Oral Histories

John E. & Mary Keogh


John & Mary Keogh

Mary: Well, I think that his biggest problem with going to public meetings is that he can’t hear what’s going on.

Q: But that doesn’t keep you from square dancing? Do you square dance every week?

John: Once a week.

Mary: Last night though we square danced and we were in a square and this woman kept talking all the time and finally Jack got really upset because the square kept breaking down because if just one person can’t hear the calls it upsets the whole square and when one person is out of sync you might say and he wasn’t the only person out of sync I think I was having problems too and all of a sudden Jack said “Would you please be quiet so I can hear the caller and can hear what he’s calling.” And believe me everyone came to attention.

Q: He could hear her alright.

John: We enjoy that dancing. We don’t go traveling around like we used to. The club goes to different towns where there are different clubs quite often but we don’t do that much anymore.

Mary: It’s enough to go every Thursday night in Moab to square dance.

John: We don’t have very many social activities, do we? We’re kind of active in the Catholic church, you know.

Q: Do you go to any Ladies meetings?

Mary: I go to the Ladies American Auxiliary Auxiiliary meetings.

John: But we don’t do much else.

Q: You still do things with the kids that live in town? Seems like you babysit grandkids?

Mary: Yes, we do some baby sitting.

John: It’s kind of nice to have so many kids close by because we see ‘em all pretty regularly.

Mary: The ones who live here.

John: Yeah, the ones who live here. The kids who live out of town, we just see them one or two times a year.

Q: They all came to your 50th anniversary?

John: Yeah, they all came here and we had a good time at the Old City Park. One of my kids who lives on the East Coast is temporarily on the West Coast and she’s going to come through here on the 4th of July and on short notice she wants to have another family reunion but I don’t think it’s going to get put together in time.

Mary: No and that’s over the 4th of July and, like a lot of people, some of our kids have made plans for a year for the 4th of July weekend and Tim’s wife’s family is having a family reunion down south of Monticello and they’ve planned it for a year and his wife just said “Well we’re going to be there for the whole weekend. We’re not going to go for just one day.” And you have to plan a reunion, especially when some of them are so far away. But our daughter lives on Long Island now and she used to live in Oregon. She’s a school teacher and so they’re making a trip back to Oregon to sell some real estate that they still own in Oregon. Then she’s going to be coming back through here on her way to Long Island and it’ll be nice to visit with her. The kids who live here will be here and some of the others will come anyway.

Q: Sort of a mini-reunion.

Mary: Yes.

John: You asked about Moab and Grand County. It must be thriving because I hear we must have 7 – 8 – 9,000 people in the County now, so that’s a lot more than there were during the Boom and I guess most of them are working so it must have a lot of promise. I’d kind of like to see a couple of additional businesses or industries to the tourist business, so that we could have a variety for employment so that more of the young people could stay here to work. They can’t all work in tourism. But as far as the development goes, it’s inevitable. You either go ahead or you back up and die so I think that most of the people are supportive of development and are doing pretty well in the County. Things are more regulated and organized now. We used to have a meeting or get-together nearly every Friday night to rehash the week’s work, to socialize, to have a couple of drinks and relax. Many elected and appointed members of all levels of government used to come and briefly visit as well as other local friends. I’m sure that would be frowned on now.

Q: Do you have any thoughts about the running of local governments now compared to many years ago. They now have a manager for the County and also one for the City that they didn’t use to have.

John: Well, it used to be when they had a three-person Commission I thought at that time that it would have been well for them to have an administrator to do all the paper rattling for them. A lot of any government requires paperwork. I’m not supportive now of having seven councilmen plus an administrator and maybe an assistant. I don’t know what the status of their staff is. Mostly I was impressed with both the City and the County governments before because I went to over 500 County Commission and City Council meetings over all the times I worked there and I was very favorably impressed with the Council people and the Commisoners both, because in those days it wasn’t a paid position. I mean, they did get some money but it wasn’t very much. But the people who sought those jobs were really conscientious about helping Grand County and Moab City, I think.

Q: Well, there’s a lot of administration for somebody to take care of .

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