My grandparents on my father’s side lived in Blanding and so it was home to my father. My grandmother on my mom’s side moved there for work, and at the age of 20, my mom joined her and helped her run an Indian Dormitory for a few years. This is where my mom and dad met and lived there for a while. Later after my father died, my mother moved to Blanding when she married my father’s brother, and they lived there together for a few years. So Blanding is a ”Going Home Family Reunion.”
My mother held a family reunion here and people from all over the state and outside of Utah came. Relatives who still live there arranged for tours and hikes to Ancient Native American sites, or horseback riding adventures, etc. That evening we all gathered for dinner and a campfire. We sang old songs around the campfire, and then my mom presented a reader’s theater based on a newspaper article of my great grandfather. He was a polygamist and had three wives. The first wife decided she didn’t like polygamy and with the help of those people who came into Utah–reporters, spies, agents–to try to expose the practice as evil. She was aided in deciding to sue her husband for polygamy. It was the first trial, but it was brought against him by his wife. This was reported in newspapers all over the country like New York and Chicago. This article came from a Chicago Newspaper. It was written cleverly with a sense of humor, and so Mom assigned parts to different people such as the wife, Thomas Hawkins, the reporter, the judge, etc. And it was performed. Afterwards my aunt who had known him as her grandfather and had researched a lot shared the rest of the story with us. Until then I didn’t know much about my great grandfather, but I have always remembered that part of his life. We all learned a lot in a memorable way.