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Garland Bray -- Biography (Part 2)

After Garland was discharged from the army, he enrolled in college at the University of Utah, and also got a job on the Kennecott track gang laying railroad track, to put himself through school. He got two degrees; one in math and one in physics, with an emphasis on statistics. He met Sandra Shuler at the University of Utah in a chemistry class. He noticed her in class and wanted to ask her out, but she had another class directly afterwards which was all the way across campus, so she would always leave quickly and walk very fast to get to her next class (she had learned how to walk very fast because of being in the marching band). It was the following summer before he finally called her for a date.

Garland and Sandra after a rabbit hunt

They went on their first date to Saltair, together with Garland's friend Lee Halverson from Bingham, and his fiance Carol.

Garland loved to hunt and fish so much that he took Sandra out hunting on one of their early dates, to see if she could shoot a rabbit.

They were married August 26, 1955 in the Salt Lake Temple.

Garland still had a couple of years of school to go, so they moved to a small house in South Salt Lake.

While they lived here, their first two children were born:

   BONA BRAY -- (born in August, 1956, two days
     before their one year wedding anniversary)
   KAREN BRAY -- (born in February, 1958)

During this time, Garland returned to the Univerity of Utah to complete his Bachelor's Degree. He taught trigonometry at the university. For practice, he gave each lesson to Sandra the night before he had to present it to his class. This had the added advantage that Sandra was then able to help him correct the students' assignments.

When he got his degree (June, 1957), he went to work for Sperry Utah Engineering Lab, which had just opened a new facility in Salt Lake. After working there for about a year, he was given an assignment as liaiason man with the Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) in Pasadena, California. JPL and Sperry worked closely together on many government projects. So in the summer of 1958, the family moved to Glendale, California, and here their third daughter

   ALLENE BRAY was born (June, 1959).

In November of that year they moved back to Utah and bought a home at 5530 West Kathleen Avenue (3895 South) in Hunter (now part of West Valley City), Utah. This is where they mostly raised their family, and still live today. When they moved here to the subdivision called Amanda Acres, it was one of the first ones, and most of Hunter and Granger was still open farmland. They were in the Hunter Ward, which was then a part of the Jordan North Stake; there are now at least six Hunter stakes, in the area which used to all be one ward.

In the fall of 1960, Garland got a job with RCA Service Company, which had a contract with the government to run its radar system for early warning of incoming missiles. The radar site was located in Thule, Greenland. Since this was such a remote place, the pay was very good -- it was an opportunity to get ahead with the finances, and make a large balloon payment that was coming due on the house. Garland went to Greenland to work. While he was gone, their fourth child and first son,

   LAWRENCE LAMAR ("Larry") BRAY was born (December, 1960).

Garland was able to come home for a visit, but then he had to go back to Greenland for a while, to complete the total of 18 months time on site for which he had contracted. When his time in Greenland was over, Sandra flew back to New York to meet him. This was like their honeymoon, since they didn't get one when they were first married. They bought a car in New Jersey and drove to Niagara Falls, then home across parts of Canada and the U.S. (We had this blue Rambler station wagon for many years; it was our family car).

After this Garland went back to work for Sperry Univac as an engineer; he helped design a top-secret missile guidance system, which Sperry had by contract from the government.

   MICHAEL DAVID BRAY was born in December, 1962.

He was the fifth and youngest child of Garland and Sandra. The five kids were very close in age, with about 18 months between each of them on average, and all five within 6 years and 4 months. We had a fun time growing up on Kathleen Avenue. There were also many close neighbors with children around the same age. Especially in the summers, we were out all the time playing ball games in the street and in our yards, also building huts, forming clubs, etc. We had lots of pets -- a dog named "Tina" and a cat named "Bee" were some we had for many years. We usually also had many other cats and dogs, and also things like snakes, mice, turtles, hamsters, birds, rabbits, guinea pigs, etc.

Garland got a job with Kennecott as a statistician, and worked in their office building in downtown Salt Lake City, at Main Street and South Temple. He worked with the early computer which they had at that time, which took up an entire room, and he learned how to program it. His office looked out over Temple Square. Often as children we would visit his office, and we loved to look out at all the cars and people far below. Garland later went back to school to get his master's degree, and one summer went down to UCLA to attend some classes. This was in 1969, and at the end of the summer Sandra and the children drove down to meet him in L.A. First we drove to Monterey and down the coast, camping along the way for about a week. This was the year when the hippie movement was at its peak, and we camped at Big Sur which was like the hippie Mecca. We thought it was cool -- there were so many hippies everywhere, with their long hair and beards, camping in their flower-painted vans. We also loved swimming in the ocean, seeing sea otters, seals, jellyfish, and the tidepools, going to Disneyland, and also camping at Yosemite and swimming in the river there. After coming back to Utah, Dad continued to go to school, and he bought a motorcycle to commute to BYU. We thought it was fun because Dad would often take us places on the motorcycle too.

In 1970 Garland bought about five acres of ground not far from our home in Hunter; it was about a half-mile away through the fields. This was when Karen bought a horse, a palomino gelding named "Zeke," which she had saved up her money for, since Dad had promised if she would save up half, he would pay the other half. (He didn't think I was actually serious about this, so when I came to him one day and said I had enough money saved and was ready to buy the horse, he was quite surprised, and had to hurry and figure out a place to keep it. We boarded it at a neighboring field at first, and then Dad bought the five acres). After we got the land, we also got some more animals, such as a black Shetland pony named Lightning, some sheep, pigs, and ferrets. We also built a dog kennel up there, where we kept our black lab Cindy and her pups, and we got some golden labs which we took to dog obedience training. Karen and Larry would walk up through the fields every day, summer and winter, to do the "chores" and take care of our animals.

As the kids were growing up, Garland and several of his friends from Bingham (Lee Halverson, Leon Miller, Bud Patrick, Gene Halverson, and Garland's brother Eldon) often took their families on canoeing, camping, and fishing trips together. During deer hunting season the families camped together and the men hunted while the women and children stayed around camp and had a fun time. We went to the Book Cliffs, or near Fish Lake, and to Elk Ridge near Moab several times. Us "kids" would build huts from fallen branches and play Indians. In the evenings we would all sing around the campfire; Mom and Carol both played the guitar and knew a lot of folk songs. When we went hunting ducks or pheasants or other birds, our dog Cindy would retrieve them after they were shot. She decided she didn't like the water too much, though, and Dad would have to push her out of the canoe to go retrieve the ducks.

Once Dad, Larry, and Karen floated by canoe all the way down the Jordan River to Farmington Bay. There were a lot more obstacles than we had anticipated; we had to keep getting out to carry the canoe over spillways and around fences, and to drag it through marshy areas. When we finally got to the place where Mom was supposed to pick us up in Farmington it was way after dark, and she had gone to call the sheriff's department to start searching for us. We always had many adventures on our hunting and camping trips. Once Dad, Larry, and Karen went on a canoe trip in the back country of Yellowstone. A bear came to our camp while Dad was out on the lake fishing. The next year our whole family went, in three canoes, to a lake in the Grand Teton national park. Garland and Sandra once went on a whitewater canoe trip on the Colorado River with three other couples, but the canoes tipped over. Sandra was finally rescued by some people in a raft, after being washed through the rapids for a few miles and getting banged up on the rocks, unable to reach shore. Another fun trip was when we went backpacking in the Uintas, together with three other families (Dad's friends from Bingham and their families). Each family brought a pack horse to carry the tents and heavy cooking pots, etc. After we made camp, the kids had fun fishing and wading around in all of the little ponds catching salamanders. I felt like an explorer or an Indian, going off on my own riding my horse around the mountains, bareback, with no saddle or bridle.

At one time Dad bought a pontoon boat and fixed it up, and we went on a family vacation to Lake Powell for a week. The boat had a flat platform with a railing around it, a canopy top, bench seats along the sides, and a steering wheel. We also tied our two canoes on the sides. We wore our swim suits the whole week long, and the boat went so slowly that if we got too hot we could jump off and swim along for a while, then climb back on. It was fun exploring all the little winding side canyons and caves. One night we slept in an old Indian cliff dwelling, accessible by footholds which were carved in the cliff face. It seems we went on family vacations camping out several times every summer, all over Utah; we became familiar with almost every area of the state.


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Text by Karen Bray Keeley

INTERNET Adaptation
by Sandra S. Bray