August 2018 480.632.7373 jensenlawaz.com
Lessons From Grandpa Harvey One of My Most Important Mentors
O n the long and winding path to the person I am today, there were a ton of people who steered me right. Whether these mentors were providing me with sage advice or simply living by example, they’ve left an indelible impact on my life that I’ll never forget. I’ve written here before about the outsized impact my mother has had on my life, but aside from her, there’s another figure who stands tall in my memory: My grandpa, Harvey Hutchinson. My grandpa was born and raised near rural Evanston, Wyoming, and aside from his tour in World War II, I’m pretty sure he never left. Decades before, his own grandpa had homesteaded the area, and when he died, the ranch was divided between his five sons. Grandpa had an abiding love of ranching that kept him there for many long years, working harder than perhaps anybody I’ve ever known.
old. When he and his brother turned 17, they lied their way into the Navy, and caught the tail end of WWII. I’ve met few people as patriotic as my grandpa; there’s a reason they call them “The Greatest Generation.” And no matter what he was doing, he never shied away from giving it his all. That was the true lesson I inherited from my grandpa: the value of hard work. His favorite thing to say, as I helped him work with the cows or some other chore, was “A job worth doing is a job worth doing well.” I would try to wriggle out of that by saying the job wasn’t worth doing, but he didn’t buy it. Second in line among his sayings was the “Couldn’t have done it without ya” he’d give me after I helped him out, with a big arm around my shoulder. He grew up in the midst of the Depression, and while he didn’t have a lot for his family, he survived on the merits of his dedication to his work and the people who depended on him.
When we moved back to Wyoming when I was 7 and built a house on my grandpa’s property, me and my mom’s youngest brother — who’s the same age as me — were raised as brothers by my grandpa. He was like a second dad to me. I was raised on that ranch up until I left after high school. Though my grandpa never had a bunch of money or a set of lofty goals, he was happy. His priorities were to spend time with his family, provide shelter and food for them, and be there for them at every turn. Though he passed away 13 years ago, I still think of him often. We were close, and
it’s impossible to quantify the value of all the incredible things he taught me just by virtue of being himself.
He’d had a hard life, losing his mother to cancer when he and his twin brother were only 14 years
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