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