Thursday, June 1, 2017

Timing Is Everything!

It has really been a long time since I had reason to work on this blog.  I do apologize for that.  It has been so long since anything worth reporting has occurred.

That changed this last Monday, Memorial Day (May 29th).

My wife had the day off, and since I am currently unemployed, I insisted that we take a trip to Randolph, after first making our visit to my father's grave in Bountiful, Utah.  We had our youngest son and his children with us, and also our oldest son.  After our children and grand-children left to return home, my wife, Roxana, and I began the long drive to Randolph.  We felt a definite need to head right out, only stopping to fill our gas tank.

We realized later why we felt moved to be on our way.  
This trip proved to be a very inspiring adventure!

It normally takes just under 2-hours to reach Randolph, Utah, from our home in West Valley City, but we had a few delays.  We stopped for a "pit-stop" in Evanston, Wyoming, then headed out again.  As we approached Randolph, we were delayed by the highway construction just south of Randolph. Finally, we arrived in front of my Old Home In Randolph.

As soon as I pulled up in front, I noted a few things, 1) a new security fence (about 6-feet tall) surrounded the property, 2) a man and woman were on the property, and 3) two more women were waiting in a car.  The two on the property were looking it over and appeared to be searching for something.  I pointed them out to my wife, and within 5-minutes they had abandoned their search, and got into their car, and began to leave.

Had we gotten there very much later, they would have been gone, or if we had arrived even 30-minutes sooner, we might have left before they arrived.  I determined I must speak with them.  I walked onto the road East of the property, approached them, as they we driving toward me, and waved them to a stop.

The man in the front seat lowered his window, and I said, "I am sorry to delay you, but I saw you looking over the property, and felt I had to introduce myself.  My name is Robert Brent McKinnon, and I used to live in that house."

The man, a Mr. Spencer, shook my hand through the window and introduced himself, and said, with some excitement, "I, too, used to live in that house!"  He explained they had heard that the new owner of the property was planning to demolish the house, so a new one could be built on the property.

Concerned, they had come up to speak with the new owner.  He gave them access to the property, and that's how they had been there when we arrived.  Mr. Spencer said they had hoped to find something that might be preserved from the property, and asked me if I knew where the old WATER-PUMP had been.  I pointed to where it used to be located (more on this later).

I mentioned that one reason I had come, repeatedly, to visit the sight was that I wanted to meet the new owner, and find out his plans, and see if I could persuade him to allow a Commemorative Monument to be built at the front of the property.  Mr. Spencer and the three ladies with him had the same idea.

I was so excited that I had forgotten I had left my wife in the car, but she saw how excited I was and came over to chat with them too.  We, learned they live in Salt Lake City, Utah, and we replied that we live in West Valley City.  They gave me a number, and I put it in my cell-phone, and I gave them both of our cell-phone numbers and my email address.

After about 15-minutes of getting to know each other, they guided me to the new owner's home, just a block or so away.  It is a very nice white home.  As they drove off, I knocked on the front door, but there was no response.  After several tries, I gave up, and my wife and I headed home.

We were both very excited about this event, and we spoke of it for most of our return home!

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!