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Colonel’s Customer Letters June 2017

I want to hear from YOU. Send me your letters and pictures. – Colonel

Email us at [email protected]

Or,

Mail to Colonel Littleton, 755 Abernathy Rd, Lynnville, TN 38472

Feel free to include a picture of your product, too.  (Even better if you’re in it!)

Colonel’s Thoughts on the Value of a Pocket Knife

This Father’s Day, create an Heirloom.

 

Shop all Father’s Day Gift Ideas

I Had a World-Class Dad

My Dad (we called him Pap) did a lot of great things, but maybe the best thing he ever did for me was encourage me to do things and learn things.  He never once said, “Well, that’s a crazy idea,” or “Did they get you mixed up at the hospital,” or “You’ll never be able to do that.”

 

My Dad was not a psychologist. He had no higher learning and a limited amount of “lower” learning; however, he excelled in common sense which I think is much more valuable.

I didn’t just wake up one morning as the Colonel.  I took a lot of detours before I found my way there.  My Dad was with me and encouraging me all the way.

Once, when I was young and trying to figure things out, I had the brilliant idea that I needed to get into the hog business.  I was about as likely a candidate for the hog business as I was to be a neurosurgeon and I’m sure he knew that; but he was right there with me.

Now, I didn’t want to be just a farmer with pigs.  I wanted to do it like the agricultural experts said it should be done.  So we got in Pap’s truck and drove 100 miles to get the “registered” Durocs that I insisted on.  He had already helped get the barn ready and put up fencing.

All the way to get the pigs, I kept talking about not wanting to put the pigs in the bare truck bed . . . we needed to stop and get some straw.  See, I was already an expert.

 

He kept saying, “Yeah, we’ll get some,” and kept on driving, probably thinking if pigs were happy in mud they’d probably be all right in the truck bed.  We got about three miles from the farm where the pigs were; and, lo and behold, there were three bales of straw in the middle of the road.  “See there, I told you we’d get some,” he said.

I interpreted the straw “find” to be an omen from God that I was on the right path; however, after the new wore off the registered hog business (which was pretty quick) I moved on to something else and my Dad became the accidental and unintentional hog farmer.  I’m sure you Dads out there can relate to that.

Then I wanted to be in the horse-drawn-buggy restoration business; so, I bought one and Dad was with me on that, too . . . most likely on the financial end of it.  Luckily, the buggy business didn’t make it too far down the road (since I was about 100 years too late) and again I moved on.

 

My Dad was a millwright by trade, so I decided I wanted to work on big construction jobs and building dams.  You had to go through an apprenticeship to be a journeyman millwright and have your own tools.  Guess who got me the tools.  He also gave me some good advice.  He said, “When you get there, they’ll put you with three or four older, experienced people.  Don’t go in there acting like you know everything, because they’ll let you know very quickly that you don’t know anything.  If you listen and ask questions and show them you want to learn, they’ll help you out.”  He was right.  I listened and learned a lot before I moved on.

 

When I got my first car, I wanted to tear out the engine and put in a big hot rod engine.  He was all for that, knowing that if I tore it all out and had to figure out how to put it back together, even though I might have some pieces left over I would have the experience and learn something.  I learned because he was an encourager.

Pap and I had a bond that was at least partially cemented by a mutual love of automobiles.  I grew up in the shop with him.  We talked about automobiles nonstop and worked on everything from T-Models to motorcycles.  When he was about 80 he bought, restored and rode a Cushman Scooter, which made the family more than a little nervous.  He was also a carpenter – he personally built the house we lived in from the ground up.  We shared a love for all things mechanical and a natural curiosity about how things work and why.  Whatever design ability I have, I owe to him.

My Dad had a fascination with people.  There was not an ounce of pretense in him . . . he was who he was no matter who he was with.  He was comfortable in his own skin and not one for “putting on airs.”  He loved people and didn’t shy away from talking to anyone.  He would have been just as comfortable striking up a conversation with the President or the Queen of England as he would have been talking to the clerk at the hardware store.  He wouldn’t have changed a thing.

 

He thought experience was the best teacher, and I think he was right.  Somewhere between encouragement and experience, I had a world-class education.  That’s because I had a world-class Father.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY to all you Dads and Granddads out there.

A tribute to my mother and yours…

A little girl, when asked where her home was, replied, “where Mother is.”
-Keith L. Brooks

My Mother married at a very young age and became an “instant” Mother. I came in the “package” with my Dad, since my birth mother died ten days after I was born. Instant motherhood is a lot more complicated than instant oatmeal or instant coffee. Although she was young and seemingly unprepared to be a Mother, she learned the ropes quickly and performed wonderfully well; especially considering that I had been spoiled beyond measure by my grandmother for 2 1/2 years.

We lost my Mother on March 24, 2011. The loss was profound, but I am eternally grateful for the love she showed me and the lessons she taught me. Those lessons weave in and out of my memory and are forever a part of who I am.

My Mother could have written the Boy Scout’s Handbook. She was big on being prepared. If you left the house without your hat, coat and, yes, gloves, you slipped out without her seeing you. When I was 50 years old, she was still asking me about my coat and hat.

She also taught me valuable lessons in prioritizing. The one I remember most vividly came in my teenage years when she made me go to Sunday evening worship services while Elvis performed on The Ed Sullivan Show. I was not happy, but it worked…I’m still going to Sunday evening worship. (Still an Elvis fan, too.)

 

My Mother was a child of the depression… if you put a mountain of mashed potatoes on your plate, you’d better be prepared to eat every last smidgen of them. She saved everything – if there were ten peas left in the bowl, she put them in the refrigerator. Unfortunately, her lessons in frugality didn’t take on me as well as they should have, but she tried.

She loved flowers and a neat and tidy yard – and that was the source of our biggest problems. I hope, in time, she forgot about all the rusted out vehicles in various states of disrepair that I parked in her yard along with a two-ton lathe that no one could move.

I’m sure she disapproved of many things I did; but had it not been for her, who knows what I would have done. As Mark Twain said, “My Mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.” I certainly hope that’s the case.

I was always a work under construction with my Mom right up until the end. Time passes. We grow up, move away, raise a family and go about our lives. We see our mothers age, but they still see us as their little boy or girl and they’re still Mom.

It’s a beautiful relationship unaffected by time, and I just say, thank God for Mothers.

 

Members of the Colonel Littleton family share memories of their mothers…

My mom is now 84 years old, but she has the same sense of humor she had when I was a little girl. People call her “Maxine” because she reminds them of the sassy cartoon character. Life hasn’t always been easy and it didn’t go according to plan, but she has weathered all the storms by relying on her deep faith. I’m hoping I inherited that gene. She is generous to a fault and kind hearted. She also makes a mean glass of coffee milk and she is a master at creating a magical Christmas. I just love her.

Fern Greenbank
Content Strategist

My parents took us camping at the lake in Kentucky for a week of vacation. At week’s end, while we were fishing, mom cast her rod and never heard the line hit the water. She felt that her lure was hung on something so she yanked her rod, embedding the lure in the back of my dad’s head. So, this dirty campfire smelling family of six took off for the hospital. The whole way there mom’s shiny lure dangled from the back of dad’s head. We were dirty and smelly and looked like a “happy” family arriving at the hospital, trying to explain how this accident happened.
Lynne Connelly
Accounting Manager

My mother’s three favorite things: A clean house, Batman’s car and Glenda The Good Witch’s dress (from The Wizard of Oz). Unfortunately for mom, we didn’t give her any of these things, but she loves us anyway.

Hayley Holt
Marketing Manager

As a child I remember always making Mother’s Day cards and pottery plates or bowls and painting them. A few years ago she brought some of these out to show us and she was just as proud of them today as when she received them years ago. I have these same treasures from when my children were small and all my Mother’s Day gifts were hand written cards with flowers of many colors drawn on them, or a pottery plate with their little handprints on it. I have all of these cards and gifts saved as a reminder of when they were small. Now my Mother’s Day cards are bought at the store and my gifts are always gift cards so I can buy flowers. While this is all nice, I can’t help but cherish the hand drawn flowers better. I hope as my children get older and have children of their own, they, too will get to experience the handmade cards and gifts as I did.

Lynn Stevens
Executive Assistant to Colonel Littleton
Product Manager

Let The Journey Begin

Let The Journey Begin

A handful of events in life are so profound that they never fade from memory . . . like weddings and births; and, I think, graduations. It’s been “a while” since I graduated, as you can pretty well figure out from some of these pictures. But, I still remember the feeling of freedom I had on graduation day. I also remember waking up very late the next morning; eyes wide open, staring at the ceiling. Reality struck me right between the eyes and said in a very loud voice, “Okay, Littleton, now you’ve got to actually DO something.” So, my newfound freedom was fleeting at best and came with some strings attached.

My Mother wanted me to be an accountant. I’m forever grateful that I was not focused enough at that time to pursue her dream for me. I would have been the worst and most miserable accountant the world has ever known since I had absolutely zero aptitude for accounting. My brain wasn’t wired that way. I never did figure out which side of an account the debits and credits go on, even though I devised an elaborate scheme in class. If I was facing front and center in the room, the credits would go on the window side of the room and the debits on the wall side . . . but then, as bad luck would have it, they moved my desk.

If you’re a soon-to-be graduate thinking the finish line is in sight, you might rearrange your thinking a bit and realize that you’ve made it to the “starting” gate. Even though it was a long and winding road for me to find my passion in life, I’m a firm believer in the fact that you should spend as much of your life as possible doing something you love. Hopefully, someone will even pay you to do it.

Most people know that I’m a big proponent of what I call “striving to be stellar.” In my mind, one of the things that makes people stellar is finishing things they start, a concept my parents tried very hard to pound into my head. So, graduation is a big deal. It signifies completing what you started; and it gives you the skills and credentials to go forth into the world and pursue your passion.

My passion in life for the last 30 years or so has given me the opportunity to design and make gifts for a long succession of grads. And, we’re starting to hear stories about Col. Littleton products going to a second generation of grads. Every year we receive pictures of graduates with their new leather journals, briefcases, portfolios and luggage.  It makes us happy to see parents of graduates carrying on the Col. Littleton tradition.

If you’re a relative or friend of a 2017 graduate and want to start or carry on the Col. Littleton tradition, here are a few of my favorite graduation day picks.

THINGS TO REMEMBER

“I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.” – Thomas Jefferson

“If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.” – Milton Berle

“Figure out how to do more than you get paid for, and you’ll stand out in the crowd.” – Colonel Littleton

Our Gift to Good Stewards

A Gift to Good Stewards 

One of the most important challenges we have as God’s children is to be good stewards of the rivers and streams, oceans and mountains, valleys, hollows and hills. As stewards, we also have to protect the habitat of the wildlife that call the American landscape their home.

It’s always an honor to partner with groups that take the title “steward” seriously, like the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation. This fine group of folks works year round to help the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency with everything from education programs to restoration.

The leather craftsmen and women at Col. Littleton had the honor of handcrafting a specially-designed product for TWRF premium table sponsors during the non-profit’s biggest night of the year. Colonel designed this custom rifle scabbard to coordinate with the TWRF’s 2017 “Gun of the Year.”  Col. Littleton is also proud to be one of many sponsors of the annual Governor’s One Shot Turkey Hunt, auction and dinner that coincide with the first weekend of turkey season. That was one big shindig coordinated by our good friends Johnny Allred and Richard Logsdon at the TWRF.

Avid and amateur hunters along with outdoor and wildlife enthusiasts from all over the state gathered to hunt, share, learn, support and eat. The crowd included friends that love the great outdoors and groups that live, breathe, eat and sleep hunting. There were accomplished hunters and people who believe deeply in the preservation of wetlands and folks that fight for endangered species.

Some key legislators also attended to show support for this foundation.  Tennessee Speaker of the House, Beth Harwell, welcomed all attendees and expressed support for preserving Tennessee’s natural resources. Colonel and Johnny Allred made a special presentation to former Georgia governor and current nominee for U.S. Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Perdue and Senator Mark Green, nominee for U.S. Secretary of the Army. It’s always nice to be amongst friends and share support for a worthy cause.

Last year the Colonel created a custom American Buffalo Pistol Case to fit a specialty Beretta pistol which was a big hit with the premium table sponsors. This year, he went bigger by designing and producing 30 rifle scabbards for the 2017 TWRF Gun of the Year, the Browning BL-22 FLD rifle which was presented to this year’s premium table sponsors at the star-studded affair. The Colonel and TWRF Development Director Johnny Allred wanted the rifle cases to symbolize the legends of the American west that carried similar lever-action rifles in scabbards on their saddles. By all accounts, they succeeded.

Who knows what kind of product will result from the collaboration between the Colonel and his friends at the TWRF next year? We do know it will be unique, inspired by the past, made to last and produced with pride.

Behind the scenes: The making of a custom scabbard

The custom rifle scabbard designed by Col. Littleton, and made in his Lynnville, TN. workshop, involved 83 production hand steps from beginning to end. Each leathersmith plays a critical role in the process, with meticulous attention to detail. Here are just a few of the 83 steps that went into the production of the Colonel’s specially designed scabbard.

Mingling with the Mules

Mule Day Makes History!

We often affectionately refer to our home in Lynnville as a one-horse town. We actually have more than one horse in residence though. Up the road, there is a medium-sized city that is a “one-mule town” of sorts, except for the annual pilgrimage hundreds of mules make every year to attend the festivities called Mule Day. This past week, we were knee deep in festival tradition at the 177th annual Mule Day. Yep. Mule Day for 177 years.

In Columbia, Tenn., known as the unofficial Mule Capital of the World, there is great anticipation as the community elects its queen and court, plans a grand parade and prepares for mules of all shapes and sizes to show up en mass. Some years it rains, and you find out mules and mud don’t mix too well, but this year, the sun was shining and crowds made their way to dozens of events.  The Colonel is especially fond of Mule Day because some of his best childhood memories are related to mules on his grandparents’ farm in West Tennessee.

Every year, more than 200,000 people make their way to Mule Day for four days of celebration. You don’t have to know a thing about mules to have a great time though. There is something for everyone, but it’s also an important gathering for mule breeders. In fact, the festival actually started in 1840 as “Breeder’s Day,” which was just a single day of livestock shows and a mule market. Over the years, it has been transformed into one of the biggest livestock markets in the world. You’d be surprised how many people love mules.  Horses sort of take the limelight. But, the mules get their due here.

One of the highlights of the Mule Day celebration is the annual Auctioneer Contest sponsored by the Columbia Breakfast Rotary Club. The Colonel was pretty honored when he was asked to be a judge. We’re just glad they didn’t ask him to judge the Liar’s Contest.

What makes the Colonel qualified to judge an auctioneer? Well, people always ask where he gets his collection of vintage and antique stuff, ranging from farm tools to military artifacts to vintage automobiles to old leather goods. The Colonel has become somewhat of an expert over the years at getting what he wants at a great price at auction. He’s come to appreciate the art of auctioneering.

This year, there were 24 entrants in the Auctioneer Contest, making for a lively day of fast-talking professionals from auction houses across the country. The field was narrowed to five and then the fireworks began. Each contestant pulled out every trick in their bag to impress the judges.  Mr. Junior Staggs of Puryear, Tennessee was named this year’s winner after a crowd-roaring performance. Junior wasn’t the only one to walk away a winner. The Colonel was the high bidder on a few items that he’s adding to his eclectic collection of old stuff.

But, probably the most anticipated and attended event during the Mule Day celebration is the parade. Folks line the parade route and cheer on the entrants. You’ll see everything from the Mule Day Queen and her court to mini-mules. We think small town festivals are a tradition worth keeping. In a world where everything seems to be changing at warp speed, we like knowing that some things don’t have to change. We’re looking forward to the 178th year of Mule Day!

The Communication Evolution

A trip down telegram lane

I’ve always loved the idea of telegrams, so much so that I’ve used “faux” telegrams for numerous Col. Littleton emails. As a young man, I guess the telegrams that would have interested me most would go something like . . . Dad (stop) Send money (stop) or even better . . . Dad (stop) Send money fast (stop) which reminds me of a time in 1964 when I was in Coast Guard Boot Camp stationed at Cape May, New Jersey.

The World’s Fair was going on in New York City. We had a leave and nowhere to go, so a couple of my friends and I decided on a whim that we should go to the World’s Fair. No money – no problem. One of my friends knew this girl who worked for Kodak in New York City. Kodak had apartments for business guests/employees and she “maybe” knew of a place we could sleep on the floor. So, on this scanty information we pooled our meager resources and got a cab driver to take us to New York City. We were pretty trusting because when we got there we paid the driver in advance to pick us up three days later at the corner where he dropped us off. After paying the cab driver, I arrived in NYC with $3. I’m sure my friends didn’t have much more.

But, we had an ace in the hole. We knew if worst came to worst, we could wire home for cash. (I’m sure that would have thrilled my Dad.) But, amazingly enough, we did find the girl who had a place where we could sleep on the floor. She even gave us some food. I spent three days in NYC on three dollars and the cab driver actually picked us up at the designated location for the return trip. Really, I’m not making this up. Guess the old saying is true that God looks after children and fools, which is good because I’m not sure my dad would have received an SOS telegram in time to save us from ourselves.

While letter writing as a form of communication allows people to say everything they need or want to say without regard for length, a telegram forced people to say what they needed in as few words as possible. Telegrams were charged based on the number of words so every word needed to mean something. Ever wonder why the word “stop” is inserted into old telegram copy? For some odd reason, punctuation cost more than the word.

The telegram reminds me a little of modern-day Twitter.   You’re given just 140 characters to say what you need to say, but you can tweet 20 times in a row, and you can tweet to millions of people at the same time – the wonder of modern technology.

I Have iPad-itis

I have a confession to make about technology. I love my iPad®. I can record my thoughts the second I have them and revisit them when I have time. I can look things up in an instant. I can travel anywhere I want to go. The world is before me on a 12.9” screen of pure, technological genius. I can design products on the iPad®. I can send stuff to people all over the world. I can get emails when I’m on the farm or in my workshop. I can be anywhere I want to be and people can still reach me. They can’t always find me, but they can reach me.

I have another confession to make. Even though I love some parts of new technology, sometimes I don’t think emails, text messages or tweets make people feel special. I miss the days when people talked to each other or sent handwritten letters. I missed out on the era when telegrams were hand delivered by messenger boys. I can imagine during that time that people looked forward to written announcements of weddings and births. But, I guess telegrams came with a mixture of anticipation and foreboding. To come by wire, it must be either “really good” or “really bad” news. A lot of people kept their telegrams, and they’ve been handed down from generation to generation.

No matter what inventors come up with next, I’m always going to be a believer in making people feel special. Fax machines, email, smart phones, Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Pinterest, Instagram all serve a purpose and we’d be hard-pressed to live without them; but, they’ll never be as satisfying as sitting in my old chair with my Writing Board on my lap, a stack of stationery and my favorite pen in hand writing something just for the person on the other end of the envelope. I even like licking the stamp (well, I used to before they made them peel-off) and putting the note in the mailbox.

No Tweeting For The Colonel

I’m a believer in the fact that you don’t have to go on and on about something. Some of the best stories or sentiments are short and to the point. In that way, I guess I could be great at Twitter; but for some unknown reason my associates at Col. Littleton won’t allow me to tweet. Years ago I heard a joke that went like this, “You know the three forms of communication? Telephone, Telegraph and Telawoman.” Now, you see why they won’t let me Tweet. Sorry ladies – I do realize that men talk as much as women. My wife tells me that every time she sees me on my iPhone®.

Telegrams were the first form of communication that could get from one place to another faster than any person could deliver it. The Pony Express, which I also greatly admire, was replaced by the invention of the telegraph machine in 1861. The last telegram was sent from Western Union in 2006 and India sent its last telegram in 2013. Gone are the images from old movies where the postman hurriedly rummaged through his leather satchel to retrieve a telegram. These days, if you’re feeling really nostalgic, you can order one online and have it delivered through the postal service.

Here at Colonel Littleton, we have a telegram system of sorts. We may not be able to travel to your front door personally, but we think of our products as a special delivery from us to you. We hope you feel that special attention has been paid to your order. We hope you feel that lot of heart and soul went into your Col. Littleton package. And, we hope you feel our appreciation for each and every Col. Littleton customer.

PRESIDENT’S DAY – A CELEBRATION OF AMERICA

Being President of the United States seems to me to be a daunting task and a responsibility of enormous proportion . . . even on a good day.  We owe a debt of great gratitude to those who are willing to serve our country in that capacity – who have left their mark on the world and who are forever woven into the fabric that is America.

Since today is President’s Day, I wanted to share some “Presidential” thoughts, photos and some of my favorite Presidential quotes. – Colonel

About this time last year, a representative of Dave Ramsey Solutions called and presented me with a challenge.  President George W. Bush was to be the keynote speaker for an event they were having in Dallas and they wanted my suggestions on a gift that would be presented to the President at the summit.  I thought about it for a couple of days and told them it would be my honor to make something for President Bush that would be a unique, one-of-a-kind item that would celebrate his Texas roots.

My Master Craftsman and I set about designing and making what I think is the most special piece to ever come out of the Col. Littleton Workshop . . . our No. 1 Saddlebag Briefcase trimmed out in American Alligator.  I looked through all our hides with cattle brands on them and was lucky enough to find a hide with a “B” brand that would become the side gusset of this special hand-crafted bag.

President Bush was kind enough to write me a very gracious thank-you note which I treasure . . . first one I’ve received with the Presidential seal.  My thanks to my friend, Dave Ramsey, for giving me this unique opportunity; and, of course, to President Bush for his service to our country.

 

OTHER PRESIDENTS WHO RECEIVED COL. LITTLETON PRODUCTS – President Bush is not the only President to receive a Col. Littleton product.  We were pleased to receive, on behalf of PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON, an order for Col. Littleton bone-handled pocket knives to be presented to his friends who accompanied him on an Arkansas Duck Hunt when he was President.  They were handsomely personalized on both sides and, we think, quite beautiful.

One of the funniest Presidential moments I’ve ever witnessed was when PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA actually caught a fly that was buzzing his head during a White House interview.  So far as I know, he is the only President to actually catch a fly on live TV; so he became the recipient of a Col. Littleton No. 1 Leather Flyswatter (for uptown flies only) to celebrate his adroit and impressive feat.  See, even the White House has flies.

THE MAN IN THE ARENA

I have always had great admiration for the style and substance of our 26th President, Theodore Roosevelt.  It’s not that easy to get your legacy literally chiseled in stone on Mount Rushmore with the likes of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln.  Teddy Roosevelt had a lot to say, but this is my favorite of his quotes:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.  The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming . . . . who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.” – From a speech delivered at the Sorbonne, in Paris, France on 23 April, 1910.

His words should still spur us on today.  His message:  “Get out there.  Try something.  Take a chance.  For Heaven’s sake, do something.  You could fail, but failure is not the worst thing that could happen to you.  The worst thing is to have never tried.   There will always be people to point out your shortcomings and those who delight in finding a chink in the armor.  Those people don’t matter.  Go for it.  Give it all you’ve got.

 

WHAT CAN I GIVE – NOT WHAT CAN I GET

I came of age in the “me” generation of the 1960’s, so I was

one of those people who remembers where I was the day our

35th President, John Fitzgerald Kennedy, died.  His most

memorable quote for me and for most people was from his

inaugural address, January 20, 1961 – “And so, my fellow

Americans, ask not what your country can do for you – ask

what you can do for your country.”

 

Every morning I wake up feeling blessed and happy.  First, I’m happy just to wake up, and then I’m happy to be waking up in the greatest country the world has ever known.  The “me” generation is still alive and well everywhere you look today.  Seems that we spend far too much time thinking about what’s in it for me and what am I going to get out of it and too little time thinking about what can I pass forward and what can I give to make our country and our world a better place.  JFK got it right, and we should take his admonition to heart every day we live in this great country.  Thank you, Mr. President.

THE BUCK STOPS HERE

You didn’t have to wonder what our 33rd President, Harry S. Truman was thinking.  They didn’t call him “Give ’em hell, Harry”, for nothing.  There was a sign on his desk in his White House office that said, “The Buck Stops Here,” which, in my mind, is closely related to his quote, “If you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen.”  The buck stops here . . . I like that.  It’s about stepping up to the plate and making the hard decisions and taking responsibility for them.  None of that “kicking the can down the road” stuff we hear so much about today.  It’s about not passing your responsibilities off to someone else like passing the baton to a runner in a relay race.  Life is not a relay race. It’s all about personal responsibility.  President Truman understood that, and I admire him for it.

PERSISTENCE

“Nothing in the world can take the place of Persistence.  Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. 

Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.

Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. 

Persistence and Determination alone are omnipotent.  The slogan “Press On” has solved and will always solve the problems of the human race.” – Calvin Coolidge, 30th U.S. President.

No argument from the Colonel, Mr. President.

 

This quote is inscribed on the headstone at the burial site of

President and Mrs. Reagan, in Simi Valley, California:

“I know in my heart that man is good,

that what is right will always eventually

triumph, and there is purpose and worth to

each and every life.” – Ronald Reagan

Well said, Mr. President.

Valentine’s Day Tips and Gift Ideas

  1. Don’t forget Valentine’s Day is Tuesday, February 14th A simple hand written note goes a long way to remind your significant other how much you care.
  2. Be Creative! – If you’ve forgotten to get a card, be creative and innovative. My Valentine to my wife, Susie, constructed at the last minute on the kitchen table of Sweet and Low, peanuts, Rolaids, and Toothpicks.
  3. Personalize you Gift Add a name, initials or date to your gift. Personalization conveys a greater degree of thoughtfulness.

P.S. Gifts to Avoid:

For Women: Cleaning supplies, a weight scale, a gift card to Harbor Freight

For Men: Socks, matching outfits, a “knit your own beard” kit

EXTRA BONUS:<> Give your wife 11 red roses and tell her the 12th rose is her.

GIFT IDEAS guaranteed to make the best impression.

 

No. 10 Writing Board

Possibles Bags

No. 16 Document Bag with Shoulder Strap

No. 28 Pocket Journal

No. 5 Foxfire Knife

No. 27 Wallet

No. 3 Dresser Caddy

Colonel Cologne

No. 1 Belt

American Buffalo Wristbands

No. 4 Heart Coasters

Knots & Beads Bracelet

Wayfarer Handbag