When I was growing up in Grantsville, the Clark Imlay Dance Band would have practice sessions at my house about once a month. I was in grade school during the time and found the whole process to be quite fascinating.
My dad would set up the drums and then, one-by-one, a grown-up man would arrive (sometimes with his wife) and there would be a big greeting at the door by my mother, who would laugh and take their coats and provide the guests with a refreshing beverage and some snacks.
The men carried cases of various sizes. There were small cases with precious trumpets inside, medium-size cases with saxophones and larger cases with trombones or guitars. Finally, a woman arrived and she would sit down at the piano and spread out sheets of music far and wide.
Half of the time it seemed like they didn’t take things too seriously. Somebody would tell a joke and the house would erupt in laughter.
Later in the night it seemed they became more focused on the rehearsal. Someone would always count “one-two-three” and then music would fill my house. Sometimes one of the horn players would stand up and wail out a solo, then the whole group would join in again in unison.
I suppose most communities feature talented musical and theatrical groups, but I always thought Grantsville had more than its fair share of quality artists. The talent pool certainly has grown larger and larger, and now is better than ever.
A lot of that Grantsville talent will be on display Saturday, March 17, at the 128th Grantsville Old Folks Sociable during entertainment programs at 3 p.m. and 5 p.m.
The theme of the program is “Because I Knew You,” taken from the song “For Good” from the Broadway musical “Wicked.” Several top-notch Grantsville entertainers are scheduled to perform.
The premise of the theme is that we are who we are today because of people we have associated with in the past — an appropriate theme for those who have lived among Grantsville villagers. The lyrics of “For Good” express uncertainty over whether past relationships change one for the better, but assert that those relationships still produce lasting change.
“I do believe I have been changed for the better. And because I knew you, because I knew you, I have been changed for good,” read the last lines of the song.
The Grantsville Old Folks Sociable is an amazing event that began way back in 1884 to honor the early settlers of the area. It is one of the longestrunning traditions in Utah. Grantsville residents 75 and older are offered free admission to the day-long activities, which include an antique car show, reception, musical program, dinner, dancing and other features.
The sociable is in a bit of a plight, however. It is primarily funded through tickets sales and organizers like to make those tickets affordable and still be able to accommodate honored senior guests with free tickets. But the sociable now must also rely on charitable donations from businesses, individuals and government entities throughout the area.
If you’ve enjoyed this longstanding tradition and want to keep it going strong, I suggest making a donation. For more information about donating, contact this year’s co-chairmen Hal Sagers (435) 884-0818 or Cindy Cole (435) 884-3246.