Archive for July, 2008

Dinnerware and weeds.

Friday, July 25th, 2008

I was once told that dinnerware doesn’t do well in woodfired kilns. I guess I forgot that. I finished trimming thirty six dinner plated today. I’ll make the salad plates and soup bowls starting tomorrow. They felt good. I like very much the repetitiveness of the process.
These plates were woodfired last year. I rather like the way the woodkiln finishes them. THe current bunch will be out of the kiln in time for our September 13 open house sale.
Lee and I spent some time weeding in the garden late this evening. It was really nice.

Green Jacket

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

In the mid to late nineteenth century my great great grand father John Bennion (a Mormon polygamist) sent his two youngest wives to settle Rush Valley in western Utah. These two “sister wives” shared a small home dug into the side of a hill in what is now called Bennion Canyon. This was a hard life for two young women with several small children. One person who came to their aid was a local Goshute chieftain called Green Jacket. GJ invited the Bennions to move off of the hill side where they had dug in and into the juniper groves near the creek in the valley to the east. In 1929 my father’s grandfather Isreal Bennion built a house near where the young women had lived with the Indians and started a ranmch there that is still run by members of my family. The ranch has always been called Green Jacket. On more than a couple of occasions GJ had saved the lives of my family members. He was like a guardian angel to us. GJ was fond of attending the Mormon church services in nearby Vernon. On one occasion his gun which he almost always carried discharged in church killing the old man. He was buried on the hill overlooking the ranch.
Yesterday Lee and I drove out to Vernon for a family reunion and up to the ranch to visit GJ’s grave. It was a fine time. I brought with me a feather that had been used to fan my father as he was passing out of this life anf placed it in the tree where GJ is buried. It was was my way of bringing word or Owen’s death and burial to this place where my earliest memories with him had been.
When I was born in Salt Lake City my parents brought me home to Green Jacket into the little house there that my father had built just the year before. My earliest memories of this life were there at the place where my family has farmed or lived for five generations.
The stone marker that I and Alan Mitchell placed on Green Jacket’s grave a few years ago.
The wooden marker placed near the grave almost half a century ago by Salt Lake area boy scouts.
The view of the ranch and valley from the grave site.

Catching up

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Well I have not been much of a blogger for the past six weeks or so. Life gets gong and it is hard to sit down to the keyboard in the summer time. Upon returning from the river I got right into whipping our garden into shape, building fences and a slew of other honey-dos. It has been a busy time with out much time spent at the pottery. I had fired three times in succession right before we left for the river. The last firing was left in the kiln as there was no room in the shop for more work.
Here are the long cooled pots from that last early June firing.
Tall oval pots for flowers or something.
Three bowls…my favorite thing to make.
A long oval dish for baking or planting.

Every summer Zina runs a ranch camp for girls. Birch Creek Service Ranch was in full swing when we returned and Zina’s girls session started right up.
Lee and I did a number of things with the girls. I lead them up Canal Canyon where we removed dead fallen trees from some of Lee’s favorite riding trails. I made and fired pottery with the girls and Lee taught a pie making workshop. The girls also came over and helped Lee with her chicken coop.

We went over to Nephi and took our old neighbor Katie Tervort out for some Mexican food.

I have spent the last few days reclaiming scrap clay and am now ready to start making pots again. It will be good to get into it. The tourists have been very good to us lately and I am getting low on inventory. I’ll probably fire a couple of times in early September and then go n the river again for a couple of weeks returning in early October.

June Charter 2008

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Lee and I returned three weeks ago from our annual grand Canyon charter trip with our girls and my brother Howard and his family. This is a trip that we put together every year in mid june through Tour West, a licensed Grand Canyon outfitter. Next year’s trip is already starting to fill up. If you are interested in finding out more about it contact me asap as time is running on.
Near the Tour West warehouse in Fredonia, Arizona is Judd Auto famous for it’s marquee.
The H Bennions at Clear Creek.
Howard my baby brother and his eternal sweetie Holly.
Hannah just out of high school and ready to take on college.
Van Haley Bennion, the best one. (Photo Howard Bennion)
Heidi Ho also a serious contender for the best one.
Heather Lenore, the schist Pixie.
Howard and Holly’s best friends Wally and Frankie.
Our friends from home Kim and Linda.
Signe and Nords from Riga, Latvia.
The Joe and Lee Bennion gang in Blacktail Canyon.
Latvians exiting Clear Creek.
Joe the Potter and Adah Bee sharing a laugh at Red Wall Cavern. (Photo Howard Bennion)
Louisa happy at her oars. (Photo Howard Bennion)
Zina hating every nano second of her Lava Falls run. (Photo Howard Bennion)
Adah smiles on.
Lee’s face in Lava says it all. (Photo Howard Bennion)
My brother Glynn’s daughter Emily. (Photo Howard Bennion)
Ten Bennion women is enough for any trip.
Nate earns his keep with the girls.
Jake with the girls.
Naps should be taken every day if shade can be found.
Impromptu multi-trip concert at Blacktail.
Below Lava festivities included an hour long pee break with jump rope competition.
Nords chills with his book at Zoroaster.
Wally reading at Zoroaster too.
Hiking North Canyon.
The three younger Bennion women at Clear Creek.
Joe the Potter pontificating on the finer points of canyon ethnobotany….yawn. (Photo Howard Bennion)

OK, here is what we all came for…the Lava runs. We hit Lava at a kind of harsh level. You could go left but the right was still there if you didn’t mind big and wet. We watched Can-X go left and then went right anyway.
Lou and Lee getting thrown around.(Photo Howard Bennion)
Mike and Zina in the Vee Wave. (Photo Howard Bennion)
Joe going into the Vee. (Photo Howard Bennion)
The boatman then took it in the shorts. (Photo Howard Bennion)
Not my finest moment going into the tail waves sideways. More proof that God loves a fool. (Photo Howard Bennion)

Bennion Spencer

Sunday, July 20th, 2008

Another relative of mine is running for Congress. Bennion Spencer is running on the Democratic ticket for US House off Representatives. He is running for the seat currently held by my cousin Chris Cannon who was defeated earlier this summer by Jason Chaffetz. I spent a half hour or so yesterday discussing issues with Ben in Fountain Green at the Lamb Days celebration there. I found him to be well spoken and warm. He offers a very palatable and moderate alternative to Jason’s extreme standing on energy, immigration and defense. A firm but compassionate approach to immigration makes more sense to me than the attitude that “they” are the problem. Developing alternatives to oil that work and are renewable will help a lot more in the long run than more drilling which amounts to more give-aways to big oil and less for the consumer. As with Christian Burrage last time around I find in Ben a candidate I can totally get behind.