Watching the stadium fill with smoke last Saturday reminded me of my old friend

When I was a kid I lived a couple houses away from this guy:

https://www.legacy.com/amp/obituaries/saltlaketribune/99645006

You can see his many life accomplishments but to a little kid he was just a friendly old guy and a big Utah fan. He also was the guy who recommissioned the canon and named it Red Thunder for the games.

In the winter they would head south (he had a lot of health problem at this point) and would hire me to keep an eye on their home and shovel the driveway if it snowed.

One winter when I was about 10-years-old the snowfall was light and I think I only had to shovel his driveway twice. When he got back he asked me what he owed me and I mentioned I barely did anything and shrugged and said, “I don’t know… $10.” He nodded and wrote out the check, folded it and handed it to me and said, “Alright, I put a little extra on there so you can take your girlfriend out for an ice cream.” I thanked him and left.

When I got outside he wrote me a check for $150 which was an unimaginable amount of money for me. My mom told me I couldn’t keep that, and went and talked to him, but whatever he said to her made her let me keep it.

He was a good guy, I was very lucky to grow up around great people like him.

That right there is a great story!