Existential thoughts about living here.
I’m Utahn. Some might accuse me of being proud of it. Truth be told, I haven’t lived anywhere else. At least not long enough to write home (or a newsletter) about it. To prepare for this essay, I spent some time pondering the existential threat of artificial intelligence. Then I remembered I’m just a routine human being. I, like all of you, will be dead before we know it; no need to engage in such highfalutin’ thinking. That’s when I got to wondering why I’m proud to be alive in the Union’s 45th state. What is it about Brigham’s place?
In Sunday School, they told me pride was no good. Something about it coming before a fall. With times enlightened, pride finds itself bona fide. That’s alright by me. I’ve never concerned myself with opinions. “Maybe it’s time to let the old ways die,” Brad Cooper might say.
I don’t mean to get political, but Brigham was right about this being the place. I don’t care if I get canceled for saying it. Where else, on a Magnavox encased in wood, could I have watched John Stockton drain a three on Charles Barkley’s head to send the Utah Jazz to the NBA Finals? Nothing was boring about Salt Lake City that night. No, that was Utahn.
The Post is a reader-supported publication. Become an annual subscriber during launch month to get a free tote + 20% off forever!
We have this thing. I know that’s vague, but so is the thing itself. It’s kind of like a catchphrase. We call it “the Utah way.” Great men and women have extolled its virtues over the years. As far as I can tell, none have defined it. I’m not a great man; that’s obvious. I am, however, Utahn. That’s all the permission I need to attempt an explanation.
On August 11, 1999, a tornado touched down in the heart of Salt Lake City. Hundreds were injured, homes and businesses were damaged—one person died. In the aftermath, we did what we do best. We came together to grieve with the family who lost a loved one, saw to it that the injured received a year's supply of homemade casseroles, and rallied to support the damaged businesses and homes. Then we shared an edited image with each other that showed the face of Jesus in the middle of the tornado.
That’s the Utah way. It is, in a word, peculiar. Nothing wrong with that. After all, when Moses hiked up that mountain, God said, “If ye will obey my voice indeed, and my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine.”
The place sure is beautiful. No matter your feelings on the body politic, you’ve got to give Utah its due on the symmetry front. It’s hard to stay mad at human deficiency when you’re atop a mountain looking out over creation. A couple of summers back, I found myself racing up Uinta’s backroads with a drink in one hand and someone I love in the other. The sun was setting on a river I’ve been known to fish with a fly. Damn, if I didn’t stop, kill the ignition, and take in a moment and view that’ll be etched in my memory for eternity.
I remember raising my drink to the sky—like a 27-year-old playing a high school football star on television—and saying, “Utah forever.” That was a good day. One of my best, to be sure. Tim Riggins couldn’t replicate it in Texas.
No, that was Utahn. Utah forever.
Thanks for reading,
Absolutely false - horrible place to live. Everybody stay away...please!
There are many great places to live on this planet , but Utah has a pull that I haven’t experienced elsewhere. I’m always drawn back. The skiing, mountain biking, kind people, the innovation, etc. continue to inspire and allow for a fulfilling life.