Jay Meehan: Lofty goals | ParkRecord.com

Jay Meehan: Lofty goals

Jay Meehan, Park Record columnist

It being Independence Day weekend and all, I had a notion to flaunt mine — my independence, that is. I could always think out of the box and stay home. Since I never did much, there was certainly plenty to catch up on.

Maybe I could make a bit of progress on one or more of the dozen or so books that are scattered about, or as I like to say "unshelved." I’m tempted to draw spray-paint outlines around each volume (body) like they do at crime scenes.

I should never be allowed near a bookstore. I treat Ken Sanders Rare Books down in Salt Lake like a supermarket, wandering from produce to baked goods to the coffee aisle, not to mention the assorted beverage locations.

Just to give you a notion as to the specific neurotic sidebars we’re dealing with, here are a couple of recent examples of my latest KSRB shopping frenzy, exhibits, if you will, in the prosecution’s case.

"Harry Smith: The Avant-Garde in the American Vernacular," is obviously not from the organic vegetable section. For some reason, I couldn’t live without that. And "Jack London on the Road: The Tramp Diary and Other Hobo Writings?" That’s right, mixed in with the gluten-free fudge brownies.

There would never be enough time in just one three-day weekend to pick up said books and put them away and, utilizing the resultant momentum, continue picking up and putting away. No, we couldn’t have that. Such a can-do attitude, no doubt, would send mixed messages to those centers of my brain that deal with sloth and melancholy.

Plus, there were plenty of other distractions available to keep me entertained in lieu of my normal not-very-independent itinerary of a Bloody Maria breakfast with friends where Park City’s 4th-of-July parade entries are judged by smirk and nod followed by prescribed doses of beer and rugby at City Park.

There was always my Dodgers, an underachieving lot if there ever was one. And the much-anticipated Women’s World Cup Soccer Final with the American side taking on defending champion Japan. And the Grateful Dead "FareTheeWell" concerts from Chicago.

Not to mention keeping my finger on the pulse of the Mountain Accord negotiations while maintaining my Climate Justice coefficient-of-anger levels so that my hypertension meds have something to do in their spare time.

With all that in play, my confidence level developed a pituitary problem. I kept repeating the mantra "We didn’t need no stinking badges!" So naturally I whipped up a Bloody Maria to celebrate.

All that is just to say that, over this past weekend anyway, my independence got a big shot in the arm from an internal endorphin feedback loop that, once triggered, never looked back. Sleep, to be sure, didn’t have a permanent seat at the table.

Initially, reports of a readjustment of Mountain Accord priorities that seemed to be more environmentally friendly than previous "blueprints" in controlling development in the Central Wasatch began to trickle down. That, plus news that the Episcopal Church would be divesting itself of fossil fuel holdings brought additional neurotransmitters into play. I began feeling "doped-up."

Speaking of lofty goals, how ’bout the final, soaring, seemingly from a mile out, punctuation score of Carli Lloyd’s "hat-trick" that put the American women up 4-0 in their championship match against Japan. An astounding display that not even the 8-0 drubbing the Mets put on my Dodgers could dilute.

And how ’bout another how ’bout for 50 years of the Grateful Dead!? Having caught their equally quite-elegant yet quite-earthy shtick more than a few times during the late, great, ’60s, I never became a "Dead Head" in the ’70s sense that I went on the road to follow the band.

I caught them at the Fillmore in San Francisco on New Year’s Eve 1966, at the Monterey Pop Festival the following June, in Golden Gate Park later that summer, and, in ensuing years, the "Cheetah" at the end of the pier in Santa Monica with those upstarts The Doors opening, the Hollywood Bowl with the Jefferson Airplane, and more than a few "Love-Ins" over time in Griffith Park and elsewhere. There were also two shows out at ParkWest and one of three at the Delta Center during my Utah years.

Listening to portions of their final three performances from Chicago over satellite radio this past weekend was a gas. It’s one impressive body of work, to be sure, with characters to match! And percussionist Mickey Hart’s final words to the fans at show’s end to "please be kind" may well be the loftiest goal of them all. Thanks Jerry!

Jay Meehan is a culture junkie and has been an observer, participant, and chronicler of the Park City and Wasatch County social scenes for more than 40 years.