Rarely do you come across a project that brings community partners together more easily. When Ron first approached Basin Recreation about installing a bench in memory of Sam, he knew exactly what he wanted and where. It was a special place for Sam and athletes like him that used the Utah Olympic Park. It was on a popular trail that residents used often and would benefit from a place to sit and rest, contemplating a life well lived. Of the many ways Ron thought of to honor Sam, it was one of the first.
But the logistics were a little more complicated. First, the trail wasn’t within the Basin Recreation easement, but rather on Vail property. In short order, Vail said yes to using the location. Second, the bench the Jackenthals purchased weighed over 500 pounds and could only be moved in a couple of pieces. Finally, when the day came to install the bench, the weather was dramatic – cold, wet and windy. Perhaps the inclement weather was Sam’s way of clearing the path. The Basin Recreation trails crew took on the task anyway, knowing how important it really was. With the help of Sam’s family members, the crew moved the stone bench to its spot and secured it for years to come.
The bench is now a focal point on Rob’s Trail. It is a special place for the community to remember Sam.
See the video from Lonnie of the Red Shoes Living, talking about this experience spending time at the Sam Jackenthal bench.