The Day I Ruined
B.Y. High

Hardy Redd, 1953 BYH Wildcat yearbook photo
Hardy Redd in 1953

By C. Hardy Redd
BYH Class of 1954
Our family hometown is Bluff, Utah, and other places in San Juan County, but my parents rented a home in Provo where we lived during the school year, so that all the children in our family could attend Brigham Young High School.

What was so special about BYH? For one thing, this was the high school that my father, Charlie Redd, attended. He graduated in the Class of 1911. A number of his relatives had also attended BYH. I myself started attending BY High in 1949, with a vague hope of graduating in 1954.

One morning I was in a classroom next door to the Band Room and across the hall from George Lewis' speech and drama classroom. The assistant principal poked his head in the door. He called my name, and asked me to come with him to the Principal's Office. The principal that year was Wayne Sorenson.

As we walked up the stairs, I asked why I was being summoned. The assistant principal said, "All I can tell you, Hardy, is that Principal Sorenson wants to talk to you about a serious infraction."

Arts Building on the Lower Campus
BYH Arts Building

The Principal's Office was located in the Arts Building. As we walked along in silence I did a quick search of my memory for any recent infractions that I might have committed, and came up blank, so I began to feel a little jaunty and carefree. That is, until we entered the Arts Building and passed Virginia Poulson, a home ec teacher, in the hallway. With tears in her eyes she quavered, "Oh Hardy, you've ruined our school!"

That sobered me up considerable. We continued on, but a feeling of dread was growing. What was I being accused of now?

Several other teachers were in the office, and as I looked from face to face, each of them gave me a look. Principal Sorenson then confronted me with irrefutable photographic evidence of my crime.

It so happened that just a few days earlier, the BYH Wildcat yearbook staff, of which I was a minor member, had taken a field trip to Salt Lake City to visit the editorial offices and printing plant of the Deseret News.

Richard Gunn (blessed man!), art and religion teacher, and faculty advisor to the yearbook, had served as the leader on the trip.

Three BYH faculty members mentioned in this story.

On the bus ride up to Salt Lake, one of the "wicked" upperclassmen, Jim Judd, passed out chocolate candy (really!) cigarettes.

They were four-inch-long cylinders of milk chocolate, about the diameter of a pencil, covered in pure white paper.

Jim Judd and the infamous chocolate cigarettes.
Jim Judd, BYH Class of 1951

Upon arrival at the Deseret News, we filed through the busy newsroom, then toured the "impressive" presses.

Sometime during the tour we paused, and a Deseret News photographer took a picture of our group. All of the other guys were smart enough to have already eaten Judd's chocolate sticks, or at least to palm them while we posed for the photograph. Except me.

There I was in a large photograph, one hand on to the shoulder of the guy next to me, with what appeared to be a cigarette drooping rakishly from my lips, just like James Dean.

One can only imagine the route the photo had taken, from Mark E. Peterson, legendary publisher of the Deseret News, to BYU President Ernest Wilkinson, to the Dean of the College of Education, to his Assistant for Secondary Education, and finally ending up on the desk of Principal Sorenson.

After I made my explanations, Principal Sorenson informed me that this infraction was so serious that I might be expelled.

Sorenson also said that I would need to meet with, and apologize to, Mark E. Peterson, not only publisher, but also an Apostle and member of the Board of Trustees of BYU High School and BYU.

I was sent home for the day. The assistant principal drove me in his car to our Redd family home on 9th North and 1st East. I was feeling a little low, to say the least. When we arrived in front of the house, I received a lecture for a few minutes.

It was beginning to occur to me that a visit to meet Elder Mark E. Peterson might not be such a bad thing. It was likely I would be forgiven. I began to enjoy the idea that everyone thought I was going to be meeting Elder Peterson in Salt Lake City.

I could see my mother waiting for me inside the house, and when I went in I informed her of the trouble I was in -- unnecessarily -- since Principal Sorenson had already telephoned her with the news.

I returned to school the next morning, and went from class to class, waiting for the inevitable summons before some tribunal where my fate would be announced.

Day followed day, and week followed week, but nothing further was said to me regarding my crime. After a few weeks of this, I began to feel cheerful again. But I never forgot the day that I was told I had "ruined" BY High.

I am sorry that I never had the promised meeting with Mark E. Peterson. I'm sure I would have humbly delivered my regrets -- how I had learned to avoid the very appearance of evil -- or more specifically, the appearance of James Dean.

November 2006

Hardy Dean in 1954

Charles Hardison "Hardy" Redd [BYH Class of 1954] was born in 1936. His parents were Charles Redd [BYH Class of 1911], and Annaley Naegle Redd.

At BYH, Hardy was active in the Band; was a Letterman and served as Athletic Manager; was elected a member of the Student Council Cabinet; was an actor in the Childrens Theater program and hence also a Thespian; served as V.P. of the Spanish Club; was a member of the Bookkeeping Team; participated in competitive Extemporaneous Speaking; and as mentioned above, was a member of the BYH Wildcat yearbook staff. Hardy attended BYU, and he married Sonya.

C. Hardy Redd at USU
C. Hardy Redd

Hardy Redd was elected to the Utah Legislature in 1978, and he served in office for six years, from 1979 to 1985. He also serves as a member of the Board of the Charles and Annaley Redd Foundation, which has made a number of major philanthropic gifts, and has established several significant educational programs within the State of Utah.

Hardy Redd owns 1,680 acres of forest and rangeland on the eastern slopes of the La Sal mountains. The mixture of forest and rangeland resources provides valuable wildlife habitat that supports deer, elk, bear and grouse. The property has been a part of the Redd family since 1965, and they have made a lifelong commitment to the conservation of its resources.

In 2000, Hardy Redd was chosen by the Utah Forest Stewardship Committee to receive the Forest Landowner of the Year Award. He participates in educational conferences and is an active member of the Society for Range Management, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association.
Photo by Phil Schofield, used with permission
Phil Scofield photo, Redd Ranch, LaSal, Utah

Related Story:

Deseret News Says It Was Wrong
To Remove Dean's Cigarette

The Associated Press
August 14, 2001

The Salt Lake City newspaper Deseret News has admitted that it erred earlier this month when it doctored a photograph of James Dean to remove an unlit cigarette dangling from his lips.

This is not the photo in the Deseret News.
James Dean and the magic cigarette.

Managing editor Rick Hall told the Associated Press, "It was a mistake the way it happened. It's one of those things you hate to fess up to."

The alteration of the photograph was first pointed out by Paul Rolly and JoAnn Jacobsen-Wells, columnists for the rival Salt Lake Tribune. (The Deseret News is owned by the Mormon church.)

Hall told the AP: "I don't want to back away. We did want the cigarette to be less dominant. But when you start messing around with a picture, that's wrong."

More Redd History
More Redd History