The Summer of 1997: A Look Back

Helllloooooooooo!" That’s what I shouted over the Grand Canyon when we first pulled up. You have to do that. It’s the law. Whenever you see a great big hole placed inconveniently between you and your destination, you have to get out of your car and embarrass your

family by yelling loudly. For maximum effect, there should be a lot of strangers around, ensuring that your teen-age daughter will never speak to you again "for as long as I live!" or until you get back into the car, whichever comes first. "If you EVER do something like that again, Dad..."

I’m hearing this a lot lately, now that I’ve apparently entered a period of my life where I routinely do things outside the narrow range of teen-age acceptability, such as innocently walking through the house in my pajamas—my OWN house, mind you—when she has friends over. Was that so wrong? I think I look good in matching plaid tops and bottoms, accessorized with comfortable suede slippers. Frankly, I was a little surprised they didn’t invite this snappy dresser to join in their fun.

But back to the Grand Canyon, a geological phenomenon that really gets in the way of people trying to make Vegas by dinner time ("What the...! [sound of car brakes squealing] How did THIS get here?! What, they couldn’t put up a bridge or something?!!")

Our 11-year-old wanted us to go on the famous mule ride down to the bottom, which prompted me to find out again if the canyon could return an echo, which it did: "Noooooooo!"

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Sojourners Magazine September-October 1997
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