More than a year ago I watched with the rest of Utah as a small 1920s bungalow was torn down and a spacious home erected in its place, all within a week.
I watched as the limousine drove up and later as Gordon arched over in excitement, and perhaps pain, to see his new home.
I was one of thousands there that day. But as the event came to a close, I returned home like the rest of the community and went on with life.
I am grateful my story did not end there. More grateful than I can express.
Six months later, Gordon Harrison came to the Clipper and requested an interview with me.
He said he was selling his soul to the devil by approaching the media, but he wanted high school track hopefuls to believe they could achieve by inspiring a track club in the area. Gordon had set a state record for hurdling in high school.
He told me, "Nothing out there is unbeatable, even in the Utah State records. The boys/girls in this area end up giving up because they don't think they are as good as they are."
Grateful he chose me to write his story, we began working.
At this point I could share with you his love for the community and his family. I could tell you how many people he has reached out to, or about the beautiful breadboard he soldered together for me but I believe you already have a sense of his character.
Instead, I want to share his message -- what he might say if he were writing this column.
I'll begin by sharing his motto, a quote from Goethe:
"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back...All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred..... Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."
Following his cancer diagnosis in 2000, Gordon began carrying a notebook everywhere he went. Recorded in his book are his hopes and dreams. Pages filled with things he always wanted to do but never had committed to doing.
This black book was what brought Gordon into my life because he had committed to forming a track and field club.
He spent his life helping people believe that the difference between good and great is commitment.
If he had a legacy he would leave with this community it is that there's no reason someone in Davis County can't be the next track and field Olympian, or the next President of the United States.
Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.
When I interviewed Gordon last May, his voice brimmed with emotion as he said, "The whole Extreme Makeover thing wouldn't have happened if our neighbors hadn't committed to doing it." Gordon loved the community. He loved the people he served. You are his legacy.
Amazing things happen when a person commits.
This Thanksgiving, on behalf of Gordon Harrison I ask you to first and foremost be grateful you have a father to share your meal with, be grateful for your family.
Second, show your gratitude by doing. Get up and go--you can do anything you put your heart to.