Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Interview with Bishop Rex Parley

(Just for the record, I am holding my interview with Bishop Parley in his home, in the cozy little interview room he has off the main entrance, with his wife and children in the family room nearby.)

Me: Hello Bishop Parley. I've heard a lot about you. It is nice to meet you in person. You're taller than I expected. I understand you are one of the major supporting characters in Lucky Change.

BP: I was recruited, yes, late one evening when I heard a tapping on the door just as I was getting ready to head home after interview night.

Me: And that would have been Sister Karen Donaldson?

BP: I'm sorry, but surely you understand that I would not divulge what ward members speak to me about in private or even which ward members I meet with.

Me: Well, of course, bishop. What do you feel comfortable telling me about Karen and your interactions with her?

BP: Not much. Besides being a member of my flock, she is also one of my clients in my law practice, so anything you ask me will be a violation of her privacy that I honor as her bishop or it will be covered by attorney/client privilege.

Me: I see. Well, um, it has been nice talking to you.

BP: Karen is a wonderful Primary chorister. Nobody can get the kids to sing like Karen does. She is enthusiastic, cheeerful and the kids all love her.

Me: That's it?

BP: Karen is friendly and faithful and I've always been glad she moved into our ward. We needed Karen. Now that's about all I am willing to say about this dear sister. If there is anything you would like to know about me, I would be glad to answer further questions.

Me: What type of law do you practice?

BP: I'm an estate planning attorney. I am the managing partner of Frost, Bringhurst and McClelland.

Me: It sounds like there is a lot on your plate.

BP: Oh, like being bishop, it isn't a life sentence. I mean, someone else will eventually get the opportunity to serve. Strike that from the record. That makes it sound like I don't enjoy being bishop. I do, it is just that there have been lots of things come up that I never expected, illnesses, deaths, divorces . . .

Me: Karen.

BP: Yes, Karen.

Me: Camille.

BP: I won't discuss my employees either.

Me: That's okay. Camille has agreed to talk with me.

BP: Oh, really? That surprises me.

Me: She wasn't going to, but when she found out I was going to interview Ted Simon, she wanted a chance to share her side of the story.

BP: Might I suggest you interview Ted in a public place.

Me: Thank you for the suggestion. I hear he is a piece of work.

BP: I won't . . .

Me: I know. I know. He works with you. I won't ask you to discuss him. I was out of line.

BP: Thank you for understanding.

Me: Perhaps I should let you have some much-needed family time.

BP: Thank you, that is very gracious of you.

Me: Perhaps we can chat another time when you aren't so busy.

BP: I'd like that. I'd like to tell you about my wonderful wife and my great kids, but right now, you're right that I would really just like to spend some time with them. I see the kids most these days looking down at them from the pulpit at church. Lydia feels like a single parent, I'm sure. When I have free time, I spend it with my wife and kids.

Me: Any parting words about the book?

BP: I think it would be a great way to spend a Saturday curled up on the sofa. Karen definitely has a story to tell. I'm honored to have been part of it.

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