DATE 3 SEPT. 2010
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
This is part of an occasional series by the Sanpete County Travel and Utah Heritage Highway 89 Alliance on the people and places along U.S.
Sanpete County artist builds Windsor chairs as they were meant to be
By Christian Probasco
For the Mormon Pioneer National Heritage Area
SPRING CITY—Jonathan Jones is one of those rare people you hear about who turned what would be a negative life event for most folks into a big
positive. In 2002, he was laid off from a job he had held for 28 years, in the security department of a corporate bank in Kaysville, Utah. With seven
children depending on him and his wife Bonnie, he decided to turn his hobby of woodworking into his vocation.
“I wish I had started 28 years earlier,” he says.
With a basic knowledge of furniture making and an eye for good craftsmanship, Jones decided to attend a chair making class at the Windsor Institute
in New Hampshire. He studied under renowned master chair maker Mike Dunbar. Later, he also studied under Curtis Buchanon, who is also a
master craftsman, in Tennessee.
After some practice, Jones was making Windsor chairs of the kind you don’t see in most furniture stores but do see in antique shops.
The chair Jones fell in love with was first produced in the late 1600s in High Wycombe, England. It got its name from the nearby city of Windsor on the
Thames River, from which many of the chairs were shipped to London. American colonists adapted the simple but sturdy design to the materials at
hand. The colonial version usually had a slightly thicker seat, as the stronger elm carved for that purpose by the English was harder to come by in the
states. However, the American pine, bass or poplar seat was easier to shape.
Jones’ biggest problem at the beginning of his new career was that the varieties of wood he needed to build his chairs—hickory, oak, maple and
eastern white pine—weren’t, and aren’t, available west of the Mississippi. So he used to drive to various points east each year to pick up the raw
materials. Now he says he has found a supplier who will ship him what he needs. The postage is expensive, but not as costly as making the journey.
About the same time Jones was switching gears, Bonnie, was experiencing back problems which put her out of a job as a postal carrier. With no
fixed employment to tie them down, they decided to move to Spring City, a farming town and artists’ colony about 90 miles south of Salt Lake City.
Jones now produces chairs and Shaker furniture out of his shop adjacent to his home on Main Street in Spring City and teaches furniture making at
the Traditional Building Skills Institute at Snow College in nearby Ephraim. He has won the prestigious “America’s Best” award from “Early American
Life” Magazine for three consecutive years.
Jones says the two concerns he hears most from prospective customers are doubts about the chairs’ comfort and its durability. Both worries go
away when they sit in one of his works of art. The seats are generally made of a softer wood like eastern white pine. The flexible spindles on the back
and sides are carved from thin, flexible strips of hickory or oak which have been rived along the grain and steamed. The splayed legs are typically
made of sturdy maple. The solid design supports even the generously-proportioned with no complaints.
Traditional Windsor chairs are fitted together with tapered, self-tightening round tenons secured with wedges, and secured with hide glue. “Self-
tightening” means that every time someone puts weight on the chair, the elements are forced further into their joints.
Windsor chairs are ubiquitous in the United States, but well-crafted versions are not. Jones doesn’t have much regard for factory chairs, which
usually begin falling apart a few months post-purchase. With mass produced Windsor chairs, the elements don’t have a tapered fit; mortise and tenon
joints in the arms and legs are driven in to the shoulder and quickly pry themselves loose.
Factories compensate for the poor quality of the chair’s joints by overbuilding them, bulking up the frame and destroying the chair’s supple line.
Typically, says Jones, the spindles on store-bought chairs will be “as fat as my thumb.”
Jones’ chairs weigh half as much as the mass produced versions but are many times stronger, with lithe proportions which are pleasing to the eye.
And Jones expects each one to last on the order of centuries.
“I liken custom-made Windsor chairs to homemade bread,” he says. “The store bought bread is technically the same, but once you’ve tasted
homemade, you know there’s a lot of difference.”
An introduction on the website for Jones’ shop reads:
“These chairs….were designed to be made by hand. When the machine age arrived, the construction of beautiful, well built Windsors disappeared.
Windsor chairs simply cannot be mass-produced by machine and retain their delicate grace and strength.”
Jones can put a chair together in about a week, though he is sometimes backlogged with orders. His website is at www.jockswindsors.com. He can
be reached at 801-915-2015.
For much more information on Windsor chairs, go to www.windsorchairresources.com/index.html.
For more information on the Sanpete County Travel and Heritage Council in Manti, call 435-835-6877 or 1-800-281-4346 or go to www.sanpete.
Sanpete Travel and Heritage Council
Powell, Dutton and the Negative Earth
In August 29th of 1869, six bearded, sun-burnt men in ragged clothing for the last time pulled their battered, leaking boats to the shore of the Colorado River near the mouth of the
Virgin River and limped inland with three Mormon men and a boy to the settlement of Callville, where they feasted on fish, melons and squash and then laid about in contentment
and began relating the events of their journey. They’d left Green River City, Colorado three months earlier and had ridden the length of the Green and Colorado Rivers from that
point, down through Flaming Gorge and the forbidding Canyon of Lodore, down through Whirlpool Canyon and Desolation Canyon, Gray Canyon, Labyrinth Canyon, Cataract
Canyon and the placid waters of Glen Canyon, through Marble Canyon and into the great, churning, foaming, roiling, deep, dark Vishnu-Shist madness at the bottom of the Grand
Canyon. They’d fought rapids throughout all of these canyons or they’d portaged their heavy boats and their supplies around them. They’d burned themselves in a brush fire of
their own making and their boats had been swamped and their supplies dumped into the river. One of their boats, the No-Name, had been smashed into the rocks. They were
soaked the entire trip. Their clothes were nearly all lost or ruined and their cooking utensils, bedding, provisions and guns were even then making their way to the Gulf of
California. The few rations of flour and bacon they had left were rancid. Swarms of insects had attacked them, they had become violently sick from vegetables they’d lifted from an
Indian garden and their leader, Major Powell, who’d lost an arm at Shiloh, had become stranded on a cliff face, unable to climb up or down until George Bradley rescued him with
his trousers dangled over a ledge to Powell’s hand.
Three of their party had left the main group only two days earlier, preferring to take their chances in the wilderness rather than being dismembered by the violent boils ahead.
Unbeknownst to Powell and his men as they enjoyed their feast, these three had already been riddled by Shivwits arrows on the plateau above the gorge.
In the eastern press, they were all rumored to be dead.
This was the remains of the Powell Expedition, the first men to have verifiably run the Colorado through the Grand Canyon. The group disbanded and afterwards, Powell lost touch
with the other men, except for his brother Walter. Some went on to other adventures, some published their own accounts of the endeavor, but the Major continued to run the river.
He returned almost two years later better prepared for the journey, with a new crew, and he rode the current again and kept riding it all the way to Washington D.C., his destination
from the start, and an appointment as the director of a western survey that was to last until 1879.
In Powell’s hand was the tome which had secured his position, the Exploration of the Colorado River of the West, a condensed account of the two expeditions and an outline of the
principles which had shaped the Colorado Plateau, chiefly the “recession of cliffs,” the coping of stone by rain and frost at the edge of buttes rather than their centers, which
accounted for the Plateau’s broad shelves of rock, and the “antecedence of drainages,” the rise of the Plateau around incised rivers helpless to alter their course, which explained
how they could cut through mountains or highlands and across valleys “as if they were only banks of fog or smoke,” as Powell’s associate Clarence Dutton put it (High Plateaus,
In time, the Major developed a second set of principles, this one concerned with the river of settlers migrating into the west, elucidated in his Report on the Lands of the Arid
Region, and for a brief time, he held the west hostage to the vision therein: an apportioning of land based on access to water rather than raw acreage, boundary lines conforming to
drainages rather than arbitrary meridians and the restriction of settlement until the west could be properly surveyed and classified according to its potential for agriculture, mining,
timber or grazing.
During his tenure Powell drew able men to him to fill in the details of his vision of the west while he struggled to keep the survey funded. Thomas Moran became the survey’s
illustrator, and also William Henry Holmes, with his “more-than-photographic accuracy” (Stegner, illustration 6). Grove Karl Gilbert, who jumped ship to Powell's team from George
Wheeler's survey, introduced the idea of laccoliths, lenses of volcanic rock trapped beneath the earth’s surface in his Geology of the Henry Mountains. Almon Harris Thompson,
the Major’s brother-in-law and leader of much of the second expedition, did the fieldwork and created the finished map of the last heretofore unexplored region of the United States
for Powell to demonstrate the survey’s accomplishments and Clarence Edward Dutton deciphered the geology of the Grand Canyon and the tablelands on the west edge of the
Colorado Plateau in his Tertiary History of the Grand Canyon and his Geology of the High Plateaus of Utah.
Highway 12 runs along and over many of those tablelands. It crosses the Paunsaugunt Plateau and drops through the Paria Amphitheater on the far side, then gradually rises over
the flank of the Aquarius Plateau, all regions which Dutton studied in far more detail than Powell. Whereas Powell lumped the Aquarius in with the Fish Lake and Awapa Plateaus,
for example, noting “All three of these plateaus are remarkable for the many lakelets found on them,” (Exploration, 80), Dutton reveals on page five of High Plateaus that the Awapa,
which perversely means “many waters” in Paiute, in fact, has almost no water on its surface at all. He also adds this oddly subjective description on his approach to the Aquarius
The ascent leads us among rugged hills, almost mountainous in size, strewn with black boulders, along precipitous ledges, and by the sides of canons. Long detours
must be made to escape the chasms and to avoid the taluses of fallen blocks; deep ravines must be crossed, projecting crags doubled, and lofty battlements scaled before
the summit is reached. When the broad platform is gained the story of “Jack and the beanstalk,” the finding of a strange and beautiful country somewhere up in the region
of the clouds, no longer seems incongruous. Yesterday we were toiling over a burning soil, where nothing grows save the ashy-colored sage, the prickly pear, and a few
cedars that writhe and contort their stunted limbs under a scorching sun. To-day we are among forests of rare beauty and luxuriance; the air is moist and cool, the grasses
are green and rank, and hosts of flowers deck the turf like the hues of a Persian carpet. The forest opens in wide parks and winding avenues, which the fancy can easily
people with fays and woodland nymphs (High Plateaus, 285).
Elsewhere, he describes the Aquarius as “like the threshold of another world” (High Plateaus, 284). As Wallace Stegner puts it in Beyond the Hundredth Meridian, “Strange words
in a geological monograph” (173).
Dutton also elucidates on the landscape’s novel aesthetic dimension in this oft-quoted passage out of The Tertiary History:
The lover of nature, whose perceptions have been trained in the Alps, in Italy, Germany, or New England, in the Appalachians or Cordilleras, in Scotland or Colorado, would
enter this strange region with a shock, and dwell here for a time with a sense of oppression, and perhaps with horror. Whatsoever things he had learned to regard as
beautiful and noble he would seldom or never see, and whatsoever he might see would appear to him as anything but beautiful and noble. Whatsoever might be bold or
striking would at first seem only grotesque. The colors would be the very ones he had learned to shun as tawdry and bizarre. The tones and shades, modest and tender,
subdued yet rich, in which his fancy had always taken special delight, would be the ones which are conspicuously absent. But time would bring a gradual change. Some
day he would suddenly become conscious that outlines which at first seemed harsh and trivial have grace and meaning; that forms which seemed grotesque are full of
dignity; that magnitudes which had added enormity to coarseness have become replete with strength, and even majesty; that color which had been esteemed unrefined,
immodest, glaring, are as expressive, tender, changeful and capacious of effects as any others. Great innovations, whether in art or literature, in science or in nature,
seldom take the world by storm (141).
The romantic vision had always traveled with the frontier and it was inherent in the wilderness beyond it, and here was one of the last and most obdurate remnants of that
wilderness and the whole of the romantic ideal had been shoved up against it and found wanting—in fact, completely inadequate. Here was a mask of barrenness, of the “bizarre,”
behind which lay a new and distinct modality of sublimity. The Colorado Plateau was and is too large and too diverse, too new and strange to simply play a supporting role as a
borderland or a desert wasteland in the western saga. At some point it had to be confronted on its own terms.
Dutton never tried to exactly formulate the new western aesthetic, the “great innovation in modern ideas of scenery, and in our conception of the grandeur, beauty and power of
nature,” (Tertiary History, 140), the paradigm a traveler might use to catch at some corner of the plateau country, but I think he at least pointed the way. He draws attention, for
example, to the vivid colors of the plateau; a landscape which is not muted into the “modest and tender” tints of the romantic’s palette but which rather bleeds into “belts of fierce
staring red, yellow and toned white, which are intensified rather than alleviated by the alternating belts of dark iron gray” (High Plateaus, 8). And the impact of these colors is
heightened by this tabescence of the landscape; they’re the bright colors of fall, of death, the sharp hues of dying leaves. On a geologic scale, the Plateau is rapidly expiring, being
worn down to sea level by intense erosion. From the Wasatch Plateau, the land below and beyond is "a picture of desolation and decay; of a land dead and rotten, with dissolution
apparent all over its face” (High Plateaus, 19). And the agent of this decay? “The lessons which may be learned from this region are many, but the grandest lesson which it
teaches is EROSION. It is one which is taught, indeed, by every land on earth, but nowhere so clearly as here” (High Plateaus, 14).
I’d like to take Dutton’s argument a step further. At every level this is place where aspects of the earth have been subtracted out. It is a negative earth. Mountains used to stand
where the Grand Canyon is now entrenched and the High Plateaus, with their black lava caps, are all that remains of a level ashplain. Powell recognized that circles of erosion, of
nothingness, were radiating outward from singularities like massive sinkholes and Dutton observed them from the south end of the Aquarius Plateau:
As we study the panorama before us, the realization of the magnitude of this process gradually takes form and conviction in the mind. The strata which are cut off successively
upon the slopes formerly reached out indefinitely and covered the entire country to the remotest boundary of vision. Their fading remnants are still discernible, forming buttes and
mesas scattered over the vast expanse (High Plateaus, 292).
These strata record dozens of regimes: an enormous sand desert, perhaps the largest in the world’s history, and inland seas, lakes, sloughs and lush gardens, now long gone
and their remains buried and then unearthed again and carried off.
Any argument against calling this landscape dead or dying or against characterizing it by absence might be supported with examples of the diversity and adaptability of the native
fauna such as the Bighorn Sheep which can go five days without water, the kangaroo rats which can metabolize their own water, the desert tortoise which can survive blood-salt
concentrations up to twenty percent (Sowell, 86-100), the xeric, deep-rooted juniper and pinyon and the saltbrush which can survive in poison soil, and even the soil itself, the
microbiotic crust, a symbiotic community of algae and fungi and lichens. But the physiological mechanisms these organisms developed, the extreme measures they have to
employ to survive, only go to prove how lacking the environment is in any of the resources necessary for life. The desert fox, the raven, the tadpoles that inhabit water pockets in the
rock --these are all opportunists which have found a temporary refuge in the merest niche. Not much lives comfortably here. Consider the bristlecone pine with its crippled back
and its roots dug in the stone, hundreds or thousands of years old but only partly alive; it’s the embodiment of writhing agony.
Loss and death: these were the central paradigms of Dutton and Powell’s generation, which had buried over six hundred thousand of its young soldiers. In southern Utah and the
Four Corners region, there were more inhabitants in the last millenium than are there today, and archaeologists can still only hazard educated guesses as to the reasons they left.
In every aspect, every nuance, in terms of geology and population and aesthetic effect, and especially in terms of the availability of water, this was and is a land of vast, tangible,
From Chapter 1, Highway 12
Press Release for Stan Watt's statue of war hero Daniel Nevot
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Aug. 10, 2010
War hero Daniel Nevot unveils Utah sculptor Stan Watts’ “Free French Fighters” statues in Colmar
By Christian Probasco
COLMAR, FRANCE--A bronze artwork of two W.W. II heroes was unveiled by one of its subjects during a ceremony in Colmar, France on July 27.
Soaked by rain, Lt. Daniel Nevot, now 90, was joined by a member of the Association des Anciens (Association of Veterans) and base commander Col. Henry de Medlege in drawing
a French flag away from Utah sculptor Stan Watts’ statues, the “Free French Fighters,” at the new headquarters of his unit, the Regiment de Marche du Tchad (Chad Marine Infantry
The unveiling was the first ceremony of many for the purpose of celebrating the regiment’s relocation from Noyon to a former Air Force base in Colmar and the transfer of the unit’s
command from de Medlege to Col. Philippe Francois. De Medlege is taking a command in Afghanistan.
“These statues will remind our soldiers that the regiment is a family, and that it has a proud history,” said de Medlege at the unveiling.
“The new statues represent a link between the regiment’s past and present,” said Francois. “Though the regiment is young, these statues will remind us that it has a rich heritage.”
Francois added that Nevot life had a symbolic connection to the spirit of renewal embodied by the regiment. Nevot had “renewed his life” on many occasions. He was one of the first
soldiers (number 187) to answer Charles de Gaulle’s call to continue the fight against the Axis armies after the capitulation of France. Then he served in the French colonies and
became a master of fencing and judo. After his retirement from the military, he moved to Texas and taught fencing for 22 years at St. Mark’s School in Dallas. After the death of his first
wife, Anne Marie, he remarried and moved to St. George, Utah, the state where his daughter Patricia Johnson lives, and where his idol, John Wayne, filmed many of his movies.
Watts’ homage to the freedom fighters depicts a young Nevot and an anonymous colonial “tirailleur” or rifleman at the onset of the ragtag Free French army’s siege of the Italian
stronghold of Koufra in Libya. The victory there by the French troops against superior forces inspired many of their countrymen in France, then under German rule, to join their cause,
and also set the stage for a military campaign from North Africa to Strasbourg on the eastern border of France, and finally, the German homeland.
Nevot commanded an armored car during the battle of Koufra and subsequent raids on Axis supply depots in the Sahara Desert. With only two compatriots, he captured an Italian
fortress and took 150 enemy soldiers prisoner. He was nearly killed on several other occasions, including a knife fight with a sentry, a strafing attack by German warplanes and an
encounter with an anti-tank mine in France that demolished the motorcycle on which he had been delivering messages for his superiors.
The tirailleur is a symbolic figure, meant to represent the colonial soldiers who made up the majority of the Free French forces at the onset of their struggle, without whom victory
would not have been possible.
The statues stand across the base’s main courtyard from a bust of Gen. Philippe Leclerc, Nevot’s commander during the war, who vowed with his men to continue the fight until their
flag flew over the Cathedral of Strasbourg—an oath that was fulfilled on Nov. 23, 1944.
Several ceremonies followed the unveiling over the next two days. There was a review of the troops, a transfer of the base’s command, a military parade, a tour of the base’s new
museum and several speeches concerning the unique heritage of the regiment.
While his wife Helen and daughters Rosette and Patricia, and other family members from France and the United States watched from the audience, Nevot accompanied de Medlege
in awarding citations to the troops, and was then himself awarded an “Officer” Medal of Honor, an upgrade from the “Chevalier” Medal of Honor he had received for his service in
World War II. A room in the base’s museum was also named in his honor.
The transfer of command was overseen by Gen. Martin Klotz of the Second Armored Brigade. Also in attendance during the ceremonies were Francoise Boog, the mayor of nearby
Mayenheim; Col. de Cevins, the former commander of the base and close friend of Nevot’s family, who had originally approved the installation of the statues; many members of the
Association des Anciens and Charles de Hauteclerc, the son of Gen. Leclerc, who awoke at 2 a.m. and drove all night to be at the event, which he said he “would not have missed for
During a break in one of the tours of the base, Nevot studied a Harley Davidson of the sort he had ridden while acting as a courier during the war, restored to near-original condition
by Joel Duduoet, who found the machine for sale in Russia after the fall of the Berlin Wall and brought it back to life using parts he purchased from eBay.
At the end of the ceremonies, Nevot posed for photos with his family and kissed the flag his regiment had carried from Koufra to Germany.
Nevot , who was a corporal in his early twenties during the war, has said that he wanted the statues he commissioned to represent the rank-and-file soldiers who did most of the
actual fighting and dying in the conflict. During the unveiling ceremony, he told French news agency DNA he had always volunteered for every mission, no matter how dangerous, with
his regiment and his country in mind. He also denied he was a hero. Those who know him beg to differ.
For more information, please contact press agent Christian Probasco at 435-851-6485 / email@example.com.
Utah artist Stan Watts stands with
his bronze sculptures, “French
Freedom Fighters” soon after their
unveiling in Colmar on July 27.
Watts had spent 36 hours prior to
the unveiling assembling and
positioning the work on its base.
The statues commemorate the
“common” soldiers who won the
pivotal battle of Koufra, in Libya, for
the Free French during W.W. II. On
the left is a young Daniel Nevot, the
war hero who commissioned the
statues from Watts, and on the right
is an unnamed colonial “tirailleur” or
rifleman. At the onset of the war, the
tirailleurs made up the majority of
the Free French forces.
Lt. Daniel Nevot participates with
Col. de Medlege awarding medals
and promotions to soldiers of the
Chad Marine Infantry Regiment at
the unit’s new base in Colmar on
July 28. This was one of Col. de
Medlege’s last official acts before
turning over the command of the
base to Col. Phillip Francois.
Lt. Daniel Nevot examines a
restored Harley Davidson
motorcycle similar to the one
he rode as a courier in W.W.II,
on July 28. To the left of Nevot
is the owner, Joel Duduoet,
who found the machine for
sale in Russia after the fall of
the Berlin Wall and spent five
years returning it to working
order, using parts he
purchased from eBay. On the
far left is the former base
commander, Col. de Medlege
who is leaving to take a
command in Afghanistan.
Nevot’s original Harley
Davidson, which he named
“Therese,” after a girlfriend,
was blown up by a tank
landmine in France while he
was delivering written
directives for the French High
Nevot and daughter with son of Gen.
Leclerc: Lt. Daniel Nevot (center) and his
daughter, Patricia Johnson, speak with
Charles de Hauteclerc, the son of Gen.
Philippe Leclerc, who was Nevot’s
commander in W.W. II, during a break in the
ceremonies on July 27. Charles told those
present he “would not have missed (the
event) for the world.”
Jonathan Jones stands
by his chairs, and his
shaker furniture. The
chairs were traditionally
finished with milk paint
to give a uniform
appearance to the
varieties of wood used
in their construction, but
they also look good bare.
Jones uses a shaving
horse to hold the
spindles for his chair
while he shapes them
with his drawknife. The
horse, which was
common in households
before the machine age,
is really just a
combination of a seat
and foot-operated clamp.
Former state representative and congressional candidate finds a new role.
Carl Wimmer takes job as high school resource officer
By Christian Probasco
July 6, 2012
GUNNISON—Carl Wimmer, the former state representative from Herriman who was defeated by Mia Love for the right to represent Republicans in Utah’s 4th
Congressional District and then snubbed for the job as Nevada’s Republican director, said he is ready for some time away from the spotlight.
Wimmer is returning to his roots as a police officer — in this case a high school resource officer— in the central Utah city of Gunnison, population 3,285. He said he
hasn't ruled out another run for public office sometime in the future, but will relocate his family to Gunnison and return to his former profession.
“I have a passion for politics,” he said. “I am passionate about conservative issues. I was a founder of the Patrick Henry Caucus. But right now, I am focused on raising
my young family.”
Wimmer, 37 and his wife Sherry have three children, ages 5, 8 and 10 and are also raising two special-needs foster children. One child, who is 8, has cerebral palsy and
the other child, the boy’s 11-year-old brother, was born deaf.
“I am learning sign language,” Wimmer said. “Slowly.”
He said the proximity of quality medical services in the area, at Gunnison Valley Hospital in downtown Gunnison, played a part in the decision to move to the city in
Wimmer, who was raised in West Valley City and moved to Herriman 12 years ago, resigned his seat during his third term in House District 52 to run for Utah’s new
Fourth Congressional District. He lost in the convention to fellow Republican Mia Love, who will be facing incumbent Democrat Jim Matheson this November.
Wimmer gained prominence in Utah as an ardent advocate of traditional conservative values. He introduced legislation that would have prohibited the state from implementing
federal health care reforms authorized by Congress and recently upheld as constitutional by the Supreme Court.
He also introduced a constitutional amendment prohibiting “card check” union votes, rather than voting by secret ballot and legislation nullifying a provision in the Patient
Protection and Affordable Care Act concerning abortions, thus allowing doctors and hospitals with religious objections to the procedure to opt out of performing it without
Wimmer also pushed to defeat the University of Utah’s ban on legally concealed weapons. He won reelection in 2010 with 79 percent of the vote in his district.
His decision to return to law enforcement came after an apparent offer to take over as Nevada GOP director fell through two months ago. Wimmer said at the time that he was
offered the job by Jesse Law, who represented himself as the “acting political director” of the Nevada GOP Party.
After Wimmer announced his appointment to the Utah press, he learned that Law was not the party’s acting director. In fact, he was an unofficial aide to GOP Chairman
Michael McDonald, who said he had never heard of Wimmer.
Wimmer traveled to Nevada and within a few days was on the road back to Utah, characterizing the Nevada state party as confused and “non-functional” and leaving him
out of a job in a very public way.
He said he and his wife, Sherry decided he should return to law enforcement, where he had worked for 12 years before he got into politics.
“The thing about being a police officer is the job can take you anywhere,” he said. “When we drove to Gunnison, we fell in love with the city. We fell in love with Sanpete
County. We love the people. This is a great place to raise children.”
The job of resource officer will be a change of pace for Wimmer. Before he got into politics, Wimmer was a SWAT commander and tactical trainer. School resource
officers function as counselors and teachers, working with school officials, local authorities and parents to keep teenage students out of trouble.
But Wimmer, who has already started the job, has worked with kids before. He won recognition as the Drug Abuse Resistance Education Officer of the Year while he was in
Herriman. And he is enthusiastic about the position.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “I want to see if we can make a difference in these kids’ lives. I really believe we can.”
City police chief Trent Halliday said Wimmer "is a great addition to the department.”
Wimmer is renting a house in Gunnison ahd said he plans to move his family down soon. He and his wife will rent out their house in Herriman. And he said will keep his
eye on the political scene, even the local political scene in Gunnison. He said he won’t rule out a run for one of the local political offices, though the city’s mayor, Lori Nay, and
the county sheriff, Brian Nielson, can breathe easy.
“I have a tremendous respect for both of them,” he said. “I wouldn’t run for their offices unless they decided not to run.”