Saturday Night at the Dance Recital

A few weeks ago I wrote a blog post called “Saturday at the Little League Ballpark.” It focused on my grandsons, Quade and Noah, and their baseball games. Today I get a chance to write about my granddaughter, Brooke, and her dance recital.

Brooke is seven years old. To say she is FABULOUS would be an understatement. It would also be the name of one of the dances her group performed. To say she is a budding SUPERSTAR would be true, and it would also be the name of one of the dances her group performed. To say she is a DANCING LEOPARD might not be literally true, but it is one of the dances her group performed.

Perhaps pictures say it better than words.

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My Appearance on KUER’s Radio West

On Thursday (June 10, 2010) I appeared on KUER’s Radio West show, hosted by Doug Fabrizio. For those who don’t know, KUER is the University of Utah’s public radio station. Because I don’t live in Utah, I haven’t listened to the show except by accident when I am visiting. In researching the show, however, I see that it is highly regarded and covers a potpourri of subjects, many of which would be very interesting to me. I see it is possible to stream the shows live on a computer or download podcasts of past shows.

[Left: Doug Fabrizio, host of KUER’s Radio West]

The subject of the show I was on was the documentary film “8: The Mormon Proposition,” which debuted at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. The primary interviewee was Reed Cowan, the maker of the film. I think the main reason KUER asked me to be on the show was to get a more moderate Mormon view of the fallout of Prop 8 in California. Some of my conservative Mormon friends may question the use of “moderate” to describe me – they no doubt consider me to be a liberal. On the other hand, many former Mormons and gay activists probably consider me to be on the conservative, or at least moderate, end of the spectrum. It reminds me of when I was a kid and used to think of Chicago as being “back east,” never realizing that Bostonians thought of it as being “out west.”

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Chicago, Chicago: That Toddlin’ Town

The title of this post is from the song “Chicago,” which has been sung by various people from Judy Garland to Tony Bennett. It was going through my head for a good portion of the time I was in Chicago. The lyrics are pretty clever. Here is how it begins:

I got the surprise,
the surprise of my life
I had to stop and stare
I saw a man dancing
with his own wife
And you will never guess where

Chicago, Chicago
That toddlin’ town, the toddlin’ town
Chicago, Chicago
I’ll show you around, I love it
Bet your bottom dollar
you lose the blues
In Chicago, Chicago
The town that Billy Sunday
could not shut down

I particularly love the line about the surprise in seeing a man dancing with his own wife. Among the three largest cities in America (Los Angeles, New York and Chicago), it has always seemed to me that Chicago is the one where “small town values,” such as lack of pretention, friendliness and family ties, are the strongest. Still, Chicago has its wild side (Al Capone and the mafia, corruption in city government) and apparently even Billy Sunday couldn’t shut it down. (Billy Sunday, by the way, was a popular major league baseball player during the 1880s, who later became the most influential American evangelist during the first two decades of the twentieth century. He was a big proponent of prohibition and some say his preaching played the key role in the adoption of the Eighteenth Amendment in 1919.) Continue reading