A continuation of Pemberly Farnsworth’s story:
This week’s story is a continuation of Pemberly Farnsworth’s story excerpted from her book “Distant Vision:”
After Philo’s (Philo T. Farnsworth), family lived in the wilderness at Indian Creek Serena’s (his mother), health worsened so his father moved their family to Vernal, Utah for a year and then back to Washington in southern Utah, where Serena had spent her youth and where her parents still made their home.
Philo adopted several dogy (orphaned) lambs with the idea of raising them for sale and buying a bicycle with the money. They wouldn’t have to feed a bicycle, and it would take up very little room. Phil had to sell his pony when they moved to Vernal, Utah and he vowed never to allow himself to become emotionally attached to another horse. Phil’s sister Agnes and his younger brother Carl helped him bottle-feed the lambs and they grew rapidly. When they were ready for market, Philo went to his grandmother’s house to choose a bicycle from her Sears and Roebuck catalogue. When he showed her his choice of a bicycle, she agreed it was a fine bicycle but she had something to show him. Turning to the music section she showed him a violin.
“Philo, I know how much you want that bicycle, but with the same amount of money you could buy a nice violin. Wouldn’t you like to be a violinist and play beautiful music like you hear on the gramophone? Some day you could be a great violinist.”
Philo left his grandmother’s house in a very unhappy state of mind, he loved her, but he had planned all summer on a bicycle. Now he was so near to having one that he could almost feel the air hitting his face as he whizzed along on it. He spent a troubled night and in his sleep he dreamed that he was a famous violinist. The next morning he could hardly wait to tell his grandmother.
By the time the violin arrived he had already made arrangements for music lessons. During those early days of screeches and sour notes he was always welcome to practice at Grandma’s house. Philo approached music much as he did all the challenges of his life; with whole-hearted effort and dedication.
Philo’s best friend, Milo Jones decided to join him in his pursuit to be a violinist. The two boys took much taunting from their peers who considered them to be sissies.
One day on their way home from a lesson, they were accosted by their tormentors, led by the town bully. Although Philo was fast on his feet, he was hampered by having to carry his violin. A quick glance over his shoulder revealed the gang leader was close on his heels. Putting on a last burst of speed he laid his precious violin aside and whirled, landing a stiff uppercut on the chin of his pursuer. The larger boy went down like a sack of potatoes. Philo stood ready to take on the rest of the gang however, seeing their leader unconscious at Philo’s feet they looked at him with bulging eyes. There was no more heckling.
The next landmark in his scientific destiny was the eclipse of the sun he saw in 1918 at Thomas, Idaho.
Lured by the booming sugar beet industry, the family packed up their belongings in three pioneer-type covered wagons and traveled to Idaho. Eleven-year old Philo drove the third wagon carrying his mother’s prized sewing machine, gramophone, a crate of hens and a crate of piglets and was leading several cows, two horses, and a mare with a young colt. The trip lasted five weeks, but they arrived in time to see the sun’s eclipse. Their father smoked pieces of glass over a kerosene lamp to protect their eyes.
More interesting to him was the English expedition to Sobral, Brazil where the English had built the world’s largest telescope. The object of the expedition was to prove, or disprove Einstein’s theory of relativity and study the sun’s corona. To be continued.