A sure sign of spring, or at least it used to be. Kite-flying that is. When I was a kid, once the snow melted and the warm breezes of spring arrived, every kid in the neighborhood tried his or her hand at flying a kite. My mother, who had been raised on a farm in southern Illinois, was a terrific kite-maker. She used paper grocery bags and wood glue and most of the time there were plenty of broken kite frames that we would repair, paper-up and launch. They weren’t too pretty … after all they were only cut-up grocery bags … but they were durable and seemed to stay upright with less tail than the “store bought” variety. After observing that the kites that my brother and I flew seemed to last longer, fly higher and not break apart every time they bumped into something, all of the kids wanted kites made by my mother. You know, I may have missed out on a business opportunity there. Then again, it would have been a tough business to sustain … foreign competitors, seasonal sales, high liability concerns, fickle customers, heavy pressure to keep costs down while constantly innovating with new designs and performance improvements … wait a minute, this all sounds too familiar. Enough already. The winds a blowing, the sun is shining and I’m pretty sure I saw a couple of empty grocery bags in the garage … I’ll let you know how it goes.
It’s Tax Day … Spring Must Be Here
According to a recent survey conducted by the highly regarded Pew Research Center, 70 percent of American adults surveyed felt that it was wrong to cheat the government by taking benefits they were not entitled to but only 45 percent of those same people thought cheating on your tax bill with the IRS was a bad thing. That doesn’t compute, does it? By the way, I also read an interesting article about IRS employees (some of whom do not pay their own taxes but will come after you with every ounce of energy they have if you fail to pay yours) wherein it was stated that a survey last year of IRS employees found that a vast majority of them don’t like the IRS either. But the pay and benefits are pretty good and so they stay on the job. The problem is, the rest of us have to deal with them.
Yet More Proof of Spring
A few years back, and I honestly don’t remember exactly how many, I had the good fortune of meeting Don Keller and working with him on a little project that he had gotten involved with in his home town of Grand Ledge, Mich. It was one of those jobs where you don’t get paid but you feel quite humbled and gratified by doing it anyway. I was incredibly impressed with Don and got involved in just a little way. Don wanted to pay for the work that had been done but I didn’t see how we could charge him for his efforts to honor men from his hometown who had lost their lives in World War II and after a couple of my guys and one of our suppliers got caught up in the effort, everybody involved donated their time and materials … I don’t think this is so unusual for people in our industry. I regularly see the good-hearted people that I get to interact with giving of their time and resources to the benefit of others. It encourages me to think that in the tough world we live in there is still much kindness and generosity.
But here’s the rest of this little story. You see, now virtually every spring, I get a big box of Don’s personally blended, cooked, and processed caramel corn with nuts and it is some of the best stuff you’ll ever crunch on. So I thank you publicly Don for the fine treats you send my way every spring and for being the fine human being you are. Keep up the good work!
The Sports Thing
The NHL Stanley Cup Championship playoffs start tonight. Given this fact, there is no other sports-related story or commentary worthy of mention for the day.
The Quotable Thing
This week’s quote comes from none other than Bob Price (JEB) who is a much deeper thinker than any of you who know him might believe. And yes, I know there are probably many skeptics among you but it is true. At least he has convinced me …
“Life is a gift, the problem is most people return it unopened.” -Author Unknown
Please Have a Wonderful Week, Everyone!