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Our Neighbors

Meet The Wildflower Kristi Gelas

Local businesswoman Kristi Gelas had a toddler at home, was pregnant with her second child, and worked a busy corporate job in administration and business management when she recognized that her life needed an overhaul to balance it all. Like many new moms, the struggle of juggling family life and career was going to take some creativity. Kristi’s background was in the corporate world, most recently as a business manager for a multi-million dollar company, working on auditing, payroll, invoicing, and financial reporting.…

Hometown Heroes

By Amanda Blazzard With the words, “Send the kids’ iPads and chargers home with them today. Just in case.” spoken calmly by my principle, I knew something was wrong — very wrong — we don’t just send iPads home with our Kindergarten students. Little did I know how current events were about to rock everyone’s world. A WORLD CHANGED FOREVER The week of March 9, 2020 was one for the records. We began with the time change messing with our sleep cycles, by mid-week the population was wolfishly hoarding toilet paper under a…

SPACEDØUT

A little over one year ago, three students from Wasatch high school assembled after a local talent show to play music together, and instant chemistry was born. Not just musically, but personally, as the boys immediately became great friends. Hien Maeda (vocals and guitar) 18, Joseph Nielson (bass) 18, and Coleman Atkinson (drums) 18, make up the three-member band called SPACEDØUT. They are passionate about what they do and have been honored to be able to show Heber Valley what they have to offer the music community. Their…

Jared Rigby

What does “Toy Story,” “Robin Hood,” and “The Andy Griffith Show” have in common? Sheriffs. Wasatch County Sheriff Jared Rigby is much better than a fictional character from a movie or old TV show. Guilty of incredible credentials, impeccable character, and indisputable concern and innovation, Jared just finished his first year as sheriff. An Open Case The sheriff’s rigorous responsibilities include; Correction and Court Security, including the jail, civil papers, the 911 Center, Search and Rescue, Emergency Management,…

Redmond Life

By Andrew Berthrong Forget what you think you know about mining — of hunched figures hammering away in the dark danger of a narrow shaft, of the constant risk of cave-ins or the precious vein petering out, of the miners’ strong-set faces streaked with black dust, their tired eyes, of canaries in cages. Salt Mining, particularly at Redmond Life, is different in almost every way. This trend-bucking is something of a habit at Redmond Life. Its salt mine in Redmond, Utah, is not only a picture of cleanliness and safety…

Preserving The Outdoor Way Of Life

Opening the door to his newly-acquired commercial space at 350 S. Main Street on a cold February day in Heber, Jim looked around and whispered, “What am I going to do here?” Retracing family roots in the hope of creating a better connection to the outdoors, Jim Roach moved his family from Salt Lake City to Midway on New Year’s Day 2016. A characteristic widely shared in our community, Jim’s desire to connect with nature represents an outdoor way of life we all want to preserve in the Heber Valley. Likewise, he wanted…

Light Speed

Written by Ben Light with contributing editor Julie Moulton You might know Ben Light from throwing down at 200-mile races; he completed the Triple Crown of 200s in 2017 and has paced, volunteered or ran all three races every year since their debut in the ultra-running scene six years ago. You might have heard about Ben tackling the Spine® Race, a brutal 268-mile winter ultra in the United Kingdom with a notoriously-low finisher rate. He was one of the first Americans to take on the race, and when the

Adam Posaki is Berspar

At just 17 years old, Adam Posacki honed Bergspar’s simple fashion and clean look. The burgeoning clothing company’s inspiration stems from Adam’s experience moving here four years ago, when the beauty of our valley struck him. However, beauty and vision do not start businesses — and Adam wanted to succeed. In 2018, Adam launched a new clothing brand that’s designed to represent the outdoor lifestyle of the Heber Valley. To help “light the flame and scale as fast as possible,” Adam participated in Wasatch High

Crossing the T’s with Ty and Ty

In the Heber Valley, “Crossing the T’s” has nothing to do with being meticulous, penmanship or naval warfare. Just as exciting as Michael Jordan’s 1995 NBA return or the 2004 World Series in which Boston broke the Curse of the Bambino, this Wasatch High original show has made a comeback to our local radio station KTMP. Wasatch Class of 2006 alumni Tyler Moss and Tyler Baird, now teachers and coaches, are the hosts of “Crossing the T’s with Ty & Ty,” a local radio show that spotlights Wasatch High School

First Responders

We hear the stories of running into burning buildings while everyone else runs out, saving people from horrific crash scenes and dramatic rescues, but our first responders do so much more that goes unnoticed and underappreciated. Wasatch County Fire is doing everything they can to protect and keep our community safe. They host wildland fire and emergency management meetings, run mock disaster drills, conduct safety inspections and speak to countless groups that visit the firehouse. Many of their daily activities

Tread Lightly

The transition from winter dormancy to tender spring awakenings has a soft spot in my heart. Our mountain desert environment is so harsh, and yet the most delicate and intricate flora and fauna have somehow become specialized enough to survive our seasonal transitions. The annual rebirth is a miracle in my eyes. When those frail and dainty, newly-emerged little shoots start to stick their heads out from the left-over blanket of expired vegetation of seasons past, I cannot help but think about their – albeit

Christine Chappell: Sewing Something to Smile About

Christine Chappell has turned an ordinary fiberglass gas station mascot into a corner craze. Heber’s herbivore, aptly named Octane, delights young and old with each wardrobe change. From seasonal to promotional outfits, this talented and creative seamstress has brought many smiles and laughs to residents’ routine drive-bys and visitors passing through. The owner of Mountainland One Stop, Mohamed Ahmed Mohamed, placed the Sinclair green dinosaur on the corner of his lot at the prominent intersection of 1200 South and

Once Upon a Story Time With Miss Sally

The Wasatch County Library claims fame to the one and only Miss Sally, the children’s librarian and program director with an enormous passion and love for literacy and children. And when those things come to together, something extraordinary happens. “Literature is magical,” says Sally Baird. She moved to Heber in 2005 and her first visit to the library just happened to be the building’s one-year anniversary. She inquired about story time and was told it was done by moms who volunteered once a week. Kristen Bowcutt,

Wigglish

Whether you say “Wigg-lish” or “Wiggle-ish,” there’s no denying that Wigglish is a different kind of toy store. It is, in fact, Heber Valley’s only specialty toy store. Amy Schulthess learned about the wide world of imaginative and creative play while living in Paris, France, with her husband and two young children. After moving to the Heber Valley with her family, she saw the need for a great toy store in the area. So, she put her knowledge and love of special and unique toys to work. Quickly thereafter, Wigglish toy…

Winter Warrior

Greg Tayler, MD, a family practice physician at Heber Valley Hospital, is no stranger to endurance sports. As a student at East High in the 80s, he was a gifted cross-country and track athlete — but all that changed when he landed a job at Guthrie Bicycles in Salt Lake City and traded his track spikes for bike spokes. Guthrie Bicycles sponsored the 1983 East Canyon Triathlon and encouraged its employees to participate. At the time, triathlons weren’t as well-known as they are today — it was a burgeoning sport that…

Layer Upon Layer Of Snow

One of my favorite life moments is to wake up on a cold, crisp winter morning only to find that a new, deep layer of snow is covering the existing landscape. I love to gaze upon an unblemished field of light, fluffy powder. I adore that fresh coating of pure white; clinging to the trees and softening the rocky summit line of our surrounding mountain landscape — only noticeable after the clouds break and the light returns with all of its blinding clarity. I delight in how the snow drifts and covers everything that I once

The Pumpkin Man

Now in his tenth year of growing, Jamie Johnson is finishing up his second season in Midway and will compete in the 13th Annual Utah Giant Pumpkin Growers Weigh-Off at  Thanksgiving Point on Saturday, Sept. 29, 2018. His largest pumpkin to date? A 1,220-pound giant. One of his favorite memories is when he appeared on NBC’s comedy “The Marriage Ref” to defend his pumpkin obsession against his wife. Not only did he win the argument but Jerry Seinfeld serenaded him with a song he wrote, “The Pumpkin Man!” Jamie’s been…

History In The Making

The autumn landscape is a perpetual sequence of change. Within a slight glimmer of time the heat of the high desert summer passes, days grow shorter, the landscape itself explodes with a celebration of color and morphs into a preparatory state suitable for the endurance of the season to come. As we assembled this volume of Heber Valley Life magazine I have seen a likeness between the autumnal transition and the condition of the Heber Valley. The Heber Valley stands in its own transitional period. The acknowledgement of…

Branding In The Heber Valley

Livestock branding is an age-old technique that dates back to ancient Egypt and Rome, where brands were used to signify ownership. Europe adopted the practice during the Middle Ages and the technique was later imported to the Americas by Spanish cowboys. Creating A Brand Back in the day, ranchers would record brands in a book they carried in their pockets. As brands became more widely used, laws were passed requiring registration and inspection. Today, Utah ranchers can either design their own unique brand or choose one…

Brent + Mary

As the Sons of the San Joaquin’s deep, rich baritones harmonized to “Shenandoah,” BYU’s Philharmonic Orchestra responded, their melodramatic violins rising up louder than ever, drawing out the night’s climax. The ocean of cowboy hats in the Wasatch High School auditorium was transmogrified to a place where western tunes met classical music, creating a musical movement through the combination of distinct traditions. And it was during that concert that Brent and Mary Kelly — with tears in their eyes — knew they were part of…

Richard Bonner

Born and raised in Midway, Richard is one of the many local residents who carries the Bonner surname. Unlike the rest of the Bonner clan, Richard can stake claim to one other title: Wasatch High School’s first state wrestling champion. Today’s Heber Valley residents call the three red houses that don the corner of Main Street and 100 East in Midway “Racehorse Lane.” During Richard Bonner’s childhood, however, these buildings were simply “home.” From his time helping out on his Uncle Floyd’s farm as a child, Richard was no…

Who Are The People In Your Neighborhood?

The seasonal transition from spring to summer in the mountains is a magical time. The deciduous landscape itself morphs from sterile dormancy to a vibrant, colorful and delightful palate of texture and color. The air is scented with the fragrance of blooming flowers, the dampness of the river bottom and the crisp cleanness that drapes our mountain summits. Children can be found playing in the streets, riding bicycles and celebrating the open-ended freedom of long summer days with limited obligations. Yardwork commences and…

Monday Midway Cruiser Cruise

If you happen to pass through Midway on a Monday evening, don’t be surprised if you encounter a swarm of locals of all ages happily buzzing through this bucolic, pastoral mountain village on their Midway Cruiser. Welcome to the Monday Midway Cruiser Cruise, a grassroots “slow ride” that began two summers ago with a few invites via text message and resulted in 40 enthusiasts gathering for a casual bike ride by the end of the day. Midway-based filmmaker Steve Olpin is evasive about the genesis of the Cruiser Cruise but…

Just Serve

If you’ve tried in the past to find service opportunities in the Heber Valley but were unsuccessful, you’re not alone. It’s not that there aren’t opportunities out there — historically they’ve just been hard to find. Now, thanks to JustServe.org and a group of Heber Valley residents, you’re just a few clicks away from serving your community. JustServe is a website that lists local service opportunities and helps make serving our communities easier. Anyone can go to the site, type in his or her zip code, and dozens of…

Bringing Home the Bacon

I’m often asked as a law enforcement officer, what was the worst call I have ever handled. I thought I’d take a few moments and tell you about my personal worst. This happened when I was fairly new on patrol in our area and was out looking to save the world one speeder at a time. Things were slow and I was essentially driving in circles when I heard dispatch send another officer on an animal problem. Apparently there was a pig in a resident’s yard that would not let her enter her house. Naturally, I couldn’t resist checking…

Nine Decades + Countless Heads

The morning air is frigid and the sun is barely spilling across the ground as Calvin Giles, Calvin’s friend, my husband and I pull on to Calvin’s plot of land in the North Fields. Calvin’s cattle hear the truck coming and make their way to greet us. It’s an early Saturday morning, and while most Heber Valley residents are still sleeping, Mr. Giles has been up for hours going through his morning routine — the same routine he’s had for nine decades.

A Helping Hand

At the Heber Food Pantry, it’s about more than just giving away free food. Bryce Hendley, the pantry’s leader, says the pantry is all about the “spirit of community giving and loving.” As the second largest food pantry run by Utah Community Action in the state, that’s a lot of giving and loving.

Still Striking 50 Years Later

As you walk into Holiday Lanes, it’s like you’ve stepped back in time. Peach, turquoise, and gold adorn the back wall above the 12 bowling lanes. Faux wood paneling surrounds the sound of falling pins. There are no flashing lights. No big screen televisions. No lounge chairs. Nothing glitzy about it. However most days, you’ll be greeted by Owner Phyllis Christensen.

Derrick Boudwin

Derrick Boudwin was 18 when he was diagnosed with a degenerative eye disease called Retinitis Pigmentosa, which robs people of their eyesight. The doctor told him he would eventually have to deal with losing his vision, but he didn’t know it would completely change him. Music turned out to be the key to lifting his sadness.