(DOUG JESSOP’S UTAH CARING STORIES – ABC4 NEWS – SALT LAKE CITY, UT) You see names on buildings all the time. Who are these people? In this Utah Caring Stories, Doug Jessop celebrates Black History Month with the story behind the name of the Marshall White Center in Ogden.
Ronald W. White is the son of Marshall White. He showed me a picture of a number of police officers and told me; “He was a black detective, Sargent Detective for Ogden City. He was Dad.”
In October 1963, Ogden, Utah Police Detective Sergeant Marshall White was shot and killed while trying to talk a suspect into surrendering his weapon. He was the first Utah black officer killed in the line of duty. His son, Ronald White, was six years old.
It was clear that Detective Sergeant Marshall White looked out for people in the community. Ronald got understandably emotional as he said, “I’m sure he was that way to a lot of people in the neighborhood. He was their defender. He was a hero to me.”
The Marshall White Recreation Center was dedicated on the fifth Anniversary of his death. Today it’s a busy place with everyone from Head Start kids to seniors playing pickle ball and youth basketball.
What does Ronald White want people to remember about his father, Detective Sergeant Marshall White? “I guess, I want them to remember that it was a man that gave his all for his neighborhood. We all give some. But he gave his all.”
What does the Marshall White Recreation Center mean to the community? According to Edd Bridge, Recreation Manager for Ogden City; “It’s truly been a melting pot and gathering place for the community to come.”
I asked Ronald what he thought his Dad would think of this place now? He answered through a smile; “I think he would be proud that the young people have someplace to go. Something to do. I think that is what he always wanted.”
With that said, it’s nice to share a cell phone video from Danielle Peterson; “This is what I like to see. Ogden Police playing basketball with the kids.”
I strongly feel that “stories have power”. Chances are that if you are going through something, that someone else probably has as well. The shared experiences we humans have can help each other. That my friend makes the point that stories “help us understand each other.”
You don’t have to agree with everyone, but in my opinion, if people would take more time getting to knowing more about others and where they are coming from, we just might find out that we have more similarities than differences.
Jessop’s Journal is something special when it comes to broadcast news. I have the honor of being able to do longer in-depth interviews that you don’t normally see with people from all walks of life.
You can also see my positive business profiles called “Utah Success Stories” every Sunday in the ABC4 News at 10 p.m. or online at www.ABC4.com/Success