Oral Histories

Melvin S. Dalton

b.1923

Mel & Ida Dalton

A: Well, I’ll tell you if I was down and out, didn’t have a penny, I’d rather be in Moab than any place I’ve ever been. Maybe all towns are this way, but I’ve seen more people willing to help the down and out right here in this valley than any place I’ve ever been and I think that’s a plus for Moab.

Q: That’s a great thing to say. On the flip side of the coin, what would you say are the worst things about Moab?

A: Well, I’d hate to think there is any “worst things.” I’ve never really thought about it. We have a lot of political differences among our people, but I don’t think that’s worst, I think people have a right to have their opinions about what needs to be done. I don’t think there are any worst things about Moab. I’ll just put it that way.

Q: Doesn’t sound like you’d like to live too many other places?

A: I am happy here. If they kicked me out, threw me out that way, I’d come back in this way. I like it here; I like what’s here. I think Moab has a beauty within the radius of a few miles that nobody compares with. We’ve got the prettiest mountain in the world; we’ve got the prettiest skyline in the evening. That hill over there, you can drive up any evening and you can get the prettiest sunsets there is to be shown almost any night in the world. You’ve got the prettiest canyons. There is just no comparison. I’m just glad the Lord has let me live here in this area.

Q: Have all your kids managed to stay here?

A: No, at one time every one of them left. They were all gone. Now four of them are back and they love it and they don’t want to go anywhere else. The ones that live elsewhere, I think are pretty happy where they are.

Q: How many grandkids do you have now?

A: Twenty seven and that’s quite a crew when you get us all together. We have twelve great grandchildren.

Q: Anything else you’d like to say to sum up?

A: I think the overall picture is: I look at Moab and I kind of dream about, well, wouldn’t it have been nice if all this had never happened. But that isn’t the way it is. All of this has happened and all of it has happened in a basic orderly fashion. The growth of Moab will continue for a long time.

Q: You see growth as a good thing?

A: Yes, basically, I do. I mean, where are people going to live? Everybody says, well, we don’t want them in our yard, but people have a right, I guess, to live and chose where they want to live if they can afford there. I’m sure there’ll be a time in Moab when the land will be so high that only rich people and maybe it’s already at that point. I look at land that I was offered to buy for 10 dollars an acre when I was young and didn’t have 10 dollars to buy it with, didn’t make any difference. You see the price that it goes for now. We bought 20 lots up by the golf course years ago, my wife and I. We bought them for $2,000 dollars an acre and we sold them for $4,000 and thought we’d cut a wide swath. Gee, you look at what they sell for now and ah well. Can’t worry about that. We made money and felt good about being out of debt.

Q: It’s been very enjoyable spending some time with you. I’m sure this is going to turn out to be a great interview.

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