Saturday, July 16, 2011

The End of an Era: The Hunt Family and Hunt Mysteries

My brother, Jared, took over the family business that we grew up with. Tonight his finace' Heidi is throwing him a farewell party. Jared is selling the business and moving to Alaska. This is a good thing. However, it is a momentous step in our family life. A life without Hunt Mysteries is a foriegn concept for us. This will be good for us. I wrote the following memoir as I took a moment to process my thoughts and feeling on the subject.

July 14, 2011

Farewell to the Coal
Thank You for the Diamonds!

Hunt Mysteries became the refining and defining mark within our family up to this point. Its influence and the roles that we each played within and because of the business sculpted us into who we are today, the good, the bad, and the ugly.

Family businesses often start with a small need like making ends meet financially. If they are meant to be and the dreamers are determined enough, one little need will ripen into a vision, and that vision will someday become a reality. This reality will be molded from years of sacrifice, sweat, and tears.

This brings me to the point I want to emphasize through this memoir. One family built Hunt Mysteries. It was then sustained, and maintained by the talented people willing to share and labor in our journey.

Mom and Dad gave their all to the business. They gave their time and their money. Gradually they gave most of their friendship and respect toward each other. Dad gave his civic life. Eventually, mom gave her “room mother” days up for it. Dad sacrificed relationships at Deseret News for the business. Mom sacrificed any potential friendships and outside hobbies…

Heather gave her time and efforts on the home front as she took on much of the weekend childcare needs along with Lena until we were all old enough to go it on our own.

Lena took on the mothering role like it was her own, trying desperately to fill in the missing pieces within the boys’ world that stemmed from “the business.”

Before anyone knew what happened, all of the kids had grown up and were involved in the behind-the-scenes of running Hunt Mysteries. The girls would help cut clues and fold programs. Eventually they were old enough to drive around and pick up programs and tuxedoes. Often they would go to the shows and help set up the tables. Most of the time Lena would babysit for the actors and actresses during rehearsals or shows.

By the time Jason and Jared were barely reaching towards their teenage years they were working right along side mom doing the sound for the shows. It didn’t take long for them to completely take over that department. All of the boys were born with a gift especially for this work. Jason worked in this department off and on through the many years as he struggled to maintain a sense of personal identity and social life and still fulfill his family duty and earn his dollar with Hunt Mysteries. Jared on the other hand defined himself throughout the years by Hunt Mysteries, as if he were born for the business.

Jared was born with independence and determination flowing in his blood, as well as charisma and charm. With these traits and his talents, he has stood by mom and dad faithfully as the vision of Hunt Mysteries became a reality.

Though Jared has never been friend-less, his sacrifice was the greatest of the Hunt children. He sacrificed much of his childhood. He completely sacrificed his high school years, no proms, no seminary, no choir tour… The list goes on.

Nathan. That’s what I named him. Nate. Our baby brother grew up with five parents. We all played one roll in his upbringing or another. Gradually, he followed right in the steps of his older brothers. That’s probably why we call them “the boys.” They were usually together. And if they weren’t, they knew what the other was up to… Some things never change. Nate only know life with Hunt Mysteries.

Looking back, perhaps the greatest sacrifice that The Boys made for Hunt Mysteries was their educational and spiritual possibilities.

As a family, we sacrificed the normalcy that “could have been.” However, we made “what was” work. As siblings, we were close, very close. We all had our rocky spots but somehow we came out still liking each other. We were all in the same boat experiencing the same storm, shipmates.

All of us learned how to, and how not to, run a business. We learned how to work. We learned our individual strengths and weaknesses. We learned how to act in professional settings. We learned how to conduct ourselves in fine dining settings. We learned family loyalty (as dysfunctional as it is at times.) We created our own sort of “normal”, our own kind of Love.

Somehow, mom and dad always found a way for us to travel together. Ways to make memories. Whether it was camping, parties, or great trips, we have many memories of good times together.

We all sacrificed much, sweat much, and shed many tears throughout the refining process of Hunt Mysteries and the Hunt Family. Sometimes it may feel that it was all in vain, that the vision wasn’t completely met, that all was a failure because there were failures. Truthfully, all was not lost! Much was given. But much was received. The key is to find the diamonds within the coal. For in the end, that is the reality. That must be our focus for this new beginning.

Accept the diamonds, allow the coal to be taken away, look forward, and live for Eternity.

1 comment:

Sandra said...

I didn't know he was selling it. Wow Alaska huh. What takes him there?

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