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Dear Friends:

What’s in a name?  What do you like to be called?

Some people call me Mayor or Mr. Mayor.  Some even refer to me as Your Honorable Mr. Mayor (those folks usually want something or they’re just being silly).  I’ve been a Bishop and once ordained a Bishop you are always called Bishop.

I respond to many names.  Friend is one I love to hear.  My own given name is just great, also.  Yes the office of Mayor is important and I respect the office and responsibility that comes with it.  So what’s in a name?  Read on.

A few days ago Emery Polelonema was in my office for a visit.  Emery recently retired from Six County AOG after a long, successful career helping local governments plan for the future and secure much-needed funding for projects.

Emery and I have been friends for 25 years.  We’ve taught classes to school kids together.  I love his sweet wife, Lily, and they’ve raised a great family.  Their son, Nathan, is even one of our volunteer firemen!

Emery is a Hopi Indian --- wait, Indian is not correct.  Neither is Native American.  Emery is a member of the Hopi tribe and is part of the Hisatsinom or Ancient People.  His people have lived on this land for so much longer than the rest of us.  When it comes to knowing how to love and respect the land, they have many lessons to teach.  We may think we always know what’s best, but that’s often not necessarily the case.  

What’s in a name?  Both Emery and I will answer to almost anything without being offended. As Brigham Young said, “He who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool.”   But let’s be careful not to unintentionally disrespect this very important group of people or Hisatsinom by the labels we choose to attach.  Their heritage is rich and diverse. They have fought and died alongside other great Americans in wars, here and abroad.  We need to call them friend or brother

Mayor David Ogden

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Dear Friends:

I often get the opportunity to speak to groups.  Last week, it was in South Jordan and next week, I’ll be addressing a group in Provo.  These speeches are about history and cooperation and hard work.

One of the points I try to make is that if we equally yoke together and pull together, we can accomplish amazingly difficult things.  This applies regardless of the task in question.  If we are committed and willing to push or pull with others, we can be successful.  Often, we receive help from unexpected places and sources. 

My father used to say with a smile, “the best place to find a helping hand is at the end of your own right arm”.  As usual, he was right.  But nobody knew better than Dad that working together, as he did in the Lions Club, Sheriff’s Jeep Posse and the American Legion, is really the answer to accomplishing great things and having good results.

We all know it’s difficult, at times, to work with some people.  They may not see the project or challenge the way we do.  We are sure that they will pull off the trail and down the wrong path. Swallow pride and yoke up.  Often our worst fears melt away when we look at challenges from the “yoked” perspective.

As spring blows in, it’s a perfect time to accomplish what seemed impossible last year.  Others are waiting to be involved and lend support and pull forward.  Recognize the successes in history.  You don’t have to look very far back to learn from those who have gone ahead.  One thing is certain; they only accomplished what they did because they trusted others to do their part.

Mayor David Ogden

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Dear Friends:

Warning: this column requires action.

Invite everyone you know.  Cancel any plans you might have. Talk to your coworkers.  Get on the phone to distant relatives, those you home- or visit-teach, and even the stray telemarketer.  Stop acquaintances (and even perfect strangers) at the supermarket or on the walking path.  This is BIG!

What am I talking about?  For the first time ever, Snow College is bringing its most successful concert program to the Sevier Valley Center!  For more than 10 years, Snow College has combined rock ‘n roll with the college’s outstanding choirs and instrumentalists to present One Hit Wonders.

This amazing show sells out every year in Ephraim, and its coming to Richfield for one night only, this Saturday, March 11th at 7:30 p.m.  The Snow College Music Department is bringing over 150 performers to the SVC to perform hits by groups where lightning only struck once.  Reminisce, sing-along, and relive memories to your favorite tunes.  The music will span several decades.    

Admission for the concert is free to Snow College Students and only $5.00 for the rest of us.  You won’t find this quality of entertainment anywhere else for that incredible price!  I’m so excited about this concert that I’ll personally give a prize to the person who invites the most people to attend.  Just call me at the Richfield City Office and give me your numbers!

Snow College has an amazing four-year Bachelor Degree Program in Music.  The One Hit Wonders will showcase Snow’s Commercial Music Ensemble, Accapella, Cadence and Advanced Women’s Choirs.  I guarantee you’ll be amazed!

We want Snow College to bring their talented performers to Richfield again and again.  Let’s show our support by attending this wonderful concert on Saturday.

 

Mayor David Ogden

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Dear Friends:

I have been ordered by my wife to never mention her name in my weekly column.  I will, however, mention her mother.

Valeria King turned ninety this past week and appropriately, we had a family celebration for her.  She has many wonderful qualities, but never losing her patience with me and calling me despicable (or worse) in front of the children is a mighty accomplishment.

For me, raising ten children would probably result in me not liking children very much.  My five brought me right to the edge, and that was with their mother doing about eighty percent of all the hard work, including delivering, teaching, changing, coaxing, corralling, disciplining, and feeding.  Okay, maybe it was ninety percent.  And all of that was before they became teenagers and lost their minds and all sense of reasoning!

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I recognized that the look on Valeria’s and Eugene’s faces so many years ago was a look of true compassion and empathy as we were shepherding preteens along. They knew, as I now know, the challenges ahead.

We didn’t even have cell phones or the internet to worry about.  My in-laws knew that one day, we would be in the living room and see one or more of our teenager’s brains just leave their heads and fly right out the window. That’s why Eugene used to say, “Keep screens on your windows.”

Well, if my sweetheart grows older as gracefully and beautifully as her sweet mother has, I’m in for many more years of marital bliss. If she gets tired of the myriad challenges associated with being married to me, I’m in big trouble. So far, I have been able to excuse my behavior by blaming it on old sports injuries and my hearing (or lack thereof).

Mayor David Ogden

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Dear Friends:

I prayed for snow this winter, and it worked!  It’s interesting that we pray for things like snow, but…  There always seems to be a “but”.  We want the right amount.  We want it to melt slowly, unless we want to get up on the Tushar Mountains, in which case we need it melted with “dry roads please”.  The dry road request only applies if we are mature adults.  If we are younger we ask for mud and ruts.  After all, a totally muddy vehicle is a badge of honor, and surely someone will make the road passable for Grandpa and Grandma later in the spring.

We all see things differently and that is the beauty of it all.  I met a wonderful couple the other night at an ATV information night.  They moved here from California a few years ago and love our Sevier Valley.  It’s theirs now, too, and they are donating time and dollars to keep trails open and passable for all.

These new friends are amazing.  They’re such positive thinkers.  They’re good, common-sense folks.  I’d clone them over and over if I could.  But that probably wouldn’t be good, either.  I’m glad we’re not all alike.  That’s what makes the world go around.  We’re all so different, yet common.  Abraham Lincoln said, “God must have loved the common man because he made so many of them.”

This year, I’m determined get on the trails and enjoy nature.  I love to guide ATV trail rides, and my trips always come with a history lesson (sorry, I can’t help myself).  Those not wanting to look and learn can stay behind and enjoy a vista or stare at a tree.  I guess I never got over the grade school desire to “show and tell”.

Find a member of one of the local ATV Clubs and give them a hug for keeping the economy going and the trails fun and safe for all.  

Mayor David Ogden

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