Recently Read Books

  • A Delicate Truth- John Le Carre (fiction)
  • Perfect - Rachel Joyce (Fiction)
  • The Expats - Chris Pavone (Fiction)
  • An Event in Autumn - Henning Mankel (Fiction)
  • Winter in Madrid - C.J.Sansom (Fiction)
  • The Brothers - John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles - non-fiction
  • LIfe Among Giants - Bill Roorbach (Novel)
  • Empty Mansions - Bill Dedman (non-fiction)
  • Woodrow Wilson (non fiction)
  • Lawrence in Arabia (Non-Fiction)
  • In Sunlight and In Shadow by Mark Helpren (Fiction)
  • Lesson in French - Hilary Reyl (fiction)
  • Unbroken- Laura Hillenbrand (Non-Fiction)
  • Venice, A New History- Thomas Madden - (Non- Fiction)
  • Life is a Gift - Tony Bennett Autobiography
  • The First Counsell - Brad Meltzer (Fiction)
  • Destiny of the Republic - President James Garfield non-fiction by Candice Millard
  • The Last Lion (volume III)- William Manchester and Paul Reid (non-fiction, Winston Churchill)
  • Yellowstone Autumn -W.D. Wetherell (non-fiction about turning 55 and fishing in Yellowstone)
  • Everybody was Young- (non-fiction Paris in the 1920's)
  • Scorpion - (non fiction US Supreme Court)
  • Supreme Power - Jeff Shesol (non-fiction)
  • Zero day by David Baldacci ( I read all of Baldacci's Books)
  • Northwest Angle - William Kent Krueger (fiction - I have read 5 or 6 books by this author)
  • Camelot's Court-Insider the Kennedy Whitehouse- Robert Dallek
  • Childe Hassam -Impressionist (a beautiful book of his paintings)

Friday, October 31, 2014

Cascade Springs - Utah

Two weeks ago I took a drive on the Alpine Loop and ventured down to Cascade Springs.

Here is some information from the Utah Geological Survey website:

Cascade Springs is a refreshing oasis of lush vegetation, inviting pools, and cascading waterfalls located within the Uintah National Forest in the Wasatch Range, east of American Fork Canyon and west of Wasatch Mountain State Park. Water from the springs flows over a series of travertine terraces and pools and eventually continues on its way to nearby Provo Deer Creek. A variety of mammals and birds make their way here, including otters, beavers, deer, moose, elk, wild turkeys, hawks, hummingbirds, and numerous songbirds.

A trail system of paved paths, raised boardwalks, and wooden bridges consists of three interconnecting loops, permitting visitors a choice of walking only a short distance or completing all three loops for a longer walk. Benches are provided along the walkways, allowing for rest and taking in the beauty of the surroundings. Interpretive signs present educational information about Cascade Springs’ geology, water cycle, wildlife, and plant life. The lower pools loop is the most popular section with its easily accessible pathways and soothingly cool woods. It is very relaxing to walk along the maze-like configuration of boardwalks raised over shallow, crystal clear pools and waterfalls, surrounded by a variety of trees and flowering plants. 

These pools contain abundant brown trout (no fishing allowed) believed to have originally migrated from the Provo River.  The middle cascade loop begins at a wooden bridge situated over a waterfall with trails continuing up the slope on either side of the cascading falls. The rushing streams along these trails feed the lower pools.  

Here are a few photos I took at Cascade Springs:

I have  been to Cascade Springs many times over the years.  It is always beautiful.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

The Jordan River Parkway- Utah

The Lovely Sharon and I have been walking the Jordan River Parkway trails over the last couple of months. The Jordan River Parkway is located in the middle of the Salt Lake Valley and follows the Jordan River as it flows from the north end of Utah Lake (located in Utah County) to the south end of the Great Salt Lake (located in Salt Lake County, Utah).  The Jordan River Parkway runs almost 40 miles.  It caters to walker, joggers, bicyclists and horse riders.  The Jordan River Parkway was established in 1971 and has grown and been improved over the last 43 years. The Parkway meanders through various Salt Lake Count cites including Draper, Bluffdale, Riverton, South Jordan, Midvale, Salt Lake City and others.  The web site for the Jordan River Parkway is

 In 1972, I was a political science student at the University of Utah.  For one of my classes I worked as intern for professor Lowell Bennion.   Dr. Bennion was one of those wonderful people who wanted to make life better for those around him.  Here is a brief Bio from Wikipedia:

Lowell Lindsay Bennion (July 26, 1908 – February 21, 1996) was an American educator and counselor. Early in his career, Bennion focused much of his efforts on fellow members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church), but he sought to benefit all people in his reach.

Bennion was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, the son of Milton Bennion and Cora Lindsay Bennion. In 1928, Bennion graduated from the University of Utah, married Merle Colton and then left to serve in the Swiss–German Mission of the LDS Church. Bennion spent much of his mission in Zürich, where he served as branch president. After serving two and a half years as a missionary Bennion began studies towards his Ph.D. at the University of Strasbourg. His wife came to France to live with him at about this point.

After earning his Ph.D., Bennion returned to Utah and founded the Institute of Religion adjacent to the University of Utah. Bennion later founded Teton Valley Boys Ranch and served as its director for many years. He served as a bishop in the LDS Church. The first food bank and homeless shelters in Utah were founded by Bennion

During my internship with Dr. Bennion, I attended, on his behalf, a number of meetings dealing with the development of the Jordan River Parkway and the political issues existing between the various cities through which the Jordan River flows.  I became an advocate of the development of the Jordan River Parkway at that time.

Yesterday, the Lovely Sharon and parked our car at the Rotary Park at 12600 South and about 1100 West and we walked north to 10600 South before returning to our car.  It was about a 5.5 mile walk on a beautiful Saturday autumn morning.

Here are some photos I took three or four weeks ago on a walk that went south from 12600 South to the Bangerter Highway:

Looking from the trail across the wetlands to the Oquirrh Mountains on the  west side of the Salt Lake Valley

The Lovely Sharon on the Trail.  The building on the bluff is the EBAY Building

Another photo of the wetlands along the river

 A beautiful Saturday morning view.

The Jordan River

The Jordan River with homes in the background

The Jordan River.  As we took this photo there were several ducks swimming in the river.

More walking by the Lovely Sharon

Looking north

A pretty flower alongside the river.

Take a walk on the Jordan River Parkway, For us in Salt Lake County we are lucky to have this wonderful resource.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Autumn Leaves -Redux

The Leaves have been following in our yard.  I have raked up some of the over the last two days. Our back yard is beautiful all year but especially in the Autumn.   It made me think of the blog posting I did last year.

Here it is


Sunday, November 10, 2013

Autumn Deer

Yesterday morning I was awake and up around 5:00.  I know it was a Saturday and it should have been a sleep in day, but I wake up between 4:30 a.m. and 5:30 a.m. seven days a week.  I don’t set the alarm, even on work days, I just wake up.   The Lovely Sharon is in Palm Desert so the Salt Lake house is quiet and even kind of lonely no matter what time of day it is. Even though we are no longer on day-light savings time, at that time of morning it is as dark as night.  I sipped a couple of cups of Dunkin Doughnuts brand coffee, I read several online news stories, collected my Salt Lake Tribune from the driveway, read it and then made breakfast. 
I finished eating my scramble eggs and homemade country style potatoes around 6:45 and as I stood at the sink rinsing off dishes and fry pans, I looked out the window down into our back yard.  I saw movement in the now dawn light and realized there were three or four large deer moseying through the yard near the creek bed.  I walked out onto the patio.  It was cold outside.  I walked to the patio rail looked down at the deer and whistled.  At the sound of a whistle the deer stopped walking and looked up at me.  I called down to them as they continued to look at me.  We were probably 40 yards or so apart.  I suppose they were wondering what I wanted and I was wondering where they were going.

It is not unusual for there to be deer in our back yard. In fact, as I was raking leaves Friday afternoon, there were a couple of them across the creek bed from me, seemingly paying no attention to me or my raking.  Still, each time I see deer in the yard, there is a sense of wonder about it. You would never see them so close in the mountains and they would not seem so unafraid of a human.  Sometimes I have been working in the yard and they have been grazing 30 or 40 feet from me.  Keeping an eye I on me but accepting of our coexistence in the back yard.

Yesterday was unusually warm for this time of year in Salt Lake City. Today and tomorrow are supposed to be even warmer.  Its 1:30 a.m. now and I need to go back to bed.  In a few hours when the sun is up, when breakfast is made and eaten and it warms up, I think I will go for a walk.  This warm streak will soon end and December is only three weeks away.  Any walk then will require a coat, gloves and a stocking cap. Today merely a light sweater.
A couple of backyard photos from last week

Look closely and you can see the leaves floating through the air.


Here are two photos from 2011

You can see the rock embankment of the creek in the left center background of this shot.

I take a great number of photos of the back yard every autumn and you cannot tell one year from the next.  But the compelling beauty of the change of seasons causes me to grab my camera and take a  few more pictures.  Maybe one day I won't be able to go outside and the photos will be all I have left.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

La Brasserie de l'Isle Saint-Louis, Paris

I have written a number of times about Paris. I have posted photos that I took and photos I found on the internet.  Paris, the City of Light, the City of Romance.  I have only been there once for four or five days with the Lovely Sharon but I loved it.  I have read dozens of books, fiction and non-fiction about Paris. I am intrigued by Paris of the 1920’s with Hemmingway, Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, James Joyce and the seemingly dozens of authors, artists and US expats who lived in Paris after World War I and before World War II. 

I loved walking hand-in-hand with the Lovely Sharon as we walked through Montparnasse, Montmartre, the Luxembourg Gardens, and the book stalls on the Left Bank.  I was surprised that the Paris of my mind, the Paris of my imagination, was like the actual Paris I experienced with the Lovely Sharon. We stayed in an apartment rather than a hotel. We drank coffee and wine at sidewalk cafes watching people walk by or sitting near us.

One of my favorite memories of Paris was a Sunday afternoon.  We had walked throughout the Ile de la Cite and visited Notre Dame and the surrounding area. After our time in Notre Dame, we walked across the bridge to the Ile Saint-Louis. It was a sunny late afternoon and the place was filled with people.  The Lovely Sharon and I were hungry, wanted to rest our feet and were ready for a carafe of wine.  Just over the bridge, right on the corner of the Ile Saint Louis was La Brasserie  de l'Isle Saint-Louis.  I knew nothing about this restaurant.  I had never heard of it but it looked perfect, with people sitting shoulder to sipping wine and eating a late afternoon lunch.  We were escorted to a small outside table with two chairs where we sat down and ordered lunch and red wine.  We fell into conversation with a couple on my left, Sharon’s right whose table was only about 18 inches or so from ours.  This couple was from England and we learned he had recently retired from practicing law after some 35 years and the two of them were on holiday in Paris.  He and I talked about the law while our beguiling wives looked us in disbelief that we would be talking about the law on a Sunday afternoon in Paris.  It was a lovely conversation.

The Lovely Sharon watched people walk and bicycle by us.  It was fantastic.  I cannot recall if the food was good.  I cannot recall if the wine was good.  The food and wine were not particularly important that afternoon.  It was the setting in the middle of the River Seine, at sidewalk café, talking to people we didn't know. We could hear conversations in French, English, German, Spanish and a variety of other languages as people walked by.  After a long lunch we left this beautiful spot and meandered to the other end of Ile Saint-Louis and finally to the Left Bank where we browsed through the book stalls.

Here are some photos I took

Just as we crossed the brideg from the Ile de la Cite 

This lady was sitting near us and to me looked very French, but who knows for certain

The Lovely Sharon

Here are some photos I found on the internet

A nice painting

A photo of the entire building

A Rainy Day

I hope to return to Paris some day and the La Brasserie  de l'Isle Saint-Louis.