A Reader’s Digest Cover That Holds Deep Father’s Day Meaning

Robin Phillips won the July-August cover photo contest with his tribute to a cherished Utah spot

Christmas Meadows, a wilderness spot in the Utah Mountains, has held special meaning for generations of the Phillips family.

Per a write-up in the Deseret News, it’s a place where Robin Phillips was first taken at age 12, in 1965, by his grandfather, a man who backpacked before that term was coined. It was also the scenic backdrop for one of Mr. Phillips’ favorite photos of his late son David, who died heroically at age 15 in 1996 from heat exhaustion during a Boy Scout expedition near the Grand Canyon.

A photo of Christmas Meadows, recently taken by Phillips, was chosen as the winner of Reader’s Digest’s “Your America” competition. The July/August issue is the first reader-photographed cover in the publication’s 95-year history. From Lottie Peterson Johnson’s Deseret News piece:

Phillips recently decided it was time to take a high-quality picture of the place that has given his family so many valuable memories. He drove up to the spot and spent an entire evening waiting for the perfect light to try to capture the beauty of Christmas Meadows. …

He was shocked when he learned that his photo had been selected for the magazine cover–especially since he found out about the contest from his wife on the very last day of submissions.

The issue hits newsstands June 20. In the Deseret News article, Phillips shares powerful memories about Christmas Meadows and also explains why he was back there just last week, with his own father.

The photo contest won by Phillips was water-themed, with readers asked to send in shots of waterways and shorelines. One of the honorable mentions, from Blue Mountain Beach, Fl., was taken by a 16-year-old high school student. Check out the rest here.