The Cost of Being Different



At age 52 commercial artist Steve Jerman left his home town of Salt Lake City, Utah. Despite producing designs that had become locally iconic, and being called an “All-around creative brain” in the local press, his career had gone steadily downhill since 9/11.

He’d endured divorce, estrangement, death, isolation, dislocation and a sometimes harsh, local community that did not see him clearly.

Neighboring Colorado had just legalized cannabis and Steve thought that might bring a special group of people to the state. It did. Over 100,000 made same decision with 10,000 people also landing in Denver that year. In less than two weeks he, and his best friend, his dog, Ruess, E. turned around.

They traveled back to Utah, but not to the Mormon Mecca. They headed north to Logan, the earthy, artsy college town where he spent four happy years in the early 1980s. Settling into an “Pet-friendly Active Senior Community”, he gets reacquainted with old friends but discovered the “Top Party School” town of the 1970s and 1980s and had become considerably tamer.

Steve soldiers on to build a new life, slowly meeting people and discovering a supportive social circle in the historic agricultural valley. There he finds strangers were different. Residents didn’t have to gossip about each other (because they were at times sitting next to each other in one of the town’s two bars). These people were willing to give you considerably more than the time of day. And without big city distractions, he eventually comes to peace with the past.

This first person account was filmed, written and edited entirely by Jerman and combines documentary interviews with long-time local residents interspersed with his therapeutically motivated beer fueled, on-the-fly diary videos. An eclectic sound track features music by Jason Isbell, Django Rheinhardt, Jerry Joseph, Cab Calloway, Giant Panda Guerilla Dub Squad, Jeff Crosby & The Refugees, Mighty Dave, Trace Wiren, Andy Monaco, Lionfish, Todd Milovich and others.

Filmed over a two year period, it centers on quality of life issues, but also touches on personal relationships, being neurologically atypical and aging. In addition to local history, travel in the West, planet-friendly practices and creative fulfillment. Set in a stunning valley Jerman describes as “A beautiful place to be poor”.