Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

March 22, 2023
Gates and fences send a clear message

The concrete access driveway was installed on the hill first. It was clear that this new drive was designed to add new, exceptional access, and would be useful for many years to come. I remember walking up that drive with relish as soon as the concrete was finished and cured.  

Once at the top of the hill, I was able to survey the road above and could immediately see why the property owners were working together. That ribbon of passageway promised so much opportunity that I looked forward to tracking the ongoing construction.

Over the next few weeks, new grass, ground cover and bark mulch were installed to enhance the new concrete path. The combined multi-piece installation seemed to be suggesting, “The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence,” yet there was additional contrast soon to be framed into place.

Over the course of a couple of days, a wrought-iron-like gate was delivered and subsequently cemented in place. It had two ten feet, or so, wide pieces that were clamped together, meeting in the middle, to allow their just poured concrete footings to cure in place without movement. They remained like that for a couple of weeks before what appeared to be the final phase of construction began.

That final phase was the installation and connection of a perimeter fence to the now standing open gates. It was a boundary fence that matched the gates perfectly; same materials, same color and enduring, long-lasting nature. Fence construction inched along over a few weeks toward an anticipated final, conclusive connection to those massive gates of opportunity. But, fence construction suddenly stopped and the gates remained in stagnant, unattached solitude.

The gates hung there alone without touching the almost connected perimeter fence. It was an inexplicable vacancy of progress remaining for most of summer, until just before the beginning of fall. Until there was a most unexpected statement pronounced in just one day. The day a finished perimeter fence seemingly appeared, out of place and complete, with one notable exception. It did not connect to the gate!

That finished, unconnected to the gate fence ran straight along the bottom of the hill, across the installed concrete path. New anchor laden holes had been drilled, into the concrete, and the now permanent fence completely bypassed a now solitary gate that remained hanging and open. All promised opportunity to pass through the gate was forestalled.  

There was a back story hidden from display here. I just didn’t know what that story was.

“Now, that’s a clearly stated message!” I said while standing there in the spot of wonder. Then, months later I was in a conversation with my daughter Annie about potential opportunity.

“One of my mentors, Patti Cazzato, says ‘Always listen to everyone,’” Annie said, as we strategized together. It was she who brought that statement fence immediately back into my mind.

“I wonder how many statement fences have been individually constructed, blocking access to both expected and unexpected gates of opportunity; hanging in view, just on the other side of unwilling to listen?” I thought, as Annie talked about the value of opening gates of opportunity, one step at a time, through the simple act of listening.

Lynn Butterfield lives in Erda and is a managing broker for a real estate company.

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