First of all, for all you that are not from Utah.. July 24th is a huge state celebration. This was the day in 1847 that the pioneers entered the Salt Lake valley. This is the day that the state pauses to remember the pioneer heritage and celebrate the pioneer spirit that still exists here… actually, it’s more like another state holiday. Since the date falls on a Sunday, the parades are mainly tomorrow.. with the grand-daddy of all Utah parades being the Days-of-47 parade.. the 3rd largest in the country.

Being from Utah and raised Mormon.. you guessed it.. I too have pioneer heritage in my family. So I will tell you a little bit about them today.

By the way, the original name was “Day of Deliverance”.. later a marketing genius no doubt suggested a more general name for all to understand.. like ‘Pioneer Day’ or ‘The days of 47’.. both work.

Anyway, my Great Grandfather on my mother’s side was a pioneer. He came across the plains as a baby with his family in a wagon. They were the pioneers that created a place called “Hole in the Rock”. It’s a spot above the Colorado river where they took their wagons through to get to settlement that later became Blanding. His family.. I should say “own family” settled the little town of Blanding Utah. My Great Grandfather’s name was Albert R. Lyman. He was an author and a popular member of the community. In fact, several years ago I went to Blanding to visit, and saw that the visitors center is named after him.. pretty cool huh?

My Great Grandfather

I think I kind of look like him… kind of… maybe..

Now, I know his father.. my Great-Great Grandfather was a polygamist with several wives.. don’t know much about him though.

Growing up, I always heard the stories of the early days in Blanding and the problems they had with the Indians in the area. Seeing the area after all these years brought back all those stories as an adult. It was a cool trip, I need to do it again soon.

My Great Grandfather on the Atkin side was a bit of a pioneer too. He was a sheep herder and a mountain man of sorts. His parents came across the plains too. Here is a picture of my Atkin Great Grandparents..

Atkin Great Grandparents

NOW.. on the Craig side, there is a funny story. The Mormons caused unrest with state and federal government at the time. As I understand it, mainly because of the religious differences and political opinions at the time…. anyway, the federal government sent a group of soldiers for hire out to Utah to exterminate the Mormons. It was called Johnston’s Army. My Great-Great Grandfather was in that army.

Now as you can imagine, that must have been a long… lonely ride from wherever they came from. So by the time they got to Utah.. let’s just say they were less angry and more hungry…. for love as well as food. As the story goes, My Great Great saw this beautiful Utah girl (which everyone knows still exists today.. girls from Utah do have a different hotness). So… you guessed it.. just like the old movie “Paint Your Wagon”.. he fell in love, converted and stayed in Utah… damn straight!

So there you have it.. My proud heritage of pioneers and converted Army bad asses…

The celebration is interesting.. much like the Texas statehood celebrations. The difference is the level of passion. Texas has Utah beat by a long shot… Texas pride is real and alive. Pretty cool too..

Hey.. maybe Utah should start their own “pride” slogan.. like “Don’t mess with Utah.. girls” or “You’ll come for the summers, but you’ll stay for everything else”… or “Hey, Dain went back.. you should too” Just saying.

So tomorrow we celebrate the 24th on the 25th.. parades, fireworks and all. I will be working though.. that’s right. The folks in Park City apparently don’t see the obvious holiday opportunity to celebrate the Pioneer Spirit.. so I’ll be on the air at 7am doing the ‘HUGE’ TV show.

Speaking of work.. SLC has had a few changes this week. For those of you in radio, you may have read that Sue Kelly resigned as PD for KRSP. Susan, as I like to call her, has been a pal for a long time. I first met her when she was 18, just out of high school. I hired her as a rep to book bands in local clubs.. I was doing radio part-time and suggested she talk to the program director Lou Simon. She did, and he hired her on the spot… she never looked back and we have been close friends ever since. Anyway, she took a job in town that hasn’t been announced yet.. leaving an opening at “The Arrow”.. a Classic rock/classic hits station. This of course is interesting.. I will probably try to contact them when the dust clears a bit. But lately, there been a few new interesting possibilities come my way. Again, some in radio.. some not in radio. I have more interviews this coming week, so at least things seem to moving in a more positive direction. No offers or serious talks yet.. just the beginning stages of interest. We’ll see…

I have been doing more running lately. This week I ran up and down the Alta Summer road. The road starts at 9000 feet and climbs to about 10,000 feet. The trail isn’t long.. but there isn’t as much air that high, which makes breathing harder. The mountains are amazing right now. The late Spring has left the mountains super green.. and yes there is STILL snow in the tops.. but it’s melting fast. I ran several times this week in town too.. 5, 6 and 7 miles.

I am so grateful that my knees are staying strong and the pain isn’t a huge issue (knock on wood). I read today about my friend Kevin Kline (the radio guy.. not the actor) from Houston.. he’s ‘training’ for an ultimate run at the end of the year.. so to train this weekend he’s running a 30K.. holy CRAP!! I was so proud of my little 5-7 mile runs.. he’s doing a 30K just to warm up. Kevin is an amazing guy..  I’m totally inspired by his commitment and passion. He does it all to help the Texas Children’s Cancer Hospital find a cure for cancer. Love you Kev..

I’ll update you this week to let you know how the interviews go..

Be good, or as my father-in-law says.. “if you can’t be good, be good at it” – Bob Pickett

Today I feel rich..