Thank You Mr. Mitchell

How often are you blessed by the opportunity to meet someone that shapes the way you think for the rest of your life? How often does your life lead you down a path that parallels another which impacts you forever? How often does this happen around the same time you learn to ride a bike?

I grew up in Boulder City, Nevada, the home of Hoover Dam. It didn’t get any smaller, or better, than growing up in Boulder City. I started kindergarten with many of the same people I graduated high school with, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything in the world. Especially in today’s world.

Many, many, years ago, they built a new elementary school in our town. The fact they built the school might not be a big deal, but the man they named it after sure was.

Andrew J. Mitchell was the principal of our small school, and the new school down the road was named in his honor. I didn’t get to know Mr. Mitchell very well while attending elementary school, in fact, I think I spoke to him more in my high school years than I ever did while a student at his school.

He made quite the impression sitting on his white horse as he led us in a parade of sorts, pulling our wagons filled with school supplies, through town to our new school. Our community was outgrowing our old school, and the new school was bigger and classier. Just like Mr. Mitchell.

Although he was our principal, he was also our friend, our mentor, and our pal.

On May 30, Mr. Mitchell, the man who made such an impact on my life, on so many lives, passed away.

Andrew Jackson Mitchell, a true scholar and gentleman, returned peacefully to his Heavenly Father early Sunday morning, May 30, 2010, at the age of 91. He was born July 7, 1918, to Andrew J. and Mary A. (Snyder) Mitchell in Albuquerque, N.M.

After graduating from High School in Flagstaff, he attended Arizona State University where he met his life companion and sweetheart “Mimi,” Mabel McKnight of Beaver Dam, Ariz. They were married on May 13, 1939. The couple recently celebrated their 71st wedding anniversary at their Sterling Court residence. Both Andrew and Mabel were educators who mentored students in Bunkerville and Boulder City, Nev.

I’ll never forget how special it was growing up in Boulder City, and I’ll never forget the people like Mr. Mitchell who made it that way.

Rest In Peace, Mr. Mitchell, and thank you.

Our Small Town Christmas Parade

Talk about a shocker. Yesterday I made the following statement.

We’re waiting now for the annual Christmas parade in our small town. The boys love seeing all the different police cars and fire trucks, as well as all of the floats from the different civic and church organizations. I’m planning to take video of the entire parade, which usually lasts about 10 minutes or so.

It turns out, there were some obvious cutbacks to our annual small town Christmas parade.

There was just one police car in the parade. No County Sheriff cars, no State Patrol cars, and sadly, no fire trucks. The fire station is only a mile down the road, they couldn’t bring one truck to start the parade?

The Temple High School band did great, as always, even if they were drowned out by the passing of a Norfolk Southern freight train. If it wasn’t for the various churches in our area, it seems there wouldn’t have been any floats this year either.

Where was the representation from the County Commission? Where were the politicians? The Shriners were there, but where were the veterans or any other representatives from the military? Carroll EMC, our power company, forgot to send a truck, and even Waffle House, which spread the Christmas cheer last year, was nowhere to be seen.

Santa was riding as a passenger in a red Thunderbird (not even a classic one) at the front of the parade rather than driving his sleigh at the end, and the parade was just five minutes and 15 seconds long.

There were beautiful horses at the end of the parade. I was waiting for the guy with the garbage can following the horses, but then I remembered that only happens with Sherman and Mr. Peabody.

I don’t mean to sound to harsh, but I think the people of Temple were expecting to see a bit more effort put into the parade and their children were expecting more eye candy, not actual candy.

I think it was the shortest parade I have ever seen in my life.

The following is my video of the parade. The video is completely unedited, and appears as shot from my Kodak Zi6. I did throw in some music in various places to highlight parts of the video. I hope you like it.