Original Facebook post August 20, 2018
So, I am driving through the desert when I see the sign for Helper, Utah. The first thing that comes to mind is who names their town Helper and why? So, my curiosity got the better of me and I pulled into town to find out. And I am so very glad I did.
Helper is an old town with a diverse history and a very beautiful future. It was established in the 1880's as a railroad town. It attracted so many immigrant workers that by the 1920's there were reportedly 27 languages spoken on the main street. And today, the town once named the top western by True West Magazine, has become a renaissance city thanks to the unified efforts of artists, patrons, businesses, groups, citizens and supporters.
As I strolled down the street, I was impressed by the care that has gone into preserving the original architecture and graphic art. And as I researched the way this community of approximately 2000 people are working together to make Helper known as an Art Place, I was truly impressed. It seems they take the meaning of being a helper seriously.
I wandered into a busy little store called Canvas Alchemy and managed to meet the proprietor, Ashley Hardy. I learned that when she isn't helping customers from all over the world, she is a painter. And I am guessing that she is like many of the resident artists there who eagerly look forward to their town becoming even better known as a art destination.
As for the town name? Here's the backstory, along with a little personal philosophy.
Helper was named for the engines that were added to help trains go up steep grades.
And for me, that is a good analogy for life.
Because there are times when we are all fighting uphill battles and need someone to come along to help.
And there are times when we are all called upon to be the strong one who will help.
So, I hope this town's history of helping and it's tremendous spirit of cooperation today serves as a reminder for us to be ready to give and to receive...
When it is time for a Helper.
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