Because of the significant interest in preserving the Sunbowl I am setting up this page strictly to provide updates on your efforts. I will post my comment with the newest at the top, but be sure to look in the comments below and add your comments also.
July 16, 2013
I recently had an article published in The Spectrum further advocating for the preservation of the Sunbowl. I have received several emails and other comments from people that are in agreement with preserving the Sunbowl. That is a positive thing. There have been a few people that have been less positive. One individual, upon reading the following column I wrote, shared his observation that I was stupid for one comparison I made. If he knew me well I am sure he would have used a much harsher and perhaps more accurate description. Here is a reprint of that article:
There is a deal in the works to demolish the Dixie Sun Bowl, as it was named by Bobbie Laub in 1947.
The Dixie Sun Bowl was the culmination of work by the St. George, spearheaded by several leaders of the Lions Club. You can see the full story at https://wwwjr.wordpress.com/2013/06/19/building-the-sun-bowl/.
There are some folks that are constantly bent on tearing down another man’s monument to make space for their own. We seem to live in an era when this is most prevalent. Five years into Barack Obama’s presidency we are still hearing how George Bush is the blame for who-knows-what. You can’t swing a dead cat in Washington DC without smacking some congressman intent on pointing his finger at somebody else. Yes, indeed, we live in a time when “tearing down” is the norm.
The Dixie Sun Bowl is no different. A few folks want to tear it down, because it has not been maintained. “It’s an eyesore.” “It is only used once a year.” The justifying complaints are endless. I wonder if I listened closely if I might hear someone say “Granny is an eyesore, throw her away.” Or maybe, “We only visit grandpa once a year, throw him away”.
There is one very valuable reason, among many, for preserving the Dixie Sun Bowl. Honor. Rather than buying into the modern theme of tearing things down, let’s honor them by building them up physically, socially, and emotionally. Instead of fretting over what the Dixie Sun Bowl is not, we can maintain it as something far better.
Yes, there will be those wanting to point out the high cost of preservation. They will also advocate spending that money on frivolous monuments to their own accolades.
Fortunately, Jimmie Hughes on the City Council has raised his voice in opposition to demolishing another historic monument in St. George. Mayoral candidate Jon Pike has recently committed to exhaust all alternatives to demolition. Michele Randall, candidate for City Council, has been at the forefront of preserving the Dixie Sun Bowl. Several of the other candidates have agreed.
I am reminded of Cove Fort at the junction of I-15 and I-80. There is nothing there, but a rundown old fort that was once a resting spot for pioneers on their way to St. George. Yet, many resources were put into its preservation. Why? Because history has meaning. So does the Dixie Sun Bowl.
July 5, 2013
I have recently been watching a BBC TV series entitled Lark Rise to Candleford.
It is set in the late 1800s, when class distinction was still very prominent among the British Isles. In reality people then faced the same challenges we face now. Conditions were a little different, and opportunity for resolution were more challenging. But all-in-all, people faced hardship, deprivation, lack of uniform luxury, and discouragement. Strange, just about the same things we all face today. There was a little more superstition.
Yet, within the show there were the faithful and the faithless. Both the rich and the poor held equal quantities of pride and vanity…only in different things.
Tonight I watch the final episode of the first season (By the way, my hat is off to the Washington County Library for making these shows available). I was fascinated by a couple things. Please read on.
First, back to superstition. There s an elderly couple in the show; Queenie and Twister. Queenie is the neighborhood fortune readers of sorts that “reads the tea leaves”. Twister is just slightly senile.
In the tea leaves Queenie sees a Raven, which is the foreboding of a terrible thing about to happen. Twister falls very ill and becomes convinced he is going to die. In the process of his deteriorating health he gives away some of his prize possessions. Mean-while the town holds their annual “surprise” birthday party for Zilla who has always been assisting at the local post office.
What occurred to me tonight as I watched was the second thing.
At Queenie and Twister’s little abode all of the town folks came together to care for twister, even the youngsters. Parents brought their children along to teach them the ways of the community. That was Lark Rise. a small village of very poor people.
Eight miles away was Candleford. It was the wealthy business center for the region. Both Lark Rise and Candleford were governed by the Squire, the elite of the elites. The folks in Candleford always “put on aires” of superiority. Yet, even here in Candleford all the people came out to celebrate old Zilla annual birthday party. Every year, even The Squire “happened by” and gave her a birthday wish.
It was an age when circumstances required everyone to be in their “proper” place. Yet, due to some circumstances, people did the common place as well.
The quirks of the elderly were respected by the young. The rising generation were given sound advice but generally allowed to develop sound character under the guidance of parents and kinfolk. There was no rush to change what was. Love and kindness, even at the setting aside of one’s selfish desires, were extended.
The Sun Bowl is in St. George is like old Twister and the Old Maid Zilla. It is in need of honor and respect. It echoes with sixty-five years of a celebrated lifetime. There is no need to bury it beneath the sod of modernism. Just yesterday it feeble old bones danced the dance of independence beneath a star-spangled sky.
As for me, I hope that the Sun Bowl will have many more birthdays and well wishes for many years to come.
June 25, 2013
Had great conversations today with three candidates (separately); Jon Pike, Greg Aldred, and Michele Randall. All three expressed their desire to preserve the Sunbowl if we can achieve it. Although I have taken a personal interest in preservation of the Sunbowl, it is not “my” issue. This is important to a lot of people in St. George, both those that have been here a long time and those that are relatively new to the community.
I have shared with others that my home town in New York recently was about to be dis-incorporated after hundreds of years. There is a fantastic group of people there, both “old timers” and “new comers” working together to preserve the heritage of the community. I support them from a distance. That is partly why I feel so strongly about preserving what made St. George, and what made it a great place.
Following are a few quotes about preservation which that group has posted. I share them because they are relevant to preserving the Sunbowl.
One man that has proven himself in the world of modern construction of massive projects, and introduction of new elements to communities makes an interesting observation
June 22, 2013
Today has been a great day for the Sunbowl. I have received comments from two sitting City Council Members.
In an email Jimmie Hughes offered the following:
Thank you for your interest and willingness to help. As you know, a citizen or two getting involved can have a tremendous impact on issues being decided.
The Dixie Sunbowl is under attack and has been for some years. This is a large piece of property in the middle of town and obviously many people would like it. You are correct that there is a desire for a 3 way deal and we have been approached.
We have had discussions and no decision has been made.
I share your desire to save this historic structure and your concern that this not be fully vetted with the public. I am solidly is support of saving the Sunbowl and have been alone on that support at times.
We have spent a lot of money on our downtown and other historic buildings, why not the Sunbowl?
Progress is good and the pitch is that a newer facility in a different location is better for the “new” St. George. While I like progress and even new, I don’t favor complete abandonment of our past and those who still enjoy it.
The Lions Club is the real key to the plan moving forward. As you say, a viable plan needs to be presented and then the citizens can way in. If the Lions abandon their effort to keep the Roundup there I fear for the future. Another issue is the city’s unwillingness to have other events there. I do believe that a work group or committee is what we need and will be working toward that.
Any way there are many more issues surrounding the Sunbowl and I am glad you are stepping up as a citizen.
I am sending this on my phone and tend to ramble so please know I am willing to discuss this and any other issue anytime.
I will keep you informed as we progress.
Thank you again.
St George City Council”
Please let Jimmie know you appreciate his efforts, and that you will be there to support him.
Also received from Jon Pike just a few minutes ago:
“Bill, there hasn’t been enough opportunity for public input in some of our key issues, and this is a good example of an important one. I commit right now not to do anything with the Sunbowl until every effort is made to allow for as much public input – including ideas, suggestions, etc. as possible. And I know Jimmie B. Hughes is of the same opinion and probably others on the current city council are as well.”
Please let Jon know that you appreciate his commitment, and that you will be there to support him.