Oral Histories

Sam Taylor

b.1933

Sam Taylor

Q: It’s a good thing you went to Journalism.

A: I’ll never regret doing that for 2 reasons. In that small journalism department were about 20 kids that became real pros in metropolitan journalism; couple of them still work for the Salt Lake Tribune. We became like a fraternity, we were so close together in that little department. We still maintain those relationships. Later when I went into politics and got elected to the State Senate, I found it was really valuable having old friends in the press box. The other reason that I really enjoyed going back to college was that I got re-acquainted with Adrien who was also a Journalism major – a year behind me.

Q: She was living in Salt Lake?

A: Living in Salt Lake. We got re-acquainted at University of Utah and I married her the next year. And I knew before I married her that she loved Moab. And I knew that a number of the other girls that I went out with while I was up there that last year would never have wanted to leave the metropolitan area. But Adrien was eager to come back home.

Q: Now when you were down here (Moab), after you got out of the service and before you went back up to school, were you living at home?

A: I lived in my parents’ home: a two-story plus basement, five-bedroom home all by myself.

Q: They were up in Salt Lake, so you had the place to yourself?

A: And that made quite a bachelor pad, believe me. 

Q: And so you went back and forth, had a place up there when you were in school?

A: Rented apartment,

Q: Came back and forth on weekends?

A: Uh huh.

Q: Then when you married Adrien, where did you both move to?

A: When we decided to get married, I had bought a little subdivision house down in Palisade Subdivision. I knew that’s not where we wanted to live forever.

Q: For the record, where is the Palisade Subdivision?

A: Palisade Drive and Westwood. I had been given 2 acres of ground by my father for partnering with him on his little 15-acre farm to plant a thousand peach trees. I did all the work. Did all the harvesting, did all the pruning. He paid the taxes, he bought the tractor he paid the irrigation bill and we split the peach crop.

Q: And where was this orchard?

A: It’s where Taylor Subdivision is now: 4th North and 5th West. Taylor Avenue goes right through the middle of it. But I tended the thousand peach trees for a number of years. That kind of got in my blood, so I nurse my 5 little peach trees down on the farm because I love them and I know how to take care of peach trees. He gave me 2 acres as a bonus for running that farm for him.

Q: Was that part of his original acreage?

A: Yes, Taylor Subdivision was 13 acres and I’ve got 2 of them. We had that property, right on 5th West. There was no subdivision there then at all. We planned together, Adrien and I did, and started construction of a new home which was 1600 square feet, a pretty big house for Moab at that time. The week after it was completed, we got married. And we moved into a brand new house. Every time we had a child, we added onto it. So by the time we finally sold out after we got totally surrounded by neighbors, and wanted some acreage around us. It had 2400 square feet, 5 bedrooms, 3 baths. It is now a Bed and Breakfast, I think.

Q: What’s the address of that place?

A: 590 N 5th West, Canyonlands Bed and Breakfast. I hate to go by there because all the shrubs and trees, I had 87 rosebushes at one time, everything is dead now and the place looks almost abandoned. But that’s where we pretty much raised our kids. We’ve been in our current home now for 24 years. When we found 9 acres right smack in the middle of Moab, with a creek running through one corner of it, we thought we found Heaven, and we did. I have two of my granddaughters who live in California, staying with me right now for a month. They are in a household in California with a small child, cramped, hectic, and they just love it down here, staying with us. It’s so quiet and peaceful. Adrien’s been in Denver all week. I talked with her on the phone last night and she said, “Did you close the office today, on the 24th?” And I said, “Yes, I told people if they had things they wanted to do in the office they could feel free to come in and do it, but we’re not going to unlock the front door.” Almost everybody came in and did a few things, including me, but I left at noon and went home. She said, “Well, what did you do all afternoon?” I said, “I sat in the refrigerated air conditioning and watched some movies on TV.” And I never watch movies on TV, rarely.

Q: Let’s backtrack to when you first moved into your house and came back from Salt Lake. When you came back at that point, have you been here ever since?

A: Yes.

Q: So that would definitely put you here for the boom, what they are calling the boom years. We have some specific questions. How about the influx of the newcomers? You said you saw it go from 800 to 1000 up to…?

A: 6,000 to 8000.

Q: And how did that, from your point of view, as the editor of the newspaper, involved with the day-to-day running of the town, how did that influx influence the infrastructure of sewer, water, housing, all that stuff.

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