Thursday, July 23, 2020

Water Remembering

One shot.

It lives apart from the designated reality in which I snapped it.

Now, I designate another.

Monday, July 6, 2020

Rising Up in Centerville . . . Utah

We celebrated Juneteenth this year and marched for equal justice. It went well. I've struggled though to find the words to express it because I am so out of my depth. Which is why I dove in the first place.

It is encouraging that significantly more than any time before, protests for racial equality are not just something for the targets of oppression. The protests since George Floyd died under a knee have included Americans in all their diversity and privilege. The protests have even gone international. Some of this is to protest the retrograde racism of the trump administration of course. I'm all in for that. And still, I can never feel the depth of the Black American experience. So we try.

My immediate family appears to be woke or at least in the process. A daughter and I marched for refugees and immigrants when trump first starting imposing his bans. There was to be a peaceful march for racial justice in downtown Salt Lake City for Juneteenth this year. I wanted to go except for the risks of Covid-19. We had talked about doing a local march. The daughter who marched with me before prompted me on to set up our march in front of Centerville City Hall and police headquarters. My other daughter said she was in too. We rolled.

Here's our notice:

My daughter went up-front with our Centerville Police:

Saturday, June 20, 2020

Solstice 2020: Ebenezer II

"Here I raise my Ebenezer
Here there by Thy great help I've come
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure
Safely to arrive at home."

Stone of Remembrance.

My Grandson and I found it up on the side of the mountain when we were gathering smaller stones together for my latest rock garden. I've been trying to convince someone in the family quarantine circle to help me go get it. I had rolled it over by myself, but I knew I wouldn't get it into the car alone. Oh, on the day of discovery we were too dog-tired after a hike to lift it in.

My wife did not want to go fearing that I would drop it on her foot. She finally coordinated my eldest, her son, and our A-5 (fifth child) to go up there after the Juneteenth March in Centerville for racial equality and justice. (Probably deserves another blog post.) They seemed okay and the four of us lifted in in and out of the Rav-4 without any feet being smashed.

If only I had taken a photo of it in its natural habitat!

Already prepared my remembrances to lie underneath the stone.

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Surprised by Peace

The Library of America and I have a long-term relationship. In its early days, I had a subscription and was collecting and reading great American authors. The editions are beautiful and well edited by experts in literature or history. Thin pages carry a lot in one volume.

In later years, I've purchased an book or two now and then. Recently I ordered what looked like an interesting anthology:

I haven't gotten to it yet. It was still in its plastic wrap when I picked it up to move it somewhere and noticed an interesting name on the back list of authors, Joseph Smith, Jr.!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

Welsh Pioneers to Zion

Sometimes the right book just drops in your lap at the right time. Well, I had to order it and going directly to the publisher rather than wait for Amazon got it too me a little quicker.

Welsh Saints on the Mormon Trail: The Story of the Welsh Emigration to Salt Lake City During the Nineteenth Century, by Wil Aaron, published in Wales by Y Lolfa is another book I don't have to write because it is better than what I could do. It has already been an aid to me in my current position as a part-time service missionary in the Church History Library (CHL) of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the Church).  Whew! The author is not a member of the Church and is not compelled to the full typing requirements of the name. (I recently was making deliveries in the library and a worker unknown to me commented on a book I had with "Mormonism" in the title. She asked rhetorically and matter-of-factly, "We're never going to get rid of that name, are we?")

It is a highly entertaining read as the writer is a producer of music and television programs in Wales. He has the academic credentials as a professor of Music at Bangor University where I have delved into the archives on family history quests. And it's one of the best general histories of the Pioneer Trail and the settlement of the American West as its chapters are divided by years from 1847 to 1868, the range of the Mormon Pioneer Trail. Told by an outsider to the Church and the the American Experience, it presents a fresh vista of the story in a very accessible format.

Sunday, June 7, 2020

Red-lining Systemic Racism - My Cities

One of my Welsh Professors, whom I have also hired as my estate-planning attorney, shared something on Facebook that I thought would be good to memorialize in a blog post. The links would be easier to find through my search box down on the lower right.

He linked some information and fascinating if disturbing resources on the practice of "red-lining" that came out of the New Deal in the 1930s. The Home Owners' Loan Corporation or HOLC was established to readjust home mortgages that were in default or needed refinancing. Major cities were mapped to indicate areas where loans were most at risk. The neighborhoods marked in red were the most risky based on economic conditions of the residents at the time and also expressly and explicitly by race and ethnicity. While the HOLC was abolished in 1947, these maps were used by banks and others interested in economic investment well into recent times. They helped to establish de facto racial segregation in all major cities not just the South where legal segregation flourished until the 1960s. The effects of red-lining are still with us today. You can read more here and here.

And, you can find the maps at the University of Richmond's "American Panorama: An Atlas of United States History."

My paternal line came to America in 1886. The first couple of generations lived in the lowest rated red-line districts of Ogden, Utah, classifications D-8 and D-9 for "Hazardous" with regard to investment.

Saturday, June 6, 2020

Water-fall 3: Never Too Much of a Good Thing

We did it again!

It was a slightly different hike yesterday as we went up the North Trail. That's how I first got to know the canyon and trying it again I remembered why I switched to the south side.

The first half mile is a killer up the exposed hills. It has it's advantages of great views and avoids the rock scramble of the canyon mouth on the South. And if you do try it, avoid when the summer sun is shining! We were fortunately up there before the sun cleared the Wasatch.