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Park City

Snow globes inspire travel at the Park City Library

Rick, Ethel, Nathan.jpg
Andrea Buchanan
Rick Brough, Ethel Preston and Nathan Rafferty walk down memory lane in front of Preston's snow globe collection, which is on display at the Park City Library.

One longtime Park City resident’s collection of snow globes from all over the world is on display at the Park City Library through the summer.

Ethel Preston has lived in Park City for 20 years; she moved from Virginia to live with her daughter after her husband died. Preston is the office manager at KPCW. Her desk is in the lobby where she greets visitors with a smile, ready to chat with anyone who walks through the front door.

In 2009, shortly after Preston started working at KPCW, her snow globe collection began.

“My daughter Cecily and granddaughter Shay ... they went out to get me a Christmas present," Preston said. "And my granddaughter got me this Park City moose snow globe, and so I had that and I guess somebody thought it needs company.”

The first moose snow globe sat on her desk and soon it wasn’t alone. Over the years many guests and visitors have added to the collection.

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Ethel Preston's snow globe collection in the lobby of KPCW in 2020.

Ski Utah president and CEO Nathan Rafferty, a regular guest on KPCW, made it his mission to buy Preston a snow globe wherever his travels took him. And they’ve taken him to places all over the world.

Preston and Rafferty, standing in front of the display at the Park City Library, talked about some of his most impressive snow globe acquisitions.

“But it was just fun to kind of, you know, it's always fun to have something to hunt down. You're on these trips," Rafferty said. "And totally, you know, you're keeping your eyes peeled for some of this stuff. Oh, yeah. Turks and Caicos.” 

“There is Bhutan! Did you see Bhutan?” Preston said.

"Where is that?  Oh, that’s a tough one to get," Rafferty said.

“I know. That is the most impressive one," Preston said.

Another snow globe devotee and longtime KPCW reporter, Rick Brough, would bring Preston snow globes from his travels. One of Preston’s favorites is from Mt. St. Helens.

“I think one side is the globe, as you have to look at it from the distant side. But there's one side, the mountain before the eruption, and then the depleted mountain after the eruption," Brough said. "And then in the other case, there's the one from Dodge City that says ‘Get the hell into Dodge.’”

Preston’s collection is too big to fill just one case. The Park City Library has them featured downstairs next to the children’s section, and in another display just up the stairs on the second floor. They will be there through August.