Last June I was honored with the Utah journalists award of excellence in a radio series I did on KRCL last year during Days of 47 week. I came in third place – I’m use to always being number one so I’m trying to not let that bother me.
The series, called Queer Pioneer, was a triad of stories told and researched by our own Connell O’Donavan: 1) The story of Brigham Morris Young, the drag queen son of the beloved Prophet. 2) The director of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir in the 1880s who did drag shows between sets and lived with an 18-year-old Swedish boy. Finally 3) A story of two gents traveling together across the plains ( and sleeping in the same bed roll) with one of the handcart parties. All very groundbreaking history, and pretty prophetic to what would be come a city steeped in subculture.
I was honored to have revived the award sloth with Producer Brad Wheeler and Executive Producer Laura Jones and even more so that Brad and Laura gave me a chance to prove I was worth taking the risk. Get this, the guy presenting the award was a young radio DJ who thought he was so witty; it became obvious he was a Mormon conservative when he announced the name of the series, “Quee…” – uncomfortable pause – skipped over it. It was very awkward and kind of insulting.
My career as a conduit of information and opinions on life has finally been validated and suddenly I’ve somehow been let into the good ol’ boys club, for whatever that’s worth. I’m nevertheless flattered for the recognition.
Out of these flames has risen a Phoenix. I was offered by Jones to create and host a semi regular series based on the same concept, a show based on Salt Lake’s history of the strange, the cool and the truly leftist pioneers. For example, the first show I did a couple weeks back was on the history of the Damn These Heels Film Festival. I have a piece recorded with a woman who is the great-granddaughter of one of SLC’s suffragettes and first woman voters. I also have a piece I just aired with CJ Fishburn who is a tattoo artist and owner of the tattoo history museum on 300 west. In the 3 1/2-minute segment he talks about the history of tattoo parlors, a couple of wacky tattooists from back in the day and more. Cool stuff, huh?
I have a few other concepts I’d like to do, such as I would love to find relatives of the first interracial couple in Salt Lake; some members of the late ’70s/early ’80s punk bands; strippers/exotic dancers who danced in Park City in the 1950s. Also, I recently learned that the television was invented by a wacky inventor from Price, and I’d like to do something on some of the earliest female professors at the University of Utah. All really great concepts but the research and follow through are difficult. Yet, I am determined.
Here is what I need you to do my faithful readers and Kennedolls, I need your help. I want you to be the good ex-Mormons that I know you can be and scavenge through your own family history and get me some great stories, or if you already know, let me know. I want stories of people who did amazing things that have nothing to do with the cricket-and-seagull bullshit we’ve been beaten over the head with since … well, 1849.
As of right now the show, called The Story of Us, is not on a set schedule and until I get more story ideas will only air once a month.
Join me, Jones and Wheeler on the last Friday of the month as we discuss more about TSOU and our plan to make it a first place series.
Do u have a story or know someone who does? Hit me up at [email protected] or find and like Princess Kennedy page on Facebook and share the story on my wall.