By Naomi Hatch
Taylor’s Trapper Days celebration was a great success, thanks to the many volunteers, especially organizer Brad Click, and the hours they put into the event.
The day began with a pancake breakfaster served by members of Snowflake-Taylor American Legion Post 126.
An American flag is flown over the veterans memorial for the month prior to Trapper Days. During a ceremony conducted by the American Legion Post, the flag was taken down and a new flag was raised, followed by a 21-gun salute and Taps.
The flag was then carried to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Stake Center on Willow, where during the Memorial Day program it was presented to Clarence Davis, a veteran of World War II.
American Legion members began the program by posting the colors and Haylee Farr sang God Bless America.
Just before he presented the flag, Mayor Fay Hatch said “We celebrate Clarence, who served our state, our community, the church in many, many ways. He is also distinguished today and we celebrate him today for his service to his country.”
“We can tell you we love you, we’re grateful for you and your many years of service,” said program emcee Eddie Hancock to Davis.
“A great tradition in our community is to read the names of those veterans who appear on our monument,” said Hancock, who extended an invitation to everyone to visit the monument located at Main and Center streets adjacent to the Taylor Museum.
Each name appearing on the monument was read, with John Sharp reading the names of those who served in World War I; Donna Hall and Brent Rogers, World War II veterans; Bobbie Sue Solomon, Korean War veterans; Mack Tenney, Vietnam War veterans; Craig Click, Operation Desert Storm veterans; and Tamara Stepp, Global War on Terror veterans.
New names added to the monument this year included David Foster and Brandt Perkins, who served in the Global War on Terror, and Glen O. Adams, whose name was inadvertently left off the original list of names for the monument. He served in the Korean War.
Guest speaker this year was Brad Click, organizer of Trapper Days. Click told a story “that needed to be told,” he said, about the service of his dad, Jim Click, who joined the Army at age 17 following his high school graduation in 1949.
Jim excelled in his training and at 17 years old, his name was submitted for leadership school.
He was in charge of a squad that fought in the Korean War. He was shot in one of the battles and told he would never walk. Against all odds, and through hard work and much pain, he was able to walk and eventually put on another uniform, serving as Taylor’s town marshal from 1967 to 1976.
“I hope this story will help you see what families have to sacrifice,” said Brad Click. “We all sacrifice when our loved ones go to war, every day they are in harm’s way is another day for a mother to worry… Sacrifices include the ultimate.”
Brad Click encouraged families to share stories with the youth “so they, too, may understand.”
“May we never forget these men and women,” he concluded, thanking those who were present for their support of the event, for the support of true patriots.
“One of the great things of the community of Taylor is tradition,” said Hancock. “We’ve been led, too, by those who labored on the monument, those who served in their communities.”
“We pay honor to those who have passed away this year,” said Hancock. “Reflect upon the following names: Loren Webber, U.S. Army; Dennis L. Copeland, U.S. Army; Deanna Dawn Hancock, Navy Reserve; and Van Shumway, U.S. Army.
“I hope your heart has been touched this day as we’ve had a few minutes to reflect and ponder, to pay honor to the old and great ones,” said Hancock.
The program concluded with Echo Taps played by Mack Tenney and Bill Solomon.
This year was the first year Soapbox Derby races were held for kids during Trapper Days. There were more than 80 races during this very successful event. Brad Click said that next year they plan to add a skateboard contest with the soapbox derby races.
Trapper Days also included the Weight Pull Competition of pit bull dogs and confirmation show, with the first place dog pulling 7,700 lbs. Best of Show went to Kamikaze, owned by Jim Spanes.
The beard growing competition winners were Bill Denee, first place; Bobby Grimme of Las Vegas, Nev., second; and Gary Woodside, third.
Making an appearance at the Trapper Days festivities was Louie Espinoza, the first Arizona boxer to win a world championship match. He turned pro in 1982 and won the Super Bantamweight title in 1987.
The Taylor Country Show and Dance was held that evening, and featured local talents, including music and cowboy poetry. It was enjoyed by a large group.