Happenings - February 2006
Grand County High School
Jason Parriott, Class
cuts his own niche in hometown Moab
by Jeff Richards
Hairstylist Jason Parriott, 36, a
1987 graduate of Grand County High School, is proud of
his Moab roots. The Parriott family’s local heritage
goes back over a century. “My great-grandfather (Dale
M. Parriott, 1885-1958) had the first stage company here
in Moab, and also owned the first automobile in town,” explains
Jason. “He also opened and ran Moab’s first
garage.” Dale’s family originally came from
Iowa, moving to Utah in 1890 and to the Moab area in 1904.
When he was young, his family ran the ranch house that
is now the Seventh Day Academy in Castle Valley, Jason
notes, adding that Dale also climbed Parriott Mesa in his
youth, thereby giving that place its name.
Great-grandpa Dale and his wife (the former Ruth Cartwright)
once lived in the old Holyoak house that was later restored
and now is home to the Youth Garden Project (the current
Grand County High School building was built on part of
the original homestead property). Ruth later owned and
operated what later became known as the Grand Old Ranch
House and is currently called Moab Springs Ranch. Jason’s
grandfather, uncle and numerous other old-timers used to
swim in the nearby pond (where the Butch Cassidy Waterpark
is now located). Jason’s grandfather Loyd Parriott
was also an alumnus of Grand County High, where he played
in the marching band.
Jason’s great-grandmother Ruth was well-known for
always keeping her door open to anyone who needed a hot
meal or a place to stay (she had a couple of homes for
rent next to what is now the Moab City offices). “She
had the most spectacular yard in Moab for years,” Jason
notes. “Things that wouldn’t normally grow
in Moab would grow in her yard.”
Loyd later moved to southern California, where his kids
were raised. Years later, Jason’s father, also named
Dale, and his wife Glee decided to move back to Moab when
Jason was in the 2nd grade. “He had had enough of
the city life, so he moved us back to the country,” Jason
notes. Dale and Glee still reside in Moab and are next-door
neighbors to two of their three sons (Jason and Jeremy).
Youngest brother Josh rents out his share of the family
property and instead lives in Phoenix, Ariz., where he
works as a pilot.
“My father ran a machine shop
for many years, but has since shifted to doing what he
loves most, Moab and motorcycles,” Jason notes.
Jason’s own work environment is considerably less
noisy than a machine shop or a motorcycle track. He has
worked as a hairstylist for 17 years, the last 14 in Moab.
For the past 10 years, he has owned his own hair salon,
Parriott’s, located at 41 East Center Street.
Following high school graduation, Jason attended cosmetology
school in St. George, Utah. After getting his license,
he worked for three years in the Salt Lake and Park City
areas. One Easter, Jason came back to Moab for a visit
and met his wife-to-be Melissa, a native of Grand Junction,
Colo. Shortly after they were married, they lived in Bullfrog
for awhile, then came back to Moab around 1991, where they
started a family and began to raise their three children.
They have a daughter, Mikayla, 14, and two sons, Bryson,
12, and Brenner, 8.
“The kids are the main reason we are here in Moab,” Jason
notes. “Moab is the perfect place to raise children.
We have freedom here that you can’t find in many
places.” The Parriott family enjoys participating
in various forms of outdoor recreation, including motorcycling,
bicycling, camping, and boating at Lake Powell.
Comments Jason: “The Moab area offers all this, and
my kids get a chance to play just about every sport they
choose to, along with many other opportunities that small
town values have to offer.”
Jason and Melissa have been involved with many Grand County
school activities over the years. “I started by deejaying
the dances and mixing music for the drill team and cheer
squad,” Jason recalls. Melissa, for her part, has
worked with dance teams for several years. She has 11 years
of experience at the Stars Dance Studio in Moab, including
the past six years as director.
“Just about the time I thought I might be done, our
oldest child started high school this year,” says
Jason, referring to Mikayla, a freshman and member of the
GCHS drill, volleyball, and softball teams. “I’m
glad I’m still in the middle of things,” he
Jason says that back when he was in high school, there
was a “spirit stick” that was passed around
as a trophy of sorts, given to the class that demonstrated
the most school spirit. “My class won the spirit
stick our freshman year and we held it all the way through,
until we were seniors,” he recalls. “The thing
that stood out to me is that we had so much school spirit.
It had no boundaries – we supported everything from
football to drill to drama to debate,” he adds. “The
kids in high school today may not have a spirit stick,
but after this school year, they are definitely going to
feel what school spirit is!” Jason says that there
seems to be a greater swelling of “Red Devil Pride” this
year, and not just because the football team took the state
championship. “So many people in the community support
the school,” he says, adding, “It’s nice
to see people lend a hand to their high school and to the
students in it, and keep the spirit flowing.”
Jason fondly remembers several of his high school teachers,
and appreciates the positive influence they had on his
life. “There are many teachers I still look up to
to this day,” he says, naming several of them: Mr.
Gene Leonard, Mr. Nissen, Mr. Tom Till, Coach Moore, Mr.
Miller, and Mrs. Donna Brownell.
Brownell was particularly influential, Jason notes. “She
taught me to be sure of everything I do, and to pour my
heart into everything, and you will prosper in whatever
you choose to do.”
Adds Jason: “She made sure we had the means and belief
that we could change and do anything we wanted.”
As an example, Jason notes that shorts were not allowed
to be worn at school until his graduating class came along. “When
we left, there were a lot of changed rules, but more spirit
at the school,” he says. “It was made possible
by some great students and a lot of great teachers, but
Mrs. Brownell is the one who stands out to me.”
Brownell retired last year, but Jason is quick to give
props to her successor as well. Social studies teacher
Janna Rogers (the featured GCHS alumnus in the October
2005 Moab Happenings) was Mikalya’s volleyball coach
this fall, and Jason says he has been impressed with her
dedication. “She has been giving my kids that same
quality of teaching and support, with a mix of spirit that
will carry on,” he says.
“Another thing I remember about high school was how
simple life was,” reflects Jason. “But of course,
you couldn’t tell us that then.”