• Sona Schmidt-Harris

Eavesdropping in Holladay

As a reporter and writer, sometimes I need to walk the streets of effervescent Holladay. For the purposes of this article, it was to eavesdrop on good citizens when they thought no one was listening. This proved to be harder than I thought. Remaining incognito when you’re really trying to listen to a conversation can be challenging. Still, Holladay didn’t disappoint.


Pristine, Holladay Utah - My hometown for years.


Coffee Shop Talk


I positioned myself at a busy coffee shop near a young woman at the counter and an even younger barista behind it. The two chatted for a good 45 minutes, some of which I believe the barista should have been working.


Here is a little of what they had to say.


Young Woman at the Counter: “I want to go to the pool, but it’s soooooo hot!”


This was on one of the hottest days of the year, and what better way to cool off?


Young Woman at the Counter: “My ex-husband’s, ex-wife said . . .”


I figured that this couldn’t be good news as Young Woman at the Counter appeared to be only about 24.


The Barista and Young Woman at the Counter exchanged quick-firing comments in a way normally only women do, especially young women.


Barista: “I’m so flat.”


Young Woman at the Counter: “No.”


I like the way Young Woman at the Counter answered so definitively and directly about a sensitive subject.


When Barista had to work, Young Woman at the Counter wrote in her journal. These appeared to be deep thoughts. At some point, she called an employer or prospective employer and spoke much more slowly and distinctly.


I found myself envious of Young Woman at the Counter. She deftly went between modes of communication that would make most people’s heads spin, at least mine.


Barista: “Do you say OATmeal or oatMEAL?


I have never considered this particular pronunciation problem, and I doubt most of us ever have.


Barista: “Okay, I’ll call you at 8:00.”


It seemed that a lot had already been covered the last 45 minutes, and I finally understand my husband when he says, “How can you talk that long? What do you and your sister talk about for that long?”


Money Makes the World Go ‘Round


A pretty blonde in a hat, cowboy boots and short dress (Confident Blonde) sat across the table from two men. One was a middle-aged gentleman in a suit and well-trimmed silver beard (Silver Beard). The other was a young man with black dress slacks and a black short-sleeved shirt (Man in Black).


Confident Blonde: “My partner said as soon as we make enough money, we’re going off the grid.”


I don’t think her partner meant Ted Kaczynski going off the grid or anything. I think what he meant was to be financially cozy enough to get off the money-making treadmill. This is a perpetual problem. We need to be fully engaged in society to make money, but we want to have enough money to sort of drop out of the game.


Confident Blonde: “He bought a huge chunk of downtown Ogden. Everything he does turns to gold.”


Chasing the American Dream in Holladay remains ubiquitous.


Confident Blonde: “They’re supposed to make the decisions with millions of dollars?”


She was clearly incensed that these rich people held this much money in their hands.


Silver Beard: “He cashed in . . . He is from Park City.”


Park City is more financially comfortable than Holladay.


Silver Beard: “I was coming home from New York. I was raising money for . . .”


I think that Silver Beard had the most money of the three.


Man in Black to Confident Blonde: “How did we meet? I can’t remember.”


Confident Blonde: “I was meditating.”


Man in Black: “I interrupted you.”


The conversation turned to meditation and its benefits. If they’re like me, sometimes they mix their desire for money with the mind-resting and spiritual benefits of meditation (hypocritical me). I’m not sure if that was what the yogis in India and the Buddha first had in mind for meditation.


Confident Blonde: “If he’s as busy as I am . . .”


Another problem. Some of us earn money to give ourselves more free time, but it takes lots of time to make more money.


Holladay didn’t get genteel and flower-basket-ridden because of street cred.

Photo by Sona Schmidt-Harris


Let’s face it. Holladay is more prosperous than most of the world. We didn’t get genteel and flower-basket-ridden because of street cred., and the Gods of Mt. Olympus above the valley look favorably down upon us.


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