Thanks for the memories


The May 24 feature “Generations” about Sarah Anne Cundall was particularly nostalgic. I only (sort of) know one of the Holyoak clan and I have never met Mrs. Cundall but I have watched with interest the preparation of the Holyoak property for the construction of yet another hotel in Moab. Without knowing any of its history, I have had my eye on the brick house seemingly in the center of all the demolition activity on that property. How old is it? Who built it? What part did the people who lived in it play in the history of Moab? What was it like to live in Moab for the people who lived in that house decades ago? Now thanks to the Generations article I can presume that is the house of Mrs. Cundall’s youth.

It seems like a portion of the general population of Moab, specifically the folks involved in all the new businesses and construction projects, have their eyes more on the future of Moab than on the past. Your newspaper prints the front page of past editions. I routinely read the headlines and a few of the articles in their entirety and I appreciate that page. However that, and a walk through the Moab Museum is the limit of my knowledge of Moab’s history. Imagine how a six-year resident and senior citizen like myself, who has been looking nostalgically at a little brick home in the middle of construction demolition, felt when she read about a little girl who grew up in that house? My feelings were poignantly aroused when Mrs. Cundall reminisced about sitting on the porch playing a mouth harp while her mother sang.

Thanks to Jacque Garcia for featuring Mrs. Cundall in an article that struck me as being more than timely. It gave me a glimpse into the heart of a formerly anonymous home, about to be obliterated in the name of “progress.” It also gave me a peek into its past, into a little girl who lived there, and into the past of the rapidly disappearing small cowboy town in a formerly fertile farming valley.

I hope Sarah Anne gets to sit on that porch once again and can see, in her mind’s eye, the beauty of her home, the beautiful, quiet and unspoiled land that was her playground and the paradise that she was able to experience long ago, before the bulldozers arrived in the area to wipe out the old and make way for the new, but not necessarily improved, Moab Valley and neighboring Spanish Valley.

–Carol Mayer