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A Cute True Story

More than fifty years ago, my mother's father went to a dance. Back then that was how you met people.

The room was divided into two sides. The guys were standing near one wall, and the girls were at the other. In the middle were a few couples dancing, but more prominent was the wide open space that separated the two groups.

No man's land.

The Farmington Canyon Story, where the moral is to slow down and wear your seatbelt

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

Farmington Canyon, Utah, around 10 years ago.

One of the first semi-serious girlfriends I ever had - let's call her Alice - had a really wonderful family, and we all got along famously.

They were work-hard, play-hard, really good people. They were Catholic, and there's sort of a Catholic solidarity in Utah, especially out in the suburbs.

Utah is overwhelmingly of the Mormon religion, and most non-Mormons feel stifled by it.

Now, as I get older, I come to appreciate the Mormon religion more. They're big believers in family, self-discipline, good habits, service, hard work and lots of reflection. But some of the rules are rather stifling to non-Mormons - no drinking, no smoking, no caffeine, no R-rated movies. Also, they're incredibly warm and friendly people, but at least in Utah, there's an undercurrent of being wary about associating too closely with non-Mormons outside of trying to convert them.

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