Tuesday, June 3 2014, 03:35 PM MDT
Person 2 Person: Gail Miller
Since the passing of her late husband Gail Miller has taken over as owner of the Larry H. Miller Group of Companies. Through this experience she has realized how much she enjoys the world of business. She has also taken the next step in her personal life by getting married to local attorney, Kim Wilson. This week Shauna Lake sits down with Gail Miller "Person 2 Person."
Below is a transcript of Shauna Lake's interview with Gail Miller.
SHAUNA LAKE: Tell me what your growing up experience was like.
GAIL MILLER: Well I was the sixth of nine children. My parents were married in 1928. Then the depression came. I remember having holes in my shoes and holes in my socks and being embarrassed about it, but I think in spite of all that my mother was able to distill in us that being poor didn't mean you didn't have abilities. So I think we all grew up with some aura of confidence about us.
SHAUNA LAKE: What was it like for you to have grown up as such a poor little girl and coming from a poor family and then having pretty much anything at your disposal? Was that strange?
GAIL MILLER: Well there was a long period in between those two things.
SHAUNA LAKE: I'm sure.
GAIL MILLER: We married in '65. It wasn't until '85 that we bought the Jazz. So those 20 years we were not wealthy either. We struggled mightily and we tried to provide four our kids and our first five years of marriage I think Larry had seven jobs.
SHAUNA LAKE: And what were you two like as a team?
GAIL MILLER: Well we worked really well together, but it was because we respected each other's strengths and complimented each other's weaknesses. He was the breadwinner, but as time went on, then I became very resentful about the fact that he was married to his work and the children were missing out with that part of parenting. They needed their dad.
SHAUNA LAKE: Did you ever give Larry some kind of ultimatum?
GAIL MILLER: I did, but it was hard for him to understand that. It was very hard because he thought he was doing that by providing for us. He didn't understand how important a father figure really is until much later.
SHAUNA LAKE: I read in some of the notes I was studying about you that you really left a lot of Larry's mementos and things untouched in his home office. Is that true still?
GAIL MILLER: Oh I've totally redone it now. The thing that I think you probably read was how stark it was for me after he died to walk back into his office and see everything just as he had left it and realize that it's not what you have that's important. It's the person. Because none of it mattered anymore, and I think that's something you have to go through to understand how final death is. Sometimes it's hard to go on because you don't want to deal with what's right there in front of you and take care of it. So it took me a while to clean out his office and put things back.
SHAUNA LAKE: And didn't he kind of prepare you all? Didn't he say to you in particular, you've always kind of been behind the scenes, but I need you to be...
GAIL MILLER: I need you to be the bridge to the children for a while until they get on firm footing.
SHAUNA LAKE: Did you feel comfortable with that?
GAIL MILLER: I did because we had just shared so much all along the way, and so it wasn't difficult to do, it was just difficult to decide when it's time to quit. Because once I got into doing that then I realized how much fun business really is. Then I could see why he was there all the time. It's a dynamic business. I've enjoyed it, but no I wouldn't want to make a career out of it. I'm ready to retire.
SHAUNA LAKE: I know you've remarried, and tell me about Kim. Is that his name?
GAIL MILLER: Kim.
SHAUNA LAKE: And how did you meet him? And tell me that love story.
GAIL MILLER: Kim and I lived in the same neighborhood for 17 years or have lived. He was our neighbor. He knew Larry. His wife died a year and a half after Larry died. He and I used to wheel our spouses to church and try to get the one or two handicap parking spaces we had. And we have a lot of common interests. He started the Mormon Historic Sites Foundation, and he had an event he invited me to go to that was of that nature, and we just had a good time. The thing that I liked about him was, he said, "I knew Larry, and I loved Larry, but I'm not intimidated by Larry." And I thought, "Okay!"
SHAUNA LAKE: That's a good sign.
GAIL MILLER: That's good.
SHAUNA LAKE: Because I was going to ask you what it's like because he goes to all these functions and galas and dinner and there's so much mention of Larry and you're so in the limelight. Is that a challenge for him?
GAIL MILLER: It's not. He's very comfortable in his own skin, and he knows who he is. He knows who I am. He knew who Larry was. He just accepts it all. He's just a very easy person to be around.
SHAUNA LAKE: What is the sweetest part of your life right now Gail?
GAIL MILLER: I think it is just knowing that life is good. You know you asked me earlier what it was like to be poor and then be rich. I gave a talk at BYU commencement and I made the statement, "I've been poor and I've been rich and it doesn't really matter because I am who I am either way." And so I think that is what keeps me grounded and able to enjoy whatever I'm doing wherever I'm doing it.
SHAUNA LAKE: And that's a perfect note to end on. Gail thank you so much.
GAIL MILLER: Thank you.
SHAUNA LAKE: It's so nice to get to know you better "Person 2 Person."
GAIL MILLER: Well thank you.
-Written and produced by Leslie Tillotson
(Copyright 2014 Sinclair Broadcasting Group.)