November is often the transitional month that takes us from fall into winter. This year was no exception. Warm fall days were followed by strong winds and snow for many of us. Then it was again back to warm days. Late fall can often be a rollercoaster ride. And so it is this year, and not just with the weather. COVID-19 has us all trying to stay in our seat on the ride as we physically and emotionally have ups and downs. The downs are obviously the record high numbers of COVID cases and deaths, while the highs are the vaccines that may be available to us by the end of the year and the many stories of love and compassion.
Through it all let me put everyone’s mind at ease; The Sons of Utah Pioneers is safe and on solid ground and will be here for many generations to come. To meet we need to be creative. Many of our chapters are holding excellent chapter meetings with speakers using the ZOOM platform. This is working well. Treks, both personal and chapter are taking place. Safe distancing and mask wearing is happening to keep trekkers safe. Monuments and memorials are being built and maintained.
The library and office are open and working hard to keep everyone informed and up to date. We are working to create a master list of chapter Zoom meetings and treks on the web site and in the Trailmarker so that members from other chapters can join in with you and share in your pioneer spirit. If every chapter that is having an activity would let us know a month in advance of what is planned we will get it published, please include the ZOOM log in ID and password. As a great actor once said “I’m pulling for you, we’re all in this together”.
In November the Bear Flag was accepted by the SUP and is displayed at our headquarters building. A plaque with a description and historical facts of the flag will soon be placed near the display. Once in place we will have an official dedication and this will become another SUP monument. The Bear Flag would make a great personal or chapter trek. After viewing the flag you could tour the SUP library and offices.
My wife and I took a trek to Pioneer Park in Salt Lake City to see the refurbished and rebuild monument describing the significance of Pioneer Park and the surrounding area. On December 3rd the monument will be dedicated but attendance is limited to accommodate social distancing, face masks and other safety measures. The monument is cared for by the Salt Lake Pioneer chapter. This is an easy and good personal or chapter trek. Salt Lake City has done a lot of work in the park. It now has tennis courts, soccer fields and a playground. The area is safe and the negative reputation of the area is changing. The monument is on the South West corner of 300 West and 300 South, park on 300 South.
I hope your Holiday Season is filled with warmth and happiness as you remember the true meaning of Christmas. As the season often gets hectic, please take time to reflect and remember the Pioneers and to share their story with those around you, and as always; Be Pioneer Strong.
Brad Clayton, 2021 National President