Mayor's Corner 4/11/2019

Dear Friends:

Our Sevier Valley Visitor Center officially reopened last week for another season! Along with the opening, the Center received a great upgrade. Thanks to Morgan and Michael Shaver of Dogberry Collections right here in Richfield, and the donated time and talent of Kurt and Andre Christensen we now have some beautiful wood accents in the Center. It really makes a great impression on our visitors.

In addition, we have another beautiful display piece that is a perfect representation of hard work and the importance of working together. Mark Nentwich donated a traditional two-man saw, and Greg Williams beautifully restored and installed the display at the Center.

Our volunteers are blessing lives and helping folks from far and wide to find their way and know where to stay; to know where to fix a tire or buy some wire; to be able to find a trail or send their mail. Wow, I’d better stop before my poetic juices really get going!

Thanks to all of our volunteers. They are making travel safer, more enjoyable, and truly more rewarding for so many.

Mayor David Ogden

Mayor's Corner 04/04/2019

Dear Friends:

Recently, I’ve taken the opportunity to reread a two books by David McCulloch; 1776 and John Adams. I’ve also been reading a great book by Stephen Ambrose. These authors are so profound that I’m sorely tempted to just quote from their books, but I won’t.

I want what I say to you to come from me. My humble thoughts aren’t nearly as clear and bright as those who inspire me, but nevertheless, I will share them with you.

This week I am blessed to teach several classes of 7th graders. In preparation, I’m well aware that knowing those you teach and having empathy for them is very important. I’ve tried to remember what I was like in 7th grade. I have concluded that I have to get that thought out of my mind so I won’t act out in class!

My center of gravity in the seventh grade was near my arm pits. My interests ranged from sports to doing stupid stuff with friends to teasing my little sisters. School was okay, but I was not a great student by any measure, and sitting still for anything approaching an hour was nigh unto impossible.

My sympathy, without question, now lies with teachers. My better half taught school for twenty- seven years, primarily in middle school. God bless all teachers. May they make a difference in impressionable minds.

Gradually as junior high progressed and I could run as fast (or nearly as fast) as Beverly Bell, all was well. I actually did enjoy learning, and I remember several teachers who appreciated that fact and responded to most of my lame questions. Gradually --- very gradually --- my center of gravity lowered and learning once again was as fun as it was in elementary school.

By eighth grade I was mostly normal, whatever that means. Life was great. I have been blessed with an optimistic attitude and I love life. I’ve even developed a great exercise program that seems to be working. It consists of getting out of bed every day, showering, and getting ready for the day!

Mayor David Ogden

Mayor's Corner 3/21/2019

Dear Friends:

As I write this week’s message, I’m sitting it the Visitor Center admiring an amazing new exhibit. Jay Ogden has just created a beautiful diorama for the Center, featuring a beaver. It’s absolutely perfect! The combination of talent and hard work can often create something most of us consider to be a miracle.

Please visit the Center anytime after the first of April or, as you might expect, I’m delighted to open up any time by appointment. We also have volunteers working on the layout of our flora and fauna garden, as well as the descriptive signs to go with it.

So the Visitor Center is already being improved for the new season, both inside and out. You, too, can help as a volunteer host. With a simplified sales system, volunteers will be able to concentrate more on helping travelers and not be worried about operating a complicated cash drawer.

Please help us for a few hours a week or more. We plan on two people staffing the Center at all times. This is going to be a great summer for travelers.

Last week, I was working on a project with two great volunteers when an older lady (that means someone about my age) stopped by the Visitor Center. She wondered if we had a doggie park in town. We were happy to respond, “yes”, and pointed just a few hundred feet to the west side of the park. This great addition was donated to us last year by my good friend and fence-builder, Craig Ross.

The next day, she stopped in to say “thank you.” She said she loved the doggie park and so did her dog! Then she surprised me with a donation to help keep it in good shape. She also promised to stop again when she came this way. That’s just one more example of how the Visitor Center is helping guests have a positive experience in our community.

Mayor David Ogden

Mayor's Corner 3/28/2019

Dear Friends:

Recently, I’ve taken the opportunity to reread a two books by David McCulloch; 1776 and John Adams. I’ve also been reading a great book by Stephen Ambrose. These authors are so profound that I’m sorely tempted to just quote from their books, but I won’t.

I want what I say to you to come from me. My humble thoughts aren’t nearly as clear and bright as those who inspire me, but nevertheless, I will share them with you.

This week I am blessed to teach several classes of 7th graders. In preparation, I’m well aware that knowing those you teach and having empathy for them is very important. I’ve tried to remember what I was like in 7th grade. I have concluded that I have to get that thought out of my mind so I won’t act out in class!

My center of gravity in the seventh grade was near my arm pits. My interests ranged from sports to doing stupid stuff with friends to teasing my little sisters. School was okay, but I was not a great student by any measure, and sitting still for anything approaching an hour was nigh unto impossible.

My sympathy, without question, now lies with teachers. My better half taught school for twenty- seven years, primarily in middle school. God bless all teachers. May they make a difference in impressionable minds.

Gradually as junior high progressed and I could run as fast (or nearly as fast) as Beverly Bell, all was well. I actually did enjoy learning, and I remember several teachers who appreciated that fact and responded to most of my lame questions. Gradually --- very gradually --- my center of gravity lowered and learning once again was as fun as it was in elementary school.

By eighth grade I was mostly normal, whatever that means. Life was great. I have been blessed with an optimistic attitude and I love life. I’ve even developed a great exercise program that seems to be working. It consists of getting out of bed every day, showering, and getting ready for the day!

Mayor David Ogden

Mayor's Corner 3/14/2019

Dear Friends:

Recently, I heard my friend, Chet Torgersen, talk about how much he enjoys the song What a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong.  It’s an old song that has always made me smile.  The song wasn’t actually written by the great “Satchmo”, but his rendition is bodacious (I’m trying to expand my vocabulary with seldom-used, descriptive adjectives)!

I’d like to share the song’s lyrics because they speak volumes.  They make me think to myself, “What a Wonderful World.”

 I see trees of green; red roses too.  I see them bloom for me and you.  And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.  I see skies of blue and clouds of white; the bright blessed day, the dark sacred night.  And I think to myself what a wonderful world.  The colors of the rainbow so pretty in the sky are also on the faces of people going by.  I see friends shaking hands saying, “how do you do?”  They’re really saying, “I love you”.  I hear babies cry.  I watch them grow.  They’ll learn much more than I’ll ever know.  And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

Each day we have disappointments, discouragements and the world can seem kind of bleak. Happiness is a choice.  We literally choose to be happy or, unfortunately, we sometimes choose to be sad and despondent.

We all know people who have ample reasons to be miserable, but who manage to be the very ones who smile and encourage others. We absolutely live in a wonderful world.  I challenge each one of us to listen to Louie sing that beautiful, uplifting song and look for other evidences that this truly is a grand, wonderful world.

Mayor David Ogden

Mayors Corner

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