A reader writes: Utah winter spurs I.V. thoughts

December 17, 2001

In August of this year, I moved away from the Imperial Valley to attend the University of Utah. It's been a growing experience and I've had some fun times in Salt Lake. Of course, I finally get a chance to see every Utah Jazz game and they can't win to save their lives.

The University of Utah had a good football season this year, too, at least until three minutes remained in the game against arch-rival Brigham Young, when the Utes gave up an 11-point lead to blow the game to the then-unbeaten Cougars.

I, along with the rest of the student body, am still bitter against BYU. Actually, I can't be too upset. The Utes are going to the Las Vegas Bowl after beginning the season picked to finish sixth in the Mountain West Conference.

I don't think anyone would disagree if I told him or her that living in Salt Lake is different from living in El Centro. After all, in the Imperial Valley it's not a big deal to have a drink with your meal at a restaurant or see the Tecate Girls at a local event.


Here anything with alcohol in it is an evil substance and the Tecate Girls would probably be arrested for walking through Temple Square dressed as they do.

We also have something here that people in the Valley aren't too familiar with. It's called winter. I can't get over how cold it gets here! Back home I don't ever remember it being so cold that my car wouldn't start. I never remember having to scrape solid ice off my windshield, and I know for a fact that I never had to shovel snow out of my driveway if I wanted to go to school. I don't like driving in the snow much, either, and I especially didn't like it the first time I had to. I tried to make a lane change and I ended up facing the direction I had initially been coming from.

Driving on "black ice" isn't any fun, either. Trying to stop on that stuff is about as easy as keeping a snowball on your sidewalk in the middle of an Imperial Valley summer.

The Olympics are coming here, too. Whether that's a good thing, I have not yet determined. Actually, as a student at the University of Utah, it's inconvenient to me. Our football stadium is going to serve as the Olympic stadium and our dorms and student housing are going to become the Olympic Village.

The Salt Lake organizing committee has taken 30 percent of our student parking spaces and more spaces are expected to go as the games draw nearer.

The attitude of the people here is actually quite enjoyable, however, and there is a sense of goodwill and hospitality in the air.

All in all, I am enjoying myself here, but I often think of being back home. Sixty- and 70-degree temperatures sound quite appealing when I look at the snow-covered ground in the morning. But I'm kind of excited of the opportunity to have a white Christmas.

I think of my friends back home quite often and I wish everyone in the Valley all the blessings that Christmastime can bring. When the next snow falls, I'll think of you in your 70-degree afternoons, and when the Olympic torch crosses your path, maybe you all will think of me.

God bless and have a Merry Christmas.

>> TIM YANNI is a graduate of Southwest High School in El Centro and Imperial Valley College, and was a part-time sports writer for this newspaper before moving to Utah.

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