We went to the Park City Art Festival over the weekend.
Friday was a perfect day. Not too hot, not at all crowded and Park City was charming as ever. I even bought myself a beautiful porcelain vase. Carl even let me stay four hours which was the capper to the whole perfect time enjoying artist after artist after artist.
Lunch? A delicious steak with a side of sweet potato fries with fry sauce at Bandits’ Bar and Grill. My kind of day.
But it was bittersweet. I know what Park City was.
When I taught at Brighton High School Seminary, one of the custodians up there was raised in Park City and had lived in one of the charming little houses that line the main streets in the original city.
He would tell me great stories of when he was a kid, of when everyone’s dad was a miner, when everyone’s mother stayed at home and everyone had lots and lots of brothers and sisters. He told of how things were when they, having a blast, lived the life they did in a remote little village, where everyone knew everyone else, where life was simple, fun and personal. He’d regale me with anecdotes of him, his friends, his family. He’d talk of his, school days, church, daily life, places, people, seasons.
But one day things turned differently. He literally cried as he told me how people came in from California, I believe, and deceived the people as to what their property values were and bought their homes out from under them, leaving them with no place to go and with nothing real to fall back on. It was like breaking up a family that had no place to go, with nothing to fall back on. They had no real education, no land and nothing but mining in their blood. It was awful.
What a beautiful place Park City is. But I think there is also something ugly about it too. I don’t suppose the beauty of what it was could ever be restored and those children are now grown and probably those miners are very old or dead. But it does hurt a little to look at it still.