Happy Thought of Tony Mo

Waiting for a bus yesterday, I found myself staring up at a rather drab downtown building. Quite suddenly, I was transported to Christmas 1990. My high school choir, Bel Cantos, had gone to the big city down south to perform on Temple Square. We sang to the rafters, we truly did! Mr. Briggs shared his love of sacred choral music with such humility and humor that our young spirits filled the Assembly Hall in which we sang (even if our voices didn’t, quite). Before the concert, Tony took me on an adventure. He was always doing that. “Let’s go to the top floor of some building!” he said, pulling me along.

“We can’t!” I snapped my hand away.

“So what if they kick us out? Let’s go!” Off we went…

… and UP! We walked straight into the lobby of some uppity building, past quizzical looks, and into the elevator. When the door closed, I looked at Tony for reassurance. I was terrified! He just pushed the highest button. “Tony!” I cried.

“Come on!” he smiled, squeezing my hand. I was sure the fuzz would be waiting for us. All sorts of disastrous scenarios played out in my head: we’d miss our concert; we’d be expelled; mother would forbid me to see Tony, the only joy in my life. I spent the night at his house all the time. His sister had a bunk bed and I sometimes helped take care of his mother, who’d been injured in a car accident years before. I loved Tony’s family, and I think my family did too. I know it. But in that elevator I was convinced I’d lose everything.

No one met us on the top floor. We walked right past the receptionist and parked ourselves in the bay of a giant picture window overlooking Salt Lake City and those awesome Wasatch Mountains! It was first time I’d ever seen the bowl of this valley like that, from the Rockies to the Oquirrhs. Took my breath away.

I saw things with Tony I saw with no one else. In my own [formerly boring] town, too. I’ll never forget breaking into that old abandoned silo and, once we adjusted to the light, finding black widows crawling as far as the eye could see!

Back in that big window, an old, displeased suit (40) began to approach us. We up and ran away, laughing. (That elevator door sure took its time!) I wonder which building it was. Maybe that one. Sorry for your empty state, old friend. Thanks for the smile.

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