Saturday, July 15, 2006

Pete Ashdown to the Rescue


Yesterday, it was over 100 degrees outside. After a late night of finalizing our FEC report and a morning of responding to some law clients, getting the FEC report in the mail and getting some necessary mailers out we got the car packed and were on the road an hour and a half behind schedule. The Ute Stampede Parade in Nephi started at 4:00 p.m. and we hit Point-of-the-Mountain at about 2:45.

"We will make it, we have been behind before," I thought outloud. We barely made it into the West Valley Parade after I pulled my hamstring running uphill to catch the van after chatting with some fellow Bingham High classmates in the Herriman Parade which was held almost contemporaneously with the West Valley Parade. We ran to catch our West Valley car which had gotten 200 yards into the parade before Marissa and I caught up while carrying Celia, Alma and a cooler full of Otter Pops. Though my leg was killing me, I remembered my high school football coach saying that champions keep hustling the whole game--even it it means playing while hurt.

It was at the Point-of-the-Mountain that we passed Pete Ashdown's motorhome--"The Blue Eagle." We honked and waved. Marissa said that even though we were late, Pete was going to be even later than us. However, in Springville, we started having trouble. It seems as if the fuel filter needed changing and the van started sputtering. The engine would just stop running in the middle of the freeway. I would pull over, restart the car, the engine would run normally and then we would be on the freeway again. After this scenario happened three or four times, the car stopped just east of Mona Reservoir and would not start again.

We did not even consider giving up. As my mentor, former college professor, drama director and first cousin once-removed, Kim Christison taught me--THE SHOW MUST GO ON! Kim is running for the State House of Representatives in District 68. We had planned to be in the parade in Nephi together. The Burridges and Christisons were early settlers and long time residents of Nephi and we wanted make sure that both came to "represent" in Nephi while making a united tribute to our common forbearers.

So I called Pete. About 2 minutes after my call the "Blue Eagle" pulled over, we loaded the kids, our candy, wagon and staffer and took off for Nephi. We made it to Nephi just in time and enjoyed a great crowd. I ran into former Miss Snow College 2nd attendant (1993) Paula Mangleson Nelson--daughter of famed and retired UHP trooper Paul Magleson. Also, I hugged one of my mission greenies from Eureka, Staff Sergeant Benjamin Grimstead, who just returned from courageous service in Iraq.

Thanks Pete. While Senator Hatch is bailing a drug toting record executive out of a Dubai Prison, Pete acted like a true good Samaritan. He saved my family on a hot freeway in Mona on the way to great parade.

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