Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

March 22, 2005
Sociable tradition brings them home

Grantsville residents past and present poured into town Saturday for the 121st Old Folk’s Socialble.

The annual event pays special tribute to current and former residents age 75 and older. These guests were treated to a reception at the high school in their honor at noon.

“I’ve never missed a socialble,” said Jay Hicks, 96, who made the trek to Grantsville Saturday from his ranch in Ibapah, Utah. “It’s great to meet up with old friends,” he said. Hicks went to high school in Grantsville and continues to run his ranch in Ibapah with the help of son Jay.

Former Grantsville native Wayne Nelson, part of the 75-and-older group, returned for his fourth consecutive socialble. Nelson resides in Grand Junction, Colo. where he coached basketball and tennis for Mesa State College for several years. He is the brother of Johnny Nelson and uncle of former high school tennis coach Don Wayne Nelson who are both known for their years of tireless work helping young people in Grantsville excel at tennis.

“I still have a lot of family here so this is a nice time to come and visit,” Nelson said, recalling the old times in Grantsville.

“People are friendly in Grand Junction no matter who you are, but you know in the early days in Grantsville most people were Mormon so they were friendly if you were Mormon, but sometimes they were not too friendly to outsiders,” he said.

Pauline Hawker from Salt Lake City also attended the reception.

Her family owned land in Grantsville and she lived on Main Street for several years.

“I taught high school here in 1963 and 1964. Attending these socialbles has been very enjoyable for me. I’ve come out for the last three socialbles,” Hawker said.

Joe Elfors, 88, still living in Grantsville, did not feel well a few days before the sociable, but was able to attend the reception, program and dinner.

“I wasn’t going to come but my son Raymond came out from Salt Lake last night and helped me out a bit, so I’m feeling pretty good. I go way back. I can’t recall missing any sociables,” he said.

Former resident Alan Holyoak from Sandy had not attended many sociables, but was able to take in all the festivities on Saturday as part of the 75-andolder group. He taught music at Grantsville High School from 1960 to 1963. He organized the first marching band at Grantsville High.

“We only had six periods and most of the kids took seminary so they were not able to take band. I was told if I wanted to have a band class it would have to be held one hour before school started so we started at 7 a.m. Sixty kids came out for band. We would march through the town and people would come out in their pajamas to listen,” Holyoak said.

The Grantsville music teacher was hired by Tooele School Superintendent Sterling Harris and Grantsville High Principal Jimmy Williams. “We didn’t have any uniforms. Sterl told me to write a list of everything I needed to have for a marching band.

I wrote down all the instruments we needed and thought ‘no way am I going to get all this stuff’. Three weeks later I got everything on the list,” Holyoak said.

“So we had one big marching band for students grades seventh through 12th. They had five marching bands in Tooele,” he said. Grantville High was soon invited to lead the Days of ‘47 Parade in Salt Lake City.

After watching the sociable program Holyoak raved about Grantsville’s talented performers. “These kids are talented.

Some of the big high schools in Salt Lake have great bands and choirs, but these young performers on the sociable were just great,” he said.

Along with two sociable programs, visitors were able to watch and listen to other talented peformers throughout the day and evening in the high school gym. They also could reminisce about the past in the gynasium which included hundreds of photgraphs from old Grantsville High yearbooks and other events showing off the history of the community. The gym also provided a venue to show off the talents of local artists with an area for arts and crafts.

The music theme continued throughout the evening. Older folks danced to live big-band music from the Bud Hutchings Band during the early evening and the younger crowd socialized and danced to the music of Black Diamond later in the evening. The group plays rock ‘n’ roll, country and pop music.

2005 Sociable Program

The program this year included taped segments from people reminiscing about their days in Grantsville. Hometown voices included

Merle Cole,

Bob Halladay,

Johnny Nelson,

Janet Cook,

June Warner,

Roland Warner,

Jeannie Callister,

Lola Sutton,

Vi Knutson and Lucy Sandberg.

It also included a tribute to soldiers with local ties who have served in Iraq and Afghanistan. The audience was able to look at a big screen which showed the soliders in action. Noted local actor Ron Johnson followed with a stirring a capella rendition of the National Anthem.

Dillon Hurst sang a Grantsville version of “Back Home Again” originally written by John Denver.

Jennifer, Janna and Julie Baird sang “I Will” and invited Farrell Butler to join them on stage during the first performance.

The program went high-tech when 10 Grantsville couples filled the stage and performed a techo-waltz.

The event reverted back to a country theme with Tricia and Andrea Anderson singing “Landslide,” while Alan Johnson received several laughs from the crowd with some of his cowboy poetry.

Tonya Johnson sang “Wind Beneath My Wings” and the Grantsville drumline belted out “MI-6,” “Goldfinger” and “For Your Eyes Only” from the James Bond series.

Chelsi Nix displayed her powerful and versatile voice singing “Flies in the Butter” followed by dancing and precision acrobatics from Kami Tate, Kayla Toth and Breann Rowley.

Grantsville favorites Tom and Wendy Stam showed off their skills with powerful and touching songs from Phantom of the Opera.

A group of jazz dancers performed “Espionage.”

Clarinet player Don Buchanan and piano player Dan Butcher were interrupted by applause from the crowd when they picked up the pace in a jazz rendition of “Look Down that Lonesome Road.” Joanna Johnson finished up the program with a song-anddance routine – “All That Jazz.”

Working long hours as cochairmen for this year’s sociable were Mark Nelson and Linda Christiansen. Next year’s cochairmen are Kenny Hale and Teresa Palmer Perkins.

Mark Watson

Sports Editor at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Mark directs all editorial coverage of sports in addition to reporting on a wide range of events from high school football to international racing. He has a wealth of journalism experience, having worked for four other newspapers in the state. Mark grew up in Tooele County and graduated from Grantsville High School and Brigham Young University.

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