In the 27 years that I had a reserved seat on the stand at all church meetings I had the opportunity to give many talks. Many of these talks were laced with stories from my rural Wyoming background on subjects from cowboys to cloths lines and they were supposed to be lead-ins to gospel subjects.
I had an enjoyable time doing this and it seems that my audiences took a liking them also. I fear that many of the cowboy and cloths line stories were remembered long after the gospel subjects that I tried to tie them to were remembered. I would always include a testimony so the members might recall that I was at least a cowboy with a testimony.
This last week I got to take two of the brethren that I have worked with for many years to the place where most of those stories originated [Star Valley] This was a man trip and only lasted for 24 hours. Both of these men, Dion Morris and Steve Rogers were perhaps born in the wrong time or at least live in the wrong place. Circumstances and employment opportunities have conspired against these men as they both should have lived in Star Valley.
We began our trip by traveling though Cache Valley, Logan Canyon, Bear Lake, Montpelier and over the south end. We had a surprise Wyoming breakfast with Dean and Virginia Bagley. By 2:00 P.M. we had been thought most of the small towns, visited two cemeteries, stood on the ruts of the Oregon trail up Stump Creek, visited my boyhood homes and we were standing in the middle of the road in Freedom straddling the Wyoming/ Idaho boundary.
I was lecturing them continuously on history and family ties to this beautiful place. I'm not sure how much they were paying attention but it didn't matter as they were blown away by the valley in its full splendor at this time of the year.
We made our exit out Tincup Canyon to Soda Springs with a brief stop in the ever changing restoration town of Chesterfield and then back to Salt Lake.
Too bad I don't give talks anymore. I still have some stories left.