A Piece of Broken Window Glass

Saved With My Keepsakes

Vee Ann Jeffs, BYH Class of 1959

By Vee Ann Jeffs Mickelson
BYH Class of 1959

Recently we in the BYH Class of 1959 celebrated our 50th year reunion. Down through the years I have often looked at my high school scrapbooks and keepsakes.

Among my keepsakes is a piece of broken glass that came from a car window. Each time I see it, the story of why I saved it comes rushing back into my mind.

This was in the fall of 1958. I love drama, so I had enrolled in the drama class taught by Max Golightly, and also joined the BYH Thespian Club. I loved the class and we did some really fun plays for the school.

Max Golightly was a remarkable speech and drama teacher, actor, and director, and had so many other talents. He taught at BYH for four years, from 1957 to 1961.

We had to participate in many after-school practices and performances, and when each of them ended we were tired and in need of refreshment. As the year went on, three or four girls and I came up with an idea.

Stevens Nelson, BYH Class of 1958

Steve Nelson, one of our Thespian friends, had an old beat-up car -- he was one of the few guys that had a car at all that year. Steve says it was a 1949 Chevy, kind of a dull yellow in color.

We got together and discussed whether we could ask him if he might take us girls down town for a shake or soda, just for fun, following some of the after-school activities.

Steve was always a good egg and willing to do things for others, but as we talked it over, we recalled that he usually didn't have much money for gas. We girls decided we could each pitch in a bit of change toward this extra expense. We talked to Steve and he agreed to drive us.

In those years gas was about 25 cents a gallon, and if I remember right, we usually came up with that much or more each time so we could go downtown and come back to the school.

After several such refreshment excursions, one warm night we were riding down Center Street in Provo with our windows down. At one of the stoplights we were laughing at a joke someone had just told, BUT in the next lane was a car carrying a group of six or seven football players from Provo High.

They had apparently just lost a very close game, so when we were laughing they must have thought we were students from the school of their opponent, and that we were razzing them at their loss.

They must have picked the biggest guy in their group and told him to make us pay.

From their car, they yelled at Steve to pull over to the curb, and when he did, this big guy jumped out and came walking quickly toward the driver's side of the car.

We didn't have any idea why they were acting so mad or what it was all about, but suddenly Steve yelled, “Roll up your windows and lock your doors, quick!”

Right after that this big guy started yelling at us. As he yelled, he slammed his fist into the driver's side window so hard that it shattered, sending glass clear back into the faces of the girls in the rear seat, and of course, we girls screamed.

He slammed his fist into the driver's side window

Then he retreated, jumped back into their car and off they flew.

Several girls had small cuts, but no one had been cut badly. After we calmed down, we girls told Steve he ought to go and report this attack to the Provo police.

From my junior high school days, I knew the name of the guy who broke the window, so we did go directly to the Provo Police Station to report it. We girls all went in as support for Steve.

The uniformed policemen wrote down what we told them, and they said in their opinion the Provo football player ought to pay for a new window, but I don't believe Steve ever heard anything at all from the police after that.

Steve drove us back to the Lower Campus and we all talked about how scary this experience had been. We were amazed at how quickly a complete misunderstanding had led to real physical danger. We told Steve how sorry we were about his broken window, then we walked home shivering.

Steve wasn't able to drive his car much for awhile, until he found a used window at a local junk yard and managed to replace it himself. He was able to laugh about it, and after a while, so were we.

By the way, in 1961 Max Golightly moved on to BYU, where he became a professor famous for many outstanding performances and much great writing throughout his lifetime.

Vee Ann Jeffs Olsen Mickelson 2010

Vee Ann was born on April 23, 1941, in Provo, Utah, to Alvin Jeffs and Melvina Payne. She was married to Lawrence Reed Olsen from 1961 to 1985, and they were blessed with three sons. Vee Ann found love a second time and married Bernard Lewis Mickelson in the Salt Lake LDS Temple in 1987. He brought six children to their marriage. She loved them in every way as if they were her very own. She was a member of the Brigham Young High School Class of 1959.

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