You'd think people who live in mountain country would never need a breath of fresh air.
But they do.
And Dorothy Conrad is always there to provide one.
To many people she's known as the "Card Lady," a woman who buys five or six dozen greeting cards at a time. She mails out twice that many Christmas cards each year. If you've never received a greeting card from Dorothy Conrad, you're part of a shrinking minority.
She does a good deal of card shopping at Apple Yard Art on Highland Drive, where the proprietors say she lights up the store each time she comes in.
"Dorothy talks to everybody who's here and has the funniest sayings to pass along," says owner Sue Valentine.
As for Conrad herself, she's just doing what she figures other people do in other ways.
We caught up with her last week, doing some Christmas shopping for 1991. She'd decided to send a few wooden apples to her grandchildren. "I'll just tell them I might not be their teacher but I'm still going to tell them what to do," she said.
"One thing I learned is that children love to get mail. They read it very carefully, so cards and letters are good times to teach them things you feel are important."
And what's important?
"One to one contact. In this world of masses each person needs to be identified and told they are unique. And I figure if I pay attention to the children, maybe they'll grow up paying attention to other people."
Along with the cards, some of Conrad's other "one to one" strategies are to finding beautiful old calendar pictures and framing them as gifts. She also buys collections of sayings and thoughts and mails them to despondent friends. She keeps gifts at home already wrapped, just waiting for the right moment to be given away.
Needless to say, the goodwill has aged her gracefully. She's often asked to play the role of Mrs. Santa Claus. She even appeared in a movie as a kindly, caring grandmother not long ago.
"It was great," she says. "I got to say three words. When you say three words they have to pay you more."
Dorothy Conrad, it seems, will always be one of those people who sees the world as her oyster.
Some have even come to believe she's the pearl inside.
Floyd Jennings of Brigham City never was a Boy Scout, but that hasn't kept him from doing a good turn daily.
The Box Elder County contractor is known for pitching in much and often. Whether he's helping put a roof on a local Methodist Church, hiring the homeless or donating time to Habitat for Humanity, he's always being someone's friend in deed.
"He's one of those guys who's always giving more than he can afford to give," says Mayor Clark Davis.
Adds Rennie Bott, a Brigham City accountant, "He's brought a tremendous amount of goodwill to the community. He's always hiring people who are down and out or on the rebound."
As you might imagine, such ringing endorsements embarrass - even confuse - Jennings. And he's quick to turn the
spotlight somewhere else.
"The Habitat for Humanity program is a good program," he explains. "It gives people a chance to buy houses for what it costs to build them, without interest or anything else. People can get into homes who normally couldn't."
As for his penchant for hiring the people on the outskirts of society, he says it simply comes from the teachings he learned from his parents. "My father was 100 percent integrity. And I see my mother as being pretty close to a saint. They showed me if you treat people as they are, they'll stay as they are. But if you treat them as they could become, they'll live up to that."
Right now several workers that Jennings has hired off the streets are construction foremen around town. One worker ended up in prison in Pennsylvania, but recently wrote Jennings asking for a job when he gets out in four years.
In the end, Floyd Jennings' motto in life is a little more involved than the Boy Scout motto, but it points him in the same direction.
"I never try to link my sense of success to my business," he says. "Success is feeling good about yourself and helping other people feel good about themselves. It's being satisfied with less instead of more. I'm really a carpenter and I know there was only one perfect carpenter. I guess I'd just like to be a little more like him."
When Bob Goodrich makes a charitable donation, he doesn't give at the office.
That's because he gives of himself. Literally.
Over the years he's given enough blood to fill the 10-gallon tank of a sedan, he's assisted with blood platelet donations and he's one of the first people in the state to sign up for the new "bone marrow bank" to help cancer patients.
Needless to say, the box marked organ donation on his driver's license is checked "yes."
Goodrich's gifts are the kind that keep giving, from a man who does the same.
"When I was in high school my mother was with the Red Cross," says Goodrich, "so she encouraged me to donate blood. I've just been doing it ever since."
Of all the programs Goodrich is involved with, however, thenew bone marrow program is the most intriguing. It also has a few drawbacks.
"They have to put you in the hospital for a couple of days, and I understand it can be a little painful," he says. "But the reason I like it is there's a real lifesaving feeling to it. You feel you are being of immediate help."
Besides contributing where he can, Goodrich has also become something of a blood donor missionary. So far he's recruited his son and daughter, some of the people at work and other friends to donate blood.
The company Goodrich works for - which must go unnamed for security reasons - also offers its employees four hours off with pay for donating blood, a program he'd like to see other companies pick up.
But in the end, Bob Goodrich doesn't help other people because he gets time off or because peers apply pressure. He does it to help, and though he never expects any kind of reward, he does remember one incident that's stayed with him.
"Once I gave blood and the woman who got it was so grateful she took all of the donors out and bought us breakfast."
For Bob Goodrich, the hearty meal only meant he'd be able to build his blood so he could give more of it away.