First of all this isn’t a “tell all” blog where I drag everyone through the mud while painting a shiny picture of me. Also, if you want to find them you can go look, two are on FB, one’s not.

As you can see from one of the previous posts I have an older brother, a younger brother and a baby sister, Robert or Bobby, David or Davy or Davie, and Leslie Ann or Aunti-the-sis or just Auntie. I laugh because I’m the only one who calls her “Aunti-the-sis” which is a play on antithesis… I think it’s funny.

Bobby was Bobby, then Robert for a while, Bobby later when he became Uncle Bobby. He’s got a few kids and a dozen grand kids that I might tell about later – but this is narcissism. Davy claims no kids but we have hope. Les has one full time daughter and another who has bounced in and out of her life along with a couple of grand baby’s. But again, narcissism.

We grew up in Salt Lake, in the avenues, and in Granger which is now part of West Valley City.  Memories of the avenues are mostly just a blur, isolated events and a few very vivid images. Granger has more and better memories, I think because of improvements in memory card technology.


I think I’ll start with photography.

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I was in the 9th grade when I first really set my eye to a camera and took a real photograph. That sounds funny in a day and age when everyone has a smart phone that takes and edits pictures of lunch and drinks, duck lips, and hair do’s. It was a little Kodak Instamatic with a black & white 126 film cartridge.


Mr. Bennett was my instructor and I learned so much from him. He had us break open the film cartridge in the darkroom and load it onto the cassettes so we could start the processing of the film. It was exciting to see the process and to be the technician.

After developing the film we were herded back into the lab to process the actual pictures, loading the negatives in the holders, sizing and cropping the frame, doing test strips for exposure and actually printing a real, honest to goodness picture that was mine all mine.

Sadly all of this languished for quite a while.

When I ran off to Murray State College in Tishomingo I fell back into photography. I kind of walked into the newspaper and said I knew how to do all the lab work, compose, edit, print and all that. The next thing I knew I was a staff photographer. I got a few hours of Journalism credit for that.

At Weber State I needed a few credits to round off my summer schedule so I enrolled in a photography class there too. I’ve since enrolled in classes at the Art Institute of San Diego and had some great instruction in the art of Digital Photography.

Jenn runs Hall Chapoose Photography and I help her out whenever I’m hope and not completely wiped out from days on the road.

Over the years I’ve had a number of cameras. Mostly 35mm cameras, but now a lot of digital in the 35 format. My Mom got me a Yashica 35mm view camera that was stolen whole I was on my mission. After that it was a Sears, Pentax flavored SLR that wore a 35-200 Sakar zoom lens. That lens was one of the first to zoom that far and it was quite the lens in the mid-’80’s! Somewhere in there I found a Canon Photura 35mm camera that was a lot of fun. It was a great camera for shooting with one hand and handling kids with the other.

The next step was a hand-me-down Pentax digital camera and Jenn and I have had several since then with a number of different lenses.

Then along came Christmas and a Mamiya 645 Pro that takes 120 film.

it’s fun

The Journey



So how does one go from barely getting out of high school and flunking out of college, to college graduate, twice, to teacher/tutor/counselor, teacher again, then to driving a truck?The answer is – I’m not really sure….

The unadulterated truth is that I really had no plan for anything. Going into the military was in the back of my mind until I was told that there was more in store for me than rotting in a barracks for most of my young adult life. So not having a plan I embarked on the stereotypical expected life of a guy in the LDS Church. I went on a mission, went to BYU and got married. 

For some strange reason that didn’t work out as well as I thought it would – something about lacking preparation, maturity, self discipline and a half  dozen other traits necessary for success in life…. Granted I made the best of my inexperience by later becoming a counselor and teaching, as best I could, younger students the skills I needed when I was their age. But I digress. I think I digress.

From BYU dropout to Murray State College in Tishomingo, Oklahoma was a step up in taking responsibility for myself, my wife and little family. I actually applied myself, studied and earned the grades and diploma. Unfortunately my marriage didn’t survive, but that’s another story.

The reason I’m putting this out is not to aggrandize myself, but to send out a message to my young friends about:

  1. Finding what you’re interested in,
  2. Making a plan,
  3. Making the best of your years in high school
  4. That would be studying hard, getting good grades and applying for scholarships,
  5. Finding the colleges that have the best programs in your chosen field,
  6. Getting into the school of your choice then
  7. Work your butt off,
  8. Apply for more scholarships,
  9. Work harder, get into Summer programs and internships,
  10. Graduate with honors!

Back to me,

I graduated from MSC with an Associates Degree in Industrial Technology, Gunsmithing, and a lot of debt. There were no jobs out there for someone with my skills and I didn’t have the $$$$ to set up shop.

Another word of advise? Get a useful education… “I have a degree in Liberal Arts, would you like fries with that?”

On to Weber State College (University). Weber Ute Tribe Teacher Training, 1989, Bachelor of Science, Elementary Education. Funny thing, I wish I could have found a secondary education degree..

Next bit of advise? Mike doubly sure your degree is in a field where you love your job and like going to work every day. Yes I enjoyed education, but I think I’d have been much happier working in a high school.

Utah State University, Counseling & Psychology. 

More advise, make sure you get all of your paperwork filled out, filed, copied and finished! I didn’t, 3 years later I applied for graduation and found that I hadn’t been admitted to the program.

5 years counseling on a provisional certificate, 2 more teaching, then my application for renewal of my teaching certificate was sent back because the secretary at the front desk said I needed 200 hours of on the job training while I was saying I only needed 100 hours. 34 earned hours later the request was sent in and I was dismissed from my position. The renewed certificate came back with a letter stating that I had only needed 100 hours. 

The games adults play. I do take my certificate and work as a substitute for a couple of years… and I obtained a teaching certificate in California so I could work there. But that, again, is another story.

Now I drive a truck and make more than most teachers.

    Me, Myself and I

    Bobby, Leslie, Vernie and David Chapoose in about 1973
    Bobby, Leslie, Vernie and David Chapoose in about 1973

    Starting over.

    Most of you know me, and if you don’t you will. That’s probably why you’re here.

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    So I was born in the spring of 1959 in St. George, Utah. Dad, Bob Chapoose, was a local sports hero and Mom, Connie Jensen, was a life guard at the pool. I’ll tell you about them some other time, this is about me. Well mostly about me. I was the younger brother to Bobby and David’s older, Leslie’s baby sitter and the problem child of the family. Not that I was a lot of trouble, and not that I was alone in that, but I think I was the one my parents worried about. Late apology.

    OK, so born in St. George, raised in Salt Lake. First school was Douglas Elementary, second was not for long, it’s been bulldozed and no one remembers it anyway, so on to Stansbury Elementary then West Lake Jr. High, then Granger High School. Barely graduated, worked a while and went on to serve in the Navajo Mission on the Arizona side. More about that later.

    After my mission, I went to BYU, made a lot of friends, got married and flunked out. It’s the best school I’ve ever been kicked out of. Worked a while and found out what life was all about. Went to school at Murray State College and graduated with my associates in 1986. Was a divorced single dad for several years before remarrying. That one didn’t work out either. Got back to Ft. Duchesne in 1986 and found an education program through the Ute Indian Tribe to jump into. Graduated in 1989 from Weber State College (University) with a BS in Elementary Education. Tried for a Master’s at Utah State but found I hadn’t been admitted to the program and they would only matriculate 19 hours so I counseled 5 years on a provisional certificate and went back to teaching. Which is where most of you probably know me from.

    Married now to a wonderful lady, raising 3 more to make a grand total of 12, driving for FedEx and boring you out of your mind. So I’ll quit here … for now.

    Long Haul Point of View

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    Have you ever wondered what the world looks like from the seat of a big truck headed out on a long haul across this great country? How much can they really see? And why would you want to see it?

    Here is a glimpse of what I saw on June 30th while driving through a lightning storm. There is no sound because trust me, you don’t really want to hear the conversations that go on when I’m talking to myself.