Acclimating to a new office can be a challenge, especially when the former occupant served in his role for two decades.
Following his announcement that he would not seek a sixth term as Yavapai County District 3 Supervisor, Chip Davis made way for former Cottonwood City Councilman Randy Garrison to take over earlier this year.
District 3 comprises communities in the Cottonwood and Sedona area.
Davis and Garrison are Arizona natives with deep family roots in the Verde Valley. Both are fond of the same style of dress — Western; a stiff pair of jeans is just fine — and refuse to rely on the formalities of their titles.
Regardless of the similarities, Garrison wanted to make a fresh start in the Yavapai County Cottonwood Annex.
Seeking to “build bridges with the Nation,” Garrison contacted Yavapai-Apache Nation’s Apache Cultural Director Vince Randall to do a blessing of the supervisor’s office and the supervisors’ boardroom on Feb. 15. Randall is also a former tribal chairman of the Nation.
“It’s good just to get things cleaned out,” Garrison said, adding that he wanted to also pay respect to tribal traditions.
Randall smiled when asked why he chose to bless Garrison’s new digs.
“I’ve known Randy’s family for forever,” he said, adding that Garrison’s father was a year ahead of him in high school. Seated together, Randall and Garrison talked of family before going to the boardroom.
Randall began the blessing by separating supervisors and staff according to gender, with the men standing to the left and the women to the right.
After a brief introduction, Randall said that he would ask through prayer “that this place will only involve good thoughts and good words that uplift with a good heart and love for all people.” He petitioned for protection for all the people residing or visiting the building.
“We give thanks for the life that flows through our bodies, and for the blessing of our homes, our families and our friends,” Randall said. “I am glad that I have been blessed to see another morning. That will be our prayer and our blessing.
“You can also pray in your own way. It’s open to all the good things we have.”
Anointing himself with cattail pollen, Randall delivered the prayer in the Western Apache dialect.