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C. Jane Kendrick: Hugs for Provoans

You have no idea what it has been like to be a Provoan lately — unless, of course, you are also a Provoan.

In the past several months our community has been up and down Lagoon's Colossus of emotion. We've been the talk of the nation and the subject of discussion boards spread all over the Internet. It's not that Provo isn't used to the taste of excitement — I mean, it's Provo, right? — it's just never felt so concentrated; so much in such a small amount of time.

It started with our tabernacle burning down. On a cold early morning in December, we woke up to see the beloved edifice all over the news. It looked like an image from the Great Fire of London with flames whipping out of the windows and where the roof used to be. It flamed and smoldered for days. It was a sad Sunday in stake conference this year when instead of sitting together under the doomed roof of the tabernacle, we used some sort of Internet capability to link all our chapels together. We were in a satellite chapel watching on a big screen and, disappointingly, the stake choir came off sounding slightly digitized.

Then in January, the BYU basketball team started getting all sorts of hype. (Have you heard of Jimmer? No?) By mid-February there was no escaping the drama. And I mean, no escaping.

Twice I put my son down for a nap, and twice he was pulled out of sleep by the sounds of an overhead helicopter intent on capturing the Jimmermania going down at the Marriott Center located blocks away. It made us all fan zombies. No one in Provo was safe. We fell under the spell and watched every game from San Diego State to Florida like each one was the last battle of Armageddon.

And then there were videos on Youtube. Forget teaching me how to Jimmer. How about teaching me how to get "Teach Me How to Jimmer" out of my head?

In March, one of Provo's best restaurants, Rooster, closed its doors. This sent us out in droves to eat Utah's best dumplings one last time. It pains me to think of my children growing up without ever tasting of Rooster's bulgogi beef wrapped in pastry, dipped in Simy's special sauce. So my husband and I asked for two orders so we could take some home and freeze them for posterity.

Then Mark Zuckerberg came (heard of him? No?) with Sen. Hatch to the Marriott Center, and 11,000 of us showed up (I was too busy updating my status on Facebook). Zuckerberg said he'd never spoken to such a large crowd. He arrived on a day when a spring snowstorm dripped all sorts of precipitation from the sky — snow, slush, hail, rain, slushy rain, snowy ice droplets and rainish hail. It also happened to be the day when the BYU basketball team landed in Provo's airport after losing in the Sweet 16, which explains why there weren't another 11,000 at the Marriott Center to see Zuckerberg.


It's Provo's birthday this week. April 1 (no joke). Maybe as a gift to us Provoans another city could shoulder Utah's excitement for awhile. We can only carry it for so long. Is it too much to ask?

Bountiful, I'm looking at you.

C. Jane Kendrick writes for She lives in Provo with her husband and two children.