|Paper||Mountain Times Weekly|
|Rights||In Copyright (InC)|
|Rights Holder||John Saltas, Salt Lake City, Utah|
|Publisher||Digitized by J. Willard Marriott Library, University of Utah|
|Paper||Mountain Times Weekly|
Tall Burgers, Tall Tales The unique small-town appeal of Tabiona By Christine Hensleigh The great thing about small towns is that people love to tell stories. Everybody knows everybody, so you get a lot of juicy details. Cafés and bars are the everyday social vortexes in small towns. The Sagebrush Inn of Tabiona is one such vortex. Just inside Tabiona, it serves up french fries, sandwiches and the meatiest all-beef patty since the invention of the cow. If you visit, do the bacon double-cheeseburger and turn off your pacemaker. All of that grease makes your brain function smoothly. This beef bonanza will keep your thoughts collected as long as the memory of the flavor lasts. J was in Tabiona researching this week’s cover story on Spanish gold, and I ask a lot of questions wherever a At the Sagebrush Café, they had a crooked watch out for each other... But there isn’t a day that goes by that someone - doesn’t stop here and ask about buying property. The road going in has made a big difference.” My grandfather lived in a small town with a weekend population of 600. Whenever I see him he always tells me, “Them small towns, they're done for.” If he’s right, I want to know just what we'll be missing out on. “Tt’s a struggle sometimes,” says Susana of life in Tabiona. “The jobs are scarce. But-you learn to live with what ‘you make. We all have food storage. | can’t imagine living without five months of food storage.” Susana is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), and the church encourages food stockpiling. But Susana thinks planning ahead has to do with small towns, as much as it does religion. “We're a long way from the grocery store, so you buy to make it last awhile. If something was to happen | could feed my family for five months. Just in case something happens, or if someone needs help. I like the security. Everyone will be coming up here if things end.” _If that happens, I’m coming up to Tabiona and ordering a double burger. I’m staying until they run out of meat. The next stop was Snook’s house. Snook isn’t his real name, but Lloyd Roberts doesn’t fit him as well. answer for every straight questio “Do gold?” Charlie stayed ‘me the mules you believe the stories of Spanish I asked the owner and cashier Strebel. Charlie’s cowboy hat on his head straight as he gave sidestep, “I believe in Spanish ... And there was the one time that I drank a fifth of whiskey. I found ~- some Spanish gold that time.” That was as straight as they’d get with me, but they did tell me about Snook. “Snook likes to talk; he’ll tell you some. stories.” Husband and wife Charlie and Sharyn Strebel have run the Sagebrush for the past 15 years. They’ve stayed in Tabiona to be near their family ofjeight children. Their daughter Susana, talked to me about life in a small town: “I love Tabiona, it’s still a small beautiful town. You don’t worry about your kids as much. Everybody knows everybody, you Snook welcomed me like an old friend, and you betcha he had stories. Snook has lived in these parts since he was a young pipsqueak. He’s run sheep all over Utah, and been a part-time prospector as well. Like most people in small towns, he’s a bit of jack of all Snook and his still PHOTO BY BILL CONNELL Barney had staged the whole thing to trades. A country boy will survive. “Did you hear about Barney?” Snook wanted to know. | get his mine dug up. And Snooks’ stories aren’t even the Barney was another prospector from best he has to offer. Snook is a collector the area. “He had gold mines all over, of odds and ends; he’s got a mini_ but he died a poor man,” Snook Western museum laughed. Barney was a sly character. His - Milk stools, the first electric washing machine, old bear traps, a stack of Stetson hats a foot high—you name it. claim to fame in the area was the exca- vation of one of his pet gold mines. Old Barney had been having a time with and he probably has it. His prize posses- one mine and wanted fast progress. Part sion, dating back to the days when he of what slowed him down was that he didn’t trust anyone for very long. A was a teenage bootlegger, is an old time copper still. His specialty was whiskey, steady stream of workers came and but he produced peach brandy as well. went, including relatives. But Barney had been putting two and two together. and had a plan for some fast action. One day the search and rescue was called out to his mine because someone working for him was reported trapped. He bought the still with his brothers at the age of 13. They hid the still by the river. Come nightfall, everyone gathered by the river for a good time. The whiskey still brought a lot of good times, but not a lot of money. Snook gave more away than he sold. The one prize that the whiskey got Search and rescue came to the site, and they had an ambulance ready and waiting to transport the trapped man. After a lot of digging people starting wondering just where this man was trapped. And finally the truth came out that him—he traded 20 gallons of the stuff as a down payment on a Plymouth. Snook was sure to tell me that “Visitors are welcome.” a jerrara | $407 Sale 3 Hbland: orive wy wv 10 Price , .1U | SEFIEMBER 14, 2000 | ae WWW.avenews.com first = r store wide ne sitting in his garage.