Monday, April 25, 2011

How To Take A Thoudand Kids Fishing On The 4th Of July #2

     You get what you think is a perfectly marvelous idea. Happens all the time you say. Why, I had a marvelous idea just yesterday.
      I wrote in a previous blog the very beginnings of the story of  taking a thousand kids fishing on the morning of the 4th of July, between the hours of 7am and noon, and loving every minute of it. You can see that I've shortened the title of the story.  I should warn you that the lessons learned from this adventure would later be applied to an Annual Father's Day Car Show, just a few craft and Art shows,  a few big wheel races, a couple whole town promotions and even some major fund raising efforts for Muscular Dystrophy. I'm getting ahead of myself. I do want you to understand. This is about taking a thousand kids fishing on the morning of the 4th of July, loving every minute of it and so very much more.
     I'd like to say that this part of the story happened the day after the first fishing contest we attended. It probably didn't. I'd like you to understand the sense of urgency we felt to organize the next contest. I am sure that this part of the story happened while it was still July. We came to the conclusion that if we wanted to do a big contest it was going to take some capital. We didn't have any. We could have put our own money into the pot. That wouldn't have amounted to much. We set out with one major rule. "I can not do this by myself"
We needed $100.00 to get things rolling for a contest a year away.  It was going to take money to ask fishing tackle manufacturers for donations!
     My little town had two banks, a S@L.and a new comer large bank, from the big city, had just opened a branch bank. Banks and bankers were in the news. Since there were four of them I decided I could raise the $100 in four trips. My promise to them was that they would appear on all of our advertising as sponsors of the event. This represented a bargain signature ad for them. I went to the S@L first because they had plenty of free parking. Ten minutes later $25.00. I next went to my bank..Another $25.00..The hardest ones were to come. I stood in old skin flint bank waiting to talk to the old skinflint himself. The man from behind the walnut desk listened as I explained the fishing contest. He understood the value of the offer to his advertising and of the event to the community..He made this deal with me. He would double any donation I received from the new comer bank. I asked a vice president of the bank to witness the dare and agreed that if I got nothing from the new upstart I wouldn't be asking for any of skinflints money.
     I trudged down the street. I dusted off my blue jeans, straightened my collar and opened the door to the branch bank. It was all or nothing at this point, I might have even straightened my hair. I met the branch manager, nice young all business lady. I told the of the marvelous fishing contest idea. She liked it. She liked the value of the advertising concept. She thought her kids would love the contest next year. As she was writing the check I told her of the dare from the other banker. Her eyebrows raised. She said this is her community, too. We are here to stay!  She wrote the check for $100.00  without telling me. I really didn't look at the check.  I was back in skinflint bank handing the check to Mr. Skin himself.  He called me a SOB but did write the check for $200.00 I was in shock!
      The president of my bank beckoned me to his office when he saw me opening a new account for the fishing contest. Seems my story of the fishing contest interested him..He had a good laugh about my mornings fund raising activities. He had something on his mind. At that time dues to the state, national and local Chapter of our he Izaak Walton League were $25.00.  He signed up all of his employees as members right on the spot.  We had just doubled our chapter membership! That morning we went from having zero in the bank to $600 in the bank. The first monthly news letter came out about a week later. But that's another story.
     You get what you think is a marvelous idea. Other people may think it's a marvelous idea., Ask them for their help. Always remember to say thank you...even if they call you a Oh there's so much more to the story. Notice how other people caught the vision, the marvelous idea, then proceeded to contribute far more than I was asking. I hadn't fully convinced myself of the power of the marvelous idea , yet.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Blog-o-sphere My favorite book

It’s once again time for a view of the greater Blog-o-sphere. The following have once again linked to each other and written on the same subject. This month topic is our favorite movie or book. I look forward to seeing what they’ve written about. Be sure to check them out.  Andes Cruz:
Kathleen Krucoff:
Brad Severtson;
Beth Cyr:
Stephanie Clark:
Wendy Kelly:
Andrea Bell:
Barbara Donovan:

Back in my gold and diamond days, also the days of my first computer, my monitor was as large as a small television. This monitor took up most of a built in desk, next to my jewelers benches. My computer connected me with a couple hundred other jewelers, gem stone and diamond dealers, and jewelry stores across the country and around the world. It was down right handy to roll my chair from my bench to the computer screen. There was a slight problem with the arrangement at first. The monitor was too low. I had to hunch over to read the monitor. The problem was solved by four important books. They became my monitor stand. These books were two issues of the Jewelers Circular Keystone Jeweler’s Directory, 1985 @1986 if I remember correctly. Each of these was about 1 ½  inches thick. It’s curious to note that my present computer does away with the need for thick jewelers directories. The top book in the pile was my copy of Roydale’s book on composting. This book forms the foundation of the organic gardening movement. I also have their book on mulching. The composting book is important to the pile because it added over two inches in height. The foundation of this pile was one of those very large, in a presentation box, family Bibles. It was a King James Version if I remember correctly. This great volume added a little over three inches to functional low tech approach to raising the monitor. It was good.
    I suspect that when this topic was proposed they had more of a book report in mind. I should be writing a “My favorite book” sort of article. I am. Well the functional monitor stand contained my favorite book. Even though my name would grace the pages of a couple of JCK directories they were never very useful other than raising my monitor. The Roydale books on the other hand would become responsible for my creating huge piles of organic manures, bushels of vegetables and wonderful flowers. You have no idea how close I’ve come to writing about the composting book. There’s a cynical side to me that cries for release. I’m sure no one would object, if I did. I’m also sure that my choice will offend some of my friends. That always confuses me. I don’t mean to offend.
    That great volume would, years later, be donated to a small church that needed a pulpit Bible. They enjoy having it. I found that one to be just a little big too big and difficult to read.  It’s thou’s and thee’s left me lost in some foreign language. I would prefer a NIV version of the same literary work. I should explain something. I had owned many copies of the book I like so many other people had never read it. I owned it but I did not possess it.  I’ve know people that have read it cover to cover. I find their endurance amazing I can’t imagine reading it from “In the beginning” to the final blessing, page after page. I do know that I have read it. In thousands of sittings, verse by verse, chapter by chapter with a marker in hand underlining things that struck me. Writing in the too small margins highlighting areas that bothered me, is my proof that I’ve visited the pages.  
      Don’t for one minute believe that I know all of the answers. I’m still working on asking some pretty good questions. I do have the basic story down, mostly..
      It’s not an ordinary book. If you have the desire to read it, I suggest you start with Matthew. Then read Mark, he’s sort of the cliff-notes of Matthew. Read it marker in hand.Discover over time you've marked up the whole book.
     Maybe the book gets a bad wrap because it’s often used to beat people up. That’s sad.It shouldn't be used that way..A better use than that is to prop up your monitor.
    Some words come to mind from the book, I'll have to paraphrase them. I' can't tell which verse or chapter to find them in, sorry. You'll get the picture. Imagine the calves being released from the barn yard into the new spring pasture. Imagine them kicking and dancing for joy in total celebration of the moment. Happy Easter everyone. Enjoy

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Bench Made Cross-Lock Tweezers

Ever so often it becomes necessary to make a tool to do a specific job. These two pair of bench made cross-lock tweezers will work nicely to hold larger parts together, better than the store bought variety.
Parallel jaws about an inch apart with a light touch. 
Need to place a small part on a larger plate?  Say a head onto a shank.
These have the advantage of being made from materials at hand. Coat hangers become cross-locking tweezers.   All in a day's fun. I make my own copper tongs. too.