When I was helping with the Plein Air competition at the Helper Arts Festival, I had the opportunity to visit with the Artists who came in from out of the area. For some it was their first time to visit our community.
Several were fascinated by the past and visited with some of the locals to find out about our past. I was able to fill them in on some history I had learned about by reading books that outline the local history. I was standing by a couple of individuals who had lived in the county all their lives and they were surprised by some of the history I related.
I am not a Utah native. I have lived here about twenty five years though. I did not go through the Utah school system and have to take the Utah history courses. The two people next to me did. I doubt the Utah history class would have enough time to do justice to the past of each local community around the state. I also am more of an action-mystery-novel reader than a history buff, but I felt the need to understand this community that I call home.
I came here in 1980 and my first husband immediately went on strike with his union. I did not get the passion that the union had back then. And until I became more involved in both local and statewide political issues I didn't get what made Carbon County so different from the rest of the state. So I began to read.
There are several good books on our history and past. Some are more fun to read than others. I am currently reading the book about Carbon County that Nancy Taniguchi recently wrote. It is a bit like reading a textbook, but fascinating just the same.
There is also a great book about the labor movement in this county called "Next Time We Strike" that really helped me understand both the labor movement and our cultural diversity.
There are so many books written about our county that I have not read yet. I will try and get to most of them one of these days.
I feel that whether you have lived here a few years or been raised here and lived here all your life, it is important to understand the community's past. We can't live in a bygone era and fail to change with the rest of the world. However the past can help us make our continuing voyage into the future a unique experience that benefits us all.
Grab a book about our past and learn a bit. I think you will find it fun and enlightening.