Shooting bullets, not blanks



The San Juan Record in Monticello, Utah, celebrated William Morley Black, a “father of thousands,” as part of its series on the “giants” of San Juan County. When Black died in 1915, he’d had six wives and 41 children, and he left 214 living grandchildren and 206 living great-grandchildren. “In the intervening 95 years, his posterity has grown to many thousands and would populate a small city,” said reporter Buckley Jensen, who went on to list all the names of descendants associated with the prolific Black: “Anderson, Black, Blake, Bradford, Brown, Burtenshaw, Carroll, Davis, Foy, Grover, Guymon, Hawkins, Helquist, Hunt, Hurst, Johnson, Jones, Kartchner, Keele, Laws, Lyman, Meyer, Mikesell, Nelson, Nielson, Palmer, Patterson, Perkins, Peterson, Pincock, Porter, Redd, Rowley, Shumway, Sipe, Slade, Smith, Stevens, Washburn, Wright and Young.” Black’s achievement for “largest posterity” seems remarkable since he spent only a little over two years in southern Utah before he moved to Mexico to avoid persecution for polygamy.


While you’re admiring Old Faithful, scoping for wolves or stopping for a bear jam at Yellowstone National Park, you might want to watch your back. The Coalition of National Park Service Retirees warns that the tourists around you might be packing an assault rifle. On Feb. 22, a new law allowing park visitors to possess firearms in national parks “consistent with the laws of the state in which the area is located,” went into effect, ending the previous practice that allowed guns in parks only if they were stowed out of reach and unloaded. Now, “anyone hiking in the backcountry (of Yellowstone National Park) can openly carry guns, increasing the risk to other hikers and park wildlife,” says Doug Morris, a member of the group of more than 740 former Park Service staffers. Campgrounds pose a particular risk, the group warns, because it’s there that disagreements — “often fueled by alcohol” — break out around a campfire.

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