Sunday, April 13, 2008

Odds and Ends

Ivy Baker Priest (1905~1975)
United States Treasurer 1953~1961

"The world is round and the place which may seem like the end may also be the beginning."
~Ivy Baker Priest

"We seldom stop to think how many peoples' lives are entwined with our own. It is a form of selfishness to imagine that every individual can operate on his own or can pull out of the general stream and not be missed." ~Ivy Baker Priest

"In 1953, shortly after taking office as Treasurer of the United States, Ivy Baker Priest was asked by President Eisenhower how she was enjoying her new job. She responded, "'I'm enjoying it immensely, Mr. President . . . but at the moment I'm just so overwhelmed to be here . . . I never expected to get anywhere near the White House.'" Eisenhower's face broke into a familiar grin, "'I know just how you feel,' he said. 'Neither did I.'" During her eight years as treasurer Priest dined with queens and princes, cabinet members and ambassadors, captains of industry and leaders of world thought, but through it all she never lost sight of her humble beginnings as the daughter of a poor Utah miner growing up in Bingham. On one occasion Priest was seated next to Norman Vincent Peale at a Washington, D.C., luncheon. The famous minister turned to her and said: "'Mrs. Priest, the people I have known in this world who have achieved things have all overcome some great handicap to reach their goal. I hope you won't mind my asking you . . . what was yours?'" Without hesitation she responded, "'Poverty.'" "'And now you are in charge of all that money,'" Peale said and laughed heartily." Utah History to Go

I was thinking about my Grandmother today and her relationship to President Thomas S. Monson. It started me thinking of other people my grandparents knew. My grandmother was personal friends with Ivy Baker Priest. I have no idea how they became acquainted. I was remembering when my grandmother lived in our home. One day she reached in her purse and pulled a dollar bill out of her wallet. "See the signature at the bottom, Sheri?" my grandma asked. "The woman who signs our money is a very important lady and she's a good friend of mine," she continued. I think she told me about how they met, but I've long since forgotten. If only we paid better attention to our grandparents and parents before they are gone!

My Brother's Farewell 1960

Stephen and Dad Kenneth (back)

Mom Viola, Grandma Olive, JoAnn, Sheri (front)

My grandfather was good friends with David Abbot "Ab" Jenkins, who set numerous world automobile speed records on Utah's Bonneville Salt Flats between 1932 and 1956. He named his race cars "Mormon Meteor" because he was a faithful member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

I learned today that Ivy Baker Priest and Ab Jenkins are both buried at Wasatch Lawns Memorial Park along with my Grandparents! What a coincidence.

Now I'm wondering what other famous people my grandparents and parents knew!

Ab Jenkins & Mormon Meteor III

How our lives entwine--how many thousands of people have effected my life! Friends, family, teachers, church leaders, authors, artists, politicians--have taught me--changed me.
Who have I taught, changed, effected?
Where does the circle end?

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