Place item was collected
Brigham City, Utah
Miles L. Brown
Point of Discovery/Informant Bio
Miles L. Brown is 72 years old, lives in Brigham City Utah, and is my father. He was drafted for the Vietnam War and served in a Navy as they were the only branch that would give him a deferment to finish his education at Utah State University. He graduated from USU in 1971 with a business degree in marketing.
While at Thanksgiving breakfast with my family I told everyone about my collection project for my folklore class (English 2210 Introduction to Folklore) . I explained that I was collecting stories, legends, and traditions pertaining to USU. My dad said he remembered a story about students on the quad (a large open area of grass on campus divided into 4 segments east of Old Main hill) protesting the Vietnam War and being lassoed by the rodeo club. I asked him to pause his story until I could record it. I’d never heard my dad tell the story before and I don’t think it’s a common party story he tells a lot of people, I think he just remembered it because I mentioned my project.
RS: All right, this is with my dad Miles Brown on 11/22.
MB: While I was at Utah State [pause] there was quite a movement by people that were protesting the war in Vietnam. And, there was a group of these people, mostly students, who decided to have a campout on the quad to protest the United States’ involvement in the war in Vietnam. And they happened to pick the Friday night to stage their protest that the rodeo club was having their annual rodeo. And after the rodeo was over, some of the cowboys rode out onto the quad and started roping protesters and roping their tents and dragging them down and I don’t think anybody got hurt, but, it caused quite a stir and there was an investigation into it and the rodeo club was barred from campus for a year or two after that.
RS: That’s funny. Were you, were you there when it happened or were you guys- was there just a buzz on campus that everybody heard about?
MB: No, I wasn’t on campus that night I was at my apartment.
RS: That’s so funny [laughs while talking]. And, umm, were there arrests made do you know?
MB: I’m not sure I think there probably was some of the cowboys got arrested for disturbing the peace.
RS: So then did that end-
MB: No pun intended [laughs].
RS: the protests, [groans] that’s funny. Umm, do you know did the protest end then? Were they like ‘this failed’ or did they keep protesting through the night? Do you know?
MB I, I, I don’t know but I do know that all the tents they had set up got taken down.
RS: So funny. That’s great.
My dad clearly seemed to think the protestors deserved to get roped. He kept remembering things after I had turned off the recording that led me to believe he thought the cowboys had a good idea and the protesters’ punishment was approptiate. He called them “hippies” with a judgmental voice and said that he had already gotten a “winning lottery ticket” (said sarcastically) meaning he had been drafted by the time this demonstration had taken place. While I’m not sure how he felt about the actual war, His voice and body language led me to believe he thought the demonstration was unpatriotic.
Semester and year
G7: Human Traits
Smith, Rebecca, "Hippie Roundup" (2018). USU Student Folklore Fieldwork. Paper 381.