It was Christmas of 1944, and money was scarce for everybody, including Santa. So when my mother’s 11-year-old heart developed a desire for a typewriter, of all things, she knew better than to even ask for one. Still, she secretly hoped Santa would provide a miracle. I suspect kids believed longer and more sincerely back then.
Meanwhile, her little brother was relentless in pleading for a new bicycle. I imagine the kid version of my uncle as an exact likeness of Ralphie Parker, from my favorite holiday movie “A Christmas Story.” All season long, he left blatant reminders about his bicycle dream wherever Santa might find them.
On Christmas morning, my mother was astounded to see that her little brother got his extravagant wish, yet there was no practical typewriter under the tree. Years later, when she was old enough to question Santa’s decisions, she was somewhat gratified to learn that he had absolutely no idea of her secret desire. “If you really want something, you’ve got to let people know,” was the lesson she learned. And she passed it on to me each December of my childhood. As a result, I adopted the Ralphie Parker approach to Christmas wishes and came out pretty well as a kid.
That’s a nice story for Christmas 1944 ... but what does it have to do with economic development in April, 2013? As untimely as it may seem, my 50-year-old heart has developed a few extravagant wishes of its own. So following the example of Ralphie Parker and my Uncle, I’m just going to put them out there, with the sincere hope that somebody in our community may know somebody or some way who can make them happen.
Wish 1: Bountiful needs a growing, visionary corporation, or two, or three, to build its headquarters at Renaissance Center. This is not the pipe dream it might seem to be. The site has more than 10 acres of shovel-ready building space. It’s zoned for development and it’s in the very heart of a prosperous but still idyllic city. It’s located conveniently between 2 freeway exits, yet its surrounded by a nice mix of established office, retail, and residential space. In fact, a brand new, affordable housing complex is popping up literally across the street from it. It’s also less than 10 minutes from the Salt Lake Airport, which is better than Lehi, Layton, or Lindon can say. And, their future corporate address will evoke a Bountiful image, which is considerably more than it could say if it went to Magna, Herriman, or Sandy. The influx of employed, educated, skilled workers and residents to a corporate business park will provide more economic development for Bountiful than will another retail development, especially as those workers and their families dine, shop, and live in south Davis County.
Bountiful needs to better support its new and established businesses before it brings in more new ones, with one clear exception ... And what is that clear exception? In keeping with both the fictional and the factual wish fulfillment strategy of our youthful examples, I am going to spread my requests out a bit. I don’t want to appear to be greedy. So, watch the next edition of this column for Ralphie Parker’s Bountiful Wish List С Part 2. Hint: It’s not a Higbee’s Department Store.
Editor’s note: Pitt is running for Bountiful City Council in 2013. This column does not reflect Clipper endorsement or support of his candidacy.