BYU Radio


Story Keepers


March 10 and 11 saw us at the Vernal Storytelling Festival, run so well by Aaryn Birchell and her team. The festival features public tellings in the auditorium of Vernal’s middle school, outbound workshops and performances in other local schools, as well as a symposium for young story enthusiasts featuring workshops with the festival’s featured tellers. The drive to Vernal from Provo is punctuated by views of antelope herds and other wildlife, and a visit to Vernal should include a stop at Dinosaur National Monument, as well as a drive just a few more miles down the road to the Josie Morris Ranch for a dose of Butch Cassidy lore. And on Main Street, you won’t want to miss the giant Green dinosaur statue. He (she?) wears a costume for every major holiday, including a cap and gown for high school graduation, and bunny ears for Easter.

Among our favorite places to visit in the area is the McConkie Ranch, about ten miles North of town. The McConkies bought the place in the thirties, little knowing that the cliffs rising from the valley floor were covered in some of the most spectacular petroglyphs in a state that has plenty of great ones. Years later, Smithsonian and National Geographic would document these treasures.

But the McConkies didn’t buy the ranch because of the petroglyphs. They inherited all of this priceless heritage unwittingly, and became its keepers. They’ve since built a parking lot, clearly marked the trail to the best petroglyph panels with signs and stanchions, and stand at the ready (if you can catch them at home) to tell you all they know about the rock art on their property. That art includes the famous “Three Kings” panel, the panel that the Smithsonian has called “Utah’s most outstanding site.”
Story Keepers by The Apple Seed Show 

As storytellers, Suzanne and I couldn’t stop talking about the interesting position the McConkies are in: sheer happenstance making them the keepers of this ancient story, and leading more than 7,000 visitors a year to their front door. The McConkies have embraced their role, not only allowing the tourist traffic, but welcoming it.  On today’s episode of the Apple Seed, in addition to recordings made live at the festival of Ed Stivender and Regi Carpenter, we take you on a visit to the ranch. Get a look at some of the petroglyphs right here. You’ll see “Shield Man,” with his big hands and spidery fingers, and “Bigfoot,” the petroglyph that in some ways has become the ranch mascot. You’ll also see the Three Kings panel itself. As you look at the photo, remember that this panel hangs precariously more than fifty feet from the valley floor (as Jean Makenzie McConkie, our guide, put it, “Walk to the end of the trail and look up.”

The stories behind ancient rock art remain mysterious. These pieces sure are amazing things to look at. And to wonder about. 

Really Cool Humans Are Everywhere!

Really Cool Humans Are Everywhere!


“Stop,” she yelled from across the airport walkway, “You are Kim Power Stilson, right?  I need to introduce you to a really cool human.  You need to have them on the show!”


If I were to count how many times people have stopped me, emailed me, called me or texted me to introduce me to a really cool human they wanted to have on the show, I would get past 100 easy and still be amazed at the number of great people who have made some very grand contributions to the world, for which I am truly thankful.  For one the seemingly endless number of really cool humans means the world is still a fantastic place filled with grand souls, and for two, the vast number of great humans keeps me hosting a daily talk show on SiriusXM 143 BYU Radio.


Listeners to the show, people who hail from as far away as Iceland and as close as my nearby neighbor (who makes sure to tell me she can hear me breathing into the microphone – sheesh I had a cold). I have the wonderful honor to explore the world of fascinating, informative and inspiring guests who have come up with a way to make the world a better place.  Some humans have made obvious contributions to the world, some have made small and delightful contributions, but all of their contributions are very grand.   I have met a countless number of really cool humans with stories, strategies and solutions, and yet there seems hundreds more left to meet. Together the listeners and I get to talk to some of the coolest people and hear their stories.

If you haven’t tuned in, logged on or downloaded our show, that plays on SiriusXM 143 weekdays and Saturdays at 3:00 pm Eastern (you can stream live from a Smartphone on our BYU Radio app or listen anytime on iTunes) then you may have missed out on people who have created solutions and done everything from saving exotic cats, trekking across Iceland, walking a tightrope for fun, raising funds for diseases, catching fireflies, creating celebrity faces on ducks, escaping terrorist attacks, birthing billionaires, helping families stay connected, speaking out against cruelty, cooking in Dutch ovens, to helping restore music to schools.  So many people do really cool things and there is a story in every one of them that someone out there listening may just really like to hear. 


So when people say, “I need to introduce you to a really cool human.  You need to have them on the show!”  I get excited to see who we will all get to meet next and most importantly, I am reminded that the world is full of really cool humans and truly a grand place to live.  Listen in with us to hear their stories on the Kim Power Stilson talk radio show at 3:00 pm Eastern/ 1:oo pm Mountain on SiriusXM 143!

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