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July 11, 2010

Sheriff Doug

“Well, time to go to my softball games.”

Once you're done reading this you'll understand why that's my favorite quote of all-time.

The summer of 2008 led my parents on a cross country trip  to various church history sites. The one week voyage included stops in New York, Pennsylvania, Canada, and Ohio. The night they were to fly home, their flight was canceled. Passengers slept in the airport. My mom secured a spot on one of the rows of chairs, while my dad picked out a nice area on the floor. They eventually made it home, and 5 minutes after the 4,500-mile journey, the tile bed, and the 5-hour flight, my dad dropped his luggage in his room and uttered the now famous words:

“Well, time to go to my softball games.”

He changed, grabbed his mitt, and was gone. Off to a double-header.

If I were him I would’ve gone to sleep. You probably would’ve too. I don’t even think A-Rod would’ve been willing to play a game at that point. But my dad was.

The 7-day trip didn’t tire him. Neither did the jet lag. Or the lack of food. So I guess I should’ve figured that sleeping on the floor of the airport wouldn’t stop him either. And that is why I admire my dad so much. He works so hard in everything he does. Doesn’t matter if it’s preparing proposals at work, weeding the garden or playing second base. Somehow the person I know who works the hardest is the same person I know who gets tired the least.

I don’t know where all his energy comes from. I never see this guy take a nap. When we’re on vacation at Bear Lake, he doesn’t lay out and tan on the beach – he spends hours building sand castles.

When I go to shoot baskets at the church he comes along so he can mop the gym floor once we’re done. He’s one of the biggest BYU football fans I know yet he doesn’t go to their games. Why? Because if he went to the game he’d lose the “free” time he has Saturday to mow the lawn, fix the sprinklers, or do other fun tasks like preparing church lessons for 12-year old boys who don’t pay attention.

My dad must really understand what President Eyring once said:

“Your inheritance is time. It is capital far more precious than any lands or stocks or houses you will ever get. Spend it foolishly, and you will bankrupt yourself and cheapen the inheritance of those that follow you. Invest it wisely, and you will bless generations to come.”

This quote makes my dad the best investor I’ve ever met. Surprisingly, he doesn’t work on Wall Street.

This ability to invest time wisely and work like the energizer bunny is what has made my dad a success from every angle you could shoot from. Family-wise, every one of his kids turned out normal (with the exception of the writer of course). At church there were no cheers when he was released as Bishop (well, my mom was happy but I think she was the only one). He’s been so successful in his career that his reputation alone landed me my first accounting gig at his previous employer (5 months later I’m still meeting people who tell me how great a co-worker he was). At age 55, he’s still good enough to play second base for his softball team. And as seen above you can count on him to show up under even the most ridiculous of circumstances.

As Sheriff Doug celebrated his 55th  birthday, I though a bit about the phrase, “like father like son.”

I only wish I could be like him.

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