Saturday, November 14, 2009

friends in low places

Microsuede: The Return - Chapter 1

We're going back to August 14, 2009, the last hour of the last day of work.

I only worked at this place for three months. It was nice. There were free sodas and ramen and a wonderful, and I mean wonderful, coffee machine. Oh the coffee I drank! But I left for greener pastures. The last day of a job is always anti-climactic. You expect it to be like the finale of MASH but instead it's like, "okay, seeya," and you walk out the door and the phones keep ringing whether you're there to answer them or not.

So! I took off around 3pm. My friend Joy was in town, sort of. She lives in a wigwam deep within the Sonoran Desert but was in Utah for one night only! visiting family. Problem was she was way down there in Utah and I was way up here so we each drove a couple hours and met in one of my favorite weird deserty rural areas, the Santaquin-Elberta-Genola-Eureka quadrangle, where my people come from.

First order of business was trying to find the secret cemetery off the highway in the woods. I assumed I could find it myself. Nevermind that the side of the road it's on is nothing but miles and miles of land with no distinguishing features at all. So I couldn't find it but we did make our way to the big uh, grain silo (?) that reigns over the sagebrush like a liege lord. I was really excited to spray paint my name on it but as usual, that bastard Zeb got there first.

Back to Eureka, a town with one gas station and no business as far as I could tell. Not even a diner. This place is not really a "small town," it's a ghost town that happens to have a bunch of people living in it. Don't count them out just yet though, because they still host the annual Tintic Silver Days Parade and Festival. Apparently we had just missed the big bike race down main street. Curses!

The parade was the next day and people were getting their booths ready. Like this sword and knife retailer.

A weird lurpy guy emerged from a camper to talk to us for a while. He was really nice but also a little bit on the creepy side. His job is go to small town parades dressed as Abe Lincoln. He didn't have a beard so I'm assuming he uses a prosthetic, but he did have hair on his face in areas that hair is not usually found so that was gross.

I'm not sure what this is about.

I guess Eureka is so far off the grid that you can just brazenly advertise lawlessness. I made my own sign: "Wanted: drugs and prostitutes and bootleg DVDs of Season 3 of Mad Men."

I didn't even know The Magic Organ released a second album.

I would imagine that in a town such as this Chair Sittin' is one of the main forms of recreation. You can only spend so much time looking at Main Street before you want a change of scenery though.

Hey remember how Amelia Earhardt crash landed in Eureka in 1928? That's kind of neat.

"Lady Lindy,' Famous Woman Flier, Forced to Land Near Tintic."

I suppose if I had a mannequin of a sad lady I'd have her stare out the window all day too.

Lots of cool old buildings though, sadly broken down. Or maybe that they're broken down is what makes them cool.

Bench sittin', couch watchin'.

We went up to the non-hidden cemetery to find my kin. I wasn't able to do that last time I was there because it was covered in snow.

This mysterious denim jacket fills me with unease. I'll never be able to see one of those without thinking of Bob from Twin Peaks.

And why is it hung up against that fence post? And what is that fenced in area anyway? If it's a gravesite it's overgrown and long forgotten. Does Bob keep it there for when he rises from the Black Lodge?


So here's Charles and Hannah M. Sampson.

In the late 1800s they emigrated from Swavorska, Finland with nothing but the clothes on their backs. Along with many others from their village they settled in what would soon be a thriving silver mining community. They built a life from nothing, picking up a modest patch of land where they ran a boarding house. They were popular amongst the locals, and eager to help a weary traveler or just anyone who needed a place to stay.

Amazing to think that I am the sum of their actions. If not for them (*and other ancestors too of course but we're not talking about them now), I would not be where I am today. If one aspect of their lives had turned out differently, I may never have existed. I couldn't help but think of that as I stood at their final resting place, how they have no idea of who I even am and yet I am a living representation of everything they worked so hard for. In some ways, I am the very purpose of their lives, just as the very purpose of my life may one day be a child many, many years from now. It's an awesome responsibility to carry and encourages me to live a life of meaning.

Look I made The Hulk and Admiral Ackbar fight!

We took some backroads out of town and stumbled across this cat, sneaking across the road to harass some chickens.

Next thing we know we're surrounded by literally (this time I'm using literally in a literal way) a dozen cats, all of different colors and with different personalities. They were friendly and cute and I thought about maybe taking a couple as souvenirs but they seemed to really be living the life out there in farm country.

We stopped for dinner at a place in Santaquin, the Family Tree. They serve a scone as big as your lap. As big as a prize winning sea bass. But the best part was this earnest gentleman.

Live entertainment provided by this country-western singer. Just him and a karaoke machine and hundreds of karaoke disks. He'd take requests but could never find the CD the song was on. He was apologetic though. But here's the great part: we were the only people in the restaurant. We got our own private little bizarro show.

I hope it doesn't sound like I'm making fun of this guy, 'cause I really admired his sincerity. Also I'm making fun of him a little bit. But still.

The rest of the night we just drove around while I tried to find the Hare Krishna temple (unsuccessful) and tried to find a movie theatre (unsuccessful). Fun night! And always good to see my dear friend Joy. The end.


  1. It's almost like you never left. Great work!

  2. That was one great day and this is one great post about it. Although you left out how we ended up at Wal Mart.

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  5. I hope it doesn't sound like I'm making fun of this guy, 'cause I really admired his sincerity. Also I'm making fun of him a little bit.
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