After growing up in Southern California, I moved with my family to Utah at age ten in August 1977, trading a glorious ocean view out my bedroom window for mountains I couldn’t see from my basement bedroom window. More than thirty years later, I think I’m still trying to get over the culture shock! Here are some memories, which I’ll spread out over three blog posts:
As soon as fall came, not only was real autumn weather a pleasant surprise, but I couldn’t believe how big deer hunting was. I had not been aware that people still hunted in this modern day and age, and yet in Utah everyone seemed to be totally into it. I was somewhat interested and envious, but I also felt that it was kind of a hillbilly-ish thing to do. (I still never have been deer hunting, and I would probably go if someone invited me. But I have been jackrabbit hunting one time.)
My first week of school in Utah, a kid named Troy came up to me and told me I wasn’t wearing the right pants. Then he pointed down at his H.A.S.H.-brand jeans with the bell-bottom legs and copious golden stitching. I thought they were ugly but also wished I could buy some; for some reason, I had bought only corduroy pants that year. This was my first exposure to Utah trendiness, which in some ways is more intense than anywhere else. Personally, I think it’s a cultural extension of Mormon conformity mingled with pride-cycle materialism.
Tomorrow: Going with each other, sluffing, sports, and school lunch