As the newsroom yo-yo expert, I read Becky Wright’s story about a Mountain Green teenager in Sunday’s paper with a mixture of awe and humility.
Awe because McKenna Zentner, 17, is simply amazing with a yo-yo. I saw her working out here at the office while Kera Williams was putting together a video, which you should watch at www.standard.net.
Humility because I used to think I was pretty good. Kids today have taken the old Duncan yo-yo hobby to a level I never dreamed of.
Part of it is new technology. Modern yo-yos are warp-drive spaceships while I use Model-T Fords. I mean, yo-yos not attached to strings? No kidding, they do that now.
But there is one universal.
My friend, Dale Myrberg, the 1996 World Yo-yo Champion, teaches that the yo-yo is the single best tool for teaching concentration, dedication and patience. When you’re submerged in an intricate trick, the outside world disappears and you enter a zenlike state Dale calls being in “a state of yo.”
I see that in McKenna. She’ll transfer those skills to her adult life and be a really wonderful person.
McKenna is the future and she’s tearing it up. Dale teaches me tricks, but maybe I need to start hanging around people like McKenna.
• Howard Hughes rises again:
My column last Tuesday on a new local book about billionaire Howard Hughes brought a couple other folks who knew Howard out of the woodwork.
Myron Taylor, Clinton, said that 50 years ago he worked at a car rental place in Las Vegas, and it was his job to pick up Hughes at the airport.
He always drove a Cadillac for Hughes to use in town. Myron would tow a small car behind it and when they got to the hotel he’d unhook his car, leave the Caddy and go.
John Sheridan, a video editor at NBC 9 in El Paso, Texas, called up with a whole raft of memories, which shows you how far the Wasatch Rambler can ramble when it wants to.
Sheridan wrote a book called “Howard Hughes, The Las Vegas Years: The Women, the Mormons, the Mafia.”
His book begins about 1966, where the one I wrote about last week leaves off. Sheridan said Hughes hired him to do video work, including putting movies on the local TV channel that Hughes wanted to watch on TV.
Despite Hughes’ odd demands, womanizing and Mafia connections,” I think basically he was a good person,” Sheridan said. “When you think about it, he has that Hughes Medical Center in Houston (which got the bulk of Hughes’ money). Here he’s been dead for 30 years, and he’s still helping people.”
Sheridan thinks the “Mormon Will,” found by Willard gas station owner Melvin Dummar, was real.
“I hate to say this, but I believe Melvin Dummar. I talked to Howard’s pilot who flew him up to the house of ill repute in Goldfield, Nevada,” and didn’t fly him back.
Sheridan said the pilot’s wife’s brother is an FBI agent who investigated. He discovered that Dummar’s story about picking up Hughes in the desert and dropping him off at the Sands Hotel in Vegas could be true.
On the night that supposedly took place, he said, Sands security wrote down the license plate of a beat-up truck that stopped briefly at the hotel because it looked out of place.
“They actually had it in the book as Utah plates. They ran the plates and it came back Melvin Dummar.”
Wasatch Rambler is the opinion of Charles Trentelman. You can contact him at 801-625-4232 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He also blogs at www.standard.net.