Mayor's Corner 12/27/2018

Dear Friends:

By now most of the plastic toys your children and grandchildren received for Christmas are broken and beyond repair.  The new clothing we received did not make us look any thinner.

Do you ever talk to your clothing?  She Who Shall Not Be Named has caught me talking to nearly all my clothing, and I wasn’t being very nice!  Everything used to glide on and I could jump in and out of things in a second.  Now, clothing is made to trip me up.  Stockings must be put on while seated (and holding my breath).  Belts are more than just a fashion statement.  They need to have a certain amount of give in them.  It’s called the “bend and give.”

We are blessed beyond measure to live in this free land.  Challenges are ever-present and Freedom is still not free.  But we espouse that it is every man’s right to live in freedom’s light and we should accept the reasonability that comes with our liberty.

I was just reading about current living conditions in Venezuela.  It breaks my heart to know that millions, there and elsewhere, are mostly living minute to minute.  Trying to get even the most basic ingredients for a traditional holiday meal is completely out of reach for most.  The average Venezuelan lost 24 lbs last year.  Even though I’d like to lose some weight, this is a diet I don’t want to try.  Their inflation rate has now reached 40,000 percent.  Yes, forty thousand!

Suddenly, I’ve lost any interest in humor.  Don’t take our freedom and our blessings for granted.  May God bless the people of Venezuela with what they need for the light of freedom to shine in their hearts, their homes, and in their Halls of State.

Mayor David Ogden

Mayor's Corner 12/20/2018

Dear Friends

If I talk any more about Christmases past, it will seem that I’m living in the past, and that’s definitely not the case.  To prove to you my forward-thinking nature, I’ve already resolved to eat less in the New Year and shrink. The intended result is that I won’t need to hold my breath when I tie my shoelaces!

Over the past few weeks, our City has been blessed with a wonderful Messiah performance, Christmas Tree Lane, great concerts, dozens of basketball games and other events and performances of all kinds.  This final weekend before Christmas, I’m excited to invite you to the 2nd annual Caroling in the Park event at the lighted tree in the City Park.

In recent years, the City Tree has been generously decorated by Richfield resident Doug Bentley.  The musical gathering at the park was an idea presented last year by Lucy Brown, a local 6th grader.  Lucy’s mom, Angela, recognized the potential and spearheaded the project immediately.  I’ve known and loved the Brown family for thirty years and I had faith in their faith that this would work.

This new tradition is the last Saturday before Christmas (which happens to be this Saturday).  Gather at the tree at 7:00 p.m.  Bring a flashlight.  Hot chocolate and song lyrics will be provided.  Carrying a tune is not required, but caring for friends and neighbors is!  Invite them to come along.  I urge you, no matter what the weather, to bundle up and prepare to sing songs of joy and goodwill as we gather at the tree.

I can envision, along with Lucy Brown, hundreds of citizens reveling in song as we firmly establish this great holiday tradition.  May we all have a joyful holiday season and remember this thought from CS Lewis, “True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it’s thinking of yourself less.”

Mayor David Ogden

Mayor's Corner 12/06/2018

Dear Friends:

As I was driving on Thanksgiving weekend, I happened to look up and see that we had a beautiful, full moon. As we traveled along (at the posted speed limit), I noticed that the moon seemed to be moving with us. It appeared to keep pace with us! As a young boy this perception fascinated me so much that I even stopped teasing my sisters and watched and wondered.

As we mature and understand distance and perspective, we lose the wonder of certain things. If we’re not careful we can stop paying attention altogether, and take for granted the things we should most love.

For some, I’m afraid the Christmas season is that way. It’s rather easy to lose perspective as we’re bombarded with the pandemonium that surrounds us in the 21st century version of this holiday. To truly appreciate and enjoy this special season, we need to step back, slow down, and recapture some child-like innocence. We need to wonder and imagine. We need to love and find joy. We need to once again notice the order of things.

May we respond to promptings to do and say and feel and share and imagine. May we feel the love that draws us back towards the Babe in the Manger. He, too, will always keep pace with us as we speed along through life.

Mayor David Ogden

Mayor's Corner 12/13/2018

Dear Friends:

Last weekend I was reflecting on what the Christmas season might have been like for some of my progenitors.  John Williamson Coons was my father’s grandfather.  He was born on December 7, 1853 in Bethlehem, Iowa.  His father, Lebbeus Thaddeus Coons is buried in our Pioneer Cemetery west of Richfield High School.

John was the Sevier County Sheriff from 1889 to 1901.  His wife, Eliza Ann Ogilvie, was the daughter of George and Eliza Ann Ogilvie who were among the first settlers in Richfield in 1864. The Ogdens were relative late-comers, not arriving until 1872.

I can get carried away with history.  I also understand there are those who hate history, especially someone else’s, so I’ll move on.  Before I do, however, I must tell you that just minutes before writing this column, I was impressed to call my father’s cousin, Dan Coons, who is the family history authority and author of many documented histories of my progenitors. I learned that I had missed an email he sent me two days ago about his wife’s passing!  I was prompted to call Dan, and no one can convince me otherwise..

During this holiday season, please pay attention when you are prompted to visit or call an old friend or a new neighbor.  It may be that your visit won’t seem to make any difference or those you call on might even seem annoyed and interrupted by your call.  Trust me — do it anyway!

So many are alone and need company.  So many folks around us may be discouraged and disappointed.  They may not be feeling the excitement of the season.  Their “wondering awe” might seem more like “bah humbug.”  Even if you don’t appear to have cheered up your contact, it can do wonders for your own attitude and gratitude.

My office is always open, and even if it’s a sincere dog complaint, I’m glad for the visit.  Just remember to also share something that is going well with your life.  Regardless of the angst we may feel from life’s barking dogs, we need to separate them from the rest of our reality.  We’ll be happier for doing so.

Mayor David Ogden 

Mayor's Corner 11/29/2018

Dear Friends:

Mark your calendar.  Scribble on the back of an envelope.  Tie a string around your finger.   Whatever you do, please don’t miss next week’s great holiday events.

Monday evening, December 3rd, at 7 p.m., the annual Snow College Christmas Concert will be presented at the Sevier Valley Center.  Tickets are only $10 each, or a family pack of 4 for $30, and you can get them at svc.snow.edu or at the door.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.  Snow College has a four-year music degree program, and it shows!  Talented youth with excellent instructors make for a winning combination. Let music bring the feelings of the season alive within us.

The following day, December 4th marks the official beginning of Christmas Tree Lane, also at the Sevier Valley Center.  Throughout the rest of the week, enjoy beautifully decorated trees, great local entertainment, and you might even get a chance to visit with Santa.  Ryan Shupe and the Rubber Band will present their Christmas Concert on Friday night.  The week is capped off Saturday evening with the 29th Annual Christmas Lights Parade on Richfield’s Main Street.

I’ve only mentioned a small part of what’s going on in Richfield over the next few weeks.  Many events are mentioned in The Reaper.  Listen to KSVC Radio for announcements.  Watch for posters as you’re shopping at our great stores.  I urge you to get out and support these season happenings.  I promise that any “Bah Humbug” feelings you may have will be gently washed from your minds and hearts.

And as we go through this marvelous season, remember that Christmas is not about tinsel and trappings, but a babe in a manger who changed the world!  Join me in absorbing the sights and sounds and feelings that bring peace to our hearts and love toward all mankind.

Mayor David Ogden 

Mayors Corner

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