Tabatha Deans

Bringing Integrity to the Written Word

A Good Week in Town

I’m getting ready to head back up to the dam, and it’s raining buckets. My parents, the explorers, are camping at the dam for the weekend, so I’ll have a warm, dry place to stay. I’m staying an extra day and night, Monday, to watch the DWR shock and count the fish in the river below the dam. I’m covering it for the Vernal Express, and hear it’s quite a production. DWR employees and volunteers float down the river and put electrical probes into the water, which shock the fish senseless. When they float to the top dazed and confused, they count them, weigh them and tag them before releasing them back into the river. According to my official dam lecture, on average, there are about 14,000 fish per mile in the river below the dam.

            It’s been a great week in town, I’ve met some interesting new people, both in the community and through the Express. I covered a school board meeting that showed me just how tough it was to be in a position of authority within the community. They were trying to determine which school areas were dangerous enough provide school bus service, and how to find enough bus drivers to cover them. Watching the people in that room gave me a new respect for community leaders. They argued about the technicalities and formalities of changing bus routes, and the discussion got heated. But in the end they decided to do what was right for the children in jeopardy, and have vowed to re-examine maps of walking routes to see if they can make any changes. The good thing about a small town is that decisions can be made quickly, where in larger cities, any kind of change would take several months, if not years to institute.

            My housemates are doing very well. Dustin is 14 and a genius, he’s also been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. Alex is 10 and a bit of a tough guy on the outside, but has a huge heart on the inside. When I first arrived I don’t think they really knew what to think of me staying here. They’d been alone with Kathy pretty much since they were born, and had a pretty solid daily routine. I think I’ve been a fun, positive influence on them, and I see them grow up a little bit each day. When I returned from the dam last weekend, since Fall apparently has officially begun, they had decorated the whole outside of the house with orange lights and pumpkins. Their faces were beaming with pride as I pulled up, and Dustin’s face was aglow as he hurriedly told me how he wired all the lights. Alex pointed out all the Halloween details, and then they helped me unload my car, which they do every time I return.

            Alex has begun playing flag football, so Kathy and I go to watch him every Tuesday and Thursday night. He’s a very sociable kid, and has a smile that can bring any girl, woman, man or child to their knees. Dustin is going to come be an assistant dam guide with me next week. He also has a brilliant smile, and is very sociable. Some of his mannerisms may seem “different” to other people, but getting to know him I find them adorable. He’s excellent with numbers and remembers the number of every campsite I’ve stayed in since I’ve been here. He’s meticulous about everything he does, but has begun teasing me every chance he gets. They’re truly adorable young men, and I consider myself lucky to be part of their lives. I know it’s hard for Kathy to watch them grow up, and I hope my time here helps make her life better.

September 11, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | 1 Comment