one from the other." Kristena said that Beula's first love was the Mexican people. Beula first taught Spanish and World Geography. She spoke of that time with great emotion, "Since that time I have spent six months in Mexico studying the language and the culture to say nothing of the history and folklore. At that time I never dreamed of the fascination that these people could have for me, to say nothing of the interest and excitement that my travels would add to my classroom."

The next year Beula entered Utah State University in Logan, Utah and attained her bachelor's degree in 1964. Kristena lived with Beula most of this time, or with an aunt or Beula's mother. Herman moved to Moab to teach taking Jeff and Gail with them. Herman attended Utah State University with Beula during the summer months. They both taught in the public school systems in Moab. Herman taught math and science, but his favorite subject was practical jokes. As a teacher he put rotten egg gas in the drinking fountains and would laugh at the reactions the students had to the smell. The principal and superintendent were always angry with him.

Herman did have one passion outside teaching and that was flying. He always wanted to be a pilot. Hermon had a habit of buying homes, remodeling them, and selling them. They would live in a trailer while working on the house. In the home in Moab, Herman decided to build a plane in the living room. He put remodeling on hold and purchased a white J-3 plane with an 85 horsepower engine that would seat two. In the end he had to tear down one wall in the home to allow for enough room. When it was fully constructed he had to take it in parts through the windows and reassemble it at an airport. It took two years to complete. Herman said, "It was an exciting day when it took to the air. Many townspeople came to watch, wondering if it really would fly." Herman flew his plane for a number of years all over Southeastern Utah. He even bragged that "I was stopped {a number of times} by the FBI because I was flying my airplane into Canyonlands National Park." Not every attempt was successful. Dr. Rutt and Herman flew together at times and one time Dr. Rutt crashed the Cessna 140 in the La Sal Mountains. Neither of them was hurt. Gail, Jeff, Kristena, and even Beula took turns flying with Herman. Most of the time Gail flew with him.

Beula moved to Price, taking Kristena with her. Jeff finished high school in Moab and Kristena finished in Price. During that time Beula did another study abroad, but this time in Oaxaca, Mexico. After she finished Herman brought the family down for vacation and to bring Beula home. Kristena remained in Oaxaca for five or six months her fourteenth year. She lived with a family who owned a clothing store for formal occasions. Kristena modeled clothes for them and helped them prepare for the seasons fashion show. After the show Kristena returned to Price and high school where she graduated four years later.

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