Place item was collected
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Matt Garlick is a 27 year old Caucasian male. He was raised in Wellsville, UT. and he currently resides there. His parents are divorced. Matt only has one sibling and he is the youngest. He and his family are all LDS and they often go on trips together. Matt is a Utah State University undergraduate student. He works at Homestead Cabinets as a painter. He likes hiking, camping, canoeing, and doing other outdoors stuff. He is my friend & co-worker.
I visited Matt while he was on his lunch break at work. We sat in the break room and he explained the following story to me. “My father worked as a National Parks Forester when I was a young boy, maybe of the age of four. Whenever he came home after work he would give me the free forester map that he received each time he was transferred to a new area. These maps showed the mountains and would go into detail about the dirt roads and trails. They were kind of like a souvenir, but I really liked to have them to look at. The whole time I was a kid I would receive these maps. I would also practice drawing maps for fun because, I thought the maps my dad brought home were cool. I wanted to learn how to read them, so my parents taught me what all the symbols meant and how you tell where north is and stuff like that. As I was growing up, my family and I would go on trips to the National Parks and they would give me the maps. I would just stare at the maps and use my finger to follow the lines on them to see where they would lead me. I’ve always been a wanderer and I like to see where the roads would take me. I guess the thing that reinforced it was, as a family we would always go on road trips. We were the kind of family that would go on a dirt road that would take us off the main road. Not everyone would go on these off roads, so it was fun for our family to check them out. These are the earliest memories that I have of how I started becoming a map collector. The maps that I collect are not like the GPS systems on cell phones, or city maps that have colored lines that tell you what roads not to take or which roads are one-way roads. I don’t like looking at city maps, I find them boring. The maps I collect now are mainly hiking maps that are topographical. They are exciting to look at because, they show the changes in elevation with brown wavy lines that get closer and closer the higher the elevation. They also show where the hills are. Where the cliffs are. Where the water is, and would sometimes provide safe rules for campers and hikers to follow. They usually don’t have first aid help on the maps though. When I go hiking I don’t always follow the trail, so it’s good to have a map to show me how to get back on the trail. The map helps me see what I’m getting myself into and will make sure I don’t walk into a dead-end valley. Even though it is just a maps representation of the area it will still show me how to get to a bridge, so I can go around whatever it is. I use some of my maps to get to my destinations and when I arrive I’ll buy a new map. I don’t like those Ran McNally ones that don’t show all the side roads or dirt roads. I use topographical maps for hiking and for camping and I use my big Atlas maps for big trips, because each page is a chunk of the whole state. It is nice to be able to look at sections of the state at one time, and not everything at once. About two years ago me and my family went on a trip to Oregon and I used my big Oregon Atlas map to get around the state. This trip took us a week to complete.” As Matt continued to explain this collection piece, I sat there listening and taking notes. “I have an old Uinta National Forest map that was falling apart, so I taped it back together. I have a bunch of maps that I never use. I don’t know if they still have the maps in the National Geographic Magazines, but my grandpa use to get those magazines all the time. He would make sure to give me the maps. Those maps are of Ancient Rome, and I can’t go to Ancient Rome, because it’s not Ancient Anymore. I have a large stack of Colorado National Forest maps. It looks like I have a lot, but they are just thicker maps. Some of those are waterproof and fat, but they last a long time. The zoo maps I have look nothing like the real thing now and that’s another cool thing about maps. They kind of freeze the moment in time. Humble National Forest in Nevada is the oldest map I have from my father. I would sometimes buy maps on Amazon. The one I am planning on buying next is of southern Utah because I am moving there in the Spring. The waterproof maps would cost anywhere from 10 to $15. The National Parks maps are free and the National Forest maps are about $7.00. The atlases are about $20.00. I plan on replacing the old maps with new maps that are updated to show current road conditions and other important changes to the trails. I still collect maps as of today. The last one I collected was of Zions National Park.”
The picture on the left is of Zions National Park and it is the last map Matt bought. The second picture is a map of the Uinta National Forest and it is one of the first maps he collected. The third picture is of the brown lines on the topographical maps to show people the elevation changes. The maps that show these lines are what Matt prefers to buy. The last picture is of Matt's map collection, that is stored in his dresser drawer.
The dresser drawer where Matt stores all his maps, use to be in his room before his mission, but now it is in the spare bedroom. This dresser is tall, wide and is kind of heavy. The maps are about one foot by a half a foot and they fill the whole drawer. The map collecting started with Matt's Aunt. She too has a drawer full of maps. These maps are taken out and used occasionally when going somewhere that requires a map. It just depends on the need at the time. He has some out that he used recently to go hiking. Matt shares his maps with family members and his family members share their maps with him. It helps them bond and discover places together. He likes to collect them for the historical aspect, sentimental value, and because they are fun to collect. He considers them good traveling maps. He likes the maps he collects because they make him feel adventurous and they are very detailed, which makes them easier for Matt to follow.
Intro to Folklore, English 2210
Lynne S. McNIEll
Semester and year
G8: Objects with/of Customary Use
Squires, Aubrey, "Map Collection" (2017). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 243.