Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Monday, September 15, 2008

Another College Road Trip

Sorry for the "no post zone" weekend; we went off on another college road trip with the boys (including the oldest one who was recently named a National Merit Scholarship Semifinalist -- w00t!), this time to Provo, UT, to tour BYU.

Considering that we're Mormons, we've spent surprisingly little time in Utah, so this was really my first time seeing anything more than a mile from the Interstate. I've heard from several non-Mormons that Utah seems very unwelcoming to those with a more "secular" outlook, so I wanted to see what made Utah (especially outside of SLC) so non-Mormon "unfriendly". Some initial observations:

1) We saw an abandoned building from I-15 that was covered with graffiti, just like you'd find in most other states; then we noticed that all the paintings were of the "Welcome Home Elder Soandso!" variety.

2) We pulled off the Interstate in West Jordan, and quickly saw both a "Hooters" restaurant and a Kwiki-Mart that advertised beer prominently.

3) There were stores open on Sunday morning, but they seemed to have minimal manning and not many customers. (We normally don't buy anything on Sundays, but figured that since we had to buy gas anyway for the trip home we could make an exception; we were looking for Rock Band 2 that just got released yesterday. Ended up buying it at a WalMart in Burley, Idaho, when we stopped for gas.)

4) The locals in Provo were decidely unfriendly to a group of visitors from California on Saturday.

5) Provo has an "underground music scene" -- two clubs a couple doors down from each other in the "old" downtown. The place we went into (to see SubBasket's cousin) had fairly clean bathrooms, so it wasn't really that "underground" in the traditional sense. On the other hand, a group of about 10 young people dressed as zombies did bike past us as we were waiting to get in.

Bottom line -- as a Mormon, I couldn't really tell if a non-Mormon would get an "I'm not welcome" vibe, but my feeling (as a former non-Mormon) was that if you were really looking for someone to disapprove of you, you'd probably find it. I'm sure you'd find that in most other states as well if you went out of your way to display your differences from the prevailing culture. Utah may be as close to a theocracy as we have in the U.S., but it's a benevolent one.

As far as how the "college visit" part of the road trip went, our youngest seemed to like BYU a lot, but our oldest boy is still leaning towards Washington State. We've got a few months left, though.


Blogger Cameron said...

When people say unwelcoming, they generally mean you can't buy liquor at the grocery store. Beer yes, anything harder, no.

9/15/2008 10:19 AM

Blogger Cameron said...

Oh, and 59-0 was very welcoming. The starters didn't even play in the second half.

9/15/2008 10:20 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Catholic, unwelcome just about everywhere (especially in the deep south, where they still say things like "All y'all Cay-tho-lee-ics are goin' ta Hay-ell."), I sympathize.

9/15/2008 10:29 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dude forget all about Utah! Your son should check out BYU In Oahu. Those Mormans got that town locked down tight. Not to mention they own their own town on the North Shore that is so freaking beautiful.It is so funny to be driving down the North Shore on the Kam Hwy and all of a sudden there are white people everywhere.

Its pretty cool! I wish I went to school there.

9/15/2008 10:30 AM

Anonymous Chris said...

Only minor complaint I've ever had is that you can't have more than one beer on your table at a time.

e.g. You are almost finished with your beer and want to order another one while your waiter/waitress is at your table -- you can't until the other one is completely gone. Although it is more of an inconvenience for the server than myself.

That and no beer after midnight at restaurants.

Other than that I like Utah, it's a really beautiful place and I think the people are more than friendly. I'm sure there are some zealots who don't like outsiders but I've never run into any.

Of course living there I would probably have more issues with the booze regulations -- like the availability of craft beers w/ higher alcohol content.

9/15/2008 10:39 AM

Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

BYU is different Joel. Now the fans in Logan would qualify as complete ass-hats in my book.

That, and they had a convicted rapist on their basketball team for a while.

Good job on staying away from Utah State. Send you kid to a good school like Nevada, or any of the good UC schools.


P.s. Good luck finding "Strong Beer" anywhere except at Hill AFB. And I also heard that side-cars are illegal now too!

9/15/2008 3:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Being a non-Mormon but long time Utah visitor, I have to say I have rarely been in a friendlier state. Stationed in Salt Lake City 1972-1974, I met my bride in Salt Lake City. She is a University of Utah grad and we were married in the Post Chapel at Fort Douglas.

Long after I retired from the Navy, and finally retired from working for pay in November 2006 we moved to West Jordan, Utah (a suburb of Salt Lake City.)

I'm still not a Mormon nor is my wife; however, her father's side came out with Brigham Young. I have read and studied the Book of Mormon, and have read the Doctrine and Covenants.

We have been made very welcome in our very Mormon neighborhood. I couldn't ask for a nicer group of people than I have met in Utah.

I have great respect for BYU. Nope, I didn't go there either. My school is Hard Knocks.

Hugh, YNC(SS), USN, Retired

9/15/2008 6:27 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Bottom line -- as a Mormon, I couldn't really tell if a non-Mormon would get an "I'm not welcome" vibe,..."

What does a Mormon look like? And how can they tell if people have a different religion?

Anyway, as for the college choice, the answer is obvious: pick whichever has the best opportunity for sex! The kid is going to have to work for the rest of his life, let him enjoy the next few years.

9/16/2008 8:15 PM


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