Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » Of Toddlers, Canals, and Driveways

Of Toddlers, Canals, and Driveways

By: Ardis E. Parshall - October 03, 2009

In a departure from our usual humorous look at past advertisements in church publications, there is nothing remotely funny about this ad from a 1950 issue of The Children’s Friend, or about how little has changed in 60 years.  

It happened again this afternoon (an accident, fortunately not a fatality), in Grantsville, Utah: a mother accidentally backed over her two-year-old son.



  1. So, were you just waiting for a news story like this so you could post that picture? :/

    I feel this post is in poor taste. Please take the link to the news story out. Its crass to post it with that corresponding picture. The family is suffering enough without being mocked (whether you intended it to come across that way or not).

    Comment by anon — October 4, 2009 @ 3:05 am

  2. anon, I think it’s quite clear that Ardis was *not* mocking anybody or anything – hence her statement “there is nothing remotely funny”. And if you really think you have a worthwhile contribution to make, why not be brave enough to do so under a proper name?

    Comment by Alison — October 4, 2009 @ 4:37 am

  3. I agree with Alison — most of Ardis’ posts illustrate either things that have changed over time or things that remain the same. If you see something “mocking” in her post, you bring that with you — if you were a regular reader here, you’d know just how off base (and out of line) that charge is. ..bruce..

    Comment by bfwebster — October 4, 2009 @ 7:01 am

  4. In anon’s defense, s/he did leave a legitimate, identifying email address, and also guessed right that I have a file of materials, including some of Richard L. Evans’ “Spoken Word” sermonettes, in reserve to post in the event of certain tragic but foreseeable circumstances. That’s one way to make history relevant to today.

    In my defense, Alison and bruce are absolutely right that I mean no disrespect to, no mocking of either the circumstance or the family involved. I posted the link so that readers outside Utah would know what I was referring to, and also because that particular clipping does not identify the family involved. I can imagine only a small part of their sorrow and would not want to add to that.

    Tragedy — and thankfully, this one seems headed for a joyful resolution, in part because someone summoned the medical helicopter even before first responders had reached the scene — is often a good occasion to remind people to be careful, precisely because the reality of a tragedy reminds us how quickly and with what consequences accidents can happen.

    As for the suffering of the family, I grieve for my nephew every single time I hear the music of one of those “hold on to dear life” PSAs, with their images of crumpled cars and the plain message that the difference between death and survival is the simple act of wearing a seatbelt. November 1 will be the 10th anniversary of the day Chris didn’t fasten his seatbelt. Those PSAs are not in poor taste, despite their reminder of our family’s loss. They are so poignant that they just may save someone else’s life.

    I don’t mock anybody else’s tragedy.

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 4, 2009 @ 7:38 am

  5. Wasn’t the very first death in the Salt Lake valley the drowning death of a young toddler?

    Comment by Reed Russell — October 4, 2009 @ 10:52 am

  6. I agree that the tragedy offers a chance for everyone to pause, remember the lost life, and be reminded to be cautious into the future.

    Ardis hit the nail on the head — it’s a PSA.

    Comment by Hunter — October 4, 2009 @ 11:33 am

  7. Reed, Milton Howard Therlkill, 3 years old, drowned in City Creek on 11 August 1847 and was buried the next day in the pioneer cemetery at today’s Block 49. (After having been lost for a century, that cemetery was rediscovered during excavations in 1986. While they didn’t find everyone they know was buried there, little Milton’s body was identified.)

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — October 4, 2009 @ 11:56 am

  8. For the record, I feel comment 1 was in poor taste.

    Stories like this are so devastatingly sad, I cannot imagine what a mother must go through in a situation like this. My heart breaks for the family.

    Comment by Jacob J — October 4, 2009 @ 12:14 pm

Leave a comment

RSS feed for comments on this post.
TrackBack URI