Monday, September 27, 2010

Foundations: Caroline Dockstader Koford

Grandma during her Senior year of high school

Name: Caroline Dockstader Koford

Spouse: Jarvis Ben Koford

Birth/Death: 1933-

Birthplace: Rupert, Idaho

Religion: Mormon

Occupation: Educator

My maternal grandma was born in the sleepy town of Rupert, Idaho. Rupert is a city so unassuming you'll miss it if you blink. Yet, it seems every Mormon I know has family in Rupert. My grandma's father was the only Mormon in their family and not particularly active in his Mormonism. Subsequently, my grandma wasn't raised Latter Day Saint by her father but was immersed in the Mormonism of her community just as well. One Sunday when my grandma was 8 years old, she went to church with her girlfriends; it just so happened that that was the Sunday of the annual baptism. In 1930s Rupert, the church folk would round up all of the 8 year olds once a year and dunk them in the waters of baptism. It was one great big baptismal party (unlike today where every child gets their own, personalized baptismal party). Before she could say "amen", my grandma was a Mormon. least 50% Mormon as she was never officially confirmed. Grandma never told anyone she was baptized and continued on with life as normal. It wasn't until she was a 22 year old wife and mother that she and my *grandpa began attending the Mormon church with any consistency and she was finally confirmed 100% Mormon!

I have a very close relationship with my Grandma Koford. When I was a little girl she would play Old Maid and Go Fish with me and took it all in stride when I cheated, lost and then pouted for the rest of the afternoon. She made instant Quaker oatmeal with a little bit of brown sugar mixed in while I watched Fraggle Rock. In the afternoons we would go to the library or the book mobile and come home with stacks of musty books with velvety, wrinkled pages. And on very special occasions we would watch Fairy Tale Theater--25 years later, I still miss Shelley Duvall and those relentlessly corny fairytale remakes. I count my memories with Grandma Koford as some of my most valuable, most comforting, and most enduring.

*An unrelated side story: My grandma was working as a waitress in a small diner in Brigham City, Utah when she met my grandpa. He had just returned from the Navy and would stop in to see her. I never knew that both my paternal and maternal grandmas met their spouses in the diners where they worked as waitresses. What a gem! My favorite part of the story is that everyone there used to call my grandma 'Candy' and that makes me think of the 1940s and red lipstick and war bonds.

Next Sunday: Prayer

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