Sunday, July 25, 2010

Pioneer Day Peek-A-Boo

Utah celebrated its favorite state holiday, Pioneer Day, yesterday, July 24th. For my readers who live in Cochabamba and Kuala Lumpur and Texas, Pioneer Day is when the Utah locals celebrate the fact that Mormon pioneers, who may or may not be ancestors of said locals, made their way across America's plains to avail themselves of religious freedom. Parades, pioneer handcart re-enactments, and fireworks are part of the standard fare.

By way of disclosure, I am a first generation Utahn. My last name, Cannon, would suggest that I am a blue blood along with the many Utah Cannon clans, but it ain't so. After my great grandpa passed away, my great grandmother remarried (no doubt after joining a local singles group in New Jersey) and married a Mr. Cannon.  Even though his brother didn't, my grandfather took the Cannon name. If not for that, you'd all think me Polish.  But really I'm half Irish.  I'm not part of the handcart celebratory set, although I was during my married days.  Anyway ... I digress.  Again.

This is the Right Place, Drive On.  Yesterday as I was passing the floats for the Cottonwood Heights Pioneer Day parade in my car on my way to yoga, I had a chance to ponder deeply the consequences of Mormon leader Brigham Young's "This is the Place" declaration.  Brigham was sick, reportedly, and barely well enough to get up for a flash to see the expansive Salt Lake Valley, which he recognized from a vision.  Shortly thereafter, he used a giant sheet of graph paper to map out the city.  No loops, circles, or parkways for us. In Utah, we have a grid system, where all of the streets are measured by how far away they are from the Salt Lake Mormon temple. Ok, I just made that second part up about the graphing paper, but we do have what many call the "grid system."
Brigham spotted the Salt Lake Valley even before Utah's golf courses were established.
While I am disheartened Brigham didn't instruct his men to keep going til they got to San Francisco ...
... it could've been a catastrophy if he'd declared "This is the Place" in Winnemucca.

Pie and Beer Day.  Now that I have completely killed any hope of getting readers from Winnemucca and with no disrespect intended to Brigham Young and his followers, some of the locals here engage in a much different celebration.  I was invited to Pie and Beer Day on Friday at the Newman Center, but I declined in order to get my mani / pedi and involuntarily watch "Marley and Me," which resulted in me have some rather emotional moments requiring Kleenex or at least a hand to wipe away tears while being held captive to drying nail polish in a massage chair for 45 minutes, waiting for my friend to get a fill.  Anyway ... Pie and Beer Day is how people here give thanks for their love of beer, and as fate would have it, it's celebrated on July 24th, although for some reason, the Newman Center was a day early.

A feast begging for a Tums chaser

The Pie and Beer celebration I didn't attend was serving beer and pizza from The Pie, an underground restaurant here in town known for its legendary pizza. And yes, it's that good.

Pioneer Peek-A-Boo.  So yesterday, Pioneer Day, I went to visit my friend Connie, Skating Mom Connie, not to be confused with Jewelry Connie.  Her grandchildren have been visiting from Florida and I wanted to see them.  I brought a bonnet made by my grandmother so Connie's little granddaughter could try it on and I could take the photos below.  As you can see,she is a doll and a silly girl all in one package. Like most almost two-year-olds, she plays a mean game of peek-a-boo.  And about those beautiful blue eyes, the pictures don't do them justice. She has every man from Daddy to Grandpa to Aunty's boyfriend wrapped 'round her finger. 
The Day Goes On.  After visiting Connie and family, I went to yoga, then to an exquisite concert (to be more fully described later), and finally to Habits, a dancing club.  I went to Habits to see the peeps, mainly.  I'd gone out to dance for a brief moment and a guy asked me to dance on behalf of his brother, who didn't speak English.  The guy was cuter than his brother and so I offered to dance with both of them at once, and the cute one promised to be there in "just a minute" and promised we'd all have drinks together.  Of course like so many promises, that never happened, and the brother wanted to check me for ticks.  I was pushing his hands away and trying to dance my way to my peeps but it seemed like there was an undertow on the dance floor so I never quite made it.  After about three rounds of disco mania type music and a few puffs of cold steam from the ceiling, I said my thanks and farewell to him and made way (yes, ran) back to the Habits VIP section where some members of our group were chatting quietly amidst the blaring music (not as loud as Club Allure).

Pie and Beer Peek-A-Boo.  There wasn't really pie, but someone had nachos. And several had beer.  After the foreign brother incident, I really didn't feel much like dancing.  I was content to sit at the table with a cup of water (having already had my beer allotment at the concert) and chat up whoever was taking a break from dancing. But I got chided for dancing abstention by the two individuals below, Bon Sai and Chuck-A-Rama, who claimed that unless they saw me dance, it didn't happen.  They were sort of begging to be featured in my blog so I obliged, contingent on them giving me their best peek-a-boo pose.  They were hoping I'd write a story about them and gave me free license to make up complete fiction.   We agreed on aliases to keep them from any reputational damage (but there's only so much I can do, guys). 
Bon Sai and Chuck-A-Rama
Bon Sai
Fiction coming soon to a blog near you? No, but I will write poems about Bon Sai and Chuck-A-Rama.  Titles being contemplated ...
  • "Ode to Air Bags," for Bon Sai who sells airbags in some elevated capacity given his recent promotion, and 
  •  "Ballad of the Big Bad Buyers Housing Market" to Chuck-A-Rama the high flying real estate broker.  
But those poems are at least a month off because I want to do a really great job, and what with readjusting to working full time, I don't foresee a break in my schedule for a while.  Especially considering this morning's phone call.  (No, Susanna, it doesn't involve the 23 year old I jumped with at USANA.)  In any case, my delicate foray into published poetry began this year (see Ode To My Departed Fake Fingernails). I've done a limerick a roamantic partner and some prose about yoga and detachment.

In the meanwhile, I hope everyone had a very happy 24th, whether Pioneer or Pie and Beer or wild raucous housekeeping. Keep in mind it was also on July 24th in 1148 that Louis VII of France laid siege to Damascus during the Second Crusade. In 1487, the citizens of Leeuwarden, Netherlands staged a strike against foreign beer.  And Mary Queen of Scots was forced to abdicate the thrown in 1567.  I'll leave the blogging about those festivities to others more qualified. {July full moon madness is almost behind us}


  1. What an eventful 24th! I was stuck in a car all day traveling from Idaho to California. At least I got to live vicariously through your post! :-)

  2. That does not sound fun ... I hope you had great radio or CD's!