• A Walk in the Park—Flower Girl

    By Marty Halverson

    “Bloom where you’re planted” is a good phrase to describe Bette Joane Williams. Raphanus Lane has blossomed in many ways since she moved there two years ago! Bette calls herself an old-fashioned homemaker—she dries her own herbs, grinds wheat for homemade bread, cans fruit and simmers her own spaghetti sauce. With two garden boxes, and a yard full of flowers, the Williams have made Garden Park a lovely place to set down roots.

    Bette grew up in Woods Cross, Utah, attended Davis High School and had four kids (she lost a six-year-old daughter to Leukemia) by the time she met the man of her dreams.

    Bob had recently come home to Salt Lake City after working in Saudi Arabia, and mutual friends thought they were made for each other. After a few attempted dates, Bette’s daughter helped things along by buying a bunch of balloons and delivering them in her mother’s behalf. After a year of courting, Bob finally proposed on the escalator of the Jordan River Temple, saying, “How would you like to come back here and get married?” Two months later, in November of 1986, they did. Not only did Bob get a wife, but a twelve-year-old daughter. Eventually he adopted all Bette’s children.

    As a descendant of Mormon pioneers who arrived in the Salt Lake Valley before the railroad came, Bette qualifies as a Daughter of the Utah Pioneers—she’s been active in a camp organization for 35 years, serving a couple of times as captain. In between she and Bob went to Toronto, Canada on an LDS mission. When their mission president was given a new assignment in Australia, he again asked for their help. Bette is afraid to fly, especially over water, and this request involved a lot of both. But she decided it was an opportunity worth the risk, and they spent 18 interesting months in Sydney.

    Friends are important to Bette—she belongs to two book clubs and she doesn’t even like to read! She just likes the women she associates with. It wasn’t easy to contemplate a move, but a large yard in Grantsville was their motivation to downsize. She wanted to live in Salt Lake City, and Bob wanted to live in a small town, so they compromised. Where would a flower girl be happier than Garden Park? She’s blooming!

    Marty Halverson and her husband Dee are residents of Garden Park. Marty writes other stuff, too, which you can read at TravelinOma and HeritageAssociates. Visit her website: Marty Halverson

  • Rick and Barb on Halloween

    By Marty Halverson

    “Age is in your heart, not your body,” said Barbara Madill. Of course, she’s the youngster in the neighborhood, having just turned fifty, but she’s got it right—even though Garden Park is a community of 55+, people don’t seem old. There’s enough enthusiasm and energy to power a whole clubhouse! The Madills are great examples. 

    Rick is homegrown, a native of nearby Lark, Utah. He served in the military for 39 years, in Viet Nam, Iraq, Afghanistan, South Korea and Kuwait. Along the way he got married and divorced, had four kids and now has nine grandkids. “The best thing that ever happened to me was meeting Barbara, the lovely lady from Ecuador,” he said. “She brings me so much joy!”

    Barbara grew up in Ecuador, where she played basketball from age twelve to seventeen, when a broken back put an end to her career. She graduated from the University of Ecuador in Psychology and moved to the USA in 1988, lived in Florida and worked at a travel agency and a bank. Then in 1992 she moved to Utah. In 1994 she met Rick and they were married in a pioneer building up Emigration Canyon on May 11, 1996. “Barbara changed my life,” said  Rick.

    The Madills moved to Garden Park December 29, 2009. “It reminds us of Cuemca, a beautiful, small town in Ecuador,” said Barbara. Rick is officially retired, but he plays a lot of golf, works part time for HP and looks around the neighborhood for ways to help out.

    Barbara wants to start her own business, but in the meantime she works at Tio’s, Daybreak’s own Mexican Restaurant just a couple of blocks from their house. “I love talking to people,” Barb says, and people love talking to her. Her lilting accent brings out the high school Spanish in everybody, and she nods a patient, “Bueno,” to her friends.  Luckily, their Mini-Schnauzer Bullet is bilingual. He loves Garden Park, too, especially walks by the lake.

    The Madills have talked about moving to Ecuador to be near her family, but for now, Garden Park feels like home.


    Marty Halverson and her husband Dee are residents of Garden Park. Marty writes other stuff, too, which you can read at TravelinOma and HeritageAssociates. Visit her website: Marty Halverson

  • A Walk in the Park—The Sweet Life

    By Marty Halverson

    Don Whitworth looks like a guy who enjoys sweets, and he should! His wife’s name is Candy. They met in high school—Candy remembers their first date: “His parents picked me up, because Don had to be there early. We went to Don’s graduation.” Candy was a year behind him at Granger High in Salt Lake City, but they soon became an item. By the time he left on an LDS mission to London, England, there was an understanding. “I got tired of waiting a year into it and took up dating at BYU,” Candy confessed. Luckily for Don, sweet as she was, Candy hadn’t found anybody else when he came back on the scene, and he scooped her up quickly when he got home in August. They were married just four months later in December, 1970.

    Don got his MBA at the University of Utah and started a career with Dupont: Better Things Through Better Living. The Whitworths lived in Memphis, Tennessee; Keller, Texas; Littleton, Colorado; Wilmington, Delaware; and Thousand Oaks, California before settling in Sandy, Utah where they stayed for 26 years. Four kids kept Candy on the go while Don traveled to places like Russia, China, India and Africa. “I went around the world once, first class,” he said. “Want to hear that story?” Don has some fabulous tales about riding helicopters in Magadon, Russia, where the temperature was sixty-three degrees below zero. “Fahrenheit or celsius?” “It doesn’t matter!!” he said.

    Candy tells stories about their mission to Kirtland, Ohio, where they gave tours of the historic Johnson Farm. The Whitworths had just moved to Garden Park with their son Geoff, when they got their call. Two months later (the day after Mother’s Day) they were on their way. Geoff took care of things until their return six months later when they settled down to enjoy a new life style.

    “No shoveling, no yard work, newly retired and ready to relax.” Don told us this while he was collecting money for the Boy Scouts—he and Candy aren’t rocking their days away on the porch quite yet. Gardening, teaching, swimming, serving; with four grandkids and a son still at home, family is a big part of their life. So is travel. They just got home from Hawaii and they’re on their way to England! Don and Candy are living a sweet life!


    Marty Halverson and her husband Dee are residents of Garden Park. Marty writes other stuff, too, which you can read at TravelinOma and HeritageAssociates. Visit her website: Marty Halverson

  • A Walk in the Park—I Spy


    By Marty Halverson

    Vicki Norton-Strong caught the picture of a vintage spy hiding right here in Garden Park! Garden Parkers, you grew up during the Cold War, a time of air-raid shelters and undercover agents. World War II was re-enacted daily in every kid’s backyard. I’m asking you, have you retained your Maxwell Smart skills? Can you guess which of your neighbors still keeps secrets about the development of the atom bomb? 

     Could it be Bob Dansie? Or his lovely wife Charlene?


    The Eggenbergers look a bit suspicious.


     And this woman must be hiding from someone!

    Nobody would suspect this striking couple.

    (Maybe that’s a reason to wonder!) 

    This guy looks a little shady …
    Can you believe the spy is his wife?

    After 50 years, Lee Hayes still keeps her story hush-hush. If that doesn’t intrigue you, you aren’t worthy of your spy glass. It all started in 5th grade when Lee met Ron Hayes. “He was my best friend,” said Lee. After walking the halls of West High hand in hand, these two Salt Lake sweethearts got married July 2, 1954. “The marriage lasted thirty days,” said Ron. Then he walked out—he left for a stint in the service. Like a true heroine, Lee followed him first to Texas and then to New Mexico, where she got a job at White Sands Proving Grounds in Las Cruces, New Mexico.

    In this hidden facility Lee worked with German scientists who were brought to the USA after the war to develop the atom bomb. Guys like Robert Oppenheimer and Werner von Braun. When asked what she did, Lee hesitated and then said, “I’m not supposed to talk about it.” Maybe if you get to know her better, she’ll divulge—it’s worth a try!


    The Hayes have two kids, one of each (living in Kaysville and Layton, Utah) plus five grandkids, and were happy living in the Midvale area. For long-time friends Ed and Carol Simpson they made a trek to Daybreak. Lee said, “I told Ron, I guess we’ve got to go see their new house. They keep inviting us!” Lee lined up a visit and that night they decided to make the move themselves. “We liked the neighborhood, and we were ready to trade in our stairs,” Ron said. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to uncover Lee’s newest secret. “We love living in Garden Park!” she said.

    Marty Halverson and her husband Dee are residents of Garden Park. Marty writes other stuff, too, which you can read at TravelinOma and HeritageAssociates. Visit her website: Marty Halverson


  • A Walk in the Park—Home Building


    By Marty Halverson

    Where did you grow up? Think about your childhood bedroom. Picture your backyard. Take a mental stroll through your parent’s home. This is where the first chapter of your story took place. Recall details with all five senses: the way the furnace smelled the first time it went on in the winter; the way the couch itched your bare legs while you watched Fury on Saturday morning; the wind rattling the screen above the bathtub; the taste of homemade root beer on your patio; the purple flowered wallpaper on your mom’s bedroom ceiling. 
    What kind of home did you build the first time around? A rambler, a split-entry, a bungalow? More important, what kind of memories did you create? Would you like to go back and relive those years, or are you relieved to have moved on? 

    A home is more than just the place we live—homes comprise values and traditions, attitudes and behavior. It’s the setting in our book of life. In Garden Park there are houses springing up on every corner. Folks from Pennsylvania and New York, California and Ecuador. People are starting over, hanging old photos on the walls and looking at new vistas out the windows. We’re all writing the next chapter with different characters and maybe an unfamiliar theme, but a desire to feel at home. 

    “One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don’t come home.”
    ~Margaret Mead
    Come home to Garden Park—
    There’s a space for you! 


    Marty Halverson and her husband Dee are residents of Garden Park. Marty writes other stuff, too, which you can read at TravelinOma and HeritageAssociates. Visit her website: Marty Halverson

  • A Walk in the Park—Etta Girl!

    By Marty Halverson

    Etta McQuade had an exotic start in life—her parents bought her on the black market for $40! They got more than they bargained for. Etta had spunk. Her parents were anti-religion of any kind, and would not allow it in their home. In school, Etta was given a tiny Bible, which she kept hidden under her mattress, and from that time had an interest in God that couldn’t be shared with her parents. She met a boy she shared everything with. They got engaged when Etta was just a junior in high school, before he went off to be a soldier during the Korean War. His letters were full of details he learned from his buddies about the Mormon Church. When Etta read them to her mother, she was ordered to leave home! A friend took her to search for an apartment, but when they couldn’t find one cheap enough, Etta decided to stay where she was, and stopped reading her letters out loud to her mother.

    She was married to her young boyfriend at age 19, and they joined the Mormon Church two months later. They quickly had one baby and two years later had another. Ten days after giving birth, Etta was given the news that she was a widow at age 22. Her husband had been killed in a car accident. She was shattered, and didn’t know how she’d support two little kids. There was a variety show at BYU that offered help with tuition, and Etta was advised to try out. She didn’t have a song, or a dance, but she had a talent for public speaking. She auditioned by presenting a reading of the 23rd and 24th Psalms, passages in the Bible that had given her comfort and strength since her youth. Etta got the part in a group that would become BYU’s Young Ambassadors.

    While at BYU, Etta left her kids with her in-laws and toured the far east, including Okinawa, Japan, and Korea with the Young Ambassadors. That’s where she met a young man who fell in love with all of them. They were married when they got home, a marriage that lasted 35 happy years.

    Widowed again, Etta reinvented herself as a missionary, and left to teach English in Thailand. About that time a friend of hers died of cancer. At the friend’s request, Etta emailed her husband a few months later and they began a correspondence which became friendship and then romance. He proposed in an email, and when Etta agreed to marry him, he sent her enough money to buy a ring. She and ten of her sister missionaries hustled down to Johnny’s Gems and she was officially engaged. Etta flew home and they were married, and the two of them came back to finish her mission.

    Now, Etta is starting over again, with the same energy and enthusiasm she’s always had. Two of her sons live in Herriman and they toured Garden Park. She bought the first place she looked at. With seven kids (six living) and a bunch of grands and greats, she’s got lots of people looking after her, but Etta still has that independent spunk her parents noticed when she was tiny. She’s already made her mark in Garden Park. Atta girl, Etta!

    Marty Halverson and her husband Dee are residents of Garden Park. Marty writes other stuff, too, which you can read at TravelinOma and HeritageAssociatesVisit her website: Marty Halverson


  • A Walk in the Park—With JFK

    By Marty Halverson

    Garden Park should have its own embassy! Great ambassadors represent its citizens, one of them with famous political connections: her initials! Joyce F. Kennedy moved to Garden Park in January 2011, and typifies our little village. We’re diverse, experienced, interesting and, most of all, happy to be here. 

    Joyce was born in Illinois and raised in Oklahoma. She married a military man and lived in many places, including Guam, Hawaii, and Nevada for 41 years. With four kids (a son in Milford, Utah, another in Las Vegas, one in Colorado, plus a daughter who lives nearby), seven grandkids and six great grandkids, Joyce has a lot to be proud of.

    She and her daughter bought a home together in Sandy. When her daughter decided to marry a man who lived in South Jordan, Joyce explored Daybreak, specifically Garden Park, looking for a single-family home without a basement, big enough to be comfortable, but small enough to take care of herself. She loved working in her yard, so she wanted that option, with someone to mow her lawn and shovel her walks. Joyce fell in love with the model home and bought one just like it. Garden Park offered everything she wanted.

    Joyce doesn’t think of herself as an ambassador. “I’m just a quiet person, a reader, a homemaker,” she said. People like Joyce don’t realize the positive impact they have in a community. Happiness and contentment radiate from her face. “I love my circumstances!” she said. That’s the attitude that best represents Garden Park! 

     Marty Halverson and her husband Dee are residents of Garden Park. Marty writes other stuff, too, which you can read at TravelinOma and Heritage AssociatesVisit her website: Marty Halverson




  • Marty singing

    A Walk in the Park: Sing Your Own Song

    By Marty Halverson

    Last year at this time I was singing a new tune. I planned to change personas when I moved to Daybreak. Instead of being a reclusive writer I’d be a community organizer. I’d embrace my full-bodied look and wear leopard driving gloves with huge glitzy bracelets; my ever-present bandana sweatband would become my signature roaring-twenties headpiece.
    The basis for this updated personality was a new house. My decorating style would make a clean, classic statement ala Pottery Barn. Blue, white and red would be updated to blue, white and yellow–fresh, unadorned cream colored walls would soothe and calm my frenzied friends. A neighbor once told me, “Marty, your house makes me dizzy.” My new interiors would put her to sleep like a lullaby.
    I’ve discovered it’s hard to trump 63 years. And 43 of those years I’ve been married to a collector who loves color and pattern as much as I do. Geometric straw balls placed strategically on bookshelves are for people who don’t have 23 boxes of books! Elegant framed swatches of Marimekko fabric are for folks who don’t collect coats from the Tyrol. Sad to say, the new persona died in the move. The old persona is sitting at her computer, wearing a bandana, surrounded by a patchwork of dizzying hues. The house is absolutely new, but we feel totally at home.
    Our bookcases fit perfectly in a little nook by the entry.
    We showcased the books we’ve written, plus collections of books that reflect our interests.
    The suitcases on top are decorated with travel labels of places we’ve been.
    IKEA magazine files on the bottom shelves hold projects in progress.
    Someone once said, “You were born an original. Don’t die a copy.” Sing your own song! Many designer shows encourage decorating for an eventual buyer. They have rules for color choices, art groupings, and furniture placement. According to these experts, too much personal stuff detracts from the neutral wall space, and the universally featureless artwork the home-stagers promote. Ridiculous!
    Our townhouse in Garden Park is just over 1600 square feet.
    It has two bedrooms and a loft, which we converted into Dee’s office.
    Half of the Living Room is living room, and the other half is my office,
    with a long dining table for a layout table.
    When company comes, I clear off the writing gear and pass the potatoes!

    This is what my office looks like from the staircase looking down.
    I use a collection of pewter pieces on an IKEA lazy susan to hold elastics, paper clips, pencils, etc.
    (Handy for writing with grandkids coloring on the other side,
    and easy to relocate at the dinner bell.)
    Here’s how the two spaces work together.
    (From the kitchen . . .
    . . . from the entry.)
    A home should be a reflection of those who live there. Where else can you showcase your personality, interests and accomplishments better than your home? If kids are part of the decor, their fingerprints should be all over (both literally and figuratively.) School pictures in the bedroom (hang them on a clothesline with tiny clothespins) birthday invitations on the fridge (create a section for each kid to display their stuff and let them decide what to take down when something new comes in the mail) and towels hanging low in the bathroom (give everyone their own color and their own hook at a reachable level and they might not land on the floor!)
    I love to troll decorating magazines and websites, and pinterest is a fun place to visit, but if an idea appears too often I run the other way. Ideas are for inspiration, not to replace creativity. I’m wary of trends. If somebody tells you green appliances will spice up your kitchen, decide if guacamole is the look you love before buying the whole avocado. (I speak from experience.) If a trend sings to you, you’ll still love it when it’s out of style in five years, but if you choose it because it’s all the rage, you’ll be singing “It’s not easy being green” long before the avocado turns brown.
    Letters to and from our family while we lived a year in England
    captured our experiences. Here they are displayed on a staircase wall,
    available for reading and remembering.
    The ambiance of your home is the most important element: the feel, the gemutlichkeit, the atmosphere. Decide which part of your personality to emphasize (elegant, sophisticated, casual, comfortable, colorful, artistic) and look through your drawers for stuff that tells that story. Pieces that represent your talents, interests, memories or heritage can be displayed in unique ways to prompt conversations or recharge your batteries.

    Dee’s inspiration board is a collage of former projects,
    and projects to come. The pictures tell his stories,
    which he happily shares with clients and grandkids.

    Creativity is the best part of home-making, from my point of view. I love taking an idea and tweaking it with a few grace notes of my own. I’ve fallen flat with a few looks, but some are pretty sharp.

    Garden Park homes sing different tunes. There are large single family homes with full basements, townhouses, condos, patio homes featuring main floor living, all in a variety of harmonious styles. We’ve visited several houses with our same floor plan—they look different on the outside and also on the inside. The addition of a fireplace or an entertainment center, art work, fabulous moldings and fun colors give homes their own unique personality, a reflection of the folks who live there.
    (Garden Park is a great place to sing your own song!)

  • A Walk in the Park—International Days

     By Marty Halverson 

     Garden Park Welcomes the World! 

    You’re invited!

     August 18, 2012 

    2:00 PM—10:00 PM   

     Daybreak’s SoDa Row 

    Kestrel Rise Road and Daybreak View Parkway

     International Days


    Free Admission to All

    International Days, Daybreak, the Utah Kite Fliers Association and the Utah Asian Communities (especially the Japan Cultural Heritage Foundation) will combine to present an all-day family event at Daybreak’s SoDa Row. In addition to short performances by the International Guest Ensembles, there will be demonstrations, exhibitions and activities such as face painting, crafts and games as well as performances by local ethnic groups. After the final performances by the International Guest Ensembles near the main stage, everyone will meet in the street to learn dances from each guest country (Columbia, Costa Rica, France, India and Siberia) and enjoy open dancing.    

    Two Kids Kite Parades, Kite demonstrations and races will be provided by the Utah Kite Fliers Association. Winners of the Kite Parades will be introduced during the closing ceremony. Here’s the schedule of events:

     Stage Entertainment, Kite Demonstrations, Crafts & Art Display:

     beginning at 2:00 pm

     Kite Bol Races: 

    2:00 pm and 4:00 pm

     Kids Kite Parades: 

    1:00 pm and 3:00 pm

     Anime Parade: 

    5:00 pm

     Lion Dance:

     5:30 pm

     Parade of Nations and Closing Ceremonies:

    6:00 pm

     Guest groups perform and dance with audience:

    6:30 pm-9:15 pm

     Open Street Dancing:

     9:15-10:00 pm

     “The Break After” Farewell Party:

     10:00 pm- midnight

     For a complete schedule of performances, visit www.internationaldaysutah.com.  By navigating through the tabs, you can not only find out about the entertainments, but also how you can volunteer to be a host family for these gifted foreign guests to our country. 


    Marty Halverson and her husband Dee are residents of Garden Park. Marty writes other stuff, too, which you can read at TravelinOma and

    Heritage Associates. Visit her website: Marty Halverson


  • A Walk in the Park – Live the Fantasy!


    By Marty Halverson

    Judy and Terry Brewer write fantasy stories together. (They just published their second book!) But their real life sounds pretty fantastic, too. Have you heard of geocachingGeocaching is a world-wide treasure hunt, and the Brewers are in on it! When clues show up on their GPS, they take a couple of grandkids to dig for buried treasure, and then leave something behind for another lucky hunter to find. 

    The Brewers have lived in Garden Park for two years, and rave about their wonderful neighbors, the community garden plots, clubhouse, lake and, of course, Soda Row. Judy is a retired school teacher and Terry works for JPMorgan/Chase Bank. Besides writing and geocaching, they enjoy gardening, swimming, baking, grandkids, travel, and helping international travelers feel at home.

    “I’m always looking for a fun, new activity, and when I heard about International Days from friends here in Daybreak (Shawnda and Duane Bishop) I volunteered to help promote the program.”   

    Young people from all over the world visit Garden Park during August! They discover treasures in our culture and leave us richer by sharing theirs. This year dancers and musicians from Columbia, Costa Rica, France, India, and Siberia will be sharing their talents August 14 – 18, 2012. A free public performance will be given at Bingham High School on Tuesday, Aug. 14th, at 7:00 PM.  And throughout the afternoon and evening of Saturday, Aug. 18th, a series of performances will be presented right here on Soda Row! 

    Judy Brewer is the hosting coordinator for these international performers the week of Aug. 12 – 19. “There are three opportunities to host: Housing Hosts provide meals and housing, and transportation if they can for 2 – 4 guests.  Transportation Hosts provide transportation to and from the venues.  

    “The performers have a Free Day to enjoy an activity as a group. It’s a chance for them to go sightseeing or shopping, and learn about our city, state, and culture.  If you would like to escort a group on Free Day, sign up as a Day Host.”

     To volunteer as a host, go to internationaldaysutah.com or contact Judy at white.circle@yahoo.com  “Indicate your preference of country, whether you want boys or girls, and how many guests you can accommodate,” says Judy.  “I will be happy to answer your questions and pair you up with guests you would be comfortable inviting into your home.”

    Terry and Judy know how to live the fantasy, and they’re anxious to share the experience. “Hosts from past years ask to do it again and again. It has become an annual tradition for many families in Daybreak, and Garden Park families are joining the fun.” 

    There’s always something fantastic happening in Garden Park. International Days is an event you’ll want on your calendar!  


    Marty Halverson and her husband Dee are residents of Garden Park. Marty writes other stuff, too, which you can read at TravelinOma and Heritage AssociatesVisit her website: Marty Halverson