Oral Histories

Frank “Pancho” Tabberer


Pancho & Elsie Tabberer

Q: but you play rain or shine.

A: Yes I do. I play rain or shine.

Q: Bill Meador?

A: Bill and I play. I consider it an honor and a privilege to have been a friend of Bill Meador all these years. When he was still school superintendent, I knew Bill, and we go back. I was always involved with the school in some way, not necessarily as a board member, but when our kids were involved. We tried to be very involved with them.

Q: Sounds that you have been very involved with the community, whether you ran for office or not.

A: We’ve always. Whenever they were trying to set up a tennis program here and our kids were interested and said that they would really like to have a restringing racket machine. The tennis instructor was also drivers ed…. Talked to him and asked him what it would take to get one of those machines. He said it would just take some money. So anyway we donated enough money so they could buy a restringing machine.

Our son played golf on the golf team whenever he was in school and when our grandson came along, I tried to be involved with the team to furnish them…

Q: Do you play tennis?

A: No, Never have, I’m not a tennis player.

Q: So how does Moab seem to you now compared to then?

A: I don’t know. I know that when being involved with kids in school and when Moab decided to go to a 4-day school week. I never did like that, through our daughter and through our son-in-law and son.

Q: But that was when the uranium boom was on and there wasn’t enough room?

A: No it was afterwards after they moved out when they decided to go to the 4day school week.

Q: And that why the museum has these funny hours of Monday to Thurs and so the kids who don’t go to school would go to the museum.

A: That’s how it got started. Through a group of people here working through the superintendent and board, they got the school back to a 5day week. That was a good thing when they did that, cause I don’t think you can teach those kids those extra long hours in four days as well as you can shorten up the hours and do it in five days. I just think its better.

Q: So you were instrumental in that:

A: I certainly hope so. Certainly talked to people that I knew that were on the school board and people that were involved with the school.

Q: So does it bother you that the characteristic of Moab has changed – newcomers, t-shirt shops?

A: I worked in the oilfields and mines and construction those were the people that I knew and loved. And then whenever it changed to not having that to go to a tourist oriented different type of thing, it gets some getting used to. But the town has to survive and if that’s what it takes, I can live with the jeeps coming in and the car shows and the bicycles and whatnot. We still have some things that go on that are some of the old things.

Q: You still have your old friends?

A: Oh yes, the old some of the guys that work out at the golf course are older than I am some of the guys that I know in town that have retired here are people we worked with in the explosives business and you run into a guy that you haven’t seen for a while.

Q: Bill McDougald is another golfer?

A: Yes, Bill’s a golfer and Bill’s an old geologist from way back and Dick Nunn and Bob Norman, the old guys my age and older. I guess Moab has had to change and you have to roll with the punches. I’ve never been one to gripe about where I live. I’ve always liked the place that I lived and If I didn’t like it, I tried to make it better so it would be likeable.

Q: Usually a mutual admiration society. You like them and they like you?

A: You get along with people and they’ll get along with you.

Q: Is there anything we left out?

A: When I first came through Moab, just traveling through, living in Farmington, I thought “My goodness, how in the world would anybody want to live in that hole?” And then, wouldn’t you know, we got to move here. You don’t get to see sunsets or sunrises. They come over the mountain or go behind the rocks

Q: The clouds light up.

A: That’s right. I guess the best thing about living in Moab is the small town where you get to know everybody. The hardest thing when we were in business was transportation: to get products in and out for the business. For ourselves, it wouldn’t be a problem. At one time we had Frontier Airlines fly in here. You could fly right out of Moab and that got away. Now if you want to fly you have to drive somewhere. I guess we’ll get air service back again.

I guess the people that you get to know. Helen Taylor was and is a good friend of ours we’ve known being a member of the CBC and therefore D L Taylor and his family. You get to know the old-time ranchers here. That makes Moab a real enjoyable place.

Q: Did the religion make any difference?

A: Not. Some of the finest people I know don’t belong to the CBC so as far as we’re concerned.

Q: You don’t feel left out of any Mormon?

A: Not in Moab. There may be other towns that it does.

Q: Didn’t influence your business?

A: Never did. Not the fact that we weren’t of the LDS faith or even in SLC all the states that we operated in. We felt like once they got to know us we did a good job and we were accepted as good business people not a factor as far as religion. I know that Elsie coming from the prairies of Alberta where you can see flat country. It took her some getting used to in this valley. She’d say once in a while, we’ve just got to get out of here and go somewhere so I can see a long way.

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