Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Small Town Girl

When I left home I was living with my father at the time. We had a huge fight and haven’t spoken now in over 30 years. It wasn’t just an argument that after a few days resolves itself. This was physical which made the argument even worse. I hated my father for years for beating me. The bruises he left on my body told me this was a testament of the hatred he held towards me and had built inside him since the day I was born. It had come full circle that Sunday afternoon.

When I left my home town I closed that chapter in my life with no intentions of going back. Years later my mother married a man who lived in my home town. We traveled there a couple times each year to visit. I endured the time we spent there, while my children loved every minute of it, thinking one day we would move there. Whenever anyone would ask me where I was from I told them Salt Lake. There was no way I was connecting myself with that hick town. I admit my high school years were the best, but the painful event with my father always rose above everything else clouding my view to care for little. Damn him. I felt robbed. All these years later I still hold resentment inside me not only towards him, but towards anyone or anything dealing with my home town. I was done.

It has been 31 years since I graduated from high school, it’s time I embrace the fact I am from a small town. I may not ever speak to my father again, but I can still be proud of where I was born. There is so much history in my little town that I would love to share with you. My dear mother has willingly loaned me her books she has gathered over the years about the history of my home town. Even better my grandmother, a very staunch LDS woman, helped put together a cook book that dates back more than 50 years ago. She passed away several decades ago but her legacy along with many other LDS women live on in these recipes. I am dying to share them with you as we explore the history of Green River Utah.

Many of you probably do not know that Butch Cassidy (Robert Leroy Parker) is from Utah. He was actually born in Circleville, a small town like the one I am from but further south, roughly 170 miles away. He traveled through Green River all the time as many did on their way to other destinations. Green River was not a town but a stopping point where people would restock supplies or cross the river. Because Utah was settled mainly by the Mormons you would think that included every small town in the state right? Not so in this case, the Mormon pioneers deemed Green River as useless land. I recall a family member telling me they read somewhere how the early settlers disliked the area so much due to the mosquitoes. Because most were there to cross the river it's understandable why they did not like the area, mosquitoes nest near water. Growing up in Green River I can attest to the number of flying blood suckers. I would get welts from them the size of a quarter.

Here is a picture of one of the ferries used to transport a wagon across the river. In the background you can see railroad. The railroad is still there today and still in use, how much I do not know.