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Posted 29 Sep 2001   For week ended September 28, 2001
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Sent on Mormon-News: 27Sep01

By Rosemary Pollock

Mormon Community Quilts Through Tragedy

BRIGHAM CITY, UTAH -- In the tranquil valley between the Great Salt Lake and the Wasatch Mountains, the 17,000 residents of Brigham City are matching their patriotism with their faith that the city was named for in 1851. Named for Mormon leader Brigham Young, the still largely Mormon community reflects an attitude of industry and resourcefulness that is found in the ladies of a quilting circle at the Village Dry Goods store. Amid bolts of colorful cloth, spools of thread and unfinished handiwork, the women prove that even a quilter's patience has limits.

"Whatever happens I hope it won't last for a long time because I hate to see young people go. I have so many grandchildren and they wouldn't have much to look forward to," says grandmother, Deon Richards. The memory of the five Borgstrom brothers who went to fight in World War II is still a fresh memory to many. When four were killed within a six-month period, the Army pulled the fifth from the battlefield and brought him home to his grieving parents.

Brigham City is not without it's diversity either. Mayor David Kano is the son of a Japanese-American who was interned in Utah during World War II. Hub Aoki, a quilter and a Buddhist, was a child in Sterling, Colo., during the war and never felt any backlash against her Japanese ancestry. Joan Sorensen, another quilter, was a child in London during the Nazi blitz.

"You want to gather your family together, right here, and just hug them," said Ruth Timothy. "We're all the same that way." "I don't feel revenge or hatred toward these (terrorists)," said Sue Hill. "I feel great sadness for the death of these wonderful people, taken quickly and violently, an awful death. If I had the chance to blow up bin Laden, I don't think I could do that myself, but I think the country probably needs some kind of military statement."

"Today we look at our friends and we are happy to see them again," Ruth Timothy added. "There's an uncertainty that life might not go on tomorrow the way it has been. Family becomes more precious. You can't see how things will change." When asked what kind of quilt they would stitch from their memories and emotions now, they share ideas of patriotic colors, symbols of family, faith, hope and life. "It wouldn't be sad," Deon Richards says. "It would be uplifiting."


Utah quilters' fabric of life stays strong amid tragedy
Denver CO Post 23Sep01 D4
By Ron Franscell: The Denver Post


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