Exhibit: a grandfather's boyhood memories

When Hubert Gleed prepared his family history, he literally made it multi-dimensional.

Not content merely to put words on paper, Brother Gleed spent three years fashioning scale models of the horse-drawn farm implements that figured so prominently in his childhood on the homestead established by his family in a mountain valley near Malad, Idaho.The models are supplemented by a home-made videotape recording in which Brother Gleed, a member of the Malad 5th Ward and patriarch in the Malad Idaho Stake, delivers his reminiscences about his boyhood.

Brother Gleed is the eldest of nine children raised on the farm. His parents, Henry and Emma Thorpe Gleed, homesteaded it in 1905, using horse-drawn farm equipment.

Prepared as a legacy for his children and grandchildren, the models and video presentation are included in a current exhibit on the main level of the Museum of Church History and Art, 45 N. West Temple, Salt Lake City. Titled "My Father's Dream, a Family History of an Idaho Homestead," the exhibit is on display until Sept. 12.

In his introduction, Brother Gleed says, "On this, the centennial year of the creation of the state of Idaho [the tape was made in 1990T, I would like to present to you a video tape which I have dedicated to the memory of my parents."

Brother Gleed then relates the circumstances of establishing a home in the Idaho wilderness: "On a new homestead, everything needed to be done at once. Dad was married in 1905, and I was born in 1906. Dad had a new family, and he needed a home for them. He solved that problem by going to New Canyon and getting our logs, and with the help of his brothers John and William, he built a one-room log cabin."

That cabin is among the models Brother Gleed fashioned which are on exhibit, meticulously furnished and detailed, even including a stack of poles and a sawhorse in the yard.

The other models show similarly painstaking craftsmanship. They include a steam engine (not the railroad variety, but the kind used to power farm implements), a row grain drill used for planting, a threshing machine for separating grain from chaff, a header and header bed for harvesting grain, hay rake, hay wagon, horse-drawn plow and a wood-toothed harrow for smoothing a field after plowing.

Other models provide additional details about the homestead life: a covered sleigh and a white-top buggy.

Captions, consisting mostly of the artist's own words, are rich with feeling and colorful memories.

"The steam engine always fascinated me," he wrote. "It seemed to me to be something that was alive. Quite often the engineer and those working with it gave it a name as though it were a person or an animal. I loved to feel its pulse and its warmth as it labored, and to hear it breathing hard when an extra large forkful of grain was being threshed. I have always felt that we lost something when we let gas and oil engines replace the steam. A steam engine could go out into the wilderness and run for years. All it needed was water, which is very plentiful, and fuel to heat it to make steam. The fuel could be any kind of wood, or even straw."

The exhibit includes a video monitor showing portions of Brother Gleed's recording. A narrator comments: "Brother Gleed's models and homemade video have helped his children and grandchildren learn about the lives of their grandparents. Perhaps you too can find creative, new ways to preserve your family history."

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