Wednesday, October 1, 2008


I've been having really a lot of fun with my blog! I find that I'm always thinking about something to work on next and I start writing them in my head while I'm driving or before I fall asleep. In fact, I went to Utah for a doctor's appointment and I was able to stop in at BYU campus and see a new display called "Educating the Soul: Our Zion Tradition of Learning and Faith," which also highlights influential BYU employees... like Grandpa Brown. Grandpa was already 80 years old when I was born and he lived to be 97 years old. I was lucky enough to know him, but I knew the older man. The one that trip you with his cane as you walked by and TOTALLY looked innocent afterward, the one that was as deaf as a stump and when he watched TV you could hear it down the block even though all the doors and windows were shut, the one that kept hard candy is his pocket and gave us piece when we came to visit. That was the man I knew, so I was really curious if it was just a reference to his wallet story told by President Wilkinson during opening devotional (and later quoted in conference) or if they talk about Grandpa too.

It was great to be back at BYU. I haven't been back since I graduated six years ago, so I only got lost twice and the landscape of the buildings have changed a bit (You can see two, count them TWO new buildings in this picture).

I found an article about the display on the BYU site, and here’s a link to the BYU Article. Basically, it’s an exhibit about the role of education as it’s developed over the years. Grandpa is highlighted in a section about the mentoring programs fostered at BYU. The presidents of BYU felt it was important that all staff and not just faculty were good role models and helpful to the students. The exhibit is in the new JFSB (Joseph F. Smith Building). It's a beautiful building with a glass front facade with a gorgeous spiral staircase leading up to the art gallery with a giant sky light.

Grandpa was one of six people honored for his positive influence over the students he worked with and students that he came in contact with. As you can see, he had a nice big display with a beautiful picture of him visiting with a student.

They shared four stories where he worked with students of BYU. I was really pleased with the display about him and wanted to share... well... with everyone... everywhere. :) I've heard of the wallet and the cigarette story before, but I'd never seen the letter from the student custodian , and the story of the Ten Dollars was new to me and chokes me up every time I read it because I can actually hear his voice in my mind.

I was telling a friend about the cool stuff about Grandpa like that he was born in the Mexican Colonies, he worked for Pancho Villa (who even had a nick name for him), he married an angel that he liked to call Sweetheart, he never held a church calling higher than a deacons quorum teacher, he was a custodian for most of his life, and yet he was influential enough in his own quiet and humble way that people of great standing and learning respected him. He was a common man that lived a celestial life every day. Grandma and Grandpa Brown were both that way. No wonder they are my heroes!


  1. I'm so glad you posted about your grandpa and his wonderful BYU exhibit! Your family is so amazing, it doesn't suprise me at all that celestiality runs in your genes. I still want to hear more about Grandpa Brown and Pancho Villa though. Maybe on our next drive to the temple...

  2. I hear ya about being obssesed with the blog. I want to write about everything and Brent has to edit me from time to time.

    I love that first picture of the stair cases...that looks VERY professional Cindy, and you know...I am very picky about pictures.

    Love the stories of your Gramps...very special.

  3. What a beautiful post.
    Believe it or not, I have NEVER been on the BYU campus. But, I might have to go see that display.