No Guts, No Glory Kevin at the start of the trail wearing his hiking outfit.
The tourists worshiped him. The rangers greatly respected him. The lady hikers fell in love with him.
The male hikers hated his guts.
The male hikers hated his guts.
From the Fortress of Solitude
I was standing in a long line at Walmart the other day. I was impatient. I had places to go and people to see. One of Utah's original 1847 pioneers was navigating her way through the writing of a check and slowing down the line.
"Sweet Jesus, why doesn't she get a debit card and join the rest of us in the 21st century?" I thought to myself. Then I remembered how my own mother tempts time whenever she writes a check while out grocery shopping.
The cashier looked jittery. I'm sure she had other things on her mind, like wondering whether or not her heavily rusted 1972 Buick would start at the end of her shift. The yellow calloused skin on her forefinger and middle finger told me she was a smoker. Nicotine deprivation was most likely the cause of her jitters. She wanted a smoke. I wanted out of there. We were both caged animals.
I felt a chill of anxiety, like death's fingers working their way around my throat. I dared not leave the line to walk it off. If I did, I'd only have to get back in an even longer line at another check stand.
So there I was, trapped in a Walmart line, surrounded by the undisciplined offspring of several other Christmas shoppers and forced to listen to CIA sanctioned, canned Christmas torture music. My frustration almost reached the point of no return. I was tempted to walk up to the cashier and charged the old lady's groceries on my own credit card just to get the line moving.
Notice I said almost. I'm not crazy. Remember, I'm a member of the Bah Humbug Christmas Club. Others in the line would have misinterpreted my act of desperation as an act of Christian holiday kindness. Such a reputation would force me to resign my membership in the Humbugs. I couldn't have that. There had to be another solution to my problem.
Just when things seemed the darkest. Just as the old lady asked the cashier how much the total was for the third time, just when I was about to sink into an oozing pool of hopelessness, a brillaint idea materialized in my mind. I took out my cell phone and pretended to make a call.
"Jilane, I'm stuck here at Walmart. I've got KEVIN BODILY'S Christmas present but don't think I'll get out of here in time to get it to you for the party," I spoke slowly and loudly so everyone around me could hear.
"Sir, did you say Kevin Bodily?" the lady in front of me with twelve kids asked.
"Yes I did. Do you know Kevin Bodily?" I asked. Of course I knew she knew who Kevin Bodily was. Everyone in Utah County knew who Kevin Bodily was.
"Isn't he the guy who hiked up and down the Timp Cave trail all summer long? Didn't he set a new record of over 800 miles on that killer trail up the mountain and back?" She asked.
"Why yes he did. Isn't he something. What a man. What an example to the young people of America. We should be proud of what he's done for God and country. I'm just proud to claim him as my brother in law."
There I said it. Now all I had to do was wait for the reaction.
Kevin at the start of the trail.
I made him go up to the trail after it had closed for the season for this picture.
The cashier jumped up on her moving belt. "Anyone object to letting Kevin's brother in law move to the front of the line?" she asked.
The line parted, just like the Red Sea did for Moses. I walked up to the old grandma still writing her check. She evidently didn't hear who I was.
"I've got a gift for Kevin Bodily. I need to pay for it right now or he won't get it in time for a Christmas party." The old lady looked at me, then the object in my hand, then back at me.
"Who?" she asked while cupping her hand over her ear to hear me better.
"KEVIN BODILY," I shouted.
"Kevin Bodily? Timp Cave Kevin Bodily?" she asked in a quivering voice.
"YES, THAT'S HIM," I shouted.
"You go right now young man and get that gift to Kevin. I'll pay for the gift. He is such a wonderful man. I met him once at the Walker's gas station. He was buying a diet coke. He even let me buy if for him AND pay for his gas as well. I'll be happy to pay for his gift. You run along now and tell him Mrs. Scown said hello."
I thanked everyone for being so kind and generous and left the store. It was going to be a wonderful Christmas after all.
The map showing the steep 3 mile up and down trail leading from the Visitor's Center to the Cave and back. Kevin hiked the trail twice each day. Stud is too weak of a word to describe what he accomplished. Iron Man is more fitting. I should know. I hiked the trail three times a week, just once up and down. I know the pain. I know the suffering. How he did it I'll never know. Even his wife, Jilane, stands amazed at what he accomplished.
"He's a better athlete than me any day. In fact, he's a better man than me as well. There, I said it and I'll not take it back," she said.
Congratulations to my awesome Brother in Law, Kevin Bodily for setting a new hiking record this last summer on the Timp Trail.