CODY ROB­BINS

Serve Daily - - FRONT PAGE - By Cody Rob­bins Note: Lance Shurtl­eff would like to in­vite the com­mu­nity to bring pic­tures of lo­cal Vet­er­ans to Dal­ton’s Steak­house. Frames will be pro­vided. Call Dal­ton’s at (801) 623-9358.

My wife and I were out with an­other cou­ple hav­ing din­ner and watch­ing an­other singer song­writer friend of ours per­form at Dal­ton’s in Payson. My wife and I ar­rived early and were seated in the cor­ner. I asked to be moved to an­other ta­ble that had a bet­ter view of the stage and the wait­ress moved us to an­other ta­ble. She sat us next to a wall that was cov­ered in pic­tures of soldiers young and old as well as an Amer­i­can flag and some pa­tri­otic quotes. The wall was the kind of thing that you no­tice, but al­most sub­con­sciously. Even­tu­ally we found our­selves look­ing at the wall with­out even dis­cussing it while we were wait­ing for our friends to join us. They came and no other at­ten­tion was paid to the wall un­til “she” came.

Her name was Patty Gasser, and I didn’t know her yet but I would soon feel very blessed for hav­ing made her ac­quain­tance. She came to the edge of our ta­ble in the mid­dle of our meal. Our con­ver­sa­tion qui­etly drifted away as we took no­tice of our vis­i­tor. She was very po­lite and apol­o­gized for in­ter­rupt­ing our din­ner. She ex­plained that she had only come to visit her hus­band and in­di­cated that his pic­ture was on the wall just above our ta­ble. She ex­plained that he had just died very re­cently and through tears she told us that she felt so lost with­out him and didn’t know what to do. We of­fered her the ta­ble and she po­litely de­clined and qui­etly left. There was not a dry eye at our ta­ble and I knew im­me­di­ately that I had to write this song. I would later learn that the man in this old black and white photo hang­ing in a lit­tle steak­house in Payson among many other lo­cal he­roes was Don Gasser.

Don was born on April 13, 1936, the youngest of 3 chil­dren born to Leonard Paul and Wilma Gasser. He grew up in the shadow of Loafer Mt. in Haskel­lville, which is now Elk Ridge, Utah. He was the ul­ti­mate out­doors man and loved to hunt and fish.

He met the love of his life, Pa­tri­cia Ann Lanzo, while in the Navy, in Cal­i­for­nia, in 1956. Don and Patty were mar­ried in Bos­ton on Novem­ber 3, 1957. They made a home and raised a fam­ily for 56yrs. Here in Payson, Utah. Their home was a tes­ta­ment to his love of fam­ily and the out­doors. His crafts­man­ship and wood­work­ing were ad­mired by all who vis­ited there.

Don was a hard worker giv­ing 28yrs. to U.S. Steel to the Geneva plant where he re­tired in 1985. Later he worked 11yrs. for the Mt. Nebo School District mow­ing lawns.He loved to see and visit with all the lit­tle kids.

I found this info on his obit­u­ary along with this quote “Don’t [grieve] for me for I am not gone… I’m just on the other side watch­ing and wait­ing for my Love to come.”

I tried my hard­est to in­cor­po­rate that sen­ti­ment into the song. Af­ter I be­gan writ­ing the song I found Patty on the In­ter­net and called her at home. I ex­plained who I was and that I wanted her bless­ing be­fore I con­tin­ued pay­ing trib­ute to her and her hus­band and their love with my song. She was over­joyed and sent a copy of a DVD that Don had made for his kids and grand kids about his life.

I didn’t meet Patty in per­son un­til the night of May 24th when I per­formed the song for her and many of her fam­ily in­clud­ing her grand­chil­dren. I had made ar­range­ments with the owner of Dal­ton’s to en­ter­tain his guests that night. Ar­range­ments were also made to have a Fox 13 cam­era crew at the restau­rant to do a Me­mo­rial Day Weekend story about Patty and Don and my song. I also spoke with Patty’s daugh­ter Teresa and we de­cided that since Teresa would be pick­ing her mother up from the air­port ear­lier that day that they would take her out to din­ner, straight to Dal­ton’s where she would be sur­prised. I was ner­vous to have Patty hear the song but I was very ex­cited to pay trib­ute to her hus­band and their lov­ing re­la­tion­ship.

Per­form­ing the song was eas­ier than I imag­ined it. Hav­ing the news cam­era their added to my ner­vous­ness but I felt like I was singing it just for Patty even though it was the first time she heard it, I knew that it con­nected with her since it was all true and, af­ter all it was her story. She cried a bit and I got a lit­tle choked up when­ever I made eye con­tact with her. Af­ter I fin­ished the song, the restau­rant, that had been rel­a­tively quiet up to that point, erupted in ap­plause. I knew that I had just ac­com­plished some­thing that I had set out to do when I wrote my very first song. Some­thing that I had only done a hand­ful of times be­fore. I had writ­ten a song that had touched the hearts of people that lis­tened to it. I made people feel some­thing. The best part about it was the fact that I got to do it live and hear, see, and feel their re­sponse. There was a high level of emo­tion in the room and it felt great!

As a song­writer I know that some songs I just write, and some of the songs I write find me. This is one of those songs.

Tammy Gasser

Pat Gasser and Cody Rob­bins at Dal­ton’s Steak­house in Payson on Satur­day May 24th, 2014.

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