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Grim Reapres 

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Of the nearly 17,000 breakfasts I’ve eaten in my life, few are memorable. By and large they’ve mostly been variations of the same theme, with any number of meaty substitutes playing first fiddle to any number of eggs aside any manner of potatoes. Every once in a while I’ve had special morning moments, though. They include my first Snowbird brunch buffet, my first cheese omelet, my first granola breakfast served by my first granola girlfriend, and my first vegetarian breakfast (which promptly caused me to rethink the cause), to name a few.

One breakfast I’ll always remember is the one served by Kevin Hamilton’s mother just moments before we likely went off to violate underage drinking laws. She served us scrambled eggs and corn. It was fabulous. I think of that meal often, believe it or not, and it came to the fore again this morning when I read that the Hamiltons and other Riverton-area farmers are being squeezed off their land to make way for ever more south valley development.

Kevin’s uncle Cletus was actually mentioned in the story. He and Kevin’s dad worked the historic Hamilton spread. Besides successfully working on Kevin’s spirituality (it took a number of years—he was a serious bad boy), the Hamiltons worked about the biggest piece of undeveloped land in the valley. You could put a medium-sized city on their land, and that’s just what it looks like is going to happen.

To the Hamiltons’ credit, a good portion of their land has been sold to, or will be sold to, the LDS church for use in its welfare farm programs. So, for as long as the church is willing to hold out, there will be at least some green space left in the valley. It’s always confused me the way we chew up our farms and orchards to build housing projects—especially when there’s so much perfectly useless land out in Tooele County.

Over the weekend I took part in the nightmare of traveling north from Utah County into Salt Lake County in heavy traffic. Try that next time you need a pucker job. The area abutting the two counties is exploding with people who are inexplicably attracted to cheap homes and strip malls. Like every other town in the valley—except Magna, Murray and Midvale—Riverton is destined to become just another faceless piece of real estate (Utah County was created faceless). To accommodate Utah’s newest rude and reckless drivers, “bigger and better” highways will be built through towns like Riverton, chopping them up with all the mercy of a beet digger at harvest time—just like developers like it.

For sowers like the Hamiltons, the reapers aren’t the same as they used to be.

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About The Author

John Saltas

John Saltas

Bio:
John Saltas is a lamb eating, Bingham Canyon native, City Weekly feller who'd rather be in Greece.

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