It wasn't until recently that I realized why it bothers me so much when people call the town I grew up in Cedar City. Now clearly from the outside it sounds ridiculous that I would be bothered that someone would actually refer to it by it's actual name. I could never quite explain why it bugged me so much until I discovered that within this town located in Southern Utah there are two very distinct and different towns. Cedar and Cedar City.
"Cedar City" is the quaint little town that the general populous considers where I am from. When they think of Cedar City they think of Shakespeare, Southern Utah University, the gateway to the National Parks. I like to call this the "Gilded Cedar City". This is the high class, educated, cultured portion of the town I lived. The people associated with this are either tourists, college students, or what we lovely refer to as "move ins." Although my parents have now lived in this town for almost two decades.... they will always be considered "move ins." Cedar City folk eat at The Garden House, a charming Victorian style cottage, or Pastry Pub, a French inspired organic salad, wraps, croissants shop. They enjoy road biking, traveling, learning, going to concerts and play, art museums, and culture. Living away from this town whenever I tell someone I grew up here and they respond, "OH I love Cedar City!" What I have described above is what they are thinking of.
"Cedar" home of the Redmen, on the other hand is quite the contrast. Cedar is a small farming/ranching community that has existed since Brigham Young sent pioneers to Iron County. When I think of Cedar I think of pick-ups, four wheelers, snow mobiles, and trips up the mountain to the family cabin. I think of hunting, football games, and cruising Main. The locals of Cedar have direct lineage to the early settlers of the town. Cedar folk eat at Brad's Food Hut, the local hamburger joint with English chips and fry sauce and for finer dining The Pizza Factory. On rare special occasions they might travel up the Moun'ain to Rusty's Steakhouse. Oh and for breakfast they head to Market Grill for chicken fried steak or biscuits and grave. They dip everything in ranch. Think that Lucky is an expensive designer brand. This is the town that I grew up in... the town that I love.
So when people call my town Cedar City I am bugged because they don't know the real town... they know the veneer... the facade, the mask, the guise. But what is worse than hearing some random outsider call my town Cedar City... what really hurts is when I hear a local call it Cedar City.... like they are ashamed. But I guess I am glad that most people don't know Cedar because if they did I'm afraid it would lose some of it's ambiance.