Monday, July 28, 2008

Star Valley

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.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

King of the Road

As some of you know one of my Walter Mitty desires or one of the things on my “Bucket List” has been to drive a big rig at least temporally. I had the opportunity at the beginning of the summer to be a relief driver for a contract mail route between Phoenix and Payson, but I did not have my class A CDL license. Neil Silvey the driver was driving seven days a week an encouraged me to upgrade my license and he would have me drive 2-3days a week.

By the time I got my license upgraded his relief driver had returned from her job in Colorado and Neil felt bad that he had encouraged me to do something that did not work out. I told him I would still like to ride along on the route to see how it went as something might come up later. Neil readily agreed and told me he would even give me some driving time.

On the morning of the forth of July{ the mail must go through} was my first time behind the wheel .Neil met me at the QT where he stops for his morning coffee on the way from Phoenix. Each truck has its own personality which is perhaps most manifest through its gear shift. This Volvo tractor has ten forward gears. After first gear you can shift it with or without the clutch. It is somewhat like learning to play and tune a new musical instrument all at the same time. I made it out of the QT parking lot and up to the first stop light. At this point I mistook forth for ninth gear and stalled the truck part way into the intersection. Not an impressive start. I made it thought the next three lights on green and by the time we are at the Verde River it is open highway to Payson.

At this point Neil tells me to get into it as we have to be in Payson before 8 a.m. Inasmuch as Neil has never even seen me drive a pickup truck and has only heard from me that I can drive a forty foot school bus I thought this was a bit brave of him. This truck is speed controlled at 70 mph and he wanted it moving close to that speed. I had been hopping for a bit more leisurely first run but I obliged Neil and put it down. It was a good thing this was a divided highway as we passed of good number of cars and trucks. I got a quick baptism into 400 hp, a forty-eight foot trailer and 70 mph on a mountain road.

When we got to Payson at 7:45 a.m. I assumed Neil would want to take it into the post office as we had a serious u-turns and a backup into the dock. He merely said, “You remember how I did it”. As the back of the trailer touched the dock I was feeling pretty good about myself.

How did I feel about being” King of the Road”? Actually it was a little disappointing. The expectations were greater than the reality. I guess I had seen too many episodes of Ice Roads Truckers and Trick My Truck. I was expecting a bigger adrenaline rush. Can’t wait to do it again. EB.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

FW: The Last Buick ??

From: "Errol Bagley" <>
Subject: The Last Buick ??
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2008 18:32:27 -0700

                                                  The Last Buick ??
At one time I made a list of all the cars and trucks I have bought in my life. It is in the sixties now and many of these were not for me. When I saw something that seemed like a good deal I bought it and either kept it for a while ar sold it to someone in the family with no mark up. This has been a hobby for me.
I have had a weakness for Buicks of the 1985 to 1991 era. This was a the first of the front wheel drive multi-port fuel injected V-6's that except for suspensions GM has hardly improved on since. 29 mpg highway was not unusual for the 3.8 liter engine.
We have had at least five of this type of car; Three Pontiac, and one Oldsmobile. The most interesting story probably accompanies the 1989 Olds which I got for Jason. The man I bought it from told me a tree had fell on the roof of it so they cut the roof of from a Buick LeSabre and welded it on the Olds. I paid $2800. Jason took no particular pride in this car which eventually changed to indifference and then to distain. The problem was the car would not die. After driving for almost ten years he decided he would do nothing more for it except add oil and gas when needed. He eventually gave it to a couple in his ward and they are driving it still.
That brings me to my latest 1991 LeSabre Limited.I watched this one at a Park and Sell lot until I was able to get it for $2400. It has 97 k miles,ice cold air,and an interior that is almost showroom. It was registered in Minnesota untill April of this year. I presume it belonged to one of our snowbirds.
With rumors last week that GM might retire the Buick line I thought I should be the last one on my block to own one of these 17 year old beauties.  EB