John Cooper Houston (1876-1960)
My Great Grandfather
me --> Ruth Rasmussen Buchanan --> Alice Houston Rasmussen --> John Cooper Houston
If doing things outside of our comfort zone is good for our mental health then having lunch with my great grandfather, John Houston, would make me extremely mentally healthy. That's because of all my ancestors, he scares me the most--even though I was born nine years after he died.
|John Cooper Houston on his mission in Arizona.|
Copy of photo in the LDS Church Vault in SLC, UT.
The reason why he scares me is because of the stories I grew up hearing about him. Here are three stories that make me afraid to have lunch with him.
1. When my grandmother was born, the family named her Dorothy. John gave her a baby blessing in their ward. On his way to the front of the chapel, he decided he didn't want her name to be Dorothy, but Alice. So he blessed her as Alice Houston. When he brought the baby back down, his wife didn't say anything and the family from that point on called her Alice.
2. When Alice was a little, she and her siblings got together and decided that calling their dad "Father" was old-fashioned. The cool thing to call your dad was "Pa." So they held a meeting, voted on it and decided from now on they would call their dad, "Pa." They went to John and told him of their plan. Alice said that he became very stern and said, "You will call me 'Father' and nothing else."
3. When John was older he would often visit his grandchildren. My uncle Art was just a little guy when John was still alive. He told me that one day he and his grandpa, (oops, I mean grandfather) were walking on the sidewalk. Art noticed an ant trail on the sidewalk and began stepping on them, killing the ants. John stopped walking and turned to Art and said, "Stop killing those ants. They are Heavenly Father's creations and they deserve to live as much as you do."
But I'm sure my fears aren't justified. After all he looks like the sweetest guy in the world.
As long as I don't call him great grandpa.