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Paul Rolly: Anonymous jogger saved troubled teen from suicide

Published January 22, 2014 10:14 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Last weekend, at the north end of Wasatch Boulevard Trailhead Park, this handwritten letter was clipped to the sign listing the rules of the park:

"My name is Jordan. A little over two years ago I tried to kill myself in this very park. I was only 16 and thought that my problems were so horrible that the best way to deal with them was to escape them. I was oh so very wrong.

"On 11-11-11, I fell off the side of this cliff. I don't know where I was found or who found me. But to that early-morning jogger that found me on 11-12-11, thank you.

"You saved my life and I can never repay you for that. I hope you still take this path and that you somehow see this because I want you to know that I'm OK and it's because of you that I am. So thank you. Jordan."

Good, bad and ugly • A Salt Lake City woman drove to Taylorsville to see her grandson play in a football game in the fall. The lot was full, so she parked on a side street. After the game she returned to her car to find that both brand-new rear tires were flat. She asked two men if their neighbors were annoyed by visitors who parked on their street during football season. They said it was fairly common to see those parked on the streets near the field fixing flat tires. She told the homeowner she wished people would put a sign on their lawns during games so visitors would know where not to park. The man checked her tires and determined they had not been slashed. He took an air compressor from his garage and reinflated them. He refused to accept money. But she got his name and wanted to say thanks to Michael Gaffney, of Quailstone Drive.

Good, bad and ugly II • I wrote in September about Diana Platis, whose car was stolen from the Wal-Mart parking lot near 4500 South and 900 East and abandoned by thieves in Salt Lake City.

It was recovered the next day, but when the Unified Police Department called her, it was 5 a.m. and she was asleep. By the time she got the message, Salt Lake City police had impounded the car and wouldn't release it until she paid a $600 impound fee, plus a traffic fine her brother received before he died a year earlier and left the car to her.

She couldn't pay the fees because she had recently lost her job of 18 years.

After reading about Platis, someone from the Huntsman Corp. contacted me and asked how to find her. That person paid her impound fees and, upon learning her career had been in medical services, referred her for a job at the Huntsman Cancer Institute. She eventually got a job with an insurance company, but she appreciated the effort.

Good, bad and ugly III • Just before Christmas, ksl.com posted a story about Amy Fritz, whose car was stolen along with Christmas presents for her teenage sons. She received offers from friends to lend her a car and help with Christmas, but the real gift came from a stranger. After the story ran, she posted on Facebook that Mike from Hubcap Heaven got in touch and gave her a car.

Good, bad and ugly IV • Thomas Huckin recently posted a letter to the editor in The Tribune expressing his concern about the bad air along the Wasatch Front. He wrote that he would like to find a good face mask or respirator to protect himself. Later, he got an anonymous package in the mail that contained a mask and the manufacture's instructions, along with a note wishing him good health.

A visit from the coach • After the U. basketball team's big win Saturday over No. 25 UCLA, coach Larry Krystkowiak was on his way home to celebrate with loved ones visiting from Montana. But he took a detour to stop by the home of a neighbor who had just been diagnosed with cancer.

Neither snow nor rain … • Russ Hall's sister, who lives in St. George, recently sent the West Valley City man a birthday card along with $5. But she forgot to put a stamp on the envelope and did not include her return address. No matter, Hall's mail carrier covered the cost of the stamp and delivered the birthday card anyway.

prolly@sltrib.com