Rachell (my sister) just graduated from my Alma Mater, Rocky Mountain High School. Yes, you’re right; it is January. Again you are correct; the end of the school year is May. No, she wasn’t on a 4½ or 5 year plan. She decided she wanted to graduate early and experience a little bit of what the world has to offer. Already accepted to Brigham Young University for the Fall 07 , she will be moving to the LA area and living with Nathan and Lindsay; she plans on getting a job and earning money to put herself through school. Pretty ambitious. I’m proud of her accomplishment.
And she’s getting guff for it. One person asked her “What does LA have that we don’t?” Seriously…
I come from a small town/community in northern Wyoming. There are two stoplights in the county (one could make a convincing argument that is overkill); a population under 11,500, with two houses per square mile. (For more info, click here.) Even with the miniscule population, I enjoyed growing up there: the peace and quiet, beautiful night sky, the relative safety, the absence of rush hour…these are things I enjoy upon my visits home.
Like the Roman Catholic Church in the early 17th century holding fast to the geocentric model, a large number of the population believe the Big Horn Basin is the center of the civilized world. Those brave souls who venture out are treated as Galileo and deemed heretics. And as the Catholic Church, the local population is in error.
By no means am I a world traveler (far be it from me to label myself as such) and there's much I hope to see. But allow me to share some things I’ve experienced that cannot be offered in the confines of Zion...er, Utopia...er, the Big Horn Basin.
…seen Broadway caliber performances of Les Miserables, Wicked, Phantom of the Opera and The Lion King.
…seen some of the greatest art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
…lived in the Virgin Islands, scuba diving with sea turtles, octopus, eels, squid, manta ray and a cornucopia of amazing sea life.
…walked on a moonlit beach
….seen two Presidents of the United States of America, two first ladies and many congressmen in person.
….been one of 85,000+ at a sporting event
….seen the Grand Canyon, one of the 7 Wonders of the World,
….eaten sushi prepared by renowned Japanese artisans
….ordered a pizza at 2:30 in the morning
….been to 35 of the 50 states, including all west of the Mississippi except Oregon
literally driven from coast to coast
…had intriguing conversations with individuals from every continent on Earth (Antarctica excepted)
…been to the Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, the Empire State Building, the Golden Gate Bridge, Fisherman’s Wharf, the Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory
…been to such sporting venues as Madison Square Garden, Bank of America Ballpark (Phoenix), Bryant-Denney Stadium (home of University of Alabama), Three Rivers Stadium (former home of the Steelers), the Georgia Dome (including during Super Bowl XXXIV), Lavell Edwards Stadium, AT&T Park (Home of the San Francisco Giants), Sun Devil Stadium (former home of the Arizona Cardinals, Sanford Stadium (University of Georgia), Bobby Dodd Stadium (Home of Georgia Tech), Phillips Arena (home of the Atlanta Thrashers and Atlanta Hawks), Turner Field (Home of the Braves
To those narrow minded individuals – whether in the rural communities of the Big Horn Basin or the apartments of New York’s Upper East Side – ignorant enough to be purport the audacious idea there is nothing the world has to offer outside your miniscule piece of the world is to do as the Roman Catholics did…be ignorant now and laughed at later.
Have fun in LA, sis!!
Thursday, January 04, 2007