Submitted By: Carrie Mair
The amazing thing about the Uintah Basin has always been, and will continue to be, the people. The diverse nature of the melting pot we call home is something to marvel and respect. I myself have the honor of calling Neola my home. For those of you who live here, you are aware of the partiality the residents show towards the community, and our property. However, for those of you who don't live here, you might not be aware of how open and accepting this small town truly is.
There are many actions shown to me that have epitomized my thoughts of living in the Basin; from UBIC, to the kindness of the folks in grocery stores and supermarkets, to the pristine breathtaking beauty of the Uintah Mountains and the copious amount of fishing opportunities. However, in all of my short time here, all of my thoughts were summed up in a brief, one hour period spent with a neighbor I had never met.
Mr. Floyd Broadhead, known locally as Papa Floyd, is a resident of Neola. He is a stout and gruff man with defined lines on his face that tell stories of his life and his experiences. With the hands of a farmer and the heart of a saint Papa Floyd carries himself with dignity and conducts himself as a gentleman and nothing less. Like many other residents of the area, he is commonly found puttering about in his dirty blue jeans, button up plaid shirt, suspenders, and a ball cap.
Although I live quite close to Floyd, my experience with this man was limited to cussing him for driving too slowly down the Neola highway. Often in life we get caught up in our own rhythm and forget to take the time to get to know the people around us. This all changed one night when my small family and I decided to take a walk around the block. Coincidentally, Floyd was standing in the middle of the road talking with another resident of Neola. Unbeknownst to me, he was the owner of a small shop with several very admirable tractors parked out front. My kids had frequently begged incessantly to stop and see the tractors. As we rounded the corner to where the two were talking, Floyd's eyes lit up. My sons were gawking and giggling about the tractors and you could see the look of opportunity come over Floyd's face.
"Would you like to see those tractors?" he asked coyly.
It was as if you had lit a firecracker under both of my kids and turned up the volume. They both began bouncing hard enough I thought they were going to tip the stroller over. Not to mention that I'm sure their squeals of agreement could be heard for miles around. My boys had the opportunity to take a short ride on the little tractor, and in turn, Floyd had the opportunity to become a hero to both of my kids.
Being extremely appreciative for the experience, I decided it was time to thank Papa Floyd Neola Style. I took him a plate of sweet rolls. When he opened the door and saw me and my small family standing there, the very last thing on his mind was the large plate of sweet rolls I had just made. He quickly swept up my boys, and his grandchildren, and took them out to the tractor.
A few short minutes later there we were, cruising slowly across the Neola town block in the most fashionable ride I had ever been on. The pride of Floyd's fleet is a very attractive red Farmall, which my little boy refers to as "The big red tractor." As we all bounced down the road the look of enjoyment on the children's face was unparalleled to the look on Floyd's. It was at that moment I realized his act of kindness was completely selfish. I firmly believe he gets more enjoyment out of watching the kids become elated than the kids themselves do in the process. After a few minutes of waving at the envious neighbors, we arrived at our destination, the duck pond.
My life experiences have led me to believe that a truly good person is someone who's selfish tendencies lead to the happiness of others. While Floyd is one in a million, there are many other people in this area who replicate his actions on a daily basis. I encourage you all to take a walk around your block, and bump into your neighbors. You might be lucky enough to find a true cowboy.