Interesting Days

It is strange how coincidence seems to play into our lives. Even I, a low staffer, an Idahoan, who is of very little importance in the realm of all men who have walked upon the earth have the privilege of meeting such amazing men. There are giants around us and we very seldom realize it. Most of those will never be  recognized or accredited for what they do. However, today I wish to pay tribute to the common man (men and women, you know what I mean…man is not without the woman, and woman not without the man). There are souls around us who affect us so deeply that they forever change our course. Most of them are the every day run of the mill who humbly go about doing their duty. Many men do what they can to get by, others in service to others oblivious and often doing more damage, but then there are those who know what they need to do and do it well. Those who seek to do what they do well, live their lives to the best of their capability who influence the most.This week I met a man by the name of Mehmet Ali Talat. He paid a visit to Senator Smith. He is the president of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. It definitely is not every day that we meet the President of a small country. What is more, one that is a bit more questionable in the eyes of many nations. Besides that, he is a very powerful man. He came with his entourage and sat in the office for a while (the Senator was meeting with the President of Starbucks…how ironic) and then left to visit with the Senator in his office. I do not know the culture, I do not know the man, but he seemed very deliberate and almost unhappy. The whole group seemed almost dire in many ways. While I can boast that I met the man who leads another nation, he left little or no influence upon me.

The same day, I met a man named Bob Livingston. A representative from Louisiana that served in the house for over 20 years. If I remember right, he was even Speaker of the House of the United States for a short time. A powerful man in the United States who served for a third of most people’s lives. (While there are hundreds of people in the U.S. government and I have come to learn it is just another job, it still holds a mystique) He sat with me for a few moments and was so concerned about his blackberry he couldn’t even visit for a whole five minutes. Another man who influenced millions of lives, but in lasting tribute will have little more than name recognition to go with his face in my life. Do we recognize the influence we could have on people, but due to our own concerns and selfishness do not take the opportunity to reach out more often.

If you would not know it, I was giving a tour this week and while explaining the Capitol Ceiling (which is always accompanied with my looking around while explaining rather than peering up a dozen noses) and I recognized a man sitting on one of the benches on the outer parameter. I excused myself from my tour group for a moment to go say hello to the Governor of Idaho, my beloved home state. I walked over, shook the hand of Dirk Kempthorne, and introduced myself. He looked pensive and contemplative. I somewhat regret having visiting with him as he seemed almost melancholy, but I was thrilled with the opportunity. Here was a man who took a few moments to say hello and learn a little about me. He did not brush me off and seemed somewhat interested. This man, while definitely with his own thoughts, took a few moments out to focus on the one. He will have a much more lasting influence than the President of a small nation or Speaker of the House. Nevertheless, many don’t like the Governor, but he seemed much more willing to care about other people than the first two.

In that tour group that I excused myself from was a former Senator of the State of Oregon. Neil and Mary Bryant were a different breed though. They were engaging, willing to share of themselves and learn of others, and even reached out to meet others. They and their friends Neal and Linda Huston were fun to take on the tour as they were so willing to get along and be a part of society. They are good individuals who loved to learn. He tried to stump me on historical facts of the United States of the Pacific Northwest (which my knowledge is not very good, I just got lucky that I knew his answers). They were by far the best people I met that day. While not as impressive in stature of the world, they left an impression that will be much more lasting.

With all that said, I want to recognize some of those who have affected my life the most. Colleen Jonas. Father in Heaven. Jesus Christ. Milo Ross. Sandra Jonas. Amanda Hemsley. Brad Hales. Kathy Duncan. Ted Tateoka. Kevin Orton. Nicole Whitesides. Laurel Hepworth. Marie Lundgreen. Kathryn England. Anna Badger. Chris Horsley. Megan Duncan. Dustin McClellan. James Cazier. Tom Kunzler. Altan Hardcastle. Warren Crane. Gene Hansen. Lorn Duff. I am sure there are more, many more. Thank God for good souls who reach out and connect with people. Who care more for others than they do for themselves. May God forever bless those who have affected my life and may I return the favor to all I come in contact with.

Hiroshima

Another crazy weekend.  However, I am proud to announce I received 8 hours of sleep on Sunday!  It was the first time in what must have been months.  I woke up with a hang over though from something.  Perhaps the body was not used to having so much rest.  Who knows.  Made my way down to Richmond again on Friday night.  I took Erika to Twin Falls this time, rather than dropping her at Jerome or Burley.  I stopped in Logan to pick up some books I ordered online.  The autobiography of Burton K Wheeler and Huey P Long, also a biography of Frank Church.  I am looking forward to reading them, although the one stenches of BO.
Amanda was able to come up and meet me in Logan so we went out for some World Famous Aggie Ice Cream.  The line proved that there were plenty of people desiring ice cream that late at night.  It must have been 9:30 and the place was crammed full of people.  Then to top it off, this lady stood and chatted with everyone at the cash register.  I had partially eaten my toffee crunch ice cream cone before she finally departed the store.  If somebody wants to get rich, they should invent an ice cream scoop that puts the ice cream clear to the bottom of the cone.  Unless of course, you like your cooled air inside the cone, slightly condensed with diary moisture.
Out to Richmond, moved in for the nocturnal visit, and spent some quality time together.  The Lundgreen’s had already gone to bed!  I had to get to bed early so that I could rise and be ready for Brad to arrive at 6:15 for work.  It seems I didn’t even fall to sleep the night went by so quickly and the alarm clock was off.  Up, breakfast, and off we go to Preston.  Sprayed lawns in Malad again.  A great day.  Visited St Johns, Pleasantview, and Malad in our spraying adventures.  This lady up on the hill had a cool horse drawn buggy in her garage.  We sat and visited with her about Grass Valley, California for a while.  It was pretty interesting.
Now, I have to tell one of the highlights of the day.  Lunch at the Dude Ranch Restaurant, Main Street, Malad, Idaho.  By the look of things, it looked a bit dingy and run down, but good friendly hospitality  Brad and I took our seat in a booth which was probably one of the originals from 1945.  Definitely enjoyed the old bottle bottom glass separating the booths, which seems to have faded since the 70’s.  We ordered a bacon cheese burger and I added a nice pineapple shake to my order.  I had to get my fruit somehow and didn’t think the potatoes in the fries counted other than as a vegetable!  They hand cut their fries.  I had a curly fry that when I picked it up must have stretched out over a foot in length!  Oh, they were delicious.  The burger, home made patty, with everything freshly cut was so good.  Oh yes, I have a new favorite in dining.  Too bad it is so far off of my normal routes of travel.  Eddies in Smithfield, Utah has some pretty darn good fries too!  Not to mention their Bar-b-Que.  Anyhow, Brad and I departed happy individuals from a good down home meal.  Sometimes I get so darn tired of the other foods.
Made our way back to Preston discussing the problems of the world.  Faith, diligence, and decision making in our lives.  We discussed politics, Supreme Court, Presidential Appointment, Idaho, Franklin County, Utah, and the role of law.  It was interesting.  We discussed other things, but due to my age, have now slipped from memory.
In Richmond, I completed my online class, visited with the family for a bit, and headed out for the Jonas family reunion in small Mantua, Utah.  Pulled in, drove around in circles at the Fish Haven Campground, and finally settled the car on a nice piece of grass.  Thought to myself, “Self, visit a few, catch up, get some e-mails, and get the heck out of dodge.”  Well, I appeared and various people came up and said hi and next thing I knew everyone was asking about Amanda and the rest of the year.  I never knew I was in the loop with the Jonas clan.  I thought I was descendant of a long dead brother whose family had fallen from the planet.  Trying to gain some information and knowledge of the family had been difficult in the past.  Now somehow, I was the center of attention and did not even come prepared.  Well, I went and located my car (it was not where I swear I had just parked it!) and pulled out my computer.  Sat down at the picnic table and started showing photos of the beloved Amanda.  After two pictures, I caught them all by surprise by moving it to the Jonas and Coley pictures.  Yep, had them then within my grasp.  They were chatting and talking about old times.  Laughing and identifying people in the pictures which I had given up hope on finding out who they were.  After a good half hour of changing the subject from me to the Jonas pictures, I opened Personal Ancestral File and started showing what I had.  They oohed and awed and started lining up to make sure I had the information correct, and gave me more.  Well, by the end of my 4 hour stint, I had gathered the contact information for 8 separate families, and loaded into PAF 6 entire new families!  I was pretty excited.  So over the next months, via e-mail, those names and families will be fleshed out with dates and places.  It turned out to be more productive than I though.  I had thought the Jonas family was not interested in their genealogy and I was a lone sentinel trying to amass information.  Alas, they are already lining up for me to put together a book and have it at the family reunion next year.  The best part, the bond increased amongst us and for once, I felt a part of the extended Jonas Clan.
The moment arrived when I had to depart from Mantua.  Off to Tremonton, I met Brad Hales again and we headed up to the Kasota home of the Ross’.  We crashed the night there and Sunday morning arose for our final leg to Nampa.  Brad was kind enough to prepare me a bowl of rolled oats.  I love rolled oats, don’t get me wrong, but the amount of so much I could not place any milk into my already oversized bowl was a bit much.  I felt like I had eaten too much afterwards.  The honey in it was really good though!  Hey, I lowered my cholesterol today!
We then made the trek to Nampa, and then Kuna, Idaho.  On the route, we discussed Brigham Young, being led and inspired of heaven, recognizing that guidance, and Oliver Cowdery.  Interspersed with our personal adventures, experiences, and stories.  It was interesting.
Nampa we arrived at the Hales Homestead and enjoyed some quality family time.  Really good Jello, and seared chicken too!  Then off to church for the baby blessing, of which I was even invited to stand in!  That was exciting.  No relation whatsoever, but I got to stand in for the baby blessing.  A very good testimony meeting, and then it was good bye.  Brad and siblings all headed back to Utah, and I headed to Parma.  Oh, I must comment, Brad’s sister, Amy agreed to go to Eastern Germany with me sometime to travel and do family history work.  I am excited!  Now just have to find that buried box of money…
Parma, Idaho was an experience finding.  I thought it was just one of the next towns from Nampa.  Nope.  A few miles to Caldwell, then to Notus, then to Parma.  It was like 30+ miles.  Oh well, it was a beautiful Sunday drive.  I was tempted just to go to Nyssa, Oregon too, but decided against it later.  I found Parma, and took a stroll around the Roswell and Parma cemeteries for the Ross Clan.  I don’t have a direct link to them, probably don’t but feel so compelled to assemble their family history.  Hopefully the future will reveal why.  I found 4 in Roswell, and 10 in Parma, including Charles Benjamin Ross.  That I was excited about.  Took a good drive around the area.  They must be raising something like grapes or something.  I have never seen the vines growing like that.  The Roswell Cemetery was surrounded by them.  There were also plenty of onion fields.  I swear I could smell spearmint too, but never got out to go into the fields to see if I could find a field of spearmint.  I also never realized Parma was the home of Parma farming implement.  Learn something new every day!
Headed back to Eagle, and crashed for the rest of the afternoon.  Did some catching up on the family history from Mantua, and visited on the phone.
On a sad note, I found out my 3rd Grade teacher, Ella Suhr passed away in June.  I was hoping to at least write her and say thank you for the influence she had on my life.  I suppose I will have to wait a while now.
Well, I will close.  Hope it was not too long and tedious of an entry.  It was a fascinating weekend, even though I am exhausted.  The usual state I am in as of late.  It is all worth it though.  I only hope my body will endure it for a very long time.