Saturday, July 24, 2010

In Zion Once More

Here is a picture of John at our book signing in the Zion bookstore in May. The book signing wasn't at the best time because of our schedule, so we got more questions about the location of the restrooms than about our book. This next week, however, we will trying again at a busier time. Next Wednesday, July 28, starting at 3 p.m., we will be signing "Opening Zion" at the Zion bookstore. If you are anywhere near Zion National Park, please stop in. We would love to talk about the book and the history of the park.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Deseret News Article

An article about the Opening Zion book and its story came out in the Deseret News yesterday. You can read it here. I think the reporter did a fine job, but I find it funny that I am quoted so much when John did most of the talking. John was happy to do the layout for the article.

By the way, we will be having a book signing at Ken Sanders Books in Salt Lake City on Friday May 21, 6 to 9 p.m. during the monthly gallery stroll. Come in and see us!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

90th Anniversary of the Trip

Here is Catherine opening Zion's gate at the small opening ceremony on Saturday May 15, 1920. 90 years ago, this week, our 6 spunky girls were enjoying a week in the park. Last Saturday, John and I took our family to the Union Pacific Railroad station in Salt Lake City to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the girls leaving for their grand adventure. We stood in the empty railroad station and tried to imagine it full of benches and people.

This weekend, we will continue to celebrate. John and I will be traveling to southern Utah. We plan to spend some time wandering Zion on Saturday morning, and maybe we will take a picture of us with our hands in the air near the spot where the gate stood. It is so fun that the days of the month land on the same days as they did in 1920.

Saturday evening, May 15, we will be having our own ceremony, of sorts, to celebrate the occasion. John will be giving a free presentation of the story and book at the Canyon Community Center, 126 Lion Blvd., Springdale. We will be signing books, also. It will be from 6 to 9 p.m. The scrapbooks will be on display. We hope to have a good sized crowd.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Utah Conversations

Tomorrow, May 9, at 5:30 p.m. on KUED, John and I will be making our television debut. We will be talking about Opening Zion on Utah Conversations with Ted Capener. If you don't get KUED, you can watch the episode on the Utah Conversations website. We taped this the week after the book came out in April. We were a bit nervous, and it shows. Overall, we believe it went over well. I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Access Utah

This morning, John and I were interviewed on Utah Public Radio about Opening Zion. We were on the show, Access Utah. You can listen to us here. Lee Austin, the interviewer, had some good questions.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Here It Is!

Hurray! It is finally out in print! We saw our first real copy a week ago at an antique show and had to buy a copy. Our author copies haven't arrived yet, and we didn't want to wait. It took me a week to pin John down long enough to take this picture. He has been carrying this copy around with him everywhere and showing it to anyone who shows the slightest interest. I think he might be excited.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Chauncey Parry

Chauncey Parry was the other big male presence on the trip to Zion. Before the war, Chauncey had gone to the University of Utah and had helped his older brother, Gronway, with running a hotel and automobile stage in Cedar City. The Parry brothers were contracted to provide automobile transportation between the railroad station in Lund, west of Cedar City, to Zion Canyon. After serving in the Army Air Service as a pilot, Chauncey returned to Salt Lake City where he taught school and dated university women including the University of Utah's president's daughter. Soon Southern Utah called him back, and he was again running the automobile stage. He helped Eyre Powell to organize the trip and probably introduced Eyre to the idea of using the Sigma Chi girls.

After the Zion trip in 1920, Chauncey continued to run the automobile stage to the national park until 1926 when the Utah Parks Company bought him out. Gronway and Chauncey continued to supervise the transportation for another 17 years after that. Chauncey started looking to Hollywood to find ways to promote Southern Utah. The Parry brothers offered their services to moviemakers filming in Utah. Chauncey built a hotel in Kanab and offer Hollywood room, board, transportation and beautiful scenery. Hollywood took him up on the offer, and the Parry Lodge became the center for the movie business in Southern Utah. Chauncey became friends with many actors including Spencer Tracy and Clark Gable. Chauncey died at the young age of 47 after a car accident that happened while taking his daughter to school.

Chauncey's daughter told us that he fell in love with his future wife after her horse kicked dirt on him at a state fair. She also said that he has a grandson who looks just like him.

I would like to thank Janet Seegmiller for all the information on Chancey Parry. I hope I got it all right.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Eyre Powell

I thought that I would say something about the men who accompanied the girls on their trip to Zion.

Eyre Powell was the organizer and photographer of the event. He was a press agent for the Union Pacific railroad and felt that the creation of the new national park could be a great opportunity to promote the use of the railroad for tourists wishing to see Utah's natural wonders. It was his idea to take a group of girls down to the park and photograph them among the rocks. He stayed the whole week with the girls and took many photos. He was the target of many of Anne's practical jokes.

After the trip, Eyre worked to broadcast the trip in as many newspapers around the country as he could. He continued to work as a publicity agent for the Union Pacific for several years later and increased the nation's awareness of southern Utah's natural wonders. He was living in Los Angeles during this time and was soon also helping to promote the beauties of Southern California. He handled the publicity for the 1932 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, and he supervised the photography of the Tournament of Roses parade for a quarter of a century. In 1949, just a few weeks before he died, a television was set up in his hospital room so that he could watch the parade. He lapsed into a coma after the parade. He was only 57 years old when he died.

note: When we were writing the book, we added short biographies on the participants of the trip. These were originally going to include Eyre Powell and Chauncey Parry, but then we decided to just include the girls because this story is really their story.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

It Is Almost Here

The U of U Press sent off the final manuscript off to the printer this week. All the pre-press work is done. It has been exciting to see our work get closer and closer to reality. We can't wait to get the final product into our grubby little hands! This week John discovered that the book has made it onto It can now be pre-ordered. The released date has been set for April 30. The U of U Press also has their spring/summer catalog out with a nice write up on it.

Soon I will post a little about the men who came along on the trip.

Here are some links:
U of U Press