A continuation of Pemberly Farnsworth’s story: It was our wedding night and I was in our motel room. More than an hour had passed since Phil (Philo T. Farnsworth) had left to return the borrowed roadster. Stretched across the big honeymoon bed, I was alone and my mind resumed its wandering. I recalled when Phil took a job at Felt Electric Company in Salt Lake City. He still came home on weekends and took Agnes (his sister) and me to the BYU Friday night dances. Soon it was just Phil and me, then he began claiming most of my dances. I was falling in love with Phil in spite of myself, although I held no hope that our relationship would be permanent. I knew Phil had some very big plans and that his great obsession was to get an education. Never had he said anything to give me the slightest hope. At times, I was so filled with futility that it was pure agony to be around him.
That all changed the following winter on Christmas Eve, 1925 when my sister Verona and her boyfriend Bill had taken us to Salem, fifteen or twenty miles south of Provo, to introduce Phil and Agnes to our father’s parents, Alice and Ira Garner. They were a special couple, loved by all who knew them. Grandma Gardner was “Grandma” to the entire town. On the way home, crowded in the back seat with Cliff and Agnes, Phil tightened his arm around me and said, “Pem, I think we were meant for each other.”
At that moment, the car chug-chugged and stopped, Bill had warned us that he was low on gas, but no service stations were open. We were three miles from home but before we could get too upset about the prospect of walking, a car drove up and stopped. Phil recognized Dr. Harris, President of BYU, who kindly gave us a gallon of gas to get us home.
Phil said, “Well now, you know how I feel, what do you think about us?” He continued, ignoring the interruption.
“I didn’t think you were serious.” I hadn’t dared to dream this would ever happen.
“I couldn’t be more so,” Phil assured me, hugging me close to him.
“I have to confess I have loved you more than I cared to admit to even myself.” I said in a voice so low he had to lean close to hear me. I remember my heart racing so, I could hardly breathe. We decided to keep this our secret because Phil’s mother would worry. He had some important plans for the future and promised to tell me about them soon. Later, when he left me at my door, I could have jumped to the roof and shouted my love for him. He had held me in his arms and kissed me!…
…My mind brought me back to the present and to my loneliness in this impersonal motel room. I wondered what had happened to Phil. It seemed to be taking him a long time to return Mr. Everson’s car. Oh, well. He would be coming soon, no doubt. Of one thing I was certain: I could depend on Phil. I had found him as dependable as the sun coming up in the morning. Whatever was keeping him was surely not of his doing.
My mind started to wander again. Was I really Mrs. Philo T. Farnsworth? I pinched myself to make sure it was not just a dream. No the orange-blossom-encrusted band next to my lovely engagement ring attested to that…Oh, yes, the diamond. How he managed to buy that was still a mystery. Phil had invited me to come to Salt Lake City for my eighteenth birthday, February 25th. I arrived in the evening of the 24th and shared a room so kindly offered by a lady boarder. Phil’s urgent knocking at the door awakened me at dawn. He wanted me to see something and said I would need a coat and boots because three inches of snow had fallen during the night. I dressed in a hurry. To be continued…
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