Mayor's Corner 2/21/2019

Dear Friends:

Last week a long-time friend, Larry Lamprecht, stopped by to see me.  I was impressed just how much his heart is full of concern for his fellow men.

We live at a time when people really need to step up and help others.  Many who read this might be thinking that they have been helping and that they always raise their hand up, especially when youth need our help.  Communities, church groups and youth organizations have done a great job, but there are still too many who slip into dark places where hope and value give way to despair and despondency.

Much has been written on this subject.  A favorite quote of mine comes from a talk by Spencer Kimball, where he said, “God watches over us; but it is usually through another person that he meets our needs.”

Lest you think I’ve slipped into a church talk, I want to say that some of my favorite people in this world are uncomfortable in a church setting.  But those same folks are constantly looking for ways to help their fellowmen.  I hope we can all be sensitive to promptings, whereby we recognize an individual who needs encouragement and we do something; whether it be a fishing trip, a talent shared or just a listening ear.

Some make the time to encourage a group of youth.  That’s great.  But “one at a time” is really where the big difference can be made.  It’s important to build trust with parents as we work with youth.  Miracles will happen as we share talents, build confidence and help a struggling individual establish a firm footing.  Before you know is, those you help will be reaching out themselves and lifting others.

I my view, this is a short and anecdotal request to dozens in our community who are ready, willing and able to help right now.  I applaud and plead at the same time that your enthusiasm, genuine concern and willingness to make a difference will grow and bear much fruit.  I am raising my hand right now and committing myself to be part of the solution.

Mayor David Ogden  

Mayor's Corner 2/14/2019

Dear Friends:

Did you know that we’re approaching the 150th anniversary or sesquicentennial celebration of the completion of the Transcontinental Railroad in May of 1869.  Wow, that sentence was a mouthful!  I’d love to have city-wide party.  All I need to do is get train tracks laid down again from Thistle Junction to Richfield, so we can hear that whistle blow!

How many of you can remember that train whistle?  I could hear it from my house on 2nd West and 4th North in Richfield.  I’d probably have to be right next door now in order to hear it.  She Who Shall Not Be Named would tell you that the most common words heard at my home are “what”, “huh”, “pardon me”, and “please say that again”.

On May 10th we need to do something to remind us of the impact that the railroad had on our community and our area.  I would love to see old photos you may have.  At our Visitor Center, we have a picture of the train arriving in Richfield for the first time.  I’d love to show it to you, just as I show classes of fourth graders, middle schoolers and scout groups.  If you’ll share any additional photos with us, it would really add to the story.  Perhaps we could even make copies.

You all know I love the past, but I’m not stuck in it.  Looking back truly helps us see the future more clearly.  I’ve been reading Steven Ambrose’s book about the transcontinental effort, Nothing Like It in the World.  It was a fantastic accomplishment and it changed so much for so many.  Very few projects in U.S. history have had the impact of the transcontinental railroad.  Read about it and dream about it with me.

Mayor David Ogden.      

Mayor's Corner 01/31/2019

Dear Friends:

As he stared at my various projects, my high school shop teacher would always shake his head and say, “sand it up.”  Those are, as far as I can remember, the only words he ever said to me. I sanded some of my work to the point it disappeared completely!

I have friends who know how to build things, and do it beautifully. One of those talented individuals is Kelly Stewart. Last year, he resurrected an old pioneer cupboard and made it beautiful and functional again. He then generously donated it to our Visitor Center. You should come and see it, and I’d be happy to arrange that. Remember, however, that we’re looking for more volunteers for the Center this summer and I’m in recruiting mode! It’s an incredibly rewarding experience, and I’d love to explain to you how you can help us.

Kelly is one of those rare folks who can look at something and see the possibilities. He has repurposed old windows and made them into beautiful cabinets for miscellaneous whatnots. We have whatnots galore in one of Kelly’s creations. He has just the right temperament and talent to build or fix almost anything.

Personally, I fall short on creativity unless I am on a stage in front of an audience. In that setting, I’ve managed to create misunderstanding, hate and discord, along with an occasional laugh.

Laughing with those who are laughing at me is a talent I developed as a boy. As an eleven year-old, I remember singing the song, Rubber Ball by Bobby Vee in front of my sixth grade class. It was my bright idea for “show and tell.” On the front row was a Navajo friend named Chet Bryant. He was so embarrassed for me that he crawled under his own desk as a favor to his friend.

If America’s Got Talent was around then they would have said to me, “If your phone doesn’t ring, you’ll know it’s us.”

Mayor David Ogden

Mayor's Corner 02/08/2019

Dear Friends:

Two weeks ago on Sunday evening, She Who Shall Not Be Named informed me that she had a great idea. I fully expected it would have something to do with cleaning the garage, exercising more and/or eating less; but I was mistaken. Instead, she suggested that we each write our histories and give them to our children for next Christmas.

I thought this was a great idea until she wanted me to turn off Bonanza and start writing---right that minute! Like most other times when she is highly motivated and strongly suggests something, I eventually give in to the greater power and conform.

I love history, but I’m not so sure about my own. As I have studied genealogy and family history, I’ve pictured perfect, flawless folks without even so much as the occasional runny nose. Sometimes, that’s how histories are written.

I know enough about life to know that these people were probably not miraculously lifted up to heaven. They were normal people with plenty of faults. I also know that when you write a history of yourself, there’s no requirement to have it be a “tell-all” or a confession. With all of that in mind, I capitulated and accepted the challenge.

I plan on telling mostly the truth. I will make myself out to be an intelligent, studious child that was serious about all the right things. I actually remember this being the case twice in my life. Both times, I had just been caught doing something that won’t fit very well in my life narrative.

I’ll have to admit this has been really enjoyable so far. I wholeheartedly encourage all of you to get started writing or recording your history. It’s brought back memories of wonderful parents, kind teachers and inspiring coaches who helped me navigate through my youth and keep me out of jail.

There’s a tendency to either self-aggrandize or self-deprecate. The truth is generally somewhere in the middle. There’s lots of help out there to get you started with your own history, so please, no more excuses! It will be a treasure for many, whether you believe it or not.

Mayor David Ogden

Mayor's Corner 01/24/2019

Dear Friends:

I’m always amazed at the seamless transformation of the seasons at my home.  Magically, somehow, the Christmas decorations have disappeared and now hearts have popped up everywhere.  It’s not that that I’m unwilling to help.  It’s just that I am no help.  I have no sense of style or fashion, not to mention that my patience for such things never developed in my youth.

We love puzzles during the holidays.  I’m happy to say they’ve all been completed, and the pieces we searched for and swore were missing miraculously turned up right among the others.   So much for blaming the grandchildren for lost pieces.  We have decided to never again purchase a puzzle with hundreds of pieces that are the same shade of green.

I have been thinking about puzzles lately and I share this thought with you.  It is relatively easy to get the outside edge of a puzzle put together.  That’s how so many things in life are.  The framework of projects is often easily conceived and agreed upon by the puzzlers.  It’s the detail that takes time and effort and collaboration.  Unlike a puzzle, we can change the look of things as we go along.  If we doggedly say there’s only one way it will work; if we have no flexibility; then we can easily lose valuable participants whose contributions might yield a better result.

As we puzzle as to how our new Community Development and Aquatic Center should look and function, we must be willing to look at things from different points of view. I’m confident that it will come together and that one day, not so far away, we will all be saying that the parts fit.  We’ll find that it truly is a blessing that puzzlers and planners worked together with foresight and determination to put it together.

   

Nothing worthwhile is easy!

Mayor David Ogden

Mayors Corner

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