Sunday, January 22, 2017

Political point, or maybe totally non-political

Regardless how you stand politically, Donald Trump is officially the President of the United States. Politicians on both sides are all about how in the world this guy who has never held a political position became president. Career politicians should take note: When we were growing up in my generation at least, our parents and teachers constantly reminded us that in this country of freedom, anyone could become president. The millions of American citizens that voted in the election proved that. And, maybe the reason the politicians are all shook up about it is that it can happen again and again now that voters realise their combined power. This just may be the death knell of the lifetime, secure political elite.

Women from around the country and from what I hear, around the world marched in protest against what they see is the constant suppression of women by a male dominated society or culture. They are standing up for something they believe. Good for them. In another view I would like to give this personal perspective. I feel that a march to thank those men who have fought for equal rights would be just as much in order. Much more is achieved by acknowledgement than by constant criticism in my opinion. When one gets all caught up in self pity in the name of self righteousness they lose sight of reality and the gains that have been made. It isn't all bad, not even very bad at all if you look at other countries. Not that I feel you should but maybe try on a Burka for a while to feel how other women view their opportunities. Don't forget to do as your folks said and say thank you.

Blogging may not be for everyone but it's a place where I can speak my mind. It's my blog, right? Enjoy your day.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Miracle in December

At this time of year my mind drifts back to December 1st, 1989. I was about to leave work and g home when the telephne rang. I answered and on the line was a long time acquaintance and he could hardly talk without choking up. He is the father of 3 girls and one son. A good father but rather earthy and gruff. He explained his call haltingly and with much emotion:

Two days before he brought his 8 year old son to the doctor because he had not eaten for a couple days and when he tried he vomited it up. The doctor ran a few testes in the office and told them that it would be wise to check ito the emergency at the nearest hospital for further tests. They went immediately. Following X-Rays, blood tests and scans they determined he had a stomach blockage and wanted to run a biopsy. They then put his son to sleep and performed the biopsy of the stomach, brought him back to recovery. after what seemed to be an eternity a doctor came to speak with the father. "Your son is full of cancer, it is too late for treatment. The best we can offer is to send him to the specialist hospital in another city to keep him comfortable until the end. They administered drugs for comfort and sent him to the larger, specialist hospital within the hour. The new hospital ran more tests and verified the original diagnosis and told the father to make the best of the time his son had left.

When his son finally fell asleep his father called me with a request. Joe, we've had our talks about God and such and I always resisted your thoughts on the subject. I really would like to believe there is a God. Can you teach mehow to pray? I don't know how. As a father myself and a fellow human being my heart went out to him. I'd never had a request like that before. And so we began, two scruffy guys, helpless in our own human condition to do our best to pray. And, pray we did, for hours and hours until his son woke up and he excused himself to tend to him. i went home and explained to y wife what happened and truthfully, I don't know if I slept a wink all night.

at work te next morning early as always I wondered if his son may have passed in the night, the condition sounded that dire. I had no way of contacting his father so I went about my work. just before I went home for the evening I recieved another phone call. It was the father. He could hardly talk................

This is what he had to say. His son went back to sleep and they both slept the night not knowing if he would still be alive. The next morning his son woke up and asked for ice cream. He hadn't asked for food in days. The doctor said go anead, it can't do ant harm and may help him feel more comfortable. He ate the ice cream and asked for a ham sandwich. The doctor said go ahead, sometimes the death experience is like a light bulb and shines bright just before burning out for the last time. He ate the sandwich and was fine. The doctor was confused. He ordered more tests and after the tests he ordered a biopsy. After all morning and most of the afternoon, several doctors entered the room and had this to say:

Sir, wehave no idea what went at the oter hospital and then again at this hospital, but all the tests are negative, your son does not have incurable stomach cancer nor any other kind either. Something went wrong with all the tests. Yu are free to go home your son is completely healthy!

His son is alive and well today and has a couple kids of his own that he brings to grampa every week. I don't know if he still prays but I know of one time when he prayed his heart out. And I witnessed it I believe it to be a miracle.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Lessons of life in my humble opinion

Lots and lots of news coverage regarding charity donations at this time of year. I believe that is a wonderful thing. Sharing is how we acknowledge that everything we have is not only a gift, a blessing and result of some effort on our part but also a benefit of living in a society of fellow human beings. It is an admirable virtue to give and share. However, there is another side to the meaning of giving, the receiving side.

In this country there are millions of people in need of various necessities and helping them is not only a virtue but most would agree, an obligation to our fellow man. Necessities actually consist of three things, food, clothing and shelter. That's what I've believed and been told all my life. Access to health care, in my opinion should be included in that too. But what happens when we give too much?

Growing up in a working class family certainly had it's challenges. "You don't get something for nothing" was one of the life lesson's my folks taught. My siblings and I participated in providing for our necessities through some type of work of entrepreneurial venture to help pay for some pleasantries or extras that we may want. My dad always worked two jobs to make up for the low pay and my mom filled in with babysitting. I grew up in a family unit that only asked for help in emergencies when all our efforts had failed and our resources were exhausted. Hard work, sacrifice, determination, persistence and faith in a better life pulled us through. The help we received helped us up, it didn't take the place of our dignity and learning experiences.

Charity is a virtue, I sincerely believe in sharing what I have and giving to a good cause in a variety of ways. However, I sincerely wonder if those charities aren't  providing so much as to remove many otherwise capable people from gaining the skills necessary for providing for themselves.

Life skills include: Speaking well and communication of thoughts, Proper clothing and appearance, need, desire, work ethic and common sense. Watching some folks who have no respect for others and the hard work it took to get where they are and just keep demanding more and more, I wonder if sometimes we, in our noble charitable efforts are creating a segment of society that os so totally dependent on others that they and their decedents will never learn to be productive members but simply slaves to make benevolent, hard working folks feel better because they gave. The only skills they have are based upon how to work the system and blaming others for their plight. In truth, taking much needed resources fro those that actually need a helping hand. It won't stop my giving where I see a need though.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

"A Tale of Christmas" Children's story book

Around 65 years ago I visited The area around Luther Michigan with a family of a friend as they picked up a puppy for my friend. For some reason I was fascinated by the name and the countryside combined with the excitement of picking up a new puppy. Several years later, while working in Detroit I overheard a young boy begging his father for a puppy. His father, after listening for quite some time, sighed and said that until he got a job, the only way they could afford a puppy was if money grew on trees. Out of those experiences evolved this story.

In the this, third in my series of annual children's story books which are sold to benefit charitable organizations, "A Tale of Christmas" is about a boy, a puppy, a long journey and a very surprising ending. All beginning near Luther Michigan.

Now being sold at
Springrove Variety Store
815- 36th Street S.W.
Wyoming Mi. 49509

Or at my office
J&S Car Care
5724- Clay Ave. S.W. #3
Wyoming Mi. 49548

Or by calling 616-534-2025
cost $10 plus postage if mailed

As demand has been brisk we have ordered a larger supply so it is readily available for Christmas. We also have additional copies of the two previous books, "All About Don" and The Story of Klause and Gretchen" should you want the complete set.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

New book progress

It's coming down to the finish line with the publication and printing of this year's installment of my annual children's book series. "A Tale of Christmas" The final edit was completed on Monday and the illustrations by Jeff Parks submitted and accepted the same day. We were pleased by the response from the proof readers as to perhaps the appeal to a wider audience. Once it hits the shelves at Springrove Variety Store on 36th Street in Wyoming Michigan we will know. The proceeds, of course will as always be donated to a worthy cause. In the past, hundreds of dollars have gone to DeVos Children's Hospital. Mary Free Bed, Santa Claus Girls, Crash's Landing animal rescue, and The American Cancer Society Strides event.

personally I am looking forward to greeting and thanking those who participate and purchase "A Tale of Christmas" Donations would not be possible if not for their generosity and participation. Including everyone from around the U.S. who send in to my business and have it mailed to them. One good old "grampa" buys one each for his 16 grandchildren and always includes a story of them along with his request and check. Good parents and grandparents ROCK! And these books are dedicated to their love and efforts for our children.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Wyoming Riddler

I received a phone call from one of the winners of the Silver Treasure Hunt Riddle that I conducted for 33 years. It was enjoyable to talk to him. Brought back a flood of memories. I miss it dearly after ending it almost 3 years ago. The reason for his call is that somewhere on youtube there is a video with clues saying that the Wyoming Riddler is back. Just for the record I do not have any connection to those videos whatsoever. I personally have not had time to view them as yet but until further notice I am not conducting any riddles or treasure hnts of any consequence. Enjoy your day!

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Who is telling me what I can do?

Let me get this straight. You are telling me that I do not know what I am doing.

Not bragging or complaining, just stating facts. After being told I could not do these things along with many others too numerous to mention.

I have run a business since 1960 through thick and thin, sometimes working 72 hours straight without sleep with a paralyzed arm (1-1/2 years)and through chronic illness.
I supported myself and my family without benefit of public assistance sometimes working 3 jobs.
I put my kids through parochial school.
After only knowing her for four months I married a woman and we're still married 50 years later
I survived a two year battle with carbon monoxide poisoning induced amnesia
I spent $100,000 over 33 years conducting a treasure hunt to spotlight the danger of CO poisoning
I raised two fantastic children that chose to be wonderful parents and successful, productive members of society
I have remained loyal to my friends even when most everyone else gave up on them
I mentored over 150 at risk young men and helped teach them skills and work ethics that last a lifetime.
I visited and befriends aging veterans for 30 years and in many cases was with them as they died
I visited, wrote to and mentored men in prison and helped them back into being good members of society
I held the hands of many friends and relatives as they passed away so they would not be alone.
I have never smoked dope or taken an illegal drug.
I have developed a faith in God that is unshakable.
Did my best to be fair and have always paid my employees more than I paid myself.
After the return of my memory I wrote my life story as I remembered it in hopes of helping others. It sold over 2400 copies.
I am grateful for the opportunity in each and every day.
I state these things for this reason:
Until you have a list of similar accomplishments I ask that you refrain from criticizing me and telling me what I can and cannot do. Good counsel and sincere advice are always welcome. Good friends are in many cases how I was able to accomplish these things.

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