Here’s Where I Stay

“We’ve got the spirit, yes we do. We’ve got the spirit, how ’bout YOU!”

Seriously, I don’t think I’ve ever had “the spirit” about a school. Or a place I’ve lived. Or a… Well let’s just say I don’t consider myself very “spirited”.

Passion, I’ve got some of that, but “spirit” for a school that I have to attend because of the geographic location of my house… nope.

It may be due to the fact that my family moved every 18 months whether we needed to or not when I was a kid – so I attended every grade in a new school until I was in 7th grade – 9 elementary schools in all. I think I might have learned not to get too attached to any one thing because it was going to change.

I ran into one of the girls that used to yell that cheer for my high school. Kelly. She was a Cheer Leader! She was also a cheerleader, but it wasn’t just a position that she held when there was a game going on, this girl REALLY LOVED our school. She’s still an avid cheerleader, and a fitness trainer… I feel bad for the people in her classes. Keeping up with all that enthusiasm has got to be killer!

Our school mascot was a Beet-Digger. Yeah. I know. “I’ve got the beet-spirit, yes I do…”

Now don’t get me wrong, I love the people I went to school with, Kelly being one of them. They were great and I enjoyed spending my days with so many of them. I’ve gone to most of the reunions and continue to keep up with many of my classmates lives on Facebook and, you know, like in real life with real conversations too!

So get a picture of a cheerleader in your head – got it? Cute girls, short skirts, great legs…

Now I’d like to introduce you to Todd, one of Weiser Idaho’s biggest cheerleaders… He’s got the spirit, yes he does! I’m not sure I’d like to see him in one of those short skirts though…

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His love affair with the town began when he and his wife moved there to help her mom run her store. It was a little cafe and convenience store that catered a lot to the people who lived just across the border in Oregon. In fact, a majority of the cafe’s business was from out of state.

There came a day when Idaho passed a law that banned smoking in restaurants. Todd complied with the law by posting signs stating that his store was now a non-smoking establishment, but his clients from Oregon had heard nothing about the law and continued to smoke. This lead to Todd being fined by local authorities. So he had to really clamp down on his clients to stop the fines…

However his clients had another theory. They knew he was a mormon, and didn’t smoke as part of his religion. The rumor started that Todd had posted these signs as a way to move his customers closer to what he thought was right, and just like that they abandoned him. This was about four years ago, and a year after that the economy tanked in the U.S. and Todd and his wife have had to file for bankruptcy.

Todd found work in a city that’s an hour away. That’s a two hour commute each day – but he won’t even think about moving to save him that trip. No way. He loves the town. Loves the people. Loves the feeling of community there.

I admire that. I had always wished my dad would have stuck his banner in the dirt and said “here’s where I stay” much sooner in life. So for Todd to say “this is where we stay, because we love it here” and doing what it takes to make that happen – I admire that. I admire that a lot.

How many times have I moved my wife and kids you may ask. Twice. Both in suburbs of Salt Lake City. I might not be a cheerleader, but I do love it here.

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