Babs DeLay

Babs DeLay

October 07, 2014

Carriage Days

2014

This holiday season you won't be seeing horse drawn carriages in downtown Salt Lake City. The only company providing rides to paying customers has quietly closed-to the cheers of PETA supporters. You might recall the sad pictures in the press during the summer of 2013 when Jerry, the dapple gray horse belonging to 'Carriage for Hire' collapsed on the road during a brutally hot 97 degree August day. The poor animal was so weak that he couldn't get up and his owners had to come lift him with ropes and drag him onto a trailer and take him away. The company tried to cover up the wellness of Jerry by later saying he had been put out to pasture, but we all later learned that the horse had died.

The City Council of Salt Lake was petitioned endlessly afterwards by PETA and others to make horse drawn carriages illegal and mounted a direct protest near the horse stands and on the Capitol steps after the horse's demise. The City did not outlaw the carriage companies and the ability of people to hire carriages for rides around the Temple but the pressure was too much for the last surviving carriage company to stay afloat.

Horse transportation is of course an outdated mode of transportation to get from your uptown condo to your downtown job. But there are remnants of this past-gone era all over the city. In the Avenues and Capitol Hill residents are lucky to have enough land to allow for a garage, and what's often there is merely an old carriage house left over from the turn of the century. Carriages or buggies were commonly some 5 foot wide. Unless you own a Mini it's likely your car is over 5' wide and would be hard to get into one of these old barns. Most often the horses for the carriages were kept somewhere else, like down the street in a community barn/pasture because of the flies and smell of their manure. Homeowners would share the costs of bringing in feed, grooming, and medical service in these communal plots. The evidence of these old days is also visible in the alleyways behind many homes. Basically, the horses might be kept down the street and brought up to the rear of the homes on a shared dirt road so that the animals could be harnessed to buggy or vehicle of some kind.

Not everyone could afford carriages and buggies before the early 1900's. Horses were the primary mode of transportation before trains and cars came about.

We've got gas stations for our modern buggies. Back in the days of horses, citified animals had to have their hay and seed brought in by a delivery man. An average horse eats at least 2% of their body weight daily and needs a fair amount of water and grain supplements in its diet. If you happen to see an Avenues or carriage house in the valley that is two stories tall, that would be an indication of a place that stored hay and grain for the animals of the horse owners.

Sad to see a charming piece of history go away forever. I didn't like seeing the horses plod along on our hot city streets either. At Burning Man creative artists replace the actual mammal at the front of creative carriages with plastic or metal versions. Hey, that's it...bring the carriages back with artsy electric powered beasts to take folks on city tours for the 21st century!

 

October 07, 2014

Harvest Days

2014

Have you ever read a listing for a house for sale or an apartment for rent that advertised one of the added benefits to the property as the 'fruit trees' in the back yard? From the Mormon Primary songbook:

"I looked out the window, and what did I see? Popcorn popping on the apricot tree!
Spring had brought me such a nice surprise, Blossoms popping right before my eyes.
I could take an armful and make a treat, a popcorn ball that would smell so sweet.
It wasn't really so, but it seemed to be, Popcorn popping on the apricot tree."

If you've lived with an apricot tree in Utah when the little orange globes of goodness ripened, you know that often the trees are prolific beyond reason. The farmer's markets around the state are now full of the abundance of the peach and apple harvest for sale because we're had an abundant growing season. Yet so much produce from private properties goes unpicked, unused- rotting and fermenting on the ground with a result of your dog getting drunk on falling pears.

There's a great movement around the country to address the waste of potential local harvests that has filtered into some great programs in Utah. Salt Lake City has jumped on the bandwagon to help reduce food waste at SLC Green: "Each year as they come into season, apricots, apples, peaches and plums often go uneaten, falling in the streets and yards of Salt Lake City. As part of an initiative to reduce food waste, the City has partnered with Tree Utah, Avenues Fruitshare, Green Urban Lunchbox and Salt Lake Community Action Program to create an online database where residents can register their fruit trees." The inventory of fruit trees helps these organizations create a harvesting program staffed with volunteer groups to harvest fruit and nuts from registered trees and provide occasional pruning of the branches. All information about addresses and homeowners is kept confidential.

If you register your fruit trees on the site you let folks know that you want to share in the harvest. It's not a sure thing to expect a group of volunteers to show up in your back yard to pick your apples, but it could happen. The programs rely on the amount of volunteers they get who are interested in picking at any given time and the registration of desiring tree owners to share plentiful harvests. Certain trees may not be eligible due to height, hazards or location.
The great thing about clearing out your sagging, ripe trees is that the fruit nudged from the trees will be split with food banks, the homeowner and the pickers. It's an edible circle of love benefiting everyone. You can register your trees or sign up to be a volunteer at slcgov.com/slcgreen/fruitshare. I also want to give kudos to the Green Urban Lunch Box (search Facebook) and their mobile school bus /greenhouse. These folk empower people to take control of their food system by demonstrating how to create more urban agriculture and urban farms. Their 35-foot school bus is available as a mobile teaching classroom that travels to schools and community events. They were recently parked at the Craft Salt Lake festival and their big yellow bus had tomato plants exploding from inside out the windows. The sight of it made me and the youngsters around it giggle with glee to see a big mobile garden on our downtown street. Happy harvest you all!

October 07, 2014

Our Oldest Cemetery

2014

Whaaaaaa? October already? For you folk that love summer I'm sure you're sad that cooler weather is upon us. I'm a fan of hoodies myself and I'm happy as hell to see that the ski resorts around the capitol city got a half foot of the first dusting of snow this past weekend. When it's cooler weather I like to explore and kick the leaves that fall off of trees. My favorite thing to do is explore cemeteries.

Our REALTORS who work full time understand that buyers often love or hate the idea of living near the dead. A national real estate firm recently blogged that they found homes had sold near the main graveyard in a town went for 13% more than homes a block away from the cemetery. Realtor.com reported recently that six in ten people would consider buying a home near a graveyard especially if there is a supposed ghost living in the house. Some people like graveyards because they are quiet and park-like green space. Others find them spooky or grew up in a culture with specific rules about death prohibiting them living near a graveyard.

Our oldest cemetery in Utah (of white people) is underneath the Palladio Apartments on 300 South and 200 West on the east side of Pioneer Park. When developers dug the foundation for those apartments they found an old pioneer burial plot with bones from the 1840's and 1850's. These men, women and children had been put on top of an even earlier prehistoric Indian burial mound. The deceased were removed and the pioneers went to a graveyard created at Pioneer State Park (near the zoo) while he others were returned to a Utah tribe for a proper ceremony.

If you take TRAX to the U of U from downtown you pass another historic sanctified grounds- Mount Olivet Cemetery at 1342 E. 500 South. It's on the right as the train turns left into the station at the stadium. This is the ONLY cemetery in the U.S. that was established by an Act of Congress as a place to bury any person, of any race, creed or color. The Act was signed in 1874 by President Ulysses S. Grant and it required that a religious person/minister and one layman from each of five chosen denominations in Salt Lake serve on a Board of Trustees to oversee the land. I had always heard that it was a burial site for members of the Masons and that no Mormons were allowed to be buried there at all, but that's an urban myth a friend fed me at a party.

Here's a few of the notable residents buried at Mount. Olivet:

-The earliest black solder (Andrew Campbell) was buried in 1922 after serving in Utah Johnson's Army;

-Emma McVickers, the first woman state superintendent of schools; Emily Pearson, an Episcopal missionary and the first person buried in the cemetery-two years before it opened; Alvina Penney, the wife of J.C. Penney, who died suddenly at home when her department store magnate of a husband was out of town; and Susanna Bransford, the richest woman in Utah who died in 1905 and was known as the 'Silver Queen' for her ownership in the Park City mine of the same name;

-a whole bunch of names of the dead you'd recognize as past movers and shakers in Utah, from the Kearns, to the Keiths and the Walkers plus governors and mayors and Civil War heros.

The cemetery fell into financial problems in the 1990's. After years of many meetings between the Board of Trustees, the Feds and Salt Lake City Corp Mount Olivet's Board of Trustees worked out a deal so that the cemetery could lease out some of its land as an added income source. Since then a retirement center, school buildings/grounds for the U of U and Rowland Hall have been parsed out with the promise if plots were needed again, the buildings would be torn down. The cemetery is open @8 AM until dusk seven days a week.

September 15, 2014

Mayor Glade

2014

We listed the home of the 25th mayor of Salt Lake City (1944-1956), Earl J. Glade. He was elected to run our capitol city a year before WWII ended. In researching the man I found that he was born in Odgen and worked as a teenager in the mines in Park City as a 'mud-hen'. He went to college back east, became head of the business program at BYU and subsequently a professor at the U of U. What I find fascinating is that the home in Sugar House is where the very first KSL radio broadcasts were sent from, in an office on the main floor of the home. The telltale evidence is an outlet in the floor about 5" X 5" in size and old photos of him in the main floor bedroom/office/broadcasting studio.

The home was built on land deeded to Brigham Young in the 1860's from the U.S. Government and was turned over in his will to "all the surviving mothers and children of 21 years of age". According to the web, at the time of his death he had been married or been sealed to 56 women. The 160 acres just south of the now I-15 overpass was cut up and sold off over the years to famous names around Sugar House like William McIntyre, LeGrand Young and Henry Dinwoody. None of the owners back then had any idea that within a few blocks of this land there would later be a Belgian waffle house, dollar movies, brew pups, a state liquor store and a bike lane east to the Shoreline trail and north to the University of Utah and neighboring Westminster College. KSL was originally known as KZN and was the radio arm of the Deseret News paper. The first broadcast was on May 6th, 1922 and was a fireside chat with the LDS Church president Heber Grant. Earl J. Glade joined the station in 1925 and ran operations for 14 years. He was instrumental in creating 'Music and the Spoken Word', the longest running radio program on the U.S. airwaves.

Who listens to the radio any more unless it's Satellite Radio in your car or Pandora on your phone? Back in the 1920's radio was the only entertainment and news medium in the world apart from newspapers, telegraph and live stage shows. According to early radio history a literal 'broadcasting boom swept the United States in 1922 and within a year there were 500 stations coast to coast. Many thought it a passing fad and the early radio receivers were too expensive for the average person to afford. Plus, many of the radio consoles were the size of small refrigerators. Now just in Utah we have over 100 radio stations and an unknown amount of pod casts.

My how times have changed since the 1920's although many of the issues of the capitol city remain the same. Two of Mayor Glade's biggest campaign issues and projects that he worked on while in office were 1) to get more parking in downtown Salt Lake City and 2) to encourage developers to build more affordable housing.

September 15, 2014

Prows and Wood

2014

This summer Utah lost a visionary who built massive affordable housing here. Back in 1953, a self-taught designer named Richard Prows partnered with a local homebuilder and constructed 300 homes in a small town named Bountiful, Utah. Prows bought that man out a few years later and teamed up with an ad-man named Bob Wood and the future for Salt Lake City homeowners was changed forever.

This new team put up homes in the 1960's in Kaysville, Tooele, Roy, Layton and Salt Lake. Prowswood (the newly formed development team) ventured into a fairly unheard of world in 1963...building condominiums. The first condos were built in Puerto Rico in 1958, but the first condos in the Continental U.S. were built in Utah. The Greystone Manor at 2730 So. 1200 East were the first built in our state thanks to some forward thinking developers and attorneys. They had to lobby the Utah Legislature to approve a 'housing cooperative' which was literally based on the ownership style used in ancient Rome where properties were called 'condominios'. Other developers around the country were beginning to build condo projects and the Fed's got involved in 1961 by allowing federally insured mortgages for this kind of housing. Bingo! You got loans? We got developers!

In 1963, Prowswood Corp. began developing Three Fountains condominiums in Murray. They were such a new concept that buyers and real estate agents didn't understand what you owned, how they were run, who paid for what, etc. I had that same problem trying to sell downtown loft spaces in the late 1990's so I can relate to the confusion of the buyer pool. Soon Prowswood started attracting the demographic we see today for condominiums: empty nesters, people too busy to want to do yards or maintenance, single women who like the security, and couples without kids. Prowswood also built Old Farm, Brookstone and so many more projects around the state from St. George to the north. The company literally spun out thousands of condos in their day. Now the daughter of Wood runs her own company and the manager of Prowswood became a developer himself and is responsible for most of the larger condo and apartment buildings here that have sprung up in the last decade or so.

Many of the original owners of Prowswood condos are still in their units. Others have passed or moved to assisted living. The construction has withstood 50+ years and the landscaping on all the projects has grown into luscious shady greens. New owners have updated their units over the years and enjoy amenities like swimming pools in the summer and snow removal in the winter months. Condo living isn't for everyone but as someone who has owned and lived in one for years I will take a moment to salute Richard Prows and his vision...because without him I wouldn't have a place to live! Less and less of them are being built in the Salt Lake Valley and more and more apartments are going up. We'll just have to wait and see what the future will be for a lock and leave lifestyle that Prowswood was so famous for in their day.

August 07, 2014

The McClelland Trail

2014

Happy holiday, happy summer. I'm so glad I'm not living in California where it hasn't rained in such a long time. History has proven that water is scarce, and valuable, and now with global warming it's going to be even a more precious commodity. The Daily Beast calls water 'the new oil' and the growing stories of corporations buying up water rights around the world are astounding. That favorite candy bar maker of yours (Nestle) is one of the biggest culprits of water hoarding and have stated that water is NOT a fundamental human right.

There's a brass plaque on the plaza at 300 South and State Street by the theaters "Commemorating the Beginning in America of Modern Irrigation that states "In this vicinity on July 23 and 24, 1847" Mormons made irrigation ditches and diverted the water from City Creek to water their crops. The words are a bit inaccurate because natives had used irrigation systems here and certainly other settlers round the country had coursed water to their benefit. If you Google a map of the Jordan River as it wanders to the Great Salt Lake and pull back a bit on the map, you can see man-made lines leading to the Jordan River. These mostly straight lines are old hand dug ditches from farmers and land owners of long ago. As the new city of salt expanded, canals and irrigation ditches spread like spider webs in the valley to moisten the hungry crops.

Turn the clock forward a century and you would be hard pressed to find one of these water ways. Most of them have been plowed over out of disuse while others have been diverted through giant concrete water pipes under county and city streets. Active canals are worth a lot of money and there are locals who trade water shares for big bucks. Now Salt Lake City has announced that one of the buried canals that wanders from the Brickyard to 800 South is going to become noticeable again after 132 years. Thanks to a push by City Council person Erin Mendenhall, a group of local citizens, plus $1 million from City coffers, an improved walking and biking trail is going to create a very wide path over a weedy forgotten lane between 1000 and 1200 east. The water will still run under it from the Jordan Narrows to City Creek, where it then meets that waterway at Eagle Gate and turns to the Jordan River. There is also a master plan from Salt Lake City to 'daylight' City Creek itself and let the waters flow at the surface again. A green watery path would run from downtown, past the Red Iguana 2, parallel the rail road tracks and then to the Jordan River again. It could potentially even be stocked with local trout and be a fresh water source again for birds and wildlife.

Years ago I sold a home that bordered the McClelland canal. The new homeowner was delighted to have a wild space next door to her. She planted vines and veggies and felt like the unused space was an expansion of her own yard. Indeed, many homeowners along the trail have encroached upon the dirt that doesn't belong to them. The City will come through and measure and decide what is what. But homeowners along this new bike and pedestrian route should rejoice because their property values may have just gone up with a great amenity on their property lines.

2014

I always wondered when we hosted the 2002 Olympics why Mayor Rocky Anderson and Governor Mike Leavitt didn't find the money and the priority to cleanup and beautify the 'Gateway to the Capitol City' from the airport to North Temple. At the time it was a street with dive motels, fast food and many unkempt properties that basically just made this thoroughfare into Salt Lake City look just plain crappy to our worldwide visitors. Wingpointe Golf course had been open at the airport since 1990 but was of no use for competitions in the sub-zero weather inversion we had during the games. The airport had been spiffed up and TSA secured, as the 9/11 attacks had happened in the U.S. only four months before the Olympic torch was lit in Utah. We didn't have much snow then and I felt like we were greeting the world wearing flood pants, rope belts and sporting a few missing teeth and it was as if we had bathed but forgot to wash our feet.

Much has happened since then to our fair city, and actually to the entire tri-city area of Ogden, Salt Lake and Provo. TRAX which had opened for the games has expanded to and from the airport and along the valley floors. Artsy little metro stations dot the tracks at major TRAX intersections, a giant 18-field soccer complex voted in by Salt Laker's in 2003 on 1900 West and 2200 North will be finished next year and now the City and local groups are pondering what to do to finally make North Temple look better and act better. Ponder this: could North Temple ever be a destination point for you other than the occasional stop at the original Red Iguana? This is a necessary discussion because the airport itself is now about to methodically go under the bulldozers between now and 2022. In just 8 years the two terminals will become one, the number of gates will be reduced all (but all will be replaced with 'Jetways' (covered walks) to and from planes), with massive shopping, dining and meeting spaces added on both sides of security. There are 20 million passengers currently coming into our 50 year old airport which was designed to handle only 10 million visitors.

Sadly, Wingpointe is not a money maker. The $5 rent the Feds were once charging us for the land has been increased and the lease to Salt Lake City is up in 2017. If I were to look in my crystal ball I'd say that golf at Wingpointe will not be around in a few years and it will become more of a green space and animal habitat than underused links. On the happy side, when you build light rail in cities around the world development usually follows. Planners from Salt Lake City know this and have fast-tracked ideas and zoning proposals to help developers bring in more mixed land uses between the airport and downtown. Non-profit NeighborWorks is interested in getting affordable housing along the North Temple corridor and interviewing community members about their ideas for the area. The transitory daily rentals of hotels does not for a neighborhood make and yet many people consider the area along both sides of North Temple a swell place to call home. The streets around the decrepit State Fairgrounds in the Fairpark neighborhood are wide and the homes affordable. The Euclid neighborhood is a mix of small businesses and historic old homes. People are working to get a better sense of place now between the east and the west of the airport and downtown as well as to the north and south - finally!

July 01, 2014

Malls and Malls

2014

There has been so much hoopla in the past few years over the opening of City Creek mall that we may forget that there are many other malls in this state of Zion. The first 'enclosed' shopping mall ever built was Cottonwood Mall in Holladay in 1962, with its anchor stores at opposite ends- ZCMI and J.C. Penny. Just before the Crash of 2008, General Growth Properties tore down the mall and left Macy's standing all by itself. Oops, the GGP then filed bankruptcy itself in 2009 and was split into two companies by the courts. The current owners are the Howard Hughes Corp.

Valley Fair Mall in West Valley opened in 1970 as large new home subdivisions started popping up on the old farmlands out there. Fashion Place was built in 1972. University Mall in Orem followed the trend and opened in 1973 and then got later competition with the Provo Town Center. If you travel around the state you will find the Layton Hills Mall, The Newgate in Ogden, South Town in Salt Lake, the Tanger Outlet in Park City, the Outlets at Zion in St. George and in Lehi, University Mall in Orem, Gateway Mall in downtown and for lack of a better description, the 'theme malls' like Gardner Village and Trolley Square.
Shoppers love a good Mall. I am not a shopper/gatherer. I'm a hunter. That means I do not like to go into a department store and walk up and down the aisles touching the rounders of clothes gathering ideas. If I need a new pair of pants, I know who sells them, what size I wear and what color I need. I want to park reasonably close, run in, purchase and leave. Wandering aimlessly in crowds in and out of stores is not good therapy for me.

The Cottonwood Mall 'hole' of 54 acres weeds and rocks feels like a sad tale of boom and bust, but don't feel badly for the big money boys. Right now the Howard Hughes Corp. is working with Ivory Homes to design a high end housing development within a mixed use of new stores around the Macy's island in the Holladay dirt. Although no timeline has been announced for ground breaking you can be assured that one of the largest mixed use shopping and housing projects in the Salt Lake Valley since the City Creek Mall will be announced within the year.

In mall news, props to Gateway this past weekend for having a hugely successful sidewalk Chalk Fest for the Foster kids program here in the state combined with a KSL book giveaway for kids. The media giant gave out 20,000 books in just one day. Also, do NOT miss the world of the Broadway Musical WICKED on the sky bridge at City Creek. The costumes and a display of 'Behind the Emerald Curtain' are on display in the sky over Main Street through June 28th. And the bridge itself is lit up green at night while the display is up.

July 01, 2014

The First Picnic

2014

Happy holiday everyone! I heard on the news that 41,000,000 Americans will hit the road this weekend to seek out fun, family and photos. That's @13% of our population out and about. The rest of us I guess will do a staycation or work, right? Picnics with friends, going to a Bee's game, watching fireworks and most likely eating something off a grill. The big show for pyrotechnic fans is BYU's "Stadium of Fire" in Provo at Cougar stadium and in the capitol city it's Sugar House Park.

If you are planning to see the Sugar House show you might drive by a little tiny city park on the corner of 1700 South and 500 East. It's not a piece of grass where you could throw a Frisbee but a park mostly comprised of big granite boulders. This is the First Encampment Park and is where a group of Utah Pioneers - 109 men, 3 women and 8 children camped on July 22, 1847. It's hard when you drive by this piece of ground to visualize this big group camping there because everything around has been long developed. The park is surrounded by typical streets lined with Victorian, WWI and WWII housing, bus stops, an auto garage/mechanic and an Arctic Circle and 7-11. Yet Parley's Creek runs under the streets in the neighborhood and that's probably why the pioneers decided to camp there so long ago.

The boulders in the park have the names of the original folk who camped there etched into them and to me it feels a bit like gravestones. There are no people buried there though. The rocks have been placed carefully and represent our mountains and the creeks and pathways that come out of our hills. A clerk to Joseph Smith and Brigham Young was one of the campers there and wrote in his journal: "We descended a gentle sloping table land to a lower level where the soil and grass improved in appearance...The wheat grass grows six or seven feet high, many different kinds of grass appear, some being 10 or 12 feet high-after wading through thick grass for some distance, we found a place bare enough for a camping ground, the brass being only knee deep, but very thick; we camped on the banks of a beautiful little stream."

The group moved on to downtown where City Creek waters were clear and sweet and thus downtown Salt Lake City grew around the ready and available water. We grew so much from those pioneer days that City Creek was also put underground so streets could be built. The 'creek' in City Creek Mall is fake and the only evidence of the creek is actually up the canyon of the same name. This urban pocket park was dedicated in 1997. Check it out sometime when you're jogging or biking by this historic site.

July 01, 2014

Ice in the Summer

2014

Okay, wow. Someone reminded me the other day that there used to be an indoor ice rink in Sugar House. My brain activated a very clear image of me and my friend Mike going to Hygeia Iceland one night during college. It was located right across from the Irving School apartments on 2100 South in Salt Lake City. I do not and did not then ice skate. I believe we were drunk as skunks and just slid out on our tennis shoes to cause havoc during a fundraiser for the Westminster football team. But I digress. Summer's about here, so who's thinking about ice skating? Many folks love the ice because they grew up playing hockey and the Super Bowl of hockey, the Stanley Cup final, begins this week. All puck fans will have their Kings or Rangers bets on. Utah has a team but it's a minor one (The ECHL), like the Salt Lake Bees are in stature to the New York Yankees. Sadly, out of the original 26 teams only 10 are left. Minor league hockey hasn't been faring as well as the big leagues.

From what I have discovered, Utah's first high school hockey team was established and played at Hygeia Iceland in 1969. They were sponsored by the now defunct (and politically incorrect) Sambos Restaurant. There was a smaller rink up in Ogden around the same time known as the 'Cow Palace' which had a half sized rink and produced many amateur teams . In the early '60's the Deseret News reported that youth programs were skating at both the old Salt Palace and at Hygeia Iceland. The Salt Lake Eagles team played in Sugar House and traveled to rinks in the Intermountain West and Alberta Canada in 1960-61 . And the State archives have photos of people skating at Liberty Park in 1917, which makes sense as many Utahns emigrated from Scandinavian countries where skating was the norm.

Where can you ice skate or play hockey here? The most famous rink is of course the Utah Olympic Oval in Kearns. The University of Utah has a rink at the sports complex on Guardsman Way with Saturday theme nights with music and a disco ball for only $4.00 and a $2.00 skate rental. West Valley has the Acord Ice Center and South Davis has a rink for public skating as well. When it gets hot this summer it's cool and cheap to glide along the ice indoors. Even better, there are summer hockey leagues to get your game.

My favorite trivia about ice skating in Utah is: 1) Frank Zamboni was born in Eureka, Utah. He invented a machine that goes along the ice surface to shave it, smooth it and adds a fresh sheen of thin water to make more ice as it passes; 2) my agent Ben skated as 'Woody' for Disney on Ice around the world; 3) 2002 Olympic skater Michelle Kwan lived at American Towers condominiums during the games; 4) Dorothy Hamill, who won gold for the USA in Olympic skating in 1976 was the woman who ran the Olympic torch from the parking lot into the U of U stadium during the opening Ceremonies of 2002. Speed skater Eric Heiden refused to come to the 2002 games here because he wasn't chosen to light the Olympic torch. What a putz. The 1980 gold-medal U.S. Hockey team got that honor.

GO RANGERS!