Live Long* in the funeral business

One third of the title of my book of memoirs is “Live Long*.” It’s not “Live Long.” It’s “Live Long*.” The asterisk is important. As I mention in the book, for you of the younger digitized generation, the asterisk is the ancestor of the hyperlink. It takes you somewhere else. The “else” in this case is this explanation:

*Not long in years necessarily, but long in perspective.

My experience has been that the longer I look ahead to where my present actions will take me, the better my decisions and follow through tend to be. Also, I’m always looking for examples of where this process has been successful. If you have some from your own life or others you know about, I would appreciate your sharing them with me.

One of the better examples I’ve seen, although I didn’t recognize it at the time, was from my high school sports days. If I had a good game on the basketball court The Provo Herald newspaper would sometimes run a report of the game on their sports page. This was a big deal to us in the little town of Payson. A few days later I would get a laminated copy of the news story in the mail from the Berg Mortuary in Provo.

As a healthy young athlete choosing my favorite mortuary, casket, and burial plot was not exactly on the top of my agenda; especially when I had just had a successful game. I admit there were nights when I played lousily enough to attract undertakers and even circling buzzards, but mercifully the newspaper didn’t usually cover those games.

I thought then, “This is the most far sighted ad campaign I’ve ever seen.”

It still is. The people who started it have long since chosen their own casket and plot. But hey, Berg Mortuary is still in business, and here I am writing about them decades later. Not many ad campaigns live longer than some of the folks they were designed to sell to.