Delegating Denver #49 of 56: Utah

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Total Number of Delegates: 29 Pledged: 23 Unpledged: 6

How to Recognize a Utah Delegate: Based on national news stories, most Americans would think it was easier to get a second wife than a second drink while visiting Utah — as if residents of the Beehive State were a bunch of polygamists who repressed recreational refreshment to maximize their reproduction abilities. That's ancient history. Utah liquor laws have been somewhat relaxed since the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympics, and polygamists are rarely seen outside of the Costco in St. George. Forget weird and wacky: The news about Utahns is their steadfast willingness to assist a stranger. It still may be the last place in America to get a full-strength beer after 10 p.m., but it’s the first place for courteous emergency roadside service. Getting a flat tire in Utah is like winning the karma lottery. Within minutes, thirty cars will stop to offer help. While assisting strangers with a smile, Utahns will break down tasks along gender lines, putting males in charge of car repairs while the females set up tables and whip up a quick snack from bags and boxes of recently purchased Costco groceries. Mormons on a mission, or not, Utahns win followers through friendliness and favors. Utah delegates in Denver will be the ones wielding their winning ways with the other state's delegates. They are the door-holders, the reservation-makers and the sign-painters. They will dress in crisply pressed casual dress pants topped with button-down long-sleeved shirts that are embroidered with vaguely familiar but unplaceable Utah-based corporate names like Novell, Xmission, iBAHN and Altiris. Conversely, their hair will be wash-and-wear. Females will wear easy and adorable choppy-layered cuts, while males will wear side-parted short cuts and sport full mustaches that accentuate the sparkle in their eyes.

Famous Utahns: Hotel founder J. Willard Marriott; hearing aid inventor Harvey Fletcher; television inventor Philo Farnsworth; Gore-Tex inventor Bill Gore; leadership scold and productivity-tool publisher Stephen Covey; Atari and Chuck E. Cheese founder Nolan Bushnell; machine gun and semi-automatic handgun inventor John Browning; ninth and seventeenth National Security Advisor Brent Scowcroft; bank robber Butch Cassidy; film director Hal Ashby; actors Wilford Brimley, James Woods and Patrick Fugit; porn star Jaime Bergman and squirt star Cytherea; Playmate Charlotte Stokely; Internet "fratirist" Maddox; pop-rock acts the Used and SHeDAISY; sibling pop group the Osmonds; Dancing With the Stars siblings Derek and Juliann Hough, sibling athletes Andre and Kevin Tyson; basketballer Devin Brown; footballers Steve Young and Merlin Olsen.

Famous Utah Democrats: Sixth governor (and grandfather of Bruce, great-grandfather of Laura) George Dern; twelfth governor (father of Scott Junior and Jim) Scott Matheson; former U.S. attorney Scott Matheson Jr.; United States Representative Jim Matheson; former Salt Lake City mayor Rocky Anderson; attorney general candidate Jean Welch-Hill; community activist Luz Robles.

Famous Utahns With Denver Connections: Jack Kerouac On the Road inspiration Neal Cassady; sitcom actress and comedy club headliner Roseanne Barr; two-term Colorado Higher Education commissioner Marshall Crawford; Western artist Nathan Solano; polygamist Warren Jeff's brother Seth Jeffs.

State Nickname: The Beehive State, Deseret, the Salt Lake State (official); Land of the Mormons, Land of the Saints, Land of Multiple Mothers, Plural Wife Paradise (unofficial) Population: 2,550,063 Racial Distribution: 85% white, 1% black, 1% Native American, 2% Asian, 11% Hispanic Per Capita Personal Income: $24,977 Unemployment: 6.3%


Most Utahn Denver Neighborhood: Marston

Most Utahn Bar: Scarlet Ranch 424 Broadway This swinger's club provides Utahns with a convenient downtown location to service multiple partners without fear of breaking polygamy laws.

Most Utahn Restaurant: Avenue Grill 630 East 17th Avenue The food here is like a Utahn: instantly recognizable, yet surprisingly fresh — and twice as interesting after a classic house martini.

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Best Day Trip: Bishop's Castle in Rye, Colorado

Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, was called an epileptic, a fraud, a drunkard and a thief. His tall tale of the angel Moroni delivering the prophesies on golden tablets (that were jealously guarded by the giant salamander) won over as many faithful as it did foes. Mormons were chased from New York to Ohio before running off to invent Utah in 1847, three years after Joseph was assassinated in Nauvoo, Illinois. Statehood wasn't granted until 1896, and then only under the condition that the Mormon practice of polygamy be forever outlawed. Since their entire state history is a non-stop story of social outcasts creating their own Utopia, Utahns will be the most thrilled of all the 2008 Democratic Convention delegates to meet Colorado's resident outsider, Jim Bishop, who will no doubt be busy at work building his castle near the southern Colorado town of Rye. To get there from the delegate hotel, ask the Warwick concierge for directions onto I-25 southbound. Drive south for 138 miles, and at exit 74, turn right on Colorado 165 and drive 24 miles (look for the signs!) to Bishop's Castle. The project started out as a cabin for Bishop’s wife and now stands over 160 feet tall, with a grand ballroom, a spinning ornamental iron dome, stained-glass windows and a fire-breathing dragon made out of a hospital steam table and a hot-air balloon burner. Like all visionaries, Bishop works without blueprints and claims that his every inexplicable move is being directed by GOD, who also presumably directs Jim to hand-paint and hang wordy screeds detailing the U.S. government's abuse of power over "We the SHEEPLE." It's a fitting display of passion that fascinates as many as it frightens. The entire experience is a mind-boggling mix of personal freedom and religious obedience that only a Utahn could comprehend. -- Kenny Be

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Cory Casciato is a Denver-based writer with a passion for the geeky, from old science fiction movies to brand-new video games.
Contact: Cory Casciato