Off the Air

A collection of press clippings, special projects or appearances including Garrison Keillor.

Summer Love and the Great Salt Lake

August 24, 2010

PHC staffer Nic Vetter is on the Summer Love tour with Garrison, Sara Watkins, Fred Newman and The Guy's All-Star Shoe Band and will update us periodically from the road.

Here are a few things I learned in Salt Lake City. The Mormons went there after a long and treacherous journey west fleeing religious persecution in Illinois. After making the deadly crossing through the Rockies, Brigham Young and his brethren found their promised land in the Salt Lake Valley. They crossed a river and bathed in the Great Salt Lake, and it struck them that the way the river flowed into the salty body of water was similar to the River Jordan and the Dead Sea from the Bible and so it was as if God had sent them there.

I wonder what the Mormons thought after they experienced their first big storm in that valley. I know what I thought: this is the end of the world. Not really, but the storm that hit happened so suddenly and without warning that we were caught completely off-guard. One minute it was sunny, a little breezy, some clouds that, in retrospect, were ominous, and then BAM, the concessions tent blew over — and our tent was about to do the same — and we chugged up giant hill with our most valuable items to a building to take cover from the rain.

Apparently this system was a "microburst", which is something that happens in a location with the unique topography Salt Lake has (mountains and a canyon valley). Go ahead and google that because it's too scientific for me to explain.

Long story short, the show was nearly called off, or at least postponed until another day, but at the last minute the storm broke. The show was delayed for over an hour, but the fans, who apparently had a clue about the weather with their ponchos and umbrellas and blankets, held out. I wish I had pictures of the awesome storm but I was hiding under a table fearing the apocalypse.

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