Where’s the most patriotic pack o’ people in Utah? If you didn’t notice last month, Sugar House held the biggest fireworks show in the Salt Lake Valley in Sugar House. BYU’s ‘Stadium of Fire’ is the by far the biggest booms for your buck and always sells out because the show features hours of music beforehand. This year the wrinkled old band Journey was the headliner with washed-up emcee Montel Williams and Disney Channels’ Olivia Holt.
I’m awarding the biggest claim to fame for patriotic celebrations in the entire state to the little town of Willard, which is located just seven miles south of Brigham City. This tiny town of 1772 people (2010 census) claims the oldest continuous 4th of July celebration in Utah that features a baby contest, a melodrama, bingo, a 5K, parade, basketball tournament beginning with a Fireman’s Ball the night before, races and booths that day with picnics and fireworks (although drought fireworks restrictions are in effect). I’m admit it: I love little Willard (aka ‘lil Willy). It was named after Willard Richards, a counselor to Brigham Young in 1859. Decades ago I came home from a long day at work and yelled out to my (now deceased) wife, “Honey, I’m home. Guess what? We have a ski boat now!” Her reply: “We don’t ski.” You see, sometimes we real estate brokers don’t always get paid in cold hard cash. We can accept a myriad of payment types for our services, and in this particular case I accepted a ski boat as payment rather than commission because the sellers were upside down in their home and didn’t have enough equity to pay the brokerage fees. I worked under a broker at that time and had to call her to ask if “we” could accept a commission of a boat. She replied, “I’ll take 10% of the value as my share of the commission.” I got it appraised and handed over my broker $600.
There’s a relevant adage: “The greatest day of your life is when you get a boat. The even better day is when you sell the boat.” Out adventure into boating began and it was terrific for a few summers. Who knew that the Great Salt Lake had a fresh water bay where you could fish, boat and swim? We’d haul the little red speedboat up there on Sundays and tow friends around the lake in inner tubes. If we were lucky enough to get time off on a weekday or Saturday we could make an extra stop at the voluminous Smith & Edwards sporting goods store to see what treasures we could find. Alas, when the season is over the boat has to be properly stored. Our back yard in Sugar House was small and could barely fit the trailer and the boat. Storing it at a professional facility close-by cost $120 per month. We sold it to a couple of wide-eyed happy kids who wanted their own first boat. I still love going up to lil Willy in the Winter to watch the eagles hunt for fish up on the ice and still love shopping at Smith and Edwards.