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  • Writer's pictureAmyanne rigby

A salute to summer- Chevy trucks, snow cones, and baseball

Our ’71 Chevy made its final drive down Cedar’s Main Street last week (Next week it will make a new home with a vintage car collector). Perhaps, you saw us? That was Rigby and me in the orange restored Chevrolet with the load of Cedar National 12-year-old boys in the back. Baseball, trucks, and snow cones, the 4th of July in Cedar City at its finest.

You see, the Chevy is not just a truck to us. In 1971, the Chevy was a gift from son to father. Floyd gave it to Eldro so Eldro could hunt “Deer Mountain” in the fall. Eldro ran Cedar City’s college farm beginning May 10, 1937 for $80 a month. His work continued as farm superintendent for twenty years. Eldro was an integral part of the Branch Agricultural College (now Southern Utah University) and Cedar City. Floyd spent his first seven years of life on that farm. By 1971, Eldro had transitioned to near retirement and the Chevy was his pride and joy. Rigby and I have hauled that truck with us for our 25 plus years of marriage- The Chevy is a symbol. A symbol of family, memories, hard work, and Grandpa Eldro. It was a joy to drive it down main for its final bow and watch Rigby rev the engine one last time.

The Chevy’s precious cargo was a load of boys who love to play baseball. If you have been around Cedar City long enough, you know it is a baseball town. Glancing through the parade line up, I noticed familiar names on other All-Star uniforms- Garrett, Corry, Higbee, and Tom just to name a few. I watched, and I played ball with their parents a generation ago.

As a mother of four sons (all little leaguers) and the sister of four brothers (all little leaguers), I have spent plenty of time at Vetrans' park. My sister, Wendy, and I suited up with the boys in those days as well. Last summer, the silence of the baseball park haunted Cedar City as little league baseball put on its own “mask” and social distanced for a season. This spring, the sound of the baseball bat smackin’ a few “dingers” awakened a sense of normalcy for me while bringing back so many memories as I watched the baby of our brood step up to bat at what was once the Elk’s field. Baseball, in fact is synonymous with summertime.

When I was a kid, snow cones were forty cents at Cedar City Baseball Park’s Snack Shack. The pickins’ from flavors were a little slimmer then- root beer, lime, orange, and cherry. On a rare, but good day, I had four dimes in my pocket and I would treat myself to a snow cone. I always chose cherry, and I slurped that snow cone until the very last drop.

Slurping snow cones, playing baseball and listening for the rev of an engine- symbols of Joy, family, and memories. Symbols of July in Cedar City.

Epilogue- I grew up on baseball. I mean this literally. Our red brick house which nurtured my family of nine was a stone's throw from the ball park. I fell asleep to the sound of summer- the baseball hitting the bat. Red dirt and baseball games were my summer companions and I loved it. It seemed strange to have a summer without baseball last year. Little League Baseball like most everything in the world last year was a casualty of COVID-19.

I enjoyed watching these 12 boys slide their gloves on and pull their bats out for the 12 year old all star team. I loved our three coaches- one was my husband, one was my brother, and one was our son. A big shout out to all three of them. Thanks Rigby for giving up what little "spare" time you have and the mountain time you love! Thanks for doing it one last time for our son, Maleck- our baby boy! Thanks to my brother Chris who shared his years of expertise with these boys (he played college ball, coached boys and girls high school ball and has coached recreation and travel ball for years). His hours of service to the youth of Cedar City are endless. There has always been something poetic about watching him on the field. And thanks especially to our son Madsen who lost his senior year of baseball( thanks, COVID) , but jumped back on the field this little league season and shared his love of baseball with these boys.

Life is hard, but somehow the baseball diamond makes it easier. Somehow on that red dirt things make a little more sense! Happy Summer.

Enjoy the baseball photos from the All Star Tourney- special thanks to Rigby, my brother Chris, and our son Madsen for coaching.


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