Fifty years ago, Bertha Rand was a young bride who had just arrived in a drowsy town of 3,000 people.
Today, she lives in a city of 90,000, where she has a 26-year newspaper career behind her, where she's seen a dozen mayors come and go, where she's outlived one husband and where her name is synonymous with political activism and assorted civic causes."I've served on just about every committee that's come across," said Rand, 73, acknowledging an accomplishment noteworthy partly because it happened to a woman in a time and place where women usually didn't aspire to such distinction.
"I was a joiner from the beginning," said Rand, who originally is from Los Angeles but moved to Sandy in 1944 after marrying the late Dick Setterberg.
As a Sandy City Council reporter for the Midvale Sentinel, Rand by the 1950s was better apprised of local affairs than most residents and was one of the first to agree the town's good-old-boy political system ought to be opened up to the people.
She and her husband were instrumental in starting local primary elections, reforming a tradition that let the status quo pick general-election nominees.
"It was a situation where people didn't really advertise it well so they could get their own people in," said Rand. "Now everybody gets a chance to vote for whoever they want."
Rand today is on Sandy's Historic Commission and is director of the city's museum.
She also is active with the local chapter of the American Legion, helping plan the replacement of the town's historic Legion Hall, destroyed in a July fire.
Rand earlier this month celebrated her 10th wedding anniversary with Alan Rand, whom she married after the death of her first spouse.
A former Sandy Citizen of the Year and chairman of the Sandy quadrant of community councils, she says she welcomes the city's explosive growth because it gives Sandy its own identity, a notch up from bedroom community to city-in-itself.
"It's not Salt Lake," said Rand. "It's Sandy, Utah."
The Sandy City Museum, at 8744 S. 150 East, is open Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1-6 p.m. and on Saturday from 1-5 p.m.