Another life

Hi everyone,

Yesterday Sandy and I signed a lease allowing a new company to move into my old office building in Springfield, where I worked for thirty-five years from 1973 to 2008. It was the home office of Glenstone Block Company. I was owner and president.

During the day my world centered on the manufacture and sales of concrete blocks for the construction industry. We had a plant in Springfield, one in Branson, and a stocking yard in Camdenton. At one time we also operated half a dozen True Value and ACE hardware stores in Springfield, Kaiser, Branson West, and Camdenton. At it’s peak, the company employed over one hundred men and women.

This week I pulled out a scrapbook created as a gift for me in 1993 by my secretary Dixie Nyer. Memories came flooding back as I turned the pages, pausing over faces I haven’t seen for many years. We were all so young! I’d forgotten about the newsletter I occasionally wrote (with ample help from several others in the company). A company survey had shown that employees wanted to know more about how business worked so I wrote a series of articles about a fictitious small businessman named Fernando who started a company to manufacture Belly Button Lint Cups. Poor guy had a heck of a time figuring out how to control his inventory, price his product, keep his expenses in check, and somehow make a profit.

It was another life, filled with meetings, decisions, trying to keep up with trends and stay ahead of competition. Several of the people who helped make Glenstone Block Company what it was are gone. I’ve lost track of most of the others. One, I’m happy to say, my former administrative assistant Elaine Gold, still comes to my house once a month to pay bills and do my filing. Okay, I’m spoiled. Another ex-employee, Karen Stewart, now performs the same duties at our gift store, Gamble’s.

Dixie, herself a writer, penned this poem for the opening page of her gift scrapbook. It’s over the top but Dixie never got over the fact that I hired her when she was down and out, cleaning motel rooms and barely making it. I hired her to do our advertising and picked her from several applicants with strong credentials. I chose Dixie on two counts: she was a writer and she professed to dislike advertising. I figured that would give her a reason to come at our ads from a different point of view, and she never disappointed me. I can still hear her squeal of joy over the phone when I called to offer her the job.

To the Main Man

Ever the gentleman
and the great scholar,
Ever the kind friend
if you should holler,
Never a harsh word,
never a frown,
Never a dark mood
dragging him down,
Full of good will and
spontaneous laughter,
Eager to help you find
what you’re after –
Spritely in step
and cheery in tone,
Making the work place
feel like a home —
Champion of children,
the needy and weak,
Defending the cause of
those who can’t speak,
Just and impartial,
whatever the cost,
most incredible BOSS!
— dn

When I sold my company, I became a fulltime writer after a lifetime of writing before work or after I got home. I was 71.

Believe it or not

Hi everyone,

We shopped yesterday until 1:00 then headed for the airport and home. After three days of shopping for our store, individual cells in my bones were screaming for rest. We flew back to Tulsa and drove home from there, reaching our house at 7:00. Bought a lot of nice things though.

This month is moving slowly so far with Word of the Month. Are we struggling with the word: BELIEVE? I started work on my poem on the plane trips but it’s only an hour between Tulsa to Dallas so that didn’t give me much time. I’ll try to finish this week.

Today my pool table will be put to use again. It’s the best place in the house when I need to spread out sheets of paper or files or folders to sort them into order. I’ve all but finished a new collection of humorous poems so today I’ll spread the poems on the table while deciding where to place each one in the final grouping. My M.O.W. says this collection is as clever as anything I’ve done so either that means that I’m never very clever or I should be happy with this book.

Christmas Open Houses have begun


Hi everyone,
I know. I know. Too early. Being in retail is such fun.IMAG1806 Yesterday started the season with retailers holding open houses all over town. Here are some pictures in Gamble’s.IMAG1808 Not a bad looking store if I do say so. IMAG1811Not that I’ve had anything to do with it. Kudos go to Sandy and our staff.IMAG1812

Here’s the website if you’d like to see more.

Calling all W.O.M. poets

BULLETIN: Our gift store is having a nice sale on jewelry. If you’re interested, here’s the link.

Hi everyone,

This list includes a lot of poets who have at one time or another posted a poem here, either in the Word of the Month Poetry Challenge box or in the commments on a post.

A few on the list haven’t posted a poem but have attended poetry workshops where we worked on poems and discussed this venue, and a few others have used only first names or blog names. If I found you in my records, I included you on the list.

I am confident that I’ve overlooked a number of poets who have shared their work with us and so I apologize if I’ve failed to spot you in the records. Please step up to remind me that you need to be added.

The point of my search is to invite everyone who has ever contributed to Word of the Month, or thought about it, or wanted to but didn’t do it, to come back to W.O.M. to join the fun as we approach the 5th anniversary of this monthly exercise in October.

I don’t know who follows my blog and who doesn’t. If you correspond with someone on the list, I hope you’ll urge them to check in. Here’s the list.

Rosalind Adam
Jamie Adoff
Reta Stewart Allen
Amity (Venelyn Gajudo Bagasol
Linda Baie
Don Barrett
Geradine Baugh
Melanie Bishop
Robyn Hood Black
Susan Taylor Brown
Ashley Burns
Stephen Clay Bush
Susan Carmichael
Beth Carter
Patricia Cooley
Cory Corrado
Mimi Cross
Marjie DeWilde
Christi Diamond
Rebecca Kai Dotlich
Linda Dryfhout
Linda Duncan
Joanne Durham
Donna Earnhardt
Karen Eastland
Janet Fagal
Gay Fawcett
Matt Forrest
Sue Fowler
Joy Acey Frelinger
Janet Kay Gallagher
Genia Gerlach
Charles Ghigna
Jacqueline Gramann
V. L. Gregory
Shirley Guendling
Carol Hankel
Cheryl Harness
Jennifer Harrison
Julie Hedlund
Rachel Heinrichs
Jane Heitman Healy
Yousei Hime
Carol-Ann Hoyte
Tricia Stohr-Hunt
Jackie Huppenthal
Darlene Beck Jacobson
Andromeda Jazmon
Beth Johnson
Bill Johnson
Lucinda Kennaley
Liz Schultz Korba
Julie Krantz
Becky Kruger
B.J. Lee
J. Patrick Lewis
Bridget Magee
Claire McBride
Taylor McGowen
Erin McMullen
Diane Mayr
Dats me
Rebecca Menshen
Brian Miller
Heidi Mordhorst
Cherie Geisler Neal
Anita Noland
Silindile Ntuli
Delane Parrott
Jeanne Poland
Valorie Provenzano
Heidi Bee Roemer
Laura Purdie Salas
Michele Schaub
Vera Jane Goodin Schultz
Joyce Sidman
Buffy Silverman
Ken Slesarik
Lynne Smith
Marilyn Smith
Mary Nida Smith
Terry Smith
Nile Stanley
Roberta Stewart
Julie Stiegemeyer
Kathy Stump
Sidney Sullivan
Melanie Szymborski
Kathy Temean
Renee La Tulippe
Barbara Turner
Euleta Usrey
Adrienne VanderPloeg
Amy Ludwig VanDerwater
Charles Waters
Judith Lachance-Whitcomb
Hannah Ruth Wilde
Deborah Holt Williams
Fahad Witchking
Steven Withrow
Patricia Woodward
Jane Yolen