01 October 2010

go to utah

If you want space, go to Utah.

This is a line from a song from my childhood.

Other children, children who had more normal childhoods and probably went to Disney World for vacations, remember songs like, "The wheels on the bus go 'round and 'round..."

But I—part of a family that has never been to Disney World and instead headed to the desert for vacation almost every year—I know songs like:

"When I woke up this morning, things were looking bad / Seems like total silence was the only friend I had."


"I told my mama on the day I was born / Don't you cry when you see I'm gone."


"If you want space, go to Utah / If you want time, pal, you got the next 50 years."

These were the kinds of songs we listened to on our long car drives on vacations where we camped our way across the West. It was either folk music or NPR, and I think I was the only kid in my 3rd-grade class who could recite the number to call for Car Talk, a feat that didn't increase my popularity, for some reason.

I'm about to get on a plane to Utah, so of course the "If you want space" line is running through my head. It won't stop, in fact. No matter how much I think about other things, other states, other songs, my head keeps coming back to: "go to Utah."

I'm meeting my parents in Cedar City, Utah, tonight, and I'll be spending a week with them camping and generally re-living my childhood vacations. I hope they have those old family-sing-along tapes.

Otherwise, I'll have to resort to singing the songs a capella, humming through the words I don't remember. That won't be annoying at all.

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