COLUMN: The Logan Five

Harry Caines contributes a weekly column to CacheValleyDaily.com. His column is a work of opinion, and does not reflect the views of Cache Valley Daily, the Cache Valley Media Group, or its employees.

“Some cause happiness wherever they go; others, whenever they go.”

—Oscar Wilde

In keeping with my contrarian spirit, I am going to counter the grumpy mood I have been saddled with all week by producing one of my rare fluffy-kitten-sitting-next-to-a-litter-of-cute-puppies columns. Like singing and dancing, writing can be therapeutic to the soul. As such, allow me to swat back at those people who think I “Logan bash” too much and allow me to share with you 5 things I plan to do in Cache Valley between now and December 25th.

—- I often mention my great love for the White Owl and Caffe Ibis. For those of the “dominant religion” of Utah who have never set forth in either establishment, you are missing a good meal. Yes, one serves beer and the other is known for their outstanding coffee and tea. But what is missing is that they both serve really great food.

Slightly ironic to rip those places for offering liquid refreshments that is deemed by religious dogma too bad for you when many in Cache Valley eat at chain restaurants that bury your stomach in a horrific morass of calories and blandness. And I can guarantee my Mormon friends that if Pepsi and Coke were around during Joseph Smith’s lifetime that soda would have been included in D&C 89.

I find great solace in these places. Perhaps my desire to be a small part of the small parts of Logan that are considered the counterculture motivates my love of these two businesses. I prefer to think that they are great places to hang out and that I never have a bad time or a bad meal there. And I plan to have many before 2014 breathes its last breath.

— When I walk to Ibis on the weekends, I am usually treated to live music. I must do more of that at other venues. There is always some form of music up on USU’s campus. Also, the Logan Tabernacle does things on occasion; maybe a live cover band whose posters I see up and around town.

Autumn is a time for calmness. Music soothes the raging beast in most of us. That should make for more moments of Shiny Happy Harry.

— I love fall weather. This is my favorite time of year to walk around. That crisp air on my face is a great feeling. I write frequently about walking through Cache Valley for my daily exercise. But I think I am going to try to cajole others to take walks with me. Maybe my kids can be induced to take the air with their old man.

Winters here can be brutal. We should enjoy this weather before it gives way to sub-zero temperatures and icy sidewalks. And the dirty air—yeah, that makes winters even less tolerable.

I do not live far from much of the shopping that the valley has to offer. I also have an affinity for sitting on park benches. Logan has tons of those. A brisk walk with good company makes this town much more pleasurable.

— Be honest with me…are there businesses that you have never stepped foot in simply because you never had the inclination to do so? Maybe I am just a prisoner of my own anal retentiveness, but I tend to shop at the same places over and over again. I have bemoaned frequently how little support local businesses get from those of us that live here. But to my shame, there are many locally owned stores that have not seen my shadow on their floors in my decade of living here.

I am pledging to myself to go into five businesses I have never been into and to buy something from at least one of them.

— The 5th thing on my list is something that should be easy to do but has been one of the most arduous things to accomplish in my time here. It is going to sound really weird but when I think about, talk about or walk about Logan I am going to curtail my cynicism.

I know I can be a snide jerk when I talk about local issues. Some of the things that happen in this town compel me to over-aggrandized eye rolling. The Powers That Be in this town love breaking things that were not broken and then screwing up fixing them. It is bizarre.

But those things happen. Being a wet blanket saturated with vinegar will not make it better. I take things that do not affect me that way too personally.

I scowl a lot. I sneer at things that I live with. Logan is an OK place to live. I should smile more.

And that is my list. Short, simple and not a terribly difficult endeavor. If I am stuck living here for two more years the least I can do is enjoy the easy life that can be afforded here.

You see! I am not nearly the moribund, whiny sourpuss you think I am. I can be downright optimistic when motivated to do so. After all, I live in Logan, Utah. How can anyone that calls this place home ever be grumpy?

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