Sunday, June 7, 2015

Short But Miraculous Trip to Randolph in 2013

I don't know if you believe in miracles, but I do, and this trip is one reason why I do.

After working on my wife for some time, I finally got her to agree to a short trip to Randolph in 2013. Roxana was bored there, as you can probably tell from the picture on the left, just below.  We stopped first at the R S McKinnon house (my OLD HOME) to take a series of pictures.

Once that was done, Roxana vetoed the trip to the cemetery, and wanted to head home, but she was hungry, so we stopped by Gators for a bite to eat.  After our brief meal, Roxana wanted to immediately head home.  So we went out to the car, with the intent of leaving, but as we got in the car, I asked if I could just swing by the Tabernacle parking lot for a moment.  The exact reason for that I didn't understand until a few minutes later.

As I entered into the Tabernacle's parking lot, I noted a hearse parked in front of the entrance to the building, so I thought, "Oh, oh, looks like a funeral might be about to start."  I pulled forward a bit, I saw a young lady exiting the building, and as she passed in front of me, something urged me to speak to her.  Rolling down my window, I gently called to her and asked if I could speak to her for a minute.  She was willing.  I asked if a funeral was underway, and she confirmed there would be one shortly.

Concerned that it might be someone I knew or perhaps a McKinnon, I asked for the name of the deceased.  I do not remember the name, but I was relieved that it was not a McKinnon, and I told her why I looked relieved. I said, "I have come to Randolph today with the hope of meeting a McKinnon I could talk to." After a moment of seemingly stunned silence she said, "Well, if you came to Randolph hoping to meet a McKinnon, you have done so,... my name is Debra McKinnon Kennedy."

I was stunned as I took her hand and greeted her warmly!  I asked for contact information, and she invited us back to stay at their ranch.  Promising her that we would do so, we headed home. I was very much amazed, and grateful all the way home.

Roxana and I did return in 2014, and in some ways, that trip was maybe not as miraculous, but definitely just as incredible.  You'll see what I mean in my next post.

Below are the pictures of the house and other things around it while we were there.  These were taken with my iPad, but the quality is not bad.  You can click on each image to view a larger size.

Oops, Sorry I Really Let This Blog Go...I'll Do Better

I apologize for letting this blog about my Old Randolph Home go "fallow", as it were.  I didn't intend to do so.  I just got so involved in my other blog that I didn't have time for this one, and it slipped by me.  My work on She Held Their Hands is 99% completed, and so I can dedicate myself to this one.  I'm going to do some short posts to catch up a bit, then I'll post the most recent information.

Robert Brent McKinnon (or ERRC's Dad).

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Return to Randolph - 15 October 2011

My wife and I, and our Japanese Foreign Exchange Student, Ramu, and her friend, took a trip to Yellowstone early this summer, and we had planned to stop over in Randolph, but my plans fell apart (my own fault). By the time we got there it was around 11:00 p.m., so we just continued on home. Boy, was I disappointed, and angry at myself!

Thankfully, my wife finally saw how unhappy I was about not having managed to get to Randolph this summer, and decided to let me make a trip up there. She wanted me to borrow my son's car for the drive, but I feel safer in my own, plus, as Roxana doesn't want me to spend any money on a motel, I expect I'll have to sleep in my car.

I must also thank Steven L. Thomson, who is one of the authors of Randolph - A Look Back, and, as it turns out, a cousin of mine. He recently contacted me through I had met him at a Brough Family Reunion a couple years ago, and got his contact information, but promptly lost it. He has been very helpful to me in a number of ways, in preparing for my trip. He's put me in touch with his mother, Mar Jean Thomson, and she will put me in touch with Jane Digerness, the other two authors of Randolph - A Look Back. I may even get to go to church with them on Sunday in the Randolph Tabernacle, where my grandfather, Archibald McKinnon, Sr. was Bishop for many years! Steven says his nephew, who has just returned from his mission will be one of the speakers!

So, tonight, I've stuffed just about everything I can think of that I might need into my car, blankets, my heavy winter coat, and my pillow. My razor and toothbrush and a few other essentials go out to the car with me in the morning. I'll drop my wife, Roxana, off at work, then go to a brief doctor's appointment, but by 10:30 a.m. tomorrow, I should be on the Road to Randolph (with apologies to Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, and Dorothy Lamoure).

I had hoped to visit the building that once was the McKinnon Bros. store, but when I called the Bear Lake Physical Therapy offices today, I was told they are only open on Tuesday and Thursday, so it looks like I'll only be able to take pictures of the exterior and its neighborhood. Maybe next year!

One more thing that this trip has done for me is that it has reminded me that I never posted updates of the house for two other visits, one in 2008, and one in 2010. When I return, I will be posting them, even if they are late, they need to be here. Besides, they include some really important pictures, with regard to the history of the R. S. McKinnon home.

Brent McKinnon

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Our Visit to Randolph in 2006

These are images of my old home in Randolph during our trip there in 2006. The wooden roof was still present then. It was replaced sometime after this trip and before 2010, when we next got up there.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Many Memorable Moments!


My wife wonders, "Why?"

Why do I care so much for this old house, in front of which my father took this group shot of our family. That's me, by the way... the little guy, standing beside my older brother, Kent, and my older sister, Marcia. Mom and Dad stand behind us. I wonder if Dad had any idea of how important that picture would turn out to be?

Until recently*, I thought this house was built specifically for Randolph Stewart McKinnon (1871-1935). He was my dad's father, my Grandfather, and a beloved member of the Randolph community. Click on this link to see my memorial to him on

Randolph Stewart McKinnon memorial

Does an old house, which obviously 'has seen better days', deserve to be cared about and memorialized? My wife cannot understand my passion for my Old Randolph Home, and I can hardly blame her. She, after all, didn't spend the first 4-years of her life there. She didn't make trips with her parents 'back to Randolph' two or three times a year, to visit relatives, to pull fixtures from the old house, to go fishing in Big Creek or Little Creek, or just,... to visit, like I did.

My childhood is a vague memory, of course. I don't really remember the moment depicted in the picture above, as cameras meant nothing to me way back then.

Obviously, not all my memories of my youth are good ones, and not all of them were spent in Randolph at the old home, but somehow, all the good times now revolve around in my head, spinning slowly around each other, and always in the background, like it is in the picture above, is My Old Home in Randolph!

Somehow, the old house has taken on new meaning,... it has become a symbol of all the good times, and I hate to see it "perish". If I cannot save it from crumbling, which is likely, as I've had little luck so far in even contacting the present owners,... then, I hope, at least, to preserve it in pictures on this blog.

I'd love to do more. I would like very much to build a physical memorial, perhaps at the very spot on which I stand in the picture above. If I were rich, I'd do it myself, but life hasn't been that good to me. Perhaps, if you think this a worthy cause, perhaps you might consider a donation? Perhaps I'll create a fund, into which visitors to this blog might place a few dollars, to build that memorial one brick at a time.

I hope that, at least, the old house might be preserved as long as possible. Then, when it does eventually fall, or is 'taken down', I hope that the bricks might be saved. Perhaps they could be used to build the memorial I'm hoping for, so something of it will remain to educate my children about their heritage!