Fifty Years Later: Swimming with Dad

swimming with dad

The photo on the right was taken this morning. My brother, Dell, took it. That's my dad and me in the swimming pool. Yes, I still do aqua zumba, for those of you who love picturing that, and so does my husband. But lately, my brother has been taking Dad to swim before dialysis, and I often join them. In one week, Dad will turn eighty-three. In February, we will finish seven years of dialysis. This morning, I walked alongside Dad as he swam. He broke his femur awhile ago, so he can't really … [Read more...]

I Return to “Ordain Women,” where Angels Fear to Tread.


Yes, it is foolish to rush in yet again after the reception my initial blog post received. Nonetheless, here I go.Let me first address the two main talking points which have been repeated by many supporters of "Ordain Women." First, the gathering on October 5th, followed by a press conference, is not a protest. In fact, said H. Beal, "This is not a protest. Anyone who characterizes it as such is seeking to dismiss or malign us." In two sentences, she has assumed motivation and made … [Read more...]

September 12–after my daughter was cast as Annina in La Traviata at Indiana U

Kaila (my daughter) before her second recital

I am re-posting something I wrote several years ago, because of the wonderful news we got yesterday, included in the title. Previously posted in By Common Consent. My son, by the way, did graduate from high school. He is doing well and continues to surprise us by his wisdom.So my son will not pass Sports Medicine this term. Alas. We worked so hard. And I do mean WE. I taught myself the material so I could tutor him. But the class is made for a different sort of student than my son … [Read more...]

Priesthood Restrictions–Shall we Protest?

Junior Apostle Gordon B. Hinckley and Ruffin Bridgeforth, October 19, 1971

June 8, 1971—an important day. Three black men, Ruffin Bridgeforth, Darius Gray, and Eugene Orr met with three junior apostles: Gordon B. Hinckley, Thomas S. Monson, and Boyd K. Packer. This was all under the direction of Joseph Fielding Smith, the president of the LDS church. The issue for Gene Orr was priesthood. “These were negotiating meetings,” Gene says in the documentary Nobody Knows: The Untold Story of Black Mormons. “We wanted the priesthood.” Darius Gray did not believe that he wou … [Read more...]

The Trip: Prologue

The Groberg Cabin

"Not Knowing Beforehand the things which I should Do"It’s because I’m a Blair. My father has set me in Middle-of-Nowhere, Mexico and instructed me to figure out how to say fifty different words in some dialect spoken there. He once told my siblings and me in the middle of Guatemala City, “I’ve got a conference, but I hear there’s a museum around here. Go find it. I’ll meet you back here in five hours.” I have a long tradition of leaping before anyone can stop me. Clearly, it's genetic. … [Read more...]


Mel Hamilton, Margaret Young, Darius Gray

Mel Hamilton is one of my heroes. He spoke on July 13th about his experience as one of the Black Fourteen at Wyoming University in 1969. He and thirteen other black players on the team—the best Wyoming had ever had and perhaps the best they will have—wanted to protest the Mormon priesthood restriction when they played BYU. They wanted to play the game, but wearing black armbands. Their coach, Lloyd Eaton, asked them to sit in the fieldhouse bleachers. … [Read more...]

Imagination and Faith

The two I lined up

There is no faith without imagination. One reason I choose Mormonism as my religious framework is that--at its best--it urges me to the most noble imaginings. So much of my life involves imagination.I have taught poets who had far greater gifts than I, essayists who invited me into new paradigms or experiences, and fiction writers who took me on unanticipated journeys. Recently, I taught a young man who I also knew as a missionary. He was in the MTC branch my husband and I served in several … [Read more...]