Friday, July 25, 2008

Come for the Gasoline, Stay for the Burger.

"Come for a day, stay for a lifetime. . . ."

The city of Payson, Utah, hired some big dreamers to come up with their slogan, which is proudly painted on an enormous billboard welcoming drivers to their enchanting community. Don't remember seeing the sign last time you went to spend the day in Payson? That's understandable. The sign gets lost in the grandeur of this remarkably close and breathtaking view:

Since you probably decided to stay in Payson for a lifetime, as the city council predicted, you will never get the opportunity to see the sign; I believe it is just outside Payson city limits. But that's a small price to pay for the privilege of attending Payson's annual Salmon Supper.

Let's be honest. Almost everyone that passes that sign is on his or her way to St. George, Las Vegas, or maybe Fillmore (which is a clear tourist destination, given the astonishing craftsmanship of its fine streets and sidewalks). These people are not coming for a day, and they are certainly not staying for a lifetime. They'll fill their gasoline tank and maybe grab a burger at the gas station just off the freeway.

There has got to be a better slogan for Payson--something that embodies its essence. A good slogan would capture

the scent of its several llama farms,

the nostalgic echo in the Peteetneet Academy theater (the architectural marvel jutting out of the 1901 structure like a malignant tumor), in which Payson's historic homecoming queen portrait collection is securely housed,

the steadfastness of the live bait vending machine in the center of town on Main Street,

the unflinching loyalty to Jewel, in whose musical success the city deservingly basks; Payson undoubtedly left its mark on the infant Jewel as she slept in her cradle at the Payson hospital where she was born,

and this:

And this and this, too.

Payson: 158 years of homecoming beauties, 100 % authentic llama wool sweaters, premium canned worms, musical talent, and pristine looking-glass-mirror lakes. There's got to be a slogan that says that.


  1. I just found out the live bait vending machine will disappear when the sporting goods store is soon demolished. I am sorely disappointed (I'm really not being sarcastic here.) That machine has been a landmark, and I'm sad to see it go.

  2. Now way! Jewel was born in Payson? I knew there was something about those teeth I recognized. (Just kidding!)

    Payson does have a good bakery, as I recall -- right on main street. They sell alligator jaws. None of this Krispy Kreme nonsense.

  3. what a great blog! Thanks for wandering onto ours so we can read yours! Happy Birthday to Alex - what a cutie!

  4. Your post makes me miss home. Although, I guess Elk Ridge is really my parents home, I still miss the Salem/Payson area.

  5. Thanks a lot, Carolina-- all things considered! But seriously, dad was offended. And there is nothing wrong with llamas or serious fisherman who are too busy to did up their own worms.