Light for Sam: Life in a Small Town

There are days here in Park City where I am so fed up with how this town is evolving that I am ready to pack up the boxes and move out of town.  The issue has become, where is the next Park City?  Where would one go from here?  Where is that town that we knew and loved 10 years ago?  It's been bought out by Vail Resorts and is going to be turned into the biggest ski resort in North America.  Today we had the "pleasure" of being voted the Wealthiest Small Town in America.  I am not sure how I fit in to all of this lately.  I definitely am not on the wealthy side of town. My first for this post is one of realizing that we have a community here.  It might be being infiltrated by wealthy folks who come in and pay cash for our houses and use them two weeks a year but underneath there is still a current of a sense of community.  Let me explain.

Saturday evening I attended a vigil for a young man by the name of Sam Jackenthal.  Unfortunately Sam is currently in a coma across the world in Australia.  He is an aspiring U.S. Ski Team skier who was over in Australia at a training camp.  During a free ski, he had an unfortunate accident that resulted in a severe head injury.  His parents and sister have flown to Australia to be with Sam at his bedside.  I am sending them prayers, hope and healing vibes.  We, as a community, are hoping that Sam pulls through and is ready to head back to Park City in time for what promises to be an epic winter.

What I witnessed Saturday night was a first for me.  A group of young men and women from the high school gathered together with parents, siblings, neighbors, and even a jazz band from town that came to serenade everyone gathered together.  We came together to send a shout out to the family via Facetime.  We gathered together to hear stories about this incredible young man.  We gathered together to hear from his friends, including one who had had a similar injury three years ago and survived to tell us about it.  It was amazing to see that he had no apparent after effects from also being in a coma.


Living in a ski town comes with it's sad stories of injuries such as Sam's.  It's a risk taking kind of place.  You have bobsledders, extreme skiers, mountain bikers, among other sports.  However, it is also here that one feels that people get out there and live their lives.  They eat, sleep and breathe extreme sports.  As I tell my kid, you can fall in the bathtub and get hurt, so don't let that stop you from getting out and enjoying all that the nature here in Utah has to offer.

As I finish typing this, I have seen no new information or update on Sam's condition.  I would like to pass along a Go Fund Me Page that someone has put together for Sam and his family to cover all the mounting expenses that occur with this type of situation.  Please send healing thoughts and vibes out to Sam and his family.


“You should be thankful for the journey of life. You only make this journey once in your life time.” ― Lailah Gifty Akita, Beautiful Quotes

Until My Next Adventure,

P.A. Walker