The Taggart Family -- Life, Family and Friends

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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

This blog is a record of events in the life of Joseph Taggart and his family since his spinal cord injury while body surfing in Guatemala in January 2006.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

What You Do With It

We like this quote illustrated by MaryEngelbreit. We are all engaged in life at full throttle, especially Joseph.
One of his goals lately is to see if he can get back to being able to take photographs. We met his occupational therapist Nikki Conrad at Pictureline. We experimented with a Monopod which could be attached to his wheelchair between his legs and extended when needed, It would work! Then we tried figuring out how he could move a camera. . . and attached a video fluid head (Fluid head explanation) to the monopod. It would work! Now to take photos with a camera. . the only way it could work is if he could use a remote control to zoom and press the shutter button. Lo, and behold, the new Canon video camera takes 8 megapixel stills and has a full remote control we could velcro to his left arm rest (8 megapixel still shots with a DV camera? Yes, says the HFS10). It would work! Now if we just had the cash . . . but he made progress and now he has a plan.

Award for Community Policing
Denny Bird, Elizabeth's husband was honored this past week by the Logan City Police Department with their community policing award. It is really a wonderful honor. He loves working with the youth in Logan's middle schools and with the community. He loves making a difference in people's lives. They really enjoy living in Cache Valley. The Police Chief Russell Roper is handing Denny the award in the photo. Russ was originally from Grace Idaho and was one of Tim's seminary students back in the day (time does march on).

A Complete M*A*S*H
Joseph started watching the complete M*A*S*H (TV series) last November. Today he completed the last disc.

Grandkids Here, One at a Time
Over last weekend we had Cheyenne here by herself, early in the week Ethan came to stay. What fun to have time with Grandma and Uncle Joe. With special trips shopping (Cheyenne) and the Zoo (Ethan) it was great fun. Uncle Joe found time for each in special ways (trips to the park and walks around the neighborhood). It is starting to be summer and they are enjoying the warm weather.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

From 'Advanced Handcycling' to 'Zoology'

Hogle Zoo
What fun it was for Joseph to visit Utah's Hogle Zoo this week with Lisa Aldridge (before she returned to Canada on Tuesday) Gloria, Elizabeth and the kids. The facilities were top notch and the animals looked great. It is fun to be with the kids and feel their excitement and delight. The Zoo has changed and improved dramatically. Everyone even talked Gloria into getting a Grandparent Plus membership so everyone can come back often this year. When Joseph and Elizabeth were little, Tim and Gloria had a pass that let the whole family enjoy the Zoo as well as the Tracy Aviary and the Utah Symphony Orchestra over and over. It was a highlight of their young lives.

Cycling at Liberty
On Tuesday Joseph went to Liberty Park to try out Hand Cycling sponsored by the TRAILS program. He was met by great people with cycles specially designed for individuals with spinal cord injuries. It was pretty tough to fit Joseph's 6'4" frame in the bikes that were available, but with the help of some wrenches and duct tape, he was kitted out for a ride. It was awesome for Tim to watch Joseph's determined and successful effort to cycle down the sidewalk. It was like a lot of things in Joseph's life, hard work and great fun. Next time they will have some better equipment that will allow him greater mobility.

Old Friends
Maji and Sophie Tramel came by to see Tim at work this week after a session at the SL Temple.
Maji used to work for Tim a number of years ago in the Church video studio. It was so good to see them both again. They enjoyed a tour through the new AV facilities in the Conference Center.

Mormon Channel
After months of hard work by AV employees, The Church announced the new Mormon Channel this week. The Mormon Channel is the official radio station of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The channel originates from the Church Office Building and broadcasts 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Content for the station comes from the vast archives of the Church, along with several new series created specifically for this station.

You can listen to the Mormon Channel live online anytime at There are also downloads and podcasts of content available at the same address. A widget for social networking sites and blogs is also now available.

In addition to online delivery, the channel is available via HDRadio in every Bonneville International radio market. Among those markets are Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Washington D.C., Chicago, Phoenix, and Seattle. For more information on getting a compatible HDRadio, visit

Additionally, soon you will be able to listen via an iPhone application. Other distribution options are currently being explored, including satellite radio and other mobile devices.

We are also working on Spanish programming for the station.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Summer of Fun Begins, Ehh???

Amazing Anglo-Kanook Girl visits American-Anglo-Brazilian Boy Wonder
Monday Lisa Aldridge arrived for a visit. She was in our ward in Bristol England, then later moved with her family to Alberta Canada. With Joseph out of school it was a great chance to play. And they certainly have been busy.

Events have included shopping and Bison Burgers in Park City, X-Men Origins: Wolverine , Angels and Demons and Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration movies, and lots of other excitement (see below).

Neuroworx New Facility
Neuroworx just moved next door into their new space, where the Real Salt Lake soccer team had their offices. The new place is great. Joseph enjoyed working out in the new facility. He is loving his work with their foundation helping to raise funds for the new facility they are planning to build in the future. This is a great organization that is changing the lives of many individuals.

Bee's Game
Thursday night's Salt Lake Bees game was fantastic. The Bees hit a game-winning home run in the bottom of the night to defeat Omaha. The Bees also raised over $4000 for the Huntsman Cancer Foundation. Joseph and Lisa went to the game with a crowd of friends including Laurie (Johnston) Jewkes and friend Shelly, Brad Burns and little Lincoln, Vince Baver, Stacey Chivers and husband Cortland and Dakota. It was a blast.

Treasure Island
Friday night at the Hale Centre Theatre Joseph and Lisa enjoyed Treasure Island. The shows at the Hale are always great, this was no exception.

Did all those pirates really come from Cornwall, ARRRRGH.

5K Run, Walk & Roll 2009
Brain Injury Association of Utah held their 5K Run, Walk & Roll 2009 on Saturday Morning at Liberty Park in Salt Lake. Lisa and Joseph got up early and joined in. Neither of them had ever participated in an organized 5K event, it was a great cause and a fun time.

2009 Living Traditions Festival
The annual Living Traditions Festival sponsored by the Salt Lake City Arts Council ( was this weekend Friday through Sunday. Joseph and Lisa along with Matt Smith and friend ejoyed the multi-cultural experience. Over the couple of days they tried the Basque, Bosnian, Pakistani, Thai, Laotian and Vietnamese food. They also enjoyed the dancing and handmade crafts (such as the carved watermelon in the photo, it's worth clicking on it to see it larger!).

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Graduation & Mother's Day

Mother's Day
In the US it is Mother's Day today. This is a good day to celebrate what Mom's mean to us. For Joseph, Elizabeth and Tim they celebrate the goodness of their hero GLORIA. She is a great example of a true Latter-day Saint woman. Like most women it is difficult to convince her of it. We love her and honor her today. There are 527 missionaries who think of her as their 'mission mum' today too.

Friday was Commencement for Joseph and we all celebrated his graduation from the University of Utah. The program was impressive, with over 7100 graduates awarded Bachelors, Masters and Doctoral degrees. The traditional pomp and pageantry was presented with Joseph seated in the rear of the main floor of the Huntsman Center with all the Masters and Doctoral candidates. David McCullough received an Honorary Doctor of Letters degree and gave the commencement address. His talk was very impressive (as are his books including John Adams and 1776 among others). Read his remarks here: Brittany Anne Gadbury, graduating in English as well as Modern Dance, was the student speaker, she was terrific. (You can read her remarks here:

In the afternoon Joseph had two different 'convocation' events (where your name is read and you receive your diploma cover) one for the College of Social and Behavioral Science (his Political Science degree) and the other the College of Humanities (his International Studies degree). It was a beautiful day in many ways. Afterwards we walked the campus and took photos.

Hinckley Institute Internship
Last week those who completed internships through the Hinckley Institute were hosted at an event and had their photo taken. Joseph recieved a nice letter as well. He has loved his experience with the Disability Law Center and they have asked him to continue to work there. They appreciate his abilities, he makes a significant contribution to their efforts.

Spring Soccer for Ethan
Spring is now in full swing and Joseph's nephew Ethan began playing Soccer for the first time. WHAT FUN.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Gain, Grain, Pain, Rain, Prep for Plains and Something to Retain

We had a major event this week at the U, where Joseph was honored at a luncheon held by the University of Utah Center for Disability Services. First Joseph received a certificate honoring him for his "service and contributions in fostering understanding and support of students with disabilities". This award was because of his many presentations to groups and classes on disability issues along with others from the Disability Center, including Jenny Jones one of our former EBM missionaries.

The second award was a major scholarship from The Craig H. Neilsen Foundation. This scholarship will cover almost half of Joseph's tuition over the next two years of law school. This is a wonderful blessing for Joseph and for our family.

Okay perhaps this is gross, but it is also amazing. This week's serendipitous discovery was another grain of basalt sand from Monterrico beach in Guatemala. For his short visit in January of 2006 Joseph has certainly carried memories and 'bits and bobs' with him since. We're hoping that's the last of it. (but that's what we said in this blog January 13, 2008).

Prep for the Plains
Scott Barzee, one of our EBM RMs, asked Tim to speak at the Herriman West Stake kick off meeting for their youth Trek later this summer. Tim took a shot from the pulpit to remember them. He thought the youth of Indonesia, Cambodia, India and Mongolia might like to see, in this blog, what a stake group of youth looks like in Utah. WOW.

Who says pain isn't fun? Joseph and his friends when to Layton to the Davis Conference Center to "Fight Night". They had a great time. Joseph got to meet and greet with not just the ring girls but with the great Gene Fullmer (below left), former World Middleweight boxing champion from 1957-1962 (career: 55 wins- 22 by KO, 6 losses, 3 draws). Joseph got to meet Gene's brothers Don and Jay as well, both well known boxers in their own right.

The Spring rain continues here in Utah. Today out Joseph's back door here was the view of apple blossoms in full bloom.

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