The Bridges hold a special place in my heart. Sherwood was the bishop of the Mount Pleasant ward when my family moved to town. Bishop Sherwood Bridges was a very strong influence in my life.
I was 15 years-old (the oldest of 6 kids) when we moved into town. I was getting ready to go into my junior year in high school when my dad landed a job as a professor at Central Michigan University. So, we sold the house in Sandy, UT and moved to Mount Pleasant, MI. We didn’t know anyone in town, but we did have the extended family of the LDS church which made the transition easier.
I had one other active member in my grade at school, that was Diana Bridges. The whole thing was quite foreign to me. I’d pretty much grown up in Utah amongst Mormons who believed what I believed. Then, we moved to Mount Pleasant.
It turned out to be pretty darn good for me and my family. Bishop Bridges was the rock! He was very involved with the youth. In many ways he was my gospel mentor. He demonstrated how to be a bishop. He showed me how to be involved in the lives of the youth. Oh, I’d had other bishops in my life. But, Sherwood is the first one who ever really seemed to take an interest in me (David Henrie) the teenager. Not me, the son of Roger and Betty.
When my hair got a little long (it was the seventies after all) he gave it a tug and told me that I needed a haircut. When my friends and I were loud in the church, it seemed like he was always there putting his hand on our shoulders getting us to quiet it down.
He wasn’t just a mentor in church related issues. He told me that he and some of his LDS associates kept a phone list right next to their phone on their work desk. He said that if he ever got inspired, he would refer to the list and give one or another of them a call. He called it “greasing the wheels”. When I got my first desk job, I did the exact same thing. I went through everyone that I knew and decided who it was that I needed to keep in contact with and put their names on a list right by my phone. I had that list for years and years until it was finally supplanted by E-mail. However, I still drop my associates a line every now and then just to keep the wheels greased.
Another thing that I learned from him was that I always wanted to have an organized garage where I can do basic auto repair work like he did. I still haven’t gotten there, but heck, it is a goal of mine. Someday I’ll have a nice organized garage so that I can do my auto repairs in there rather than in my driveway.
I learned a lot from Sherwood. He was a GREAT man. He was my mentor and taught me so much. He is greatly missed. I look forward to seeing him in the next life so that I can express this to him.
Love you all!