(DOUG JESSOP’S JESSOPS JOURNEYS ABC4 NEWS – SALT LAKE CITY, UT) I was recently at a “Topping Out” ceremony at a building in Provo, Utah called Freedom Commons.

“Topping Out” is a construction term that includes a ceremony in which the community get to make their own special mark on a high rise building before hoisting the final steel beam into place.

WATCH “What is Topping Out?” Utah Success Stories HERE

Collier’s International’s Utah Chairman, Brandon Fugal penned his signature on the beam and invited me to join in. Other dignitaries on hand to make their mark included former Utah Governor Gary Herbert; Provo’s first female Mayor Michelle Kaufusi as well as the owner/investor/developer of the builder “PEG” CEO Cameron Gunter.

I noticed that there was an evergreen tree from Monrovia on the beam. Full disclosure, I’m the guy that designed and planted most of the garden set in the ABC4 Backyard, so I do gravitate towards plants. The question I had is “what is the deal with the tree on the beam?”

Craig Madsen, the President/CEO of J & M Steel Solutions, filled me in. Apparently, adding a tree to the beam raising ceremony goes back many, many years. We are talking Egyptians and in the Norwegian area as well. The story goes that they builders have put evergreen trees on the top of buildings because they had cleared out trees to make room for the construction. As Craig put it; “they had taken the life, the life spirit of those trees to build the building, it was a way to give back.” The tradition continues that the tree should be planted on the building site somewhere. Sounds like a pretty cool tradition to me.

Freedom Commons is the result of a highly collaborative effort between PEG, Provo Redevelopment Agency, Utah County, and Provo City. Construction on the office development portion of Freedom Commons will wrap up in early Spring 2022.  As part of their long-term partnership with the city, PEG also developed the adjacent Hyatt Place Hotel and is currently working on the nearby 250 I Street Townhomes.

Everyone has a story. 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.

You can see my positive business profiles, “Utah Success Stories”, every Sunday in the ABC4 News at 10 p.m. or online at www.ABC4.com/Success.

With another entry into Jessop’s Journeys, “People, Places and Things You Might Not Know About,” I’m Doug Jessop, ABC4 News.

Doug Jessop
For Doug Jessop, it all started with a cassette recorder he got for Christmas when he was 12 years old growing up in Southern California. Doug interviewed relatives, friends and anyone else that might have a good story. You can follow Doug at www.DougJessop.com, on YouTube.com/DougJessop, and @DougJessopNews on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.