Until I Get Old

If you’re ever traveling I-70 through Utah and stop at one of the lookout points, there’s a chance you’ll meet Lora.

Lora is a Native American (Navajo) who sells jewelry roadside in central Utah. She was born on a reservation in Arizona, but made her way north years ago. She once had a small shop in St. George, Utah, but now strictly sales her wares at scenic rest stops along I-70. It’s how she supports her family.

Lora speaks Navajo as well as English, says her real name is “LaLi.” At least, that’s what her parents called her when she was little. In fact, one of LaLi’s primary reasons for making and selling the jewelry is to help her parents. Her mom is 89, her dad 94. They are too old to go out and sell their native crafts any longer, but they still make them. LaLi has a separate blanket laid out, covered with bracelets and necklaces handmade by her mother. All proceeds from these items go directly to mom and dad.

When I asked LaLi how long she thinks she will continue selling her crafts along I-70, she replied, “Until I get old.”