From my childhood days I remember my fascination with the histories of my ancestors. I remember my grandmother, Grace Winterton showing me her copy of the Van Wagonen – Van Wagoner book and reading me stories from its pages. I remember how disappointed I was that our family did not have our own copy. At the time of printing of the Van Wagonen – Van Wagoner book my parents were just starting out, and as most young couples, were struggling financially. Unfortunately, they could just not afford to buy a copy. My disappointment turned to sadness one day when I asked my mother when the book would be printed again and she explained to me the cost of set up and various other difficulties and explained that due to these reasons, the book might never be reprinted.

Later on, after the passing of my grandmother and grandfather (Grace Winterton Simmons and Merlin Simmons) my father, Jack Simmons was left with my grandparents copy of the book as my father’s brothers all had their own copies. But again, later on, somewhere between the borrowing of the book by myself and my siblings, and a cross country move, the book was lost.

I had from early in my life always vowed to myself that one day I would get rich and fund the printing of the book myself so that all of the descendants related to the book would have the opportunity to have a copy. This preoccupation worsened after the loss of our family copy of the Van Wagenen – Van Wagoner book. But fortunately, technology has blessed us with the possibility of all people who want copies obtaining them, without being tied to my ability to "get rich". Thank Heaven for the computer and the internet.

Several years ago, my siblings and I and my parents had a meeting and decided that it was time to get the ball rolling. My mother, Sharen Simmons volunteered to do all of the re typing. Scanning was considered, but it turned out that with at least what was available to us at the time, retyping was faster than scanning. Two wonderful uncles, Oren Simmons and Clair Simmons loaned us their copies of the book. My mother then got to work and spent a great deal of her time over the next two years typing and arranging the text. We then hired someone to scan all of the pictures. We decided that rather than trying to reproduce all of the family group sheets and the like to refer the reader to the church internet site where even more complete and constantly updated information would be available. But, the book was finished and ready to be made available.

I now was down to one obsession. I wanted a copy of Grandpa Winterton’s book Memories and Teardrops like my parents had, for my own family. I also wanted this to be available to all who wanted copies, so I went to work. But my time was limited, and I didn’t budget it well. Over several months I had only moved a few pages into the book.

It was with great happiness that I received one of the greatest Christmas presents that I had ever received on December 25th, 2001. My wife, sisters-in-law, and sister had finished Grandpa’s book, placed it on disk and gave it to me for Christmas. I was overwhelmed. I would like to share this wonderful Christmas gift with you.

These books have been posted at our family web site where they are available to view with a browser. They can also be downloaded as WORD documents where they can be printed off. Most office supply stores can print off nice, laser copies from disk. They can also bind the copies with plastic or metal combs and add covers for a reasonable price.

With all this said, I would like to dedicate this book, which will be treated as a work in progress until all who knew Grandma and/or Grandpa Winterton have passed on, to my mother, Sharen Simmons, my wife Amy Simmons, my sister Shirree Patten, and my wonderful sisters-in-law Michelle Simmons and Rachael Simmons who I am told did the lions share of the typing of Memories and Teardrops. These wonderful women are as incredible in their dedication to the Lord’s work in their day as my pioneer ancestors were in their own.


Yours in the service of the King of kings,

John Simmons

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