Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Saga of Sammy the Suitcase

This is the true story of  the adventures of Sammy the Suitcase.Suitcase with arms   Sammy is the faithful companion of his friend, "The Traveler."  Sammy and The Traveler have traveled far and wide, here and there, to and fro, always together....most of the time.

The two wanderers have been all over the place.  Atlanta, Anchorage, Baltimore, Minneapolis, Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, Boise, Portland, Phoenix, Spokane, Disneyland, Philadelphia, Las Vegas not to mention Kalispell, Kansas City, Kamloops and Kelowna.

The Traveler would be lost without Sammy because Sammy takes care of all of The Traveler's important stuff.  Sammy is the caretaker of The Traveler's socks,  various and sundry pills, his hair gel and his jammies.  Sammy is an important suitcase dude.

Recently Sammy and The Traveler (referred to as Trav from now on) embarked on a journey, departing 


Salt Lake International (SLC)







Portland International (PDX) and the City of Roses





Upon arrival, Trav went to the previously arranged meeting place for the usual happy reunion with Sammy.  But Sammy was nowhere to be found.  Other travelers were happily reunited.  Benny the backpack, Curtis the cat carrier, Simon the snowboard.  All were met and collected by their travelers, but not Sammy.  SAMMY WAS MISSING!!!  Trav  was concerned.

Upon speaking with the friendly representative from Delta_logoTrav was told to go to his hotel and that Sammy would be brought to him IF he came on the next flight.  Sammy did not come on the next flight.

After spending a fitful night in a strange bed in a strange city without his jammies and meds, Trav traveled back to PDX the next morning to try to unravel the mystery of the missing Sammy.

Another friendly representative from the above mentioned corporation informed Trav that Sammy had been "misdirected" and was now enjoying the sights and sounds of San Francisco International Airport. 


San Fran(freakin)cisco!!!  How the heck did Sammy get there?  In a fleeting moment of political incorrectness, Trav had to wonder how one of the Pacific Islander Sammy handlers at SLC had thought that Sammy's ticket that said PDX meant that Sammy was to be put on the cart going to SFO. Trav then repented of his indiscretion.

The friendly representative referred to twice previously then informed Trav of Sammy's itinerary before they would be reunited and Trav would again have his jammies, and at this point more importantly, clean underwear and deoderant.  Trav only wished that Sammy could give him his FFM's.  So, here is where Sammy went in anticipation of a joyful reunion:

                                        Suitcase running

                                               Fly, Sammy Fly

From SLC                                            to SFO,

SLC                SFO 

then to LAX,                                        back to SLC,

LAX                 SLC

and finally on to PDX, arriving at 6:30 pm, 23 hours after starting a journey that took Trav 1hr, 23min.


When Sammy finally arrived at PDX, the reunion was then still delayed because Trav was 250 miles south working.  A joyful reunion was had by all but not until almost 48 hours after the adventure began.

All's well that ends well. Trav has his jammies, pills and deoderant, and is hoping that some Sammy handler in SLC is getting help with his/her problem. (PDX=Portland, not SanFran(freakin)cisco!!! )  

                               Suitcase with man 


                                            THE END

Saturday, February 2, 2008

My Rock and Roll Lifestyle #1 in a series of 1

In honor of the blog of my son Spencer, I want to tell you about my concert history, which is extensive and goes waaaay back.

When I was in high school, the Salt Palace or Huntsman Center didn't exist yet.  The venue for live concerts was the Valley Music Hall in North Salt Lake.  It was a theater in the round with a stage that rotated, surrounded on all sides by the seats.  The building was later sold to the LDS Church and is now used as a regional center by the Church.  The Salt Palace  was built in the late 60's and the Special Events Center (Huntsman Center) was finished in 1970.  During the 70's and early 80's, the SEC was actually the preferred venue for the big shows.  The acoustics were much better than the Salt Palace and then they hung curtains along the outside walls, which improved the acoustics and more concerts started going to the Salt Palace which was later replaced by the Delta Center.

So, without further ado, here is a list of my Rock and Roll history. (Ok, I use the term Rock and Roll loosely)


Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass--Valley Music Hall--I was a Sophomore in high school and went with a bunch of friends from the Granite band.  This was the hottest group around at the time.

Herb Alpert

Kenny Rogers and The First Edition--Einar Nielsen Fieldhouse--This was the group that Kenny was with before he went solo in 1970.  This was the group that first performed "Ruby, Don't Take Your Love To Town."  I was a freshman at the U.  220px-Thefirstedition

Liberace--Valley Music Hall--Yes, Liberace.  The guy could really tickle the ivories.  Pretty snappy dresser, too!


Burt Bacharach--Special Events Center--Right in the middle of one of his songs, Burt stopped the orchestra and made them start the piece over.  He apologized to us and said that we deserved better.

Burt Bacharach

The Association--Special Events Center--"Cherish"

The Association 

The Fifth Dimension Fifth Dimension--Special Events Center--The SEC was really rockin' that night.  Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis left the group years later and had a a successful career as a duo.



Roberta Flack and Bill Withers--Special Events Center--Roberta's claim to fame is "Killing Me Softly With His Song."  Bill's big hit was "Ain't No Sunshine."

Roberta Flack                          Bill Withers

The Carpenters--Special Events Center


Neil Diamond--Special Events Center--This was right after the Jonathan Livingston Seagull album came out.  I think this concert was in 1973, right after Bryan was born.

Neil Diamond

Barry Manilow-- Marriott Center at BYU-- After the intermission, Barry came out wearing a BYU football jersey with #9 (Jim McMahon), so this would have been in '82 or '83.  Most of the people in attendance thought that was really cool.

Barry Manilow

The Jets--Utah State Fairgrounds Grandstand--I am told that I took the family to see the Jets at the Utah State Fair.  To be honest, I have no recollection of this concert.

The Jets

Michael Martin Murphey--Abravanel Hall--He performed with the Utah Symphony.  His biggest hit of all time is "Wildfire."

Michael Martin Murphey

Roger Williams--Abravanel Hall--We took Grandma Packer to this concert where he performed with the Utah Symphony.  Grandma was in heaven.

Roger Williams  

Doc Severinsen--Abravanel Hall--Concert with the Utah Symphony.  Great entertainer.  Doc was the leader of the NBC Orchestra on the Tonight Show Band with Johnny Carson for many years.

Doc Severinsen

The Bar J Wranglers--Bar J Chuckwagon--They have a Chuckwagon dinner and theater in Jackson Hole, WY.  After you eat (the band members are also the waiters) they put on a great show. "Riders In The Sky", "Tumblin' Tumbleweeds"  Good stuff!

Bar J Wranglers 



Kurt Bestor--Abravanel Hall--Kurt's annual Chrismas concert


C.J. and The Mo Tabs--The Conference Center--Angela Lansbury was the featured guest.  21,000 people dancing in the aisles.  You had to be there.

Mo Tabs

And last, but not least for the benefit of all you headbangers who might question the validity of some of the artists listed above......

Rage Against The Machine--Rice Stadium--They were in concert at the "U".  I thought that they were pretty disgusting and never would have gone to see them if it hadn't been for the other band on the slate that night, a little known group from Ireland. (See Below)


U2--enough said!!


And you guys thought that I was dull and boring.


We lost a friend this week.  We didn't know him personally.  I think that I shook his hand years ago when my brother Barry was called to be Stake President and Elder Gordon B. Hinckley was the GA who presided at the conference.  Even though we didn't know President Hinckley personally, we felt like he was a good friend, someone that always made us feel good by his timely advice and strong testimony of the Lord.  We will truly miss him and the example that he has been to us.

The one thing that I think we can all take from the life of Gordon B. Hinckley was his selfless life of service to others.  We can all hope to be such a person.  In addition to all of the honors, we need to remember that he has been reunited with his sweetheart after four years of being apart.  sister hinckley 0003a I am sure that they enjoyed a sweet, loving reunion and are together again for eternity.  Our Father in Heaven has given us a plan of happiness that will allow us to be with our families forever.  I hope that we can all take from the example of the prophet and his sweetheart.