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Showing posts from 2021

REVEREND RICK

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  It had been many things, the small building on the corner of Mill St. For a while though, Reverend Rick spoke sermons here to a small flock. Workers with memories of better times and paychecks. Now just social security, food banks or worse. The giant empty factory building still casting a dark shadow. They felt unworthy of going to the big Baptist church up on Railroad Street. No one ask Reverend Rick how he came to this small place. He was thankful for that, not wanting to share the wandering years and drink. Somehow he just appeared one day, putting a simple cross above the door and giving sermons. He used the small offerings to fix the place as best he could. The market next door giving him food and a room in back to sleep. Then one day the Reverend was gone. Only the cross remained. Overtime the building again fell in disrepair. Rumors had it that an Asian man planned a bar there. Sometimes neighbors walking by claimed they could still hear Reverend Rick sharing the lords mess

THE MONTAGE (a lost art)

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  My wandering days in Portland, Oregon always seemed to lead to the Eastside. It’s low profile warehouses  and edge loved by my camera. Wandering often ended or started just down from SE Grand Avenue, under the Morrison Bridge. There, the colorful Montage restaurant held court. True to its name, it served everything from alligator to oysters somehow combining those small parts into a French and Cajon delight. For those who could find it, the Montage became a favorite over 27 years. Some complained of its loudness, the noise from the bridge, the waiters shouting out orders (a tradition) and the rowdy late night diners. It was loud, but I always got lost in the wonder of how all the pieces of the place came together to delight. I remember how the chef would form tin foil into fish, frogs, and alligator as part of the meal presentations. A covid loss, The Montage unfortunately closed in 2020, only survived by a food cart of the same name. Ironically, I now live on a street named Grand in

PAVEMENT NOTES

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  We chase the pavement leaving notes behind. Ones never fully understood or destination known. But, they are the marks of our lives. “ Should I give up or should I just keep chasing the pavement, even if it leads nowhere…”  - Adele

A GREAT FALLS BLESSING

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  Great Falls had it heydays many years ago. It looks like it had been put to sleep. Its downtown is a row of empty worn storefronts, a legacy shared by many small places here when the textile industry died. It was the closing of Republic Textile Mill here that seemed to freeze the town in time, breathless of life, waiting for fortune to find it again. I had visited here many times with my camera capturing the faded colors and patina of the place. You never find many people wandering here, streets seem always empty. The quiet giving you time to photograph. Early one morning, to my surprise, I saw the doors to one of the store fronts, Browning T shirts open. I had photographed the building many times, never thinking the business was still there. Holding the door open was a small table with a vase.  Mr. Browning greeted me, “Pretty isn’t she.” He said seeing me eyeing the vase. “$2 since you are my first customer.” He handed it to me, as I thought about how my Kathleen would love it espe

MISSED CONNECTIONS

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  People pass each other every day without connecting. I used to routinely seek out new connections both in business and on the personal side. The business ones represented new opportunities. The personal ones were equally rewarding. They were chances to learn about people and ideas. It was like catching small sound bites of their worlds and experiences. They made me feel more human and open to new things. Well before the pandemic, I found myself losing this art of making connections with new people. The smartphone, pace of life, and divisions in the country led me to be less welling to start the casual conversation. This only increased with the pandemic. While I didn’t pull up the covers in bleak depression, I did feel more isolated. Talking with friends, I have learned that I am not alone in this feeling. In fact, a recent study found that people now prefer a machine instead of interacting with people. Good if we are in a hurry and we are all in a hurry it seems. However, talking wit

SHIPPING BOX ART

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  They come to us folded and perfect, protecting our goods. It’s not always been that way. Before the corrugated box was invented in 1871, shipping was a haphazard affair. The only protection a tarp or clumsy wooden box. One that could not be easily reproduced. Shipping boxes were invented by accident when a printer dropped a ruler into his press and discovered it left creases that could be folded on the poster board he printed. Today, we expect a lot from these boxes. Too often though, we ignore and take them for granted. If you really look though, there is certain art about them. They have traveled many miles and wear the marks from doing so. Marks that give them patina and an abstract appeal. If you don’t believe boxes have an art to themselves, a recent study of toys and young children might give you pause. It seems that young children will open a box containing a toy, but quickly tire of the toy. Once they do, they start playing with the box it came in. This phenomena happens so o

TWO KNOCKS - A collection of short Stories

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  "Two Knocks" by David Young - a collection of short stories about second chances, second acts, changed minds and the final two knocks is available on both Apple Book Store and Amazon's Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09BLF19TP

WINDOWS

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Windows “Let there be many windows to your soul, that all the glory of the world may beautify it”  Ella Wheeler Wilcox Windows let us look at the soul of the city. Through some you look out at the city in its purest, seemingly apart and untouched by reality. In others, you look in at the lives of people. Some working, some reflecting, some happy and some angry. Dealmakers, makers of food, readers of life, those waiting for something, dreams that are gone. All behind the windows we pass. We catch our reflections in windows leaving us to think about how we might change our lives or make ourselves more beautiful. We only get quick glimpses, held in the black and white lines we write silently to ourselves about what we think we see.  The closed shop with covered windows holding the broken dreams of someone. Or the closed window hiding what we only imagine.  We never have the full story.  We move on held apart by the windows, but touched by the reflections we see… David Young

RETIREMENT NOTES

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  Articles abound on how to retire early and the money you will need. There are far less on the reality of retirement and how to be successful in it. Only 10% of people will achieve the $1,000,000 experts say is needed to retire. What about the other 90%? The good news is that retirement can be  enjoyable and successful on far less. Some changes in your life and thinking though may be necessary to achieve that. This booklet contains five articles on my insights into making that happen. The book is available on Apple iBooks at the link below: http://books.apple.com/us/book/id1575136442

THE GREAT ASIAN MALL

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  The dark loneliness left you to fill in the blanks about the place. Such it was in the almost deserted Great Asian Mall. A giant place framed by an endless parking lot with only a few cars Greatness had long left this place. I learned the owner a man from Vietnam resided far away, the mall floors unswept. The closed shops with windows covered by newspaper sat side by side like forgotten tombstones, only names remained.   There’s a sadness here, but the far end of the mall still has life. There a cosmetic art school, Asian market, dim sum restaurant and Vietnam sandwich shop kept the lights on. Everyday, debris from each would fill the mall space between them. Each fighting with the other to keep entry ways clear. You could see stacks of crates and pallets moving all the time. Money still flowed here. The women at the cosmetic school sat at attention, all hoping for a better future. Numbers on paper hung on wall boards. Some hawking services, some seeking the lost. The dim sum found

A $4,853 Bottle of Tylenol

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  If you want to be immersed in abstract thinking, be dazzled by statistics, or ponder what is wrong with our health care system, look no further than hospitals and how they bill. A recent trip to the hospital for an operation left me scratching my head regarding our health system. It’s not the skilled care and great results the hospital delivered. It’s the cost of the services and how it impacts different individuals that dazzles me. My bills for surgery and overnight stay came to $49,450, including a hospital pharmacy bill of $4,853. Fortunately between medicare and my insurance carrier, I only paid a small fraction of this bill.  The way hospitals charge is at best confusing. While raw rates are in part based on cost, they also are for market positioning. Those raw rates are forced much lower if the patient is medicare or medicaid. The balance left is further settled at a lower negotiated rate with major insurers. The hospital simply writes off the difference. Thats all good

SMALL BUILDING TALES (Rock Hill, SC)

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    The small towns of the South are full of small buildings with tales to tell. Such is the case in Rock Hill, SC. Some of these buildings are little gems that need no tales, some wear their tales on their sides, and other bear the notes from many endeavors. The building at 528 S. Dave Lyle Boulevard (pictured above) is beautiful to behold, even if you didn’t know its history. It has one though. Build in 1909 it was the headquarters for the Afro-American insurance Company which grew to have many offices in the South. It is listed in the National Historical Buildings and also in the Greenbook. Some buildings hint at their purpose by the architecture. The building at 114 Oakland Avenue looks like piano keys on the side. If you turn the corner, you find an elegant piano featured in the only showcase window. Turns out that the building houses Marshalls Piano Company. The Marshall family founded the buisness in 1925 and still operate it today. The company features pianos from $3,500 to $

LOST AND FOUND

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Henry David Thoreau once said, “Not until we are lost, do we begin to understand ourselves.” When you are lost though, it can be difficult to find the “Lost and Found” department for people. There are many ways you can find yourself lost. Too many problems and failures in the rear-view mirror of life, loss of love, no one to reach out to, being stuck in a remote place, shoved aside by society and loosing the strength to risk. All these and many more can leave you frozen in time, unable to take advantage of opportunities or new relationships, even if they pass by you everyday. The world is a dynamic and wonderful place. Most of us recover from being lost. We gain a new spirituality, find internal peace with what has passed, meet a special person, rediscover our dreams or finally risk finding that new opportunity. The time lost gives us space we need to gather our resources and venture again. For some, it’s a much longer journey than others. They find only darkness i

WORKAROUNDS

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  Todays complex and connected world takes problems you encounter to a new depth. The inevitable of death and taxes now has a new partner. Unending time spent with technicians to unravel those problems. This is giving rise to a resurgence of workarounds. Fixes you find yourself that do not solve the problem but keep things working. All be it on a temporary basis. Who has the time to spend half a day with technicians trying to completely solve a problem. Even Captain Kirk had to call on the workaround talent of Scotty to figure out quick fixes to save the Enterprise. Scotty in most cases today is a Google search. It’s not surprising that the term workarounds originated in the early 1960’s with the growth of technology. Since then, we have more and more devices, more compressed chips and continual upgrades. Recently, my HomePod went on the fritz. It couldn’t pull up Apple Music. Impertinent messages from the device simply said, “Theres a problem accessing Apple Music.” Two and a half hou

FOUND WALL MARKS

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DREAMS

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    They walk alongside us. There but never fully understood. Random images that spring from our being. Silent rendering of the world. We know not how they shape us. Some urge us to great things, some just remind us of what could be. Alongside they are acted out in a world held back by reality, but wanting to be.

JUST ONE THING

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Paul Theroux went on epic journies through South, Mexico and places by Train. For brief times, he would travel with his daughter. She once ask him what she should take back as souveniors. Theroux said, “Just take one thing back from each place. It will teach you to observe and learn more.” I have not traveled to all the exotic places Theroux had. However, my journeys  with my camera take me to places unusual. I follow his advice and just take one thing from those places back with me.  Usually, It is a piece of found art. A surveyors stake with engineering marks on it. A discarded peice of metal along in a rail yard. Memoriories all, to savor and remind. I love each one. David Young ( Coupling  Rail Ring Photo, Chester SC)  

BUILDING ON THE CORNER

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  Hundreds of cars passed by it everyday. The building had nothing to say. The dreamers imagined a coffee shop behind the roll up door, putting a new jive name in the worn sign holder. Not sure how they would every use the back wing, but no matter The Developers saw the building gone, a bare lot to build on. Permits, plans and profit danced in their minds. The homeless man slept in the back wing hoping the traffic would die down. Fate always patient just waited for time…

AMEN STREET

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  The building had been there forever on Amen Street. Few people could remember the small dress shop in front. Or the reverend who preached in the back room to poor railroad workers. The sounds of the trains not far away on the tracks they laid. Only accountants and lawyers occupied the top floor now. Paying homage to different gods along Amen Street.

HEARD AT THE BAR

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  The Custom House Clock Tower crowned Boston’s financial district. Its bar a beacon every evening for young financial titans. The bars wood paneling reflected clubbiness and intimacy. Here they could exchange tales of the day and their success. There were few chairs, except for stools at the bar. Most just stood with drink in hand. Joey’s group were regulars, all Harvard graduates, never shy about mentioning the fact. They could have met at the Harvard Club down the street, but their fathers were there. The Custom House allowed them more freedom to be and brag. Joey always seemed to lead the conversations and had the most swagger, his swept back hair and narrow eyes all spoke of blue blood . Paul the bartender presided over the bar. A slight built balding man who always seemed in motion, scurrying from one end of the bar to the other to fill orders. If the Harvard crowd were the swells , Paul was the labor. He wore the working class heritage on his bland face. He stuck to his work and

JESUS SAVES SIGNS

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  I always kept a camera in the car, just for these moments. Across the empty parking lot a man sat leaning against the side wall of a box store. The parking lot iconic in foreground with concrete yellow car stops.  I initially took him for a pan handler, but the site made no sense. No car would stop in front of him, they just passed him by. Besides, I kept to a personal rule of never photographing the down and out just looking for a few dollars. I hesitated taking the photo. I attached my long lens to get a better look. He sat praying, a small sign in front read “Jesus Saves.” There was no asking for money. A small red umbrella shielding him from the sun, adding to the scene. My mind clicked back to seeing these “Jesus Saves” signs all over town placed high on telephone posts at busy intersections. They hung beyond human reach echoing their message and casting mystery of how they got there. Curious, I had even searched the net about their origins. No answers found.  I looked through t

MOMENTS ALONE

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  Perhaps the only good thing about the pandemic is the time afforded us to be alone and explore the complexity of ourselves. And realize how important others are in our life....

OUR OWN WORLD

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    OUR OWN WORLD: We live so much these days in our own little worlds. Forgetting that we are only a second of the 10,000 year history of civizations. Of the untold number of humanity that has lived and died. Especially in these times, It's good to look at whats happening not only in the USA, but also the world. To honor those who dig in the soil to understand our past. To those who have found greater purpose in life beyond thier own lives. So I walk the trails of the forest deep, picking up stones here and there. Looking at them and feeling their roughness and smoothness. Understanding there is more than our own little world here.

THE ART OF BUSINESS AND INSURANCE

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  When you think of all the things that go into the art of successful business, you seldom think of Insurance. In fact, few people even like the subject.  Insurance though can play a pivotal role in your business success. Not having the right insurance can be a roadblock. With proper insurance coverage in place, you differentiate your firm in the market place. You not only protect your company, but also make it easy to do business with you. The gig market place moves quickly and is highly competitive. Having insurance in place gives you a leg up on securing opportunities. This might take the form of a choice lease, winning a contract or attracting the right strategic partner. In short, proper insurance shows you have your act together.  Not all insurance though is created equal. The simple general liability policy (bodily injury and property damage) may not fully protect you. This is especially true if you are a designer, consultant, recruiter, project manager, coach or programer. You

BEACON

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  I walked by it each day. It was like a beacon for me looking back at the city. I knew I would move there as soon as I could. Look from its windows watching the city grow as I would....

END OF LINES

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  They seemingly appear out of nowhere, iconic in their simplicity and design. Box hotels at the far reaches of a city where existing lines end and new development is underway.  Here utility crews laying new lines stay for weeks, salespeople eyeing new clients and architects all mix. The salesman envying the utility workers who knew each day what their job would be. The utility worker envying the salesman for the freedom they had and the architect lost in their dreams. They would go out to make a new market each day. Always returning for another night at the end of the lines. David Young

CAR WASH

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  You always enter a car wash with a certain trapadation. Will my car make it, will I be safe. There is no escape. You suspect that among the whirling brushes, shaking and streaming water there are things you don’t want to know about. Things that will cause dents in you perfect life. Things that might sweep you away. You worry and worry about these things, until it lets you go.....

WANDERING BRUSH

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  I have never been able to settle on a painting style I could call my own. Peter, a friend of mine and great artist, once told me that to be successful you have to develop a style that is recognized as your work. Paintings that galleries can line up side by side. The gallery goers seeing the artist in each and every one. He painted beautiful abstracts of life. Galleries clamored for his work.   He once warned me though, “Your success can trap you.” Shortly after that, Peter stopped painting and disappeared for a time. Some said it was a marketing ploy to make his work more valuable. I knew he was wandering seeking himself again.  Years later he reappeared and started painting, but never the same. So I clean my brushes carefully and try to paint again. My brush still wants to wander and try new things. Maybe it’s all the techniques and colors that confuse me. Maybe, painting success and greatness will alway allude me. Maybe it’s the echo of my friend’s wisdom…