As I write this article on Labor Day,  I remember 50 years ago today, I was traveling west on Route 66 in northern Arizona from Flagstaff. I was about 30 miles outside of town, driving in a rain storm at dusk, when my car caught on fire.

I was driving a 1941 Packard convertible that I was restoring. One of the wires under the dashboard connected with another wire and sparked, starting a fire. As flames started to come out of the dashboard I immediately pulled my car over to the side of the highway. As it was raining and the ground on the road
side had turned to mud, my car got stuck. I had a fire extinguisher with me that I used to put out the fire
but I could not then get my car out of the mud that it was stuck in on the side of the road.

As there were no cell phones back in 1968 and my car was stuck, I had no other choice but to start walking back to Flagstaff along the side of the road. As I was walking, a car pulling a trailer stopped alongside of me and asked if I needed a ride. I quickly said yes and got in. The gentleman driving was on his way to his brother's funeral in another state, but said he felt compelled to see if I needed help. I was grateful for his assistance and the ride back to town.

I will never forget his kind help on that eventful Labor Day 50 years ago. He was a good man who showed kindness to a stranger in need. As I have thought about him over the years, I have tried to move his actions forward and help those I have seen in need around me as well.

Last week as I left the Orem City offices, I passed by a lady pulling and pushing two handicapped individuals in wheelchairs by herself on the sidewalk, one in front and one behind her.  I was pretty impressed with her skill and strength at doing this kind deed. After passing her, I turned around and drove over to see if I could help. She kindly refused me and said no, that she could handle it fine by herself.  Again I was impressed with her spirit and her efforts to help others.

On this Labor Day I wish to say that I am a better person for having met these two individuals at different times in my life, 50 years apart, who were willing to give of themselves and help others.

Labor Day is a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well being of our country. I celebrate the work ethic of the people of our country and state and city. Work is a God-given duty of us all to provide for ourselves and to build our homes and communities.

I am impressed with what America has achieved through the work of its citizens. What also has made America great is the work of individuals who go out of their way to help those around them. While we need to provide for ourselves, many times individuals need our outside help to cover their circumstances.  

I am a better person for having met these two individuals mentioned above in this article. I am a better person for having met so many in my life who have given of themselves to help others. I know that all of us have been helped by other people at some time in our lives.  

I hope that we can play forward the actions of those who have helped us, to help others around us.

Mayor Brunst