Don't Rush Me
It's a wrap for 2010 . . .
And all the best for 2011
December 29, 2010 - Take a look at the bearded chap with a Santa hat that goes with these words. This is the last week you'll see this fellow's festive, holiday mug shot. That photo will not be used again. After this week, it will be retired.
(I recommend staring at the picture for one minute, without blinking -- that should be sufficient enough to burn the image onto your retinas, or at least sear it onto your subconscious.)
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The Year of Our Lord, 2010 was actually better than many feared it would be. In our business and our communities, there were many positive endeavors. For example, at our weekly networking groups, the Coffee Club, I've been fortunate to meet a ton of local business types. I enter 2011 knowing more people than I did entering 2010. This is a positive thing.
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Sometimes you need to look hard for positives. Like this: Actually there are good things that happen during a recession/depression like the one Michigan has experienced.
1. There are fewer cars on the roads, which makes driving nicer.
2. We, as a state of workers, have been weaned off the bottle of being taken care of by somebody else.
And, 3. Because of that ruthless act of economic weaning, more of us are becoming self-sufficient. We are less wasteful, we are again trying to shop local and more of us are becoming risk-takers. There has been a rebirth of the entrepreneurial spirit in our fair state. Keep reading (supporting) your local newspaper in 2011 and you'll continue to discover some very cool local businesses blossoming.
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The Bossman (aka, the publisher, aka Jim Sherman, Jr.) got an e-mail last week chastising him for employing me. (That e-mail might be published this week as a letter to the editor -- I recommend everybody read it.) In short, the letter writer thinks I should only buildup Michigan's downtrodden. I shouldn't write about shoveling nearly 1.3 miles worth of snow because that has negative overtones and Michiganders can't handle that. (I know, however, Michiganians can).
In an effort to be like the federal government, I shall lower my standards to be all inclusive; I'll just lump you all together and write for Michiganders and Michiganians alike. I shall take-up the mantle. I will throw the state of Michigan over my shoulders and, as a force of one, I shall lead us to that promised-land of no sarcasm, no tongue-in-cheek humor, no self-deprecation, humility or negativisms; a place where nothing crappy ever happens; where even local government-types listen to their constituency; where there are no stupid people, doing stupid things! I will help make this the robotic, toe-the-line, drone-state, Stepford community you all want it to be.
The writer of that e-mail is right, I (and I alone) should
promote all that Michigan has to offer and uplift the "spirits of our citizens."
This shall be my priority, my life's duty.
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Let me get off that subject quickly as my eye is starting to twitch . . . last week, too late for promoting and publishing before the Christmas gift-giving season, I received two books for reviewing.
Small Town Michigan Tales by Joseph E. Pluta, is 227-page collection of short stories about living in small-town Michigan. This is a work of fiction, but gives a fairly accurate view of living in rural Michigan during the second half of the 20th century. It's available at Amazon.com or FriesenPress.com.
Isle Royale National Park, Foot Trails & Water Routes by Independence Township resident Jim DuFresne also made it my way and with this note:
"Don, you mentioned you'd like to visit Isle Royale. This edition (the first by MichinganTrailMaps.com) turned out really well. Enjoy and have a great holiday. Jim."
First, Jim is an outdoors writer by training and is one of the local Michiganians (not 'gander) who (because his previous newspaper gig was down-sized out of existence) has started a new business, MichiganTrailMaps.com. While the new business is a website, part of its business plan is to publish PRINTED material like books on hiking. Which leads me to point No. 2.
I love this book! I like the way it is laid out, the way it reads and the information contained. If you like hiking and reading, I highly recommend it. The book is available at above mentioned website.
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Finally, final words of wisdom for 2010 to carry you (or is it uplift you?) into 2011, an Irish toast:
"In the New Year, may your right hand always be stretched out in friendship but never in want."
Comments for the Inspirational-only One, Don can be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org
Don is Assistant Publisher for Sherman Publications, Inc. He has worked for the company since 1985. He has won numerous awards for column, editorial and feature writing as well as for photography. He has two, sons Shamus and Sean and resides in the area. To read archived copies of his columns, click on his name, just under his picture up top . . . He can be e-mailed at: email@example.com