Category Archives: A Step Ahead

Man Up Like In The Movies

Photo: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / urfingus

In 1953, George Stevens directed an American western for Paramount called Shane. The film was based on a 1949 novel of the same title, written by Jack Schaefer. It starred Alan Ladd as Shane—a drifting, gun-slinging cowboy, and Van Heflin as a land-settling farmer named Joe. Joe’s wife was played by Jean Arthur and their son Joey by Brandon DeWilde. No bad guys were colder than Jack Palance, who played a gunman named Wilson.  Most Americans over the age of … Continue reading

Posted in A Step Ahead, Columns, Issues, October 2014, Parks and Rec Business | Leave a comment

Empathy Loves Company

Photo: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / Lighthunter

On numerous occasions I’ve tried to teach my kids that their way of approaching a problem is just as—if not more important—than solving the problem. When they came home from school moaning and whining about a large school project or research-heavy paper, I railed against their complaints.  “Attitude is everything,” I would bellow. “Look at it as a chance to learn, to evolve, and develop yourself. If you start by complaining, the whole thing will be a chore. Take control … Continue reading

Posted in A Step Ahead, Columns, Issues, Parks and Rec Business, September 2014 | Leave a comment

Manage Modesty

Photo: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / racorn

Two tree cutters were suspended in the tree outside my second-floor bathroom window one recent morning. They were hired by the city to trim branches and limbs along property lines to keep the debris away from power and phone wires.  While I was shaving, the window was open enough that I could hear them. They didn’t know that I was there, and I heard the following conversation:  “Man,” the one guy says, “you vote for that Obama?” “Nah,” says the … Continue reading

Posted in A Step Ahead, August 2014, Columns, Issues, Parks and Rec Business | Leave a comment

The Gateway To Adulthood

Illustration: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / uniqueshots

I was doing historical research for another column I’ve been working on when I came across an anonymous statement that gave me pause: “People either participated in the 1980s or sat back and watched. Those that engaged it seemed to be trying to recreate the 1950s.”  I was 20 at the very beginning of that era, in 1980. At the threshold to my future, I felt really good about what I was doing, and how I was going about it. … Continue reading

Posted in A Step Ahead, Issues, July 2014, Parks and Rec Business | 1 Comment

Three Simple Rules

Photo: © Can Stock Photo Inc. / Klementiev

The Harmons were proud of their “mom-and-pop” store, which had been in the neighborhood for years. Although it was really nothing more than a convenience store, the customer base was so loyal that the most popular items were always stocked. “Pop” was a fellow named Eddie. As a kid, he bought candy and soda at the very store he now owned. After high school, the place was so run-down that the aged owner sold it to Eddie for a minor … Continue reading

Posted in A Step Ahead, Columns, Issues, June 2014, Parks and Rec Business | Leave a comment