22 October 2009

Jerusalem, Utah 4

Cynthia Glad is a student of photography professor Amy Jorgensen at Snow College where she is majoring in art. She is a 38 year-old mother of six who interviewed and photographed three of the families living in Jerusalem, Utah. Cynthia lives in the town of Moroni only a five-minute drive from Jerusalem.

She wrote: “I found as a talked to the residents, they were excited as well. I think this gives one more human connection to the rest of the world that sometimes these little places are lacking. They are happy and content in their lives, secluded for the most part by choice. But to know that there are people just like them in communities across the USA and in Israel is eye opening. Even though the initial connection is linked only by the name of their community, they will find other similarities with the people and lives of those other places. It makes the world a little smaller. Kind of like Disney's ‘It's a Small World After All.’

One couple spent many years taking their children ‘to the farm’ on weekends and holidays. When the father retired and sold his chiropractic business, they went to the farm to live. They own several acres and have a gigantic garden. There are bags and boxes of fruits and vegetables throughout the kitchen, as well as bottles and racks of dried and processed foods. The night I visited with them, the pressure canner was busy at work on the stove. All these are signs of the efforts they have put into the land and the reward for their hard work. They have one pasture that every evening fills up with about a hundred deer. They lead a busy life that at the same time carries a sense of quiet. The land that Jerusalem, Utah, sits on has been in the mother’s family since the mid 1800’s when the first settler Lawrence Christensen moved there. Laura Phelps, another great-granddaughter, says of her great-grandfather, ‘Someone asked him the name of his little town and he said, Little Jerusalem. It has been Jerusalem ever since.’ Of the six homes in the community, one is vacant, two are “move-ins” and the other three have family ties with Lawrence Christensen.

Jack Bailey drove by in his truck. He is the great-grandson of Lawrence Christensen. He was born and raised in Jerusalem. His family home had burned down many years ago. He now has a home that sits on many acres and is nestled against the mountain where he raised his kids. Jack is 82 years old and has been farming all his life. Jack has only about 30 head of sheep left on his farm. He said, ‘I’m about ready to give it up.’”

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