• About The Author

  • When New Jersey born Bonnie Ann Bedford picked Park City, Utah, as a place to settle in the 1970s no one expected the old silver mining boomtown, turned ski town, would evolve to become a 2002 Winter Olympics host city and, later, a world class destination resort. Fresh out of grad school, her first full-time job with the Park City Chamber of Commerce (then housed in the former Sheriff’s office on Historic Main Street) placed her in a non-profit position to convince visiting travel agents and press writers “This is the Place!” It was a tough sell, especially with Utah’s weird liquor laws. But it’s how she met her husband of thirty-six years, Pete Park. Did his forebears own the city? No.

    Fast forward. With two young sons underfoot, she began a public service career as a local government Parks and Recreation administrator, large as life like sitcom character Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler) in Parks and Rec. Though when it came to public meetings with citizens of one neighborhood or another, it played more like bad reality TV. The Recreation District magically launched like a rabbit out of a hat from a home office in the family laundry room. Bonnie navigated through a world of NIMBY’s (not in my back yard) and BANANA’s (build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything) to provide opportunities for public parks and recreation facilities, non-motorized trails, and open space preservation.

    When she left the public sector in 2013 after seventeen years of service, Bonnie received the Utah Parks and Recreation Association’s “Lifetime Achievement Award” for “outstanding accomplishments.” She was equally humbled when Park City Rotary Club named her Professional Citizen of the Year ten years before that. Known as one to keep an unending list of “to-do’s” the hiatus from punching a clock gave her a minute to begin the painstaking process of transcribing old family letters. But then home life took a hairpin turn and came to a screeching halt. She became a caregiver. Not for her aging parents, Robin and Buster (they’d already passed), but for her firstborn son, then twenty-four years old. Along one of Utah’s Scenic By-ways, out of cell range, he rode shotgun as a passenger in a Honda Civic head on into a pickup truck. His survival was nothing short of a miracle. In her Christmas letter of 2014, Park wrote “the angels are among us.” Conceivably those angels were the very family members who were cast, like it or not, into this book.

    Before anyone looked to Internet meme’s and life coaches for empowerment, Robin and Buster Bedford fashioned Bonnie’s future with words like this: “You can do anything you put your mind to!” Proving they were right, she helped her son help himself to get back on his feet. As much as her path has wandered in unexpected ways, it’s finally time to introduce the first book of three in a trilogy. Personal stories delivered in the context of significant events in U.S. history. A legacy derived from hard-working, church-going middle-class people who identified as Republican in a time when “civil discourse” in party politics sought to better our country, our democracy and our national security.