Encore Entrepreneurs

Come In We're Open

Someone, somewhere, has coined older entrepreneurs as “Encore Entrepreneurs,” has a ring to it don’t you think? Lately there have been many discussions and quite a bit of press about this phenomenon, from the Boston Globe, to The Guardian, to the BBC. The U.S. Small Business Administration even has a site dedicated to it. A 2011 study by Encore.org and Metlife showed that 9 million people, or 9 percent of all those ages 44 to 70, are in encore careers and no less than 31 million Americans ages 44 to 77 are interested in pursuing encore careers. What is the reason behind it, why are Boomers not retiring, but instead starting a Second Act. Got me to thinking that we would love to hear your story and to feature it in Our USA.

Continue reading

A Day of Gratitude and Remembrance

Photo Dennis L. Page

My dad was a man who exhibited humility in all he did.He was truly a man to admire.

Many people who grew up during the Great Depression were poor and my father was no different. He resided in a mostly agricultural area. His home was basically a family compound with grandma and grandpa living in one house, my dad, his two brothers and parents in another and my aunt and uncle who owned a farm in yet another home.

Photo Dennis L.Page

I was given few details of this era and the role my father played in it. I do know his particular weapon was one of the deadliest…a .30 caliber water-cooled machine gun M1917A1. He talked about the headhunters and how he would watch their silhouettes with spears and shields as he pulled guard duty at night. The oddity in it all was that the headhunters knew who their allies were and they hated the Japanese soldiers. Dad mentioned how he would dig a foxhole and then set up for battle. During one particular fire fight, bullets flying and under a curtain of ungodly noise a little monkey climbed in the foxhole and wrapped its terrified body around my father. That little monkey….a ray of hope and sunshine during the time of tests for survival and bravery….that monkey stayed with dad until the war ended. He sneaked the monkey under his shirt as the ship sailed from Japan to Hawaii . There was a damn near mutiny on board as the naval officers wanted to throw the monkey overboard. The men in my father’s unit informed those officers, “This here monkey has seen more combat then you could ever imagine.” The monkey stayed until Hawaii and was left with a G.I. who was staying behind.

Photo Dennis L. Page

So that was it. My dad had pretty much left the rest of his past behind, until a time years later when my father picked up my friend Paul and me at the theater after we had seen a war movie. Of course, my friend and I couldn’t wait to go home and re-enact what we had seen. Paul and I were in the backseat when Paul asked, “So, Mr. Page, how many people did you kill in the war?” The eerie silence was deafening as my father, my role model and my hero, took a moment, cleared his throat and adjusted the rear view mirror in the car. I watched one lonely, sad and sorrowful tear roll down his cheek as he looked Paulie in the eye and his exact words, in a trembling voice uttered, ” I would like to think I never hurt anyone.”

I was born in Fort Monmouth, New Jersey during the time my father had reenlisted during the Korean War. Years later my mom asked my dad if he wanted to be buried in Arlington. His response came as no surprise when he said, “Rose, Arlington is a place for people much more deserving than I am.” Instead, my dad is now laid to rest in a Veterans Cemetery on the same road where he grew up.

Even though our country is divided by political bickering and a lot of hate filled nonsense, there is one cornerstone we can always rely on and that is the sacrifice and service our military gives us. Please thank a veteran and appreciate them for keeping us free.

 

Do Family Farms Still Matter?

Gaining Ground This article first came to our attention from our friends at I Support Farmers Markets, but originally published in Parade. We wanted to share this remarkable journey taken by author/farmer Forrest Pritchard.

As my friends headed off to graduate school, I pointed my dusty pickup toward the farm. My college advisors shook their heads with well-meaning disapproval. “Go ahead,” they admonished. “Get your hands dirty for a few months. But when you’re ready to decide on a career, the real world will be waiting for you.

But this is the real world, I insisted. It’s a world of sunshine and rain. It’s a world of physical work and sweat, and the sweet satisfaction of nurturing life from the earth. A few weeks back on the farm, I was sunburned and filthy and utterly blissful. Most importantly, I was certain that I had made the right decision.

I projected our bills for the coming winter, and knew that we needed ten thousand dollars to carry us into spring. That summer, we planted the farm with corn and soybeans, abandoning our traditional cow pastures for the quicker financial return of grain. The meadows were killed off with herbicide, and the rolling hills cultivated.

In October, trucks whisked away our glittering corn and soy. I was so proud of what we had accomplished: We had saved our family farm. Later that week, I received our paycheck and tore open the envelope.

Continue reading

A Rhapsody in Blue, Red, Orange & Yellow

Central Park in Autumn

I don’t know why, but George Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue has always reminded me of Fall. Watching the season’s colors burst forth in a dazzling array, while the temperature drops and the sky exhibits a dichotomy of gloom and brilliance all at the same time. The Fall season is a time for fresh starts, almost similar to New Year, with much less pressure; and also a time for the beginning of hibernation and introspection.

I love Fall. I love the clothing of Fall, the warm snugly sweaters, the scarfs, the jackets. It all seems so much more stylish than shorts and tank tops and flip flops.  I love the routine of Fall, no one is going on vacation – they are concentrating on work, school, business (or so it seems). I love the crisp air in the morning and evening, the shuffling sound of the leaves underfoot, and the cacophony of the geese above, flying south. I love the crackling sound and smell of fireplaces, oh how I love wood-burning fireplaces!

If only Fall could last forever! Enjoy this video by Gilda Tabarez with music from the Columbia Symphony Orchestra, directed by Leonard Bernstein. It is amazing!

 

Hero Is A Woman

Hero

The Last Watch of Hero by Frederic Leighton

Hero Is A Woman is the opening vignette in a in a new, delightful book of inspirational mini-biographies celebrating the heroic feats of courageous women, Heroic Vignettes by Tami Richards. If you would like the chance to win an autographed copy, just enter your name and email on our Facebook page in the tab Enter To Win.

“So the sun set and the dusk came. The first star shone; and as the gradual dark deepened, the torch glowed brighter, a signal through the night. About her, asleep, were the sparrows and doves, the birds of Aphrodite which it was Hero’s duty to feed. At the foot of the rocks the ocean boomed solemn and forbidding. Continue reading

I’m Dancing As Fast As I Can

 

Art of Jeanie Tomanek

Artist: Jeanie Tomanek

As an entrepreneur one can become quite disillusioned and disenchanted with social media, especially for all its time-robbing ability, unintentionally I am sure.  But, one does get the feeling that if you are not in the newsfeed, or reading the newsfeed, or conjuring up ways to get in the newsfeed, then you have missed out on something. This week we have slowed down a bit with posts to try and get back to reality. However, one amazing thing happened this week because I connected with an artist who ‘friended’ me on Facebook. I looked at her profile page, and her work, and really felt connected with it, so I accepted. I prefer to keep personal and professional relationships separate, but there was something about her work that really drew me in, especially the piece included here. The caption of her piece also intrigued me as that is how I was feeling, especially with the difficult week that I had just experienced. This wonderful artist, with the beautiful moody images turned out to be an old high school friend – a friend I didn’t know by her current artistic name. So, we have a lot of catching up to do.  As much as social media can seem so draining, it also has some inexplicable worth – like connecting with your long-lost community and friends and sisters. She doesn’t know that I have written this post, but I am sure you will love her work as much as I do. Check out her FB page here, then share the love.

 

Choose Love Not Fear

Boston Marathon

“We are one Boston. We are one community. As always, we will come together to help those most in need. And in the end, we will all be better for it.” ~Mayor T. Menino

To contribute to The One Fund Boston, click on the logo.

This is an excerpt of an email that my sister Mary wrote to our family. My sister is a resident of Boston.

“As I write these words it is unfathomable to me that this bombing could happen in Boston, the city we love. When 911 hit it was so horrific that we immersed ourselves in our children and their needs blocking out the sadness and heartache that hit all of America. But this past week’s memories of 911’s fear and terror flooded our minds, reality hitting home, not only because the bombings actually took place in Boston but because it involved children. Martin Richards, the 8 year old boy who once proudly displayed a poster board that said “no more hurting people” and the 19 year old, a mere child himself, who reportedly put the backpack containing explosives down next to Martin and inflicted this pain and destruction on so many people, so many lives.

I thought of the parents who waited in agony for news, a glimpse of hope – parents of the dead victims hoping that the culprits would be found, the father of the bomber in Russia who said “thank God” when his 19 year old son was captured alive, parents of the survivors many who have lost limbs, hope and spirit due to this devastating event.

Mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, neighbors and friends drifting on this tormented sea of sadness only to be enveloped by the brave men and women who rushed unselfishly to the sides of the victims and runners – the firefighters, policemen and common folk like you and me. Once again my hope and faith was renewed in all mankind. The out-pouring of love and generosity is still evident in the news as we continually hear stories of bravery and kindness spread across the commonwealth of Massachusetts toward our fellow brothers and sisters.

On Friday before Dzhokar Tsarnaev was captured we attended a closing ceremony for my son’s Boy Scout troop where Dr. Bernard Harris – physician, astronaut, entrepreneur, author, and  founder of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics), and the first African American to walk in space, gave a lecture outside to these rowdy Boy Scouts who were full of questions about his experience as an astronaut. What Dr. Harris said in his closing remarks will forever be embellished on my mind as he said there are three important simple things to remember in life.

• One – you can do anything if you put your mind to it

• Second – you have talent and

• Third – you are put on this earth for a purpose, go find it!

What my parents taught me were all of these things and more, but what struck me the most was the last point he imparted to these children. He had faith, he was put on this earth for a purpose and he was going to live out this purpose with gusto!

Please take a moment and pray for all the victims, their families and this Russian family as they are all children of God.”

 

 

American Chronicles

Gallery

This gallery contains 8 photos.

The first reaction I had when looking at the photos photographer Brian Goldman sent for consideration for the cover of our Spring issue was, “they look like a Norman Rockwell painting.” And you know what – lots of other people … Continue reading

Find Your Own Way To Goodness

Labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral

Labyrinth at Chartres Cathedral

I’m one of those people who have tended to doubt themselves, particularly when it comes to making decisions. Give me a test where I have to memorize things, and I’m your girl. I’m a poster child for the American education system. I learned how not to think for myself, so that I could score higher, win ribbons, and do the things I really didn’t want to do. Then when I walked out of a legal career to reinvent my life based on listening to my desires and instincts, I realized I had no idea how to go beyond someone else’s rules and find my own code. And this is what creating an inspired life is all about. It’s about being true to yourself, the self you are in this minute, not the self you think you should be, and not what other people–or even you–would usually do.

Shakespeare, the dude, wrote, “To thine own self be true,” and I think he would have made a fine career coach or guru. Real success comes from astonishing independence, being present to your immediate truth rather than to external or internal expectations. Inspiration doesn’t always arrive dressed in linen and smelling like lavender. Sometimes, it comes through raw insistence of what you do not want to hear. Listening is the price of flourishing.

I’ll give you an example. Continue reading

Back to the Future

Back to the FutureA better life in the future is, in effect, the promise made by all advertising.

Beginning in the dark days of the Depression and accelerated during the War years, many American businesses adopted the future as an explicit leitmotif in advertising.

Especially during the deprivations and sacrifices of WWII, the glittering promises of a post-war world filled with unheard of conveniences and an abundance of tantalizing technological advances as presented by Madison Avenue, gave hope to a war-weary public.

Tomorrow’s Living Today

In the post-war push button dream world, a man would travel in 300 mph trains, translucent automobiles, four-decker planes, helicopters, buses equipped with cocktail lounges and amphibious jeeps. Television would bring the world to his living room, and he could transact his business by walkie-talkie while bagging a brace of ducks.

It was to be a world in which stockings never ran, fabrics never had to be washed, and intercommunication systems eliminated the need for a babysitter. Pants would never shine or lose their crease even in the rain since a man would ordinarily own several dozen synthetic suits, which after a wearing or two, he would roll up in a ball and fire into the automatic garbage disposer.

To read the entire article pick up the latest issue at Barnes & Noble or Book World Stores.

Envisioning the American Dream