Worth Their Salt, Too: More Notable but Often Unnoted Women of Utah

Worth Their Salt, Too: More Notable but Often Unnoted Women of Utah

Worth Their Salt, Too: More Notable but Often Unnoted Women of Utah

Worth Their Salt, Too: More Notable but Often Unnoted Women of Utah


A follow-up to the highly successful Worth Their Salt, published in 1996, Worth Their Salt, Too brings together a new set of biographies of women whose roles in Utah's history have not been fully recognized, despite their significance to the social and cultural matrix, past and present, of the state. These women-community and government leaders, activists, artists, writers, scholars, politicians, and others-made important contributions to the state's history and culture. Some of them had experiences that reveal new aspects of the state's history, while others simply led lives so interesting that their stories beg to be told. This new collection demonstrates, as Worth Their Salt did, the diversity of Utah's society and the many different roles women have played in it. All sixteen biographies are original pieces by many noted authors from around the state, including Jeffery, Johnson, Kristen Rogers, Carma Wadley, Patricia Lynn Scott, and Judy Dykman. As with Worth Their Salt, Colleen Whitley has been asked again to be a guest lecturer for the Utah Humanities Council for the 2000 calendar year. All royalties from the sale of Worth Their Salt, Too will be donated to the Utah Historical Society Library.


Several years ago I visited with a woman who had immigrated to the United States with her husband and their children shortly after World War ii. When she mentioned her husband had worked for the telephone company in Denmark, I flippantly asked, “Did he ever bug anyone’s telephone?”

She replied matter of factly, “Only the Nazis.”

I was stunned. When I asked for details, she explained that on the day the Nazi occupation of Denmark began, her husband went directly to their headquarters, slipped into the basement, attached a tap line to their phones, and then left. For the rest of the occupation, whenever the Germans counted the number of phone lines to see if an extra had been added, none was found, because the tap he had put on was simply counted in with the original number. Meanwhile, the Danish underground listened in on every call. With a little prompting, she went on to recount dozens of stories about the occupation, the underground, and the tactics of survival. Finally I asked her, “Have you written all of this down?”

“Oh,” she said, “who would be interested?”

I stifled the impulse to respond, “Steven Spielberg.” Instead I simply assured her that I was interested, and I was sure that others would be, too. Fortunately, some of her descendants eventually convinced her that they were also interested and persuaded her to taperecord her experiences. When she saw that they really did care about what she had done in her life, she opened up, not only about the war, but also about growing up in Denmark, being courted, marrying, and raising children, immigrating to a new country, and learning its language and customs. Now her family has a heritage of tape recordings and transcriptions which can be shared with the rest of us. in far too . . .

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