Daughter Sena and I, and her husband John Hauer, and her daughter Taylor Flanders attended the Utah Press Association’s annual awards banquet at the University of Utah’s stadium last weekend. Son, Zane, had attended the annual business meeting and election of officers and board the day prior, and, shmoozing not being his thing, had returned to Moab.
We arrived in Salt Lake plenty early for the event. I was not aware that the stadium included convention facilities, and our assigned space looked out on the Great Salt Lake, with the oncoming sunset square in our eyes. That lasted long enough to be both bothersome and memorable.
The sunset itself proved to be spectacular, and soon awards were being handed out left and right. It looked like we were in deep competition with our friends at the Richfield Reaper. We were, but that was more because other newspapers our size didn’t bother to enter the contests than any other factor.
It was old home week for me, to see colleagues and friends from years past, and also to mark how many have either left the industry or life itself. As was to be expected, most of the new faces were also younger, hopefully a good sign for an industry that has seen a significant downturn in recent years.
Sena, Taylor and I took turns going forward to accept awards, but I have to emphasize that many papers didn’t bother to enter the contests. Memory takes me back 60+ years to when I was a young bride, much intimidated and impressed by all the august people and fanfare.
Sam served his term as president of the association, which is the oldest trade organization in Utah. Years went by and we hosted several summer conventions of UPA in Moab. One was brought back to mind by a comment from one of the younger folks there last weekend (grandparents now themselves, no doubt). It involved our river trips, and one in the group admonishing someone else that there was no reason to worry about a grandchild on said jaunt. “Adrien will be there,” she said. Assuming I could do something helpful if somebody fell overboard. What they didn’t know was that this was also my first time on the river.
We took the publishers and their families to many of SE Utah’s best spots, and had our fair share of SNAFUs. One year we offered the choice between two places. Problem was that all the lunches made it to one destination, and all of the beverages made it to the other.
And a good time was had by all. Over the years, I also served time on the board of directors, and two terms as president. Those were busy years, and I’m content these days to be a has-been (publisher emerita), and come to the office to read proofs a couple of days a week.
Last weekend I was invited to stay in Taylor’s spare room in her apartment in Park City, and enjoyed a quiet and restful sleep while one of the Hauer dogs bunked in with Taylor and provided nighttime antics, I’m told.
Sunday we visited the LYS (local yarn store, for non-fiber enthusiasts) and a round of other local enterprises for stuff we needed that can’t be bought in Moab these days, and headed on home. We came by way of Duchesne (the county but not the city of my birth) and Indian Canyon, a beautiful drive, even in winter.
Home, and my own bed, by 9:30. The phone woke me this morning. It was Sena telling me to turn on the TV, because of the devastating fire in Paris. But even as live coverage was coming to an end, announcers and others were talking about rebuilding the iconic and historic cathedral. That’s the human spirit for you. Happy Easter to all.