Find The “Lovely Intangibles”

The lovely intangibles are what they are. We have no real control over them. By their very definition, they are incorporeal, immaterial, not definite or clear to the mind.

But for some reason they are important in our lives.

Lovely intangibles can be fleeting moments, such as catching the glimpse of a stranger’s eyes at a moment of distress, telling you they understand your plight.

Or they can be longer clips, such as the memory of Todd Beamer’s last words aboard United Airlines Flight 93 on the morning of September 11, 2001, as he led the charge to stop terrorist plans: “Let’s Roll.”

They’re only two words, not very impressive in and of themselves; but put into context of the moment when they were spoken, they carry the power of the indomitable human spirit.

When I think something is too hard for me to do, I think of Todd Beamer and those people on Flight 93 and suddenly things don’t seem so impossible. Let’s roll.

I think the lovely intangibles are like fingerprints; each set identifies individual people and no two are exactly alike.

You and I will see the same event but come away with two different views. Though our views may be similar, there will be defining differences that will make each of our views singular.

So, as you get ready to cue up Friday, April 20, 2012, slow the pace down a bit, lean back, take another sip of coffee, and spend a little time thinking about your own lovely intangibles.

And if the urge strikes you, share one or two with other PRB readers here.

Randy Gaddo, a retired Marine, who also served until recently in municipal parks and recreation, lives in Peachtree City, Ga., and can be reached at (678) 350-8642 or email

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4 comments on “Find The “Lovely Intangibles”

  1. Dick Bailey on said:

    Randy, thank you for your very personal thoughts. Today I get to enjoy one of those intangible moments as I celebrate 25 years of service to my community through the Parks and Recreation profession. How privileged we are to have such opportunities to create and serve.

  2. Here is one of my favorites: I was standing next to our newest dog park, a project I had spent a great deal of time coordinating. A staff member and I were discussing maintenance issues when we heard barking in the distance. It got louder, as we saw a car pulling towards us with a black lab’s head hanging out the window. The owner and (slightly overweight) dog got out of the car, and the dog continued barking excitedly, pulling on the leash & dragging his owner to the dogpark gate. I turned to my coworker & said, “Another satsified customer.” Hard to beat that feeling!

  3. Peaceful in the meadow on said:

    Thank you for helping me put a “title” to the moments I cherish, “lovely intangibles”. Just the other day, my 13 year old daughter and I walked out to our field to check on the sheep. Spring is at our doorstep with milder weather and green abounding. I stood for a moment and just listened to the birds, crickets and the sound of the sheep munching away on the green carpet. I closed my eyes and listened, taking in all of the sounds and smells of spring. I asked my daughter to do the same and to my surprise she closed her eyes and stood with me soaking it all in! Ahhh! PEACE! I was blessed threefold! Not only did I enjoy the moment for its beauty but my teenage daughter did the same and we got to experience it together.

  4. Jeanne Dieterich on said:

    Yesterday I told a reporter what a great job he did on a story about the Park District. I will remember the look on his face as he hesitated, smiled, and said “That’s not usually the kind of comment reporters hear. Thanks.”

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