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There’s No Upside...

Michael Leavitt shares his innermost thoughts as they relate to his personal and family life. He can be heard to say often to his kids... “There’s no upside!”

NOTE: If you are interested in Michael’s business inspection related blog, then click on Bloggers in the left column and select Michael - Inspector.

The Unexpected Letter - Part IV of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”

The Unexpected Letter - Part IV of “I Survived Washington Irving JHS”

THE UNEXPECTED LETTER - The following is part of a series of articles written by Michael Leavitt about his real life experiences at Washington Irving Junior High School in Los Angeles, California from 1974-1976. The events are true and have been documented to help Michael's family better understand the racial tensions he endured during that era.

CH. 1 * CH. 2 * CH. 3 * CH. 4 * CH. 5 * CH. 6 * CH. 7 * CH. 8 *




Michael LeavittMichael Leavitt


We need to fast forward 37 years to November 25, 2013. It was a cold and clear winter day in Northern Utah when I walked into my home office from a difficult afternoon of inspecting, only to see a letter propped up on my computer keyboard. It was addressed with neat handwriting to “Michael Leavitt & Co Home Inspections” and was stamped in red ink with “Pelican Bay State Prison...” I looked at the name in the upper left corner and it read “Frank Reyna.” I was floored and knew instantly who this letter was from, but it was the letter that I never would have expected.

Opening it up I was apprehensive about the disposition that I was going to find. Part of me was still the scared 15 year olf who was preparing for a beating. As I read his letter to me I was amazed on many different levels.

Before I share the letterwith you, I wanted to add that Heavenly Father has had a way of allowing me to resolve many of the situations from my past. Sometimes they have been painful, and sometimes they have been joyous. But when the scriptures share that these are the days of our probation, I know that He allows some of us extra time to work out our difficulties and challenges. Frank Reyna is the biggest of painful bullies from my past. He represented all that was evil from my young school years. And yet Heavenly Father loves Frank equally as much and He has extended his days here in mortality and obviously has allowed him the time needed to change.

It is with great respect to the Frank Reyna that I am going to share his letter to me in its entirety...



In the next chapter I will share my response to Frank Reyna.


Michael Leavitt - Orem, Utah - - Originally written 2/18/2012

NOTE: Washington Irving Junior High School was 7th, 8th, and 9th grades during my 1974-76 tenure. I see that it is now named Washington Irving Middle School and features 6th, 7th, and 8th grades. I wish the change happened decades ago and I could have completed 9th grade at the much more impressive and friendly Eagle Rock High School.

NOTE 2: Washington Irving has changed again. The internet shows it is now called the Irving Magnet School and is painted white and vibrant blue and features grades 5th through 8th. LINK

What are your thoughts? How would you respond?


My Response to Frank Reyna - Part V of “I Survived...
The 9th Grade Wall - Part III of “I Survived Washi...


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