Friday, May 26, 2006

Salt Lake City (IV)

This is the place. This is the place. This is the place. This is the place.

More or less on the spot where Brigham Young said "This is the right place" lies the This is the Place Heritage State Park, which contains the This is the Place Monument. Off the edge of the patio lies a tremendous amount of refuse. Soda bottles, plastic bags, wrappers, cellophane, chewing gum stuck to tree trunks. It's impossible to tell whose garbage it is; Mormon litter looks the same as everyone else's.

A couple reads Scripture together to the side of the monument. They talk softly, and even only two benches away their words and sentences are audible only in fragments.

Later, a woman in a pink shirt walks to a picnic table, sits, and opens her Book of Mormon. She reads it like a novel. At the monument itself, a young man in a green shirt copies down the long explanatory history for a community college class on the history of Utah. His father waits, and stares with big blue eyes.

Also nearby sits a simulated hand truck, like those used by the settlers in 1847. You can play with it, but it's not as fun as it ought to be. It gets boring fast.

The car is parked nearby.

Drive on.

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