26 May 2009

in memoriam

Yesterday we made our annual Memorial Day trek to the Midway cemetery to visit my Grandpa Scott's grave, Scott Merrill Whitaker, as well as the graves of his parents and siblings.  On the way there, we read snippets from some family histories and the transcript of his funeral.  Christian and Emily told stories about their dad, Grandpa Tom, and grandparents, Joe and Marie Redd and Julia and Charles Asplund.  My Grandpa Scott was legendary in his day--he was an excellent singer, a Disney animator who purportedly worked on Dopey in Snow White, one of my all-time favorite moves, and a writer and director for BYU Motion Picture.  He wrote the script for Man's Search for Happiness, one of the masterpieces of LDS doctrinal films.  He was also proprietor, with his brothers, of the Homestead in Midway, for a number of years, hence the Midway connection.  I also need to mention that he was an all-around general ham and comedian, as well.

After the cemetery, we drove for about an hour looking for the perfect spot for our picnic, but it was nowhere to be found.  Finally, when we were all so hungry we were getting ready to gnaw off our own hands, we found it in an old pioneer homestead sitting on the banks of Snake Creek complete with plaques containing stories and poems written by and about the original homesteaders and their families, a creamery, an orchard, and a gigantic fir tree with a soft cushion of pine compost underneath and branches overhanging the creek.  Moses and Cecily were in heaven, and all of the adults were as well.  Even the lively squirrels were extra magical, and the birds were plentiful and visible.  Emily said it was like being inside a cross between Anne of Green Gables and Little House on the Prairie.  

For feasting, we had a number of delicious items:  I made bread in the morning (my Aunt Annie's French bread recipe with sesame seeds) and brought the leftover London Broil from Sunday dinner for roast beef sandwiches and an assortment of mustards, jams, and my favorite pickles.  We stacked our sandwiches on location, an for accompaniment ate crudite, fresh fruit, potato chips, Lula's fabulous chocolate chip cookies, and, last but not least, Red Vines in classic red and black.

It was a really, really perfect day, surrounded by the Wasatch mountains, a trickle of water, and a lot of inspiring memories.

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