I recently finished up a three week trip by car across the US visiting National Parks. It was an _amazing_ experience seeing Mesa Verde, Zion, Arches and Moab, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and Mt. Rushmore. Plus I had some time in-between to rest/refit at my parents place in northern Utah, where, it turns out, they have really good mountain biking.
Along the way, I noticed _MANY_ small towns with war memorials right by the highway. I saw tanks, aircraft, jeeps as centerpieces of these memorials. Some were ornate; others were in dustbowls; still others in grassy areas by rivers. That sort of thing. These were always a welcome sight.
At one point in the trip, I found myself in a cemetery in Monroe, Utah, visiting the grave of my grandparents. Monroe is situated in the middle/central part of the state, it is as “cowboy” as it gets in a “cowboy” state, and it is 200 or miles from large population centers like Salt Lake or St. George. It is the kind of place that writers describe as “hardscrabble.” To me, it’s dusty and more than a little shitty. But that’s Monroe, the birthplace of my grandfather. After paying respects to my grandparents, I turned to leave and noticed a B-17 image as part of a grave stone. That image is included here. It says that Robert Hal Parker flew 35 combat missions as part of the 401 Bomb Group in World War II. Some basic web sleuthing reveals that Parker came home from the war, became a dentist, and served in his church for many years.
I also had the chance to visit the Hill Air Force Base Aviation Museum just outside Ogden, Utah. I’ve written about this place before in other posts but wanted to add a few more pix to the collection. Plus there is a pix showing the outside of Smith and Edwards (The Country Boy’s Store) which is pretty much a half surplus, half Walmart kind of place. It is easy to get lost in the surplus section. Sign mounted to top of Sherman Tank? What ever works. Enjoy.