Thursday, September 3, 2009
ONION DAYS PAST
Now everything is so fast paced and everyone wants everything easy or else done for them. No one seems to want to take the time to volunteer and help others like they used to. Since our Annual Onion Days starts this week, I wanted to reminisce about it.
To go back, way back, I was reading a souvenir program of the Golden Onion Days Homecoming that wasback inthe late 30s.It wasso interesting to look at the adsand the enthusiasm that people had for our celebration. In the program, it said that the Golden Onion Days was born of a spirit of FRIENDLINESS and GOODWILL. It was developed into one of the most outstanding celebrations in the inter-mountain country.
In those days, the Mayor was the general chairman of the celebration with different ones from the City Council that were the 2 vice presidents and secretary. They called together all civic leaders about 3 months before the celebration and they delegated jobs out to each. They were known as the executive committee. They met in regular sessions to work out details and plans for the annual fete. The committee chairmen in turn selected what help they needed to do the work of their respective committees. Hundreds of local citizens took turns working on the different committees. Each year some new attractions would be suggested and added and some new ideas worked in that helped make the celebration grow.
The big feature then was the horse races conducted with all the pomp and ceremony of the big time tracks. Those races attracted state-wide attentions.
In those days we had Arrowhead Resort in Benjamin that was really a big part of Payson's activities also. They had abig dance hall and all the dances were held there with big name bands and that was a big part of the celebration. What happened to the dances? (besides Arrowhead being torn down). No one seems to dance any more.
We used to also have the Firemen Balls, Gold and Green Balls and others. Now it seems dancing has gone away.
It was years ago that our Onion Days Parade was HUGE. Every ward and every civic organization and every store had a float in the parade. Some were small and some were huge and always beautiful. It is to bad that things got so expensive that some of the businesses and wards just couldn't afford to make them.
They even had boxing and wrestling matchesback then. Sounds fun. Theyhad moviesat the old Star Theater continuallyduring the celebration. The programwould change each day. Theyhad picnic lunches from12-2 in the park on Sundays. That was in the days when we had Sunday School in morning and Sacrament meeting in the evening.
The program I read was so fun. The ads were simple and many of the stores were in town for many years. Like Wilson's Style Shoppe (Sue Brown's grandmother and mother ran it) Don's Cafe, remember Don Cloward and his great cafe with such good food. It was where Bob's Cafe that went to MiRancerito Cafe to The Mexican Market and now has beentorn down for Walgreens. They had Farmer's Mercantile store ad, Chase Lumber (their phone number was 127--remember those fun old phone numbers where you picked up the receiver and the live operator would say, "Number Please" and you would give it and theywould ring it for you--loved it) There was Page Furniture Co. (where Morris Quilting is now) theyadvertised G.E. and Norge Refrigerators and R.C.A radios. No TVs in those days)Snow's Modern Cabins. (those are the few you see by Crouch's. They were nice cabins theyrented out) UtahPoultryAss'n(east ofthe One ManBand where the parking lot is behind Wells Fargo and the Getaway Furniture store) Some of those old stores bring back memories.
Not only picnics in the Park on Sundays but they had baseball games on Sundays. They always had a big homecoming program at the Tabernacle (where Central Bank is now) on Sunday evening.
Inclosing I would like to sayto you the public ingeneral, the successofeveryonesendeavors will be measured by the good time we expect everyone to have at our celebration and isn't it fun to look back and remember when....