One summer night, many years ago, I rolled out my sleeping bag on a cement church basement floor and prepared for what I hoped would be a good night’s sleep. The next morning I would board a boat and make a two-hour trip out to the island base camp where I would spend six weeks as a canoe trip guide and counselor in the Canadian boundary waters.
Nicknames: Did you have one? Did you like it? Did it stick with you? Some nicknames are pretty obvious in their origins like “Shorty” or “Lefty” or “Irish.”
Whenever you hear about a public figure’s son or daughter messing up, you just want to say, “What were you thinking? Don’t you know your father is the mayor?” or “Your mother is school principal?”
A friend of mine likes to say, “Ninety percent of being successful in life is just showing up.” I think this is especially true for parents.
Catch the spirit! Celebrate the spirit! We’ve got spirit! Schools, businesses, yes, even churches set aside time to fire up people so that they will perform better, respond faster, show more excitement about what they are doing.
Ali is a simple carpenter now, but his boss, Abe, knows that he was once a colonel in the army–strong, disciplined, brave, and loyal. Abe respects this carpenter, maybe even fears him a little, and to the surprise of many, trusts him implicitly.
"To be alive, and feeling free, and to have everyone in our family!” Forty young guys sang out those words at the top of our voices. We were on retreat in our senior year of high school.
I feel lucky that I had a relatively technology-free childhood. The internet wasn’t widely used until the end of my college years, which was about the same time people started getting cell phones. My parents couldn’t keep tabs on me the way parents can today.
I used to be picked last when my grammar school friends and I gathered to play 16-inch softball. It wasn’t because I was that bad a player. Actually, I was pretty good. But because I worked after school in my father’s grocery store most evenings, I just didn’t have the opportunity to play as often as the other guys.
Tom is a photographer and art director by profession and a Nebraskan by birth. Maybe the combination of creative vision and Midwestern common sense keep him on such an even keel. Whatever it is, few have seen the man display anger or lose his cool on the job, though no one would say he was without compassion or sympathy.