Chapter Five-Grand Junction:1900


Going back home to the Orr’s I cut across the lots in town and nearly got lost in the semi-desert.

Interrupting my stay at the Orr’s long enough to complete my trip on to Salt Lake City and return, I went to the depot one night to take the midnight train, but found the train made up and ready to pull out, Grand Junction being a division terminal. However, there was standing room only, and not much of that, and one precocious passenger, of which there is always one in every crowd, advised the passengers to not give up their tickets until they had been provided with seats, and we all did just that. After some delay, two more coaches were attached and we were on our way.

Arriving at Salt Lake, I canvassed the city for sights. One of first claims on the tourist is to see and attend services at the Tabernacle, that turtle roofed structure that will hold 8000 people and the acoustics are so perfect that one may hear a pin dropped, which is true, for I have tested it. The roof assembly is 20 feet thick, which is one factor lending itself to such wonderful acoustic properties. The massed choir of 250 voices is something to hear.

The whole city is built on the tenets of those industrious Mormon People who have made the desert blossom as the rose, and deserve all credit therefore, despite their peculiar concept of the marriage status. The huge Mormon Mercantile Institution dominates the mercantile life of the city. The city is cleaned with open ditches of clear water flowing down the stone gutters each side of the street, or, at least, that was the case in 1902. And, long after the dawn of the automobile age, when I was there 25 years or more years ago, not one red and green corner traffic light could I find. Whether that had any bearing upon law enforcement or observance I know not, but I think it had, when other large cities had the warning lights galore, too many I thought. We will have to give in, not a single Mormon family went on relief, according to government records.

The Great Salt Lake in itself deserves brief mention. One may lie on his back and float, at the same time nonchalantly read a novel, with no fear of sinking, so heavy is the water. I have done it many times, with no misgivings.

The Salt Lake Valley is on of the highest developed desert sections to be found anywhere in the world, due to the bravery of those first settlers and their industrious habits though the years.

Returning to Grand Junction, I put in a few more days with the Orr’s, and expecting to start east the next morning I walked downtown in the evening, after work hours and at the bakery bought some buns, cookies etc. for the train lunch, an d returning to the Orr’s to spend my last night, and acquainting Mrs. Orr with what I had done, I said I forgot to provide butter for my buns, whereupon she sold me 5-cents worth. Isn’t that a queer freak of human nature? Mr. Orr told me to take a fruit basket and go pick it full off the ground, of peaches for my journey, which I did, making less than a half peck of the fruit, which, in itself, was perfect and delicious, but unmarketable because they were windfalls, but he charged me 25-cents for the basketful! I have tried to justify such things in previous chapters, and do not hold the practice against the Orr’s, as set in comparison with their many kindnesses, but I did resent it in the case of the Yetters, for the old man tried to work some sharp practices on me.

I had hired J. C. Callahan, a lawyer, to represent me after I had gone home, in closing the Yetter deal, but Yetter insisted upon making me an imperfect deed with one flaw in it which Callahan demanded be covered by a 100% abstract, which was done, in spite of Yetter’s grumbling over the nominal expense the paper cost him. For this and other incidental connected services Callahan charged me the ridiculous small sum of $5.00, compare that with to charge for similar services today.

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