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Ravell Call, Deseret News Archives
Salt Lake Temple and Brigham Young Statue.

Pignanelli & Webb: Summer in Utah is nice — dry heat, few bugs, water recreation and an extra holiday in July. In the spirit of Pioneer Day and reflecting on our heritage, we update an old column and provide a “re-enactment” of Brother Brigham’s entry into the valley using modern technology, including texts, tweets and email messages from political personalities. Just emerged from the mountains. What beauty and what potential. We should all give thanks to Heavenly Father for our deliverance. But I must say that I am exhausted and feel poorly. Brother Brigham, I have what you need — vitamins, antioxidants, all sorts of alternative remedies and a new “Promised Land” CD you can buy to celebrate the arrival. Who are these brothers and sisters atop small, strange four-wheel vehicles screaming as they drive through pristine wilderness with guns and flags? They are divine warriors of light fighting the evil BLM and satanic federal government. They’re ready for Johnston’s Army! Sounds like we need to institute a legal structure in this new territory. Yeah, let’s forbid our legal officers from befriending shady characters who own fancy buggies and offer trips to beautiful resorts. Just proclaimed, “This is the place.” Now we must organize ourselves. Praise the Lord! Well, whatever we organize, you better make sure it's a republic and not a democracy. And our schools must avoid any hint of the satanic Common Core. I have a wagonload of copies of the Constitution. We didn’t have room for food or clothes, so we might need to borrow some, but I am warmed by the wisdom of the Founding Fathers. We made it to the only tree in the valley. I will relax under the shade, seek refreshment, and await for our brothers and sisters to gather. Need refreshment? We sense a business opportunity with dark carbonated bubbly liquid that is low in calorie but very addictive. Remember our brothers and sisters on bicycles are the chosen blessed who can travel anywhere without the rules required of wagons. Those who park wagons in my city can expect a hefty fee. Bicyclists are the true soldiers and handmaidens of the Lord. Where are the reporters in this wilderness territory? I have wisdom to impart. We will establish a colony of the true faithful in Utah Valley and declare ourselves independent, in thought and culture, from you Salt Lake City infidels. The really smart and savvy will go to Park City, where we will one day view independent cinema and slide down snowhills on skinny boards. I am heading north and I demand we receive the same treatment of government largesse as those in the valley. Brother Ralph Okerlund and I will establish colonies in rural areas … where we will raise our families in bucolic paradise. We are a frugal people who respect the land and air quality and we should travel efficiently in group wagons at everyone else’s expense. I have arrived at a gentle part of the valley and have designated the spot for corner of Temple streets. Temple? You must mean the new baseball stadium. I will start marking the diamond. I get to throw the first pitch. You know, I can throw left handed and right handed. I can help organize the town and area. I see us being recognized as the best-managed territory. Ha! Sounds like an inaction figure to me. What? Rookies! Only a private sector veteran with big ideas can offer a real vision. So that commerce may thrive in the Land of Deseret, we must establish a bank … how about Zions Bank? Fabulous idea! This Zions Bank can be an Ensign to the world of good works and community service. Wait! This valley needs a bank with a name that inspires confidence … how about First Security? Plus, we have an idea for plastic cards that provide credit. I am sure both institutions will coexist in peace and harmony. Help! The faithful are fighting over whether a handful of the select or the great unwashed determine party nominees. This is why we need two newspapers. The first to be established by the original pioneers and the second to provide self-righteous blather why we are all wrong. This is a time for celebration and a prayer of thanks. Oh no! We’re in Mexican territory without documentation. I hope the Mexicans let us have buggy driving privileges, work permits, our children get in-state tuition, and our babies have citizenship. We have cities, counties, special districts, overlapping services. Can’t we bring order to this valley?

Comment on this story Frank and LaVarr here. Brother Brigham, who cares about politics or parades! We just want to say thanks for another summer holiday. What a mess! Will anyone notice if I go on to San Diego?

Republican LaVarr Webb is a political consultant and lobbyist. Previously he was policy deputy to Gov. Mike Leavitt and a Deseret News managing editor. Democrat Frank Pignanelli is a Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist and political adviser. Pignanelli served 10 years in the Utah House of Representatives, six years as House minority leader.