“I’m from Price, Utah!” I heard a voice holler out from upstairs at our LDS Bookstore after I posed the sarcastic question, “Who in Washington would ever be from the little town of Price?” I had been in conversation with an employee about my dad and mom growing up in Price and the unlikely recent acquaintance of a former Price native. Now, surprised to hear a response to my hypothetical question, I went to the sound of the responder to find an older gentleman, Brent Olson, proudly wearing a US Army Veteran hat. He explained that he grew up in Price, Utah and graduated from Carbon High School before leaving that area for a career in the Army.
“You may know my father,” I questioned, “Jeddy Morley?” The man fell quiet, as it was obvious he reverted back over 60 years ago to memories of high school. He remained quiet as he mustered control of his emotions that seemed to attack him like an unforeseen soldier. The quivering chinned-man proceeded to explain that in high school he was unable to play sports because of rheumatic fever, which made him less-than-popular. In fact, he described himself as a “nobody”— overlooked by everyone. But, there was one quiet, popular, well-liked athlete a year older than him that always made eye contact with this “nobody” that offered a smile and a genuine “Hi”.
Brent said, “I know your dad, and I will never forget him for making me feel like I was somebody.” Then, succumbing to his emotion, he said, “I love that guy!”
I wiped tears from my eyes that were there because I felt sorry for the neglected teenager Brent once-was, but even more, I felt proud to be the daughter of such a kind-hearted teenager-now-father who noticed the lonely and insecure, and made a life-long difference.
I have thought about my dad as a teenager, knowing he was innately shy, undoubtedly insecure, with a home life that was less-than-ideal, and yet, he looked out for the “one” and made him feel special.
Kindness received is never forgotten. An act of kindness is never wasted. Its impact spans the decades and reaches into the eternities.
By Chrisy Cope