Sunday, December 13, 2015

Turning 50 should be fun- Come join the Celebration - The Golden Jubilee!

Carlton - One year old picture from the
Deseret News
So those of you who have kindly followed my progression to my 50th birthday, I wanted to invite you to come celebrate the Golden Jubilee on Wednesday, December 23, 2015 in the Large Hall of the Rose Park Stake Center - 6 to 7:30 p.m.  It's an open house format so just come when it fits you best.   No gifts please, just bring your friendship!

Invitation courtesy of my sister, Nancy Ruth Christensen Bittner
(Halloween costume not actually worn on the side of the road!)
You may ask, why make such a big deal about one's 50th Birthday?  Well I always enjoy a good party to start, but for me it was a milestone.  My father, Robert Christensen passed away from cancer at age 49, which I recognize puts me a year past him.  Whether I make it to 80 is always a good question and I don't want to publicly celebrate 60, so at 50, I plan to party!  (ok, so doing at a church, it's not likely to be the party some would anticipate!)  My mother, Verda Mae Fuller Christensen always loved a good party and I'm truly her son.  It's odd, but I'm odd or as Cathy has indicated on more than one occasion, "complicated"!

No one should feel guilty if they can't make it, but we would love to have you stop by and say hello.  Condolences are welcomed in the comment section below.   If somehow you read this or any notice and wondered if you're invited, consider yourself invited!  Turning 50 should be fun!


Monday, November 2, 2015

Peter Lassig Sr, a Gardner for all seasons

Peter & Janet Lassig
It's been a while since I've last written and last night as I walked through the viewing line for my dear friend Peters Lassig Sr, they had a little box to write down memories to share with the family.  I truly could have written it, but one page wouldn't have been enough and I felt like I wanted to write more. Truth be told, Peter was a friend to many, which is why the viewing line at the Church extended out in the foyer and down the hallway.  Whether as Bishop of the Rose Park 9th Ward, Master Gardner on Temple Square, Scoutmaster to a number of young men who are now fully grown, to neighbor, Peter had a great impact on the things he touched.  He will truly be missed, but I'll see him live through his children and grandchildren, the plants and trees that surround our neighborhood as well as the gardens on Temple Square and around Adam-ondi-Ahman in Missouri.

My first experience with Peter came when he and his first wife Sylvia built their new home on Talisman Drive in Rose Park.  There was not a lot of new construction at the time and their kids, especially their eldest daughter Lisa, were my age.  To state that Peter had some unique aspects about him, is an understatement, but that's what you love in Peter.  He also wasn't afraid to try something new, something out of the ordinary and it didn't have to happen overnight.  In fact most of the things we planted together, took years to accomplish.
Planting trees along Cornell Street for 9th Ward
service project
Shortly after becoming Bishop in 1993, I felt I would like to see our ward perform some service projects in the community.  The State of Utah, which had originally developed the Jordan River Parkway and did the original construction, lost focus on it after the floods of 1983 and it stayed the status-quo for nearly a decade.  In the early days of email (the kind where you had to use a modem and no one new what the "@" sign meant) I sent an email to then Governor Leavitt, asking for permission for us to do a project along the Parkway, near our neighborhood.  Much to our surprise they responded and met with Peter and myself to discuss options.  In 1995, we decided initially to plant some trees and combined that effort with two Eagle Projects for his son Nathan and Robert Steenblik.  Peter had discovered a unique method of using plastic tubes and tree saplings to start trees for next to nothing.  That initial year, we planted 150 trees for about $400.  I was sure that there was no way for those trees to survive and kept wondering in my mind if I had dragged people out for an effort to no avail!  However State Parks Department gave Peter 800 feet of hose to hook to his home, and he watered those trees 4 times a year around the Summer Holidays.  They not only took hold, but we maybe only lost 2 or three and that was to vandalism.  Today those trees are 30 to 40 feet tall Norway Maples and 75' tall Poplar trees.

Families worked together to plan trees at the Day-Riverside Library

Carlton planting plants with Jessica Christensen at
Day-Riverside Library

Landscaping next to 1000 N at the Day-Riverside Library

Cathy and Jessica planting plants for Day-Riverside Library
In 1996, Stuart Reid who was the City Councilmember for our area, asked if I would participate in the fundraising committee for the new Library.  As part of the discussion, I suggested that we could have renowned Master Gardner design the landscape and have the community help plant it.  It was received initially with some reservations by the Library Director, mostly because in prior projects, the follow-through didn't happen leaving the library with a problem.  However, as Bishop, I knew of Peter's ability and had called him as a "landscaping specialist" as part of his church service in the LDS Church and he agreed to do the project for free as part of his calling, which allowed him to do it on Sunday.  Since this was a unique spot up against the river, there was a concern that the landscaping wouldn't match the natural elements.  However Peter, given a charge to look past a traditional landscape, came up with a natural look that was probably a decade before its time.  Many questioned it, because it was not the typical manicured look that we appreciated in Rose Park, but we moved forward with it.  For three Saturdays, 100 plus recruited volunteers within the community came each week and by the opening, it was all installed.  The cost to the community was the cost of the materials and irrigation infrastructure.  The rest was donated.  I remember one Saturday, Peter had a number of the volunteers stand like they were plants in an open area, while he envisioned how they should be set out.  One by one, the volunteer was replaced by a plant.  When the Library opened, the landscaping and that effort were mentioned in each of the news reports.
We did a few more community projects.  Even helped Peter out once when he took out some non-native Russian Olive Trees that he had "ringed" the bark to kill.  It was all good and today, the river and its vegetation look so much better than it would have been.  A number of Eagle Projects also followed and for a number of years Peter kept watering things with that 800' of hose.  Finally about 6 years ago, through a grant from Tesoro, we were able to install an irrigation system relieving Peter of  needing to water things by hand.

Peter gave of his time to other community groups.  Frequently lectured and shared with a us little tid-bits about how God created this world to work together and letting the environment help sustain itself.
Peter was my bishop, my friend and a wonderful member of our community.  We're grateful for the legacy he and his first wife Sylvia left in the lives of their children. Her untimely death brought another blessing to our area, in his 2nd wife Janet.  Their love and dedication were reminders that like plants, 2nd opportunities can bring wonderful results that make a difference.  A few weeks ago, I felt impressed to stop by and visit Peter.  The conversation was very short, he mostly slept, leaving me an opportunity to talk with Janet.  While I knew he would not return back to a state that we all knew and loved, I didn't expect Heavenly Father to call him back so soon.    I have thought since how excited he must be to learn from the Master himself about how a world is created.  Peter, thanks for making our world here in Rose Park an even more beautiful place to live.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

First red tomato by the 24th of July

Actually our 2nd Red Tomato, Cathy picked the first!
My father Robert Christensen grew up in the agricultural community of Richfield, UT.  While the family farm mostly grew sugar beats as a cash crop, he worked on the side hoeing neighboring farms and raising chickens as a young man to sell eggs to the neighbors.  My father was a fairly simple man in what he wanted in life and gained a lot of satisfaction out of working in his own yard and growing his own garden.  Our gardens were irrigated, even though we had a sprinkler system, because that's the way he did it back home.

Robert Christensen outside his Richfield home
in 1931, just over five years of age.
Dad also loved LDS Church history.  He was often called upon to relate stories, including at our bedtime from the past about Church history.  July 24th, or the day the Mormon Pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley as a group, was always significant to him in many ways.  Subsequently, Dad would always have a contest with himself, that he get his first red tomato by the 24th of July.  For as long as I can remember it was always the mark of success, yet I'm not sure how many times we actually accomplished it.  However I do remember when he would come into the house, and announce that we had a red tomato by the 24th!

Early family photo, with me sitting on my father's lap, between
my brother's Spencer and Brad
 As we have grown up as children, even moved away from Rose Park for some of us, there has been a friendly effort by my siblings to have a red tomato by the 24th and then of course to announce it to the others, so they can be reminded of their lack of success!  We have become more sophisticated in our efforts.  One brother has a greenhouse, another lives in a warmer climate more conducive to early planting.  My sister has a raised garden off a brick wall which seems to get strong amounts of sunlight encouraging the little plants along.  Anyway you look at it, I've never won the contest and seem to be weeks behind the rest.
Mom and Dad in front of their first Rose Park
home on 900 N, just off of 900 W.  Dad always
planted a garden, wherever we lived
Well this year, there were a number of tender mercies which opened the way for the honor to return to 810 N 1500 W, the rightful location of this honor for 2015.  It started out as an extremely warm spring, temperatures about 10 degrees warmer than usual.  Costco had these reasonably price, large tomato plants that already had small fruit on them.  We had an exceptionally wet May, causing foliage to grow extremely well and then a hot June, which kicked the tomato plants into gear.  You might ask, what are the chances that scenario might ever happen again?  Well, never in my lifetime!  However, a few weeks ago, when I sent out my news to the family email group, I'm proud to say, I had the first red tomato by the 24th of July.  To boot, it was about two to three weeks early!  I know you're not suppose to have pride, gloat and heavens knows I need humility, but you know that for this year, the bragging rights are mine!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Celebrating 25 Years with many more to come!

Cathleen Nielsen was kind enough to say yes, 25 years ago
today.  Taking pity on a poor soul in love!
Today Cathy and I celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary, marking a quarter century together.  We have been blessed by two wonderful children in Jessica and Sarah and both were miracles in their own right.  I wrote back in February about our first date.  Our courtship was short, about six weeks before she agreed to take me on as a project and we were married four months later.  When I prayed about marrying her, the answer was to marry her and make it quick.  For the naturally shy guy, this was a leap of faith but one in which I've never regretted.  Cathy and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple on the morning of July 18, 1990 by Hugh W. Pinnock, a member of the First Quorum of the Seventy.  Elder Pinnock had been one of the visiting General Authorities when my father was called as Stake President of the Rose Park Stake and had become a family friend. We both had our mothers (Verda Mae Christensen and Lois Nielsen) by our side and her father Franklin Harvey Nielsen (Frank) was a witness along with my brother Elliott.  It was a beautiful morning and I was nervous!  That morning, I had my brother Brad drive me to the temple and he was kind enough to shine my shoes, so they looked decent!

Cathy worked for the LDS Church, so many of her co-workers
followed us around the grounds as we took pictures
At the time of our marriage, I was serving as the Elders Quorum President of the Rose Park 9th Ward and another couple we had been working with, had decided to be sealed in the Temple for eternity.  It often takes a lot of effort to help individuals get to that point in their lives after they had made other choices, and I had a desire to witness it.  I was a little hesitant to bring it up to Cathy since this was her day, but she readily agreed to join me after our pictures, to return to the Temple and witness this other couple's sealing.  While the events surrounding our wedding were wonderful, this became one of the more memorable events of the day.  When you share what you cherish with another, the joy only increases.
Our wedding reception in Cathy's parents back
yard in Layton
We held two receptions, the primary one in Layton in Cathy's parents backyard.  Her neighbors helped serve and many of the Nielsen friends came that evening.  However, three of the Steenblik sisters, Fannie, Mary and Pearl were insistent that they come to Layton rather than to Rose Park.  They were looking for an adventure.  Her family had done a lot of work in preparing the home and the grounds and it was a wonderful evening.  We did not trust Cathy's family with our car, so we left it in a secure parking garage in Downtown SLC and I arranged to have my friend Karl Steenblik pick us up at the conclusion and drive us to SLC where it was parked.  Trust but verify is my motto I learned it from Ronald Reagan!
This picture was not only memorable because I had the most
beautiful bride in the world, but the flag pole which was
erected in my father's honor, was a reminder that he was with
us in spirit.

Because of my service as Elders Quorum President, I also wanted to have a Rose Park reception the next night.  My mom was initially resistant, and understandably wasn't interested in paying for both the wedding breakfast and the reception.  I had told her that I was fine with punch and cookies and that I could get my quorum members to help.  My sisters Maribeth and Nancy offered to help, my mother later decided to contribute and they made this huge spread.  The food ended up being so good, we couldn't get people to leave and the Large Hall at our Stake Center was filled the whole evening. I still didn't trust my in-laws, so I hid my car in an area by the Church near the kitchen for the Small Hall/Multipurpose Room for those who know the building.  My in-laws were getting frustrated that they couldn't find our car. Both were wonderful evenings of celebration.

I don't think I could have ever imagined that what we began 25 years ago today, would have taken the direction or path that we've traveled, but it's been a wonderful journey together. I think it's fair to say, that neither of us are perfect, the ride hasn't been entirely smooth but we love each other's company and cherish each day God allows us to travel it together.  I love you Cathy!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

The Buzz about the Bees

Donning my new bee suit, I helped Sarah
place a new box on the hive!
A number of years ago, while serving on the City Council in Salt Lake City, I initiated a change to the ordinances that allowed for the keeping of bees in most areas of the City.  Prior to that, it actually was illegal, oddly enough, even in the agricultural zones (yes there are some in Salt Lake City). There were many who had hives already and there is a need to have them throughout the city.  Many of our plants are dependent on their activity, not to mention the benefits of the honey that comes from them.  I started out without much knowledge but one of my colleagues was very interested and a staff member had kept a hive in his hometown of Kaysville.  We looked at how you place them to minimize impacts on neighbors and how to register them responsibly.  We ended up just allowing the State Department of Agriculture being the only thing required, but referenced it by ordinance.  You can register for about $10 a year, and it simply allows them to know placement, etc so they can be inspected and more importantly identify you, in case there are problems in the area.  I believe in the end, it actually was a pretty good ordinance with some common sense criteria.

A number of years ago, a friend in the neighborhood wanted a hive but felt his yard was too small.  I wanted a hive, but didn't want to maintain it.  A perfect match and he kept the hive in our yard for a couple of years and we benefited from having the honey.  The hive ultimately died and he pulled it from our yard.  In the meantime, our daughter Sarah learned bee keeping at the school she was attending, Salt Lake Center for Science Education.  Her teacher Cavett Eaton was great with the kids, Sarah learned a lot and we decided to do our own hive.  Our friend wasn't using his boxes and graciously allowed us to use it, Cavett helped us acquire some bees (he was getting some himself) and we were off.  Our friend let us use his bee suit and he was much smaller than me, so it only fit Sarah!  I was elated.  It allowed me to observe from a distance, claim some right to having a hive in the yard but without having to face the reality of working with the bees.  It was a great set up and I consistently documented Sarah's work in the hive!
We have some great neighbors who also keep hives and they were always generous with their time when we had questions.  Well this year a very traumatic event took place.  One Saturday, Cathy and the girls came home and announced a shocking and terrifying news to me.  They had been to Jones Bees to pick up some tools for the hive and announced to me that Jones Bees carried a size 6XL in a bee suit!   To top it off, they purchased it without even asking me.  What, a bee suit!  I can't even find clothes in my size when I wanted them to fit!  What legitimate excuse would I have, how could I tell Sarah I can't.  I was going to have to participate in the process and do more than talk...this was horrible news!  Well the time came, I suited up and low and behold I survived.  Bees have large eyes by the way and starring them down when they sit on your chest is an amazing and crazy experience.  Sarah had me add a box a few weeks ago and showed me how to work in the hive.  Wasn't this suppose to be the other way around?  I guess it was time for me to "man-up" and participate.
Something seems contradictory when you
wear a bee suit, yet wear shorts and
flip-flops...
On a side note, a few months ago, I was introduced by some young children in our LDS Stake to the children's show, "The Hive".  Sarah and I have become slightly addicted to the series, much to the chagrin of Cathy.  It's available on Netflix, and worth watching when you get  a chance. Here is a sample.  I guess that's what all the buzz is about!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Supporting Ralph Becker for Mayor - An invitation to join us for an evening together in Rose Park


Dear Friends,

Cathy & I are pleased to support our friend, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker in his re-election efforts this November.  I worked with Mayor Becker for the last six years of my 16 years of service on the Salt Lake City Council and found Mayor Becker to be collaborate and supportive of not only of Salt Lake City’s west side, but in numerous important initiatives that strengthened Salt Lake City and helped make it one of America’s truly great cities.
 
Mayor Becker was instrumental in a number of circumstances to bring together diverse viewpoints and have us work together for a solution that would work well for as many people as possible.  It took courage and initiative to move a number of efforts including the rebuilding of Salt Lake City’s Airport, reconstruction of North Temple and completion of the Sports Complex on the City’s west side.  In addition we worked together on a number of issues to improve our infrastructure and keeping the city strong during some of our country’s most difficult economic circumstances.

Cathy and I are hosting a special gathering of our friends at our home, 810 N 1500 W on Wednesday, May 27, 2015 from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m.  We hope you can join us and have an opportunity to talk with Mayor Becker one on one and enjoy some food and great company.  We know it may be a busy evening for you, but if you could stop by even for a few minutes, we would be grateful to have you come.  If you can drop us an email at carlton.rsvp@gmail.com that would be helpful, but please still come either way.  We look forward to seeing you! 

Friday, April 10, 2015

Daughters and Dogs put Dad at a Disadvantage!

Sarah gets to hold her new Guide Dog 
puppy, Orchard

Ok, I'm willing to admit, I'm just a a Dad who likes his things just so, and generally, even though their cute, a dog isn't usually isn't high on my list.  However when you throw daughters into that mix, I am at a real disadvantage in the negotiations!  When our oldest daughter Jessica was young, she wanted a dog and of course promised to maintain it and help pay for it, and well you know the story.  I'm actually allergic to dogs and cats, so the thought of having them in the house, just wasn't high on my list.  We negotiated an outside option and our Daisy came into our lives.  Daisy was there for nine years until cancer took her from us, but she did have a great impact in my girls lives.  I wrote a blog about Daisy's passing and it was an emotional time for our family.  The pitches for a new dog came and I pushed back.  Our girls were getting older and Cathy and I ended up walking her more and more in those later years.

A few years ago, Sarah took a class on raising guide dogs for the blind.  She loved the course and not really known to me at the time, one of the potential outcomes, is you qualify to be able to raise a guide dog puppy of your own.  Of course as a guide dog puppy, there was no being outside. They are puppies and do what puppies do and it requires a great deal more discipline on top of it.  After a series of long and mediated negotiations between Sarah and Dad, her mom convinced me it would be in our daughter's best interest.  I will admit that Sarah has worked hard, does much of the work, but I still help nearly every day in feeding him breakfast and giving him his early morning potty break.  Dennis has been kind enough to lick my bare feet, even when I don't want it.  He frequently brushes up next to me, licks my feet, my arms, my hands, and then moves.  A few minutes later, he repeats.  Dennis has made a great deal of progress and is a few months from returning back to do some more advanced training before hopefully being assigned to someone who is blind.
Sarah with Dennis and her new guide dog puppy "Orchard"
A few months ago, we felt we had done our time, when Sarah proposed that she do it again.  This was a very challenging discussion and with the help of her teacher at Innovations Early College High, who agreed to raise the puppy until August, in which case we would take over the mostly trained puppy and those early potty training experiences, that included some long nights.  Sarah has a busy summer ahead and this ultimately seemed like a fair compromise.  Both she and her teacher were elated, I once again decided I needed to bring in a higher priced negotiator in the future.
That brings us today.  When Sarah got to greet her new puppy Orchard.  When you see the happiness it brings to her, somehow you look past the fact your skin is itching, repair of the dents caused by Dennis in the family room wall could be postponed and somehow we got use to hair all over the place despite frequent vacuuming.  All I can say is that daughters with dogs put Dad at a disadvantage!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Celebrating 25 years from our first date


Carlton and Cathy- Attending Sundance in Park City
On February 10, 1990 I went on a blind date with Cathleen Nielsen.  What I probably would not have guessed at that time, is what a change for the better would happen in my life.  I was 24 years old, serving as the Elders Quorum President of the Rose Park Ninth Ward and attending the University of Utah.  We had a Valentines Dinner for Quorum members and their spouses/guest and when I announced to my counselors that I had intended to bring my mother, drew a rash of criticism and ridicule that I knew it was no longer an option.  I was a little gun shy after having another girl I thought I liked, indicate she had no interest in me.  I had resolved the fact that I was going to be single for a while, so I even purchased a large snow blower knowing I would be at my mom's home for a few years more!

A week or so prior, Marianne Jensen, who worked the front office in my brother Elliott's work, came up to me with a slip of paper that had a girl's name and phone number written on it.  Marianne had just had lunch with Cathy, because her husband worked in Cathy's office at the Church Office Building.  I decided to just give it a shot, what did I have to lose.  When I called, much to my surprise, she said sure.  She reported to me the other day, that I sounded a little monotone (ok, I do) and a lack of inflection in the old voice.   Despite what she thought could have been Ferris Buehler's teacher, she said yes.  As I drove out to Layton to pick her up, passing a lot of farm land at the time, thought, gee, this is the last time I'm going out with this girl, she lives too far away.

When I drove up, her father was working in the yard with her brother and had a chain saw.  Left a strong impression that I was not to mess with this girl.  She was cute, good form, if you know what I mean, and blue mascara.  Ok, I think it was trendy at the time.  Not quite sure what impression she had of me, but she did get in the car.  I enjoyed her candor, interest in me and as we returned to the Church, I put her right to work getting ready for the dinner.  She was in the kitchen working, when our Bishop's wife came up and confronted me and asked, "Who is that girl in the kitchen?" to which I replied, "Cathleen Nielsen, I think, I just met her 40 minutes ago".  Dixie Martinson then replied, "You're lying, you've been hiding her."  Well I wasn't, and 40 minutes on a first date and putting her to work was a good sign that she was committed to the gospel, if not to me!  We had a nice evening together and as I took her home, thought I needed to go out with her again.

A few days later it was Valentines Day.  I wanted to send her flowers, but wondered if that was too pushy after one date.  When I went to the florist, I struggled with the thought do I get her red roses, or is that too strong.  I found a small set of miniature pink roses.  I wrote her a note, spelled Cathy "Kathy", which still gets done on occasion by my family and had them delivered.  I called later that day or the next to ask her out and to see if she received the flowers.  Timing was perfect, the other guys in the scene had not sent anything, mine were nice but not to pushy and yes, I got a second date out of it.

Long story short, we were engaged six weeks later, I've made the trip to Layton many times, and I can't think of a better soul mate in my life, than Cathleen Nielsen Christensen.  Just a good reminder, that a little persecution and ridicule in one's life makes you do some of the things you should, but not might want to do!

Monday, January 26, 2015

Getting rid of the clutter in your life!

Campaign signs assembled but never used
In politics, the process of running is never easy, nor inexpensive.  You also are not sure from one term to the next, what you might do four years later.  For all intent and purposes, you leave your options open.  When I ran my last race in 2009, I ordered a number of signs because it's cheaper to do them at the same time, and assembled them all.  As the campaign progressed, I ended up not needing all of them, however even after winning that race, decided to not get rid of those assembled signs.  While I wasn't sure what I might do in 2013, I was pretty sure that was my last city council race.  However you keep your options open, and I kept my signs.  They've taken up a corner of my garage for 5 1/2 years now and even though of I've been out of office now for over a year, have "haunted" me for some time.  They were a burden if you will.

Moving forward!
Saturday, I decided to do something about it, tore them down, cut up the sticks for fire wood and redeemed a corner of my garage so that I could move on and use it for other things.  As I was cutting up the wood, I got thinking of how many burdens we so often carry with us, often for much longer than we really need to carry them.  I thought of my role as Stake President, when I meet with individuals who have carried a burden in their life or a mistake they once made and are ready to forsake and move forward.  It's probably one of the most sweet and tender experiences for me to watch the atonement work in their eyes and mind.  It often brings tears to my own.  I completed the task with the resolve that I needed to free myself more often, be a little more resolved to let things go and work a little harder to clean up those corners in my life.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Rosa Parks Blvd

Unveiling of Street signage for Rose Parks Blvd

Friday evening Cathy and I watched the new movie "Selma" about the efforts to create a Federal Voting Rights Act, eliminating much of the discrimination that prevented individuals from being able to register to vote, particularly the poor and those of color.  It was a telling and sobering movie that has reminded us of how far we've come, yet what short sighted things we sometimes still do today.  If you haven't seen it, you should.  I don't know enough about what movie critics are looking for in picking Oscars, but this is a well done movie and worth the ticket price and will be a keeper when it comes out for personal use.

Friday evening reminded me of my own participation in the honorary street naming of 200 E in Salt Lake City to Rosa Parks Blvd.  I've always had a deep respect for the civil rights movement and certainly studied it extensively in my collegiate pursuits in history.  However I was pleasantly surprised, when I was approached by the Salt Lake Chapter of the NAACP a few years ago and their chapter president, Jeanetta Williams, who asked me what it would take to have a street named for Rose Parks and if I would be willing to take the lead.  We did some research among council staff and I had conversations with my colleagues at the time.  I felt like it should be a street that actually had buses on it, and it was also important that at some point, it intersected with 600 S - Martin Luther King Blvd and 500 S - Cesar Chavez Blvd.  Our rules required that the petitioner (in this case me) would have to bare the full cost of changing the street signs in addition to the council action required.  In an effort to address some of that cost, and to keep the change at a reasonable level, we decided to do the segment between South Temple and 600 S. My initial plan was to see if I could get a corporate partner to challenge match and then I would proceed to begin my fund raising effort.  My first stop was with my employer at the time, Zions Bank and I approached Scott Anderson, its President.  Scott asked me how much the total cost would be, and then wrote me a personal check for the entire amount.  I dare say, it was the easiest effort in raising funds that I've experienced, but I was so grateful for his person support.
Robert Rendon - Zions Bank, Mayor Rocky Anderson, myself, Gloria Wilkinson - Zions Bank
Jeanetta Williams - NAACP, Nancy Saxton, SLC Council and a representative of Youth City
Unfortunately the day of the unveiling, Scott was unable to join us but sent two friends from Zions Bank and we unveiled the signs in the Urban Room of the Salt Lake City Library.  Salt Lake City has since extended signage beyond 600 S and it always brings a feeling of pride and gratitude when I pass one of them.  I actually still have the one on the easel for my own personal memories.

I'm also grateful for Rose Parks.  My girls and I did some studying of her story so that we could better understand her sacrifice and the significance of the event.  Not only did it change history for those of color, but for women too.  The combination of those two things, often get overlooked and it was important for my girls to understand it.

On this Martin Luther King, Jr Day, I express my gratitude for the blessings of individuals, including Dr King who sacrificed much so we would be more tolerable, kinder and hold ourselves to a better standard.