Memories of Seth Clinton Frank
Written by his daughter, Charlene Frank Knighton
Dad was a hard worker. A lot of people respected Dad for his handwork and the quality of work that he did. He did cement work. He had my brothers work for him during the summer. (Louis worked for him full time because he wasn't attending college.) I remember him putting in bids for jobs all over Cache Valley. The one I remember the most was the dividers up 4th North Street to Utah State University. (It has now been torn out.) He also built houses. The ones here in Cache Valley that have the flat roofs like our house in Providence were built by Dad. Why he built flat roofs, I have no idea...it was just the thing in the 50's. He did a lot of woodwork in the homes, similar to the woodwork in our house...so he was also a carpenter. He had to have just learned this on his own because his dad didn't do it.
Dad owned a farm in Mendon, Utah. We had a "coal stove" in the kitchen. I remember we raised turkeys, and one of the big tom turkeys chased Collene and I. We had to walk out on planks of wood from the house to the barn so we wouldn't get our feet all muddy. Dad had a big "derrick" that he used to put bales of hay in the barn. We got to swing on the rope that hung down. Up in the barn, we'd have hide-outs up in the hay stacks that Dad had made. One time we were swinging on one of the big hay bale forks, and it stabbed into my leg. I still have a scar from it on my upper thigh. I didn't do a lot of farm work because I was little.
Dad never went to church, but Collene and I did. Mom got impatient with us because we'd "cry" when she left us in the classroom because we were so timid.
Dad and Mom always went out to eat on Saturdays. Sometimes he'd let us (twins) go with them. We got to go to Cache Junction and the Maddox. We usually had fried chicken or a hamburger. When we went over to Providence to visit my Dad's mom, he'd let us get a "hard" ice cream cone at Wingets Drive-In. It was wonderful because we'd get to choose our favorites. Dad would always choose green pineapple (it had chunks of pineapple in it). We thought it was gross. He'd also eat cherry ice cream with chunks in it!
Dad liked to drive fast in his cars. I remember once in the wintertime, we got to go out to eat with them. We were in the pink Oldsmobile, and he spun it around in the parking lots on the ice. I was so scared. I knelt on the floor begging him to stop!...he laughed.
Dad took us to see the "Ten Commandments" when it came out. Mom didn't want to take us...but he came back home and got us. We got to the movie when Moses was being placed in the Tigress River in the little boat basket.
Dad liked to go deer hunting. We were always excited when he came back because we got to eat some of the left over candy treats. Dad had a big black lab (Joe) that was caged in the pen out back by the shed. Every time he'd let it loose, it would run wide-open out to the street about knocking a person down. I didn't like it when that dog was out because it wouldn't mind. Dad went duck hunting too! He must have been a good hunter because he always came home with an animal.
Dad smoked, and I hated it. I guess because it made him not a good member of the Church. I remember asking him to stop. I still hate the smell of tobacco. He and I would get into religious discussions about the end of the world. He was very opinionated about the signs of the times...hard to talk to him. I don't remember him going to Church. I do remember one Labor Day he took java (coffee) up to a High Priest party. I was very upset about it. I don't know what he did when we were at church...probably read the newspaper or watched the fights on TV.
Dad bought one of the first color TV's that came out. My friends thought we were rich. That bothered me. He also bought Collene and me our first bicycles. Mom thought we shouldn't have gotten bikes because she had bought dolls for us. We were delighted. Most of the gifts Dad gave to my mom she complained about because she thought they couldn't afford it. Dad bought a lot of nice appliances for Mom over the years. I was always glad for them, Mom just complained.
Dad never spanked me nor do I remember him yelling at me. I would hear him and Mom upstairs arguing over something, but I never got into that kind of problem. I remember Mom being upset with Dad going to the "White Owl" (pool hall). We'd walk past it waiting for him to come out. It was upsetting to me to know he was over there and making Mom upset about it. I know I called over there asking if he was there.
Dad loved the grandchildren. I remember getting a lecture about letting Brent's boys come into our bedrooms and getting into our things. David and Carl were highlights to Dad because they didn't come down from Idaho often. He'd let them ride on his back for horseback rides and wrestle on the floor with him in the living room. He loved taking Louis' kids on jeep rides to get them ice cream cones.
Dad liked to take Mom on jeep rides up in the canyons. He'd put the top down. He took us up to Providence Lake, and we'd eat up there. He also took us on jeep trails where we'd all have to be on one side of the jeep so it wouldn't tip over....scary!
On Sunday nights he liked to go up to Third Dam in Logan Canyon for dinner. We'd always have hamburgers or hot dogs over a fire. We liked sitting around the fire and moving because of the smoke. Sometimes he'd take Louis' kids up too.
Dad always thought Loyal Hall, our Stake President, was a good speaker...so he was invited to speak at his funeral.
Dad was good to me. I just didn't have a super close relationship with him like my brothers did. Mom always reminded us (twins) that we should have been boys to work with our Dad. I think Dad wanted to be active in the church but just could overcome the Word of Wisdom requirements...which is too bad...he could have still come to Church and enjoyed the atmosphere there. Lesson to me is that the Lord's Church is for everyone.