Paradise, Utah. There are conflicting stories about how this place acquired the name. Some people say it was the first person over the hill who looked down on the valley and said “Man, this place is paradise.” And then there are other stories, about gambling “pair o dice” which is a fixture of other towns of the same name. Also, rumor has it the modern Paradise Utah sits down the valley from the original which was wiped out in an attack by the real locals who were around before us settlers came down the trail. Nothing is for certain. Or maybe it is.
The people in these towns were SO overwhelmingly nice I can’t tell you. Just seeing these images after all these years brings back the moments so clearly. Dug up after working on The Lost Rolls and beginning to wonder what lost imagery I had. Now I stare at my cabinets full of negatives and think “Hmm, what else is in there?”
I spent much of my younger life on a ranch in Wyoming, so being in a place like this feels like home. This is where I want to be living actually, not in the city. I’ll make my way back out there at some point in my life, if I live. The smell of cut hay, the sounds of water and the temperature changes with time of day and slight shifts in the weather.
There is an intensity of life here you might not think about when you compare a place like this to say a place like New York. For me there is equal intensity from opposite directions. One from the man made direction, the other from nature. Exposure.
I don’t think I will ever do this project again, but what I will do is get back out to the places. The idea of not being on a schedule and being able to explore is something I dream about everyday.