Fun Stories About Life In Logan, Utah

- Utah State University - First Official Meeting -

During my first official event at USU, President Daryl Chase scheduled a convocation in Old Main auditorium and told the following story.

President Chase had visited with some head of state in a foreign country. As he was leaving the meeting, he was bidding farewell and said, “Have a good day.” The head of state reached out and touched Dr. Chase on the shoulder and said, “Dr. Chase, don’t say HAVE a good day. Instead, say “MAKE IT A GOOD DAY!” Great advice!

Daryl Chase
Daryl Chase, President USU

- Don't Walk Away (OR Be Careful When You Do) -

My office during our first year at USU was in the basement of Old Main Building prior to the completion and our subsiquent move to the marvelous new Chase Fine Arts Building. There was a “class room” adjoining my office.

Old Main
Old Main Building

One Music Professor colleague had just failed to earn tenure and was very emotional as he was teaching a class in that room. A student asked the teacher a question. The teacher incorrectly assumed that the question was an attempt to show others in the class that the professor was uninformed about the subject and would not be able to provide an informed answer. He was furious and stomped out of the classroom and slammed the door. All the students sat there in amazement – he had mistakenly walked into the closet and slammed the door behind him. The students sat there waiting for him to come out, but he didn’t exit until everyone had left the room.

- Conducting Challenges -

In one of my first major performances at Utah State University, I was conducting the St. John Passion of Johann Sebastian Bach in the old Field House.

Utah State University Field House
The Utah State University Field House

The Evangelist was sung by a gifted student tenor. The Harpsichodist played the chord for the recitative and the tenor sang the wrong text/notes. I halted the performance and once again the harpsichordist played the chord. The same thing happened once again. I then realized that the Evangelist was not aware that he had mistakenly turned multiple pages. Because he was standing nearby to my left, I gently reached down and turned his score to the correct page and then pointed to the appropriate note. Once again the chord was sounded on the harpsichord and the tenor continued. Disaster avoided!


- Our Family at Our New Home -

Family in Logan (first year)
Our family - first year in Logan (1967)

- The Talk -

While living in Logan, we purchased a tent-trailer. We loved camping and spent almost every weekend during the summers in Guinavah-Malibu campground in Logan Canyon. One summer, when our kids were 6 and 7 years old, we took the family on extended camping trips to majestic Arches, Bryce and Zion National Parks.

Bryce Canyon
Phyllis and the kids are in the small arch (bottom left)
NOTE: Phyllis is 5'2" tall wearing a white blouse

That evening there was a tremendous storm which nearly demolished the trailer and really frightened us. We braced ourselves against the sides of the trailer attempting to add support from the fierce winds.

Apache Tent Trailer
Apache Tent Trailer

After the storm passed and we all got in our sleeping bags, we thought that this might be a good time to tell our kids about the “Birds and the Bees” (what were we thinking?) We methodically and carefully explained everything in great detail, but in terms we thought they could understand. We then asked if there were any questions. Silence….  Then a snore came from Chris. Finally, David asked, “Uh, Did Grandmama have Grandad?” OK, so we were not entirely successful!

- The Picture -

Edith Morgan (an editor of the Herald Journal newspaper) asked if she could feature our family in Good Cache Cooks. We stuffed a turkey, made a wonderful antipasto flower, and posed for photos. We later got a call from Edith telling us that David had crossed his eyes in the photo. In those pre-Photoshop days, she took a pen and attempted to draw in “normal” eyes – not completely successful.

Eye patch

- This Joint Is Jumpin' -

Here is one of the very funny (embarrassing) things that happened when we were living in Logan. One day in the Fine Arts Building, I spotted a “joint” on the stairs just outside the Departmental Office. I quickly picked it up, put it in my coat pocket, and decided that I would take it home to serve as an object lesson to our young children. After viewing it up close, they would then know how to recognize and avoid it! A few weeks later, Phyllis and I were having the President of Utah State University, Glen Taggart, and his wife Phyllis, in for dinner.

Our son, Chris, came into the room with his hands tightly clasped together (obviously hiding something.) He then proudly announced, “Look what my Daddy brought home from the University!!!!! A marijuana cigarette!!!” This was a massive failure of my intended object lesson.


Our Move to Utah Remembered

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