Last week was Fort Herriman Towne Days, the annual celebration of a city that went from nearly zero mph (multitudes per hectare) to 45,000 mph and climbing in the space of a few years.
There were 777 residents here in 1999. It was several thousand when we moved here in 2003. Today the city is pushing 50,000.
Everything about this place is on steroids. Where there used to be rabbits and sagebrush, we now have a recreation center, library, police department, shops and traffic congestion to prove it.
Of all the places I’ve lived (24), I like this city the best. My family is here. My extended tribe is here. And it’s just a short distance to a genuine artillery range. What more could a crazy old man ask for?
On Friday, my entire clan went to Butterfield Park and walked around the Fort Herriman Towne Days fair.
What was just a few sketchy carnival rides and craft booths a few years ago is now a fairly well-managed riot, complete with screams, shouts, bullhorns and disoriented people. The big difference is that it smelled of caramel corn and cotton candy instead of tear gas and human excrement. Also, I didn’t see anyone bleeding.
It was close, though. I saw Herriman Officer Skyler Zobell loose his K-9 partner on some poor soul. Imagine, if you will, a man running about, screaming with what appears to be a hairy alligator attached to his back.
It turned out that the “poor soul” was, in fact, Herriman Detective Jose Lopez. He had volunteered to wear a bite suit for a public demonstration of his department’s K-9s. He wasn’t hurt (too badly).
Even so, Davo the K-9 was not screwing around. Officer Zobell spoke a word that alerted his partner to the possibility of someone in need of serious dental work. When the second command was uttered, Davo obliged.
Hondo is the other Herriman K-9, and is equally serious about finding drugs and tuning up the uncooperative. This time it was Detective Marcus Beckstead in the suit. With a running jump from six feet out, Hondo hit him in the back and took him down.
Keep in mind that these dogs are highly trained. So even though I kept yelling at Hondo to bite Marcus on his unprotected head, the dog ignored me and listened only to his partner, Officer Ben Ricks.
Saturday morning was the big parade. The celebration’s earlier parades were anemic and not well organized due to growing pains. Saturday’s parade lasted two hours and was enjoyable from beginning to end. My kids dragged home bags of asphalt-scratched candy.
Speaking of candy. I got a free eye exam, courtesy of Paul Hulet of Family Focused Eye Care. While pulling a float featuring his business, Paul drilled me in the chest with a full 3-pound bag of taffy that knocked me flat. My grandkids and others nearby found that hilarious.
It was an effective form of advertising. I really should make an appointment.
The best part of the parade were the entries that featured my granddaughters — Lyndie in a volleyball league and Faith on an all-girl tackle-football team. I told everyone within earshot that they were mine.
The only complaint I heard was from the guy who had to clean up after the horses. He told me that he wished his manure cart was motorized. Maybe next year. These things keep getting better.
Robert Kirby is The Salt Lake Tribune’s humor columnist. Follow Kirby on Facebook.