I used to live in Devil Slide, and when we’d go to church we would go the three miles into Croydon. We would either walk to church on Sundays or drive in. At that time church had two segments. You would go in the morning and back again in the afternoon or evening.
I recall the old white church that existed where the now Croydon park remains. When you walked in, there were coat racks and about three steps up to get to either the chapel, relief society room or the cultural hall.
Off to the right as you were walking in was the Bishop Reed Wilde’s office and steep stairs that went down to the basement for the primary rooms and bathrooms. I recall the Sunday that some of the primary kids had found a bat down in one of the primary rooms. They thought the bat to be cute, so they somehow managed to find an empty old oatmeal container and caught their new found pet. The bat bit three of the kids, and all three of the kids had to have rabies shots, as the bat had rabies. The kids had to have 30 shots each to their stomach. This incident was my first encounter to the possible dangers of wild animals.
The second encounter happened in Croydon as well. I was walking home from church one sunny afternoon, with my brother Gary, when walking across the Croydon Bridge, we thought we heard what we thought to be a rather loud sounding bee, but to our shock when we looked down, it ended up being a rattle snake all coiled up, ready to strike, just inches from our ankles. I was nearly seven and my brother was 4. Not knowing what to do, we slowly backed away, scared like never before.
Fortunately the snake didn’t strike us. When my parents met up with us to drive us the rest of the way home to Devil Slide, I remember my mom telling us our faces were as white as ghosts, as we knew we had just met up with what could have been our fate. Rattlesnakes and Lizards seemed to be ever prevalent in the Croydon area, because of the rocky terrain.
The third encounter with animals was the many domestic animals that would be out in the road while we would walk home from church in Croydon. To a small kid, cows and sheep can be quite intimidating, I don’t think I ever prayed harder then when I was walking home from Church, and would see bulls and cows out or even sheep. To a young child, you automatically think you are going to be eaten or charged by the livestock, fortunately none of those wild imagination of the ever present wildlife came true.
I have many good memories of Croydon, but nothing like those first encounters with animals, to leave a lifetime of impressions. I still don’t like rattlesnakes, or bats, but I’m okay with cows and sheep!