My full name is William Anson Call. I was born in Afton (Star Valley), Wyoming in 1938. I am a descendent of Anson Call who lived in Nauvoo, Illinois and came to Utah with the Mormon pioneers. My great grandfather, Anson Vasco Call, was one of the original settlers in Star Valley. I am the third son of Reuel Thomas and Verna Anson Call. I graduated from Afton Elementary School in 1952 and from Star Valley High School in 1956.
I attended Utah State University from 1956 to 1958 and served as a Mormon missionary in Northern Mexico from 1958 to 1961. I enrolled at Brigham Young University in 1961. I was married to Helen Field in 1962. We are the parents of eight children: Thor, Clayton, Jesse, Kristen, Anson, Seth, Cari, and Tavy. I received a bachelor of arts degree in 1963 and a master of arts degree in 1965 from BYU. I attended graduate school at Champaign-Urbana from 1965 to 1968 and was awarded a doctor of musical arts degree by the University of Illinois in 1971.
In 1968 I became a full time employee in my father’s oil company. The name of the company was originally Caribou Four Corners, Inc. It was changed to Maverik Country Stores Inc. in 1985. I served as vice president of retail sales from 1971 to 1983 when I became the president of the company. In 2000 when I retired, “Maverik” had become the largest marketer of motor fuels and convenience foods in the Mountain West.
In 2003 I joined with my daughter Kristen to form iFuel LLC. This company developed a patented automated fuel payment and pump control system and from 2004 to 2006 pioneered the operation of a fully-automated, Internet-controlled, standalone fueling station. The company holds four patents including rights to a universal, device-to-device payment method.
Prior to my retirement (from about 1975 to 2000) I had written several musical works for various combinations of instruments and ensembles including symphonies, operas, and a concerto for piano and orchestra. I had also published books on philosophy and religion. From 2000 to the present I have completed additional symphonies, an opera, chamber music, songs, and have revised much of the music I wrote prior to my retirement. I have also completed several books including The Religion of Experience, published in 2013.
My music, while reverencing classical forms and models, looks to melodic and harmonic styles found in the hymns, ballads, and dance tunes I grew up with in my youth. My literary and musical works share a common cultural starting place and perspective: life in the valleys of the mountain west.
An intellectual with a bent for the classics of literature and music is a natural misfit in a rural community founded by Mormon pioneers in the closing decades of the 19th century.
Mine has been an uneasy relationship with my neighbors, friends, and relatives. We share a common cultural heritage but our views concerning it differ widely. I hold a deep respect for my forebears and for the townspeople who were my elders in my adolescent years. Outwardly, I am a family man who conforms to an orthodox lifestyle. Inwardly, however, I blaze my own trail, make my own way, and in the process challenge the views of others including those who helped establish the culture of which I am a part.
In an increasingly diverse society one learns to both tolerate and live with differences of opinion. There seems to be in our little town a growing consensus that no opinion will prevail as exclusive or even dominant. That doesn’t mean of course that locals have stopped believing theirs is the right way or that people with differing religious and political views no longer compete with each other. What it does mean, however, is that most people have given up attempting to prove the superiority of their beliefs. There is no forum in which to make such a case, and the ever increasing variety of opinions makes the success of such an effort less and less likely. Accordingly, we townspeople seem to be agreeing that the only viable alternative is to “live and let live.” Let each pursue the path that seems to fit best and allow others to do the same. I have found that beliefs, because they change over time, lead to controversy and disagreement. A more sure foundation on which to base one’s perspective is experience as opposed to belief. In recent years I have learned to distinguish between what I believe versus what I experience. In so doing I have come to realize that contrary to popular opinion beliefs are not confirmable by experience. Inherent in belief is doubt. People believe that at some future time their doubts will be overcome by their experience—a belief that their experience fails to confirm.
My wife, Helen, died on October 1, 2012. We were married on June 14, 1962. Even as the memories begin to fade I miss her more. Not one to live alone, I am beginning the search for a new companion but do so with tender sentiments and high regard for the rich experiences of the past fifty years that I share with my eight children.