A Salt Lake City man told me his friend, an out-of-state salesman, modified his wardrobe whenever approaching Utah businesses. He wore a white t-shirt under his dress shirt, making sure the shirt was thin enough for folks to see the tee underneath.
There was a presumption on his customers’ part that ‘we’re all Mormons here,’ said my acquaintance. Mormon men traditionally sport undershirts.
I’m finding Sundays, or rather, how people spend their Sundays, can be almost as revealing as that white tee supposition.
Initially, I noticed this when encamped in Provo at the Residence Inn (where we stayed before moving to Herriman). I sought daily solace and exercise in Rock Canyon, the breathtaking, urban park leading into National Forest land just off N 1450 E. Read more about Rock Canyon.
Six days of the week were bustling, full of walkers, runners, big families, moms strolling in tandem with baby carriages. Sundays were eerily calm. The dogs and I had the run of the place. Fellow hikers laughed when I asked them about it. Natives and non-natives, they essentially said, “Duh! Everyone’s at church.”
In Maine, Iowa, and elsewhere, Sundays were just the opposite. It was a day for heading out real early or real late if you wanted to avoid crowds. For many friends and family members, church attendance wasn’t something that dominated the day. It was fit into the schedule.
If you have issues with crowds, do not visit parks on Saturdays. Everybody is there with his brothers and sisters. Likewise, do not hit the mall, restaurant, or any other venue on Friday evenings or Saturdays. DO head there on Sunday if they’re open. (This is another Utah thing: lots of stores and restaurants are shuttered on Sundays.)
As for church-going, this poet put it best:
I don’t cotton to no church with walls or bylaws,
But I get down on my knees for Nature.
Take them horses. Why, they deliver homilies every day.
Straight shooters. Nothing thorny.
It’s just a matter of knowing their vernacular and showing up.
Not just Sundays but every day.
And, heck, my ass always felt better in a saddle than in a pew.
A. B. McCormick