Monday, June 27, 2016

Millie, 91

The listening ear project - Millie, 91

MILLIE, 91

I started singing when I was 5 years old. When I was 23, after I was married, there was a radio show that was as popular on the radio as “American Idol.” They would go through all of America and choose a finalist for every area. I auditioned in San Diego and won as one of the finalists. When we were competing in the finals, the program came on the radio and my mother was in the audience and it was an applause meter that won. My mother heard the people around her saying, “yes, but she has two children, she has two children.” So, I didn’t win. The thing that was interesting was that the man who was the host of the program really wanted me. So even though I didn’t win that competition, he invited me to travel with them. We ended up performing at the Hollywood Bowl. I guess that’s the biggest thing I ever did.

Gordon Macrae was a popular singer and was in a lot of movies (he starred in the “Oklahoma” and “Carousel”). I was on a variety show with him. He wanted me to join him and tour with him but in a letter to me he said, “I know that you shouldn’t do this.” And I knew it too. The Lord helped me to get through that because the thought that was made known to me was “you may be losing more than you’re trying to gain.” If I devoted all my time to a singing career, I wouldn’t be able to have the family I wanted. So, I just set it aside. I’ve spent my life singing in church and in the community. You know, all of our dreams aren’t supposed to come true — at least not all at once.

I was blessed and fortunate enough not to have to work outside the home. I had six children in 10 years. I really enjoyed raising them and I enjoyed teaching them. I didn’t want to be anywhere else but there. I wanted to hear their first word. I wanted to see their first step. I didn’t want to have to turn that over to somebody else.
The last three were 14 months apart. At one time, I had four children under 5 years old. I thought I was going to perish, and that was before disposable diapers! But I wanted to raise them and I wanted to teach them. I wanted to teach them to pray and to do all of the things that could help them in their lives, so I was content to do that.

We can only raise our children once, but it’s very hard. It takes every talent you possess to raise a family. The joy and the sorrow that goes with it . . . that’s just part of what life is.
The listening ear project - Millie, 91 and her husband
The listening ear project - Millie's wedding band
 We were in New York serving a two-year mission at the LDS visitors center when he had his heart attack. He recovered sufficiently to come back to Salt Lake and have the triple bypass, but when he had that surgery he never recovered. He never gained consciousness. That was it for me as far as our being married.

When he passed away, I was 67 and he was 70. I didn’t have any desire to remarry. I felt like I was very lucky once. One of his colleagues said, “Oh you’ll never find anybody like Paul.” I haven’t. You would have loved him. He was very quiet, but he was dynamite. I thought he was easy going, but I was dead wrong.

I met him when I was 16 and I was not boy crazy, you know. I was busy singing, and in school, and doing things that I considered were fun. I wasn’t one of these girls that just liked boys because they were boys, but when I met him, something different happened to me. I guess I must’ve had some help, because I certainly didn’t have any sense at the age of 16 to know who was right and who was wrong for me. He was the only one that I just felt like I really wanted to date. I was a junior in high school and he was a junior in college. I don’t know how he had the courage to date me. I lived out in the country and it was 13 miles just to come out and pick me up to take me on a date, so somebody had to be really interested in me if they wanted to date me because it was so far, but he was the only one that I loved.

His parents had died when he was young. His father died when he was nine and his mother died when he was 15. I think he just wanted to belong to somebody. And so, he wanted to belong to me.

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