My childhood friend Anita Hatch (nee Sharp) had suggested that as we enter Utah, we veer off the I-15 and take the old highway 91. It so much reminded me of something my dad might have done on one of our family vacations growing up.
It was almost a forest of joshua trees as far as the eye could see.
She'd also brought along some pages from her scrapbook, which included grade school class photos. She wanted to see if the boys could find their dad in some of them: without hesitation, they pointed to me guffawing at photo after photo. And quizzing me why my hair was nearly blonde in the earlier photos - it didn't turn chestnut brown (as my mother-in-law used to call it when correcting Kelly's assement that it's black) until I was a teenager.
I noticed something about myself in those photos as well: my mom, an accomplished seamstress, who always made most of my school clothes, had me donning slacks and jackets in rather bold colors. In one, I'm the styling kid sporting a burgundy corduroy suit. Pretty much, I was the only kid to wear a jacket in those school photos...except for the other 2 Greek kids, John Something and Chris Lambos. They always had jackets too.
Oh, if you were hoping to see one of these photos...not on your life!
After getting to meet Anita's daughter - and a chance for the boys to make a cameo in the movie she was making for a class project - we said good bye and headed back on to the road.
A couple of hours out of St. George, we stopped to get gas and stretch our legs. That's when Kelly channeled my dad. All of a sudden we were driving down a little road a couple of miles out of our way to go tour Cove Fort, an 1860s Mormon fort.
But the star of our family's tour was Gus. The kid's knowledge of pioneer life was down-right savant-like! He even knew that the smaller-sized rifle hanging up in the boys' room was used by younger guys to learn to shoot. The docent was visibly impressed with what Gus knew and asked where he attends school. I'm pretty sure there was a little pride when he said, "Saint Sophia, it's a Greek Orthodox school."
At the end of the tour, she gave the boys a yo-yo like toy.
|These Books of Mormon are in a variety of different languages, including Greek|
A nice message, sure. Then she said, "And in our religion we believe when you die, you go to heaven and spend eternity with your family."
I gave her a long, hard look and said, "We've been on vacation together for a week, trapped together 24/7. So not interested in spending eternity together!"
She laughed. Somehow I think she believed I was kidding!