Mayor’s Letter

Dad was raised near 900 South on 2000 West. Drafted before finishing high school in 1944, he served in the United States Army as part of the occupying forces in Japan. In November of 1946 he returned home. By Easter Sunday of 1947 he was engaged to Mother, and had purchased his first ride, a 1935 Ford Coupe V8. He always placed great emphasis on the V8 in that name! I was never quite sure as boy which he was more thrilled with that Easter, his future wife or the car!

Regardless, Dad employed his kid sister, LaPriel, that Easter Sunday to record the moment of pulling away from the house in the new ride containing his future bride using an 8 mm “motion-picture” camera. When recounting this story, Dad always mentioned that he had no money for gas; he was broke.  So, the two simply drove away into the Barnes Canning Factory lot [now Utah Onion] seen in the background behind Mother, and then quickly returned parking both on the wrong side of the road.

My Aunt LaPriel captured a moment that is priceless to me. My aunt was instructed to film the two closing the door and pulling away from the shoulder and then stop the camera. Instead, she followed the car the whole time they traveled north along 2000 West, into and out of the canning factory lot, then the return and parking.

For our benefit, she captured forever a view north along 2000 West toward what is now Syracuse High School. Specifications for the ‘35 Ford state that the distance between the axels [the wheelbase] to be 9 feet 3 inches. Using that measurement to place scale to the picture to the right, I estimate the pavement on 2000 West in that day would have been about 12 feet wide. Note that there is standing water on the shoulders of the right-of-way, no curb, gutter or sidewalk; just mud!

During the last couple of years, we have struggled through the widening of 2000 West. It hasn’t come without tears and the loss of some of what was. Each travel lane on the roadway is still 12 feet wide. An 11-foot shoulder with curb, gutter and sidewalk extensions are all part of the improvement. It is finished! Thank you UDOT. You have served the community well. Change is inevitable! Thank you for making this a good one. All of this has the result of great folks finding Syracuse and calling it home.

Michael Gailey, Mayor

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