Thanksgiving 1986

Scan236001 copyMy family Thanksgiving of almost 30 years ago was one I’ll never forget. We were living in Taiwan with two young children. With no family members and a culture that didn’t understand Thanksgiving we decided to jump in our tiny car and take a driving vacation.

The trip was full of beautiful scenery and experiences. On Thanksgiving Day we drove high up in the mountains to a small village.  As we climbed in elevation we started to dream about the Thanksgiving dinner we would soon enjoy. Although not Turkey, we visualized dozens of Chinese dishes that had become our favorites.

Thinking ahead I started to plan out how much cash was needed to finish our trip. As a foreigner I had no credit cards or checking accounts. Everything was handled in cash. I counted out the gas and hotel money and found I had less than 10 cents left for our dinner. I broke the news to Sue who smiled and said we’d figure it out (Sue would have made a great pioneer).

After arriving in the town and finding the cheapest hotel in the city we headed out for dinner with our 10 cents. We walked around the town and found a package of Smack Ramen noodles that was in our budget. On the way back to our room we passed the hotel kitchen. We could see several employees standing around a large rice cooker that seemed to be about 3 feet in diameter. I swallowed my pride and walked inside. Humbly I explained our situation and asked if they would give me a bowl of rice. This they gladly did and we returned to our room with our bowl of rice and noodles.

The room had no heater and had become very cold. We turned on the shower and sink hoping the hot water would warm up the room. We used the hot water from the sink to fix our noodles and the four of us ate all that we had.

The next day we returned home to our full cupboards but the memory of that Thanksgiving has never left me. Today I’m grateful for many things but especially I’m grateful for my Chinese friends and to so many in our community that share their bowl of rice.

Clean Out the Fridge Day

GFToday we cleaned out the fridge in the Mayor’s office. Not really sure what this originally was or who left it.

Provo’s Gift to the World #ProvoChristmas

I can’t even begin to express how excited I am for this project. Some of Provo’s most talented artists along with our in-house creative team have volunteered their time and talent to create a Christmas album featuring local artists and downtown businesses. The plan is to release a series of music videos on social media starting Monday, December 1. In addition, a CD has been produced and will be sold at participating downtown businesses for $10. Thanks to some generous donations (still looking for more) with 100% of the proceeds being donated to our local United Way’s Sub for Santa program! Everyone …

Guns N’ Hoses – Shirts for Sale

Guns n’ Hoses t-shirts are still available for $10 each! These would be great gifts for friends and family and all of the proceeds go towards Sub for Santa and Cure for Cancer. Please bring cash only to the Provo City Center (351 W Center St) You can also email Jenny Starley at if you want a size held for you. Sizes available Youth Medium (10/12) Adult Medium Adult Large Adult X-Large Adult 2X-Large  Quantities are limited, get yours before the sizes you want are gone!

David Lanz + Giveaway

The Covey Center for the Arts is pleased to have David Lanz return again this holiday season. Setting the mood, this Grammy nominated pianist will warm the hearts of audiences with his melodic tunes on Friday, December 5, 2014. Lanz will be performing some of his best-known works and highlighting his brand new holiday album, Forever Christmas.  Forever Christmas is the first full-length collaboration and a unique blending of the contemporary piano master and the angelic voiced Kristin Amarie, who will be joining David on stage to perform selected pieces from this new recording.  Tickets are $25 for general public …

International Day of the Bible #BibleCelebration

Today is “International Day of the Bible.” I’m not sure I ever knew we had a day to celebrate the Bible but I think it’s a great idea. One of the highlights of my life was studying the Bible in Israel as part of a BYU study abroad experience when I was 19 years old. The picture above was taken on Mt Sinai just a few years ago. The National Bible Association is encouraging everyone from faith groups to performing artists as well as business, sports, community and religious leaders to participate and share their appreciation for the Bible via …

‘Tis the Season of Giving

Well, here we are, on the cusp of another holiday season, a time of joy, of anticipation, of sharing and love. I love this time and the feeling that comes with it, the feeling that we are all in this together. With the season of giving upon us, I thought that it would be a good idea to put together a list of ways we can help the less fortunate. Check out the list below and share with me how you are giving this holiday season. *If you notice a service opportunity not listed, let me know and I will make sure …

Provo on Instagram

Every Saturday I share pictures of Provo that I find on Instagram. Trending on Instagram this week: a fun Christmas surprise brought to you by Provo City and the local music scene! If you would like to be featured in future posts, use the hashtag #Provo or #ProvoRocks when posting your picture. I am also on Instagram and you can follow me at @ProvoMayor. Check out last week’s photos here » Provo from Squaw Peak at dusk #ProvoRocks #WelcomeHome A photo posted by Provo City (@provocity) on Nov 11, 2014 at 7:21am PST When you work for Provo City, sometimes …

Thanks for Voting!

Thank you for everyone who voted for the Provo Mayor Blog during the Best of Utah Valley Competition. won first place for Best Local Blog! I need to express my appreciation to you for making this happen! Thanks for visiting, reading and sharing your comments. This blog has been so much fun for me and I hope you’ve enjoyed reading half as much as I’ve loved sharing. I also want to give a shout-out to everyone who voted for the Provo Rocks hashtag. It wasn’t even on the ballot but it won third place for Best Local Hashtag! We were able …

Cruising Historic State Street

Thanks to Orem City’s Youtube Channel we can now flashback to the 40’s and take a cruise down historic State Street! Check out the video above to see footage of State Street in 1947. In the video you will see buildings, like the SCERA, that are still here. You will also see at about the 0:47 mark that driving on State Street has always been a little crazy. In this next video you can compare 1966 State Street with 1947 State Street! You can see businesses that are still around today like Miracle Bowl. Take an old time ride down one …