Mayor’s Corner 4/14/2021

Dear Friends:
Do you remember Simon and Garfunkel? If you lived in the 1960’s I’m sure you do, but through
the decades their music has been enjoyed by several generations. Their sound is iconic, and it
stirs great memories every time I listen to it. One of my favorites is “The Boxer”. Its lyrics
include a great truism, “A man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.” While I’ve
listened to this song hundreds of times, I continue to see new examples of just how applicable
those words are in our everyday life.
My brother-in-law retired from a full-time job with the State Of Utah as a regional water rights
engineer. When we were visiting, he brought up the words to this Simon and Garfunkel song.
He said it was impossible to count the number of times people had come in and complained that
he hadn’t told them of a particular possibility, always after things had worked out in a way they
hadn’t expected. He would remind them of what he had actually said, and that they had only
heard the part they wanted to hear. They forgot the rest. The Devil is not only in the details, but
often is plain-spoken, then conveniently forgotten. We could almost say, “I distinctly remember
forgetting the part that didn’t fit my scenario.”
I worked for Sysco for a lot of years and had a lot of experience in the restaurant business, both
good and bad. People would ask my opinion about buying a building and turning it into a
restaurant. I would always start by saying, “friends don’t let friends get into the restaurant
business.” I would share statistics about how few make it and how tough and multifaceted the
business really is. Usually, they had already decided to do it, and they just wanted confirmation
that they were doing the right thing. It was like telling a friend who was in love that they were
making a bad decision. You knew they were. They asked your opinion, but they really didn’t
want to hear it. Almost always they disregarded any advice. Sometimes only months later, my
friend would say to me, “why didn’t you tell me?” My reply was always, “I DID.” They usually
couldn’t remember anything but the hello.
One of my heroes in life was my mission president in Scotland, F. Nephi Grigg. He and his
brother, Golden, are credited as the inventors of the Tater Tot. There may be greater claims to
fame, but that one’s hard to beat! President Grigg wrote a couple of books. He also played a mean
harmonica while his wife Addie fiddled for our family in the ’70s. One of his books was about
golf. He was a serious golfer, but what always stood out to me was his encouragement to make
good decisions by accepting good advice. Most of the time I have been able to do just that. I
didn’t get his book until after I, by some good fortune, made the best decision of my life by
choosing a Good Boss. President Grigg quotes Ogden Nash in his book. He said, “To keep your
marriage brimming, With love in the loving cup, Whenever you’re wrong, admit it; Whenever
you’re right, shut up”.
Mayor David Ogden