With one more Presidential debate behind us, the clock is rapidly ticking towards November 6. Continual media frenzy, e-mail boxes filling with info and the phone continually ringing with survey requests make this next two weeks an amazing time to be an American … and to be a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
In early September I received a fascinating e-mail that had gone viral about the Romneys with personal information from the couple who purchased their former Park City, Utah home in 2009. Hal and Corinne Prewitt of Florida are not aligned with any religion or any political party and bought the home with little or no knowledge of the Romneys, the LDS Church or the 2012 presidential election. It was simply the right home, at the right price in the right location.
The Prewitt’s story is here talking about how helpful and down-to-earth the Romneys were during the home purchase and is worth reading.
They said, “When you buy a home and its contents from someone you really learn a lot about their true character, values and beliefs. And rarely does anyone have the opportunity to learn how a politician acts out of the public’s view and when they are not running for office. Well, this actually happened. When? Only a few years ago, in spring of 2009 when we bought Mitt Romney’s Park City, Utah home. His family lived in this home for about ten years. Because our purchase included most of the contents, we gained a unique and unusual perspective of him and his family of which most Americans are completely unaware. What we experienced was not what we expected. Not the stereotypical actions of a millionaire and more importantly not the image most Americans have of Mitt Romney.
“The Romney Park City home, which they designed and built, and its contents had much to say. It is located in a public neighborhood and without gates. Having raised a family of our own, we saw that the home was built with a focus on his family. There are no maid, butler or nanny quarters. Clearly Ann and Mitt raised their kids. No gold faucets, no fancy silverware. The kitchen was simple and typical of most homes with kids, very much like those in which we were raised. No swimming pool, tennis court or movie theater. We were struck by the discovery that most of the art, furniture and all the curtains were made in America and many by local craftsmen. Most of the linens were of good quality but not what is found at very high end, exclusive stores. The master bedroom pillows had tags from the average American’s most popular discount store…
“When most of us buy a home, the real estate agent or seller hands over the keys at closing and then as buyers, we are on our own. Not this time. We met Mitt Romney by himself at the house. He spent as much time as we needed showing us around, answering our questions and explaining how to use and service the home’s equipment. And when he was done, he gave us his direct contact information should we have problems. To move, if we can afford the cost, most of us would hire movers with a team of workers. To save money, many of us are the do-it-our-selves types. Which did Mitt Romney do? Like many of us, on his own he rented a six-wheel truck and moved himself. He drove to the local Home Depot and purchased wood to build whatever he needed for the transport. Mitt moved his family’s clothes, his family’s photos, his family’s mementos, his grandchildren’s toys. With the help of a friend and family, they loaded the truck. Then, after answering all our questions Mitt Romney said his goodbyes, climbed into the truck and began the long drive to his new home by himself.”
Why the Article Went Viral
The article has gone viral with millions of readers and with good reason: it revealed a great deal about the Romney’s lifestyle, character and values in a very candid way from people who had an unusual opportunity to live in the home and see first-hand how the Romneys live. This couple had purchased not only the home itself, but much of the home’s interior furnishings and contents. They also got a personal tour of the home from Governor Romney after the closing.
Between it all, they learned a lot of truly positive and significant things that they felt needed to be shared as widely as possible, especially with the twisted, incorrect perceptions of Mitt being so widely broadcast.
Learn more about Hal Prewitt, a husband, father, businessman and race car driver.
The entire piece left me wanting more information and a desire to share it as far as I could too, not for just fun reading, but to actively continue the viral sharing of this vital information at this very critical time for the United States. Although there have been countless hits and forwards, a cursory questioning in my Northern Virginia ward has revealed many who haven’t seen it. With Maurine Proctor’s encouragement to learn more, I sent an e-mail to the contact listed on the article and immediately received an automated response saying the article was truthful, but it was impossible to respond to all the inquiries. I was a little disappointed, but two minutes later I got a personal e-mail, with a promise for a phone call in just a few minutes.
As good as his word, Hal Prewitt phoned me from Italy where he and his wife had finished their Europe racing schedule and were vacationing. They’d been up late the night before to view the first presidential debate (at 3:00 a.m. Italy time), but he had time to talk at length with me, allowing me to ask as many questions as I wanted, reaffirming everything the original article said, emphasizing several times that his purpose in writing it was not to “talk about a rich man’s house, but to help reveal the kind of man Mitt Romney is at home and in private” and reiterating (as it does in the article) that they have been neither strong Republicans or Democrats, rather, have voted for candidates of both parties throughout the years based on their personal feelings of a candidate’s position and potential to serve.
CA: Did you have any idea what moving into a celebrity businessman/politician’s home might be like?
HP: No, it really didn’t matter then and it doesn’t now. Quite simply, we’d been looking for several years for the right home in the right location at the right price.
It just so happened that this home fit the bill. We like to say that the stars lined up and “it chose us.” I assure you that as nice as it is, it is a home noteworthy for not what they built, but more for what they did not and easily could have.”
We found it during a ski holiday, through a real estate agent listed on the internet. I’m from Florida, my wife from Pennsylvania. We wanted a second home in the Western U.S. with mountains and snow. There was absolutely no personal contact with the Romneys during the process of buying the home. Really, that’s it in a nutshell.
What’s going on now is completely unexpected nor could we have imagined it when we bought the house. It was a fast purchase, finding the home during a ski holiday in February 2009, and closing in March, all just as the Obamas were settling into the White House.
CA: I’d really like to include pictures of the house.
HP: You’re more than welcome to find them on the internet as there was some media buzz when we first bought it. From the many questions we have received and some misunderstanding of our story, our words were not about Mitt’s beautiful home or its contents. It was the experience, what we learned and how different it was from what most Americans believe.
Pictures don’t always reflect the whole story. His home is noteworthy not for what they built, but more for what they did not and easily could have. The Romneys selected a public non-gated neighborhood. In addition to what we wrote, it was not like many mountain or ski homes located in Utah. There were no outside amenities such as a hot tub, pool, tennis court or access to the ski slopes. We made a number of renovations and added much to the outside. We chose to remodel the kitchen and the dining rooms. (Some pictures and the Prewitt’s remodeling can be learned about with a link at the bottom of this article.)
CA: How did you end up with the contents of the house?
HP: Home and content sales have become common as they make the job of selling and buying easier. We were moving from an ocean area to the mountains and he the reverse. Most of the furnishings don’t fit well in the new locations. We desired and paid for most of the contents and this saved moving costs for both the buyer and seller. The sale did not include most personal items although Mitt did leave a few and we did see many of them before they were moved out. I’m a do-it-yourself kind of guy and not much of a shopper. It made moving and enjoying the home a lot simpler and quicker by purchasing what was already there and not to have to start from scratch on our own.
CA: How did the sharing of this information evolve?
HP: First of all, we want everyone to know that we didn’t think too much about any of it for quite a while. We’ve known wealthy people, some of celebrity status, for many years, and no matter what others think or imagine, they’re all simply people, as are the Romneys.
We’d share a story here and there about moving into the house, and then realized that something very interesting was happening: Our conservative friends were not too surprised, apparently well aware of Mitt’s well-grounded character. However, our liberal friends were shocked, surprised, fascinated and impressed with what we shared. It was their response, and the increasing incorrect publicity that led us to the conclusion that we could do something to reveal the true Mitt Romney from a very unique position.
All the stories are true and unique and true. With the exception of the story about his ski gloves that had been passed along previously by his sons, everything in our article had not been shared before and we had only shared them with personal and business friends.
I emphasize again that it was not at all newsworthy when we bought the house. In the past six months, however, as Mitt became a main contender and we recognized that our knowledge was so different from the perspective being portrayed, it became a “private storm” of sorts, on what we should do with what we knew to be true. It all really bothered us. Ours is such a simple story, but it tells so much!
CA: Who wrote the article?
HP: Well, as you can see if you read about me at Wikipedia, (the link is below) I am dyslexic. That being the case, writing is a great chore for me and my wife is not a writer either, so it was a lengthy and challenging project for us. We’ve had many people come to us and say that putting our names on it is a “cover-up”, written by professional writers trying to build the Romney’s public image as main-stream Americans. We actually wrote it ourselves, but asked and did receive help from our close friends to improve grammar and intent. When it went viral, we also felt strongly that it should be available in Spanish. We ended up getting some professional help with that, and then had personal friends go through the translation so that it was as authentic as the original English version.
CA: The Presidential election of 2012 was nearly 4 years away when you bought the house. Did you have any thoughts about it when you met him? How do you feel about him as a candidate now?
HP: When we met him we were not thinking of him as a candidate. The 2008 election had just ended. We’re really not political people, as we state in the article. But of course we learned a lot while buying the home and were able to see important characteristics that indicated a down-to-earth, grounded, sharp, experienced and extremely well-centered individual.
As time has gone by, we have become convinced that he’ll be this same down-to-earth President and that his policies and agenda are just what America needs.
Today many Americans are hurting and face crushing challenges. Too many are struggling to find work. More Americans are facing a world of problems they never imagined they would see. Each of us should think hard about who we want to lead. We think the public should ask themselves which of the two candidates they would most aspire to mirror in our own lives. And are they choosing the person they most benefit from or the one who acts in the best interest of all Americans. This election is one of the most important.
The problems of our country are not about the wealthy versus the poor or the haves versus the have-nots. It is about leadership, the experience to solve the challenges that face us and the backbone to follow through.
Leadership is not just about the leader. It is about the person who helps the rest of us become successful. Rather than lead followers, a true leader provides a path that allows and convinces us to do things we would not otherwise do. This applies to everything in our lives. Americans are interconnected and dependent on each other for our individual and combined ultimate successes.
It is fruitless to solve our problems by turning one group of us against another. A president who does this does not lead or unite our country. Rather he destroys and will never achieve the solutions for our problems.Want a compassionate president? Saying or appearing to be compassionate is one thing. Actually being compassionate is far more important. There is a huge difference in giving of yourself rather than simply redistributing what belongs to others.
A fundamental foundation of a country is its financial infrastructure. Whether the subject is the middle class, health care, taxes, debt, foreign policy or social issues — all are directly connected and can be solved by people having sustainable, well paying jobs. Create wealth for all Americans and it is they who will solve the many problems. And it can be created without taking from one group and giving to another. That is America’s history.
It is more valuable to have a president who knows how to create wealth. How to use, grow, save and invest it. And actually accomplish all these things rather than just talk and promise.
After nearly four years, these are the major reasons why so many people have lost faith in President Obama and many of our democratic friends have jumped ship. We want to believe President Obama has had well intended plans. However, hope in and of itself is not a solution. There is little value in slogans or promises. There is no substitute for skill, experience and accomplishment. Unfortunately even with the best of aspirations, failure is still failure.
What do we know about Mitt Romney? Our support for him came after our personal experiences we wish every American could have. What will a President Romney do? Is he a better choice to help our country more than President Obama?
Each of us is a product of our life’s experiences. Where President Obama has failed and where Mitt shines is that he actually has a demonstrated record of achieving consensus and building successes from followers and, far more important, those not initially supportive of him.
In the 2002 Olympics, he had the difficult task of managing volunteers rather than paid employees working for a business. It takes true leadership to motivate without pay rather than enlisting employees to do jobs. These things are for sure: Mitt is smart, practical, has more valuable and useful experience, is not motivated by image or being a celebrity, doesn’t let others carry his bags and will not be corrupted by the greed, the status of the job or other people. Mitt understands why jobs moved overseas, what policies don’t work and most importantly how to get the jobs back.
Little noticed in our story was the fact Mitt did not give or save the home for his kids. Contrary to President Obama, there will be no special treatment for our country’s wealthy. Mitt knows that simply giving to those truly not in need, rather than creating a sustainable path forward for everyone, will not create widespread wealth, provide stable jobs for Americans or improve our economy. He knows from experience how to build a strong personal life and how to provide the foundation for us to create our own wealth.
My experience with Mitt Romney is that he cares about all of us. He misspoke and was misunderstood recently when he referenced the 47%. He did not mean to imply that he does not care about Americans. This is verifiable in two ways. First, Mitt has a long history of being highly compassionate to those in need by giving so much of himself and his wealth. Second, this defies all logic and common sense and the history of every American president. It is impossible for ANY president to ignore 47% of Americans simply because any president would be a complete failure in office. It would cause immense problems for the entire country and cause the loss of support from the remaining people. This claim, promoted by the news press and Mitt’s opponents, is nothing more than political noise. Sadly, it is aimed at people who want to hear or believe it and therefore rarely think about whether it is actually true or factual.
Whatever people think about him, he is very different from President Obama. Mitt Romney’s objectives are about jobs, improving our economy and the lives of every American. We should be less concerned about trying to determine precisely what changes would be made than our decision to elect a leader. Passage of any changes will take the support of Democrats and Republicans. Making a change of presidents provides a new opportunity for our elected officials to work together to solve our country’s problems. Clearly, a change offers a difference from what has happened the past 4 years. It will take help from every American to solve our country’s problems.
CA: What was it like to meet him?
HP: We really didn’t think too much about it, other than it was helpful to have him show us the house and explain how things worked. Through the years we have met many celebrities and business people. You learn quickly that success in business, politics, or whatever doesn’t change the fact that people are simply people, regardless of their income or place in society. We didn’t exchange autographs, take photos or anything like that. That day we talked about a variety of subjects but mostly it was a day of exchanging information about the house. Mitt also gave us his contact information in case we had any follow-up questions.
CA: What’s it like to have something go viral?
HP: We had no idea whether it would or not, or actually what would happen. We wrote it, as we stated in the article, from a desire to be good citizens and to correct the misperception about the Romneys. Then we e-mailed it to 300-350 personal and business friends on our mailing list in mid-August. That was the launch. We knew it could cause some personal challenges, but we went ahead because it was the right thing to do.
The distribution is mostly by e-mails being forwarded by the readers who found it valuable and want to share. In late August, when we knew that it was being forwarded, we put a PDF on my website. We know from statistical accounts at the website (LINK is below) that we have had 700,000 visitors in the last 40 days, and that the PDF has been downloaded 250-300,000 times. However, this is only a small percentage of the distribution.
Readers have visited the website to verify the story is real. We also wanted there to be an original, unaltered copy for reference. If it was shortened for any publication or op-ed newspaper piece, we wanted the full and complete article to be available. If it got altered, we wanted a documented, genuine copy at our website for proof.
We know it has been reposted many, many times, even on some prominent Republican and Democratic blogs and websites, where there have been hundreds of thousands of tweets, reposts, forwards and comments following the article.
We’ve been invited to be on radio and TV programs and will support others, like you, who want to get it out there even further. But we’re a one-man-woman band, responding as best we can in a personal way without a professional secretarial or support staff.
CA: Are the Romneys aware of this article? What are their thoughts?
HP:We did send them a copy out of respect, but don’t know for sure, since we do not have any kind of other personal connection with them. Remember that we bought the house back in 2009, well over three years ago. We hope they are not upset with us for sharing this information, but we have not heard from them and have no way of knowing.
CA: What challenges have you experienced?
HP: Well, we have been accused, as I mentioned before, by opposing parties thinking that this is gimmick to help the Romneys improve their image. However, it is a 100% grass roots effort on our part.
Since we did, in an effort to let people know it was real, include our website address and e-mail, we have been inundated with people wanting to talk to us. We initially answered every email, but could not keep up. We had no choice but to set-up an automated reply, and then to follow-up with those people who sent specific questions requiring a response. We do read every email sent us.
The bottom line is, it’s not a fake, it’s not a hoax, and it’s not political. It was all done with the honest and purposeful intent to tell a true story. The fact that it clears up false images of Mitt Romney allows all Americans to make a better decision about who to elect for our next president.
With my interview concluded, I was thoroughly impressed with Hal’s authenticity and desire to further forward the information that the Romney’s are the “real deal” as he himself is! I expressed my appreciation for his time, and my promise to have it published at Meridian for your use as soon as possible.
Hal hopes that people will copy the article as written onto blogs and into e-mails with a personal preface to promote the Romney-Ryan ticket.
You can use the Meridian sharing link, or copy the article below, or send the link to the PDF in whatever way you feel is best.
Park City home pictures
The Original Article
The Mitt Romney we know – Insight into the man & his family 8/26/2012
Ours is a factual story that provides a rare glimpse and insight into the real Mitt Romney.
Does he really relate to the average American? As President, would he impose his beliefs on others? Is he really Christian?
Growing up in Florida and Pennsylvania, we knew little to nothing of Utah, Mitt Romney, his family or values, beliefs, religion and his capabilities. We were amazed by what we learned. We are messengers, delivering facts and initially were not Mitt Romney supporters nor anti-Obama. The facts do change who we support. We are not part of any campaign, not Mormon nor religious activists. We have voted for Democrats and Republicans and believe voters should elect the best person regardless of political party.
When you buy a home and its contents from someone you really learn a lot about their true character, values and beliefs. And rarely does anyone have the opportunity to learn how a politician acts out of the public’s view and when they are not running for office.
Well, this actually happened. When? Only a few years ago, in spring of 2009 when we bought Mitt Romney’s Park City, Utah home. His family lived in this home for about ten years. Because our purchase included most of the contents, we gained a unique and unusual perspective of him and his family of which most Americans are completely unaware.
What we experienced was not what we expected. Not the stereotypical actions of a millionaire and more importantly not the image most Americans have of Mitt Romney.
The Romney Park City home, which they designed and built, and its contents had much to say. It is located in a public neighborhood and without gates. Having raised a family of our own, we saw that the home was built with a focus on his family. There are no maid, butler or nanny quarters. Clearly Ann and Mitt raised their kids. No gold faucets, no fancy silverware. The kitchen was simple and typical of most homes with kids, very much like those in which we were raised. No swimming pool, tennis court or movie theater. We were struck by the discovery that most of the art, furniture and all the curtains were made in America and many by local craftsmen. Most of the linens were of good quality but not what is found at very high end, exclusive stores. The master bedroom pillows had tags from the average American’s most popular discount store.
In the most honored place in the master bedroom hung a painting of Jesus Christ. Most
Americans know little about Mormonism and we didn’t either. The home is beautiful, but far more important and often falsely reported or overlooked are the facts the Romneys selected a public neighborhood and actually chose not to build a truly luxury estate.
It is a home noteworthy not for what they built, but more for what they did not and easily could have. Mitt and his family are much more in-touch with average Americans than many people realize. They had a home of faith and family just like many of us.
One of the most interesting questions many have asked is, “As president will he impose his beliefs on others?” Many claim that a President Romney would take away rights and impose his beliefs on all Americans. The Romney home contents gave us insight into this question. One of the strongest Mormon beliefs is the prohibition against drinking alcohol. We were surprised to find a small supply which we were told was available for guests, not for the family. Mitt Romney had a respect for his guest’s wishes. By not imposing his beliefs on others even within his own home, then clearly a President Romney would not take away rights and impose his beliefs on all Americans. Those making such accusations should stop. The facts do not support their claims.
When most of us buy a home, the real estate agent or seller hands over the keys at closing and then as buyers, we are on our own. Not this time.
We met Mitt Romney by himself at the house. He spent as much time as we needed showing us around, answering our questions and explaining how to use and service the home’s equipment. And when he was done, he gave us his direct contact information should we have problems.
To move, if we can afford the cost, most of us would hire movers with a team of workers. To save money, many of us are the do-it-our-selves types. Which did Mitt Romney do? Like many of us, on his own he rented a six-wheel truck and moved himself. He drove to the local Home Depot and purchased wood to build whatever he needed for the transport. Mitt moved his family’s clothes, his family’s photos, his family’s mementos, his grandchildren’s toys. With the help of a friend and family, they loaded the truck.
Then, after answering all our questions Mitt Romney said his goodbyes, climbed into the truck and began the long drive to his new home by himself.
It is amazing what can be learned about someone from observing the smallest details. In the Romney’s family mud room, where the boots and outdoor clothing were stored, we found the Governor’s ski gloves. One of his son’s apologized for his dad’s lack of concern about his appearance when Mitt went skiing because the gloves would surely be noticed. They were worn out and had holes in the fingers. Mitt had gone to the garage tool box and wrapped them with duct tape. Thrifty? Yes, and the repair provided an immediate practical solution rather than traveling to the store to buy a new pair. His indifference to appearance demonstrated his confidence, true character and priorities. Good qualities, but easily misunderstood because they are quite different from those displayed by many famous people and certainly politicians, who highly protect and prize their appearance.
As you have read, our story is not about a wealthy man’s nice home or its beautiful contents. It is about the story they tell and how our experiences with him showed the real Mitt Romney. How his family truly lived is a real indication of their values and beliefs. Mitt Romney is very different from the man that many of us have been led to believe. Clearly he is more like most Americans than not. We learned many things about Mitt Romney that contradicted what we have been told. He is not aloof or out of touch. He is a man of faith, family and American values. A guy who is well-grounded. It is not beneath him to roll up his shirt-sleeves and get the job done.
The fact that he has allowed this to be kept so very private is a true testament to
his character and shows how different he is from many other politicians.
Who are we and why are we speaking out? We want nothing more than for our fellow citizens to know what we know. We live in Miami and Utah. Hal was raised in Florida, is a farmer, race car driver and retired after creating a number of successful businesses. Corinne is a retired government employee. We do not come from wealthy families. Our parents worked average jobs. Our fathers were a mailman and an engineer. Our mothers were a nurse and a housewife. We struggled, worked hard and are grateful for having been rewarded over the years. We have never given up on achieving the American dream.
But the story we tell is not about us.
As Americans, we depend on our press to provide us with factual and unbiased information. We hear politicians sometimes misspeak and others take their statements out of context. Many times it is hard to tell what is fact and what is fiction. Over the past few months, we have noticed how different from reality some of the public perceptions and media presentations of Governor Romney are.
Unfortunately, some political opponents spread false information and misconceptions. This is wrong. This injustice and the value of our story has led us to speak up and provide these facts. No one can say with absolute certainty what kinds of decisions a president will make while still a candidate for that office. To predict, we only have access to their words, history and if available the most useful facts of all, how they acted out of public view and when they are not running for office. This is why our story is so important, valuable and must be told. No doubt some will want to dismiss our story, argue that it is not newsworthy nor relevant and possibly subject us to an undesired spot light.
However, we hope the American people are given the opportunity to hear the truth, especially when the facts directly contradict what many people think to be true.
Corinne & Hal Prewitt
Please email us as we value and desire your comments. The number one question we have
received asks if our story is true. Yes, we are real and this is a true story. You can google “Hal
Prewitt” and will find much public information verifying who we are.