I remember   Leave a comment

From the Piper October 1989

Many of you knew my Dad as Uncle Hal. He was much loved by all members of the Boyack family. He stressed the importance of attending these get togethers and I feel he drew a great deal of strength from each one that he attended.

He also was much respected by the community he lived in for over 40 years. It was great to hear people talk as they visited the funeral home. Each one had a special story that in some way brought out the characteristic that we all knew Dad possessed in abundance. People would tell of how Dad had gone out of his way to help a person over a rough time. Others mentioned the friendship he showed. Still others mentioned the ability to “just sit and have a good talk.”

Many times we tend to take for granted the people around us. We forget about what the earlier generations have gone through to help us get where we are today. A person’s death may cause us to pause a moment and reflect what that person has meant to us and has given us. I feel this is the case in Uncle Hal’s death. His wit and wisdom will be missed by one and all.

Dick Boyack


Dad is gone now. But the concept of “Dad” remains, defined for me by a collection of short clips of life, just moments, really – images which meant “Dad” when he was still here and which will always spring to life in my mind when I think of him.

I remember the excitement when he came home from a selling trip with a toy red and gray racing car when I was about five years old. There was always excitement when Dad was coming home.

I remember the vacations on Grandpa’s farm – the sun and the flies and the dust and the hay fever, loading hay on the skids, the horses and the cows, the cream separator, the outhouse. And how happy those times always were. All those things were a part of Dad, too.

I remember the stories of Dad’s growing up in Delta – about getting into the movies for killing a hundred flies, or playing ball with a blown-up pig’s bladder or a pair of worn out jeans tied into a ball with a rope. And there was the story about how he and Mother took off for the first time to sell for the Woolen Mills, blew the engine in their first car somewhere in Wyoming, got another car, and finally arrived with just ten dollars in their pocket.

I remember seeing Dad at church. The most persistent images are of him in a crowd of people with his arm around someone, shaking their hand with a big smile and a laugh.

I remember him saying, “I like to work” – with a slight intonation on the words “like” and ‘”work.”

Wherever he was, he could see things that needed to be, or could be, done. And it wasn’t easy to talk him out of changing his clothes to start the project right away.

I remember walking with Dad. When I was young, I thought it would be easier after I grew up. But after that happened, and even though I was in pretty good shape, it still took a little extra effort to keep up with him on a walk around the block.

I remember Dad standing by his garden in the striped overalls and the old hat he always wore, holding up a squash he had grown that reached to his waist. There was no supermarket like that garden.

I remember tears in dad’s eyes at times. He wasn’t afraid of tears whether they were joyful, loving, or sad. There were tears in his voice when he called to let us know that Uncle Hal had passes on and again later when he suspected that his own time might be drawing near.

I remember Dad at the last reunion, standing straight and tall and square as he gave his talk. At almost 83 he was not an old man – I thought at the time he would probably live forever, even though his last struggle had likely already begun.

I remember, finally, the image of his figure in the casket. It wasn’t quite like him, but he looked peaceful and satisfied. He can be satisfied, for he tried very hard to know what was right and good and to live in that way. He can be satisfied. And I am satisfied to be his son. We will all try to carry on the good that he left with us.

James Ray Boyack
Tribute from Jozianne to her Grandpa Ray

A wink from his eye told you right away,
That he loved you a lot, when he couldn’t say —
And if you were one of the lucky few,
You got a wink from “Adam” or “Peter” too.

I can’t think of my Grandpa Ray
Without remembering him on my Temple day.
Dressed in white with Grandma at his side,
My heart still swells with wonderful pride.

And then remember a tall handsome man
Dressed in overalls – I think we all can –
For Grandpa was a gardener through and through,
His harvest was plentiful, shared with all he

From a cute little song for tiny bare fee,
To the human banjo – a crazy fun treat.
Then all of the hugs a granddaughter does need-
I’ll miss you dear Grandpa – I’ll miss you indeed!

From the Piper November 1987:

Leave Taking For Le

How I would have liked
to wave good-bye
and watch until
you turned and smiled
and disappeared on the horizon.

You, who taught me to dance
and let me teach you;
who laughed at my stories
and winked at me when I was sad.

I have a new reason
to stand in the desert night
with face upturned
while I look for a star
that never winked back before.

I can just picture you
(who almost always let the way)
traveling arm in arm with Columbus.
See how you have crossed once more
the many waters.

If you should look back
and see me here,
leave a light on in Heaven
for one who stayed behind.


From the Piper November 1987

Crucible Years

These are the years we’ll look back on
when life is quieter,
When no sighs are breathed
to herald the peaceful moments,
When screeches and screams and scratches on woodwork
Have surrendered to stillness and calm.

The toys in the bathtub and gum on the stairs
will be gone,
But so will the winged weight
of our child in her backpack,
The pudgy fingers showing us his treasure
or his sore,
And the endless questions and proud explanations
of the world around us.

These are the ones we’ll call the good years,
Like and old soldier looking back to the days
of his youth and his strength and his glory.
These are years of struggle, tension, fatigue.
They’re years of working and giving and pride.
They’re years in the crucible.

When the quiet times come we won’t remember
so often feeling too tired to go to bed
or wound up like a clock spring ready to snap.
We won’t remember the fights, the spilled milk,
the marks on the table.
What we will remember will be the monster game
and daddy tree,
bedtime stories with kids in their sleepers,
the countless pairs of beat up tennis shoes
and the magic of the weeks before Christmas.

We’ll long for the old ironies
of finding nipples in suitcoats
and crayons under covers.
The big wheels will be gone and so will the bunkbeds.
In their places will be shrubbery and bookshelves.

The children will be gone
from our home then
But the years will stay in our hearts
the joy, the pain
the sorrow, the pride,
the becoming.

It’s good to love these years.

Doug Boyack


Some Personal Musings for Grandpa on the 100th Anniversary of His Wedding

( November 15, 1997)

God of our fathers is for me more God of my grandfather.

My father’s belief was the Church was good.  My grandfather’s faith was that God was real

and his commandments true. Growing up “in the Church” our family was in attendance but missing the fire.

We sat at the table but missed the feast.  Still, attendance planted the seed

and there can be no fruit without the planting.

I owe to my father the debt of this nearing.

The fire came later when the warming was wanted. In truth I trace my spiritual pedigree directly to Grandpa.

It was like Dad delivered the letter unopened. The message was conveyed, but the fervency was found later.

In my growing up years I knew Grandpa only through Dad’s stories.

He was a hero in Dad’s eyes…

unpretentious and caring,

bold, yet able to comfort,

simple in faith

still given to ponderings and broad philosophy

and not above a cute

and even occasionally ribald story.


I now have other glimpses of Grandpa

through his often daily diary entries.

Judging just from its very volume

he could clearly commit to high task.

He truly loved his family.

In his latter years

seems most every day he wrote or received word from family quartered afar.

Most likely the letters were not lengthy.

(One day he boasted of posting seven.)

Like his journal jottings they likely told of small events:

a trip to the store,

a letter received from Virginia and Alan,

a dinner with George or Ray,

a lesson prepared

a lesson delivered,

a testimony born…

“Mother bore her testimony today in Sunday School. She done fine.”

Students of history study the small with the large of life.

Our conduct conveys our conceptions irrefutably.

It was touching to read Grandpa’s journal entries around Grandma’s passing.

He called her “Mother”

and was attentive to her every need.

He did not describe emotion

but his unflagging vigilance to her needs said all the unsaid.

Grandma’s absence from the pages of his remaining months

chronicles Grandpa’s loneliness.

His last entries speak of feeling poorly and staying home.

Ethel was checking on him and he wanted to be “no trouble”.

I don’t know the details of his death

but chances are

he left being no trouble.


I am now at 33,000 feet

and traveling at 500 miles per hour across the sparse expanses of Nevada.

I hurried to get to the plane on time.

(Is running behind congenitally Boyack?)

Before boarding the plane at 1 p.m.

I read my scriptures

planned my day

said my prayers

walked at sunrise

did the school run

changed the oil

saw the dentist

shopped for ice cream (We’re Boyacks at our house!)

made some phone calls

showered, shaved, dressed, packed and drove 120 miles to the airport.

In it all there was precious little time for charity.

I often reflect on Grandpa’s pithy observation that before they got their first Model T

he always had time for a stop in the road visit with his neighbors.

I never knew Grandpa

but my guess is he took time for people…

when and where he found them.

I am now sitting in the warmth of the Visitor’s Center on Temple Square.

(It’s colder here than California.)

I am readying to travel north to Bountiful to visit Ira,

a former mission companion now entered some spiritual badlands.

(Somehow I think this trip might be as much for him as for me.)

If Grandpa were now at my side

I think he would say to be on my way and not tarry longer.

He would say to not short my friends my time for a task.


It’s said the seed is known of the fruit.

In this life,

I think I will best know Grandpa by his fruit.

I hear tell of his ready wit and twinkling eye,

of his earnestness and affection.

As I see you and search my memory of family,

I think of all the laughter at gatherings past and present

and the real work done by all for all.

I think I know him better

when I think of my father and my uncles, each of them,

and Aunt Beth.

As I reflect on them I can’t help but bask anew in their goodness…

their faith,

their humor,

their straight from the shoulder honesty.

Besides seeing Ira and enjoying all you,

I came here with another purpose.

It was my intent to not leave without learning something

of Grandpa and Grandma

from you who actually knew them.

Thank you all for sharing your glimpses of Grandpa and Grandma with me.

I am thankful for you and your parents.

I am thankful for Grandpa

and for the many journal entries and letters he wrote.

Of all his writings for posterity

his most precious were on the parchment of his heart…

a lifetime,

the evidence of which surrounds us tonight.

November, 1997


Posted November 11, 2010 by Dave Boyack

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: