By Joseph W. Brady, CCIM, SIOR
I have lived in the High Desert for 30 years, having moved to Victorville on May 13, 1988. During that period of time, I have attended over 160 funerals. All of these individuals were very important people, both to their families and to their communities in the High Desert. At the recent funeral of Mr. Harley “Bud” Biggs, the former Plant Manager for Mitsubishi Cement, a poem was presented that speaks to what we accomplish in our lives and how we might be remembered:
by Linda Ellis ™
I read of a man who stood to speak
at the funeral of a friend.
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
from the beginning…to the end.
He noted that first came the date of birth
and spoke of the following date with tears,
but he said what mattered most of all
was the dash between those years.
For that dash represents all the time
that they spent alive on earth.
And now only those who loved them
know what that little line is worth.
For it matters not, how much we own,
the cars…the house…the cash.
What matters is how we live and love
and how we spend our dash.
So, think about this long and hard.
Are there things you’d like to change?
For you never know how much time is left
that can still be rearranged.
If we could just slow down enough
to consider what’s true and real
and always try to understand
the way other people feel.
And be less quick to anger
and show appreciation more
and love the people in our lives
like we’ve never loved before.
If we treat each other with respect
and more often wear a smile,
remembering that this special dash
might only last a little while.
So, when your eulogy is being read,
with your life’s actions to rehash…
would you be proud of the things they say
about how you spent YOUR dash?
Inspire Kindness, LLC
I originally read “The Dash” a few years ago while attending a funeral for the husband of a great friend of mine, Mr. Bill Nelson, who had suddenly passed away. His wife, Judith Ricker-Nelson, had placed a copy of “The Dash” on each table in yellow, and I couldn’t help but take a copy of it. I have since read it many, many times.
Some of the leaders who have made a great impression on me as a resident and a business owner here in the High Desert region, helping to propel me to become involved in efforts to make this a better place to live, work and play, include:
- Ms. Mary Scarpa – Member of Incorporation Committee of Adelanto, Former Council Member, Former Mayor
- Mr. Rob Turner – Former Educator, Former Council Member, Former Mayor of Town of Apple Valley
- Mr. David Berch – Former Contel Communications Executive
- Mr. Raymond Goodspeed – Former Founder of Goodspeed Distributing
- Mr. Lee “Mr. Red Cross” Tucker was a Volunteer with the Apple Valley Chamber of Chamber of Commerce and many other organizations. He gave a tremendous amount of time to the Red Cross and helped create The Red Cross Economic Summit, which ultimately raised over $300,000 in 13 Economic Summits that were held (the majority were held at Victor Valley Community College District).
- Mr. William Arthur “Bill” Porter – Former President of Porter Real Estate, One of the Founders of the Mojave Water Agency, a True Leader
- Mr. Robert S. Bath – Founder, Advance Disposal
- Mr. Thomas Graning Jr. – High Desert Opportunity Founder and Three-time President of the HDO, a former Associate of Shear Realty and a Former Commercial Associate of The Bradco Companies
- Mr. Gene Selig – Former High Desert resident
- Ms. Anna Sugi – Former CEO, Choice Medical Group
- Mr. James B. Tatum – Home Builder (Narcissa Homes). He and his father, Clyde, built well over 14,000 homes between the Victor Valley and the Antelope Valley. I am always proud to say that it was Mr. James P. Tatum and his family who helped found Joseph W. Brady, Inc., dba The Bradco Companies
- Mr. Ernie Gommel “Mr. Lucerne Valley.” Co-Owner of the Lucerne Valley Market, a “Mover and Shaker” in Lucerne Valley
- Mr. Warren Baker – Former High Desert Governmental Affairs Expert (Victor Valley Association of Realtors and the High Desert Construction Industries Association)
- Ms. Jean Deblasis – Former Victorville Councilmember, Mayor, always referred to as Ms. Victorville
- Mr. Ken Chambers – Former President, Sunland Ford
- Mr. Bob Greiner – Founder Greiner Buick Pontiac GMC
- Mr. Bruce Kitchen – Former Hesperia Mayor, former Council Member
- Ms. Carollee Stater – Former VVC Trustee, Former Librarian, Former Volunteer
- Mr. Craig Sundgren – Former Owner, Cubit Engineering
- Mr. Anton “Tony” Hackbarth – Former Co-Founder, Del Taco
- Mr. Robert G. Segona – Former Town of Apple Valley Councilmember/Mayor
- Mr. Willie Davis Pringle – Former VVC Coach, Staff Member, and Legend
- Mr. Gene “Pinky” Pinkerton – Former Chicago Title Executive/High Desert Opportunity Volunteer
- Mr. Michael Yannone – Former Southwest Portland Cement Executive
- Mr. Robert Russell Gaines Sr. – Former African American Chamber of Commerce Executive Founder/Founder, California African American Chamber of Commerce
- Mr. Brad Orchard – Former KVVQ Radio Partner and Announcer
- Mr. Stephen J. Flannery – Former Book Company Executive
- Mr. Chuck Love – Former Media Executive, Love Publications
- Mr. Robin Pellissier – Former Valley High Toyota/ Honda Owner
- Mr. Charles C. Moore – Former Victor Valley Association of REALTORS ® President
- Ms. Barbara Mae Veale – Former Lucerne Valley Resident and Lucerne Valley Leader
- Ms. Sharon Runner – Former State Assemblyman and State Senator
- Mr. Chuck Hanson – Former Apple Valley Leader
- Mr. Malvin Lee Wessel – Former City of Barstow Mayor, Councilmember and Founder of the Barstow Rodeo
- Mr. Eugene “Gene” W. Gregory – Former City of Victorville Chamber Executive Director
- Ms. Carol Jean Randall – Former Alliance Management Group/Lee & Associates Executive
- Mr. Harley “Bud” Biggs – Former Plant Manager – Mitsubishi Cement and Former Board Member and President of the Center for Education
- Mr. Jack Hall – Former Developer, Investor and Property Manager of nearly 900± homes in the High Desert region
- Mr. Dick Pearson, Former Civic Leader, Member of many committees, Former Council Member, Former Founder of the Town of Apple Valley, former Mayor
- Ms. Mary Vance, Former Partner of Vance Homes
- Mayor Russ Blewett, Hesperia City Council
- Mr. William J. Krueger, Faculty Member, Barstow Community College
- Mr. Jack Fales, Air Force Veteran, Longtime Realtor, and Community Leader
As individuals involved in the High Desert region, we owe it to our current and future residents to help try to identify those people we believe have the willingness and ability to take a leadership role. We need younger people to become involved in shaping the future direction of the High Desert region. We need everyone, no matter their age, occupation or status, to realize that this is our valley, and it is up to us to make the High Desert a better place to live, work and play. By developing the next generation of leadership, we can ensure that our economy continues to thrive and our communities become healthier, happier and more livable.