This & that: Butch, Sundance and the Sunday sacrament

Stock image, St. George News

FEATURE – It can be said that what’s done in the dark inevitably comes to light or, put another way, after Saturday night comes Sunday – lessons I and three other boys learned firsthand when we were teens.

I was 13 years old and had just gotten my first job working for a guy named Randy who bought cars from the junkyard and refurbished them – basically I did a lot of sanding. Randy was 27 and married to Terri who was attending medical school in Indiana. They were originally from Salt Lake City and when Terri graduated, their family was relocating to Salt Lake City where Terri would begin residency.  It was the end of summer and they invited me to accompany them and my father consented.

So it was that I made my first trip without a member of my family.

It was a wonderful trip with many stops. We saw the St. Louis Arch, the Mississippi River, traveled through the mile-high city and the Rockies to Utah, arriving on the 24th of July with fireworks in full force – the only place that has more fireworks on the 24th than the Fourth of July.

I had been to Utah before, traveling through on our way to family reunions in Idaho. I enjoyed seeing the places I had read about in pioneer folklore.

The day after we arrived, Randy took me around the city visiting Temple Square, the then Star Palace where the Jazz played and the old Saltair club that had burned down.

I saw the Great Salt Lake for the second time. I really loved Utah. But there was more I would experience this trip than just sightseeing.

Randy introduced me to his cousin Kevin who was my age and arranged for us to go to a magical place called Trolley Square Saturday night.

We were two young teens on our own for the night and had a great time; a great time, that is, until we were robbed.

That’s right. My first night on the town in, of all places, Salt Lake City, and I got robbed. Not by any armed, masked, gun-toting rapscallions but by two older boys – if not much older, they were definitely bigger than Kevin and I. Fortunately, by that time, we had already seen a movie and spent some money for food and the arcade so our pockets didn’t offer much to the robbers. Even so, we lost about $30 between us and for me, in 1978, that was a lot of money.

Kevin and I reported the crime to mall security even knowing the chance of the two boys getting caught was a long shot.

When Randy picked us up, we related our harrowing tale to him. He felt bad and did his best to console us while I decided that despite being victimized by two older bullies, Kevin and I had had a great time.

The next day was Sunday.

Kevin, who had spent the night with us, went with us to church. We were sitting somewhere in the middle of the congregation when the sacrament portion (the serving of the bread and water) of the service was being prepared. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the sacrament is blessed by priests (usually aged 16-17 years old) and served by deacons (usually aged 12-13 years old). After the blessing was given, the priests rose to pass the trays to the deacons.

It was then that I got a sharp elbow from Kevin whose eyes were fixed on the sacrament table. I followed his gaze to the three boys sitting behind the table and there they were: Butch and Sundance, our robbers from the night before. I of course immediately told Randy to my left who, it turns out, not only knew the young men but also their fathers.

During the service, I kept my gaze on Butch and Sundance to see if they would see us. Sure enough, one of them did. His face fell and he whispered to his friend who put his head in his hands as he saw us. The jig was up.

Afterwards, there was a meeting among the adults. I don’t know what was said. All I know is that after church the two young men came over with their parents and apologized to Kevin and me. I also got my money back.

Today, I can only laugh about what happened: Two 16-year old bullies robbed younger teenagers thinking they would never see them again. I thought I would never see them again either. But the dread on those two boys’ faces in the midst of the service of he sacrament was almost gift enough – that and watching them sit and wait for their eventual comeuppance.

It seems that whenever I have done something wrong, it has always caught up to me in some way or another – I expect it’s like that with most of us.

Perhaps the lesson here is this: If you’re going to rob someone on Saturday night, you probably should not be blessing the sacrament on Sunday.

Darren Cole is a developing columnist and otherwise sports writer for St. George News. Any opinions given are his own and not representative of St. George News.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter:  @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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