I had no intention of entering a contest,
but I saw a half-hidden poster in the library proclaiming
the Sons of the Utah Pioneers were having a writing contest.
I had high hopes the judges would enjoy getting to know my ancestors as much as I did. To the left is Edward Munn; to the right, Sarah Pearson, his wife. They are my second great-grandparents and the reason I now have a Leon Parson print and 50 pounds of wheat.
Oasis of Hope By Michelle Erickson
Platte, I was told, means low and shallow.
The bridge and store sat a little more than half way across the plains and was an oasis of hope for many Saints who were in desperate need. While I enjoyed the company of the Saints that came through, I didn’t care much for the scruffy looking trappers. It was always with a grateful heart that I watched the foul-smelling men pass over the bridge or ride out of sight. Personally, I thought they would benefit tremendously from the waters of the Platte and a large bar of lye soap. More often than not, the mountain men were infested with lice. My most uncharitable thoughts centered on pushing the men and their itch-provoking vermin into the river to cut the smell. With luck, the lice would drown. I don’t know if Edward was teasing me or not when he said the mountain men used to remove all their clothes and put them on ant piles so the ants could feast on the lice during rendezvous. I shuddered every time I thought of it and I thought about it every time they stepped into the trading post.