Nepotism—it’s all relative

by Terri Winder
Admittedly, I’m not the sharpest crayon in the box or the brightest bulb in the LED strand—whatever your favorite metaphor is—but I was genuinely puzzled by James Bayles’s letter to the Editor last week, in which he noted nepotism in San Juan Record articles.
It took me a full 23.5 minutes of intermittent thought to figure out that he must have been referencing the two-part feature article on the Carr family.
If so, he is right: I am related to them – Lisa Carr is my sister. However, that’s not why I wrote about them.
A father and two sons serving in the same National Guard Unit, in a war zone, is a remarkable story no matter who tells it.
The fact that they are from Blanding makes it appropriate for the San Juan Record to cover it. The fact I write for the Record makes it okay for me to be the one to tell the story.
Beyond that, I have to also admit the reason it took me so long to figure out what he was talking about is because I am related to most of the people in San Juan County, including Cousin Jim.
We both have Palmer blood running through our veins, which may be the reason he was moved to write his letter and I am moved to respond to it. Palmers are generally an outspoken lot.
Not many weeks ago Editor Bill Boyle and I were discussing another article and a person in that particular story when Bill said, “I’ll talk to him; I’m related to him.” Then he paused for just a moment before adding, “But then, so are you.”
If we couldn’t write about someone just because we were related to them, it would be a small paper indeed.
My father was born and raised in Blanding; my mother was born and raised in Monticello. Dad told us the reason he went to Monticello seeking a bride was because he was too closely related to all the girls in Blanding. However, their union made it more difficult for their children to find mates.
Other than their oldest son, who married a Lyman/Nielson girl, the rest of the family married “out-of-towners”, and brought new blood to the community (including the Carrs).
Old blood isn’t a bad thing, but when it’s all inherited from pioneer stock it can get rather thick.
As one community leader explained it to a Blanding church congregation, he has the blood of the Redds, the Nielsons, the Wrights, and the Palmers, all trying to take control of his thoughts and actions.
The audience laughed sympathetically, most of them knowing exactly what he was talking about. It’s a wonder he can sleep at night with such a strong genetic mixture brewing in his veins.
I know. I am also the product of some who came through the Hole-in-the-Rock, as well as some who came up from Old Mexico. As such, I understand and value the heritage of San Juan County.
So Jim, I want you to know I appreciate your willingness to speak out. That is a characteristic that we definitely need more of in America.
And as for those you say are “speaking behind everyone’s back”, I’m guessing I’d had to say I like them, too. After all, we’re probably related.

San Juan Record

49 South Main St
PO Box 879
Monticello, UT 84535

Phone: 435.587.2277
Fax: 435.587.3377
Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday

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