Amy Irvine is NOT Coming to Rockville!

Amy Irvine to Read From her new book,  Desert Cabal

Friday, May 03, 2019, 7:00 pm
Rockville Town Hall (The Old Church), Rockville, UT

Darn it!!

Ever since Amy’s new book was published last November, I’ve been after her to come read in Rockville. The book has been so popular, she’s been on a non-stop reading tour all over the darn West. But, finally, it’s our turn! Don’t miss this! What’s the book about? WELL!

As Edward Abbey’s environmental classic Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness turned fifty last year, Amy felt its iconic author, who inspired generations of rebel-rousing advocacy on behalf of the American West, was due tribute as well as a talking to. In Desert Cabal: A New Season in the Wilderness, Amy Irvine admires the man who influenced her life and work but challenges all that is dated—offensive, even—between the covers of Abbey’s book. From Abbey’s quiet notion of solitude to Irvine’s roaring cabal, the desert just got hotter, and its defenders more nuanced and numerous.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR AMY IRVINE is a sixth-generation Utahn and long-time public lands activist. Her memoir, Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land, received the Orion Book Award, the Ellen Meloy Desert Writers Award, and the Colorado Book Award. Irvine teaches in the MFA program of Southern New Hampshire University. She lives and writes off the grid in southwest Colorado, just spitting distance from her Utah homeland.

 

Interviews with Amy and Excerpts

RadioWest: bit.ly/2Q5V8Im
Colorado Public Radio: bit.ly/2Q4kwT1
Lit Hub: bit.ly/2yc0tqH
High Country News: bit.ly/2ABS8gq
Rock & Ice Magazine: bit.ly/2wWvTQy

Amy’s website: https://www.amyirvine.com/

Order the book at: Torrey House Press is an independent nonprofit publisher promoting environmental conservation through literature. We believe that culture is changed through conversation and that lively, contemporary literature is the cutting edge of social change. We strive to identify exceptional writers, nurture their work, and engage the widest possible audience; to publish diverse voices with transformative stories that illuminate important facets of our ever-changing planet; to develop literary resources for the conservation movement, educating and entertaining readers, inspiring action.                 TORREY HOUSE PRESS             VOICES FOR THE LAND          www.torreyhouse.org

Questions? Contact me:

 

Amy Irvine is NOT Coming to Rockville!

Amy Irvine to Read From her new book,  Desert Cabal

Friday, May 03, 2019, 7:00 pm
Rockville Town Hall (The Old Church), Rockville, UT

Darn it!!

Ever since Amy’s new book was published last November, I’ve been after her to come read in Rockville. The book has been so popular, she’s been on a non-stop reading tour all over the darn West. But, finally, it’s our turn! Don’t miss this! What’s the book about? WELL!

As Edward Abbey’s environmental classic Desert Solitaire: A Season in the Wilderness turned fifty last year, Amy felt its iconic author, who inspired generations of rebel-rousing advocacy on behalf of the American West, was due tribute as well as a talking to. In Desert Cabal: A New Season in the Wilderness, Amy Irvine admires the man who influenced her life and work but challenges all that is dated—offensive, even—between the covers of Abbey’s book. From Abbey’s quiet notion of solitude to Irvine’s roaring cabal, the desert just got hotter, and its defenders more nuanced and numerous.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR AMY IRVINE is a sixth-generation Utahn and long-time public lands activist. Her memoir, Trespass: Living at the Edge of the Promised Land, received the Orion Book Award, the Ellen Meloy Desert Writers Award, and the Colorado Book Award. Irvine teaches in the MFA program of Southern New Hampshire University. She lives and writes off the grid in southwest Colorado, just spitting distance from her Utah homeland.

 

Interviews with Amy and Excerpts

RadioWest: bit.ly/2Q5V8Im
Colorado Public Radio: bit.ly/2Q4kwT1
Lit Hub: bit.ly/2yc0tqH
High Country News: bit.ly/2ABS8gq
Rock & Ice Magazine: bit.ly/2wWvTQy

Amy’s website: https://www.amyirvine.com/

Order the book at: Torrey House Press is an independent nonprofit publisher promoting environmental conservation through literature. We believe that culture is changed through conversation and that lively, contemporary literature is the cutting edge of social change. We strive to identify exceptional writers, nurture their work, and engage the widest possible audience; to publish diverse voices with transformative stories that illuminate important facets of our ever-changing planet; to develop literary resources for the conservation movement, educating and entertaining readers, inspiring action.                 TORREY HOUSE PRESS             VOICES FOR THE LAND          www.torreyhouse.org

Questions? Contact me:

 

Solstice Tribute to Maureen and Jeff Killed in the 2013 Rockville Utah Rockfall

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The night of the rockfall, those of us within a mile of the ruined house were asked to evacuate, not so much for fear of more fall but because, in the home’s shattered remains, emergency crews could not find the gas shutoff. I changed from mud-smeared barn clothes to appear-in-public clothes, and loaded the dog, three laptops, and my well-honed overnight needs into the truck. After—what is this—my fifth evacuation? I have it down to a science. And at that point, if my house blew up, I couldn’t have cared less. A beautiful day had just gone horrifically bad. The sky had indeed fallen.

I had just driven my workman Brice home to Springdale and returned ten minutes later to find the road beyond my house obliterated by a strange yellow-brown. . . smoke? haze? The morning radio had predicted desert fog, a scoff-worthy anomaly, and yet, what was that? and why had it come up so suddenly and in such a limited space? Fire? I wondered, and drove into the dimness. Inside, the darkness turned red and particulate, eerie and sunless. It was neither an inversion-choked chimney nor smoldering grass, not winter’s condensed breath nor the mark of a dust devil’s passing. It was something I’d seen only once or twice and never from within—pulverized redrock suspended mid-fall—buoyed only by still air’s impassive resistance, afloat on its own surprise.

Confused, I searched for some clue, scanning left and right until I saw, out of the corner of my eye, Ground Zero. I did not stop, did not linger, did not slow. My head snapped forward, eyes wide, and we drove on: my body kicking into mechanical while my brain caught up— “Danger. No chance of survival. Rescuers at risk.” Farther along the road, I parked askew, flipped on my hazards, and flashed my brights at highway-speed cars entering Rockville and the rescuer-obscuring cloud.

Behind me others were stopping at what was once the two-story home of Maureen Morris and Jeff Elsey. In my rearview I watched neighbors jump from home-bound trucks, dash across the highway and up slope toward the crushed home; I admired their bravery—no one could know if more rock would fall, but more I admired their hope—I could not conceive anyone surviving that blow. As 911 phones rang across the county, I dialed Jack Burns, the survivor of our first traumatizing home rockfall, “Sweetie. I need to tell you. There’s been a horrific rockfall. And, if anyone was home…”

As the sheriff’s tan SUV roared past, I reluctantly joined the growing roadside vigil. The home’s second-story lay on the gravel drive like a casually discarded hat; above, the kitchen’s burst-belly revealed a mission-style dining room table still standing, and a comfortable green armchair kicked aside and dust-covered; the home’s foundation still held, anchored as it was in the boulder field of a former rockfall. Between the redesigned, implacable boulderscape and the log home’s swinging timbers echoed the fresh bomb blast, the impossible silence of still-warm disaster.

Those willing combed the debris,peering into cavities, reaching into possibilities, then stood, arrayed around the house on fallen boulders, and stared at us, as silent as the rocks and as unmoving, hollow-eyed and shellshocked. This would not be a rescue.

I disentangled myself from a supporting friendship-knot and, as darkness fell, headed back to my car and home, only two houses distant. I noticed for the first time the view Maureen and Jeff had from their floor-to-ceiling windows—out across unobstructed pastures to the cottonwood-lined Virgin River, up across sage-coated redrock mesas to the towering Canaan Mountain Wilderness and the blue-skied beyond. I also noticed, in Mr. Herschi’s deep grass pasture near the road, the rare, knee-deep virginal snow and its new sprinkled-sugar coating of powdered redrock.

I had been in my barn clothes as dusk and rocks fell and rescuers asked me to leave because that day, December 12, was my first ride since the big snow. Five days before, we’d gotten a rare 18 inches, and I, not owning a snow shovel, had dug my way to the horses with a hay fork. This was the snow that would provide me such a beautiful, memorable afternoon, and set loose the rock that would later kill Maureen and Jeff.

The horses, and especially I, get antsy when pent, and after a week of buried fields but gradually clearing roads, we dared a short ride in brilliant sun. We began with due care on snow-packed ice, but when Mr. Baby saw the untracked orchard field, he broke acanter and I let him. Never had I felt that particular exhilaration! In snow’s deep silence, one can neither hear nor see hooves hit ground so horse and rider simply fly. Had the field gone on forever or had I fallen to earth and cracked my head wide open, I would have been happy ever after.

I drove, that evacuation night, to the local Mormon Church’s annual Christmas Party, a usually lively but very subdued affair. My 30-year-friend Marion asked, “Are you still living in Rockville?” “Yes,” I replied, “I’m still living in Rockville”… unlike others, I thought sadly. Rockville, settled in 1860 when pioneers abandoned the flooded town of Adventure across the Virgin River, probably got its name from difficult plowing, but has unfortunately taken on new meaning. This is not an easy landscape—just as our lives and decisions are not easy. At the candlelight memorial held a few nights later amid fallen rocks and departed souls, friends spoke of how Maureen decided, with great intention and without fear, to live in Rockville, in that very house, because she loved it. She was aware of the risk, calculated the odds, and made her decision. And I honor her choice. More power to you, Maureen!

From now on I’m also choosing to live with intention. Having developed a few less-than-desirable habits, devastatingly effective procrastinations, and functionally slippery ways to side-step things that need to be said, I’m now choosing to be more present.

And I hope the next time I end up with yet another pony-induced black eye, more stitches, a dysfunctional body part, or even kill myself falling from cliff or saddle it’s because I chose to get on the horse again. Stitches are temporary, but a life lived without intention is forever.

Last week, escaping the desert’s firm grip on my soul, I traded loose-hipped canters for a kayak’s unfamiliar hug. Far from shore on an ocean’s winter night, one tip away from a hypothermic death, I found myself immersed in mysterious cronks and snorks—the dreams of herons on their island roost. A paddle length behind me, a curious seal surfaced, revealed in her inky wateriness only by the abrupt snap of opened sinuses followed by a deep, voluminous inhalation. As she and the silence descended again, I paddled on and reveled as phosphorescent bioluminescence swirled from my everybladed stroke, particulate radiance whipped up—then gone—like glowing dust devils—like the infinite galaxies whirling overhead.

Rockfallville

rockville_map0414_lg

A newly released state geologist report defining Rockville’s rockfall hazards puts half my house in the High Danger Zone and half in the No Danger Zone, meaning, I suppose, I can spend half the night sleeping in peace and half lying awake contemplating my home’s current market value. Or, since the line puts the kitchen and office in the Danger Zone, perhaps it means I can sleep soundly, but cooking or working is out of the question, which, come to think of it, seems small price to pay for my personal safety.

my house
Note location of my house marked by pink rectangle on right bottom edge of the Danger Zone! (click to enlarge)

While the 2001 rockfall nearly killed our friend Jack, the 2002 boulder landed on the highway, and the 2007 fall destroyed a newly built fence–in southern Utah, hardly worth sniffing at–the 2010 rockfall got our attention–anomaly it seemed at the time. That rockfall hit the house across the street from mine, destroyed four outbuildings, an SUV, a full-size pickup, and somehow managed to miss the barn in which my horses stood, though the barn was directly below the fall. The horses spent the next three weeks with their butts pressed against the highway fence staring at the cliff. To this day, Mr. Baby will not willingly pass a sandstone boulder no matter how many times I reassure him it will not jump up and get him. He has never forgotten. Neither have the two woman living in the house at the time. Below are images of the 2010 Rockfall I took when I walked across the street that morning to feed the horses. Click on the image to enlarge and read caption.

What follows is the Geologist’s Report in it’s entirety, including a photo taken by a passing motorist of the redrock fog I described in my 2013 Solstice Letter and tribute to Maureen and Jeff (to be posted on this blog soon) which I did not have the presence of mind to take myself.

redrock fog
Inside, the darkness turned red and particulate, eerie and sunless. It was neither an inversion-choked chimney nor smoldering grass, not winter’s condensed breath nor the mark of a dust devil’s passing. It was something I’d seen only once or twice and never from within—pulverized redrock suspended mid-fall—buoyed only by still air’s impassive resistance, afloat on its own surprise.
Dust cloud from the December 12, 2013 Rockfall. The motorist, Jack Seegmiller, who photographed the event, estimated the rockfall’s duration as 10 seconds or less. Photo from the report below.

 

Screen Shot 2014-04-16 at 6.12.57 AM
Click to view report

Next Posts

  • Winter Solstice 2013
    A tribute to our friends Maureen Morris and Jeff Elsey killed in the Rockville rockfall
  • “Yes, Ma’am, the Trails are Safe, but I Can’t Guarantee the Geology”
    As Trail Crew Foreman Dan Blackwell once said to a Grand Canyon hiker who stopped to inquire. What does Rockville’s new Rockfall Hazard Report mean to those living In The Zone? And, after Rockville’s fatal rockfall and Washington’s fatal mudslide, one has to wonder what’s going on. The New York Times’ Timothy Egan wonders too.

People Have Been Asking

imagesQ2KRKJRDWhenever I am forced, as I have been this last month, to sit at my desk, unrelentingly, working and reworking someone else’s written product, ad infinitum, to the exclusion of all other thought, like a convict chained to a ball, I become a tad, shall we say, snarly. A titch unfriendly. I go about my work and chores with my head downcast, teeth clenched, dreaming at night about being made human sacrifice by alien overlords. When finally, in that dream, I saw my friends running free across a heartless desert while I floated balloon-like overhead wearing a dress of barbed wire and white toile, I felt serenely happy they had been released and deeply sad I couldn’t be with them. JESUS H. ROOSEVELT CHRIST! I began reading Vietnam War novels again. I knew the Thai dish Evil Jungle Princess had been named for me personally. Last week I could have taken on the entire Vietnamese fucking army singlehandedly and won. Handsfuckingdown. Just give me the goddamned machine gun and take off the fucking safety if the thing even has one.

But today the sun is out and the project is off my desk and it has stopped raining and I can think again and speak without scowling and its warm enough to have on a short skirt and my hair is down and I am sweetness and light again. So yes, I am well. Going through revolutions of ridding myself of needless clutter, cleaning out a writing room, and preparing to shift gears.

Upcoming Posts
Rockfallville
A newly released state geologist report puts half my house in the “High Danger Zone,” meaning, I suppose, that I can spend half the night sleeping in peace and half lying awake contemplating my great investment’s current market value

• “Yes, Ma’am, the Trails are Safe, but I Can’t Guarantee the Geology”
As Trail Crew Foreman Dan Blackwell once said to a Grand Canyon hiker who stopped to inquire. After Rockville’s fatal rockfall and Washington’s fatal mudslide, one has to wonder what’s going on. The New York Times’ Timothy Egan wonders too.

• Winter Solstice 2013
A tribute to our friends Maureen Morris and Jeff Elsey killed in the Rockville rockfall

 

 

 

A Bit of a Riff on Rockville

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Alma Cox by Michael Plyler

Below are my thoughts and answers to questions posed by Utah State graduate student Tori Edwards on southern Utahand Rockville’s sense of place and history of human/landscape interaction. Would love to hear your thoughts and comments.

Tori Edwards: I’ve been intrigued with the idea that the pioneers who settled Springdale andRockville didn’t appreciate the beauty of the landscape around them, and I’m trying to figure out where this idea came from. I know that the area was very difficult to derive sustenance from, as evidenced by journal entries from early settlers in St. George. I also know that there was some resentment among the early settlers when Zion was established as a National Park, so I’m wondering if the idea originated around this time.

Greer: That is a big topic! One of the initial reasons for the Pioneer Voices Project was to discover if there was a link between early settlers and Zion’s natural environment. Each interview followed the same format, and most questions were about memories of “nature” interactions. The people I interviewed did not recount strong “nature” associations except Evan Cox who seems to be one of those people who feels connected to nature. Although the project’s original intent was to find and expose pioneer nature associations, so little was found that the final book changed to recounting memories of lifeways and family.

I think some of the dichotomy you’re investigating comes from individual differences. People originally came here for a different purpose than they come now. Zion now attracts people 1) who come to tick off another scenic view/American Icon, etc., or 2) have a personal connection with “nature.” The people who came in the 1800s were 1) sent whether they wanted to come or not, or 2) were looking for some place to make a living. The mindset was very, very different. Though things were not as desperate as often portrayed, things were critical (this was not the horrible harsh desert vs. man, but the land still had to provide). A flashflood, a summer without rain, etc., were life-defining. I don’t think, for the most part, from the talks I’ve had with folks, that the area’s beauty was paramount. I think they noticed, I think they appreciated, but I don’t think, unless they had that special nature connection, that they felt what many coming now might feel. Just like in any modern community anywhere—some people connect to the land, others don’t. I did not get the impression Mormonism conveyed land management precepts (and that was a questionnaire question). When all one’s food and livelihood comes from the land, I believe people will do almost anything without regard for what problems it might cause to the “environment,” or even to their own livelihood in ten years.

In the research I did for the Grand Staircase—Escalante book, I found an interesting dichotomy between ranchers interviewed in the 1930s and their modern descendants. At least ONE rancher interviewed in the 30s (WPA, etc.) stated in detail how he realized cattle had destroyed the land. He recounted how his predecessors had found tall, lush grass covering the “desert,” and how without knowledge or seeming concern, they had systematically grazed everything beyond recovery. This may have been because settlers were not familiar with the desert’s fragility. He felt responsible and felt the entire area should be made a national park as it was beautiful and now mostly unusable for much else. (The Escalante area was horribly destitute in that time; it’s amazing people survived there at all).

What I witnessed in Southern Utah when I arrived in the 1980s (and still see vestiges of today) was a total defense of past practices by men who inherited them, regardless of any refuting science. This was saddening as it seemed better land management practices could improve the degradation, and thus, husbandry. But what prevailed was a staunch, unrelenting defense of a total way of life which may have been bolstered by feelings of an assault on community, faith, lifeway, etc. That was when acts of willing destruction of wilderness values and “nature” occurred regularly, and which can still be seen in the strong reaction to environmental groups, restrictions, legal challenges, etc.

By the mid-1900s, I think people also began to realize they could make a living from visitors. I don’t see where that made them more inclined to bask in or preserve the area’s beauty, i.e., no one proposed more preservation, but more development. In researching a Bryce book, I discovered that initially, there was support for creating national parks in Utah from Utahans, but that quickly reversed. There was a fight to create every park in Utah even in the early 1900s. There has long been a sense of “it’s OURS” here, and potential loss doesn’t seem to revolve around destruction of what’s natural, but around loss of potential use. Notice that MOST of those who fought for park establishment (not just here) were not from here. It was often the amazement of new eyes that fueled park creation. It may have been something as simple as long-term habituation that dulled the area’s amazement to inhabitants, and certainly to those born here and for whom a week-long wagon trip to St. George was a looooonnng way. They didn’t really know the rest of the world didn’t look like this!

As to your specific questions:

Tori: “The question is about the pioneers who settled Southern Utah, and their attitudes regarding the environment. I’ve been intrigued with the idea that the pioneers who settled Springdale and Rockville didn’t appreciate the beauty of the landscape around them, and I’m trying to figure out where this idea came from. I know that the area was very difficult to derive sustenance from, as evidenced by journal entries from early settlers in St. George. I also know that there was some resentment among the early settlers when Zion was established as a National Park, so I’m wondering if the idea originated around this time. But there are also conflicting ideas I’m trying to figure out: 1) The early pioneers settled the area with the principle of stewardship ingrained into their minds–to take care of the land they were given.”

Greer: From the interviews done on the Pioneer Voices project, I do not believe this to be true, as I’ve stated in more detail above. That was one of the goals of the project, and you might want to scan the interviews to see if I’m misrepresenting this, but as I recall, when asked, people stated there was no land-management guidance from the church. Biological evidence from all over Utah certainly supports the claim that the land was used as much as possible, probably changing it forever.

Tori: “2) The descendants of those early pioneers defend their ancestors, saying they did appreciate the beauty of the area, as evidenced in Pioneer Voices of Zion Canyon.”

Greer: I think again, you are looking at two overlapping ideas: appreciation and preservation. As we know, one can appreciation something and still destroy it. I appreciate an ice cream cone, and now I’m going to eat it! We cannot really know what someone thought, the feelings they had unless they express them in some way. For example, they wrote it down, they said it aloud, they made art of it, they created a monument, etc. So the pioneers may have “appreciated the area’s beauty,” but unless they physically expressed that in some way, we cannot know. One way they might have expressed it was by setting aside a “do not use” area. As far as we know, they did not. But then, it would have been astonishing if they had. If you study the national park idea you’ll realize that Zion was one of the first areas set aside under this “new idea” of national parks. I did a program for the Chicago Humanities Program a couple years back—and Ken Burns has done a similar program on America’s Best Idea—national parks. So the folks in Zion in 1909, when Mukuntuweap was set aside as a monument, had NO IDEA what was going on. The NPS wasn’t even created until 1916; what was this national monument thing?? What it was, was CHANGE, that awful beast, and regulation in a largely unregulated area. You must remember that everyone interviewed from then on looks back from a perspective of knowing what national parks are, what they’re for, and what they represent (both ideologically and financially!). Everyone who has lived here since 1909 or thereabouts has benefitted financially from the park, whether it’s in direct payment for services or in something as seemingly intangible as perpetually high property values.

Tori: “Also, Stephen Mather, who helped establish Zion as a national park, reported that the people who lived there at the time were good to work with, and generally cooperative. If there was animosity, and if Mather believed the settlers didn’t appreciate the beauty of the land, I would think he would have stated so.”

Greer: I don’t. One must consider the source: Mather was an extremely successful business man, a political animal, and a consummate public relations expert. He would not have said otherwise. In that year, he was trying to gain support not only for this park, but the National Park Service and every other national park being created then or in the future, and for unpopular regulations being implemented. This was part of a much larger and more important movement then only just getting started. He had to make the case for this park locally AND nationally. This went, as these things still do, waaaaay beyond the local.

Tori: “Yet, it seems to make the most sense that the idea of the settlers not appreciating the beauty of the area would have originated around the time of the Park being established. The reason I say this is because of a quote in Pioneer Voices (p. 83):

 “There was an erroneous rumor that went around for years. You used to hear that ‘the natives, they don’t appreciate the park, we’ve got to get in there and preserve it so they don’t destroy it. They want places to farm, they don’t want a park to look at.'”

Greer: Well, there’s always truths in statements like this, aren’t there? Which truths? There is the truth in the original statement, that people did resent the park, they did want places to farm (remember, it was a totally different economy then), they didn’t see the value in this new-fangled park thing, whatever it was (they had NEVER been to or heard of a national park!). And then there is truth in the idea that some people didn’t have that view. Look up esp. J.L. Crawford’s interview. His mother (grandmother?) sold the farm to the park and moved; J.L. says she both resented (losing the trees she’d planted and nursed all those years) and understood it. And there is truth in a descendant stating previous versions of the story are flawed, “My ancestors did too see the beauty! They weren’t heathens!” (i.e., and thus, neither am I).

I’m unsure your question is the right question, or that there is an answer. I think what we can say with some confidence is that reactions and interactions with “nature” are hugely complex and certainly intertwined. We, as humans with feelings and as animals trying to survive, have intense and often opposed needs from the same plot of land. These needs shift over both long and short time periods: from physical sustenance to the comfort of a known place, a “home,” to a need for adventure and a foe to test oneself against, to the crucible of a nature spirituality and personal regeneration, and not insignificantly, a biotic sanctuary for the other-than-human and a gene pool for the future. A lot of demands from one little landscape!

One last tiny clarification, I do not think the destruction of southern Utah’s natural environment was wanton, but rather an unintended consequence.

The Never-Ending Story

Kate Starling (See more at http://www.kstarling.com)

The following was published in The Joy of Rockville, a cookbook created to celebrate Rockville’s Sesquicentennial (150 years) in 2012:

Kate Starlings’ fabulous cover painting is, to me, the essence of Rockville. Living in our small town may not always be the easy, temperate, and peaceful life Kate’s image evokes, but Rockville can be that, and more. No matter what may be happening, I’m always glad to waken under Rockville’s azure skies and redrock embrace. In this year of little rain, I’m even happier to see rare skies, the color of a kingfisher’s wing, bringing a “three-inch rain.” When the cloud fleet sails the sky, I know it’s July; when burnt umber cottonwoods crisp the day, and that rare sunset glow lingers on cliffs, I know I’m home. I imagine, though we rarely read it in histories, Rockville’s early settlers felt the same. Hearing the Virgin River rush over rock; wading stone irrigation ditches on a scorching afternoon; eating ripe mulberries full of purple; soaking in star-glow on a dark summer’s night, meant the same to pioneer and current neighbor alike: home.

Rockville changed over its first 150 years, as, thankfully, it has remained the same. Kate’s artwork could have been painted in 1862 or 2012. The canyon’s cliffs remain, and they transform. The Virgin brings nurture and devastation. Some of us are old timers, tracing family lines back to our town’s founding; some are what our much-missed Fern Crawford called “middle timers”; some are just discovering Rockville’s special wonder. But no matter our origin, all of us—long past or newly arrived—write another line in the ongoing story that is Rockville.

The Virgin Anasazi, Southern Paiute, and those even more distant, told stories of our shared home we will never hear. Sooner than we know, the future’s unnamed will come seeking a home and story of which we can only dream. May they find the community, beauty, and abundance all those before them found in this green and lovely place called Rockville.

Greer K. Chesher

June 2012

Rockville, Utah