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Utahns offer wisdom from dads

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Prominent Utahns on the topic "The best advice I ever got from my dad." (Their fathers need no introduction):

Olympic runner and motivational speaker Henry Marsh: "It's not the verbal advice but the example. One thing that stuck with me is how impressed I was in ninth grade and he was there every Friday afternoon to watch my football game. We lived in Dallas; he worked downtown and my school was in north Dallas, but every Friday afternoon I would look in the stands and he was there."

Author Terry Tempest Williams: "His advice to me as his daughter has been to work hard and practice an honest stance in the world, so you can build a life of integrity. I believe him. He is my role model and mentor. He has also taught me about the power of the outdoors. He has shown me the value of nature, how the body and mind are one. His advice in terms of staying sane in an insane world: exercise. I am working on this one. . . . Nature for me is an aesthetic and spiritual experience, for him it is a physical one. I hike to a place so I can sit and dream. He hikes to a place with an eye on the highest peak; the reward for him is always the view, the great expanse."

Salt Lake 2002 CEO and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney: "One of Dad's favorite quotes was, 'There's nothing as vulnerable as entrenched success.' Dad's advice: Don't be afraid to take on the big guys."

Author and columnist Ann Edwards Cannon: "Here's the completely beautiful thing about my father — he never gives advice."

Former U.S. Attorney for Utah David Jordan: "My dad always said if you have to toot your own horn it's not worth blowing."

Lt. Governor Olene Walker: "He used to say, 'Go to college but always have something in mind once you get through.' He could never understand my majoring in political science."

Stingers manager Mike Brumley: "The thing he probably stressed the most is you never have a second chance to make a first impression, and when you shake a man's hand you look him in the eye."

President Thomas S. Monson, first counselor in the LDS Church's First Presidency: "My father exemplified kindness. He had a crippled uncle, Elias, and he used to often say, 'Why don't we take old Elias for a ride?' We'd get in the '28 Oldsmobile. I can see him right now carrying that arthritic-ridden uncle in his arms, propping him up in the front seat, putting a blanket over his knees, and off we'd go. It (the drive) would be maybe no more than a half-hour, just so he saw something other than the four walls. He never said anything about it, but it impressed me."

World War II Congressional Medal of Honor recipient George Wahlen: "The thing I remember as a kid is when he used to say I don't ever want to hear about you starting a fight and I don't ever want to hear about you walking away from one either."

Utah Jazz center Curtis Borchardt: "My dad has given me a lot of advice over the years, some of which can't be printed in the newspaper. But here's something you can print that has been good advice for me: Control what you can and don't worry about the things you can't."

Utah Gov. Mike Leavitt: "Take care of the dimes and the dollars take care of themselves."

BYU football coach Gary Crowton: "A man who can control his tongue can control his life."

Entrepreneur Jon Huntsman Jr.: "Something the old man told me over the years was to avoid diplomacy, politics and spicy foods — and listen to lots of Elvis Presley. On all counts, I failed miserably."

Former Jazz coach Frank Layden: "My father always said to get an education. Everything else is temporary, he told me. But they can't take education away from you."

Lee Benson's column runs Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Please send e-mail to benson@desnews.com.