THE CELEBRATION

When Allen Green Campbell, owner of the Horn Silver Mine, returned to Frisco, Utah in 1882 after a shortened term in the U.S. Congress, a big celebration was planned. After all, Green Campbell was the father of Frisco and the first millionaire the Horn Silver produced.

John Burke, the town banker, put himself in charge of the celebration. But John had a problem. He didn’t have a suitable carriage for the parade planned to carry Green and himself up Main Street to Burke’s Hall for the reception. It was suggested that he borrow Bally Sackett’s new rig. It hadn’t been on the streets yet, Bally had just finished building it in a lean-to behind his blacksmith shop. Bally, obviously wasn’t the kind of man to join in such a celebration. As a matter of fact, none of the miners, smelter workers, or common laborers had been included in the invitation.

Bally was happy to show John the buggy and when John saw this beautiful conveyance he knew he had to have it. Here was the finest rig he had ever seen – shiny jet black body with wheels so delicately balanced that the rims were no wider than an inch – the spokes painted a bright yellow. Two leaf springs would provide a gentle ride on the roughest roads. Inside, the seats – front and back – were soft, brown leather.

But Bally refused all his offers, he’d be happy to lend John the buggy for the parade but he wasn’t interested in a sale. Well, now, if John couldn’t buy the unit, then it wouldn’t be in the parade!   And he stomped out.

On Saturday morning the streets of Frisco were all decorated. Banners and bunting hung across Main Street. At one o’clock all the members of Frisco’s high society were on the platform of the train station at the south end of town. The entrants for the parade were dutifully lined up behind the train station next to the platform awaiting their turn. The miners and smelter workers and their families were waiting at the Hotel Southern next to Burke’s Hall. Most of the other town folk were strung out along the parade route.

When the train arrived Green was obviously touched by the greeting. He gave a short speech, and banker Burke a longer one.

While John was speaking, Bally pulled up at the head of the parade next to the platform in his new buggy. He motioned to Green to join him, and Campbell slid into the plush leather seat next to the blacksmith.

Before the Congressman was hardly settled, and just as the banker was preparing to end his speech and also climb aboard, Bally clucked at his spirited mare and the buggy leaped into action, dashing up the street toward the gathered crowd. The bright yellow spokes were merely a blur in the afternoon sun. At the vortex of the tornado, the rig thundered down Main Street with Green Campbell hanging on for dear life.

The buggy danced gracefully at a stop in front of the Lawrence Saloon. The miners and smelter families cheered. They lifted a smiling, laughing Campbell from the buggy, placed him on their shoulders and marched as a mob into the saloon. All of this had been carefully planned.

Bally turned to look back down Main Street. In the dust, he could see the rest of the parade caught up in the spirit, racing up the road. In the rear, waving his arms, ran John Burke his speech still in his hand.

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