Ann Ott | Utah Parks Company (1964)

“I was originally supposed to start at Zion but when I got to Cedar City they called me into the office and asked if I would mind going to Bryce Canyon. It really didn’t matter to me so I agreed, but I didn’t know it would be so cold. So, that first morning, when I came out, I didn’t have on a jacket, I had no boots.

The nurses were hired by the Utah Parks Company to take care of the kids, the employees who worked at the parks. Back then, they were mostly college students and they were young and away from home without parental supervision, and they got into all kinds of things. They had all kinds of situations. I think the Utah Parks Company probably felt a kind of responsibility to provide at least someone there who could give them something for their sore throats. When I got to Bryce Canyon, they had a little cabin right next to the lodge with a little red cross on it. It had two rooms, the front room was like one of the double cabins they had, but they had turned it into a little infirmary. The funny part of it was that there were these tremendously steep steps to get up to it. So, if you were injured, I don’t know how you would get up there because they were little narrow steep stairs. Then the back room of the cabin had a bed and a dresser and that was where I kept my things.

When Lamar [Snyder] was going to take me to Bryce, he handed me these shoe boxes and said, ‘Here, this will be some of your stuff.’ When I opened the boxes, they were full of all kinds of multiple dose vials of morphine, and Demerol, all kinds of narcotics. I mean, this was back in the ’64, there was no accountability, nothing. I had some oxygen in there, and a few dilapidated syringes and miscellaneous kinds of medicine. There was a note book in there; I was supposed to log in the people I saw. I was also expected to be on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which was kind of a novel idea when you’re twenty going on almost twenty-one years old.”