A Candy Applish, Sparkly Gold Rolls Royce. © Lee Broom from Leadership, A Love Story.

 

 

“All you have to do is know where you’re going. The answers will come to you of their own accord”.        Earl Nightingale.

“The biggest mistake that you can make is to believe that you are working for somebody else. Job security is gone. The driving force of a career must come from the individual. Remember: Jobs are owned by the company, you own your career!” Earl Nightingale.

“You become what you think about, you will reap what you sow and you must provide service to others.” Earl Nightingale.

 I was in the workroom of Lee Broom Gallery and Framery. It was a beautiful spring day in Scottsdale Arizona; the space shuttle  just been launched, Russia had just decided to implement Daylight Savings Time, and Isuzu had recently become the sixth Japanese automobile manufacturer to begin selling its product line in the United States of America. The stereo was tuned to the classical music station and I was listening to Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30. The recording was of the composer himself at the piano. The year of this recording was 1929, years before the year of my birth, probably at New York City Music Hall. (I am listening as I write, to this same piece as performed by Olga Kern.) As I listened and locked in the last brad in the frame I was building, reaching as I did so for the Kraft paper I had already prepared to be used as a dust cover, I saw through the window, a Candy Appleish, Sparkly Gold  Rolls Royce pulling up to the curb.

Great; this could mean a big sale. I continued working, observing the driver emerging from a beautiful if somewhat vulgar looking almost-a-limo; he walked around to the trunk which appeared to be opening itself, removed a large cardboard box and start toward my front door.  As he approached the showroom I was already holding the door open for my visitor.  He entered the room, moving deliberately toward the 4′ x 8′ glass table which served as a sales counter and also as my desk. The gentleman did not look around at my beautifully designed showroom as did others when entering for the first time. Nor did he hesitate when entering the room; he seemed to have been here before. Today, I was the only staff member on the premises. My two framers were absent without leave.

The music reached its conclusion. I looked at the welcome intruder, listened as he asked what I thought to be a perfectly ridiculous question, “Do you offer senior discounts.” Music returned. It was now my favorite composition of all time, the Rach’s first movement from his second piano concerto, this time being performed by Van Clyburn. Instantly inspired and at the same time recognizing my visitor, I helped him remove the contents of the box ignoring for the moment his question and pausing to admire a Piranesi print .  “I know you. I couldn’t place your face but the minute I heard your voice I knew you.”

“Well”, He dragged it out a bit, watching me as though he were deliberately and easily reading my mind. “So…..tell me please,” the serious look on his face was a mask for an impish side to his personality, that particular trait being suddenly revealed by a bit of a twinkle in one eye or another, “Who am I?”.

“You Sir are Sky King.”

The gravel in my visitor’s deep baritone voice added an unusually comedic air, filling the small show room as he began to laugh, and laugh and laugh. I chuckled as he quieted down and offered me his hand. “Earl Nightingales” he explained.

“Lee Broom.” I accepted his handshake. “I’m very happy to meet you Mister Nightingale.”

“Thank you” he replied. I wish you’d call me Earl. May I call you Lee?”

“You may do that Earl. I apologize for not answering your question about senior discounts. No. I don’t do that. But I’ll tell you what I will do. If you’ll watch the shop for twenty minutes, I’ll go fetch some sandwiches. You can play with samples. Look at artwork. Just make yourself at home. When I return – I assume since it is 11:45 that you haven’t had lunch?” I paused.  “When I return I’ll give you a ten percent discount on all framing and artwork that you might be inclined to buy and I’ll deliver all completed work to your home free of charge. I’ll even install it for free if you will allow me to bring a photographer.”

A big smile lit Earl’s larger than life, face. “Where’s the sandwich shop, Lee?”

“Scottsdale and Shea.”

“Scottsdale and Shea? That’s two blocks from here. I don’t see another car out front. It’ll take twenty minutes just to walk there and back. Another 15 minutes for the food to be prepared. Is your car in the rear of the store?”

“It’s at the garage having the brakes  re-lined.”

“Well, just how did you plan on getting there?”

“I plan to drive your car.” His face now had that same look that I’d interpreted earlier as his ESP face. He reached in his pocket and removed his keys.

“I’m trusting you with my Rolls Royce, Lee.”

“I’m trusting you with my shop, Earl.” I suddenly had an idea and told him to hold his thought while I retrieved something from the back room. I returned with a well-worn copy of THE STRANGEST SECRET by Earl Nightingale. “I made some notes in this book. Maybe while I’m gone you’d like to flip through the pages.” That look again. And, then a smile.

“Okay”.

And thus began a friendship with a man who would with no more than a dozen meetings in as many years, be remembered as one of the most stimulating friendships I had ever known. We talked a lot about “Success” over the years. He learned that day, the day he loaned me his Candy Appleish, Sparkly Gold Rolls Royce, the day that I left him with my well-worn copy of his book, The Strangest Secret; he knew that I did not agree with everything that he had written. Whenever I had felt a critique rising to the surface I’d left written evidence in the margins of those thoughts. Some were a bit caustic. I’m not certain why I took a chance like that. I ran the risk of sabotaging a friendship not yet realized and on a more practical note, I needed his business. But, I felt that I knew Earl the minute I let him in my front door. And, as time would demonstrate, my sense of a connection had been accurate. It could be said that the concert pianist playing in the background as Earl and I met, was only a skilled craftsman compared to the Composer who was one with the Universe as he wrote the original composition. One could say that but I believe that would be a  mistake in judgment.

I believe that those who create, especially those who create music are often indeed, One with the Universe, regardless of which role they happen to be playing at the time. I believe that on this particular day that Earl and I were every bit as connected as Van Cliburn to Rachmaninov, on that spring day in 1981. Or was it 1982. (As you can see I have more faith in my connectedness than in my memory.)

When I returned, Earl was visiting with my friend and business neighbor, Herb Drinkwater. It was to Drinkwater Liquor and Cheese that I had gone for sandwiches. Silly me. It was right across the street. Earl was telling Herb about his new home. It was near the crest of Mummy Mountain. It had a fully equipped radio station, a 100 foot mast and he was already doing his radio show every morning from the comfort of his own home.

I was very familiar with the building in which he lived and after he left that day I wondered for a moment what it must be like for him to be earning his living doing the work that he loved. It took only a moment to realize that this is what sparked the flame of recognition between us for it was that drive to live one’s dream that Earl and I shared.

I reached across the table and picked up THE STRANGEST SECRET by Earl Nightingale and opened the cover.  “To my new friend Lee Broom, who loaned me his store and welcomed me to Scottsdale Arizona. Earl Nightingale.”

If you seek to be a Leader, the best you can hope for is to be a Great Follower. If you seek to be a success you already are.    Lee Broom from Leadership. A Love Story.

 

Truth? Perhaps.


Does it matter, the ideas we study?

Does it matter, if we begin with an opinion?

 If we endeavor to understand any idea or set of ideas with the assumption that this set of ideas is Truth and the purpose of studying those ideas is to find a way to achieve cognitive consonance between the beliefs of the original thinker and the students, can learning actually occur?

 Befuddling?

 Perhaps.

 To  study requires a promise

 To cherish objectivity.

 To learn requires a premise

That is the priority.

 But….

 Perhaps there is no truth?

 Are we using the right tools?

 Oh, for an opinion.

 So many rules.

 Are we fools?


Perhaps.

“Did I say that? What I meant was………”

 

When opinions reek of danger and

Outlooks collide,

When bias hisses,

When judgment derides,

When prejudice misses

The mark,

It is the absence of “Hark”,

The dark temptation to seekers of Truth.

Alle heil der abend

As last light fails

And discourse galls

The light of Reason.

And feeds on

The mindless nod of

A thousand, million heads.

Shall we do this cries the headman

Sure; whatever.

And then arrives

An alternate view

To an optimistic few.

And a rosier future

Prevails.

As autumn brings a withering reminder

Of thoughtless, irretrievable  syllables

This new Ship sails

To sites and sounds unknown.

A few have grown

And risen above the moan

Of grieving masses.

Life as must, moves on.

From: An Amo and Curio Olio.
A Folio of Prose and Poesy by Lee Broom

Landed Gentry

Suppose you were stranded on a deserted island in the South Pacific hundreds of miles from the nearest, well-traveled sea-lane. You’re all alone. Occasionally, you see the fin of a circling shark. It is a small island; probably less than an acre, there is a small stand of coconut palms, a few deserted shells lying around, some grass and minor shrubbery. And……..

Miracle of miracles, there is a plant about three feet high with four yellow blossoms. Those flowers weren’t on that plant when you drifted to shore yesterday. Aren’t they beautiful? Aren’t they amazing? You remember that you have a plant like that back home in Arizona, in your backyard; it has new blossoms nearly every day. You wonder if this will blossom daily. You remember the gratitude that you felt every morning when you went out on the patio to read the Republic and visit with the Family Quail and you saw the flowers. You never removed one. You linger on that picture for a moment and try to feel the memory of gratitude but you discover that you can’t. And, you wonder if it is even possible to relive a feeling. Probably, you say to yourself if you pay a hypnotist a hundred dollars or so to help you with that. But for the moment the only feeling available to you  is a kind of blank, puzzlement.

Now, I know that this is just pretend stuff that we’re doing here but bear with me, please? Be honest. Are you grateful for the flowers that you have right this second or are you in a panic because you nearly died last night? Apparently there were no other survivors. In fact, there is no sign that you were ever on this tour-boat. Surely there  is debris nearby. You’re afraid to venture into these waters because of the sharks, right?

But, are you certain that these big sea critters are sharks? They could be teenage orcas, or porpoises or dolphins perhaps. If you wade out there  one might venture over and say hey there, let’s play horsey. It might also say to the other family members “Lunch”.

But as long as we’re imagining this event, let’s say you didn’t get here on a cruise ship. You got here in a time machine. That fin could be on the back of an ichthyosaur. And unless you can remember walking into a Dr. Whovian phone booth with one or more companions, you are definitely alone on this planet. And since you have no knowledge of Jurassic geography, this little island with the warm currents and fish and coconuts is yours for the duration. So……..

How do you feel? Probably a wide range of feelings right? Would you say that the heavier side of the scale leans more toward gratitude or toward feelings of danger?

There probably won’t be a Thanksgiving turkey, or pumpkin pie, but there are seventeen coconuts and one large vertebrate swimming around, courting you with its dorsal fin.

And, look  to your right, partially hidden in the brush. Isn’t that a member of the quail family; its as big as a turkey.

Have a lovely Thanksgiving.

CRASH BANG SCRAPE SHOUT KABOOM


Quick quick, the ear plugs.

To our winter visitors:

Since you are planning to visit this winter, I want to make sure you know what‘s going on with our neighborhood. I reported last month that “I really enjoy living here……”. I should have finished the sentence; “……in spite of the fact that our neighborhood looks like a war zone and has been this way for a year and will continue to be for at least another six months if not another year.”

It all started with the construction of a new home directly across the street.

About a year ago a dozen houses or more were purchased at about the same time, all within a half mile of each other; most sold for less than $500,000.00.  They are all being razed. The few that are rebuilt are being offered at prices from two to three million dollars.

The downside to all of this is that the first house to be built, the one pictured above, created problem that could only be corrected by a combined effort provided by the city and local utilities.

Within a couple of months all of our major streets were in the grip of the utility company and local government. New sewers requiring concrete pipe sections that when lined up, laying on their sides on the Arcadia thoroughfares were eight feet wide (I can stand up inside one; the streets affected are Camelback, Indian School, 44th Street, Lafayette and Arcadia. All at the same time.

Yesterday I wanted to go to Safeway. I no longer go there because of the streets but I wanted to see how many miles it would take to reach my destination only a few blocks away. Since it is much too dangerous to turn left into 44th street by the canal I drove instead to 56th street, South to Indian School, West to Safeway and returned home via 44th street. The trip was nearly five miles.

When you get here I suggest entering Arcadia off of 44th Street at the canal. Lafayette is shut down from 44th to 52nd Streets.  Today the street we live on became the starting point for the next leg of the inches per day journey from hereto 44th Street, The noise from the street, from four houses in the same block under construction, trees being removed and a very noisy peacock are joining in a concerted effort to turn our community into an cacophonic adventure. See ya soon. Wear steel pots if you have ‘em and bring ear plugs. I’m blogging from the Scottsdale Public Library.

Peace, Lee.  PS: The weather is great.

Truth, Loothly Defined

It has been said that in order to discover Truth one needs only to focus on the “here and now”.

It has also been said that Truth can never really be known.

In reality “Truth” rarely walks up and presents its self. Nor is it discovered by looking back. However, once Truth has been discovered, the past may suddenly come alive with remembered moments of confusion suddenly bathed in a glow of inspired understanding.

The Truth about Truth is that Truth is elusive; it is not to be discovered by asking for the Truth from those you admire and respect and certainly not by placing yourself in an environment of group thinking. One must do the work; Truth must be actively sought. And when Logic fails, Prayer is said by many including myself, to open doors and to reveal alternative paths to future revelations.

I approve of this message and I believe these words to be True. And that’s the Truth….

I think.