Last summer, Mrs. Elm got some bad news; she was diagnosed with incurable Dutch Elm disease. I was crushed at her prognosis and wrote about it in an earlier blog post. In that post, I professed that there are many unexplained miracles and cures that happen every day and, if there’s no scientific cure for Mrs. Elm, then it is time to move to plan B–a miracle. To enlist a miracle, you must have hope, faith, prayer, and ritual.

In an earlier blog I wrote, “Leadership qualities are not a secret. Leaders are usually: hardworking, action oriented, optimistic, brave, good communicators, empathetic, open minded and honest.” In my previous blog, I expounded on the topics of honesty and optimism.
To continue my pseudo-lecture on leadership qualities, I’ve next selected the attribute of bravery to write about. Everyone can learn to be brave and this bravery comes in all different fashions.

My love of old structures and saving history is evident in the lifestyle choices I’ve made (i.e. the Dreamland Ballroom and my 1911 Craftsman-style residence). This preference began early. In 1975, upon returning home to Arkansas from Dallas, I took up residency in the aging Hillcrest neighborhood of Little Rock, Arkansas.

As I pulled out on to Markham a young dog, about the size of a standard poodle, runs in front of me and towards this bicyclist on the opposite sidewalk. The Bicyclist and I thought he was running to attack him. But no. There, in the oncoming lane, lay a big black lab. He’d been hit by a car and his dog companion was seeking help. It must have just happened.

Everyone should write a blog. It jogs your memory of a learned experience and it is cathartic. We used to call it “keeping a diary.” As with many written journals it can be a private memoire, for your eyes only, or shared with only a few or with many. All choices are yours to make and can be modified at any time. It’s your blog!

The flag business is seasonal. During the cold months, our sales drop off dramatically. It makes sense; during the winter, we’re all indoors and flags, for the most part, are outdoor products. Last year, during these slow months, FlagandBanner.com made a calculated decision to allocate more money for advertising than ever before. If there was ever a silver bullet for selling flags in the winter months, we were going to find it. I can conclusively say: There is no silver bullet.

When traveling, I like to catch up on movies in my hotel room. The Ruth Bader Ginsberg movie, On the Basis of Sex, is a walk down history lane and should possibly be required-watching for all Americans. It is easy, when reciting a gratitude list, to omit and take for granted today’s equality for both men and women. It was a mere 40 years ago that men were not recognized in a court of law as care givers and therefore disqualified from tax relief and other compensations like women. Likewise, women weren’t recognized as head of household, thus unable to apply for credit cards or a mortgage without a husband’s signature.

Sometimes the thing that stays in your mind for the week is not about yourself but about someone else. This story is so unusual, happens to so few of us, and was handled so well, that I felt I would be remiss not to share it…just in case any of us find ourselves in the same situation.
This peripheral blog is about my sister, Kris, and her friends (I have changed the names to protect the innocent). Recently, Kris nonchalantly called me on the phone and after a few minutes, casually says, “Well, I had an unusual week.” Do tell sister.

One thing I didn’t expect, but have come to love, is the research I must do for my radio show. Each week, under pressure of a deadline, I read about my guest. As a result, I’ve learned so much!
My interview with Mr. Lay, founder of GWL Advertising, was fast approaching. My first thought was to research his business, GWL Advertising, and speak to the changes that have occurred in his industry over the past 40 years. But, when he sent me his bio, I quickly changed course. Gary Wayne Lay, from Clinton, Arkansas, has a story that really caught me by surprise and opened my eyes, once again, to the fragility of life.

It’s not the expensive, black jacket that I bought but, rather, the on-sale, red leather, fringed jacket that I didn’t buy that preys on my subconscious of regret.
When I was young, I envied those girls who were content to stay home on a weekend night and read or wash and set their hair. I, on the other hand, couldn’t stand to miss out on a single party.

As you can imagine, I had lots of comments about my decision to stop selling the Confederate battle flag. My favorite response was from a lady who was in favor of my decision. Her closing words were “Not today, Satan, not today!”
Shortly after my announcement, I got a visit from my friend, Randall, who also happens to be the President of the Sons of the Confederacy in Arkansas. He, as he put it, “Came in defense of my ancestors.” I was expecting him.

A few years back I took a leap of faith and hired for a new position, a sales assistant position. My thought was, this new person could help streamline and alleviate some of the busy work of my sales staff, thus freeing up my experienced salespeople to use their time more wisely, ie. selling. It worked. Sales increased, morale increased, and a team atmosphere was garnered.