[Letter excerpt, 1952]
I am afraid I am becoming something of an institution in some parts. When we got as far as Logan I discovered that I had forgotten my pocketbook with all identification, drivers license, money etc. Left it home on the dresser (strangely unlike me). So here we were going to a foreign country without a scrap of identification. The first alarm was at Yellowstone: at the entrance of the park is a formidable sign which says: “Identify yourself” unquote. I broke out into a cold sweat as we drew up to the station. No need for it: the ranger rushed out and greeted us with noisy glee – “Why brother Nibley, of all people, fancy meeting you here!”I had thought I was pretty well known in the four corners country and down into Arizona, but this was a new experience. Still remained the big hurdle: the International Border. I started to tell the man I had no identification when he rudely interrupted: “Are you here on business?”
Foolishly I said yes, since I was going to give speeches. “What kind of business? Oh,” he said, “you are going up to Lethbridge for those lectures, you don’t get paid for that do you?”
Me: (indignant) “Of course not!”
“Well, then it isn’t business.”
So on we went: apparently the guard noted a family resemblance with certain relatives that live along the border (some of the boys are notorious border – jumpers). We got to Cardston, where I had never been, drove into a garage and asked if we could buy a jack. “I’m sorry Brother Nibley,” said the attendant, “we’re all out of them.” This floored me. I have not been able to buy a beer anywhere in Utah for over a year, because every storekeeper in the state spots me halfway down the block, but to be called by name less than an hour after breathing the free air of a foreign land was too much. And I was wearing two pair of dark glasses! (I find this very restful for the eyes). If Hollywood celebrities and international jewel-thieves can travel incognito, why can’t I? I pause for a reply.