Today's Featured Biography
Good God, I wonder where the time goes, spent my life chasing after rainbows; It’s a long way back again.
Fortunate to have grown up in Melrose/Stearns County, small town USA. We were lucky, had the best friends, best music, freedom to explore, cold beer; a petri dish of adolescent experiments. Departed Melrose in ’73 for places unknown. Long and winding roads; headed, wherever I ended up, I guess.
Working clean-up crew, shoveling coagulated blood from a blood tunnel at Jennie-O Foods, informed a decision to experience college, twice. Degrees in professional skepticism and native curiosity contributed to a career as a corporate “Capitalist Minister”. Evangelizing the business faith…grow, cut costs, grow, cut costs. Left college and I started with nothing; I still have most of it.
I grew into a fix-it guy, turnaround artist. A ringmaster in a capitalist circus. My purpose in life, raison d’etre, to be a big pain in everyone’s arse! They tell me I am good at it; training to be a stubborn, difficult, contrarian my whole life. German.
A most memorable corporate directive bellowed by the big boss, “I just need you to fix this shit, and if I catch you thinking strategically in the next twelve months, YOU’RE FIRED”. Those last two words delivered four years before a specific TV show worked it into the script. Scores of trips back and forth to Europe solving those problems. Indomitable persistence.
Retired from the corporate world eight years ago. 38 years as a paid indentured servant, bought and sold more times than I can remember; they call it “M&A”. Thoroughly enjoyed all the experiences; compensated to learn and develop skills. Created lots of shareholder value. Advisory and consulting projects now keep my mind active. No longer governed by speed, tension, and deadlines.
Found the proverbial pot O’ gold at the end of that rainbow and in it what was wanted all along, TIME. Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.
My worldview evolved influenced by a motley cast of characters; including Warren Buffett, Bob Dylan, Jim Brandenburg, Mark Twain, Sigurd Olson, Robert Pirsig, Greg Lemond, Chuck Mertensotto, and Jim “Rocky” Loecken (the power of a mentor, and the passion of a teacher). An incredibly rewarding experience was living in Asia for six years, home base as Shanghai, PRC. With a selective service draft number of 226, I circumvented a potential earlier mandatory trip to Asia. Alas, that draft ended anyway. So it goes.
Met so many great folks along the way, many friends and colleagues scattered over the globe. We all influenced each other in ways we may never fully appreciate. My partner Cindy, daughter Jenny, and Mother Rose (full of spunk at 92) strong ladies that keep me grounded. Life’s been good to me so far.
Member of Delta Airlines million-mile club. Nearing 100,000 cycling miles, still going; many memorable road bike rides with SISU Cycling in Shanghai, Bayside Bandidos Cycling Club in Melbourne AU, Cactus Cycling Club in Tucson AZ, and Gopher Wheelmen Cycling club in MN. Completed the Iowa RAGBRAE; wasn’t that a party! I enjoy periodic visits to Colorado, for various reasons. I miss those regular treks into the BWCA as, sadly, the wilderness tribe members depart this world. It’s the way I always been, I feel that Gypsy wind, and once you let it in it’s a long way back again. Florida is now home base. Salt life.
“Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming “Wow! What a Ride!” (Hunter S Thompson).
Yes, I used to know a fellow
He was lighter on his feet
Just as quick as a sparrow
That was a former me (JJ Cale, Former Me)
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