COLUMN: Cache Valley – Where Sundays are Sindays

Harry Caines contributes a weekly column to CacheValleyDaily.com. His column is a work of opinion, and does not reflect the views of Cache Valley Daily, the Cache Valley Media Group, or its employees.

As I type these words, the rumor has not been confirmed or denied. And the excitement generated by this rumor would be lost on the majority of the populace of Cache Valley. But as is, two fairly close sources have told me that the White Owl Tavern, located close to Center and Main streets in Logan, will open for business on Sundays in the very near future.

Huzzah!

The White Owl, often referred to just as the Owl, is a place where many in Cache Valley have never entered. That is to their great misfortune. The best kitchen in Cache Valley is at the Owl, bar none. (Pun intended)

And that may be the problem, because it is labeled a bar – no one under the age of 21 is allowed in the Owl – many in this repressed theocracy would refuse to step foot in there. Too many have a vision of a bar as a hive of predatory vagrants, bent on societal destruction, wasting their lives away in a pool of their own vomit.

That’s not the Owl.

The possibility of the Owl opening on Sundays brings forth a larger conversation about the future of the Valley that I think is worth exploring. And it starts with a single question.

How far will the residents of Cache Valley go to bring in revenue to improve our standard of living?

The first argument, valid to a fault, is that the standard of living here need not be changed at all. We are one of the safest areas in America. Our school districts are of a higher quality – I personally can attest to this having three children currently enrolled in Logan public schools. Our outdoor recreational activities are first class. USU is a great school that provides us with great sports and entertainment. And generally I am of the opinion that the people I know here are the friendliest people I have ever met.

Why change a good thing?

Because it can be better. The possibility of the Owl opening on Sunday shows there is disposable income to be nabbed. I always felt it was ridiculous that the Cache Valley Transit buses do not run on Sunday. Most of the major stores in this valley are open on Sunday. This is just another rule implemented because of religious observance. It leaves money on the table.

We can do better. And my suggestion as to how to make it better has absolutely zero chance of coming to fruition. Yet, I would be remiss if I did not share my vision for a bigger, bolder, more lucrative Logan.

Cache Valley needs to legalize gambling and prostitution. We need to have a more lax enforcement of recreational drugs; namely marijuana. And we need to fight the state regarding liquor laws.

Within five years, I would turn Logan into a gambling and entertainment mecca that might not rival Las Vegas, but would take its place as a slightly more risqué version of Branson, Missouri.

Do not disqualify my argument as balderdash. All we need to do is commandeer some buildings that, quite frankly, are bigger risks to public and moral health than any casino or brothel – those being chain restaurants.

We keep allowing chain restaurants to be built here. Two-thousand calorie appetizers are less dangerous to us than slot machines? Poker tables are verboten, but the elimination of diverse palates thru over-fried food is acceptable?

Turn the Olive Garden into our version of The Bellagio. Make Chili’s into a brothel that would replace the “Fruit Loop” in Logan Canyon as a meeting place for consenting adults. And the newly opened Buffalo Wild Wings? Well, they have 7 bajillion TVs in there. I see sports bookmaking taking over that spot.

It could work! Really. Stop laughing.

And the moral argument holds no validity. Is it moral that we continue to do nothing about the quality of air that makes it dangerous to live here in the colder months? That is worse than a craps table?

And then there is the bewildering expediency that the city councils of the Valley give out residential permits. Building more and more apartment buildings in this valley is going to bring forth a crisis point regarding our infrastructure that will see it implode. The damage from this could very well be irrevocable. Yet, we would rather build ugly, nondescript apartment complexes instead of large casinos with pirate ships or pyramids.

And then there is the one issue which is dear to my heart – employment. The more we build residential complexes without a matching influx of employment, the more we keep wages down. How many of you reading this make $20 an hour? If you do, you most likely have your father to thank for that.

Turning Cache Valley into an entertainment destination would double the earning potential of every resident on day one. Right now, most see this place as an “Us vs. Them” environment. It would allow many who break their back for peanuts to have a much more invested interest in where they live.

I know this idea will never get off the ground. I know small steps forward, such as the Owl opening on Sunday, will be no more than an aesthetically pleasing luxury for those who like a good sandwich and good company. What I also know is that moral fortitude is more than just stopping people from drinking, gambling and having intimacy with others. It is doing things that allow people to improve their lives.

On that issue, Cache Valley is as morally bankrupt as the any other town in America.

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