Wishing the Blackhams Buena Viaje and Bon Voyage
While Dave and Dianne Blackham are still in our midst, my wife and I want to express to them my best wishes for the mission they will soon begin serving in Mexico for the LDS Church. During their absence, we will miss them, but will also be wishing them well as they continue to serve their neighbors and the surrounding community in a different location, one far from those they have long served in Sanpete County.
Personally, I know few of the details concerning their mission call except for being told by Dave, while picking up a prescription at Skyline Pharmacy that he and Dianne would soon be leaving to serve in Juárez, Mexico. A few days later, during another visit to the pharmacy, I was told by the pharmacist on duty, their daughter, Emily, of her trepidation with trying to step into the shoes being left empty, and needing to be filled, while Dave and Dianne are away.
While I have great confidence in Emily’s abilities, I agree with her that filling the shoes of her parents will be a tall order. They have a long and illustrious service to the community, which strikes me as something we should all aspire to. Years ago, soon after my wife, Magdalena, and I settled in Fountain Green, we volunteered to establish a new Cub Scout program at Mt. Pleasant’s historic Presbyterian Church. Our plan was to serve mostly the youngest possible age group of scouts since they were not yet old enough to join the scouting programs in the area’s LDS wards.
Happily for us, not long after we announced our plan to start the Cub Scout den, the Blackhams stepped forward and offered to assist our efforts. So, as Magdalena became the Den Mother and Dianne the Assistant Den mother, the Blackham’s two youngest sons became charter members of the new Cub Scout Den. In retrospect, it now seems almost prophetic that most of the other boys who joined our den came from the Spanish-speaking families which my wife, a native of Mexico with advanced University degrees from there, got to know from her work in north Sanpete elementary schools.
Over the years since then, we have witnessed the Blackhams contributing in other ways to many other efforts making our area a better place. Who knows if we would now be enjoying the benefits of the ConToy Arena, with its indoor Rodeo space and outdoor Eventing course, or the Aquatic Center, with its Olympic Size swimming pool and children’s Splash Pad, without Dave and Dianne adding their support to the efforts of other like-minded citizen seeking to improve life for all of us?
I do know that a few years ago, when a large company operating a nationwide chain of pharmacies expressed interest in possibly buying Skyline Pharmacy from the Blackhams, Dave and Dianne ranked protecting the jobs of their employees and serving the needs of their customers at the top of their list of demands any buyer would have to meet—perhaps killing the deal. I am happy our corner pharmacy has not yet been replaced (as I see it, newer and bigger are not always better.) In any case, my wife and I wish the Blackhams a wonderful time on their mission, yet we don’t want them staying away for long.