Archive for September, 2011

Rolling To Rockford

September 21, 2011

Monday September 19th, 2011 – Rockford, IL

I never know quite what to think when people say “You were the first person I thought of” in a given situation. Sometimes it’s a refreshing compliment, but others it’s an insult. This time it turned out to be a compliment, or at least that’s how I’m choosing to take it.

My radio friend Jim Stone in Rockford, IL called to ask if I’d be willing to fill in on the AM news/talk station in his building. He’s the operations manager and is in charge of the on air programming departments of several stations, and was searching for backup hosts.

I’d never hosted in a news/talk format before, and I thought it would be a win/win to go do it. Jim is very easy to deal with, and not the typical two faced backstabbing radio snake I’ve dealt with so often in the past. He made no pretenses about anything, this was just an opportunity to gain a little experience and a few bucks for gas. I thought it would be fun.

To make it even more fun, Jim also called our mutual friend Jim McHugh and made the same offer. Jim McHugh said he’d do it, but only if he could be on with me. We ended up riding out to Rockford together and made it an adventure. He hasn’t done much radio and wasn’t comfortable hosting a show himself just yet. That’s actually a very smart decision.

I’ve been on both sides of comedy and radio, and too often people on each side seem to think they can cross over to the other without a hitch. WRONG. Each one is a skill and it takes a different mind set to do it well. I’ve been doing each for years, and understand the subtleties of both. Neither one is easy, and it becomes obvious when one is done poorly.

This was an ideal chance to practice in an actual on air situation. Jim Stone wouldn’t be breathing down our neck, and Jim McHugh and I know each other very well. He’s a smart funny, well spoken guy, and has strong opinions. Those are the requirements of talk radio.

In my opinion, funny is what helps keep it interesting. There are a lot of boring nuts and bolts that need oiling in that genre, and a sense of humor helps make it digestible to many who aren’t that interested in the topics. I know I’m not. I just wanted to be an entertainer.

Neither one of us knows Rockford politics, and couldn’t care less. We wanted to throw a different twist into it, and make things fun. Jim Stone gave us bare bones instructios and told us other than swear or do something completely stupid, to go in there and have fun.

That’s exactly what we did. I’ve had a lot of practical hosting experience from my days on the Mothership Connection which came in handy. I know how to drive a talk show and I know Jim McHugh so there was nothing to be afraid of. We started out fine and kept the flow going for two hours without any glitches. We even got a steady flow of callers too.

The station is AM 1330 WNTA, yet another set of call letters to add to the extensive list of places I’ve been across the radio dial and across the country. We’re scheduled to return tomorrow, and after that who knows? I’m flattered to get the call, and I’m glad I said yes.

Packers Win, Bears Lose!

September 19, 2011

Sunday September 18th, 2011 – Fox Lake, IL/Chicago, IL

Packers win, Bears lose. There’s a recipe for a fine day if I ever heard one. I don’t care if it shouldn’t make a difference in the big picture of life, and it shouldn’t, it still puts me in a merry mood. Does that make me a silly superficial shallow soulless snob? So be it.

One of the few things I don’t like about living where I do is that I don’t get a chance to catch my beloved Packers when they’re on local TV. I’m closer to the Wisconsin border than I am Chicago, but I’m stuck with Chicago TV stations and have to watch the Bears.

On days like today, it’s nothing but pleasure. I was hard at work sorting through boxes but I had the Bears on TV and the Packers on the radio and both games went exactly how I wanted them to go. What a great day. It was like making love to two beautiful women at the same time. Not that that would ever happen to Mr. Lucky, but can’t I dream a little?

The Packers were down at halftime, but I had to believe they’d make a strong comeback against a team with a rookie quarterback and first year head coach. Experience tends to be the difference, and the Packers had a major advantage in that department. And it showed.

They’re really looking good, and I’m thrilled to see it. Old farts like me still have horrid flashbacks of the ‘70s and ‘80s teams that were so disappointing, so this is pure heaven to be savored every week. I also had to sit through the misery of the Bears being great in the ‘80s, and it still makes me sick. Every time I see the Super Bowl Shuffle, I get nauseous.

That’s why today was so fantastic. Watching the Bears get their asses handed to them is pleasant enough, but to have the Packers on the radio at the same time playing so well is a hard combination to beat. It was like surf and turf – I don’t know which one I liked better.

Then there was the delicious dessert of listening to the post game radio show on WSCR ‘The Score’ with former Bears players Ed O’Bradovich and Doug Buffone. I respect them both as former players and broadcasters, and they really know their stuff, but after a Bears loss it’s some of the most entertaining radio I’ve ever heard. They whine like school girls.

Then, they take calls from listeners who piss and moan even more. I can’t decide which I enjoy more, the pissing or the moaning. Maybe I get such a kick out of it because I know what it’s like to be frustrated by life and it’s a refreshing change to observe someone else.

Whatever the case, I had an entire day of guilty pleasure, and I loved every second of it. There will be other days where it’s exactly the opposite and the Packers will lose and the Bears will win, and I’ll be miserable. That’s ok. I’ll shut off the radio and find something productive to do and the sting will go away as I get lost in my task. I’ve done that before.

But not today. This was a day to cherish, and I am. Not only that, I had a terrific show at Zanies in Chicago tonight and didn’t even have to bring up football. They all knew. And I knew they knew. Next week the teams play each other, and that could be heaven or hell.

Finding Buried Treasure

September 18, 2011

Saturday September 17th, 2011 – Fox Lake, IL

For as much as I wanted to blow it off entirely, I was quite proud of myself for spending the better part of today and tonight plowing through endless boxes of haphazardly packed personal belongings. I admit I did contemplate arson for a while, but I stayed the course.

I’ve found the best way to tackle an unpleasant task is to just DO it. Get after it and get it out of the way, then move on – hopefully to something a lot more fun. For some reason, I’ve been putting this off for years, and it has gotten out of hand. I needed to look after it.

The only way to do that is dump out the contents of each box, decide what to throw out and what to keep, and then find a place for whatever I keep. It sounds simple enough, but after sixteen hours of dumping and sorting, a can of gas and a match sounded like heaven.

The process wasn’t without reward though. I did make a lot of progress, and at the very least put most of my belongings into piles. I sorted hundreds of books into categories, and realized early that I need to stop buying them because I’ll never read the ones I have even if I live to be 1000. Now that they’re in categories, I can pare the piles down even more.

I’ll keep the top few in each category to hopefully read sooner than later, and I think the smart thing to do with the rest is give them away as gifts to people I think would enjoy a particular book. I suppose I could try selling them, but most used book stores pay so low it wouldn’t be worth the gas to drive them there. Giving them as gifts would make it fun.

Another positive that came from my effort was discovering all kinds of documents I had totally forgotten about. I ran across a folder of raw notes from my early comedy classes in Milwaukee at Cardinal Stritch College, and found some very usable ideas. That’s when it was new and fresh, and I wasn’t sure what would work and what wouldn’t. Now I know.

I also found all kinds of ideas I’d written down years ago for jokes, movie scripts, radio bits and comedy sketches. I have always been one to write things down, and I’m delighted I did. It was like discovering a time capsule from years ago filled with presents to myself.

Not all of it was 24 carat solid gold, and some of it made me scratch my head in wonder of what I was thinking back then, but there’s also definitely some stuff in the mix I know I’ll be able to tweak and use for what I’m doing now. That’s why I took time to do this.

Had I thrown most of the boxes out like I wanted to, those ideas would never have seen the light of day. Now, I’m getting them at precisely the right time I know what to do with them. I’ll have to transcribe the notes off of scraps of paper, but it will be worth the effort.

Still, one day does not a lifetime make. I spent one entire day working on all this, but to get here took decades of stupid mistakes and horrific breaks. I also found a lot of itinerary sheets for clubs that have closed or places that weren’t fun to work. Salvaging those notes from the big pile was like picking peanuts out of an elephant turd. Somebody has to do it.

The Teaching Trifecta

September 16, 2011

Thursday September 15th, 2011 – Fox Lake, IL

Opportunity keeps knocking, and I’m not complaining. Today I received an offer for yet another comedy class teaching situation, this time at a place called Improv Playhouse. It’s located not far from me in Libertyville, IL and it would be a perfect fit – even with what is already scheduled both at Zanies and Harper College. All the clienteles will be different.

Zanies is a comedy club located in the city, and most of the people in the past who have taken that class have been at least curious as to what it takes to become a full time touring comedian. The nightclub circuit is not the only outlet for comedians, but since the 1980’s it’s probably been the most popular one. There has been a whole industry forged from it.

Harper College is something completely different. Many people won’t set foot in a club for many reasons. They don’t like the idea of a bar situation and having to deal with those who drink liquor. After a lifetime of dealing with drunken imbeciles trying to ‘help’ make my shows better, I can sympathize completely. Another reason is a fear of off color jokes.

This is another point I can see as well taken. Too many comedians, especially new ones, rely on filth to provide shock value when it totally isn’t required. I’m not offended by any topic personally, but there is a skill level required to effectively pull off an X-rated show.

It’s funny to hear newbies staunchly stand behind solid examples of people like George Carlin or Richard Pryor who were known for their salty language, but I tell them correctly that both of those guys are perfect examples of someone who first learns, then masters the fundamentals of comedy before choosing to veer off. They earned the right to do that.

I always teach my students to work clean at first. There are too many things to go wrong in the first few years to have room for a reputation as a dirty act. Nobody wants to follow filth, even someone who chooses to be blue themselves. It takes away any shock value.

This is all smart business, whether a new performer realizes it or not. Many mistakenly think I’m out to sabotage their career, when in fact I’m trying to help them construct one. Viewpoints differ greatly between the students at a Zanies vs. those at a Harper College.

Improv Playhouse will be yet a third client base, more of a hybrid. The guy in charge is also a performer named David Stuart. He’s very sharp, and runs a well organized business that has a variety of services neither Zanies nor Harper offers. He has improv classes and I believe they offer acting classes as well. Their website is http://www.improvplayhouse.com.

I have to believe a certain percentage of the improvisers and actors will take standup out of curiosity, a smart move actually. They’ll see I know what I’m talking about, and I hope it will add to whatever they’re already doing. My goal is to give each student personal one on one attention, and make sure they have an idea of where they want to go with standup comedy. Plus, the locations of all three are so far apart I don’t see any conflict of interest at all. They are separate entities, and I’m going to enjoy them all. I love teaching classes.

Kenosha Festival Of Cartooning

September 15, 2011

Wednesday September 14th, 2011 – Kenosha, WI

One of the first things I can remember doing that I enjoyed enough to want to do when I grew up was draw comic strips and cartoons. I loved it, and used to spend hours inventing my own characters and dreaming of seeing my work appear in a section of my hometown Milwaukee Journal called ’The Green Sheet’. That was where all the comic strips were.

For whatever reason, they used a mint green dye to color the daily four page section and it’s one of the first things I remember reading as a kid. There were all kinds of great strips like ‘Mr. Tweedy’ by Ned Riddle, ‘Priscilla’s Pop’ by Al Vermeer and ‘Freddy’ by some guy who just called himself ‘Rupe’. I would read them and then try to draw them as well.

I must have been only seven or eight when I came up with my own strip called ‘Buffalo Boris’.  I thought Boris was a funny name, and he was a cowboy who lived inside the city limits. He rode his horse on the freeway to get to work every morning, and in the mind of an eight year old kid that was big time funny. I even sent it in to try and get it published.

My grandpa encouraged me to send it to the Green Sheet, and I remember being thrilled to get an envelope back a few days later. I was crushed when I got rejected, but it was still a fantastic experience. I kept doing it and eventually had a booklet of cartoons with a few of my friends ’published’ by our class at school. Our teacher ran them off on the copier.

She even let us charge five cents for it and I remember selling a few and splitting up the loot with the guys. My grandpa told me on his death bed how proud of me he was that I’d start all of that up on my own, and I forgot all about it until today when I attended the first Kenosha Festival of Cartooning at the Public Museum there. It brought it all back to me.

My comedian friend Gary Pansch saw it advertised and asked if I wanted to join him for the presentation by Paul Gilligan who draws ‘Pooch Café‘ and John Hambrock who has a strip called ‘The Brilliant Mind of Edison Lee’. They both spoke about how they began in the business and took questions at the end. It was very interesting, and I’m glad I went.

Cartooning is exactly like comedy or singing or acting in that a lot of people think it’s a glamorous pursuit when in fact it’s extremely difficult and requires an abundance of extra hard work. I respect both of those guys for their work ethic, and their talent is world class.

I can’t honestly say I would have had a chance to get one of my strip ideas published if I had stayed with it. It’s such a long shot, and I don’t think my drawing skills would be in a class of either one of these guys. They were both consummate pros, and I enjoyed hearing them talk about of a lot of the same difficulties I have to deal with in the comedy world.

They also brought in some other artists including a guy named Tom Richmond who’s a contributor to Mad magazine. I loved Mad as a kid, and both artists tonight spoke of how much they loved it as kids as well. Tom didn’t present tonight, but will be doing it Friday at the same location. I just might have to come back and see him. This was a lot of fun.

Storage Unit Success

September 15, 2011

Tuesday September 13th, 2011 – Antioch, IL

As if I needed yet another time and energy draining stress filled project with a deadline dumped in my lap, I had until this Friday at 5pm to remove my overgrown mother lode of baubles and trinkets from the storage unit I’ve rented since November of last year when I had to move on short notice. I’ve been dreading it since, but I managed to get it out early.

Usually, I’ll put things like this off until the very last minute and then have to crank the entire project out in way too short of time and everything falls through the cracks. It ends up being an annoying hassle, and I vow I’ll never do it that way again. This time, I didn’t.

I informed the storage place I’d be out when my month’s rent expired on Friday, and the deadline was a good incentive for me to get it done. I wanted to be out months ago, but it kept getting pushed back for all kinds of reasons – mainly my health issues. I set a goal for being out by June 1. Then July. That didn’t happen. I was thrilled to take care of it today.

It sure didn’t come without a heaping helping of back breaking work though. Most of it consisted of hastily filled boxes of books and audio programs, and they weren’t any easier to move today than they were when I loaded the unit up last fall. The only thing that got a bit lighter was my wallet. I paid good money to have this stuff sit and rot for ten months.

There wasn’t much I could do about it, so I guess I’ll just have to chalk this whole thing off to experience and hope I never do it again. Last time it took me by surprise, but now it never has to be that way again. I need to make a priority to organize myself and throw out what I’m not using and travel light for the rest of my journey in life. Hoarding scares me.

Every time I move, I’m unpleasantly reminded of my family. My grandparents and my father all left behind mammoth mountains of useless clutter that had to be sorted through by those left behind and 99.9% if it ended up in the garbage. The rest went full circle back to the Salvation Army or Goodwill from where it came, and it was all a big waste of time.

Try as I might, I still haven’t totally rid myself of that genetic trait but I’m working on it as hard as I can. At least I’ve got all my worldly possessions in one place again, and most of them will hopefully be gone before the end of the year. I don’t have time to read all the books I have or listen to all the audio programs. I mean to. I want to. But I can’t get to it.

My life has been going in such a positive direction lately, I don’t want this tiny glitch to take me out of my groove. I’ll sort through this stash the best I can, and relieve myself of everything but what I think is absolutely necessary. When I croak, I don’t want to put any of my friends through the misery of having to sort through an endless supply of rubbish.

I actually beat the deadline by three days. That’s an eternity for me, and it felt good not to be under the gun to get it done by the end of the day. I worked steady, and it wasn’t an easy task, but I finished it and now I’m going to start unburdening myself with most of it. If anyone reading this wants any gently used books, let me know. I’ve got ‘em by the ton.

A Lucky Break At Last!

September 13, 2011

Monday September 12th, 2011 – Fox Lake, IL

Ok, I give up. I’m stumped like the Venus de Milo. I can’t figure life out no matter how hard I try. Just when it feels like I’m closing in on some answers, some inexplicable quirk or glitch shows up to let me know I have none. I’m a slave to circumstances, like it or not.

This particular time, I think I’m going to like it. I’m scheduled to teach another session of comedy classes at Harper College in Palatine, IL starting next month, and the publicity department sent out a press release to help drum up interest. I didn’t think twice about it.

I’ve found the staff at Harper to be on the ball professionally and just plain nice people to deal with. People like Scott Cashman and Stephanie Burak are my direct contacts, and they talk to me like a human first and a teacher second. I really enjoyed teaching last fall‘s class, and was flattered they asked me back to do it again this year. The vibe is positive.

As it turned out, an article about the class ran in the Chicago Sun Times yesterday and it was not only seen by all kinds of people I know who contacted me to inform me they had seen it – it was also apparently forwarded to UPI and has gotten some national exposure.

I heard it appeared on The Huffington Post among other places, and the word keeps on spreading. I’m getting interview requests from radio stations, and I’ve been invited to be a guest on the Fox 32 Morning News in Chicago in two weeks. I can’t believe how this has snowballed, since I’ve been trying to spread the word for classes for seventeen years now.

When I first began teaching at Cardinal Stritch College in Milwaukee back in 1994, we received all kinds of media coverage. There were several print articles and news coverage on most of the local TV stations. Nobody was doing anything like it, and it got attention.

Chicago has been a different story. I did manage to get coverage on the WGN TV news a few years ago, but I think that was because they knew my friend Rick Geiser who works on the radio side. He also does publicity for Zanies, and he was able to pull a few strings.

This is completely different. I think for once my timing was right. There were all kinds of heavy stories about the tenth anniversary of 9/11 and they put it in the paper to ease the tension a little. People need to laugh when times get tough, and this is one of those times.

Maybe it was also the fact that an actual academic institution is offering a comedy class. Zanies is a comedy club, and for whatever reason that angle hasn’t gotten me very far in a while with the Chicago media. Harper College seems to be the missing ingredient and I’m not complaining at all. I love teaching at both places, and they attract a different clientele.

I would be flattered to teach at both places, but Harper won’t be for hard core comedian wannabes. It will be for regular people who want to learn ‘secrets’ of how to be funnier in every day life. There are a few secrets, but most of it is learning the fundamentals of what humor is, and going from there. After seventeen years, I’m finally an overnight success!

Ten Years Of Turmoil

September 13, 2011

Sunday September 11th, 2011 – Kenosha, WI

Ten years after 9/11 and the world is a completely different and I wish I could say better place. I can’t. I used to laugh at my grandparents’ inability to keep up with the times back in the ‘70s, but I’m falling way farther behind at everything than they ever did. They win.

Whatever they experienced was at least able to be comprehended by generations before theirs, as everything grew at a rate the average person could follow. Now, everything is in such disarray on one hand yet exploding with technology on the other it’s impossible for a regular schmuck like me to grasp it all. Life has passed me by, and I’m yesterday’s news.

My whole generation is officially the last of the old farts, as we can still remember how the world was without the internet and all the residual effects that come with it. Most of it is probably good, or at least I used to think so. Now, I’m not so sure. We’re a new planet.

Too bad what hasn’t changed are the ages old time tested foibles of human nature. That stays the same, even though how it’s manifested is changing faster than people can grasp, especially from my generation. I talk to people my age or a little older, and there’s almost a nostalgic yearning for the time when there wasn’t all of this technology to worry about.

I must admit, times were a lot simpler when I grew up and those days are gone forever. There are some aspects of technology that are absolutely mind blowing, but I’m not sure I think as a whole times are better now. I’m older, more experienced and a lot more cynical but I can point directly to September 11th, 2001 to identify when things really went south.

Since that infamous day, life as we know it has begun to crumble before our eyes, and it isn’t getting any better. Almost everyone I know is in constant chaos, perpetually trying to find angles for survival. The thought of building a ‘stable’ life seems like ridiculous folly.

Change is happening so fast, the world as a whole can’t keep up. We’re turning into one big fragmented time share planet with nobody’s thoughts or values pointing even close  to the same direction. I for one feel very intimidated, even though most others I know either couldn’t care any less or are trapped in a vicious cycle of trying to keep their bills paid.

I’m not going to begin to think I have any clue of what actually happened ten years ago today, or even more importantly – why? Was it a conspiracy? An iside job? Are there real terrorists who choose to make a statement that day? I don’t have a single clue to go on.

I sure don’t believe what the mass media tells us, and anyone who does is ripe pickings for a plucking. Everyone has to figure all of this out for themselves, like a giant puzzle. I really like puzzles, but only those that are fun and I can do when I choose. This isn‘t that.

We did a very solid Mothership Connection radio show on WLIP this evening, probably our best ever. We examined 9/11 from all angles, and nobody had any opinions made fun of. The fact remains thousands of people died ten years ago and we’re still upset about it.

Heavy Mental Concert

September 11, 2011

Saturday September 10th, 2011 – Fox Lake, IL

Total self improvement requires consistent maintenance and attention to several aspects of life. I don’t think it’s possible to improve upon one area and neglect everything else, at least for too long, as it creates an unhealthy imbalance. If one facet grows, the rest follow.

I’ve been extremely pleased with the total turnaround of my physical health in these last couple of months, but I’ve also started growing in other ways too. I’m making a concerted conscious effort to read and listen to audio programs containing positive uplifting content at least an hour a day if not more. I’m pouring everything I can into my vacuous brainpan.

I could read a book a week for the next 20 years and not put a dent in my supply. I have boxes of them still in storage, and enough at home to keep me busy until my clothes come back in style. Now it becomes a matter of choosing those that will have immediate effect.

I’ve divided the piles of books I have into categories of self help, biography, health and fitness, paranormal and oddball, business and finance, sports and reference. There’s not a transvestite’s chance in a biker bar I’ll finish 10% of them, but at least I’m moving ahead.

I’m making an effort to always have a book with me in case I have any down time at all, from waiting at a train crossing to being early for an appointment. Sitting around gawking at the walls drives me crazy, but if I can knock out a few pages of a book I’ll feel better.

I’ve got a ridiculously large overload of audio programs too, and to make it worse most of them are cassettes. Fortunately, my car has both a CD and cassette player so that makes it easier. I’ve been force feeding those into my ear hole lately, and I’m really enjoying it.

Earl Nightingale’s ‘Lead The Field’ and Brian Tracy’s ‘The Luck Factor’ started me off on a positive note in the last couple of weeks, and today I just finished Les Brown’s ‘The Power of Purpose’. I’ve heard Les Brown before, but not this particular program. None of these programs have anything we all haven’t heard before, but it’s good to hear it again.

Sometimes a point hits me at a time when I really need it, and sparks thoughts that help me with whatever situation I happen to be in when I hear it. It’s health food for the mind, and a lot more beneficial than listening to bad news, boring Chicago sports talk and stale music play lists on the radio. Even if I get lost in thought, the good message is sinking in.

Here again, I could drive to Panama and back ten times over and not have enough time to listen to all the audio programs I have, so I’m picking and choosing those carefully as well. I’ve had three solid programs to start off, but I’ve got a lot more I haven’t heard.

All of this is taking up so much of my energy I don’t have time to worry about anyone or anything other than what concerns my immediate future. I think that’s a good thing, as will keep me out of trouble if nothing else. If I’m putting in maximum effort to take care of my own business, I won’t have time to bother anyone else. This is how life should be.

Finger Lickin’ Greatness

September 10, 2011

Friday September 9th, 2011 – Chicago, IL

On this date in 1890, one of my all time heroes was born – Colonel Harland Sanders. He wasn’t a colonel then, just a dented can who never gave up and eventually became one of the extremely few who can rightfully claim the title of world wide icon. He was a legend.

I’ve always been a fan of his for many reasons other than chicken. I’ve made time to see several tourist sites over the years from the gas station in Corbin, KY where he first began selling his fried chicken to the KFC home office in Louisville to his first franchise in Salt Lake City, UT and learned more about him at each stop. He was a remarkable character.

By no means did he have success written all over him – he wrote it himself. That’s why I admire him so much. I don’t know if I could have endured all he did, but he didn’t have to either. He chose to, and that’s why he’s still remembered over a century after his birth.

Had he given up, not a single person would have blamed him. But nobody would have remembered him either. There are countless millions of losers who die in obscurity that’s made worse by the fact they never had the giblets to hang in there like the Colonel did.

His father died when he was six, he dropped out of school in the seventh grade, and ran away from home because his step father beat him. That’s not the secret recipe for success, but he kept slugging until he found it. Then after he did, he was able to sell it with style.

Colonel Sanders was a master showman, and I always love to study those. His look was  his calculated trademark, and he never appeared in public without his white suit and black string tie for the last twenty years of his life. Can you picture The Colonel in baggy shorts and a tank top? Of course not. He knew what his image was, and he presented only that.

I also admire that he did it all late in life, but still had an amazing run. He was 60 before he started dressing in the white suits, but he was able to hang on for another twenty years and establish himself as one of the most identifiable personas of the entire 20th Century.

He also established himself as being interchangeable with the state of Kentucky when in fact he was born in Indiana. Most people don’t know that, and don’t care. Maybe ‘Indiana Fried Chicken’ would have been a flop, but we’ll never know. He found the right combo.

A lot of people also don’t know that Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky, but didn’t receive his recognition there. Illinois was his place of prominence, and it’s even touted on their license plates. He was another example of someone who persisted beyond where the ‘normal‘ people would, and ended up becoming an icon to the generations after his death.

I’ve been slugging it out myself for way more years than I think anyone should have to, but I haven’t come close to going through what Colonel Sanders or Abraham Lincoln had to endure. People like them give me inspiration to keep doing what I’m doing in hopes of having it pay off at some point, hopefully while I’m still alive to be able to enjoy the ride.