Oh, Utah

in america

Almost everyone I know in Las Vegas is transient – I’m from Galway, Mariah hails from San Diego and my friends Tia and Caron hail from San Francisco and somewhere in rural Indiana respectively. Only my sister-in-law Holli, and my daughter are Caira bonafide, born Las Vegans. You retire here. You come here for in search of work, to join your family or even to come in search of your big break. Some come for the weather Some come to gamble and never leave.

But here’s the thing: You hate it here. You hate the dust, the lack of open green areas, and the heat. You hate all of the other asshole drives from out-of-state who don’t give two shits about the city. You hate your crappy eight dollar an hour job, because not a single resort on the Strip – where all of the good jobs lay – will hire you. Maybe you just Las Vegas because your co-workers and friends all tell you how much they absolutely loathe the city, to the point where you have trouble trying to think up good things.

End result? No one respects Las Vegas. No one (who I know) gives two shits about the city, save as a means to an end. Tia wants to pursue her career until she has enough on her resume to move away from this sandbox. Caron is waiting (im)patiently for her husband to ship out – to anywhere. And I’m waiting for the baby to arrive before we try to leave for anywhere we can make a living because mine wife and I both feel that Las Vegas ultimately doesn’t offer all that much for our family.

And all this shows in how the people I see each day act, how the police act and how the city officials act. It took me two years to realize that many of the people who live here have a huge chip on their shoulder about here. They love America, but by God they do not, and never will, love Las Vegas.

Beaver, Utah

Contrast this with a three hour drive north of the state line. In the fourteen hours I was in [[Beaver, Utah]] I met people who were born and raised in the city, who pointed at the farm down the road and told me how their great, great grandparents came to the valley with the first wave of pioneers back in 1856, built that house themselves and how the family is still there a hundred and fifty-three years later. Maybe I’m just jaded, but I was shocked to meet people who loved the city they lived in and were proud of its accomplishments.

I’ll even put aside the scary moment when I caught a bunch of rednecks looking at me like they wanted to walk up and say, ”Well dun you have a real purthy mouth on you, boy.” Total townie/nerd moment of bowel-clenching fear.

I like Beaver. I liked the cool breeze, the silence, the fresh air, the fact that everyone drove slowly. The manners and politeness. The girl at the McDonalds drive-through who spoke perfect English. I loved the scenery, the sunset, and the dirt roads.

God Utah is love?

March 20

in me

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