All flesh is grass, and all wood and rock is too.
The histories of mining towns seem to often involve burning down twice and rebuilding once. In 1949, the day before she turned two-years-old, my mother and her three-year-old brother were playing with fire and gutted their family’s house. For a year or so, the family dwelt in makeshift quarters including a shack with walls built from stacked steel ammo boxes. Some land was swapped, and the family ended up in a house 400 yards from their old house, and the lot where my great-grandparents had lived, and then my grandparents, became the site for a church for the Logandale Ward of the Moapa Stake. Evenings and Saturdays, men mixed concrete and poured it into forms to create blocks, with which they built the walls of the church. My grandfather wired it, as he had most every building in town. The chapel was erected over the spot where my family’s small house previously stood.
When I read yesterday of the destruction of that chapel that morning, I wasn’t sure what I felt. Minutes later my wife called on the phone, and I began “The LDS church in Logandale . . .” I couldn’t continue the sentence. I hung up and found a private place to shed a few tears. I called my wife back and told her everything I knew about that building, all the funerals I’d attended there. I called my oldest living uncle last night. the one who escorted me through the St. George Temple when I was endowed, and talked with him a while. Why do we care about old buildings? In this case, because it was a part of my mother and grandparents’ lives. It’s been so long since I’ve seen them, and I miss them so much right now. It’s also because of a love not just of individuals, but also of communities.
All is grass.
The woman identified in this Review-Journal article as the oldest member of the church in Logandale is my grandfather’s sister-in-law. Ace Robison, the stake president, was in the news a few months back in his role as board chairman of the proposed Desert Valley Academy.
For a different regional variation on some of what I’m feeling right now, I recommend Mary Chapin Carpenter’s aching and beautiful “I Am a Town”