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 Roland James “Junior” Long

Roland James “Junior” Long

Birth
Union, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Death 9 Aug 1942 (aged 8)
Wasatch County, Utah, USA
Burial Sandy, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA
Plot B-1-322-4
Memorial ID 44881 · View Source
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Calvin "J" Long was born on October 17th 1932 and J. Roland "Junior" Long was born on February 26th 1934.  Both boys are the sons of John Roland Long and Madge Snarr Long. (Calvin was born in the County Hospital at 21st South and State Street and Junior (as he was called) was born in the St. Mark's Hospital in Salt Lake.  Uncle Roland and Aunt Madge were making their home in Union Utah at this time.
 There to welcome Calvin and Junior into the world were two brothers Francis (a half brother) and Maynard.  There were also four sisters, Helen, Marion, Doris and Lana .  
 Junior had real blonde hair and light complexioned and Calvin's hair was a little darker and also a little darker complexion. 
 The two little boys, when growing up attended grade school at the Union School, in Union, Utah. 
 When Roland and Madge moved to Union they obtained a large section of land; Trees, Sagebrush and a large hill for the kids to climb.  There was a large canal that ran close to their land, but a good walking distance from their house.  Calvin and Junior would go down to this canal and go swimming time after time and they both became very good swimmers.  There were always things to explore.  There was a big hill at the back of their house that the boys could climb; also trees to play under in the shade. There were plenty of places that they could run and play and perhaps hide from their parents if they wanted to.  The two boys enjoyed each others company and played together, and I don't recall them ever fighting.
 Calvin and Junior were two typical little boys and they were very wild. My dad told Uncle Roland one time that what the one didn't think of the other one would.   I can remember one time; Uncle Roland was telling us the story of one of their pranks. Roland usually had chickens around the place and one day one of the chickens was yelling for all it was worth. The noise kept going on and on so Uncle Roland decided he had better go out and investigate and see what was wrong, and what did he find, but a poor chicken with it's feet buried in the sand. These two boys had taken the chicken and built the sand up around it's feet and legs until the poor chicken couldn't move.  He was their prisoner and was yelling for help.  Uncle Roland freed the poor chicken from its prison.  I don't recall if he mentioned any punishment for the boys or not, but I guess there should have been.
 One time, mom, dad and I were visiting at the home of Uncle Roland and Aunt Madge in their home in Union.  We had sat in their living room and visited and when we came out to leave, my dad came around by our car.   (I believe we had the Terraplane at this time).  I don't know what made my dad look down by the tire, but something caught his eye.  There were some big tacks placed in the dirt with their sharp points, pointing straight up towards our tire so that when dad drove out he would run over them and no doubt get a flat tire or maybe even "two."  Those two kids were probably hiding someplace and laughing their little heads off waiting for us to get a flat tire.  
 These two boys were very close; always wanting to be together. They were just like "twins" not wanting to be separated, and so in writing a story on their "short lived lives" I am going to write it as one story because everything they did, they did together, even die. No doubt, the only thing they didn't do together was for them to be in their mommy's tummy at the same time.
 Uncle Roland loved to fish and Madge would usually go fishing with him. Roland could really catch the fish and they would have their camp set up and Madge told me on different occasions how she would prepare and bottle the fish right there in their camp and then they would have bottled fish to eat all winter.  (I can remember one time they gave my folks a bottle of the fish and we ate it, and it was delicious).
 In the summer, these two boys enjoyed going to Lagoon in the Farmington area.  Course, they didn't get there very often because it was a long distance from their home in Union and the old automobiles didn't travel very fast.
 During the summer of 1942, Madge took the kids to Lagoon and there was a machine there where you could sit and get your picture taken. (Probably five or ten cents)! Calvin and Junior coaxed their mother into letting them have their picture taken together.  So she gave in and they sat on the little seat and the coin was dropped into the slot, and minutes later they had the picture.
 Calvin was almost ten and Junior just eight and one half years old at the time.  The two little boys looked so cute in the picture with their heads close together and Junior's arm around Calvin's shoulders showing the love that they had for one another.
 Just days after the outing to Lagoon Uncle Roland and Aunt Madge went on a fishing trip to the Strawberry Reservoir.  They decided to take Calvin and Junior on the trip with them leaving the four girls at home.  (Francis and Maynard both married at this time and living in California).   
 Roland and Madge loved to fish so they planned a fishing trip to the Strawberry Reservoir leaving their home in Union around the 8th or 9th of August (1942) taking both Calvin and Junior with them.  I guess the boys had not been on these fishing trips prior to this time and they were happy and anxious to go.
 Roland and Madge set up camp and did some fishing.  Maybe a day or two, I'm not just sure.  I don't know if Calvin and Junior went out in the boat with their dad or not, but anyway, Roland and Madge had fished for awhile and then had gone into their tent leaving the two small boys playing in the dirt along the waters edge.   I don't know how much time passed before they came out of the tent to check on the two boys but when they did, the boys were not anywhere in sight. (In one report that I heard, it had only been thirty minutes).  They could see a canoe (boat) drifting out onto the lake.  In looking in the canoe (boat) the boy's shoes were in there so they knew now what no doubt had happened to the two small boys.
 Calvin and Junior knew how to swim.  They would swim in the creek near their home in Union but swimming in the Strawberry Reservoir was much different than swimming in a creek or a canal that they were used to.  There was so much moss in the Strawberry that it would just suck them right under.
 Uncle Roland and Aunt Madge figured that they were playing in the boat and when it started to drift they got scared, took off their shoes and jumped into the water thinking they could swim or walk back to shore.
 It surely is too bad that the lives of these two little boys had to be snuffed out.  They were so happy and excited to get to go on this fishing trip with their folks and then have it end this way. 
 Calvin and Junior Long were both drowned on the 9th day of August in the year 1942.  If "one" had drowned, I don't believe the other one could have stood to be left alone; those two boys were really that close.
 When something like this happens, it seems like there are so many versions of what happened, and in my writing, I will try my best to include them in here.
 What I have been told is as follows:  It was a Sunday afternoon and Roland and Madge had been out in the boat doing some fishing.  They said that Calvin and Junior didn't want to go out in the boat, and so they left them playing along the bank of the Strawberry.  While out on the water, they could watch the two boys playing on the shore and knew they were all right.  It was now about 5:30 p.m. and Roland and Madge came back and went into camp.
 One report said that when Mr. and Mrs. Long came back to the shore, the two boys were gone. But I had understood that when Roland and Madge came back to the shore, the two boys were still playing there.  Roland and Madge went into their tent to rest and when they came out about a half hour later, the two boys were not anywhere in sight. They started calling and hunting but found no sight of them anywhere and then they noticed an old homemade boat floating on the water.  When they went and looked in the boat, the boy's hats were in the boat and a shoe was floating on the water.  They pretty well knew then what had happened to their two small sons.  The fear and anguish had now come upon these two fine people.  They knew they needed to notify someone and get help out there as soon as possible.
 The authorities were called and they were told that it was too late in the day for anything to be done. The boys were no doubt in the water and would not be found alive, so the searchers would wait until daylight the following morning.  (Gee, the newspaper said it was 6:30 a.m. when the two boys were discovered missing. The paper said it was on Saturday and yet Roland and Madge said they went out on Sunday).   Then too, if the newspapers were right in saying it was 6:30 a.m. surely the authorities wouldn't have said it was too late in the day to form a search party.
 When a tragedy like this happens, there are so many different things that people say about what happened or could have happened.  We will never really know the exact details but that is another story.    
One story is as follows:  The two boys had boarded a "row boat" with oars using a pole to push it and when they apparently could not guide the craft and it started to drift, they tried to swim to shore, but was unsuccessful and drowned.  The parents who had been out in another boat had found the two boys missing on their return to camp.  Their only clues to the missing lads were the drifting boat that had not capsized, and a hat and a shoe that belonged to one of the boys.
 Someone had said that Marion had gone along on the fishing trip but according to the newspaper, it was Doris that had gone with them but I have no knowledge of either girl going with them to the Strawberry.
 What I have overheard and what it says in the newspaper disagrees.  I have decided to write it up both ways and then let you decide which is right.  I can't.
 Uncle Roland and Aunt Madge packed up their tent and things and came back home to Union so they could be with the other children and tell them the sad news of what had happened.
 It was a long drive from the Strawberry Reservoir to their home in Union and coming up their long winding lane to their home, knowing they would never see those two small boys alive again. (My heart just aches for them). They were coming back sooner than what had been planned and no doubt the girls would run to meet them as they saw the head lights coming up the road.  No Calvin or Junior in the car and then being told the sorrow of what had happened to their two little brothers.
 They had to start notifying relatives.  As for neighbors and friends I am pretty sure the sad news got around to them pretty fast. I doubt very much if there was much sleep going on in the Long home that night and plans had to be made for the next day.
 Roland notified his brother Harold (my dad) and the following morning Harold went with Roland out to the Strawberry Reservoir to be with him and give him all the support and help that he could.
 The search was soon started and the one's helping was the Sheriff and Joe and Frank Madsen from the Strawberry area.  Joseph Olpin, L. A.Wooten, Arvil McAfee and two men from the reclamation bureau.
 Sheriff Charles McPhie, from the Wasatch County headed the search for the two young boys and J. J. Madsen, Deputy Game Warden, was called from Provo, Utah and he came Monday morning with grappling hooks.
 Junior's body was the first one to be found. His body was found about 300 feet from the shore and about where the drifting boat had been found. This was in the afternoon, but then strong winds came up so they had to stop their search, so the second body (Calvin) lay in the water the second night and was not found until the following day. It was said that Calvin's body was found in the same general area that Junior's body had been found in.
 The two bodies were taken to the Olpin Bros. Mortuary in Heber City, Utah pending arrival of the parents who had been persuaded to return to their home while the search was being conducted. 
As I mentioned earlier, these two boys were very good swimmers so you would think nothing of them being out in a boat on the water.  They no doubt thought they could swim back to shore, but the "MOSS" was so thick in the water in the Strawberry that it just pulled them under.  They just didn't have a chance, no matter how good of swimmers they were.
 Roland and Madge said that they figured Calvin and Junior saw this old boat by the shore and thought they would get in it and play, but when the boat started drifting out into the water, they got scared.  They knew they would get into trouble with their parents, so they took off their shoes and put them into the boat so they wouldn't get them wet and figured they could swim or wade back to the shore, but the water was no doubt deeper than they thought it was and the MOSS just pulled them under the water.  They didn't "have a chance."  The two boys would have been better off if they had remained in the boat.  They no doubt would have gotten hell from their dad by getting in the boat but they no doubt would still have been alive.


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  • Maintained by: Araina Thorsness
  • Originally Created by: Utah State Historical Society
  • Added: 2 Feb 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 44881
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Roland James “Junior” Long (26 Feb 1934–9 Aug 1942), Find A Grave Memorial no. 44881, citing Sandy City Cemetery, Sandy, Salt Lake County, Utah, USA ; Maintained by Araina Thorsness (contributor 48194158) .