The 4th of July is always a strange holiday (like any of them are normal.. right?). If you’re a radio person, you usually have to MC a show, host a show or plan a show… at least that’s what my life has been like for the last 25+ years.. in fact, as I reflect on the last few years of broadcasting, I can only think on one July 4th that I DIDN’T have to attend a station event. It was in Houston a couple of years ago.. I actually got to enjoy the fireworks without having to coordinate the show with the station or MC a day long event. Last year I got to host the big Sugar Land event. That’s the city where we lived in Texas. It was the first time the city chose to use someone other than the country station.. I was thrilled! This was my idea and our marketing department’s hard work.. or should I say two phone calls.

Anyway, I got to host it live with Michele Fisher that day.. another radio person out of work and looking for a home. I hired at the station to do part-time/fill-in on air work for us.

This year.. I had a first. I got to broadcast the Park City parade live on TV!! That was fun.. and different. TV has been a great experience.. kind of like radio, except everyone can see what you look like, what you’re wearing and all your twitching-scratching-funky-face movements.

Park City parade live on PCTV with my co-host Jenn Hardman

I’m luck to have a co-host that knows what she’s doing. She’s a Park City native.. “Parkite” as they like to be called. She’s been at Park City TV for 3 or 4 years.. so it’s really her show. I just play along as her co-host. It’s fun.

So.. again, my family came along and watched the show from a distance. Another July 4th with “the station”… only different this time. Lelani’s best friend from college lives in Park City, so they found each other along the parade route and forced everyone around them to listen to there giggling, laughing and silly girl talk through out the parade. I think this is one of those relationships that Lelani has missed the most over the last 5 years. reconnecting with old friends and family has been something we’ve both enjoyed since our return to Utah.

Later that night we walked over to Murray Park and watched the fireworks. There is something about watching fireworks in a small park.. the nights here are much cooler too. Texas stays hot late into the night because of the humidity. Here, we go from a 90 degree day to 50 or 60 degrees in a matter of hours.. because of the lack of humidity.

So another 4th of July gone.. but a nice day to relax a bit.

This week I’ve been trading emails with my Dad and brothers about a possible fishing trip. We talk about it every year, but this year i decided to take the lead and set the wheels in motion. We finally narrowed it down to the first weekend in August. My Dad loves Strawberry Reservoir, so that is the destination. I remember my Dad telling me once that catching fish isn’t the goal… but spending time together. This I agree with.. especially since I have always been terrible at catching fish and sitting in a boat for hours on end. I also remember a fishing trip we took several years ago to Flaming Gorge… or as we refer to..


We laugh about it now, but at the time.. I’ll highlight a few of out experiences that day.

The weekend we chose was a typical Summer weekend in Utah. Flaming Gorge is on the Utah Wyoming border, so we went through Evanston Wyoming to get there. We stopped for the night in Evanston for dinner and to spend the night.. we got a late start. We found a truck stop to have dinner.. the kind that had a buffet of course, complete with “fresh” salmon on ice. I said, “wait.. they don’t grow that kind of salmon here and there isn’t a major airport close… ” but that didn’t stop us of course.. My brother Robyn (who goes by the nickname ‘Biz’.. which he acquired because of his “busy-boy” actions as a kid) had just come off of a LDS mission to London England. So he was still on fire, preaching a bit and suggesting religious thoughts and suggestions for us all. As we order dinner, Biz asked for a decaf coffee  (“cuz Mormons don’t drink caffeine ya know”.. that’s what he told the waitress) and a large Dr. Pepper.. we all started laughing and looked at him. He of course did see any irony or problem with his order. I pointed out that Dr. Pepper has caffeine and when you’d with the boys, nobody cares what you drink.. he then started into his back-pedaling and religious justifications as we continued to laugh.

The next day we had fun asking Biz if he wanted a Coke and decaf coffee with everything he ate.. he wasn’t laughing. As we pulled up to the boat ramp to launch the boat.. Jon and Robyn decided to light off a couple of bottle rockets. Mind you, we’re in a state park where fireworks are strictly prohibited.. AND it’s like 6am.. all the campers are still in bed asleep. I was less concerned about the ranger getting after us, more concerned that some redneck bubba would emerge from his camper and kick a little Craig ass that morning.. it never happened.

As we launched the boat, “someone” forgot to put the plug in the drain hole on the back of the boat. So as the trailer pulled away, the boat began to fill with water.. I was driving the boat and noticed that the back-end seemed a little low in the water.. then I saw the battery floating around the back of the boat in about a foot of water.. I clicked on the bilge pump and yelled at my Dad to “get down here.. the boat is sinking”.. I drove it over to the shore and jumped out. I felt around the back of the boat and put the plug in. Now we had to get the water out. My dad calmly said.. “well boys, I guess we’ll have to just scoop out the water..”

After a good half hour we loaded the boat with all our gear. Picture this.. 4 large guys, tons of food and camping gear.. all jammed into this medium-sized fishing boat. As we pulled out to find our spot and set up camp, the boat was literally 2-3 inches above the water line because of the weight. My Dad kept saying, “nobody make any sudden movements.. and hold onto a life jacket.. just in case..” REALLY!?

Suffice to say, we filled the boat with water a couple more times on that trip, got caught in a massive down pour on the lake, got pulled over by the ranger for a fishing license check (Jon was the only one that had his license on him.. yes we got tickets), no fish were caught, we lost some expense trolling/down-rigger gear, slept in a tent with my snoring Dad, swore there were wild animals scratching on the tent all night, did I mention filling the boat with water again somehow… and one of the funniest things that happened, was the night my Dad decided to show us how to cook chili in the can.. now, Dad is a lot of things.. an outdoors man with camping experience.. hell no. So he opened these huge cans of chili and started to heat them up on his big camp stove we hauled out there.. oh yes, we had a fire too.. but that’s another story.. now as a former physics major, I asked about the wisdom of this idea, explaining that as the contents of the can starts to warm up, it will expand and make a huge mess.. he looked at me as if to say.. “watch and learn” about that time Biz chimed in with half thought out bit of wisdom too.. Jon and I looked at each other and started to laugh. In no time at all, we watch these cans of chili transform themselves into little cannons… shooting beans at an explosive rate. It was so damn funny, until we realized that someone needed to turn off the heat.. but the “bean cannons” were still shooting their arsenal at an unpredictable rate and direction…

We eventually cleaned up the mess, loaded the tent and the rest of the gear and decided to call it… My Dad kept saying, “hey, remember.. it’s the fish but the experience of being together that counts”.. I recall saying something like, “don’t jinx it Dad, we’re not home yet..” Again, the ride to the marina was slow and overloaded.. we loaded the boat and headed for home. Happy to leave that nightmare behind us..

About 30 miles outside of Evanston… “BAM!!” The boat trailer blew a tire.. and no spare. So what would a Boy Scout do? (Besides  make sure you have all the right things with you before leaving town?) Find a tire.. Nope, no spare on the truck either.. This damn trip will never END!!! I know we went into Evanston to get a tire and I believe we changed the tire without the right tools.. I’ll have to ask.. but we all made it home without any fish and no injuries… Maybe it was the decaf coffee and large Dr. Pepper that saved us.. who knows! We still get a good laugh out of that fishing trip.. in a real haunting way.. then the laughter stops as we realize it “could happen again”…..

Hopefully not. Although I asked my Dad if he fixed his new boat, which strangely has a leak and takes on water from some mysterious place…..(cue the mysterious music)

I’m sure we’ll be fine…

Anyway… someone please pray for us.

We ARE Craig’s after all….

Yesterday Lelani and I took a short hike to Dog Lake. It rained on us a bit, but the scenery and mountain smells were amazing.. here are a few pix.

Trail to Dog lake

Dog Lake

I also had a positive meeting with another radio possibility… I keep you posted.

Until next time.. carry rain gear if it looks like rain, put the plug in the drain when boating.. and remember, when in Utah.. it’s the temperature of your caffeine that counts. Apparently if it’s cold.. it doesn’t count against you.. so Says “Biz”…

Today I feel rich…