As with any graduating class, individuals spray out to the corners of the map when they finish school. Some stay in town, many can’t wait to leave town, a good percentage attend colleges, universities and trade schools. Those who move away are often lured back by Moab’s qualities as a place to live.
By and large, Moab graduates are achievers who have and do make positive impacts to the world. As I think about the Class of ‘83, which had about 100 students in it as classes do now, I see an eclectic mix of people and I’m proud of their successes.
Many own their own businesses as building contractors here and in cities such as Las Vegas. One continues his family’s drilling business. Another is a professor at the University of Utah, while yet another owns a travel agency in Salt Lake City. One guy has just launched a new trolley car business here, while a female classmate is a superintendent for the National Park Service. Some are engineers at software companies on the Wasatch Front; others are teachers and one is our football coach.
An exceptionally notable member of the Class of ‘83 has become a successful movie producer in Los Angeles. It was not happenstance when one of the hugely popular Austin Powers movies was filmed here; the Moab-grown director made it so.
My small business last week played a small part in providing activities for a convention of distinguished young professional executives from Salt Lake and Park City. That group brought their families to Moab so that they could network and recreate, and we bent over backward to show them a good time. I was lucky to have several extra helpers on hand to wrangle horses and dudes onto horses and mules and shuttle them back and forth to a nearby resort. While taxiing these people, my small staff was queried as to why we choose to live in Moab. “Have you ever lived anywhere else?” they asked us. “Did you attend college?” “Really, your son is an attorney in Nevada?” The conventioneers seemed to think that we Moab residents were stuck here and had no option of getting out. Hopefully, they left our community with a better impression of the people who keep this town running.
Yes, many of us grew up here, but many have lived elsewhere. Some of us are proud Moab pioneer stock and others wish they could be. We like it here. We love it here. We all want to afford to stay here. We choose to live here. We wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, even if it meant working in the tourism service industry.
Welcome home, GCHS Class of 1983. To those of you who don’t live here anymore, enjoy your reunion and let the beauty and energy of Moab restore your souls until you can come back again.